Skits of My Past and The Road I’m On

wpid-img_20150312_2137172.jpg.jpegI don’t know if this is still a thing, but when I was in high school youth group, musical skits were all the rage. Think of a live-action music video to a popular “secular” song with a story that illustrates the Gospel, something the speaker could use as a jumping off point for the night’s talk.

I’m actually really grateful that I came across an art form like this in those tumultuous years of grieving, moving, starting over, and figuring out high school all at the same time. I don’t remember the first one I saw, but the first one that really spoke to me was a skit written by a senior named Julia Owens set to Frou Frou’s “Let Go.” This was not too long after Garden State had come out, and I already knew and loved the song. I had just started going to a new church and thought I’d check out skit practice. I got to watch them practice this one over and over again, and I loved every moment of it: A boy scribbles in a notebook, too focused on “writing his tragedy” to notice the vibrant girl in front of him who laughs at life and dances with joy. She tries to get him to “let go,” but he won’t. It starts to rain (we actually had a bubble machine, it was pretty awesome), and the girl lifts her face to the clouds but the boy grumbles and hides under cover. There’s a scene where the boy stands center stage with his notebook and passersby each rush past him in a chaotic frenzy and rip out pages of his story. The girl tries to help him, the boy keeps pushing her away… Eventually, he decides on his own to “let go” and sit in the rain, he even opens his mouth to catch it on his tongue. It was one of the most moving stories I’d ever seen, and I said to my freshman self, I can write stories like that.

I’d been making up music videos in my head ever since I was a little kid (back when MTV was actually Music Television). I loved setting story to lyric and music. I would choreograph them in my bedroom and listen to the songs over and over again. I think the first one I consciously created for the purpose of sharing Gospel hope in high school was set to Coldplay’s “Fix You,” and I based it on myself and how I felt “broken” without my mother. The skit was about people carrying around photographs that each represented something broken in their life (relationships severed by death, hearts broken, etc) and finally realizing that they couldn’t fix themselves, but instead had to let go of the darkness and walk into the Light. It’s still probably the most personal one I wrote, and I should think about it more often.

I couldn’t do anything until I was a senior, and I pushed for the storytelling skits to make a comeback. Finally, I got to do it, and I felt like I had found my niche. I did the “Fix You” skit. I redid the “Let Go” skit that had inspired me so much. My favorite skit, however, the one that I think touched the most people, and the one that still gets me today is the one I wrote to Coldplay’s “White Shadows.” Like the seeds that fall amongst the thorns/weeds in the Parable of the Sower, this skit follows a boy who starts out at home with God and his people, full of light, then the pressures of life pull him away (literally, in an assembly-line reminiscent of Across the Universe‘s “I Want You” scene). I had the help of one of my choreographer friends, and my cast executed the moves to perfection. There was also light-dark symbolism: His colorful clothing gets covered in grey and he falls in line with the robotic movements of the rest of the people living in the darkness. He’s tossed about by the crowd and tangled in grey, but when he’s finally left alone, he falls to his knees, lost. A light shines on him, and he looks up. Slowly, he rises and throws himself into the arms of Christ, the colorful people surround him in hug, the song ends and the lights fade.

I was really good at this. That’s why it’s hard for me now in the midst of my unraveling to hear a song come on my shuffle by 3 Doors Down and think about the unfinished skits in my head. You see, just like how my youth pastor had once set a musical to all Coldplay songs, I had started devising my own musical to 3 Doors Down. I think I chose them because they were the musicians behind the first ever skit I managed to get performed at my church, “Away From the Sun.” I honestly can’t remember all the details to this one, but I remember it involved a boy (I always thought that boys were a good choice because girls tended to be empathic to the skit regardless of who’s playing the lead, and boys find it easier to see themselves in another boy. This is a viewpoint that I find problematic for a number of reasons now, in my twenties, but it seemed worked okay at the time). Anyway, the boy was again dealing with peer pressure, and I used the most after-school special topic of them all: alcohol use. He was lost in the “party world,” and I remember there was a devil character who kept tying black strings around his arms and legs… I think there was a moment where the strings came off/ were cut off and the light blinded the devil, but I can’t really remember. I know though that it was another story of the pressures of life pulling someone into darkness, but at the end Light always won out.

