Big, fat, dreamy dreams.

I’ve spent more time inspired in the past week than I have in an awful long time. I had time to lay in bed longer than usual, restructure this website, flex some creative muscles that haven’t been used in quite some time, flex some real muscles that needed some toning, and dream and love a little louder. I rolled over on a Friday morning, eyes fuzzy without glasses, and just saw white: the unexpected snow to wash everything clean. I walked in it to my last final of the semester: a breakfast party with all of our handmade pottery and beautiful flowers to put in our vases and a dog running around the studio, a sacred space that connected all of us in some strange way. This was fellowship, one of my sweetest classes of college by far. Inches and inches of snow, and a snowball fight on the roof, and some of the best people I’ve ever known in my entire life to watch me cry with joy because this day was the best. And it ended with some of my best friends and a dinner at 4 in the afternoon and sweet potato soufflé and hot tea and The Newsroom. So many days in the last week have felt like my best days, days when God’s abundance was so tangible.

And then there was this morning when I had the absolute privilege of baptizing my 12-year-old brother. Everything was a blur in those few moments and I was a blubbering baby but I was getting to watch him be washed by the water and commit to walk in a new way, free of sin and shame, understanding that there is a God who loves him so deeply and fully and abundantly. That proclamation, that statement of faith, is one that makes you want to have a Breakfast Club moment, fist in the air, and singing, “Death could not hold You, the veil tore before You, You silenced the boast of sin and grave. The Heavens are roaring the praise of Your glory, for You are raised to life again,” with no doubt in the world that is the Truth. It was surreal, like a moment I never deserved to live in but got to walk in this dream-like state for the remainder of the day.

I’ve also been on the road a lot in the last week, and those car rides have lent themselves to brainstorming and processing and dreaming and scream-singing Christmas music and show tunes. And I spent the last week in the office wrapping up final semester things and starting some planning and brainstorming for the spring, and one phrase kept coming into my mind:

LEAVE IT ALL ON THE FIELD.

Now, I don’t play sports. If you know me, you know. But I had this phrase seeping into everything I was doing. Leave it all on the field. Leave it all in the classroom. Leave it all in every project. Leave it all on the floor. Leave it all.

I put every bit of myself into everything I do, and that is something I’ve learned about myself in the past year. Sometimes it leaves me exhausted and completely at the end of myself, but that’s usually where the best stuff comes out. I vow to put all of myself into every last thing I finish out in this coming semester. I don’t want to leave wishing I had tried harder or done more or been more generous or invested more. I want to leave it all every place I go and in everything I do. And I realized I don’t just want this to carry through the end of my undergrad career, but I want this to be every single day of this life I get to live.

I sat at my desk on a morning this past week and cried over an Anne Lamott TED Talk. She said, “The two most important things about writing are: bird by bird and real god-awful first drafts. If you don’t know where to start, remember that every single thing that happened to you is yours, and you get to tell it. If people wanted you to write more warmly about them, they should’ve behaved better. You’re going to feel like hell if you wake up someday and you never wrote the stuff that is tugging on the sleeves of your heart: your stories, memories, visions, and songs — your truth, your version of things — in your own voice. That’s really all you have to offer us, and that’s also why you were born.”

I’ve written a lot of unpublishable things lately, and that’s a place I hadn’t put myself in for quite some time just because it was uncomfortable. Before that, my writing had been dry and bland and felt like a bunch of dust particles that didn’t actually have any flavor or the ability to form into anything that means anything. It’s a painful feeling but a startling realization that you’ve spent entirely too long not challenging and trying to make anything that matters at all. I always strived to write things to post, and I forgot what it was like to write the deep, dark stuff just for me. That’s why I’ve disappeared from this space for a while, and it was good for me, so good. I took a lot of time, time I’m still taking, to push myself into the deep, dark corners and inspect, look around at the museum of things I left untouched for fear of what they would make me feel.

And I’ve felt a lot of different things lately: awe, fear, infatuation, joy, sorrow, desperation, need, want, all of it. I haven’t been able to write the real, honest stuff because the real honest stuff involves feelings I’ve never felt before and harsh realities about standing in the darkest corners and refusing to come out. I plopped myself down in a coffee shop in another town on an afternoon before an eventful night and tried to make myself write the real honest stuff. And I came undone in a way, writing about people and places and feelings I’d never stood still long enough to inspect and not feel shame for. It was amazing. And my friend appearing was like a stopwatch going off, a time to drain the rest of the black coffee in the mint green mug and shut the laptop and turn off that part of my brain. Compartmentalizing has become refreshing, and not something I feel guilt over anymore.

On the darker, more anxious days, the world seems so small. But on the freer days, the ones where I remember my identity, I get to dream big, fat, dreamy dreams where I can be anyone and do anything and feel everything. These are the days I want more of, and this is what happens when we invite God into what we’re doing, what He was already doing in the first place. What a humbling place to stand in: a place where we can hold our brokenness in one hand and our humility in the other in order to live freer than we’ve ever lived before. That’s the place I want to stand for days and weeks and months and years to come. This is the place where the big, fat, dreamy dreams are born.

There’s this passage in Isaiah 55 I have kept coming back to in the past few weeks, and it reads:

let the wicked forsake his way,
    and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him,
    and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.

10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
    and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
    giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
    it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
    and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

God’s promises will not return void. And when I find myself in darkness, in a season of writing the unpublishable and pulling things off of shelves I long forgot existed, I remember that God’s will is accomplished and that He is a God who gives out of abundance. His thoughts are higher than mine, thankfully. It reminds me of a moment in Mona Lisa Smile where the girls are staring at this Jackson Pollock painting and Julia Roberts says, “Do yourselves a favor. Stop talking and look.” I feel God nudging me with that lately, and yes, I did just have God assume the position of Julia Roberts and that may be a bit heretical, but go with me. He’s gotten me silent lately. He’s gotten me sitting in awe and seeing His promises and provision in a land I thought was a barren wasteland. It has turned out to be this place of abundance, this growing, nourishing season of abundance. His promises will not return void.

So the past few weeks have looked like this: big, fat, dreamy dreams, late nights of finishing research, fun design projects, writing all the deep things, shoving poetry into composition notebooks and pieces of paper in my wallet, a concert that was basically a religious experience in itself, sweet fig pizza that was also a religious experience, texts about leaving room, the word “abundance,” final pottery projects, late movie nights, the-good-kinda-sore muscles, and remembering my freshman self in so many moments.

