Tuesday, August 27, 2013

It’s hard to write this. I don’t really want to, but I think I need to. The words have been given and are pushing out. I fear being honest and open, and I don’t want to be brave. I don’t want to bare my heart and soul. What will you people think of me? 

Will you think me silly and shallow? I don't know...but I’m going to push all that aside and tell the story regardless.

I wouldn't change a single line of my story...not a single line.

I would not erase a single strand of heartache or pain, because I wouldn't be who I am today. 

It was a Wednesday in May last year and it was perfect outside. I had gone on a run on the winding roads behind my house and I could feel heaven bending down low. The sky was deep blue, it was a gorgeous spring day and I felt amazing. I was praying, thanking God for everything in my life...and that’s when I made the mistake of praying and asking for one of the dumbest things in the world. I stopped in the middle of the road, threw my hands up in the air, did a half spin, and said with an easy smile and a laugh, “God, do whatever you need to do to me so I grow, I want to be close to you.” 

“I don’t love you anymore.” It was the following Friday and those words fell like a hammer on my heart and I reeled. My boyfriend of over four years stood looking at me and I sat down hard in the chair and something like, “Why?” fell from my lips. He gave a very final if unsatisfactory answer, “I don’t know, I don’t love you anymore. And I know love is a choice but I simply don’t want to make it anymore. I want to be free.” I sat stunned for a moment as I felt the beginning of cracks in my heart. He dropped me off at home and I couldn't see past the pain that was in front of my face like a suffocating blanket and it hurt to breathe. It felt like my heart was being torn and cut into pieces, how could this possibly be alright? How can be God be good when it hurts so much?

What do you do when you pour out all the love you have and invest so much time into a person, then they look at all you are, what you have given, and still decide to walk away regardless...What do you do?

Can I give thanks for the pain as well as the joy? Can I drink deeply from the cup of life even when it holds bitterness? 

Normally I am pretty positive person that tries to see the bright side of things, but this stretched me to a breaking point and for 1.6 days I drowned in despair…

Is God still good even when life hurts? When people walk away? When babies die, suicides happen and when death closes it's gaping jaws and life seeps away? Sometimes pain in one area has a tendency to release the demons in all the areas of your life. 

And the only answer I had to these questions was this, we see through a glass darkly and the curtain is so thick sometimes and all I know is we aren't home yet.

I am here sitting on a red couch typing these words and I know with every fiber of my being that He is good, I believe that He is good. I am grateful for it all and I wouldn't have it any other way. I wouldn't change a single line of my story...not a single line.

I would not erase a single strand of heartache or pain because I wouldn't be who I am today. 

The moment that he walked away, was by far and away one of the best things that could have happened to me and even if though it hurt like the dickens at the time, I am so incredibly thankful that God loved me enough to not give me what I thought I wanted.

I stand before you all today and can say with conviction that, I am grateful for every person I have encountered, every moment I have tasted and passed by; for they have all led me to this place where I am right now. The sadness and the joy, the pain and pleasure, the mistakes and hurt and heartache.

There is nothing I would change, nothing I would forget, for if I altered His plan I would only ruin it.

I don't know if there is something that is suffocating you right now, I don't know if the pain hurts so much that it's hard to breathe sometimes, I don't know if you fight to smile when you want to cry. 

But I know the Author of this story is weaving this all together for good and even though right now we can only see the one sentence we are trapped in, one day we shall read the whole epic and I believe laughter will escape our lips as we see how all the pieces fit perfectly together.

So give thanks for it all, be grateful for every glorious moment we have been given.

"As long as we keep dividing our lives between events and people we would like to remember and those we would rather forget, we cannot claim the fullness of our beings as a gift of God to be grateful for.
Let's not be afraid to look at everything that has brought us to where we are now and trust that we will soon see in it the guiding hand of a loving God." 
-Henri Nouwen

And this may/probably will be deleted in a couple hours, cause I am a fraidy cat.

Monday, August 26, 2013

I sat, perched on the cool, green, tile counter top in the bathroom, with one foot planted in the sink and a knee tucked under my chin as I studied my face in the mirror.

I was thirteen, and to say I was awkward would have been the understatement of the year. Looking back at me from the mirror a decade ago, was a girl with a smile that looked like she'd gotten beaten up, legs too long and lanky, brown eyes behind wire rimmed glasses, and hair that was stick straight and terribly unruly. I was quiet, analytical, and nearly text book introvert. I wondered what it would be like to be graceful instead of gangly, cool instead of nerdy.

I grimaced, furrowed my brow and wondered. I realized that beauty was subjective and was only skin deep but still...like Anne Shirley I realized that I was shallow but thought nonetheless it would be nice for once to simply be beautiful.


Peel me back a little bit and you'll still find remnants of that little thirteen year old's insecurity hiding in places, I have come along way, but perfection is a while off. Maybe I am alone in this, maybe it is just me. But I have a sneaking suspicion that those insecurities are hiding somewhere in all of us.

Some of us bury them deep, hoping that if we pretend they aren't there it will fix everything, like a child hoping that if we just dive beneath the blankets we will escape the monster. Some of us run, looking for things to distract us from all the insecurities that plague us, hoping to evade their grasp, and others embrace them wholeheartedly, allowing their insecurities to be the tenor of this life chipping away at all they hold dear.