I think my story-lines say a lot about my age at the time of writing and my worldview that encompassed only high school. I hope they were beautiful and moving, but sometimes I fear they were a bit contrived. I really was sincere when I wrote them, though, and I really believed in the power of the Light.

That’s why, again, it’s hard for me to listen to 3 Doors Down’s “The Road I’m On.” I had started making up skits to a few of the band’s songs that I had on my ipod– yes, I even had one written for “Kryptonite,” and no it didn’t involve Superman. It was great, but I could never really think of one for “The Road I’m On” except as a transitionary song between a dark skit and a light one. I thought it was an okay song, but there was no hope in it, just solidarity–what was I supposed to do with that?

I listen to it now and it hits me, hard. Those other songs were my high-school life. “The Road I’m On” is the song I’m living now, and I don’t have an ending for it. I’m not any closer to finding a good ending for it than I was six years ago.

She said life’s a lot to think about sometimes, when you’re living in between the lines … He said life’s so hard to move in sometimes, when it feels like I’m towing the line, and no one even cares to ask me why I feel this way.

Much like how I didn’t understand Bono’s “still looking” notion in high school, I didn’t understand living between the lines either. That wasn’t something that made sense to me. You either stumble in darkness or you thrive in the light; grey strangles you. I remember this was even part of the youth pastor’s Coldplay musical, a theme that the people on the fence had to choose where to belong and where to stand.

He said life’s a lot to think about sometimes, when you keep it all between the lines of everything I want and I want to find, one of these days.
What you thought was real in life has somehow steered you wrong. Now you just keep driving, trying to find out where you belong…

That’s me.

I know you feel helpless now and I know you feel alone,
That’s the same road, that same road that I am on.

That’s the song’s only comfort: Life is hard. Seeing it shatter is devastating. Grey is everywhere, and I don’t know where the road will lead, but I’m right there with you.

That’s all I can have right now. It’s not a drastic transformation, it’s not a chain-breaking, darkness fleeing, light encompassing, grey suddenly flooding with color story right now. (It’s not somebody who’s seen the light, it’s a cold and it’s a broken hallelujah.) Right now, it’s a long silver stretch of road that often leaves me feeling helpless and alone. And maybe I am driving towards the light, but it seems too far off and dim to be coming any time soon, though I hope it’s really there, I hope I’ll find it again someday.

wpid-20150415_175804.jpgRachel Held Evans writes in Searching for Sunday: “Scripture doesn’t speak of people who found God. Scripture speaks of people who walked with God. This is a keep-moving, one-foot-in-front-of-the-other, who-knows-what’s-next deal, and you never exactly arrive.”

Maybe now “I’ve found myself so far down, away from the sun,” but it’s not from anything as concrete as what I used in my skit, black ropes and beer bottles… It’s something else, and the way to “fix it” isn’t as simple as I thought in my old skits. It’s powerful, yes, and divine, and hopefully possible, but certainly not quick and simple. I turn to another song:

Somewhere in this darkness, there’s a light that I can’t find.
Maybe it’s too far away, or maybe I’m just blind.
Maybe I’m just blind.
So hold me when I’m here, right me when I’m wrong
Hold me when I’m scared, and love me when I’m gone.

Hold me, Light. Love me, even when I’m gone.

Big Medicine and Strong Magic

wpid-20141111_070642.jpgI went on a mini, individual retreat these past two days.

When I walked into my room tired from the road and ready to dig into the meal I’d brought, the first thing to greet me was a painting of bread and wine. I was hungry, and there was Communion. I longed for it.

I have thought about Communion a lot over my life. It is a mystery, it is a beauty, it is at times strange and unreal, sometimes so close, and at other times I struggle to feel anything. I am determined to keep exploring this mystery…

For no specific reason, the thought of communion in my retreat center room took me back to a memory of sharing communion with my mother. It’s the closest memory I have of sharing “church” with her, and I really wish the memory would last longer. I think it came about when she had taken me to walk through one of those live-action Jesus-walk things they do at Christmas time… You know, where the people dress up like first century citizens living in Bethlehem and talk with you about this new Jesus guy. I really can’t remember much about the experience except that I loved it and there were fritters… (There’s a better chance I’ll remember something if food’s attached to it.) Anyway, after the walk, we were led in to the church where we could take communion. It’s fairly possible that I’m mixing two memories together on this one, but I do remember that it was an unfamiliar church. My mom and I sat down on the pew with our bread and our grape juice and I must’ve looked confused because she started to tell me what to do: “Just say your own little prayer and then eat.”