And if I could’ve told my freshman self anything, it would be this:

Develop self-awareness early on. Don’t ever be afraid of conflict. It probably isn’t wise to drink 7 to 8 cups of coffee a day. Fill up more journals than you know what to do with. Don’t be afraid to write the dark stuff down, nobody will try to read it. Write more thank you notes. Be more generous with your time. Don’t get caught up in the money, but don’t be stupid with it. Recognize “no” as a sacred word. Do the same with “yes.” They were right: you will grow to love your siblings and even miss them from time to time. Keep taking videos. Keep with the photography business. Keep reading for fun. And don’t make excuses for not reading for fun. Recognize God’s abundance and provision in every single second. Be where your feet are. You’re going to be okay. And I wish there were a less cheesy and less cliche way to tie the loose ends on this advice column I’ve written for you, but there just isn’t and I think that speaks for itself.

So I’ll go back to Anne Lamott because that’s always a good place to go back to. I’m not going to wake up one day and feel like hell because I didn’t write the stuff I shoved down into my heart. I’m going to write everything I need to write. And it might not all end up here. It might end up in a book or in journals I pack into boxes when I move my whole life around for the next few years. I’m going to hang up my dreams like Christmas lights on display to give life a little more of a pop. I’m going to sip everything a little slower, the coffee with the peppermint mocha creamer and the moments like an unplugged song at a concert or hand holding or the way it feels to hear people read a book out loud.

So here’s to leaving a little more room for the big, fat, dreamy dreams and the space to learn what God’s abundance looks and feels and tastes like. Here’s to leaving room to breathe and to write the dark stuff I sought to avoid for so long. Here’s to the joy and the grief and the darkest corners I tucked my journals into. Here’s to recognizing it isn’t a wasteland just because I labeled it one for so long. Here’s to seeing the new things growing.

I knew that You would come.

You stood outside my grave, with tears still on Your face. I heard You say my name, and my night was turned to day. You came, oh, I knew that You would come. And You sang, and my heart it woke up. Now I’m not afraid, I see Your face, I am alive. You came, I knew that You would come. And You said death’s only sleeping. With one word, my heart was beating. And I rose up from my grave, and my fear was turned to faith ’cause You came. Oh, I knew that You would come.

These are words I’ve been turning over again and again for the past week, and words that I’ve sang (read: screamed at the top of my lungs) in the countless miles I’ve gotten to drive over this past weekend. I knew that You would come. And those words are the thing that changes everything about the hope we have in Jesus, and I think those are the words are the bow that ties everything together perfectly in terms of everything I’ve felt and learned lately from God.

And maybe I am in a season of very heightened emotions, but I’m trying to choose to see it as a gift instead of somewhat of an annoyance that I’m constantly seeking to turn off. I’ve missed so many things lately, not in the way that I’ve let them slip by but that I just long for a lot of different things and my heart is in a million different spaces. I have woken up most mornings feeling the weight of the world and the sadness that comes with living in a world that is so broken, but I’m trying to choose to see that as a gift, to depend on God in a new way for peace and comfort. He calls us to live fully alive, and I think these are the moments when we get the opportunity to shut it down or lean into what God’s calling us into. He’s already come and the Victory has already been won, so we can feel the depth of brokenness without allowing it to take control of our lives.

I think there’s a reason I’m spending this time a lot more tenderhearted and inclined to what God is speaking into my heart instead of trying to shut it up. Yes, there are days when I wake up and think, “Dear God, if I tear up at another news headline or catch another pit in my throat from seeing a baby laugh, I’m going to freak out. Please keep it under control.” But then other days, I get the opportunity to sit in it, which is what I think God is intentionally inviting me into, especially in a season where He is the most consistent thing I know, as He always should be but is rarely the case when our flesh clings to anything else it can.

It’s so beautiful that in a season of so much change and transition, the greatest lesson I have been able to learn is about God’s steadfastness in the way He loves us so fiercely and cares for us in such detail, even in our feeling the weight of sadness and brokenness. I’ve had so many moments where I’m just stopped in whatever I’m doing, and I feel a comfort and peace of knowing that I get to do my days with Him. A lot of those moments I almost cry, but there’s also been a ton of pent up emotion, so I guess that’s normal, but then I have moments where I get to see God and I’m like, “WHY wouldn’t we all just cry in awe?” I think we ought to have that reaction a lot more than we do, and I think my greatest prayer should be that God would take away the numbness and restore us our sight to see things the way He intended them to be seen.


I went to visit one of my best friends on Lookout Mountain this past weekend, and every view I saw almost brought me to tears. Of course, this may have been embarrassing to cry at a hang gliding spot or to tear up just driving down the mountain and seeing the expanse of the city open up before you or to watch the sun set from her dorm room window. I caught myself every single time and thanked God that He would allow me to be loved so well by the people around me, but also that He would allow me to sit in awe of the things He created for me to see, like each view and conversation and comforting moment was a love letter from Him that I got to read over and over again and feel for the first time every time.

There’s an explanation for a song by one of my favorite songwriters, Sandra McCracken, where she says, “It’s God’s defiance against all that is broken and His ultimate Victory over those things, and the way that He accomplishes that is by His own steadfast, unrelenting, pursuing love, so I am staking everything on that.” His steadfast, unrelenting, pursuing love. What an image. That’s not just some far off thing that we get to watch like we watch a romantic comedy’s plot unfold on our laptops or read about in the classics, but that’s actually the way we’re loved. That same God we sing songs about is the same God that is unrelenting in His pursuit of YOU. I can’t fully grasp that, but I have a feeling that if I did, it would change everything about the way I live, as someone who is seen and known by God and fully loved and desired and sought after. I think it would make us stop seeking so much to have someone want us.

So maybe this is a season where I’m falling in love with everything around me but choosing to cling to God instead, because that’s such a nugget of wisdom I’ve needed to learn: you can fall in love with things, so long as it’s actually leading you to fall more in love with the God who created them, not just the thing itself moving higher and higher up on a pedestal.


