Unforgettable

It was the 21st of October and he took my hand and brought me home.

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Turn Your Eyes

His Word shall not fail you He promised
Believe Him and all will be well
Then go to a world that is dying
His perfect salvation to tell.

On a dark day like today, when acts are senseless and there are no words, I just pray. I pray for His healing. I pray for broken hearts and a broken world that I am a part of.

What if all of our neighbors knew that His Word will not fail us? What if our neighbors knew that they are adored, worthy, and chosen? 

Our broken world is repaired not by a single piece of legislation, or a new leader, it is repaired by changed hearts.

Today is a reminder to say “I love you” more and to live joyfully in my temporary home. Today is a reminder that I have a responsibility to spread His Truth while my Father has me on this Earth. I am alive, we are alive, to tell our neighbors this Truth. Today, is a reminder that I live in a dark world, but My Savior overcomes darkness, every time.

I am.

I read the Word a whole lot, am deep in bible studies, and I talk to my best friends and family about faith regularly, but when Fear was sucking out all of my happy, my sweet boyfriend said words I will never forget.

You have everything going for you that matters.

For weeks, maybe months, I let Fear take away my light. I knew it was happening. This was not my first time on this ride. It’s called perfectionism and it’s the disease I’ve been suffering from my whole life.

I relapsed. I wasn’t grateful. I wasn’t laughing. I broke down in tears at every error and accident.

Fear is a liar. It tells me constantly that I will be unfulfilled in my career. It tells me I’m not where God has called me to be. It tells me that I am unprepared for my future. It tells me I am a bad daughter. It tells me to be more ambitious. It tells me that I am in control.

Fear is the opposite of faith. Perfectionism is the opposite of grace. 

My boyfriend does not write blogs like me or talks as much as me, but he is a man of great faith. I can always count on him to quiet my fits of anxiety and remind me of a God who loves me. He prays over me and reminds me that I have everything that matters.

Jesus is at the center of our lives. In his quiet way, Ben is a constant reminder of this truth: I am His. Together, we are His. 

 

John Mayer’s songs are not about me.

I’m back in a John Mayer kick lately. No, no, I’m not heartbroken, but I am in pain.

After a few weeks of feeling this way I think I’m coming to terms with this “growing” pain. See, my life is changing and there is nothing I can do about it. God has been preparing me for this season, I’ve felt His hand. I am transitioning from an old life to a new one… to a better one. In my personal life, spiritual life, career, etc, I have a sense that a transition is near.

At first I was scared and resistant, “I don’t want to change. I want to stay in this place. I have a plan. My life is good.” I didn’t want to pray, I just wanted to listen to “Why Georgia” on repeat and ignore the uncertainty around me.

So what, so I’ve got a smile on
But it’s hiding the quiet superstitions in my head
Don’t believe me
Don’t believe me
When I say I’ve got it down

After maybe the third day of the song being played on repeat, it occurred to me that this song wasn’t about me, it was about God.

This song is not about me and my would-be “quarter life crisis.” How pretentious of me to have thought it was. I don’t have it down. That is so hard to type. It is so hard and painful to fall to my knees and say that I don’t have it down. After all, I thought I did for a while now…

But in the pleading cry of John Mayer’s chords I heard something I didn’t hear before: I heard a God that does have it down. 

Four years ago, before I moved to Nashville, I felt this pain and said a prayer, “If it be your will, let it be done.” God provided a one-way ticket for me. He grew me that day.

Two years later, I cried at a church and again asked for God’s will to be done. It was. He grew me that day.

Today, I’m again praying for God’s will to be done. I am praying not to hide behind song lyrics, but to talk to my God who knows my heart better than I do. It’s painful and uncomfortable for my Type-A personality, but it is always worth it.

And in case John Mayer ever reads this, I pray that through this blog post and in all of my encounters, I glorify our Lord and not myself. Finally I’d like to thank God for whatever he is doing to my heart that brought about my previous sentence.

 

 

26.5

I’m turning 26.5 on Friday. Yes, I celebrate my half-birthdays (why not)!? And God has been speaking to me in so many beautiful ways recently.