My mom, bless her. The most specific memory I have of her connected to a  spiritual experience, and it’s her teaching me at a young age how to make communion my own. She was teaching her obsessive-compulsive little girl that she didn’t have to worry about the right rules or the right words, but that she could simply accept God’s gift and find personal communion with Him.

wpid-20141111_065130.jpgI’m sure I’m reading too much into this memory, but it’s all I have to go on, so I am running with it. I love my mom. I wish I knew more about her life and her faith. My dad would tell me some things, and I’m so grateful that a few months before he died he told me about how my mom always liked going to church and sitting in the sanctuary. God, I really wish I knew more…

It’s not fair. I wish I could talk to them about this stuff on this side of eternity. I want to ask my mom more about communion, about God, about the purpose of life and how she got through the hard times… I want to ask my dad about eternity, about prayer, I want to share the things I’m learning (or rather questioning) with him. I want to hear him sing off key again. I want to hear my mother sing, I can hardly remember it…

I never meant for this post to turn into what it has become. I suppose I am always going to write about them, and that’s good, it keeps them real and alive for me.

I really did enjoy contemplating communion (in all senses of the word) these past two days… I read Letters to Malcolm by C.S. Lewis and took comfort in the fact that the scholar who taught me so much still could never understand the mystery of Communion, and that he was okay with it, with taking the mystery. “Here is big medicine and strong magic,” he said.

Yes. I found another kind of magic in the retreat center’s outdoor labyrinth, a winding path that leads to one center core. This one, with its Colorado rose stones guiding the way, was homemade by the boyscouts, as the nuns told me. I had no idea how much I would appreciate this labyrinth. It was bitter cold and snowing out. I had gotten up to wander the grounds with the hopes of seeing the sunrise, but it was too cloudy for that. My wandering did lead me to a garden and the labyrinth however. Wrapped in my blanket with my cup of rapidly cooling coffee, I waited for the deer to exit and then entered in…

What can I say? Trust the path, is the phrase that kept coming back to me. Yes, the labyrinth led me in some twisting ways, and at times I felt so far from the center that I felt it would take ages to get there, but the time went by faster than I thought, and the path always led me right. It was a comforting exercise in trust and a symbol that I’m sure I will harken back to many times. wpid-20141111_065152.jpg

Strong magic. Sacred space. Each moment is sacred, God is all in all, “joy is the serious business of heaven.” In God, we live and move and have our being… Even here, back in the normal way of things. Even now. Oh, bless the Lord, my soul.

Re: With Time

My last blog post was a bit messy. I put it out there because I’ve been telling myself that I want my writings to be real, to be raw and honest like Lewis’ A Grief Observed and the various psalms of King David that included anger and despair as well as wild hope.

Maybe that’s puffing myself up too much– I mean, let’s be honest, I also do it for that tiny bit of attention, because sometimes I just want to scream to someone, anyone, that I’m still not doing well… and for that I am sorry. However, I have noticed that whenever I get this stuff off my chest by posting here, I feel a little better, a little relieved.

Thursday, after I published “With time…” I felt like I could actually turn to God and seek Him, see His goodness, after I’d gotten all that despair out of my head and into the words I published here. Perhaps that was how David was able to write songs of such joy alongside songs of such sorrow and anger.

I confess, I’ve sometimes been a bit of a brute beast lately, but God is patient and gracious with me, and He won’t let me go. The “Asaph” psalmist knew what that was like, the feelings of grief and bitterness, and still the overwhelming comfort of God’s everlasting presence.

I’m no Lewis, no king of Israel, no ancient songwriter, but in a way we are all just like them. They were human too, and I would like to write as they did. I know I’m not the only one out there who has gone through/who is going through something like this, and I want to be a voice. That’s part of the reason why I’m keeping up (or trying to keep up) this blog, especially during this mourning season. I want to be a voice for those struggling with such loss, a voice that says, “I’ve despaired. I’ve been angry. I’ve lost. Yet in such darkness, I’ve tried to cling to hope, but sometimes I really didn’t want to, and oftentimes I failed.”