I’ve spent a lot of time in Psalm 103 lately, and it’s one that a lot of people are familiar with, but I have found a lot of comfort from God in memorizing Scripture, which is never something I’d been hungry for until now. There’s something very special about being able to recall such rich truths about ourselves and about God in moments of panic and uncertainty and instability. I see the ultimate message being: He will always come through, above everything else. His character shows above everything. He is for us, and that’s something He also keeps reminding me of. I’ve needed to spend time in this because it helps the truths of who God is and who we are to not be overshadowed by the fears of who we are not.

The Lord is merciful and gracious,
    slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always chide,
    nor will he keep his anger forever.
10 He does not deal with us according to our sins,
    nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
    so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
13 As a father shows compassion to his children,
    so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
14 For he knows our frame;

    he remembers that we are dust.

The other beautiful thing is that this is how He calls us to love. He is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, so we ought to learn from this. He doesn’t deal with us according to our sins, so we shouldn’t deal with others in that way. He is merciful and gracious, so we ought to be the same. He has created us in His image, and He remembers that we are dust, but He asks us to love the way that He does because it is woven into the image of who we are and who He has created us to be. I can’t think of anything more honoring than to love like He does.

I think the best way to love the way He does and to pray that He would open our eyes to see like He does is to ask for humility, knowing that we can’t love like He does out of our own strength, but that we have to drink deep of His strength and His love in us.

This is a prayer I’ve posted before, but one I’ve begun to lean back into in a season of diligently learning how to love the way God loves us.

// Litany of Humility

Happy Tuesday, friends.

Craving a space to breathe [and unpack the boxes].

When May rolls around, I find myself buried in bed sheets and old journals, forcing myself to see what I’ve learned in the past year. It’s easy to close out another school year and feel like I’m in the same place, but that’s never really the case. This time, school has ended, but I’m actually back at home for about 2 weeks before heading straight into being a videographer for WinShape Girls Camp (SUPER exciting stuff!!!). That also means that this is the first time I’ve had to move all of my stuff home, which was quite scary because there was entirely too much stuff, but I also have to pack up my childhood bedroom because my parents are preparing to move. I also have to pack for camp, and it’s honestly like my bed is an island in a sea of boxes of dorm stuff and old stuff. It’s quite chaotic.

There’s a lot of stuff. A lot of memories. And honestly, I’m quite tempted to toss it all and start all over (I’m not going to do that, but some mornings I wake up and definitely want to). I’ve had to go ahead and start thinking about post grad, learning how to save a lot of money while still buying stuff for camp and summer fun things.

I also got the AWESOME opportunity to share what God has been up to in my life in the past year at Stonecreek Wake (the student ministry where I became a Christian), alongside some awesome people who have also shared time in the ministry. It looked like a lot of talking about restoration, the dreams God has put in my heart, and learning what it means to follow Him in new ways.

Life is really wild right now, but I’m a big fan of it.

I feel like God has surrounded me with people He intended to have take care of me. Thank you, Jesus, for your kindness and your attention to details in the way I receive and feel love the best. Thank you for your solidarity. Even when the ocean around me is in complete chaos, hurricane season, if you will, you have set me secure on the oil rig.” 5/28/2016

Reflecting used to be one of my most favorite things in the world, but now I’ve found it to be a very difficult thing. Finals have finished. I’ve got a few days at home under my belt, the perfect balance of creating a morning routine and doing things to still push myself. I’m learning how to get back in the habit of writing every day, cutting back on coffee, and drinking more water. Let me tell you, it’s a whole lot easier to eat healthy at home because there’s a kitchen where everything is conveniently located. It’s been a slow and beautiful past few days though. However, still difficult and painful to process because I’ve spent the last year and a half shoving difficult things to the back of my mind, half-heartedly promising to “deal with it” later.

I’ve been trying to write this post for a while now, trying to undo the knots in my head and in my heart because anything else I gave to you would be inauthentic. I said, “This will be real or it will be nothing,” and that’s the way I’ve felt about God lately. He’s either real, or He’s not. (Spoiler alert: He is, it is just taking me a while to sink deep in that).

I opened my Bible the other morning for the first time in months, or at least the first time I was really ready to confront God and learn more about Him without complaining about not knowing Him while not being in His Word. I’m not really in that place I used to be at with God, where you’re mad at someone but you can still sit down to lunch with them. I’ve grown more stagnant because I wasn’t willing to unpack a lot of baggage I’ve shoved into the back of my closet.

I have never found myself so desperate for God from such a stagnant place. I have needed God in my deepest valleys, but I’ve looked up to find the person beside me and clung to them. Every time. But I have never really been in this place, not steeped in strong emotion, not wanting to cling to anyone, and needed so desperately to cry out to God. I don’t have anyone to latch onto, but that’s a very good thing, and I don’t feel alone either. It’s a strange place to be in, and to be quite honest, I haven’t had the words for that until now.

I am very aware of my deep need for God.

I need not retreat into a quiet space or my work or academia or even into another person, but to fall headfirst and backward into the deep love and mercy of Jesus. That will be my greatest treasure and my deepest freedom: to know Christ fully, wholly, and with abandon.

I keep asking God to just show me how wonderful He is. He already is awesome and wonderful, but I want to recognize that and be inspired by the ultimate Creator. It is much more difficult to become discouraged when our hearts are knit to His and we take the time to slow down and recognize that. He is so big, mighty, and we’ve already been risen in His Victory. We are victorious over all of our fears, doubts, and anxiety because of His Victory. That is such a sweet reminder that I have needed for so long.

So, basically it felt like I was learning nothing from God for a very long time, but now it’s this steady incline of realizing He has been slowly teaching me things the entire time. You know, I don’t want to view God as cryptic because He does not withhold good things from His children, but sometimes I do see Him as someone who holds an answer over my head and laughs while I jump. That is so not true. He is in the waiting. We don’t have to decipher Him; we have to be patient and quiet and wait for Him. In His strength will we find our stillness and victory.

I’m super excited about this summer, and I am expecting that God is going to do beautiful things. I’ve pushed myself from one thing to the next so quickly and haven’t taken the time to truly slow down and be still before God, so I am sure this will be a summer of healing and restoration.

I keep coming back to the idea that one day, we will get to be fully satisfied in beholding God and being in His presence while He heals ALL that has been broken.

