Blissful pain

There are a few questions that I tend to ask myself, such as

“What does it feel like to catch on fire? If I ever did, could I stay calm?”

If there wasn’t darkness, would we even know that the stars exist? No one knew darkness could shine like that.”

“Has anybody else ever experienced so much heartache that it feels like your blood is flowing backwards?”

“Why is it easy to sleep through the day but hard to fall asleep at night?”

“How ironic would it be for your wife to turn your ashes into a locket to wear around her neck just to put a picture of her new boyfriend in it?”

“Why didn’t God make me someone worth loving if He was going to love me so much?”

I’ve been told that brokenness is a work of art. I’m my own masterpiece, but I don’t even want to be an artist. Humans are like really ugly paintings, so ugly that we’re almost beautiful. All art pieces have certain perks and flaws, I guess. And I’d like to think that I have more perks than I do flaws. This is one of my flaws.

The home inside my head has a lot of mirrors. Each one shows me something different when I look into them, like disappointment, insane, alone, annoying, burden. Many  have said “you don’t belong, so don’t be long.” Lately, though, I’ve seen confident, beautiful, smart, whole, independent, loved. The pessimistic side of me feels like they’re being nice to apologize in advance for something bad about to happen. This is one of my flaws.

I used to wonder why I always feel so heavy, but maybe it’s because I carry so much light. Light is so heavy.

A lot of non-Christians believe that Christians have it all together, with nothing wrong in their lives. I believe that Christians are the most broken people in the world. They just allow their brokenness to expand to let more of God in. God uses our cracks to shine through us, which is how He reaches other people. If this is the case, I don’t mind being broken. In fact, I want to have so many cracks that there isn’t anything left of me. The more cracks, the more Christ. Just maybe, this is why I feel so heavy.

I haven’t asked that last question in a while. Rather, I’ve made it a habit to thank God for loving me so much and for changing my heart to understand that no one is really worth loving, but He loves us anyways. I know God hears my prayers but if there was ever a time for Him to listen carefully, it would be now. I can’t thank God enough, but I’ll spend the rest of my life thanking Him.

If I ever begin to doubt that God loves me or think I’ve fallen too far for Him to pull me back, I take a step back. I remember all that He’s done for me, all that He’s brought me through and remind myself that it hasn’t all been for nothing, that He is going to use me in a bigger way than today’s bad mood or poor circumstance. Besides the obvious truth of God sending His Son to die for my sins and to save me from hell, I know that God loves me because He wouldn’t put so much effort into me if He didn’t.

I’ve been thinking about death lately in the sense of what comes after. I know I’m going to heaven, but what’s there? Will I see loved ones? Will my dog be there? Will there be ice cream?

I was part of a conversation about this and the way it was explained to me was, “Do we really think that little of God that we think we’ll be concerned about those things when we’re standing in front of Him in His kingdom?”

When did it become so numb to us that the God of the universe loves us enough to make us in His own image? That is such a powerful truth and it’s easily brushed off like it doesn’t matter. It’s almost painful to think that we can be that adored. God’s love is like the nails in Jesus’ hands, a blissful pain.

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Hi. It’s 4am and I just made my first cup of coffee. I’ll make more to take to class with me. Maybe even some more to keep me awake during work. This sounds unhealthy

Early mornings have been my routine for a while now. And i don’t mind it. I like being up before most people when it’s quiet and dark outside. I don’t normally wake up as early as 4 in the morning though. My puppy decided I had gotten enough sleep. She was wrong. This is why I drink coffee all day. It’s ruff sometimes

Hi. It’s 2:30 in the morning. I haven’t gone to sleep yet. I thought I had only been laying here for an hour or so. But it’s been 3. Whoops. I have an 8am class tomorrow where my teacher is going to criticize my writing assignment. That’s why I’m writing this, because he can’t say jack squat if I put an incorrect comma, in my blog post

Hi. It’s 9:13pm and I’m upset about something that’s not even worth my time. It’s starting to sink in that if someone apologizes for something but keeps repeating the act, they can’t be that sorry about it….sometimes this makes me feel like a deer in the headlights. Honestly I wish the car would just hit me already

Public places are the worst and people aren’t much better. if you see me outside, no you don’t

it’s 2:45am. It’s been one heck of a day. But hi. I want to move to Pennsylvania or Oregon. Or join the military. Maybe switch schools. I have no idea what comes next. But maybe it’ll be good. None of that will take away my problems but it’s nice to pretend they wouldn’t follow me.