God is the Rock, and He is what I keep coming back to, no matter what happens. I can’t stop going back to the notion that I need Him to be such a rock. He is the constant one, the one to count on in all this chaos.

I feel like I am living a terrifying, exhausting roller coaster. I can write posts like Thursday’s, full of darkness, and then two days later I can churn out posts like this, words with a sense of burden’s loosed and hope rekindled, and yet in the back of my mind I fear that the darkness will lurch forward again and take over tomorrow…

Yet, I still have the Rock, don’t I? And each day I can come closer to knowing this love that surpasses knowledge. That’s what I want my story to be. Thank you for reading.



The day before everything happened, I wrote in my journal, “Psalm 23 for my 23rd year?”

I wrote this because I had been listening to the song “Twenty-three” by Enter the Worship Circle, and I like that song a lot, especially the repetition of “I will not be in want.” I hoped to declare that over my life, especially as I worried about the details of a trip I’m no longer taking.

I also loved the traditional wording of verse 5, “My cup runneth over.” I made that my Facebook status. I was proclaiming God’s goodness, provision, and sovereignty. I thought it all fit great for the season of life I thought I was entering.

The very next day, my dad went to the emergency room, and that night, he passed away. Perhaps the psalm about walking through the valley of the shadow of death fits this season even more so than I thought. (Yet another thing the Spirit knew that I didn’t. I have to hope–and not grumble– in that, I have to…)

On my plane ride across the country to be with my family, I listened to “Twenty-three” over and over again. The song begins, “Arise, O LORD. Lift up Your eyes. Don’t forget I’m helpless.” I cried out.

Oh, You lead me to waters and pastures so green.
Oh, You pour out Your oil and choose goodness and mercy for me.
No, I will not be in want.

I thought I was scaling a mountain, but now I have fallen off. I’m left to wander in this unforeseen valley, walking under the shadow of death, and I am afraid.

I find it so interesting that Psalm 22 begins, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” The same author, David, writes in Psalm 23, “God is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.” He felt both emotions, despair and hope, and he felt them strongly. And now, thousands of years later, I feel them too, together at the same time.

The verses I took as promises, I will not be in want, my cup runneth over… they have to still be true. The Father of Heavenly Lights does not change His words just because a shadow has fallen. They don’t feel true right now, though, and the Spirit tells me I need not fear, but I am so afraid…

“Thou art with me.”

The beans…


So, I’ve been posting a lot here and over at Small Still about an upcoming adventure, but I haven’t said very much about what that adventure actually is… Well, today I want to spill the beans! I’ve been accepted for a year-long position teaching English as a foreign language to children in China starting this fall.


You might’ve read previously on my blog that I was struggling to choose between teaching overseas in a new country or going to grad school in the country I already love…. Well, this had nothing to do with that. I mean, at the time I had been focusing on a different teaching experience… that I’ve since turned down.

In fact, I was right in the middle of my “saying no” season, turning down both grad school and the other options ahead of me because none of them seemed right, when this opportunity came along in such a God way. It’s crazy how it all happened, and so fast too, but I had been struggling for a long time to find either a grad program I’d love or something that was a paying job that allowed me to travel that I was already qualified for… Nothing I found seemed right (it wasn’t what I thought I wanted, applications expired, there were lots of extra costs), but I applied to this one and I got accepted. For a while I didn’t trust it because it seemed too good to be true, but God continued to encourage me through the mouths of friends and mentors and family, so I pursued it…

And now here I am, almost done with the preparation process and looking at flight prices… and still thinking, sometimes, what the heck did I just do? But you know all about that already. It’s comforting in a way, honestly, because I can see how this is a choice I never would’ve picked on my own. There must have been a nudge (or a shove) from the Spirit in there; God must have been working in my heart.

I’ve come to feel a lot more assured about this new adventure after reading Psalm 139 on a reflection retreat. As I read through the psalm, I was trying to find metaphors to relate to my experience going abroad, and I was seriously stretching the comparisons. But then God beautifully, graciously, and simply brought me to verses 9 and 10: “If I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast.” My Daddy knows how I love poetry, I’m so grateful.

To add to that, I’ve been reading this week in A.W. Tozer’s the Pursuit of God that God’s universal presence is a fact. He is here, always. There is nowhere we can go where He will not be. Even when we are not aware of it, He is here. He is here with me now, and He is on the far side of the sea also. I’m so excited to see what He’s up to over there and to get to be a part of it for a season.