I love new beginnings. And I hate endings. Long goodbyes are never enough. And I will never not have an entire well of tears. I also keep coming back to this piece of Scripture: “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love,” and He calls us to be the same. So I wake up some mornings and want to scream because I miss people so much or because bitterness takes chunks of my heart and makes it ache with resentment, but I remember that my God looks at me and loves me in my disgusting bitterness and hard heart. But He is merciful. He is gracious. He is slow to anger. He is abounding in steadfast love. He is an overflowing well, and He will never cease to offer us a drink. Let’s receive it.

Here’s to learning how to receive mercy, but also start to show it again.

Get ready, there’s a lot more where this came from. Happy Fri-yayyy, and here’s to the weekend.

restore.

In the past few years, whenever I’ve gotten closer to the new year, my thoughts and prayers have focused in on, What is God going to show me in this next year? It also offers up some time for reflection and remembering what God has done in the past year. I spent a year recognizing that I am operating in God’s strength, and the word “COURAGE” became something I clung to and learned about for most of 2016 (and still something I continue to learn about on the daily). In the importance of learning how to navigate seasons of intense emotion where it would have been easier to let emotions drive the bus, I learned so much about God’s nearness and the courage He has already equipped me with knowing that He is the one who numbers my days and directs my paths. And in seasons of doubt where I question His existence, let alone His nearness, there has been Light leading my way and the courage to keep on when answers remain hidden. I continually learned that all of our questions find their YES in Him.

For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.” // 2 Corinthians 1:20 NIV

This is a piece of Scripture that has kept coming into my mind, even in my lack of opening the Bible. And that’s even more where I feel that His power is made perfect in our weaknesses. I walked away, and He persistently followed and continued to give me yeses, even when there was no need.

This brings me to the word that has been coming to my mind a lot lately. There is something so beautiful about learning how to be clothed in the strength and courage of God, but there is something much sweeter about understanding the freedom we have in Him to live out that courage and not become fearful or anxious when the courage doesn’t show up. The freedom is the good stuff, and I have spent a long time (read: a life time) not knowing how to be free of guilt, shame, anxiety, fear, and a smattering of other things. That’s why as this year comes to a close, I come back to the word “RESTORE.”

I will restore to you the years
    that the swarming locust has eaten,
the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter,
    my great army, which I sent among you.
“You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
    and praise the name of the Lord your God,
    who has dealt wondrously with you.
And my people shall never again be put to shame.
You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel,
    and that I am the Lord your God and there is none else.
And my people shall never again be put to shame.

JOEL 2:25-27 ESV

I read the Scripture and wept. This is Scripture I had probably heard once or twice out loud before, but I’d never really read it. I kept being reminded of the word “RESTORE” and I thought, God, I am not even worthy to use that word. I have never known great loss, how can this be what You have for me?

And I think the greatest loss has been not knowing Him more deeply. There has been so much baggage I continue to carry with me, whether it’s mine to carry or not. To carry my own unforgiveness toward other people, or to carry other people’s dissatisfaction, grief, anything that doesn’t belong to me, that’s all so exhausting. I’d like to say all that stuff is gone, but it’s not. When you cling to those memories and harbor those feelings, that unforgiveness is still very much there, and it weighs so heavily on the way we navigate everyday life, especially the hard days. That’s why we have to feel the hurt and let it work its way through us. I’m still working on this too the 100th degree in a bunch of different parts of my life, so please don’t read this and think I speak from the other side. I’m very much in the mess of it all right now. Forgiveness is the most difficult thing, but it’s the most worthwhile.

There are times when I really feel God softening my heart, even in these first few days of a new year. He has made His provisions in certain parts of my life so clear, so much so that I can see pictures and feel hurt instead of anger and physically feel Him restoring what is broken. That is such a gift and such a beautiful thing to be aware of.

That is such a rich piece of Scripture though. A God who SATISFIES us and deals WONDROUSLY with us and not being put the shame. Knowing that He is the Lord our God, and there is NO ONE ELSE. What a thing to cling to and try to understand. There is no one like our God.

As a photographer, you’re taught to always look for the light. That’s how you get the best photos, especially because photography is really just painting with light and finding the angles and moments that capture the stories.

That being said, freshman year I fell in love with photography, like really loved it, and over the past year I sort of lost that, but I found videography along the way. And the world needs more women videographers, I’ve been told. I’m a big fan of catching little glimpses of God’s story He’s painting around me. I love capturing moments of beauty, and it’s helped God be magnified in my life.

And then some days I wake up and want to spend all my money on nice cameras and lenses and never stop taking pictures. You can imagine that’s led me to the prayer, God, what in the world do you have for me? Why do I love things one moment and then not feel passionate about them the next? What am I supposed to be doing with my life?

And it’s almost painful how obvious the answer should be. The moment I asked that question, God whispered, rather loudly, “You are supposed to glorify Me.”

I’ve had to come to grips with the fact that this season has not been a waste. It has become a season of intense fear and wondering and doubt, but it has not been a waste. It’s such a beautiful thing that we get a new year with what feels like a blank slate. We get new mercies every morning, but a new year feels like God proclaiming, I am making all things new. See Me in all of this.

It’s those special moments where I see God magnify Himself in my life, even when my focus hasn’t solely been on Him. It’s kind of nice that God isn’t the way we so often envision Him or create Him to be based off what we think He should be based off what other people create Him to be. That would be messy. Just like that last run-on.

Life is so big and so beautiful and we will only get small glimpses of it if we don’t just stop to pay attention. And maybe that’s a lot like the ending from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, but maybe God is just like John Cusack outside our window with a boombox begging us to come out in Say Anything. Maybe if we listen hard enough, we realize He is always near. And all this even feels a bit cheesy to write, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that we have a God who is near, whether He’s whispering or shouting at us or holding up a boombox at us. He comes to restore and bind up what is broken, which is what is deep down in each of us: brokenness and an unexplainable, deeply-rooted need to be restored by our Creator.


For the first time in a long time, I fell asleep last night and woke up this morning with a deep fear for life. A fear of death and darkness and all the mess in the world. I hadn’t known that fear for a long time. I don’t know if it’s been covered or if it just shows up whenever it wishes, but today is also the first time in a long time that I recognized God’s nearness. And I don’t think that’s just a coincidence. He is making all things new, and we get to be a part of that. It’s not a distant thing where we stand by and watch Him make other people new. He is restoring us from the inside out. And what a thing to behold.

