In a crowd of ten thousand, You don’t miss a thing.

He’s in the middle of all of this & I keep missing Him because I’m too busy looking for Him. And yes, the greatest ideas do come to me when I’m studying an hour and a half before I’m supposed to take an exam, and not while I’m perfectly calm and sitting over coffee, but that is really okay with me.

He keeps showing up. In office hours and documentaries and abandoned warehouses, He keeps showing up. He is more gracious & more patient & slower to jump to anything than I will ever be. And remembering all of this is what gets me lost in the beauty, which is exactly where I need to be to be found. Thank You, Jesus.

Side note for your day: If you ever want to feel incredibly & undeniably alive, walk in the pouring rain. I learned that this past week. That will do it for you. And another side note: it’s supposed to rain all week, so try it out & don’t let storms get you down. You can find Him in a thunderstorm. He will come to us like rain. Slowly & undeniably. 

“Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you. I’ve called your name. You’re mine. When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you. When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down. When you’re between a rock and a hard place, it won’t be a dead end—Because I am God, your personal God, The Holy of Israel, your Savior.” Isaiah 43:1-3 MSG

When You stand, I feel the floor of Heaven tremble…and in a crowd of 10,000, You don’t miss a thing.

I’ve worked long & hard on this one. I tried to comprise all my gifts & glorify Him through this writing. I used everything in me to handcraft this. Here it is. Here’s the state of my heart:

My heart’s a mess. My head’s a mess. My life’s a mess. My to-do lists are a mess. My schedule’s a mess. And maybe that’s because finals are 2 weeks away & graduation is 3, but maybe it’s also because that’s how it’s always been. And I don’t mind sharing that with you, the messy state of my life. I mean, I think that’s why we’re all here together: to share & revel in each other’s messy lives & delight in our time together. And somehow in all that messiness, things have been falling together, in the best way possible. I love doing life, especially with Jesus. I love love love doing this whole life thing.

But in all of this brokenness & delighting in each other’s messiness, we still get to make our own decisions. I value opinions, but I’m starting to let myself understand that just because I value people’s opinions does not mean I will let them make my decisions. And I think the faster you realize that, the faster you will find yourself in a happier place. You have the ability to make your own decisions. I may sound like I’m preaching to you, but I’m also saying this to myself because it’s worth repeating. I once had my favorite teacher tell me, “If you don’t like being walked all over, get up off the floor.” More prophetic words have never been spoken. Just kidding…but as simple as that was, it was the hardest thing in the world for me to actually do. It still is. I have to make the decision ever single day when my feet hit the ground to not let people walk all over me because, unfortunately, it’s not something that comes naturally.

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People are just people. Surprise. And we’re all broken. And we can’t just go around carrying every ounce of someone’s baggage. It’s just not possible. Most of the time, you can’t even carry all of your own baggage. It’s crippling. And terrifying. Another surprise, I’m sure. But you can’t let the rough stuff define you. You will spend the rest of your life believing the lie that you are unworthy of what God has called you to. Believe me, some days I still put on those shoes.

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:29-31

I’ve heard that verse referenced 3 times in the past 2 days (and I refuse to believe that’s just a coincidence), and before that I’d turned that Scripture over in my brain countless times over the past few weeks. You are of value. You are of value. You are of value. He whispers it in the most random moments, but it resounds. In darkness & in light, this never ceases to be true. It will never cease to be true. You are of value. He knows me. He knows you. He knows us. Currently pushing aside the fears of having an intimate relationship with Christ because risking it is worth much more than sitting in darkness.

Risking it is worth everything.

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wired to find Light.

I sat in Easter service this weekend & heard a metaphor given to our lives that goes a little bit like this:

When you enter a dark room, you navigate with arms outstretched, as to not bump into anything or let anything injure you or interfere with the course you’re trying to take. We navigate life much like this, being in a dark room. We go into autopilot for the dark, but we were called to walk in the Light. Instead of living freely and without such hazard in the Light, we hold things and people and relationships at arms length, as though walking in the dark.

This might be a regurgitated version of our Senior Pastor’s sermon from that morning, but bear with me & read a few of the high points. I never imagined comparing my walk of life to a dark room, but that morning flipped a switch, no pun intended. Much like our minds are wired to adapt to the dark & find the Light, our hearts are wired & designed to find God. The only way out of darkness is to walk in the Light. The only problem you have is with the way you view God. We hold Him to human expectations, so of course we will continuously feel like we’re being failed. If we had all the answers, why would we want to walk in the path He’s paved for us? He didn’t come to condemn us but to RESCUE us. He also described our view of God much like that of a blind person’s view of the world. They might understand that red is a color, but that doesn’t mean they actually know what it looks like. They go off of what the world around them has told them in order to make these perceptions of their surroundings. We do that with God. We go off of the picture that society has handcrafted for God, when really this is just a misunderstanding. We continually form new misunderstandings of what Jesus came to do. How long do you have to go before you decide to walk in the light? Following Him is a trusting journey. He came into the world to rescue us & we have to trust that He knows what He’s doing.

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“At the cross You beckon me, draw me gently to my knees & I am lost for words, so lost in love. I’m sweetly broken, wholly surrendered.”

I’ve seen Light in a lot of things lately. Photography, painting with light, as it was once described to me. Sermons, where the Light is depicted with great care & details. Sunsets, those where I get to just sit & soak it all in. This might be a stretch & a little too cliche, but I have realized that the best sunsets come after the hardest storms, or the greatest darkness. Thursday night when I took the picture above, there was a immediate, torrential downpour in the afternoon, but this picture was at around 8 o’clock that night. He is constant in the downpour.


Another tidbit I’ve learned lately: there will come a day when you no longer need to cling to your relationships & I’m still navigating those days as they come, but it’s happening. I think a lot of the time we let our relationships define us or affirm us, and it’s really hard to step out of that & into something healthier for you, even if the relationships aren’t unhealthy. It’s easy to get raveled in heart-to-hearts & coffee dates & lunch breaks, when it’s actually really simple. Yes, we are meant to help bear each others’ burdens, but we are not meant to fully carry another person, or more than one person, through everything. And I also think it’s okay to have fences & limit the relationships you form because you can drain yourself by thinking you can go in deep with every person you encounter. Trust me, I’ve tried. I’m also walking out of that one as well, not unscathed, but definitely still in one piece.

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So this whole blog post might have been a little bit paradoxical, learning not to hold people at arms length, but also understanding that it’s okay to not go in deep with everyone. Yeah, it’s still a little bit confusing to me & I didn’t even realize I did this until I read over it one last time, but that’s okay. Let’s navigate this together because I know I’m not the only one. You get it too. Life is a constant seesaw of “let this person in” and “only talk to this person over the fence,” and I think that’s more than okay.

I spent today a little out of it, but making to-do lists to give myself the illusion that I have my life together, eating dark chocolate covered espresso beans, and editing a crazy amount of pictures. And I can honestly say I feel happy. There’s a thunder storm brewing outside & leftover chicken curry waiting for me back in my dorm room. Happy happy happy Monday, indeed.

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