I welcome your prayers, and I’m blessed to get to share in this journey with you, one step at at time. Cheers. (I’m going to have to find the Chinese equivalent of that…)

Dealing with Fear

I published this post over at Small Still Voices on Friday, but I want to re-post it in its entirety here, because part of why I write this blog is so that I can have a way to look back on my life and be encouraged in the journey (and hopefully encourage you in yours too).

Community, as you know, I’ve been in a post-graduation transitional state for a few months now… However, I just recently made a big decision. I chose a path that will take me somewhere new and adventurous and unpredictable, at least for a year. Hopefully, by the time you read this post, thinking about this path will bring only exciting and peaceful thoughts to my mind. But right now, community, I want to be real with you: I’m terrified.

As soon as I made the decision, and in the days after it, I’ve been plagued with aching fears and doubts. The decision’s been made, the paper’s been signed, the plan is in motion, and I lie in my bed as the anxious thoughts spin round and round in my head and I cry, What in the world did I just do?

I’m sure this has happened before, when I’ve faced paths like this. I’m sure I’ve felt afraid even as I trusted in God to lead me. The fears just feel so much worse this time. It’s enough to start me questioning if I made the right decision, if God really is leading me here, if I just completely missed something. However, when I think about stopping and giving up the path entirely, I resist. I don’t want to. I don’t want to stop, but I’m afraid to go. Can anybody relate to this?

The other day, a mentor asked me if I thought this new path would be scary or exciting. I said both, since the scary part is what makes it exciting–because if God doesn’t show up, I’m not going to make it. I actually said that, I don’t know where it came from, but I said it aloud, and I started tearing up at the thought of God leading me down this road. I thank the Holy Spirit for that moment. It’s definitely not the first time (or the second time) that the Spirit’s swept in to bring words to my mouth about how the scary part is actually the best part.

God is so good, so good, and He will never leave me nor forsake me. I want to be authentic with you about this journey and about my fears, but I also want to align those thoughts and emotions with the Truth that God is in control. Thank you for sharing this road with me.

What about you? What’s happening in your journey right now? How do you handle the fears and doubts that come your way? I pray that the God of the universe would fill you (and me) with the peace of the Savior that surpasses all understanding.

This post was originally published on Small, Still Voices. If you would like to comment, please follow this link to comment over there. Thanks. <3

In Transition

IMG_8256Five days ago, I finished my Bachelor’s degree.
Four days ago makes it one year since I’ve returned from Scotland.
Three days ago, I hit a speed-bump on my way down a road of many-forking paths for the future. Not a roadblock, just a speed-bump, enough to throw me off balance and make me wonder if I’m choosing the right fork.

I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m confused about the desires of my heart. I feel like I’m getting conflicting words that tell me to move forward, but rest and wait on the Spirit. What’s the difference between moving forward and letting the Spirit move you forward?

I don’t even know where to move.

Over a year ago, in Scotland, I spent some time trying to find my dreams, to figure out the way God crafted me. I remember a time in Lifegroup where we were asked to think about what it would look like if God gave us the desires of our hearts, the deepest desires we’re keeping hidden. I remember having a really hard time with this because I couldn’t quite pin down the desires of my heart. I wish I could find that moment in my journal, but I’m pretty sure I said God would have to show me what those desires were first. Or something.

But maybe that’s not the way it works. Maybe I’m supposed to do something first, and then realize with hindsight that God had been satisfying the desires of my heart all along. I don’t know. But I also remember thinking that I had to leave Scotland with an answer, with some kind of future plan.

And I didn’t. In fact, I called that idea out as a lie that was stressing my mind. Once I came home, though, I thought that I would for sure leave college with an answer.

And I didn’t. Here I am, still confused and scared and in [what feels like permanent] transition. Still no closer to figuring out what my dreams are. I thought I was, but then the speed-bump came along to show me that really, I don’t have anything figured out.

I don’t want to move forward frantically without the Spirit, but I don’t want to sit and do nothing.

One day from now marks the traditional anniversary of the moment my God left the throne of Heaven, took on flesh, and became a baby, a baby that would grow up to die for my wrongdoings and then conquer death to bring freedom and victory to the whole world.

