There are some days when you wake up and realize that the world is so sunny, and all is well.

And then there are days where you’re not really sure what the problem is, but you know you don’t feel right about things.  There’s something off . . . something missing.

The latter describes my day today

I don’t know what it is.  I guess I just feel empty inside.  I feel like I want a real connection in the world.  I feel like I wish someone would truly give a damn about me, and really pursue me.  But then I wonder if I’d even be able to accept that kind of love in the first place.  Or – if i had it – would it really make me feel any better?  Is there something deeper going on?

Who knows?  All I’ve got is Jesus – He’s the only thing that seems stable about my life right now.  And I do wonder how long it’ll be before I screw even THAT relationship up

Fortunately for me, there’s really NOTHING that will make Him leave my side – NOTHING will separate me from His love.  But will I choose to obey?  Or will I walk away?  How long can a man feel empty inside before he just gives up?


WOOHOO and Ga-Deng-Deng!!

OK, for someone who’s online as much as I am, it’s ashamed I don’t get to update here as often as I’d like!

But just so no one thinks I’ve dropped off the face of the xanga universe, here’s an update. (And for you protected friends, there’s some much juicier stuff below!)

So, as some of you know, my last rotation sucked major booty!  And the second to last day of the rotation, the other student got in a HUGE fight with my preceptor, and the preceptor refused to grade her!  She was supposed to evaluate me this week, but she never returned my phonecalls, so I thought she was pissed at ME too! 

So I got smart, and went to the hospital to page her (she knew my number, so she would never call back, but I knew she wouldn’t ignore a hospital page).  I finally corner her, and get her to set up an appointment for today.  To make a long story short: she showed up and gave me a GREAT evaluation!!

God is SO GOOD!  My prayer during the 2nd week was that the Lord would help me to communicate better w/ my preceptor, fix my attitude, and LET ME FIND FAVOR – and He TOTALLY answered all those prayers!

God is soooo GOOD!

::does the praise Him dance::

Ga-Deng-Deng for sure.  Unfortuanately, not ALL of my life is Ga-Deng-Deng


So I had my session with Lance today.  Eesh.  It was brutal.  But in a good kinda way. . . I suppose.

I’ve been nose-diving in all sorts of sin lately.  Why?  I’m not sure that I know!  Actually, I think I’m starting to get the picture now, but it was all very fuzzy before the session today.

We were talking about all my jacked up issues as usual, and then – for some unknown reason – he decided to get freaky on me!

He sits up really close in his chair – drawing closer to me, and quietly calls out “Darren?” He has me sit up, so that I’m even closer to him and he starts to talk to me and draw me out.

{smiling}”You’re making me uncomfortable!”, I said.

{Lance smiles} “Good! Now you’re being honest! Now just look at me!”

“What are we doing here?  What is this supposed to accomplish?” I retort

“I don’t know.  Let’s just do it.”

By this point, I’m just really uncomfortable, b/c I don’t like to look people in the eye.  It’s unnerving.  It makes me feel like he can see straight into my soul, and straight into the evil that lies within. ::shudder::

He goes on to talk to me about my fear of intimacy, and asks me questions about what I’m afraid will happen if I let people in.

I honestly have no idea.  I’m not sure what will happen.  All I know is that every fiber within me cringes at the thought of letting ANYONE inside to see the ugly mess

Then he starts to tell me that he likes me.  He likes me for the way I think, for the way I approach life, because I’m engaging, and all these things.  And now, I feel really weird.  Because the truth of the matter is . . . I like him too.  But aren’t counselors and counselees supposed to have this very professional-like boundary or something?

Yet, I must admit that I’ve always liked Lance as more than just a counselor.  He’s just a genuinely cool guy.  So knowledgable, so vulnerable, so funny . . . and he knows about postmodern Christianity to boot!

And that’s why I was so afraid.  Because here he is, right in my face, acknowledging the fact that we’re 2 cool guys who dig each other.  And that scares the shit outta me! 

And no, it’s not because he’s my counselor – it’s because he’s ALIVE!  I don’t let ANYONE inside this heart of mine.  I keep people at such a distance.  Even when I’m sharing my deepest struggles with people, I have this uncanny ability to emotionally detach from the situation and not really be vulnerable.

