I’m not sorry for crying.

And when the ball started to drop, there was something inside of me that said no no no, let it stay 2014. I hate change.

“You should get to dance inside of all the things you used to have to be sorry for.” HB.

This break was incredibly challenging, mentally. I think I finally had to tell myself it was okay to reminisce & dwell because the more I tried to force myself not to do that, the more it happened, and I think that hurts even more than doing it in the first place. Then you’re already thinking about it and you’re letting this mental & spiritual battle take over your being at the same time. That was one thing I learned over this break: memories are powerful & reminiscing is okay. You shouldn’t let yourself, or anyone else, tell you differently. And upon my return to school, I learned one thing can send you completely over the edge if you let it.

I went to buy my books for this semester & freaked out over a long series of really unfortunate events with the books, and I came back to the office & lost. it. Not over the books though, like at all. It was about a bunch of things I’ve bottled up for what I guess was a little too long.

Side note: I am not ashamed to admit that Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 is one of my favorite movies & I am also not ashamed to admit that I bought it over the break & watched it a few times. There’s something super cheesy, but super accurate, that Blake Lively says in the movie: the past is always with us, so it’s time I stopped running. Yes, super cheesy & cliche & blah blah blah. But true. The more you shove things to the back of your mind & tell yourself they’re not important, the more you’re going to think about them & cling to them. You hold onto those memories & the hurt because that’s really all you know about hurt. You cling to it & tell yourself, “Remember this. Remember how you felt. Do not forget it. Do not let anyone else make you feel this way.” And that’s what I guess I’ve done. Clung to the hurt to remind myself. And another side note: if you try to look for the qualities of a person who has hurt you in other people, I can promise you will find them. Sense of humor, charm, etc. You’ll find it.

And I was given the best advice on how to deal with this struggle & anger. You pray for them. I got sort of pissed off when I was first told this, but Jesus tells us to pray for our enemies. Not only are you praying for them, but you’re helping yourself in healing. It changes your heart (apparently, but I’m still waiting for this one). And the best part: it’s not an if/then situation, but it’s definite. It’s not a maybe this will work kind of deal. It will change you.

It’s incredible because God tells us that His victory is our victory & we don’t need to fight. We don’t have to carry around our chains & baggage & crap anymore because He has won for us. He has given us freedom for free. And that’s so beautiful because it’s part of the mystery of God. He takes our burdens. And usually when I feel burdened, I cry & I apologize when I cry around people. How messed up is that? And the thing that I love the most is that Jesus wept, so you can bet that I will be WEEPING WHEN I WANT TO WEEP, DANG IT (and I will not be sorry for it anymore).

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My heart will always hope for more. Sort of like, “Oh my gosh, maybe this next thing will make me feel closer to God than I’ve ever felt before.” And I think we always wonder why our hearts keep longing & that’s exactly why: our hearts were created for so much more than we give them the capability to explore. We were made for our Maker. We were made to be like Him, and a lot of times, we’ll settle for less. And my prayer is that each moment I get to experience will help me to taste & see that the Lord is good.

My heart pounds & jumps at the idea of new things. New things to photograph. New things to learn. New heights to test. New thoughts to inspire. New people to bring into community. New cultivation. New views. New boundaries. New trials. New new new. I love what’s next & I love longing for next. My heart exults the One who makes this all possible. My soul craves to know my Maker more through trials & tribulation & triumph.

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On Monday, I got to spend the entire day with my very best friend (AKA my other half who moved half way across the country). We went on a coffee crawl. Yes, 7 cups of coffee (not including hers), 5 different coffee shops, 2 caffeinated girls, an incredible playlist, and a road trip to Rome. We crushed it. Probably the best day spent with someone who understands me & where I come from & my stories & the reasons why I move throughout my days the way I do the most.

And we talked transitions of life & old memories & boys. It was just like old times but even better. She’s always been a voice of reason, like I can hear the Lord speaking to me through her. One thing that finally occurred to me while going through multiple conversations with her: it’s stupid for me to think that after spending a small period of time with someone I could get someone to chase after Jesus with their entire heart. It just doesn’t work that way, and not unfortunately. It is a good thing that we don’t have the power, with our words, to make people fall in love with Jesus, otherwise they would probably fall in love with our idea of God & not just God. That’s actually painful to think about. I want to know God in the rawest form. Not the way we perceive Him or meet Him. Raw. Holy. Pure. Untainted.

And trusting someone you can’t see is extremely difficult. I’m trying. I’m trusting. I’m not giving in or up, but I am trusting that the Lord’s plans will prevail & the process will be divine. I always pray that my desires align with the Lord’s & that He would loosen my grip on situations where I could drive myself crazy. I want to trust in His process, not in what I want to control. Let me trust the Lord & not lean on my own understanding because it is worth nothing & His plans are worth everything.

“In my deepest wound I saw Your glory, and it astounded me.”

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