Last Sunday at church, I opened up my bible exactly to 2 Chronicles 7, the exact reading for the sermon. The reading was about Solomon’s dedication of the temple.

 When all the Israelites saw the fire coming down and the glory of the Lord above the temple, they knelt on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave thanks to the Lord, saying,

“He is good;
    his love endures forever.”

As I giggled at my bible-page-turning skills I also thought to myself, “Thank you for this miracle.” 

Yesterday, I had coffee with a man who gave up a lucrative career in real estate to follow the Lord’s calling to help alleviate poverty and social injustices. He TOTALLY changed his career. What faithfulness! I sat at the coffee shop and I felt Jesus’ presence in that encounter. I thought to myself, “Thank you God, I’m thankful for this.” 

I went on a walk with my boyfriend earlier this week to the park in a neighborhood called 12 South. This was at the same neighborhood where I had my first dinner in Nashville, the place where I had my heart broken, the place where I met the love of my life… Again as we walked back home from the park I thought to myself, “God, thank you for the road that led me here.” 

I feel it in my heart. Honestly, I feel it in my throat. I feel it in the way I listen to my friends. I feel it everywhere — I feel God opening my eyes. The practice of thankfulness is opening my eyes. See, His arms have always been open wide. He longed for me all those years that “I didn’t have time for Him.” He has never left my side, I just didn’t see.

I want to shout this! I want to tell everyone that I have found this treasure and that thankfulness is changing my life. I want to tell others (aside from my best friends who read this blog) that after years and years of Catholic school and ministry, and years of knocks and darkness, that I am learning how to truly see. All of those years, filled with victories and sorrows, have led me here, to the end of myself.

At 26.5 I am celebrating the ways in which love is transforming me. It is with hope and joy that I come humbly to my Father’s altar.

 

 

Thankful.

I am so incredibly thankful lately. It’s my favorite mood. Thankful thoughts are my favorite thoughts that I toss in my head as I talk to God on my way to work. It’s the greatest joy, I’ve noticed, to feed myself with thankfulness.

I count his graces and they seem to be endless. Here are some of his graces that I listed today:

  1. Mommy’s emoji’s (always in 3’s).
  2. The “Empire Nissan” bag my daddy gave me that I used yesterday to store hot dogs and buns.
  3. I’m thankful that my job is hard and makes me face hard questions every day.
  4. I’m thankful for His Word and the desire He puts in my heart to discover Him more and more.
  5. I am thankful for the way my boyfriend is patient, forgiving and compassionate. He sees the best in me and others. I see Christ in him and I’m so thankful…

I’m so thankful, but I fall. My conversations with God look a lot different than the thoughts that surface in my brain. You know… the petty, ungrateful, ugly thoughts that creep up. I go from a spirit of thankfulness to ingratitude within minutes. I fall all of the time.

Me to God: “Father, I am so thankful for my health and body that lets me jam out in spin class.” “I’m so thankful for the time I spent with my family. “Lord, I’m so thankful for the people I’ve met that are drawing me closer to You.” 

Me to myself: “I could really use a new pair of stilettos.” “I want to buy a house now.” “Why can’t he solve this for me?” “Ugh, I need a vacation.”

How do I mix the joy of thankfulness with this feeling of disappointment I have in myself when I am ungrateful?

By His grace alone. 

His grace allows me to see that I fall in the first place. His grace forgives me and allows me to forgive myself. His grace makes me try again, and then try another time.

I know who I am and where I’ve been. Before I masked my ambition and greed in a bow and called it “the grind.” But the “grind” was empty because it left me with a heart always wanting more and more… things.

“With the tongue we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in God’s likeness” (James 3:9)

I masked my outbursts in a bow and called it “stress” and said mean things to my mom and sisters because I felt I couldn’t control anything. I just wanted someone to hear me.

I know who I am and where I’ve been. And I know that God is changing my heart. I won’t stop trying to fill my cup with thankfulness.

His grace pours over the fires I start with my ingratitude. I am so thankful.