While reading through an advent book before Christmastime, I came across this Litany of Humility, and it was the most beautiful thing, so I’ll leave you with this.

litany-of-humility

I pray that God is molding your heart to be more like His in this coming years and that He will move in ways that are evident to you. God, be magnified and let me be aware of the process of You restoring what is broken, not just sitting idly by.

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P.S. If you missed it, I documented every day of my 2016 life, so check out this 365 vid.

featured photo creds to Mary Claire Photo.

I will climb this mountain with my hands wide open.

Be still and know that one day God is going to come and make all of the sad things come untrue.

I have never read Lord of the Rings, but when I hear those words (“Is everything sad going to come untrue?”) there’s something that wells up inside of me that gives me hope, even in this season of doubt. When you doubt and feel far from God, like continents away, you may be starkly aware of the brokenness in the world. The brokenness is a closer companion than God, and that hurts.

Man, it’s been almost 2 months. Hello, I’m sorry I’ve taken a long vacation from this corner of the internet (one day I’ll stop apologizing when it’s been too long, but today is not that day…sorry). Sometimes I forget that the doubt, or even just the exact place where I’m standing, is what qualifies me to be a follower of Christ. And I’m unsure of how I can continue to say that. I have not been following Him lately. I had this really awkward, feeble attempt at prayer a few mornings ago. It sort of felt like that moment in middle school when you dropped your tray and your lunch went flying, and that embarrassing, awkward moment is engrained in your mind so intensely. That was the awkwardness that was sitting down for prayer.

I came into the office early, started the coffee (that sacred moment I mentioned in the last post), and sat down on the couch, only the glow of Christmas lights illuminating the room, and I started to talk. Most of it felt like talking to air, but there were a couple moments when I felt it might matter.


“It’s either real or it’s nothing.”

Those are words that will make you question everything, but in the productive, good way, not just the downward spiral of wasted time and doubt and hurt. It makes you remember the times when you knew it was real. The moment you knew you believed in God and you knew that this was the realest thing you had ever known, and you could never believe in nothing ever again because of this very moment you stood in. And on the days I remember, I’ve felt myself asking the question: “Is this real or is this nothing?” And then I see a sunset or have a conversation that blows my mind. I think in the past week, my how are you‘s have been the most real and intentional question I’ve ever asked. I asked it and meant it and found God in the midst of it. The people who draw you nearer to Him are the people you need around.

I’ve turned a lot to poetry, and that’s a pretty new thing. I took a creative writing course this past semester, and I imagined I would have to drag myself through the poetry portion, and I’m not sure why. I love spoken word and poems. I don’t know where the distaste came from, but it went away rather quickly. I had a piece published in our school’s lit magazine, and it sort of refueled that deep need for creative outlets. And writing poetry was one thing I never imagined would draw me nearer to God. He taught me a lot about love this semester, and not my idea of love, but that love He wants us to know about. I have learned to fall in love with life again and with a bunch of different people in it, and that’s what this is about.

I’m learning how to fall
in love with people all over again.
Full hugs and day dreams
of your boots off at the end of the day,
the ones for hiking and house church
taken off by our front door or the foot
of our bed, and thank you
for getting my coffee and comedic relief.
Conversations about your habits and
routines, try showering backwards
or putting your shirt on last instead of
first, so we’re not standing in our underwear.
I’m in love with the space
you take up, the way you thumb through
pages and open books at the place
where the bookmark is tucked,
between pages I get to remember.
Warm feelings like only my feet tucked
beneath a blanket, and taste
the richness of God’s character
in the way you tuck love letters
between your promises and prayers.
The passion that drips from
every pep talk you sit me down for,
much like the golden hour floods
every part of a person’s design.
Your belly laughs and your swing
dancing over my clumsy feet.
And today I can’t wait
to grow old with someone and let them
call me honey every morning and separate
the newspaper just to share.
I’ll read the joys and the sorrows,
you’ll know I feel it all and hold my hand
on the down days and the in-betweens.
We’ll sip our tea with honey,
my coffee with no cream or sugar,
your buttoned up shirt kisses
my shoulders, my feet draped over.
Knowing that you are my best
friend and to know you is to love
you, and I can use that word
confidently because I finally know what it means.

There was a point this summer when I was the rawest emotionally I had ever been, and I also felt the closest to God I had ever felt before. There was a lot of honesty (a painful amount, actually) and I lot of peeling back layers of what was going on in my brain and in my heart. It’s the scariest and most liberating thing in the world to tell someone the feelings you actually feel and the thoughts that go through your mind, you never anticipated sharing. I think that’s why I felt so close. And in the last few months, I have managed to slowly pull the layers back on, like ginormous coats. I have made myself comfortable in hiding the dark parts of me so far below the surface. I am not undone. I am not vulnerable. I am not raw. But I have constructed it that way.

The beautiful thing about God though is that He intends to do beautiful things with us, even when we don’t want to realize it or recognize it. There are a lot of scary and messy things that have happened in the past year, or even few years. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all that crap, but it’s hard to stop and see the beauty God provides on a daily basis. It’s sort of like you have to learn how to rewire your brain.


I sat in the car for a very long time yesterday, coming home from a funeral in South Georgia, and my heart just ached. We will never know why certain things happen. And even in doubt, I can understand that we find all of our yeses in Jesus. There is certainty in the character of Jesus. I know that there is supposed to be certainty in the character of Jesus. And how in the world do you navigate a season where the Savior of the world came to rescue and deliver us when you put on clothes of doubt every day? You might be under the impression that this sentence was supposed to answer that question, but that is a serious question I don’t have an answer to.

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips, when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me. Psalm 63:1-8

I think we tend to forget that we weren’t created for pain management and we were created to lay our pain down at the feet of God, knowing that He fully intends to make something beautiful out of us, including our pain. You’re not alone in that, I like to think through my plan of action as well. Something bad happens, I’ll cry, I’ll write about it, and speak a few words out loud, maybe listen to some sad music to speed up the grieving process. And it doesn’t work that way. Whether you’re grieving the loss of an idea, a relationship, or a person, there is room for you at the feet of God. He has brought His Kingdom here in the person of Jesus, something He has invited us into, beckoning us to Him. What better season to submit and receive that invitation.