Even my parents.  Actually, it’s WORSE with my parents!  For some reason, I don’t even like to TALK to them anymore.  For the last couple of weeks, I just get extraordinarily perturbed when they ask me SIMPLE questions like “How was your day?” . . . it’s like they’re trying to pry inside, and I don’t want them there!

It’s so truly disturbing   These are the people who love me MOST in the world, and I have literally been ignoring them the last 3 weeks.  And I don’t even know why

After the session, I went out to my car and just bawled my eyes out.  (Usually after a session, I cry myself to sleep, but b/c I had so much friggin work to do, I didn’t get to take my post-session-rejuvination nap!)

I don’t want to be this way anymore.  I don’t want to keep people out.  But I don’t know how to change it.  I am SO AFRAID, so very very afraid to let anyone inside.  I am surrounded by love, by great friends, by an awesome family – and yet I keep them all out  . . . b/c of fear

My prayer tonight is that God would somehow help me out of this hell I’ve built for myself.  Much of me wishes I could go on living in this self-protected manner – then I wouldn’t have to risk getting hurt.  But God created us to be relational people – people who need REAL intimacy.  Keeping everyone out has cost me a lot – more than I care to contemplate at the moment, for I fear the downward spiral such thoughts would send me into.  If I don’t fill this need for intimacy in a good, healthy way, I’m certain to fill it in an ungodly way – because it’s a vacuum . . .

I know it’s time to put this fear behind me, and stop filling the void in ways that only bring more destruction to my already-damaged soul.  It’s time to LIVE – to truly live. If only I knew how! 

I guess for now, I’m just believing that He’s going to continue walking me through this – at least that was the prayer I uttered through a wall of tears earlier this evening.  

OK, I’m off to bed now.  Keep me in your prayers, alright?  I’ll be sure to do the same for you



It’s been such an interesting few days.  I guess it kinda started with reading that book my counselor suggested.  Just reading the first couple of chapters has helped me tremendously – b/c it undergirded some truths that I’ve recently discovered, but never really was able to articulate.  The main thing being that I really do approach Christ from a “what do I need to do to be fixed?” standpoint, but realizing that there is no hope or fulfillment in that.

Saturday nite, I received a phone call from an old friend of mine.  One of the wisest men I know (think C.S. Lewis – but Asian ).  Haven’t heard from him in awhile.  He’s a guy I’ve been wanting to get closer to since I met him a couple of years ago, but there’s always been some walls up.  So for the first time EVER, we had some deep convo.

On the one hand, it was a pretty frightening conversation.  He challenges me in ways I really don’t want to be challenged.  He’s been questioning the same things I have been for the last few months.  And even though we come to different conclusions about what our struggles really entail, there was something very peaceful about that talk. He found God in such a meaningful way, and he tapped into that desire in my own heart.

It’s been SO long since I’ve been passionate about God.  I mean, really passionate about HIM and ONLY Him!  But by the end of the conversation – even though we’re still questioning lots of things, and could end up doing some pretty sketchy things by some conservative evangelical standards, I have such a peace witihin me. 

It’s all starting to click.  I’m finally starting to see that I merely want Christ.  Every other desire is meaningless if I can have Him. So that’s what I’m going for.  I’m pursuing Him w/ all I’ve got, and all the questions, issues, and struggles are secondary.  I don’t CARE what conclusions I come to!  Just so long as I have Christ.

All my life, I’ve grown up in Church and stuff . . . but have wondered about certain things.  Like, what does it mean that God is holy?  I’ve always had good head knowledge of that, but somehow, my heart could never grasp it.  But here I stand today, realizing how weak, and broken, and miserable I am, and suddenly it’s become clear that holy is all about how God is different.  How all the good that is in me is tainted by some evil, but the good in Him is unadulterated – that makes Him so different – so much NOT like me – and only He fits that particular bill.

Yesterday at church was good.  This morning? Not so much.  Yet, I was able to see past my crappy emotions, and realize that I wasn’t alone.  That Christ was there, and that I could still have Him.  Somehow, that helped me put things in perspective, and I wasn’t so tempted to fall to my usual methods of coping – to find my meaning and fulfillment in the acknowledgement of others.

