humor

My amazing boyfriend surprised me with a visit yesterday!

Yesterday I was feeling really awful and laying in bed between doses of pain pills, making them stretch as long as possible because I’m getting to the end of my monthly supply and my boyfriend called, and I was in so much pain that I did something I very, very rarely do when he calls — I hit ignore.

And then, because he does not give up on me that easy, he called again 30 minutes later. And because I love him, I answered.

He was all, “How are you feeling?” And I was all, “Horrible.” And he asked, “How horrible?” And I said, “Well, pretty bad.” And then he asked, “Hmm, well so bad that you wouldn’t want me to come out for a visit?”

I perked up immediately because LOVE.

Within 90 minutes he was walking through the door. And he and I and my mom and my sister and my brother and I went out for pizza at basically the only pizza place in Byron. As is tradition, my family members brought our own topping and ordered tuna pizza, and although my boyfriend is a pretty good sport, he couldn’t quite bring himself to only eat tuna pizza for dinner, so he got a medium sausage pizza for himself.

Then, after dinner, he and I sat out on the back porch and he smoked a high-end cigar and I ate a Hostess cupcake and for a few minutes we got to pretend that we didn’t live two hours apart.

It was pretty wonderful.

A lot of people ask me what the future holds for my relationship with him now that the two of us live so far from each other. And, yes, it has been an adjustment to go from seeing each other every single day to seeing each other once a week, or once every other week.

For now, we are just taking it one day at a time.

We are blessed by the fact that we have always had an extremely strong phone connection, and so we’re able to chat on the phone 15 times a day without thinking about it, because we used to do that even when we lived 12 minutes apart.

I think, we are both sort of hoping that I have moved to my mom’s house to get better and that three months from now, I’ll magically be healed and then we can figure out what the future holds for us.

But I also think, in the back of our heads, we both know that might not happen. We both know I might never get better, and in fact I might just keep getting worse.

For now, the best we can do is take it one day at a time.

Because even though I don’t know what the future holds, I do know that I’ve never loved anyone as much as I love him. I do know that I’ve never been in a relationship as amazing as the relationship I’m in now. And, I do know that I’ve never felt a connection to another human being like the connection I feel to him.

I love him more than I can explain. And his unexpected visit yesterday was just what I needed.

So here’s to 15 phone calls a day, surprise visits and LOVE. Eric and Crystal Scrapbook

  • Share/Bookmark

On turning 30

I really was dreading this day.

A year ago at this time, I was all caught up in the fact that I wasn’t married yet. That I didn’t have any kids yet. That I didn’t own a home, and I still had like a bazillion dollars in student loans, and sometimes the timing of my bills would work out so that my cable would get shut off for a few days each month.

And I was feeling like I hadn’t done nearly enough in the three decades of my life to deserve the milestone that is 30.

But then.

Then I got sick.

And everything changed.

Six months ago, I woke up feeling like I had a broken rib.

As one of my friends described it, it was if a tornado came down and destroyed everything, and I was left to pick up the pieces.

Suddenly, all the things I thought I needed didn’t matter at all anymore, and I was just trying to survive.

Suddenly, I was having days where the pain was so horrible that living through a single hour was an incredible accomplishment.

And making it through the night without killing myself was a huge win.

The new pain also came with very demanding limits.

No longer could I push my self to the brink of exhaustion to get everything done. No longer could I stay up all night to finish planning for the youth group, and then work at the church for 13 hours on a Sunday, and then wake up Monday morning, drive 1.5 hours to work, do my other job all day, drive 1.5 hours home, read a week’s worth of Bible study homework in a couple hours, and then spend 2.5 hours in Disciple class, then go home and wake up and drive 1.5 hours to work again.

Nope. Not anymore.

Now, just getting through a one-hour youth group service on Sunday mornings meant that I had to go lay on a couch for 30 minutes to re-group.

And if for some crazy reason, I did try to push myself past my body’s new limits, I would end up in bed for two or three days unable to function because of insane amounts of pain.

So everything changed.

And suddenly, so did my perspective.

As recently as last Friday, I seriously thought I was going to die. But I didn’t.

I’m here. Alive. Celebrating 30 years on this planet.

I may not have a husband, or kids or a white picket fence thingy. I may have just quit one of my jobs and moved in with mom. And, I may have only done five of the 14 things on this list of things I wanted to do before I turned 30.

But I can breathe. And, thanks to the miracle that is hydrocodone, sometimes it doesn’t even hurt that much when I do it.

So yay for 30. I’m just happy to be here.

CrystalLindellByron

  • Share/Bookmark

My final words to the youth group.

Editor’s note: Today, Sunday Aug. 11, 2013, was my last Sunday as the youth leader at Crossroads of Faith United Methodist Church. Below is the letter I read to the youth for our final youth group.

Dear youth group,

I feel the need to start by telling you that I love you so much.

I know. I know. I tell you guys that all the time. I’m always blabbering on about how I love every single one of you. How I pray for all of you, all the time. How I love you all individually.

But the reason I say it all the time is because it’s true. It’s so, so true.

I love you all. Every single one of you.

I also want to tell you that I hate that I have to leave. I really, really hate it.

