i’ve moved!

25 Oct

please come join me at my new site…




still your [love] goes on.

18 Oct
The Lord has blessed me in my current season with a really awesome women’s Bible study. I got plugged into the Bible study through my aerobics instructor at the gym. I guess sometimes gym crushes pay off.The theme of this Bible study is “body image issues” so when I first heard about it, I didn’t really feel that strongly that I should go. I was blessed to be spared really any body image issues growing up. I kind of felt like a study about this topic wasn’t really “my thing.” But I kept getting a tickle in the back of my heart that told me I should go. So I asked my aerobics instructor if there was still a spot, and a week later I was at her house with a journal, a pen, and a whole lot of butterflies.It turns out that “body image issues” is kind of everyone’s “thing” at some point, even mine. My flesh still clings to wickedness in so many areas, and what I’ve always thought were funny self-deprecating remarks are actually the proof of a girl who doesn’t believe – and sometimes doesn’t act as if – she was created beautiful, worthy, or enough.

My story is not unlike many other Jesus-loving women’s stories; I found my self worth in something other than God: men. Sure, I knew God loved me. Sure, I loved Him back. But I couldn’t hold God’s hand or feel God’s touch. So I abandoned Him for a season in my life. I didn’t live like I was wed first and foremost to a loving God who made me beautiful. I lived like a frivolous woman who had not committed herself to anyone. I lived like a prostitute.

And then he set me free from the chains of that life.

Last night in our Bible study, we read Ezekiel 16. Ezekiel was a prophet who had been given a word from the Lord to be given to Jerusalem. In this allegory, Ezekiel depicts Jerusalem as God’s chosen wife, to whom He has given love, beauty, adoration, and protection.

“…’so you were adorned with gold and silver; your clothes were of fine linen and costly fabric and embroidered cloth. You became very beautiful and rose to be a queen. And your fame spread among the nations on account of your beauty, because the splendor I had given you made your beauty perfect.’”
[vs. 13 – 14]

In return, Jerusalem betrayed God, her husband. And Ezekiel describes Jerusalem as an adulterous wife who is acting like a prostitute.

It felt like a letter directly from God. Sometimes God whispers to me, sometimes he gently nudges. Last night he screamed.

“…’but you trusted in your beauty and your fame to become a prostitute. You lavished your favors on anyone who passed by, and your beauty became his. You took the fine jewelry I gave you, the jewelry made of my gold and silver, and you made for yourself male idols and engaged in prostitution with them. And you took your embroidered clothes to put on them, and you offered my oil and incense before them. Also the food I provided for you – the fine flour, olive oil and honey I gave you to eat – you offered as fragrant incense before them. That is what happened,’ declared the Lord.”
[vs 15 – 19]

When I trusted in my beauty, I felt empty. When I gave my love, my heart, my body away to anyone who passed by, I acted like a prostitute.

I took God’s best and threw it at the feet of men who never appreciated me anyways. Men who probably don’t waste any thoughts on me at all.

It emptied me.

My soul was created to love and serve my God first and foremost. When I don’t live like that, I break his heart.

When I put anything in front of God, I treat him like second best; like he isn’t my first commitment, my first love.

I have been blessed with a second chance – the type of second chance that never runs out. I have been blessed out of the overflow of God’s love for me, a woman who trusted in anything except her Creator.  A woman who put beauty, acceptance, and fame before the fullness of God’s adoration for my heart.

A woman who lived like a prostitute.

He scooped me up and put me back in my rightful place: on my knees before him. The view from here is incredible.
I used to feel so empty. I feel so full now.

a twitter inspired opinion on [dating].

15 Oct

originally published on the well written women.


I get a lot of emails from women who ask me my personal stance on dating relationships; when they are appropriate, how to decide if you’re ready, when to know it’s time to leave one. These women are all across the board on the subject: some have dated for years, some have never dated anyone. Some are very picky about who they date, some only require that the men posses the Y chromosome and a set of car keys. Some think it’s boring, and some treat Date Numero Uno as grounds for the marriage talk. #desperate


I started dating – if you can even call it that – at 15. It was more like holding hands and publicly admitting that we liked each other. I think dating should require dates, and we didn’t have very many of those. #burn


So we dated for a few years, blah blah blah, he broke my heart, angst angst angst, it took me awhile to get over it, blah blah blah. Then I dated some more, and some were fun and some were kind of jerks. Then I stopped dating for a long time. And currently I have a super great boyfriend. So I now I have an opinion on dating.


So here is my completely biased, 100% unscientific, based-on-a-true-story opinion about dating:


Dating should be taught. My parents never really had a dating policy for me. Or if they did, I conveniently do not remember it. When I was 15 I liked a boy who was not allowed to have a girlfriend until he was 16 and I was crushed. There were also girls in my friend group who could not date boys until they turned 18.