*alarm clock* good morning reality…

The reality is that sometimes when my mom doesn’t answer my phone call I think she got in a wreck. Or someone died and she doesn’t want me to hear her cry. Or she’s arguing with my dad. Maybe the house burned down and her phone was in there. My mom should really answer when I call. She’s usually just washing dishes or something. It’s 3am and this is what I’m thinking about….

The reality is that it doesn’t matter if the glass is half full or half empty. It matters that there’s a full half and there’s an empty half.

I try not to overthink too much. And if I do I try not to show it. Do you think that person noticed me walking and saw that my feet slightly turn in because most people’s feet turn out when they walk? Will my test have true false questions because if they’re worth 2 points each and I get all 10 wrong then I have an 80 which will bring my grade down and eventually my gpa and I’m going to lose my scholarship… I need to drive a little bit faster than the person behind me because they’ll get mad if I slow them down and what if they have a gun and get super mad and shoot at me when they pass me, who will take my dog?

Ive been trying to console my thoughts and make them not so unreasonable. I’m doing pretty good

Some days are good but don’t have anything significant that make them good. Some days are bad when nothing has really gone wrong. Hi. I’m having a bad day. I came home and the weather is beautiful. The sunset on the lake is calming. I listened to my favorite worship songs on my way home. I studied in the lab this morning. I have the sweetest dog that was really happy to play with my parents dogs. I took almost a 3 hour nap. I had pizza for dinner and saw a good friend. A lot of good things to today. But I wouldn’t say I had a good day because my attitude sucked. Whoops :/ I think attitude is more important than circumstances, so yeah. I’m working on that

I am thankful there are days like these though. I’m sure that God placed all of these things in my day for a reason. Maybe to show me that bad days aren’t all bad, kinda like yin and yang I guess

I wonder if birds still chirp when they’re sad?

I’ve become more okay with the realization that growth can mean outgrowing people. We aren’t meant to be attached to them anyways. I’d erase some people if I could. Disclaimer: when you erase them they still leave a mark. Some people I wouldn’t write at all. Others, I’d write darker. Sadly I don’t get to make those edits. If I could, everything would be beautiful and nothing would hurt and growth would be impossible

One year ago today I was baptized. November 19th 2017. And it’s hard to believe how much growth I’ve gone through in the past year. It hasn’t been beautiful and it’s been as painful as stepping on a lego. But I can look back and be confident that my God made that growth possible. He works all things out for good, including the pain and the overthinking and the bad days and the 4ams with puppies and the professors that stroke out over an Oxford comma. And I look forward with hope that I’ll look back in another year and say the same thing. God is beautiful, and he can’t help but make beautiful things.

When it’s dark, look for stars

Lately I’ve been clawing my way through some things. Some deep heart-y things. My fears and vulnerabilities along with every thought that drips with anxiety. Its not even the future I’m scared of compared to repeating the past, which makes me cringe and choke on my breath. I really want to get passed it all and not let it hold me down by every limb anymore. I haven’t found a way to completely escape it though.

I’ve been feeling reluctant to pray or read my Bible and that’s crippling but it also gives me some hope. For a relationship to grow there’s going to be hard patches. Hard times are putting you in a position to grow. Growing pains aren’t just physical, they’re spiritual too. And it’s when you lay in bed looking up at the ceiling not remembering how to pray, but still do that mean so much.

