Had a very nice chat with selahstar just now. Mostly about the last post, with some heavy Christian thoughts in between (and during, actually). I can't be bothered right now to organise it into a post, and in fact, I think the log speaks for itself, so I'll just post it as is. There was talk before this, but I'm only starting from the relevant bit. :) Names have been changed to their LJ names for privacy.
[23:08] ciaran_h: http://www.livejournal.com/users/ciaran_h/52276.html
[23:08] selahstar: You know, it's possible that I got logged out of LJ, which happens sometimes and results in me not noticing and totally missing entries from people. >_<
[23:09] ciaran_h: Yeah, I hate it when that happens.
[23:09] selahstar: Ohh, that! I did see that entry.
[23:09] selahstar: I've prayed for you but I'm not sure how you could tell your parents. However, I think you should go for it and sign up.
[23:09] ciaran_h: So do I.
[23:10] ciaran_h: Like mortuus47 said, if God wants me to do it, then I'd be a fool not to.
[23:10] selahstar: Indeed.
[23:10] selahstar: And perhaps the fact that you haven't found a job is God opening the door and saying "look, here's your chance"
[23:10] ciaran_h: Yeah, that's what I was thinking.
[23:12] ciaran_h: The question is, what order do I do it in? If I sign up first, and get everything in action, *then* tell my parents, they'll be offguard and stuff, and I don't want my parents to be uninformed. But if I tell them first, they get a chance to talk me out of it, which they almost certainly will try and do.
[23:12] selahstar: Hm.
[23:12] ciaran_h: Besides, I live with my parents. This would involve me being away from them for a lot of the time during the year.
[23:13] ciaran_h: So it would only be fair to tell them before anything happens.
[23:13] ciaran_h: It sounds like I've already made up my mind. Heh.
[23:13] selahstar: Heh.
[23:14] selahstar: I think you should tell them, yes, but word it in such a way that this is a decision you've already made, after a lot of thought, and you don't expect them to contribute or anything (well, if you don't). If it's all your initiative, I think they'd be less likely to care so much.
[23:14] selahstar: Or something like that.
[23:15] ciaran_h: You know the stupid thing? I wish my parents were Christians, but at the same time I don't for a few reasons. Which sounds awful.
[23:15] selahstar: :-\
[23:15] ciaran_h: And I'm fully aware that if anybody's going to talk to them about it, it'll have to be me.
[23:15] selahstar: It kinda does, yeah... but I don't know the story.
[23:16] ciaran_h: Which, you know, would be a fantastic way for God to show himself in me and stuff, but, yeah.
[23:16] selahstar: True...
[23:16] selahstar: Well, living as an example can be far more effective than pulling them aside and preaching to them.
[23:16] ciaran_h: Quick version: Mum's cool, Dad isn't so much. And I rather enjoy going to church on my own.
[23:16] selahstar: Ah...
[23:16] ciaran_h: Yeah, true/
[23:16] ciaran_h: ^true.
[23:17] ciaran_h: I don't want to be responsible for my parents going to Hell. Which leaves only one option. But really, that sort of thing is way up there on the "almost-impossible things in life" list.
[23:18] selahstar: Ah... yeah, I know what you mean.
[23:18] ciaran_h: But, carpe diem, and all that.
[23:19] ciaran_h: Oh, wait.
[23:19] selahstar: Don't panic about it. I recommend just... seeing how things go. Maybe try and take opportunities if they present themselves to say something, but don't stress about it. And... you never know, if they get saved, your dad might get cool and you might actually like them going to church...
[23:19] ciaran_h: That means something different from what I thought.
[23:19] selahstar: Sieze the day?
[23:20] ciaran_h: Yeah, but answers.com defines it as "Enjoy the present and don't worry about the future, as in It's a beautiful day, so forget tomorrow's test—carpe diem! Latin for “seize the day,” an aphorism found in the Roman writer Horace's Odes, this phrase has been used in English since the early 1800s."
[23:20] selahstar: Ah.
[23:20] ciaran_h: I was thinking of it more as in, "Don't put stuff off."
[23:20] selahstar: ... Yeah, you're right; that's how I usually think of it.
[23:20] ciaran_h: But apparently it does just mean living for the moment.
[23:21] selahstar: Hm.
[23:22] ciaran_h: Anyway, I think you're right about wording it as a decision I've already made after a lot of thought. Because that's true, really.
[23:24] ciaran_h: They probably *would* contribute, perhaps. But I don't want to rely on them because I think the first major hurdle is starting to rely solely on God.
[23:24] ciaran_h: So the last thing I want to do with that is make sure my parents can contribute.
[23:24] selahstar: Yeah... be respectful of your parents, but like with my trip thing, it's something you've decided to do and so... well, maybe they wouldn't be against it. But if they are, it's really your choice as an adult...
[23:24] selahstar: Ah, I see.
[23:25] ciaran_h: I don't think they would be against it so much if it was a decision like that. They'd support it, I believe. They'd probably think I was loony, but they'd support it.