I did not have these rules. I was grateful for the freedom, because I was incredibly charming and good looking when I was a teenager, and it would have been exhausting beating off all of those boys with a stick. #waitnothatsnottrue


I don’t know if it should necessarily be rules like that, because I think that’s a little much. But I do think there should be an important conversation that happens at some point. It should be honest, open, and have some time for Q & A. It should be a parent’s clear explanation of what it takes to be a boyfriend or a girlfriend. It should include information on what this type of commitment can do to one’s heart. It should absolutely not include any anecdotal stories with Mom and Dad as the examples. No child needs those visuals.


Dating, at any age, awakens emotions that are not yet known. This is true no matter if you are 15 or 34. All of the sudden you are calling someone for hourly check-ins, using words like “babe” or “sweet thang”, and simultaneously baking cookies, watching The Notebook and listening to love songs. #oristhisjustme?


It comes out of nowhere, but at some point between “who’s that guy?” and “happy one month-a-versary!” you enter into an uncharted land called Emotion. And it is a jungle. Your heart gets racy, your palms get sweaty, and your mind gets cluttered with daydreams. It’s hard to sleep, drink, or sit without thinking about love. You have Skype sessions from 45 minutes away (#guilty) and text each other while in the same room (#invtentedthistrick). You kind of turn into a basketcase.


Most importantly, and more seriously, you begin to tap into a part of your brain that experiences pleasure. There really aren’t enough words in English to describe human love. It is so pleasurable that it actually hurts. And truthfully, the good parts of love come with many consequences. Being in a committed relationship really evokes the desire to put someone else before everything else in your life, and this can be dangerous if it happens too early in life. Anyone entering into a loving relationship should be prepared.


(Let the record show that I realize no one can be fully prepared to handle being in a relationship. I also realize that not everyone handles relationships as dramatically as The Basketcase Formerly Known As Rachel.)


Being too hurt, too damaged, too scarred, too afraid, too ___________, to date is a horrible way to live. I think we can all agree that fear shouldn’t be the cruise director for anyone’s life. To operate on fear alone is about as smart as building a house on top of a termite colony; it’s only a matter of time before it completely falls down.


Don’t get me wrong; I support the idea of needing someone to prove themself worthy of being let into your heart. There’s something to be said about finding a man to prove that the other ones were crazy to say goodbye to you. But this is taken a little too far a little too often. We’ve all seen Twilight; there is no need to be closed off just for the sake of being dramatically difficult. There’s also no need to make So. Many. Freaking. Vampire. Movies.  #whydoeshekeeptakinghisshirtoff


It is important to have standards. When I was 12, the leader of my girl’s group asked us all to make a “shopping list” for our future boyfriends. She told us to never date anyone if they did not possess all of these qualities. I wrote things down like “blue eyes” and “a love for Mexican food.”


I think this exercise is crap.


Of course you are going to be attracted to someone with similar interests as you, but a common love for chicken enchiladas does not a relationship make. Relationships take hard work and compromise based on common values and  goals.


Maybe he will hate chicken enchiladas. But he will learn the beautiful art of sacrifice so that he can please his lady.


Maybe she will never understand the ins and outs of baseball, but she will still watch every game because she knows he loves to teach her. #isithalftimeyet?



No one gets to determine your expectations from a relationship except you. I don’t know how so many millions of people have sold books or TV shows all about love and relationships, when they all say the same thing: “Talk it out, learn from it, put the toilet seat down, and don’t let anyone else tell you what you need out of your relationship.” Only you can prevent forest fires, and only you can know what it is you need out of a significant other. Don’t let Dr. Phil or Us Weekly tell you who to date or what to expect from a spouse. Discover these things on your own. Learn what you need and be confident of that.



Don’t date just to date. If you meet someone and they intrigue you, go out with them. Explore the possibility. I think it’s worth it to at least try. But don’t live your life desperate for a significant other because you are already “significant” without an “other.” If you make a shopping list and set out to force love into your life, chances are you will end up elbow deep in a bag of Doritos while you rewind the “You complete me” scene from Jerry Maguire. #ithappensmorethanyouknow


Let love find you. I promise it’s better that way.


If you liked my original Twitter hashtags or my dating rambles and want more of that, please follow me!



why i [write.] | guest post @writesnrights

5 Oct
I sat down to write today in my favorite coffee shop, like I usually do. I was rushed, like I usually am.  I plugged in my headphones, found my favorite writing music, and opened up a blank page. Next to me sat two women, in their mid-thirties. This is not an uncommon sight to see, especially at a coffee shop. We women love our coffee dates with our heart friends.
Because I’m a curious person [and an avid people-watcher], I positioned my computer so that the pair was in my direct line of vision. Their mannerisms were fascinating; their laughter was like a magnet. I knew these women had a special connection, though I couldn’t figure it out.
Then one of the women opened a journal. It was a simple blue spiral bound notebook, probably found on a sale at a grocery store. She began to read.
As soon as I heard the word “addiction”, I turned off my music.