It reminds me that the devil’s attacks to sneak in are going to make me stronger. If Satan is fighting for me, God is fighting for me even harder. But Satan is tricky and has gotten in my head a few times. Convinced me I don’t need to be honest and open with those close to me. Convinced me that I am unimportant to those I love. Convinced me to follow my feelings instead of facts.

When NF said “I push away the people I love the most; why? I don’t want no one to know I’m vulnerable; why? That makes me feel weak and so uncomfortable; why?” I felt that

I didn’t realize how deceptive Satan was being until I lifted my head and saw how damaging those thoughts were. He made me think I was losing my mcfreakin’ mind. How are you even supposed to trust your feelings when they can disappear just like that?

But God always leads me back to His truth. He will never not love me. And I can rest in that. I think that God loves us so much that when a person dies, He takes their unreached dreams and molds them into new stars.

But us humans find a way to destroy everything, including each other, and very often with the instrument that’s not meant to destroy anything. We don’t know how to love. Most obviously because too many people don’t love God. And we don’t love ourselves. And we don’t think that anyone else could love us. Which are just more lies fed from Satan.

I don’t understand people very well. But to be fair I don’t think I’m understood that well either. However, I do understand pain. I think that drives a lot of us, in a ‘I’ve lost control’ kind of way. That kind of pain surprises you like your best friend going 70 mph on a windy road at night and almost throwing you out of the window going around a curve *cough, Leslie*. It’s scary and comes as a feeling you thought you’d forgotten

I don’t know if I’ve ever succeeded at loving someone the way I should, but God loves me despite the fact that I fail Him everyday. And that’s what I can hold on to today, and tomorrow and for as long as I live

I pray that I can be effective at showing love to others, instead of being someone to inflict heartache. People always remember how you make them feel.

I know we can’t mold dreams into stars, but I think we should at least try to love like we can

Unsolved suffering

blog pic

Question: how many anxiety attacks does it take to get to the root of the problem?

I’m guilty of blaming God for the pain others have caused me. And every time I learn the same lesson that God isn’t the root of the problem. We blame God because we don’t want to face the real problems in our lives. I’m also guilty of having a resentment towards God in the moments I blame him for the certain times in my life where I see no lesson learned or a hurt clearly caused by someone else. But all I’m doing is creating a not-so-hidden rift between myself and God.

Life is filled with really miserable moments that seem to last a lot longer than they really do. And it’s kind of sad how those moments can take away from everything else that there is to life. If you think about it, all we really have to do in this life is decide how we want to spend the time we’ve been given and so many of us spend it wrongly.

Sometimes it seems like I’m drowning and everyone around me is just describing the water. What I fail to realize is that I look a lot like Peter when Jesus tells him to come out onto the water and Peter gives into the fear of the wind and waves around him. I look like Peter when he starts to sink, crying out for Jesus to save him. I like the aspect of this story that shows what you choose to focus on determines whether or not you sink.

I’ve been trying hard for quite sometime to focus on the moments that drift away all too fast. I’d even say I’m a little obsessed with it. I’m talking about the joyful, loved-filled, God-filled moments that feel like memories when you’re still living it. In the beginning, God called everything He made good and I want all the good, and I want it forever. I guess I feel if I gather enough good it’ll wipe away the bad. Help me forget it. But that’s not realistic. What is realistic is to learn from the bad so maybe we wont come face to face with as much of it in the future.  It’s harder than it seems because all we want to focus on are our misfortunes and dwell over past pains. But who are we to do that when God has given us a whole world He once called all good. It really is true that we make this world bad isn’t it? 

I imagined one time what the world would be like if there was medicine that gave you temporary amnesia. I’d be first in line for it because life really does have valleys deep enough to make you want to forget everything, even if for a little while. But hey, those valleys are nothing compared to how beautiful the mountains are. And if we keep living in the valley we won’t ever get to experience the view that God so delicately pieced together for us. You know, the view of where you used to be, how far you’ve travelled and some other mountains in the distance.

