There are some days when you feel head over heels in love- the excited, butterflies in your tummy, throwing up butterflies in their tummies kind of love- even though you don’t have anyone to be in love with, so you hope that it’s with Christ who dwells within you. Then there are days when each leg feels like it’s being swallowed by the gravel you run on, and your mind is simultaneously a roar and an eerie silence. So you sit and fight to listen to the One you know lives within you.

On both of these days, you wonder if this is what it means to finally love yourself. You hope so.

return to safety

During winter, it’s easy to come across days you can’t run away from. The bitter cold can be paralyzing. In the midst of celebration and holiday, the works of our hands turn against us, as we find ourselves suffocating from idols that have fallen. Because eventually, your loved ones will hurt you, just as you have hurt them; company you’ve longed for doesn’t seem to understand the ways in which you’ve changed (which is okay, they  most likely don’t see you everyday); your soul may grow immune to alone time, and you will be left with debilitating thoughts. These are the idols that will fall. FullSizeRender_4

Take a deep breath, in this war, the Lord will make you lie down in safety. He knows the perfect time to draw you away. And the “safe” place may not look safe to us, but He definitely is. He isn’t easy or conventional or limited to our dictionary definitions for that matter, but He is good. Take a deep breath. Open your eyes and watch as the wilderness around you breaks into gladness, let it blossom abundantly. And soon enough, with the help of your God, you will return.

autumn dancing

The past few weeks my soul slowly stopped dancing, and I’ve been waiting to hear the beginning melody of another song.

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I’ve been thinking about joy lately and about the moments I feel it most deeply. C.S. Lewis said he was “surprised by joy,” and I have to agree with Ann Voskamp, when she says perhaps that’s the only way to discover it. The life in the trees. The change of autumn in your lungs.

The moment your soul hears the trickle of the soft melody begin to play.

easter, two-thousand fifteen

I was a dead hopeless wanderer and never again do I have to take a breath not knowing astronomic love or abundant freedom. I will never have to know what life is like without it.

Jesus had it all; as a man, He never knew of anything other than a rich and abundant life with His Father. But He had to go without it on the cross. Can you imagine the agony? Having to experience a breath of life without unconditional love or grace in which all you can muster is a cry of “my God, why have You forsaken me?”

sixth of january two thousand sixteen

But I will never get there. I will never reach that sense of better understanding because there will always be more to understand until the day that I die. And if I ever do reach that utmost understanding in this life, then I die. I will never stop seeking to understand until I die or I die. And I hope you, I hope you can find strength in that statement. I hope you can find strength in the statement that I will never be able to understand you or love you to my fullest capacity in the fullest understanding of you because it means that I am relying more on my faith of believing that I love you and choose you rather than of understanding why or how. I hope you find strength in the statement that I will never be able to love you in my fullest capacity because I am leaking. There is always more to know about you because you are a living and growing soul, not just being, but always becoming and I’m relying more on my faith of knowing he fills because I am always lacking than on my desire to fill myself with the things that I believe are sufficient enough for you because they never will be.

And yes, I’m talking to God, but I am talking to you. I wrote this down for you because I want you to remember that I will never be enough for you because only He is. And I apologize in advance for the moments I will believe that you are enough for me because you don’t deserve to be put under those expectations that will inevitably fail. You deserve more than that. I wrote this down for you because I want you to know that in every moment, with every failure, with every triumph, I will be walking down that road towards you. I will be seeking you and choosing to believe that regardless of whether I understand it, regardless of where I will end up or how I will get there, I will go because you are there and I choose you.

eighteenth of april two thousand fifteen

I suppose this is what it means to sing in the rain, isn’t it? To sing when I’m euphoric, to sing when I’m down trodden.

“though you slay me, yet I will praise you
though you take from me, I will love you.”