And once again, I thank God for “saint Chris” . . . a guy who I can be COMPLETELY real with!  I don’t have to mince words w/ him, I don’t have to be afraid that what I’m saying is too risque. For some reason I cannot understand, this guy loves me, and allows me to be me.  Perhaps it’s that very kind of love that’s truly helped me to see why my heart’s true desire is for Christ.  He is Jesus with skin on to me – in the period of my life when I need it most.

ARRRRRRGGGHH!! ::Darren pulls hair out::

Yo, so I’m friggin PISSED b/c my preceptor insists on me writing this care plan and working up all THIRTEEN of my patient’s problems!

For those of you who are NOT in pharmacy school, let me give you some perspective here.  It usually takes us about 2 nights to work up a problem or 2 in a thorough way.  But 13???  Impossible!  I’m not making much progress on this

In other news, the emotional roller coaster that is my life continues. 

But yesterday’s session with Lance was really good.  Much better than last week’s  Have I said lately how much I LOVE that guy?  I really kinda wish he wasn’t my counselor, b/c he’d be such an AWESOME friend!  But that just makes things kinda weird when you’re in a counselor-counselee kinda relationship . . . gotta have those “boundaries”, ya know?  I’m fine with that.  Kinda weird though – considering the dude knows more about me than anyone else on the planet! 

So anyway . . . the session.  First, he kinda surprised me when he (for the second week in a row) suggested a very unorthodox thing to me – but more emphatically this time.  I’d love to go into it – but I’m not so sure it’s good for public broadcasting, so maybe I’ll throw up a protected post about it later – when I have more time and more sanity!)

But we also talked about how I can be working on not putting on the “I’m doing GREAT right now!” front when I’m out there in the world, interacting w/ folks that love me.  Anyone from Trinity reading along (I see you, Joe ), try to hold me accountable to that.  Don’t let me fool you into thinking I’m doing alright, when most times I’m probably not!

We also discussed the fact that – though I feel like I’m making positive steps forward w/ my myriad of issues . . . I really still feel like they are insurmountable odds.  Lance accurately pointed out that I’m moving to a point of despair. 

For real, I’m so terrified of EXPECTING anything . . . b/c in life, there are no guarantees.  The lady in the cancer ward can pray all she wants that the Lord heals her, but chances are, she’s gonna die.  Do I believe in a God who supernaturally heals?  YES!  But what happens when you EXPECT it, and it never pans out?  Well, then you start to feel hopeless – like God doesn’t care

He gave me this GREAT book to read! I’m only on like the second chapter, but already I see some great points in there.  (Larry Crabb is an amazing psychologist and author.  Very much has his finger on the pulse of postmodern culture.  Check out ANY of his books if you ever have time!).  But anywho – Crabb points to a very prevalent practice in Christianity today – the practice of linear thinking.  The practice of expecting x, y, z to happen if you do a, b, c.  Most Christians won’t ADMIT that they think this way – but when you look at their lives, they indeed do. At least, that’s how I’VE always been!

Thing is, it really is the reason for a lot of my lack of trust in God.  I don’t know any other way to operate.  If I don’t take a “what should I do to fix these problems?” approach to life, what the hell kind of approach SHOULD I take??

I’ve had this ongoing discussion w/ 2 buddies of mine the last few months. One guy has had a pretty hard year.  Lots of shiznit has been thrown his way . . . it’s pretty sad actually.  But he started listening to some Linkin Park stuff – b/c he said it spoke to him in ways that Christian music doesn’t.

I can so relate.  I’m not sure what it is, but it seems that the last 2 years, in my most miserable and desperate moments, most Christian music just doesn’t touch me.  There’s something just too frilly about it.  I guess that’s why I adore Evanescence so much.  I so relate to things like “My God, My Tourniquette” . . . such vivid imagery, but so much more in line w/ how I’ve needed God.  To me, their music is like the stuff I think King David would be writing if he were still alive today.

Have you ever read Psalms?  Dave’s got some pretty gory stuff in there!  It’s just so emotionally raw!  Yo, I totally dig that!  I really wish more Christian artists could touch my soul in that way.

However, I have to admit that there are 3 fantastic ladies that DO touch my soul in that way.  Jennifer Knapp is a goddess.  She strums my pain.  Sarah Groves is so petite, so graceful – but full of this realness and honesty about her pain and her sin.  Truly inspiring. 