The other day I was driving and got stopped at a stoplight next to this teenage girl. She had on these retro sunglasses that reminded me of Ozzy Osborne and she was dancing, clearly not caring if anyone saw. I can only imagine what she was listening to. I hope it wasn’t drake or some other cringe worthy popular artist whose songs play repeatedly and nonstop on the radio. I pondered the question “where is she going”. Then I came to the conclusion that God is more than likely the only one who knows.

If you couldn’t tell, I just completely described myself from someone else’s POV. But I imagine that’s what the older lady that was laughing at me thought at that stoplight the other day.

A year ago, if that lady would’ve seen me at a stoplight she probably would’ve said a prayer for me just based on how verklempt I looked. That was a time of a deep valley. And day by day, nothing really seemed to change. But now I’m looking back at how far I’ve come. Its all the little wins and baby steps that add up to mean so much. I’ve still got a lot of hiking to get to the top of the mountain but the air is so much clearer now. And the major change from then to now, is I have Jesus in my heart and I’m focused on the right thing. Your mindset makes the difference and I must say, it’s a beautiful thing to know I can grab ahold of Jesus and not sink or fear the winds around me.

Answer: The world may never know how many anxiety attacks it takes to come to your end. The deciding factor is time. How long your focus is on the wrong thing. At some point you’re bound to be overcome with emotion to the point of a really messy breakdown. The truth is, you’re wasting energy on something you know isn’t really worth it. So I hope that one day you’ll be stopped at a stoplight just to look over and see a lady laughing at your dancing while you wear your favorite Ozzy Osborne looking glasses. Find your mountain and start climbing. You never know what view a years worth of walking forwards will be.

rock and roll love letter

During my 11th and 12th grade years of high school, on my way to school in the mornings I would always pass this little old man. I assumed he was going to work. But he always had a newspaper on his front dash and wore glasses. He drove a small goldish-brown car. I don’t know why I paid so much attention to him. I think about him sometimes. I have this image of him working in a post office in Columbia. It’s just a vibe though. I wonder if he still drives down that road every morning. Unfortunately, when I had Clinicals I would be at the nursing home at the time I would have passed him by. And eventually I stopped seeing him every morning. But if I had to guess, he’s still wearing those glasses and still has a newspaper on his front dash.

One time I was thinking about him as a young person. I wonder if he was in a band. He looked like the kind of person to say to his grandchildren “back in the day, I was in a band. We picked up our lives and took ’em on the road. Your grandma tagged along and we lived on a tour bus for a couples months out of the year.”

If he was in a band, I wonder if he was the lead singer. I think he was. or what kind of music they made… I bet he was one of those rockers that would say before a show “people like sleeping during the daytime for 2 reasons. 1. They’re creative. They have dreams, and when they can’t catch them, they sleep 2. They go out every night” and then put on the performance of his life and get a standing ovation with fans demanding an encore. He wouldn’t give them one because he was a rebel who did what he wanted. But he gave them one because he knew how to love his fans. If I had to guess, I’d say he wrote all of the people back that sent him fan mail, naming his letters “Rock and Roll Love Letter”. Artists know how to love.

He would’ve sang about the real stuff. The truth. The raw and hardly spoken of. He probably saved a couple lives. Fun fact that music reduces suicide rates by 89%. Id compare him with today’s Asking Alexandria or Sleeping With Sirens, with lyrics that go along the lines of “the tears that stain my cheeks must make me look weak, I wear them proudly, I wear them proud” and “there is hope for you tonight”. None of the “feeling fly like a G6, smoking weed, getting drunk and having sex constantly” bologna.

