as i stood to the side, i could see everything.
cooper searching for wood with his cell phone for light, making sure the flames wouldn't burn out.
students in clumps praying for each other for whatever sin was plaguing them.
three Godly men connecting arm to shoulder to worship Jesus.
a couple going into the darkness to pray for one another.
a man sobbing in the arms of a friend for comfort.
students sitting in silence while the stars sparkle, listening to water hitting the rocks, the fire crackling, and the whispers of prayers.
sitting in our thoughts, music was playing, thoughts were stirring in our heads and Jesus was stirring in our hearts.
while i was looking all around me, and observing people's actions i couldn't help but love the lights in the distance and the sounds of the cars from the highway.
out of all Gods creation, and out of all the man-made objects, a group of college students can go to a bonfire, forget everything that is going on around them, look up into the stars and slow down.
given the chance to write anything we have been struggling with on a piece of plywood and throwing it into the fire, we were also able to say what we wrote out loud and share it with the people around us.
how often is it that college students can have an experience that forces them to slow down and just feel the presence of God?
with all the seriousness and silence, God gave us chances to laugh and smile and be filled with joy.
clapping in unison to worship, people missing their steps in the rocks and sand, Jesus showed the group his humor and proved when it comes to worshiping him, it does not need to always be an emotional high, but something we crave for everyday.
as i was standing to the side, i figured out my purpose of the night was to watch peoples actions, it showed me there are so many stories, so many pasts and futures to come, so many differences with one connection...Jesus..i already knew that, but it never really came alive in my eyes until tonight.
with what i wrote on my piece of wood, was love, i need to love God full-heartedly, and i haven't.
this girl named nicole came up to me and said, 'can we pray?' and the words she said could not have been more perfect, she verbalized what i had wrote.
God is amazing, and loving and wants me, he never needs me, and that is way cool.


1 year sober

it has been one year this october since the act of self-injury consumed my life.
going a year without an addiction i have had for 8 years is really crazy to think about. and it is still an addiction somewhat, because it is still in my thoughts.
a year ago saturday i probably did the worst i had ever done.
i had so much crap happening in my life that i didn't know how to handle it, and i stumbled just for a moment.
i was trying to figure out where i fit in at my new school, i had to make new friends, my three best friends had stuff going on and it was impossible to talk to them because we had four completely different lives, my best friend in the world was in the hospital, while my other two best friends where rocking at life at their schools, and i thought i was being left behind.
the next morning i quit cold turkey, not realizing the night before changed the remainder of my year.
going through training to be a leader in a ministry that is true and dear to my heart and practically saved my life in high school. i was told i was no longer fit to be a leader. judged for who i used to be and not taken for who i am, i realized the head leaders of this organization knew nothing about the addiction of self-injury, they kept comparing the recovery process to the recovery of AA...in AA there are meetings, there is no such thing as a weekly meeting for self-injurers.
these two did not take me for who i am and what i had accomplished, going 6 months sober, i decided they didn't deserve me.
having come to grips with losing an experience that would have helped me fulfill my purpose in glorifying God, i went the rest of the semester learning how to see every side of every situation, and never judging anyone by there past, but getting to know them for who they were at the time i met them, and taking them for who they are at that moment.
i succeeded in school, but lost an amazing opportunity to serve at a church that would have stretched me to my farthest limit, because of words that were said between my references and the lack of trust these leaders had in me.
i was able to lead at my home church where i got to hangout with the coolest of cool 6th graders and spend time with the people who love me and who i rarely get to see.
now that it is almost october this last year has been a roller coaster of events, from losing opportunities but gaining friendships for a lifetime, proof that i am a great leader, and that God put me in manhattan to learn these specific lessons.
what happened with the ministry that didn't take me was wrong and should never have happened in the way it did, and yeah, it still makes me angry that i have to miss out on getting to show middle schoolers the Lord, but that experience also showed me the only way to gain ones trust is to love them no matter what their past holds, what experiences they have been through, and how they became the person they are today.
i have gone one year without cutting, the longest without stumbling and i have four main people to thank...Jesus, of course, nick greusel and katie pooler for being there that night...you two have no idea, and sam creager, for being the best friend he can be and always being a phone call away.
i never thought i would get over this crazy thing called cutting but i have something so much more fulfilling and satisfying that i had a year ago, but couldn't quite grasp and that is God's love.

there is no fear in love; but perfect love cast's out fear, because fear involves torment. but he who fears has not been made perfect in love, we love because God first loved us.- I john 4:18-19