And finally, there’s a lady I heard about a few years ago.  I’m not sure why she never became all that popular – but that’s life, I guess.  I think she’s brilliant though.  Kendall Payne.  If you ever watched the WB show “Popular”, you’ll recognize her song “Supermodel” from her debut (and only) album b/c it was the theme song for the show.

I popped in her CD today randomly and remembered how cool it was to be listening to her.  I was so moved by her song “Honest”.  It’s all about how we’re all so afraid to be real in front of each other.  Dang, ain’t that true?  I know I hide behind a plethora of masks!  (And I’m darn good at it!  Even my counselor is amazed at my skills! )  Check this CD out . . . it’s pretty cool.  I hope she makes another album at some point.  I’m gonna need some more Christian music that actually touches my soul in the deep places.



Well, the emotional roller coaster that is life continues . . . and it’s seriously not letting me off.  I dunno, maybe I’m just so all over the place b/c I haven’t been getting enough sleep.

My new rotation at Andrew’s Air Force Base SUCKS!  Like . . .a LOT!  I can’t tell whether my preceptor hates me or not.  And she gives us WAY too much work!  Grrrrr

So I guess that’s not helping my gone-with-the-wind emotional state.  Yet, I reflected this morning on this virtue we call patience.

See, I used to think of it as just forcing yourself to slow down, ya know?  But I actually am starting to see it more realistically now.  God is patient.  It’s just His very nature.  It’s not something He DOES, it’s simply something He IS. 

I am just that much more aware of how sinful I am at the core – how very different I am from Him.  Because I am NOT patient.  My natural reaction in all things at all times is to get it done ASAP! 

As I was driving home from church tonight, I felt God asking “Where are you going so fast?  Do you really need to cruise at  80?  What do you think you’re missing out on?” 

I am by my very nature impatient.  I just can’t slow down. 

I guess that’s why I can’t seem to find any stability in my life as I walk this road of healing from my very painful past.  I always thought to myself that once I started working on my issues – God would just quickly zap them away.  But that has so NOT been the case!

This road has been so long, so arduous, and wrought with even more pain and anguish.  I’m not sure how much more I can take.

Have you ever been around some really cool people, but everything just seems to be on the surface?  That’s pretty much been my church experience all my life – even at this new one.  I had such a strong desire to connect with people – but there’s something stopping me.  Something holding me back.  What the hell am I afraid of?!! 

But again, this is all part of the process, I guess.  All part of God’s plan to show me something about Himself, and about me, and about Him and me together.  But I don’t have any patience to wait for it!  How can I ever be expected to survive?  How am I to ever walk out of the end of this tunnel on the side of holiness?  I feel myself losing more strength every day . . . and I’m afraid.  Seriously afraid.  I feel this pull to join the dark side . . . and it seems more like reality every day.

But again, perception often isn’t reality.  Perhaps the very fact that I fear the dark side is good enough to keep me from its grasp.  And maybe I just need to be patient and wait for the Lord to do His thing.

I think Darwin had a good thought there w/ all that evolution stuff.  Just think about it . . . creation of man wasn’t some singular flash in the pan.  Life was beautifully evolved to the point where man emerged as the pinnacle of God’s work.  Such a pain-staking process is certainly consistent with the way God seems to do things.  God patiently waited for man to be just right.

OK, my conservative freaks . . . you can get your panties out of a bunch now . . . lest you think i’ve gone liberal and ALREADY crossed over to the dark side b/c I’ve “accepted the lie of evolution”, lemme just say it’s just a thought.  Believe me, I’ve studied this issue extensively, and I think both evolutionary scientists and creation scientists have some good evidence to back their opinions.  I’m not gonna tell you which side I truly lie on though, b/c it’s so much more fun to keep you guessing

But anyway – I guess what I’m trying to say is that I hope I can somehow grasp a deeper understanding of the difference b/w doing patience and being patient.  I really would like the latter . . . and the only way to get it is to cuddle up next to the only One that is thoroughly patient by His very nature.  Wish me luck, alright?  Oh, and if you have time, throw up a quickie prayer for me to God, k?

Peace and love!