[23:25] selahstar: Well, that's awesome.
[23:26] selahstar: Oops, brb. :-\
[23:26] ciaran_h: Okay.
[23:26] ciaran_h: While you're gone, I'll explain more about the contributing thing, because I don't know if I made myself clear properly.
[23:27] ciaran_h: As I say, the big thing that I would need to get over is learning to throw away my proverbial security blankets and open myself up to God.
[23:28] ciaran_h: Which means that *expecting* my parents to contribute - or anybody for that matter - would be counter-intuitive.
[23:30] ciaran_h: I don't want anything to stand between me and God, really.
[23:31] ciaran_h: I want him to use me.
[23:31] ciaran_h: And he will.
[23:32] ciaran_h: But to do that I need to trust in him. As in, fully.
[23:32] ciaran_h: Fully.
[23:32] ciaran_h: Dude, that's hard.
[23:33] ciaran_h: Earthly stuff is good. But wrapping them around me will mean no heavenly stuffs for Ciaran.
[23:33] ciaran_h: I know I already have the message across, but by this time I'm typing for my own benefit.
[23:34] ciaran_h: So sorry if I'm going on about it. I know you already know what I mean now. But I need to get my head round it myself, and this is therapeutic.
[23:34] ciaran_h: Anyway...
[23:34] ciaran_h: I don't think I've ever trusted fully in God before.
[23:35] selahstar: I know what you mean, yeah. :)
[23:35] ciaran_h: It scares me. Gives me the willies. But it excites me at the same time.
[23:36] ciaran_h: Hi again.
[23:36] ciaran_h: Have you done anything like this?
[23:36] selahstar: Well, I think you're well on the way to quite an adventure...
[23:36] selahstar: The closest was my family's move to North Carolina.
[23:36] ciaran_h: Ah.
[23:37] selahstar: We wanted to move but didn't have the money, and my parents prayed about it and came to the realization that if they didn't trust God, he wouldn't bless the trip. They said "we're moving" and trusted God to provide the money... and three weeks later, they had enough.
[23:37] ciaran_h: *nods* See, that's exactly what I don't do.
[23:37] ciaran_h: Which is why this first hurdle is such an important one for me.
[23:38] ciaran_h: It's good, also, that the thing is a year long. It means I'll be learning valuable lessons and not forgetting them as soon as I come home.
[23:39] ciaran_h: Which can happen sometimes even on week-long retreats, etc.
[23:39] ciaran_h: Well, not as *soon* as I come home.
[23:39] selahstar: True.
[23:39] ciaran_h: But they're not a major factor in my life as much as this has the potential to be.
[23:40] selahstar: Indeed.
[23:42] ciaran_h: I hope you don't mind me talking about it like this. I hate repeating myself if the other person already knows it, but in this case I feel like I have to. For my own sake if not for anybody else's, anyway.
[23:42] ciaran_h: If you get bored, tell me.
[23:42] selahstar: No, it's no trouble. I mean, not boring.
[23:42] ciaran_h: Good.
[23:44] ciaran_h: But yeah, A year is a truly significant section of my life. The thought of dedicating that to doing God's work quite frankly excites me like nothing else.
[23:44] ciaran_h: It also makes me wonder why. I mean, surely I should be living for God anyway.
[23:45] ciaran_h: But I guess this is different.
[23:45] ciaran_h: I'll be around Christian people all the time. I can grow in God and becomes what he wants me to be.
[23:46] selahstar: Yes...
[23:46] ciaran_h: Y'know, I'm so glad I can talk with you about this. It wouldn't be the same talking to a non-Christian about it.
[23:46] selahstar: Heh.
[23:46] selahstar: No, it wouldn't.
[23:47] ciaran_h: They'd probably think of me as overzealous or something. I don't think you do, though.
[23:47] selahstar: But this brings up the issue of your parents. So, you're going to do this. (you are!) And it'll be awesome. And your parents are likely going to support you, which ... is pretty darn cool of them, to be blunt. What's needed now?
[23:47] selahstar: Nah, not at all.
[23:49] ciaran_h: What's needed now is for me to work up the courage to talk to my parents in the first place. And I think talking with you has helped with that immensely. You're right, I am going to do this. I haven't felt certain about that before, but I do now.
[23:49] selahstar: Yay! :D
[23:49] selahstar: Let yourself be excited, then. This is going to be way cool.
[23:50] ciaran_h: There's still the hurdle of my parents to come. That's going to knock down my courage. They're going to ask how the heck I expect myself to get the money, and other tough questions.
[23:50] ciaran_h: And I don't know what I can say without sounding stupid.
[23:50] selahstar: And, let the excitement show to your parents. This is a great opportunity for you, and a good thing, and your enthusiasm should help.
[23:50] selahstar: Ah.
[23:50] selahstar: Well... hm.
[23:51] selahstar: One option would be to just say "I'm arranging the money issues on my own" and not explain it all out.
[23:51] ciaran_h: I could, I guess. But I don't think they'd fully trust me on that.