It’s these hymns that pour from my mouth in the drought and they get choked up as they fall out because the enemy wants them to get stuck and not make it out. But they’re fighting. Through the flesh and the bleeding, these words are fighting. They’re fighting; they’re climbing. They’re determined to fill the atmosphere of their creator, and I don’t mean me. Yes, these words are more than me.

twenty-fifth of september two thousand fifteen

I feel like a failure because I’m not fully here but I’m not fully there, and I guess I just feel like I’m not anywhere and like I don’t belong anywhere. Here nor there, my life is but a vapor, as is my purpose. I wonder how this relates to the gospel- we never feel permanent because this isn’t our home, just the road we are travelers on. But we can at least enjoy the view; enjoy the ones who are riding with us; weep when we see dead animals on the side of the road. And as I travel on, I sing the sojourner’s song: never in the same place twice.

I hate that with every hello, you are guaranteed a goodbye. With every good thing, you’re always guaranteed a last one. Everything comes to an end and nothing lasts forever..I guess to remind us of how fragile and finite we are..and to remind us that only things that do last forever are things that aren’t physically here.

becoming brave (and dependent)

I confess that I’ve always struggled with finding pride in my independence. I’ve always relished the thought of making my own way in a city where no one knows my name. Although yesterday I found myself making numerous trips in and out of my friend’s apartment, flustered to the point of tears, trying to find the courage to use the public transport for the first time in Portland. (Silly, I know). I never knew myself as someone to be afraid, but it turns out that when you’re in a city by yourself, your soul resonates off the pit that is typically full of mundane mondays and tuesdays and every days, and it’s hard to ignore.

Plain and simple: I’m guilty of romanticizing courage. I watch adventure vlogs, reblog nature photos, and read inspiring quotes, but in comparison to true grit, walking towards death on a cross courage, my manifesto of courage is equivalent to a foul gargantuan amount of shit.

That’s why I found myself too paralyzed to take the bus. I’m much more comfortable in my familiar routine than I would like to admit because it’s a controllable environment where I can hide my unrighteousness. (Righteousness: right standing with God). Anything outside of my conventional and practiced routine means someone might see my flesh: selfishness that comes naturally; insecurities that plague me; an adulterous heart that manipulates mercilessly in order to be wanted. I fully believe that I’m capable of the worst of sin; I am indeed, the least of these. However though, while it’s healthy to be aware of my weak flesh, I’ve had the brash audacity to believe that God’s grace isn’t enough for my sin; believing I AM the least of these: unworthy of new experiences, adventures, and new life.

It takes courage to receive grace and forgiveness from Jesus. It takes courage to let Him walk me into immeasurably more; into a new life. These things- “grace,” “forgiveness,” “immeasurably more”- are more than spiritual sounding words. They’re real and tangible gifts that take courage to receive because they cost me my life: to choose and believe every single day (when it’s hard; when it’s possibly the lamest thing I could do; when I’m reminded of every dirty despicable thing that I’ve done) His death on the cross was enough for my wretched sin and it always will be.

And that’s what I hope for others to see more of: me finding courage in Jesus, receiving immeasurably more, and honestly confessing to others when my flesh is weak, for how sweet it will be when they see Him wash me clean.

Also, if anyone wants to know, I did use public transportation yesterday…and again today! Turns out, it’s not terrifying at all.

the widow in luke twenty-one

I want to be the widow in Luke 21. She’s the perfect portrayal of a follower of Christ. I have absolutely nothing to offer Him except “all (of the time) I have to live on.” I am an impoverished and dry soul without the abundance of Christ. But like the “rich” in the passage, I so often believe that my “gifts”-my creativity, my inquisitive heart, my courageous and adventurous spirit- are so incredibly valuable that they can be placed before the Lord as an offering. I fall, believing that only when I’m writing, or only when I’m on stage, do I have anything of worth to offer as a gift. Who am I to think that that is enough? Who am I to say that those gifts are even mine to give away? I have literally nothing that He needs, but everything He desires.