Highlights of the semester: Developing a voice in my writing (or discovering that I had done that). NEEDTOBREATHE concert. Media Law (I came to love this subject more than I would’ve ever imagined).

Things I’m working on: Two words. 365 video. A few seconds of video every single day for the entirety of 2016. Oh yeah, be on the lookout.

Things I’m loving: Reading. SO much. I haven’t read this much since this summer. I’d pick a book over Grey’s Anatomy now, and that’s a big deal.

Things I’m reading: Harry Potter. Bird by Bird. (still skimming) A Million Little Ways. All the poetry I can get my hands on. The New York Times.

Things I’m learning: See people.

Beautiful words I found:

remember,
you were a writer
before
you ever
put
pen to paper.
just because you were not writing
externally.
does not mean you were not writing
internally.” Nayyirah Waheed.

she asked ‘you are in love, what does love look like’ to which i replied ‘like everything i’ve ever lost come back to me.” Nayyirah Waheed.

“And love grew, stretched like a trampoline. 
Love changed. Love disappeared, 
Slowly, like baby teeth, losing parts of me I thought I needed. 
Love vanished like an amateur magician, and everyone could see the trapdoor but me. 
Like a flat tire, there were other places I planned on going, but my plans didn’t matter. 
Love stayed away for years, and when love finally reappeared, I barely recognized him. 
Love smelt different now, had darker eyes, a broader back, love came with freckles I didn’t recognize. 
New birthmarks, a softer voice. 
Now there were new sleeping patterns, new favorite books. 
Love had songs that reminded him of someone else, songs love didn’t like to listen to. So did I.”  Sarah Kay.

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I grew up in a very crazy, loud, hectic, exciting household, and I remember growing up my parents would tell me, “One day you’re going to miss this.” And I always said no way, I love my quiet time, I will not miss this. Especially preparing to go to college, I thought, I cannot wait for peace and quiet. It took me 2 and a half years, but last night I was sitting at our packed kitchen table, the one we have to pull extra chairs around, and my heart was swelling. It had been an emotionally-draining day, and I just sat there, so satisfied and grateful and full of joy. I really did miss this. And my brothers probably would have found it strange for me to pull each of their faces into my hands and tell them I loved them, but I think that was the only thing that could have sufficed in the way my heart was exploding in those moments.

We were created to live in these moments of joy, fully understanding the beauty around us and experiencing the joy set before us. I do know that. I felt pieces of my heart loosen up tonight when I sat in a coffee shop I went to regularly in high school and listened to the words, I lean not on my own understanding, my life is in the hands of the Maker of Heaven. I give it all to you God, trusting that You’ll make something beautiful out of me. I will climb this mountain with my hands wide open. There’s nothing I hold on to. 

I hope today you make the best cup of coffee you’ve ever made, and despite the pain and hurt and brokenness, you get to drink deep of the world. There’s a lot of pain and hurt and brokenness in the world, and you’ll drive yourself mad trying to make sense of it. Try to see people today. If you do nothing else, try to really see the people around you. It’s easy to be busy. It’s easy to make it to the end of the day. It’s the hardest thing in the world to really see people and keep your hands wide open. That’s the beauty.

Stay tuned for a 365 video and some more poetry.

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Dive deep or walk.

I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was little, basically as long as I can remember. I found it somewhere in between Young Authors Fairs and doodling fashion sketches (if you can even call them those, but little fourth-grade me would’ve have stuck up for them) and falling in love with the way the newspaper looked when my aunt and uncle would unfold them and refold them at the kitchen table on the mornings after I’d spent the night. I remember pretending I knew what was going on in the depths of those pages, unfolding them and refolding them like a little copycat. I’d sip out of my little Alaska mug, the one with the otter on it, 4/5 creamer and 1/5 (maybe) coffee.

I have to stop here and tell you I’ve been in a knock-down-drag-out-ugly wrestling match with God lately. If he’s up there listening. Do I tell people about my doubts? Am I capable of working in ministry while I’m doubting? And what do I even mean when I say doubting? And it’s not sudden. I sort of wish it were, that way it might not be as tangled and disgusting to untangle and look at, like an evidence board in a detective’s office, a ton of pins all messy and connected in some way. I kept moving so fast, staying super busy, checking off to-do lists, making new ones, and it felt really good. I was doing everything right. I was being productive and doing my papers perfectly and studying so well and making the good grades and LOVING the content I was learning about and I felt fulfilled. And then I slowed down.


It started sporadically. I would just have these moments during dinner or at lectures or sitting over a cup of coffee where I’d think, Do I believe in God? What caused it to explode now though? Nothing catastrophic happen. It was like it was sitting right under the surface.

And then it happened on Tuesday afternoon. I sat on the couch in my boss’s office and told her we felt attacked by numbers, when in reality all I needed was to break down crying and tell her I might not believe in God anymore. I’d lost my faith. And I don’t know if I believed I’d ever found it in the first place. And I didn’t know how I had gotten here.

Then, we sat in a car with John Mayer playing in the background, and I told my best friend that I didn’t know if I believed in God anymore. She asked me if I had prayed about it, and I told her I didn’t want to. I didn’t know if that was from being stubborn or from the sheer fact that there’s so much energy in talking to someone who doesn’t answer for so long. It is a hell of a lot easier to keep walking past everything in order to not overthink.

If you had to choose today, would you believe in God or not?

Today? No, because there is so much brokenness in the world that I think we just disregard to look at the good things, but why would there be a God that helps in this much destruction when he could control anything? Why would he allow for this much hurt and discouragement and not come through?

What’s stopping you?

I don’t want to wake up and realize I spent 4 years believing in something make believe, because then I would just feel like an exhausted fool. How do you pour your life into something and then decide to walk away?

Why does God allow us to stand by and watch people be self-destructive and awful? That’s the part I can’t believe: that He supposedly wants good and then there are these people who lie and treat you quite terribly when all you’ve done is try to love them. I’ll never understand that part.


Hands off the brakes, coming undone.

I can feel something making me come undone lately, and I still haven’t quite figured out. I don’t want to just not believe in God anymore. Please hear that part loud and clear.

I woke up this morning, and it felt unreal that I had even had those conversations in the past few days. It’s like my secret right now, that I may or may not believe in God. Well, now it’s not the secret because you’re reading this on the other side of your phone or computer. Right now, it seems like He’s just been this figment of my imagination for the past 4 years, and waking up to realize that is really scary.