I don't want to bury, run, and I certainly don't want to embrace...so the only other option seems to be to turn and face forward. To stand looking at my faults, failures, insecurities and short comings full in the face and simply say, "I am loved and because I am loved, I am more. I will fall and I will get back up, over and over and over again. And you will never win, because love never fails."

So stop burying, stop running, stop embracing and just give up and know that the price has been paid and you're enough. Fight lies and cling to this truth, you're enough, because He was enough and you can never add or take away from that and you are loved right now, just as you are, and not as you should be, for here we will never be what we should be.

Alright my people, that's all I've got, love you all. I'm shutting up now, because it's way to late and I'm becoming delusional. 
I watched that video and my heart ached, it ached for all the girls that believe the lie that their appearance is what defines them and garner their worth from how much attention those of the opposite gender give to them.

They build their self-esteem on the the shifty sands of outward "beauty" and the decimation comes all too quickly.

I ache because I have believed this lie before, and I still struggle to believe that I am more than what I don't see that I am in the mirror.

I fight the perfect and fake pictures that surround me trying to tell me that I am not enough. I wrestle with a culture that tells me that if I were just two sizes smaller, had a nicer figure, whiter teeth, a flatter stomach, smaller pores and better hair that then, then I would be truly happy.

I ache, because it's such a hard fight, because although I know beauty is much more than my world's definition, it is so hard to remember sometimes.

There but for the grace of God go I...there but for grace I would go.

Because ladies and gentleman, I am more than what I look like on the outside. I'd rather have a solid character and be ignored, than have a perfect figure and have attention.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

“Do you mean to say," asked Caspian, "that you three come from a round world (round like a ball) and you've never told me! It's really too bad for you. Because we have fairy-tales in which there are round worlds and I have always loved them … Have you ever been to the parts where people walk about upside-down?"
Edmund shook his head. "And it isn't like that," he added. "There's nothing particularly exciting about a round world when you're there.”
-The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

There's nothing particularly exciting about any world when you're born there, but crack open your soul, rip through the scales and peak through the veil, see with new eyes, and know that this world is what composes the very best fairy tales.

This is why I love children, children see the world with new eyes. Eyes that aren't jaded and hard. Eyes that see the world for the gift that it is and stare wide-eyed in wonder. Watch a child marvel over a dandelion, stare at snow, taste ice-cream for the first time, or squeal with delight as a puppy licks their hand, I promise it will be good for your soul.

As adults its harder to remember that we live in a world that contains animals with stretched out necks and others with noses so long they look like tails. Platypus lay eggs, llamas spit, fish breath underwater, caterpillars really turn into butterflies, and bats hang upside down. The Yeti Crab exists, as to zebras, narwhals, and panda ants. Whattttttttt.!

We stand, sit, and sleep on a ball that spins through space around another burning sphere at thousands of miles an hour and we yawn.

The dusty moon encircles us, pulling at the salty water and then yields as the earth pulls it back. Go to the beach and watch their tug-of-war.

Go outside, look up into the sky, bend down to watch an ant march, become friends with trees and get to know all the different moods of the wind. God is good and there is grace.

“Fairy tales say that apples were golden only to refresh the forgotten moment when we found that they were green. They make rivers run with wine only to make us remember, for one wild moment, that they run with water.”
― G.K. Chesterton

(That's right I just used a quote at the top and the bottom, forgive me, I couldn't pick one.)

I hope you all have a perfectly, lovely Saturday.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

She drove home under a moon that was a single slice away from full and listened to notes from a violin that sung like a prophet, calling her to remember, to remember that she was loved much.


I had a conversation with a friend this afternoon about how I've always feared failure and not being able to live up to people's expectations of me. I cringe at the thought of letting anyone down.

I want to be brave, however, bravery for me isn't tossing my head and saying, "To hell with what people think about me! I don't care." Instead it's cracking open the heart of who I am and offering it on trembling hands, even it means that I will be rejected. Bravery isn't the absence of fear but pushing through despite the fear, so I cast out these words hoping and praying they catch hold somewhere.

For my dear people know this, I am a textbook and introverted first born and I've always been told since I was a child that I have old soul. I'm overly analytical and self criticizing. I strive to please people, I like to fix things, I hold myself to an impossible standard, and I don't feel as though grace can reach far enough down to touch me when I fall.

I just want to be perfect, gosh darn it.

Instead I have holes in my character, gaps in my life, and scars on my heart.

However, those faults, holes, gaps, and scars are what make me who I am and I'm slowly learning that if I will only be brave enough to shed the mask and drop the facade, then...and only then will I be able to run and dive into the deep oceans of grace to swim as the beautifully complex character I was created to be; instead of wading around in the shallow end as the one dimensional, glossy, fake and superficial smiling character that I'm told I should be.

I want to immerge from that ocean so soaked and drenched in grace that I drip it all over everyone I come in contact with and that means I have to go diving in it, not wading. And diving means going deep.

For I am one badly broken, but redeemed, soiled but made clean. I have stood on mountains and I have walked through dark valleys.

And I wouldn't have it any. other. way. For I have never walked alone.

"But the grace of art is that it thrives in broken soil. " -Jennifer Trafton Peterson

Goodnight world, love to all you brave ones.