I ask God all the time, why he’s taking something I love so very much away from me. And sometimes, I question whether God is even there to hear my question.

I tell you that for two reasons.

One, so that you’ll know I seriously tried every single thing in my power to stay in this role. Seriously. I feel like I clawed at the edge of cliff, until, finally, my hand slipped off and I couldn’t hold on any longer.

The other reason I tell you that is so you’ll know that as you go through life, horrible, unexpected things will happen to you, and they will make you question your faith. They will make you question your beliefs. And they will make you question the very God you pray to.

And that’s OK. The questions are good. They are normal and healthy and as long as you keep asking them, everything is alright. It’s when you stop asking questions that you should be worried. Because it means you’ve given up. Don’t give up.

Also, don’t be afraid to fail. Imagine how many things you could do today, if you’re weren’t afraid to fail? You could ask that hot guy on a date. You could write a poem. You could make a YouTube video. You could write a song. You could start a band.

Now project that out into your life. There are so many things we stop ourselves from doing every single day because that little voice in our heads tells us that we might not be good enough, or we might not finish it, or we might not do it better than the other guy.

But that voice is stupid. Do it anyway. Chances are you probably won’t fail, and even if you do, it won’t be nearly as bad you think it will be. Also, you will have succeeded more than if you had never tried at all.

Have a plan for your life. You don’t have to stick to it, but you do need to have it.

It will help you keep your priorities in order. It will help you make huge life choices. And it will help you get to the next step.

I started out wanting to be a teacher, so I went to college. Than, I thought maybe I could try the writing thing, so I started working for the school paper. Then, I ended up being pretty good at it, and now I work for a candy magazine. I never became a schoolteacher, but imagine if I had never taken the first step to go to college?

Know which rules to keep and which ones to break. Maybe you need to miss a week of school to go to Europe. Do that. Maybe you need to finish all your homework so you can graduate. Do that. Maybe you need to play a clip of Zach singing “I like Big Butts and I cannot lie” in the mission trip video, for the whole church to see. Do that. Maybe you need to wear your yellow Mission trip shirt when everyone else does, so that everyone matches, and it looks awesome. Do that.

Serve others every chance you get, whether it’s opening the door for your mom, or painting a house on a mission trip.

Go on every mission trip you’re invited to go on. I promise it’s always more important than whatever else you have going on.

Read the Bible. Every day.

Brush your teeth twice a day.

Never text and drive. Never drink and drive. Always keep at least a car length of space between you and the car in front of you when you’re in heavy traffic.

Say please and thank you.

Don’t check your phone when you’re on a date.

Go to church every week. Even if you don’t feel like it. Especially if you don’t feel like it.

I confess that one of my biggest fears right now is that I will come back in six months and this entire youth group will be gone. I pray every night for that not to happen. Don’t let that happen. You are the group. No matter who comes in as the new youth leader, you are all the people who make up the youth group. Every single one of you. And as long as you keep showing up, you will all continue to have the wonderful place to come to every week to share your souls with each other.

Take your hat off when you pray.

Pray often.

Donate lots of money to lots of things. Give money to the church. Give money to the homeless man on the street. Give money to your mom. Give money to your friend. Give it away like you can’t take it with when you die, because you can’t.

Never, ever, wear navy blue with black, or brown with black. Just trust me on this one.

Buy the cheap gas, and the expensive deodorant.

When you are old, remember what’s it like to be young. Remember how crazy this time is for you. How emotional it is. How scary the world seems. And have compassion for those who are younger than you.

When you heart is broken, take the time to cry.

Maybe you need five minutes, maybe you need five months. Either way, give your heart time to heal before you date again. It’ll make finding your next love much, much easier. And yes, there will be a next love. I promise.

Forgive others.

Start by forgiving your parents for all the stupid things they did to you.

Then, forgive your best friend every time you have an argument, and your least favorite teacher when she gives you 10-page papers to write. Forgive the guy in traffic who cuts you off, and the boy who never calls you back, and the college that’s too stupid to accept you. And then take a deep breath, let it all go, and move on.

Ask for help.

I have gone through some extremely dark times these last few months, while I’ve been sick. And I’m not afraid to say that on some nights the pain was literally too much for me to handle. And I would think about things I shouldn’t have. And the only way I got through those nights was by picking up the phone and calling Eric or my mom or my friend Terri and having them answer at 3 a.m. and listen to me cry.

I would not have made it through the last few months without the help of my friends and family.

If you can ask for help, you can literally make it through anything.

Live your whole life with passion. If someone asks you to lead a youth group, don’t just show up on Sunday morning. Instead, plan an out-of-state mission trip; start a night group and then personally ask every single kid, every single week if they’re coming to that night group; decorate the room with the kids’ hand prints; serve pizza and Taco Bell and McDonald’s, respond to every single one of their text messages immediately; and pray for them all individually all the time.

Remember that you are always setting an example. People will do what you do. If you jump during the “Waves of Mercy” song, everyone else will too. If you are a hard worker, those around you will become hard workers too. If you care, everyone around you will start to care too.

Love your neighbor.

Love God.

Love,
Me.

Crystal Lindell
Youth Leader, 2010-2013

Last youth group 2013 Scrap Book
  • Share/Bookmark