What’s it like to pray desperate prayers and really mean them from the core of your bones and who you’ve always thought you were? That’s the golden question lately.

I don’t know if I ever had a deep faith to begin with, and I think that’s the most difficult part. I came into the church, and I just started plowing in, with such fervor, and leading because I felt called to do that. And I never figured out who God was, even in the slightest, because I hurled myself into church culture instead of into Jesus. I wanted the quiet times and the coffee dates where we talked flowery words about who God was, but I never got down in the trenches and learned who this god was that I was supposedly pouring my whole life into. I romanticized my religion, and that’s how I’ve gotten to where I am. And that sort of faith, that doesn’t hold up at all. What if this god that I was “getting to know” was just as romanticized as the last couple guys who just woke up one morning and decided, Oh wow, I actually don’t love you at all. What if God’s mind could change that quickly too? And I didn’t know Him, so what’s to say He couldn’t be that sort of God?

I’ve heard it described as the perpetual first date with God. As in, I come to my Bible, when I finally feel like it, and I have no idea who the hell I’m talking to. Is it the angry God who hates when I do wrong? Is it the God who calls me Beloved, whatever that means? Is it the husband God? Is it my Father God? Is it this Holy Spirit somewhere in the air that I still don’t fully understand? I want other people’s flavors of God, and that’s the problem. I’ve been seeking the gods constructed by the culture around me, and I haven’t dug into who or what this god is.

As you can tell, there have been doubts. Way too many to count. Walking between classes. Doubt. Cleaning my coffee mugs. Doubt. Waking up in the mornings. Doubt. Eating a meal. Doubt. Listening to a lecture. Doubt. Falling asleep at night. Doubt. Sitting in the church pews. Doubt. Working in ministry every single day. Doubt. 


And the only place I’ve found peace lately is in the research I’m plowing through. Like, if I could spend the rest of my life researching and reading books and writing books and reading The New York Times, I would feel full. And it’s hard to sit here and tell you that maybe that feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment could wear off because right now it doesn’t feel that way.

I also don’t want to disregard the fact that there are sacred moments I find myself in almost every day. Like when I get into the office at 7:30AM to make the coffee on Thursday mornings. I start my mornings slow, before the sun has fully risen, my boss’s office still mostly dark, except for a couple lamps, and no one around. There’s something special about standing in that office, in complete silence, and looking out the window to see the campus slowly lighting up. The world’s just waking up. Or when we’re driving in the car after studying for a while in the morning, the one with the friend who has held my hand before and tried to explain God to me and how she also doesn’t understand why he said he didn’t ever love me. It’s still dark outside, and we leave the coffee shop when the sun has just started to rise, it really feels like the heart of the morning, listening to “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and Hall & Oates.

Those are the sacred moments.

What I’m asking is that you’ll walk this with me. If you’re reading this, I want to figure out what’s going on because I know I’m not the only one who has ever felt this way. I don’t want to not believe in God anymore. If anything, I want to know why I’m still in this. There’s a reason I haven’t totally walked, and I want to know what that is. And I wish there was a more eloquent way to say this, but there’s not. And it’s really jumbled, but I think that’s okay because I’ve tripped over a lot of the mess of church culture and Christian talk to get to the place where I wonder when this God I’ve constructed is going to show up. Of course He’s not because the god I’ve created and romanticized isn’t the real God.

I’ve been able to sit right at the surface, dangling my feet in the water for a really long time. Not feeling the way the water hits you when you rush into it or are completely covered in it. Right now, the only options I have are to dive deep or walk. And I don’t know why, but I’m ready to dive deep.

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But I want the courage back.

It’s been exactly a month since I came back to this little space of the internet. I hope in the time I’ve been gone, you have found these words and they have created a bit of a home for you. I hope I’ve been a good steward with the gifts God has given me, namely writing. I feel like He has never been more present or made Himself more known than He has in this last month. I have never hungered or thirsted for Him as intensely as I do now. It’s incredible. It is a blessing to even be able to sit here on the other side of the screen from you and type those words. He is near, and He is good. Those are two things I have not questioned.

I have learned a hell of a lot about fear and faithfulness in the last few weeks. When we start to get quiet and listen, we get to see the places where people hide.

We create a worldview out of fear. That’s the thing His perfect love is pushing out of the room.

And over the course of the last couple weeks, I have gotten quiet before God and found out where I hide. i hide in the fear. I cover myself in newspaper articles about awful tragedies in the world and my own self-inflicted pain and self-deception and incredibly small boxes I force myself to live inside of and I just go ahead and box God up while we’re at it because I’m afraid of what I’ve done and I’m afraid to live and that fear makes the world small. I hide in earthly comforts and label it bravery. I cover it in daydream after daydream of expectations and false realities that only disappoint me. I follow the smoke that leads to the fire, and I find my burning desire to be known and understood and will not accept that that desire can only be quenched by the One who instilled it in me in the first place. I fear being completely known and overlooked. I pride myself on vulnerability and still keep the darkest parts for me, which only causes them to darken.

I have a deep-seeded fear of death and life. It reminds me of something I was told a couple weeks ago: fear makes its home and takes up the room if we give it free reign. I’m afraid of losing the people that are still around me. It’s crushing. It’s debilitating. I want to know the sweetness of the freedom we have in Jesus. I’ve caught glimpses, but I haven’t even come close to allowing myself to be fully immersed in it. I forgot about the courage. I had forgotten what it felt like to live hand-in-hand with Jesus Christ. I want control over the freedom process. I want control over the process. I haven’t allowed myself to be completely undone. Because that’s messy and painful and like peeling all of the layers of dragon scales off to get back to the boy. It’s painful. It’s fearful. It’s excruciating. But I want the courage back. I want to lose control. I want the undone part.

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I have begged and pleaded with God. Take me back to the place where my heart was only about You. And He has been faithful in doing that. I have looked into the Lord and known the Maker of my soul, the One who has knit my heart to His liking and loved me beyond my understanding. He knows my darkness. And that’s a gift. I was able to sit across coffee with someone and thank them for loving the darkest parts of me. I walked around campus for 3 hours one night and pleaded with God and asked Him to heal my brokenness and my heart, and I was reminded of how desperate I am for Him. That is a blessing. That is God.

I have a desire for God that I have never known before.