roger creager...i apologize

tonight could not have been a more frustrating night.
about a week ago, i get a call from my friend liz who lives in nashville and is a publicist.
she tells me that one of her artists is playing aggiefest at longhorn saloon, 10pm, saturday night...will you cover him?
i say, 'that would be fine, i live with the edge editor anyway, i will pitch the idea, but it shouldn't be a problem.'
i get the okay from my roommate and the process begins.
it is not a foreign process considering i covered the entire festival last year.
i get an interview with roger creager during the week on the phone just to get a little information on how he found out about the festival, what his new cd is like, so on and so forth.
the week before aggiefest was great. besides the phone interview, i had shielded myself from all that is roger creager. i wanted to have no biases, no anything when i covered him saturday night.
it is now saturday, knowing i have to be at longhorns by 9:45 to make sure i can get a brief interview after the show.
i show up, get id'd, get the permanent mark on my hand showing the world that i am not 21 and am then told to come back at 1:30.
now, that is not that big of deal, i don't care at all to come back at 1:30... it is actually better for roger, because so many people with be at the bar at 1:30.
i have time to kill so i go over to a friends house forcing myself to stay awake when it hits 1:00 and have to start heading to aggieville.
as of right now, this whole later time thing is not a big deal.
one of the security guys says, 'follow me darl'n lets go find roger?' i'm thinking he has 10 minutes he should be on stage or in the back, how hard will it be to find him?
nope, i follow the security guy to the the street where rogers tour bus is.
starting to get confused, i think oh, maybe he is just taking a breather.
remember when i said i shielded myself of all that is roger creager so i could get a really great first impression.
the security guy says troy (rogers manager) will be on the bus and you can talk to him.
i get on the tour bus and i say, 'hello, emily sterk, k-state collegian," and he responds, 'hey, we talked on the phone."
i talked to both troy and roger on the phone.
so, my first question was, 'what are your predictions for tonights show?'
he looked at me like i was the biggest idiot ever and said, 'what?'
i respond with 'roger right, not troy? you go on at 1:30 right?'
he comes back with, 'we already performed.'
and i was like, 'what, what time? the manager said to come back at 1:30 to meet roger.'
he said he went on at 11:30.
then i asked, 'when did you get done?'
'about 15 minutes ago.'
i realize the manager told me to come back at 1:30 to interview roger, not see his show.
so looking like someone who has no idea what they were doing, i explained why i was here at 1:30 and not 11:30...i was never told to come at 11:30
then the interview went on a little smoother and i told him, that i will listen to his myspace page and review his cd on there.
he should not be jeopardized by the lack of communication between me and longhorns.
throughout the whole interview, still feeling like the biggest most irresponsible loser, i realize this is not my fault. i was told all week from 3 reliable sources roger creager would go on at 10, then the security guy tells me to come at 1:30...i can see why people would think i could get 11:30 and 1:30 mixed up, but i didn't.
when i got there the security guy wasn't surprised that i was 'late', knew exactly where to take me and knew exactly why i was there, so yeah he said 1:30.
the interview was over, and i apologized multiple times to roger about the miss communication, and said that i will definitely listen to his cd and definitely make it to his next show!
i have listened to his cd and it is the bomb...not being a country fan, and not being very cultured in country music, i did not want to stop listening.
so, roger creager...i am so so so sorry about the ridiculous, silly errors that happened tonight, but you are getting a great review out of me.


the title

why did i call my blog clumsy faith?
when i was asked the question, if you could write a book about yourself, what would you name it?
i responded with, clumsy faith.
but why did i come up with that answer?
i have been a Christian for about 8 years, and i have been nothing but clumsy with my relationship with Christ. i make silly decisions, don't apologize, judge, stereotype, get mad at God first, before anything else, and i don't put full trust in him.
i am clumsy, and yes we are human, we make mistakes, but through all this clumsiness, i have never lost faith in Jesus, another phrase for clumsy faith, could also be blind faith.
i like to doubt, and think the worst in situations, i don't want to get my hopes up in the case i might get disappointed.
but out of all the words in the English language why did i choose the word clumsy?
it goes back to the song, clumsy by our lady peace.
there could not be a more perfect song to define me.

Throw away the radio
Suitcase...Keeps you awake
Hide the telephone, the telephone
Telephone in case...You realize that
Sometimes your just not OK
You level out, level out, level out
It's not alright now...You need to understand
There's nothing strange out this
You need to know your friends...You need to know that

I'll be waving my hand
Watching you drown, watching you scream, quiet or loud
And maybe you should sleep
And maybe you just need...A friend
As clumsy as you've been there's no one laughing
You will be safe in here, you will be safe in here

Throw away this very old...shoe lace
Tripped you again
Try to shrug it off, shrug it off, shrug it off
Sow the skin now
You need to understand...there's nothing fake about this
You need to let me in...watching you and

I'll be waving my hand
Watching you drown, watching you scream, no one's around
And maybe you should sleep
And maybe you just need...A friend
As clumsy has you've been, there's no one laughing
You will be safe in here, you will be safe in...

I'll be wavin my hand...Watching you drown...
Watching you scream...Quiet or loud...
And maybe you should sleep
And maybe you just need...A friend
As clumsy as you've been, there's no one laughing
You will be safe in here, you will be safe in here...Yeah
You will be safe in here...in here...Yeah
in here...Yeah...in here...Yeah...in here...Yeah
in here...Yeah....in here...Yeah

so why did i choose the word clumsy?
because every time i have been clumsy, no one has laughed and God hasn't laughed.
i need to keep my faith in him and trust that i will always be safe in his presence.



lately, i have been noticing a pattern, not just with me, but with everyone.
we all ask how people are doing out of obligation, like it doesn't really matter what their answer is, we just know we have to ask the question, "how are you doing?"
not only have i noticed the tone in peoples voices and my own asking that question, i have also noticed the way the recipients answer the question; good, okay, fine, alright, etc.
we give the most convenient answer, because we know, that the person asking is asking because this phrase is always a conversation starter, but i digress.
i went out for ice cream with two of my friends, and the first words they spoke to each other where, "how was your day?" which is a great question, but it was how the question was asked, it was asked in a, 'robotic, lets just get this question out of the way,' sort of tone.
yes, some people when asking the question genuinely want to know the answer, and also depending on the person, if asked will give a real heartfelt response.
now why, can't that happen all the time...it isn't convenient.
so, when i ask the question, 'how are you doing?' i am really wanting to know the answer, because i care and i really enjoy hearing about my friends lives.
i just don't understand how a simple, loving gesture turned into a hassle, a one-word answer just to get the question over with.