I’ve realized something about myself. I am uneasy sharing my opinions on this blog. I don’t think it’s the best medium for me to share my thoughts since I generally am too lazy to fully write out all that’s in my head. I may start another blog when my life is quiet enough to really put the time in to carving out a meaningful space on the web but, in all honesty, it’s hard enough to carve out meaning and beauty in my actual life.

So I bid farewell. Thanks for reading.

Advertisements

My heart is heavy tonight. I just got back from this great conference and had the opportunity to hear from some amazing women concerning trafficking and prostitution. Hear are some quick facts I learned:

Nearly 27 millions men, women, and children are in bondage worldwide

90% of women in the sex industry experienced sexual abuse as a child

A study showed that workers in the sex industry are raped on average once a week

I also found out that the hero in Grand Theft Auto 4, which is the highest selling game of all time by the way, is a trafficker. This hero apparently gains more points in the game if he has sex with a prostitute and then kills her because he then doesn’t have to pay.

Disturbing.

On the flip side, I had the opportunity to meet a woman and hear her story that offered so much hope. After a life of abuse and neglect, she turned to the sex industry. Hearing her stories of abuse and coercion on the job made my heart break; but after hearing how her life has changed and how it changed I became so grateful for the church and how God moves even in the darkest places.

Today my RA and I were talking about how we hate running. I then said, “I’m just a slow person.” He laughed. I didn’t get it at first and then realized I had just called myself dumb. Doh!

This is an old blog post written by John Mayer. He wrote some great thoughts down and I figured I should share.

“This is about a level of self consciousness so high in my generation, that it’s actually toxic.

This is about the girl in her bedroom who poses in front of the camera she’s awkwardly holding in her outstretched hand. She’ll take a hundred photos until coming up with one she’s happy with, which inevitably looks nothing like her, and after she’s done pouring over images of herself, will post one on her myspace page and then write something like ” I don’t give a f*ck what you think about me.”

This is about the person trying out for American Idol, who while going off about how confident they are that they were born ready to sing in front of the world, are trembling so badly they can hardly breathe.

This is about us all. Every one of us. Who all seem to know deep down that it’s incredibly hard to be alive and interact with the world around us but will try and cover it up at any cost. For as badass and unaffected as we try to come off, we’re all just one sentence away from being brought to the edge of tears, if only it was worded right. And I don’t want to act immune to that anymore. I took the biggest detour from myself over the past year, since I decided that I wasn’t going to care about what people thought about me. I got to the point where I had so much padding on that, sure, I couldn’t feel the negativity, but that’s because I couldn’t feel much of anything. And I think I’m done with that.”

How right on is he?

Where does faith come from? I’ve been reading a great blog about their faith journey and it made me think about where faith comes from. How does it show itself? What is the breaking point? Is there a breaking point? I mean, I think about my own life and think I’ve endured some pretty rough stuff. I know friends who have gone through really hard times, too. Faith is made stronger or faith is put in other things or faith is gone. What changes? How does it get there?

Quick rant:

Why is it that everyone who seems to be interested in social activism wears scarves, takes pictures, idolizes U2, owns a Mac, and thinks America sucks?

To self-proclaimed lover of oppressed,

In SoCal you’re only allowed to wear scarves 5 days out of the year. Otherwise, you’re just trying to be trendy.

That camera you just bought could buy a well in Africa. Let the real photographers keep to the picture taking. Otherwise, you’re just trying to be trendy.

U2 is awesome, but they were awesome before they started helping out Africa. Really.

I own a Mac. I bought it because I thought it was “cooler” than a PC. How is a computer of any kind more or less cool than another? It’s a computer. Trendiness at it’s worst.

America is a pretty enjoyable place to live. In fact, I would venture to say that we are the most giving country in the world not to mention most free. Well, at least for now. Hating America is trendy.

Trendy and “social activist” go hand in hand nowadays. I don’t like it. Those who need to be focused on are actually being put on the back burner because of the things mentioned above. This whole “movement” still has a layer of pride and false humility to scrape away for it to be helping anyone. If you’re not careful, it all becomes about you and not the King who really is about justice.

That’s all. I know I didn’t clearly communicate everything and most of it probably seems a bit harsh but I don’t have to clearly communicate everything. It’s my blog and I will suck at thoroughly communicating my points if I want to. 🙂

I got the phone call early Wednesday morning. My grandma crying telling me my sister was in the hospital. “The doctors don’t think she’s gonna make it, honey.” Waking up, I realized it wasn’t a bad dream. Raj had already gone to work and I needed to get a hold of him. Thankfully, he was in between class periods and he answered. I figured out flight stuff and started packing. My bosses were amazing and told me not to worry about anything but getting to my sister. On the way to the airport I got the phone call that the doctors declared her brain dead and that my mom was now only waiting for us to get to the hospital to take her off life support.

The rest of the week was spent with family, taking care of my mom and my sister’s two year old little boy, my nephew. The funeral was this past Tuesday. My brother gave the eulogy. It was a terribly beautiful service and his words were as equally beautiful. He painted a picture of my sister mourning the fact that she didn’t live very long and an angel wrapped their arm around her shoulder and says, “Jessica, just wait and see what happens.”

My sister had some rough people in her life. The funeral was packed with drug addicts, alcoholics, and criminals-people desperate for Christ. Between the words my brother spoke and the Gospel being presented not only during the service but the reception as well, the pastor has let my mom know that his office has been flooded with phone calls from Jessica’s friends. Apparently the words that were shared made some of them restless and uncomfortable. PRAISE GOD!

I don’t know how to describe how painful it is to know my sister is gone. I’m not sure it is possible. But I can tell you this: God is at work. Praise God her death was not in vain but that He will turn all things for good. I hope this can turn anyone who reads this to praise God. He is providing peace. He alone is providing comfort. He is keeping me and my family sane in this tragedy. That alone is a miracle. Praise be to God!!!

“…where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
2 Cor. 3:17