I have been inspired beyond words in the last couple weeks. There have been articles and songs and books that have blown my mind, so I’m going to share them with you.

First, here are some songs that set my heart on fire and make me want to scream the lyrics at the top of my lungs with the car going 80 mph with the windows down, and hopefully they’ll make you feel those feels too.

When I first came into college, I wanted to go into ministry. Hands down. Without a doubt. I wanted to be a trailblazer in women’s ministry. But over the past two years, I have gotten to know God in deeper ways and see the way He has knit my heart together. For my first year of college, I wrestled with this idea of women in leadership positions within the church and  running ministries and quickly realized this was something I wanted. Then I transitioned into wanting to work in public relations or marketing in the “business world,” thinking these were the “big girl jobs” (and thinking ministry was not, pushing it to the back burner).

I recently read a post by Sarah Bessey about embracing your calling. She would start all of her talks by saying, “Fair warning: I’m not a preacher; I’m a writer,” until one day, someone said, “You’ve got to stop saying that. The gift of God is clear. We all see that.” And I think we all have those tendencies to belittle our calling for fear of being too much. In relation to that, there’s a book that has sort of exploded in the Christian Women Book realm (if that’s a thing) that a few of the girls in our office have been reading called Wild and Free. Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan talk about these fears we have and how they prohibit us from living fully free and fully wild in what God is calling us into. If I could type the entire book on here or let every piece of fiery Truth go into your mind just from clicking on this post, I would do it. This book is incredible. In talking about the fear of being too much and not enough, one of the women says, “This is no fairy tale where you’re relegated to wait inside an ivory tower until the men let you out or Jesus comes back. If you find yourself bruised and battered because you’ve been fighting for your place, or if you need some revival because you’ve been sitting sweetly for too long on folded hands–the time is now.

That is the sort of statement of Truth that will rekindle the fire in your heart for whatever God has designed you to be passionate about. I have been super aware of the passions that God has instilled in me because whenever I leave a brainstorming session or a conversation about ministry or hearing someone’s story about coming to Christ, I feel on fire. I feel like I am exactly where I am supposed to be and I know exactly what God has knit my heart together for. And I hope you have those moments too, where you stuck standing still because you are just awestruck and know in those moments that this is exactly the thing that God is calling you to be a part of. This is part of what being a Kingdom-bringer looks like. This is where we find the movers and the shakers. This is where our faith steps in and we learn that we are all designed for specific things in God’s Kingdom. This is living.

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I get really caught up in trying to qualify how I feel, as if that will somehow justify my actions or the emotions I feel, but God calls us into a relationship with Him despite how we feel. Like how I don’t just love my best friend because of the way I feel toward her, but that love is actually a choice I have to make every single day to care for myself and the people around me. If we only loved people when we felt like it, our relationships would be even messier than they already are. And this is what being loved by God looks like. We are chosen and invited and offered a seat at the table with the Most High God. Let that sink in. Your brokenness is exactly what qualifies you for a relationship with God. This intimacy we are offered is a gift, and that is a gift worth receiving and cherishing. And He is inviting you now. You don’t have to fight for your place at the table or sit nicely at it. You come as you are, take a seat, and let the Holy Spirit work in your life and use you in ways you never thought were possible.

I’ve also never been one to deeply study the Bible. I feel weird even writing that out, but I guess that’s the only way to word it. I had never felt a hunger or thirst for God’s Word in my everyday life, let alone in my desperate times. I never would have been someone to pick up a few hundred pages of commentary on a book of the Bible, but here we are, and I’m halfway through Part One of N.T. Wright’s commentary on Acts. AND It. Is. Incredible. I’ve never read through Acts or really ever pulled Scripture from it that I refer back to in my daily life, but it is literally a depiction of how the church was formed and what it ought to look like. I find myself looking forward to reading this history and being completely enamored with the person of Jesus and how we are called to be the church. I mean, I’m only through the first few chapters, and this stuff will blow your mind. This has given me time to sit and meditate on the bigness of God and what it really means when He calls us to live in community. When the writer lays out the “landmarks” of the church at the end of chapter 2, which were: sharing in the apostles’ teachings, fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayer, we get this beautiful image of the church. These 4 things, aside from embodying the person of Jesus, this is how we are called to live in community. This is where we get to see this agápē love come into play, when things stop being “mine” and they start being “ours” and we remember the importance of our brothers and sisters in Christ. This goes back to learning that love isn’t a word you just say out of habit or even feel, but this agápē love was created to depict this image of family where we care practically for one another and we work to make that more and more of a reality, not that we have warm feelings that need to get warmer. We were created to live in this community, and when we forget what that is supposed to look like, we risk becoming isolated and see the difficulty of sustaining a living faith (to take a few words from N.T. Wright) without the fellowship of believers.

A couple weekends ago at House Church, all cozied up on the couch with my 2nd cup of iced coffee, I learned about costly mercy. This phrase never crossed my mind. As Christians in western culture, we have been raised up to learn about Christianity and trying to love like Christ loved, but we do it at our own convenience (most of the time, I’m not saying this is true for every person reading this, but it’s true for me and if you’re feeling a little pang of conviction right now, it’s probably true for you too). We don’t go out of our way to extend kindness and mercy in ways that may seem uncomfortable to us because, though subconsciously, we love our comfort. I would say I put a lot of value in comfort, no matter how much I would try to deny this. To a certain degree, I highly value my comfort and security. But Jesus doesn’t affirm me every second of every day that I’m secure in that, that earthly comfort. I have to draw near to Him. He won’t reassure me that I will have a cushioned life. That is not what He calls us into. He calls us to love like Him, which is wild and freeing and way beyond our comfort zone. And THAT very place, the place where I form an intimate relationship with the One who has freed my soul, the place where I learn how to love wildly, and the place where I find that my security is in the freedom Christ has already given me, that’s where my comfort is.

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I’ve never felt such a strong need to cling to my Creator. It’s not a beautiful word, but it’s a sturdy word. Cling, in every meaning of the word. To hold on tightly to. To adhere or stick firmly or closely to. To be hard to part or remove from. To remain very close to. To be overly dependent on someone emotionally. To remain persistently or stubbornly faithful to something. This is what we were created for. Holy Spirit, come and have Your way. Knit my heart to Yours. Make me more like You.

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