So maybe that’s all that matters. I don’t know what I’m doing, but I know the Gospel. And because the world shuts down this time of year, there’s not much I can do but sit and ponder it, even if I’d rather be pushing forward down those forking paths.

May this be a time of sweet communion with the LORD, then. I want to know my Father’s heart so deeply, to bind mine with His so closely, that the way is obvious. And even if it isn’t, even if I still don’t get an answer, at least I will be drawing closer to the Lover of my soul.

Dreaming with Two Desires

Last night I watched the 2006 film Babel for a class project. It was a pretty interesting film, better than some of the other films I’ve had to watch for classes. This one consisted of intersecting stories that ranged over four countries. There was one part in the film (of many) that made me really angry at Western culture. There is a moment where tragedy strikes an American woman on a tour bus in Morocco, and she needs medical care. Being in the middle of the desert, the bus’s only option is to go to the tourguide’s hometown and seek medical attention while awaiting faster transport to a hospital.

Well, the Western tourists really didn’t like that idea, and that’s what made me angry. While this woman is dying and her husband is freaking out, everyone else on the tour bus complain of no air-conditioning and fear for their safety because they are now outside the boundaries of the tour and this Moroccan village must be unsanitary and unsafe.

I wanted to scream at them: Are you kidding me? This is your chance to actually experience Moroccan life, cross cultural borders, and maybe even help someone. Look at all those children around the bus, go play with them. You may not understand their language, but I bet you all understand the basic rules of football. Take pictures with them. Watch them get a kick out of making faces and seeing themselves on the LCD screen. Get some music and start a dance party.

Obviously, I knew the real issue was that the fictional woman was dying and none of the fictional tourists seemed to care, but that’s seriously all I wanted to do…go play with real Moroccan children. (I wonder if that’s what I’d actually do in a situation like that. I like to think I would, but I’m not sure. Conviction.)

For the “future,” I’m currently applying in two different directions. One is a writing program in the country I love, and the other is a missionary-teaching position in two countries I’ve never been to but am sure I will grow to love. I want to work in writing, but I also want to teach and love children. Last night, after watching Babel, as that desire to be around children was present in my mind, I cried to God. I said, “Do they have to be separate? Can’t I have both?” Because right now it feels like it’s one or the other, teaching or writing…forever. The rest of the world or Scotland…forever. Choose now or forever hold your peace.

I don’t think that’s true, it’s just the way it feels.
I have desires, I have dreams, I have giftings and strengths, I just don’t know how they all fit together yet.
But I’m excited to get to find out.

There is good. Here is good.

I realize that my last couple of blog posts have been a bit depressing, so I figured I should take the time to write about some of the things I am grateful for in this not-so-desired season of my life.

–First, although the Autumn season has been reminding me daily of my walks through Edinburgh, I’ve also been able to enjoy the Maryland scenary. For the first few weeks of October, I felt as though I were driving through a painting. It was wonderful, and that plus the new Mumford & Sons album have made my commutes a lot more enjoyable.

–I’m grateful to experience all things pumpkin-flavored. I’m not sure Scotland has caught on to this glorious spice yet. Coffee. Donuts. Cookies. Muffins. Hershey Kisses. Bagels. Did I mention coffee?

–Getting to spend Halloween handing out candy to dozens of adorable kids in costume. Halloween is so much better when there are kids around.

–Finding a group of believers who have welcomed me into their community. I’ve loved having dinner with them, doing Bible study, and getting to babysit their children.


–Seeing my cat steadily grow back to health and back into the spunky, curious trouble-maker she’s always been. Getting to curl up next to her every night.

–I’m reading some pretty awesome books for some of my classes. Since the main reason I’m here, after all, is to finish school, I might as well do my best to enjoy it. I’ve also gotten to write some pretty interesting papers. (Yes, I know, I’m a nerd, and I’m proud of it.)

–I’m stressed about work and money and situations, but God is good and I’ve been able to watch him provide in crazy ways both for me and for my family. He is so faithful, even when I’m faithless and give way to worry.

–I’m learning to remind myself each day that God has marked that day as good. God has redeemed it. He has redeemed this day. He has redeemed yesterday. He has redeemed tomorrow. He has seen my future and called it good, even though I cannot see it yet.