[23:51] selahstar: Or, you could go out on a limb and say something like "I feel strongly that I'm supposed to do this, and I have no doubt that the money is going to work itself out."
[23:51] selahstar: Or... something like that.
[23:52] selahstar: Yeah, true.
[23:52] ciaran_h: Remember, I haven't had a job for over a year. My bank account has dwindled. I have money elsewhere in ISAs and stuff, but that was meant for things like buying a house, etc.
[23:52] ciaran_h: But yeah, what you said sounds good.
[23:52] ciaran_h: Probably the best thing to say.
[23:53] ciaran_h: They would definitely regard that answer as barmy, but it's still probably the best answer.
[23:54] ciaran_h: The funny thing is, it's kinda self-defeating. My parents are the sort who will want proof that I know what I'm doing, which means proof of how I know the money's going to come in. But the thing is, this has entirely the opposite purpose for me.
[23:54] ciaran_h: I don't want proof. And that is going to sound extremely silly and stupid to my parents.
[23:54] ciaran_h: Get me?
[23:54] selahstar: Hm.
[23:54] selahstar: Yeah, I know what you mean.
[23:55] selahstar: So anticipate that.
[23:55] ciaran_h: I mean, from an earthly point of view, it *is* extremely silly and stupid.
[23:55] selahstar: Say "I know I sound insane right now, but I'd like you to just let me see where this will go for now. It might not work out, but if it does it'll be a great opportunity for me."
[23:55] selahstar: Something like that might help.
[23:56] ciaran_h: The next question from them would then be, "And if it doesn't?".
[23:57] ciaran_h: Maybe I'm just being too cynical and they wouldn't be like that. Although I wouldn't be at all surprised if they were.
[23:57] selahstar: If it doesn't, you haven't lost anything; you're just back where you started.
[23:57] selahstar: You have nothing to lose, really.
[23:57] selahstar: You'll go back to looking for a job.
[23:57] selahstar: The end.
[23:57] selahstar: I mean, from their viewpoint.
[23:57] ciaran_h: Well, this thing costs £3,000-odd.
[23:57] ciaran_h: From their viewpoint, sure, they haven't lost anything.
[23:58] ciaran_h: I shouldn't really let this worry me.
[23:58] selahstar: I didn't go into the spiritual thing, no; I believe it'll work out, but if it doesn't that would be pretty crushing. And you should be prepared for that too, on some level.
[23:58] ciaran_h: I should just pray that God would pour his Spirit on me so that I say the right things.
[23:58] selahstar: Nah... don't. They might surprise you, yeah.
[23:58] selahstar: Ah, you could do that.
[23:59] selahstar: It's entirely possible that he will - he certainly could do that.
[23:59] ciaran_h: *nods* It's not like he hasn't done it before.
[23:59] selahstar: Heh.
[23:59] ciaran_h: One thing's for sure though. I'll need all the prayer I can get, and I'll be doing a fair bit for myself.
[00:00] selahstar: Well, that I can do. :)
[00:00] ciaran_h: Pray, among other things, that I don't let the evil let to me on this.
[00:01] ciaran_h: Erm.
[00:01] ciaran_h: ^Devil get to me on this.
[00:01] selahstar: Heh. Okay, I will.
[00:01] ciaran_h: That I wouldn't worry about it. That I could just trust in God.
[00:02] ciaran_h: The truth is, I don't believe I'm meant to go through this alone. I don't know if anybody could. I need to recognise that I am nothing without God. But through God, all things are possible.
[00:02] ciaran_h: And I need to really believe that.
[00:02] ciaran_h: Wow, I'm sounding mega-spiritual tonight, aren't I?
[00:02] selahstar: Heh.
[00:03] selahstar: Good stuff, really.
[00:03] ciaran_h: Yeah.
[00:03] selahstar: God's there, just waiting. Believing might be hard, but it's easier to believe fact than fiction, and this is hard fact.
[00:03] ciaran_h: *nods*
[00:04] ciaran_h: I hope that in some way God's spoken to you during this conversation, too.
[00:04] ciaran_h: It seems like the sort of thing he would do.
[00:05] selahstar: Yeah, I think so, actually.
[00:05] ciaran_h: Good to hear.
[00:05] ciaran_h: Just remember, I'm not better than you. You can do this too, if you want.
[00:05] selahstar: Heh.
[00:06] ciaran_h: Maybe not now, but later, perhaps.
[00:06] ciaran_h: If he wants you to.
[00:06] ciaran_h: Mind if I post this log on my LJ? It explains so much stuff that I think I could just let it speak for itself.
[00:07] selahstar: I guess I don't mind, no.
[00:07] selahstar: Hopefully I didn't say anything stupid.
[00:08] ciaran_h: I can edit it if you want to. But I don't think you did.
[00:08] ciaran_h: On the contrary.
[00:10] ciaran_h: Thanks muchly for the conversation. It's definitely been a help.
[edit: made public after Selah agreed; see my latest entry.]