The majority of my teenage years have been encompassed by screamo music. Yep. I’m the weird girl that likes screamo music. It’s kind of calming. Not in an “on a river at dawn” kind of calm, but that other people get it. That sometimes you feel like you have to scream to be heard and that people are daring enough to rip their own hearts out to say “look at that. You’re not alone”

That is the modern version of a “Rock and Roll Love Letter”. It doesn’t have to be in writing…and lets be real, no one has time to write back all of their fans anymore

One of my favorite artists, Andy Biersack, made a good point when he said “Even in your darkest moments you still have the choice to focus your energy on the positive and create a better life.”

We can all learn something from people like Andy. Sometimes I don’t know what’s worse. The pain I feel or the fact that it seems like I can’t do anything about it. I often forget I do have a choice. Don’t let the pain you feel be the only thing that reminds you you’re alive. If we choose to live like that, we will never succeed in this facet of love. You can’t ignore the pain but you can embrace the brokenness. Plant good seeds in your heart. Renew your mind. Pray. And never forget to share your own version of a rock and roll love letter.

“For those about to rock… we salute you”

Grace cakes for everyone

Can I be real? I’m gonna be real for just a moment.

JESUS IS SO AMAZING

This past July I surrendered my life to Christ. I laid it all down for Him. I have never experienced anything more overwhelming and wonderful than that moment. Nothing compares to Jesus! Its the best and most important decision a person can make.

I’ve been focused on the process lately. The process of becoming more like Christ. It’s not an automatic change. It’s a daily decision to be more like Christ. I’ve been paying attention to this recently because since July I’ve felt that it had to be an instantaneous change. Like I couldn’t take a wrong step or mess up or else it wasn’t true. But I was so wrong. So so wrong.

Salvation is by the grace of God, so it only makes sense that we also need His grace for the rest of our days.

The growth of becoming more like Christ is gradual. We’re humans. You and I and everyone else. So we’re gonna mess up. We don’t have it all together(no matter how good my ig looks). But the wonderful thing is that God has already forgiven you for all the times you’re gonna mess up and feel like a failure. So undeserving, but so comforted by the mighty love of God.

Recently I experienced the heart of God – again – from someone who I would’ve never expected. I saw a change in their heart that I never thought was going to happen. (but a little secret is that God can do anything!) it brought me to tears after recognizing the change in them. I was forgiven and loved when I deserved and expected everything less. The change in their heart made a change in mine.

The point of this blog is to say that God can make a change. and that change impacts other people too. It’s a ripple affect. “God’s love and spreading it is like dropping a pebble in water. You know it’s going to create ripples, but you never know where the ripples will go and what they are going to do.” The heart of that person reflected Jesus to me, and helped open my eyes to my sin. God never uncovers our sins to shame us, but to transform us. And I am eternally thankful that God loves me enough to not leave me how I am.

so. so. beautiful.

“Nothing is good unless it impacts eternity”

poetry isnt boring

I’m not exactly sure when life became so complicated but maybe we need things to keep us on our toes. As if we need trouble to make us feel more human. I was sitting in class today and of course I wasn’t paying attention because it was history and trade routes through India don’t really interest me. But I was sitting there thinking about how human we all are. These two girls walked by the door and they were having a conversation, and that made me wonder what they were talking about. It could’ve been about classes, or boyfriend problems, or someone they know dying of cancer. We are all walking around going about our days totally unaware of each other. But, at the same time we’re so alike. We all breathe the same air and walk the same ground and struggle so much sometimes that it’s hard to do either of those things. We’re so blinded by our own problems that we don’t stop to realize that someone right next to us is struggling just as much. Nobody ever seems to care anymore, but we weren’t meant to do this life alone. I’m not exactly sure when life became so complicated. I am sure that it’s us that make it that way though. It’s second nature for humans to royally screw up everything good we have going for us, even if those aren’t our intentions. Our lives are so vulnerable, yet we practically allow ourselves to be pushed to the limit knowing we might not be able to handle much more. We cause ourselves so much pain and that’s kinda crazy. You’d think we stop all of that nonsense and go on a picnic or to a pumpkin patch. Just get away from all the trouble for a while. Humanity sucks most of the time, but if it didn’t poetry would be boring.