Click here to read the rest…

a job called [hope.]

4 Oct

Now that I’m a bachelors-degree-owning, student-loan-paying 20-something, conversations are different. During the four years of college, conversations almost always had questions like:

“What’s your major?”

“What do you want to do with that?”

“What year are you?”

These were my “definitions”; the things I was known by. I was a Junior International Studies major who planned on saving the world, or something. Then I put on a funny hat, walked across a stage, and gained the rights to a whole different type of conversation:

“What do you do?”

It makes me feel so cool, so Hollywood. I now look like I belong somewhere in the world, like I do something substantial with my life. And while I feel like I am, indeed, doing something substantial with my life, I always hesitate to answer this question to anyone who isn’t familiar with the Higher Education world. When people ask what I do, I always feel awkward.

“I’m a hall director.”

“Oh and what does that mean?”

I sometimes wish I could say:

“I’m too busy for my own good, I spend hour after hour planning and working for the betterment of 750 snotty-nosed, ungrateful, naïve 18 year olds, who vandalize ping pong tables, disrespect my staff members, and smoke pot in their dorm rooms. I plan programs that cost a lot of money so that the students will have something fun to go to in order to gain friends and feel connected in this big world of a school. I attend back-to-back meetings that enlarge both my to-do list and the ulcer in my stomach. I then answer phone calls of angry parents who don’t understand why I don’t treat their son or daughter as the most important child in my dorm of 750.”

Since I can’t say that, I usually say:

“I oversee all of the resident assistants, manage the resident programs, direct the maintenance of the building, and oversee all of the administrative duties of discipline and student conduct for a dorm.”

Once I get a confused look, I usually go with:

“I’m kind of like a dorm mom. With attitude.

I’m not sure I like the sound of that, but it’s the best I can come up with. People don’t usually ask much more after I say it. They think they have me figured out.

You see, the building I work (and live!) in is home to 750 college freshmen. But they are not ordinary college freshmen; they are all a part of our lower socio-economic standing group of students. They have qualified for a certain level of financial aid that gets them an almost-free-ride to a four-year leading university. Their background gets them a chance at something that 80% of their parents didn’t get: a college degree.

They are poor kids. Not by choice; none of them picked their circumstance. They overcame a huge financial hardship to get here. But that’s not how I know them.

They are smart kids; the GPA requirement all throughout college ensures that. But that is not how I know them either.

They are rowdy kids; always pushing the limits and yelling loudly. But that’s not how I know them either.

The students in my building are some of the most resilient human beings alive. They are the creative adults, the children who survived unbelievable situations. It’s bone-chilling to hear their stories.

I have sat across the table from Michelle, who was sexually molested by her own father for the first 17 years of her life. When she finally found the courage to tell someone, her parents filed for a divorce. Her mother blames her for this divorce, and has told Michelle several times that the sexual activity was the result of Michele’s own seductive behavior. Michelle has scars up and down her arms of the times she placed blade to skin, in order to relieve the stress and release the pain.

I have held Aprilynn’s hand as she told me that her parents have been out of the picture since she was 4; her dad is in jail for drugs, and her mom wants nothing to do with her. Her adoptive parents have now turned on her, disowned her, and have taken everything material she has ever known. She is completely cut off from all the family she has known. She told me that she doesn’t cry, because no one else is crying for her. That night I sobbed into my pillow for this sweet girl.

I have had the unfortunate conversation with Courtnee, in which I informed her that since she had drugs in her room, she was being kicked out of housing. Since she was being kicked out of housing, she was also being kicked out of the financial aid program, which would in turn cause her to leave school, since she was unable to pay for it in the first place. Within the first month of college, she blew her chance at a degree. When she asked me what she was supposed to do about her 2-year-old son back home, I almost wept.

Every day, I hear a new story of unbelievable pain.

And every day, I bleed a little more for the students that surround me.

They inspire me to live my story, to tell my story, and to invest in my story.

They drive me to see the world in a new way; in a way that reminds me I am alive.

They make me better, every single day.

So yes, I sit through meetings, and I plunge toilets, and I buy chips and salsa for events. I talk to parents who hate me, sit with students who don’t see me as an authority figure, and spend far too many hours clocked in each week

But every day I listen to the stories of hurting people.

And I get to tell them about hope.

I’m not a hall director. I’m a hope director; I am just one person who strives to direct people to the place of hope.

And I kind of like the sound of that.

what’s a girl [worth]?

22 Sep

Thanks to @tamaraoutloud for the incredible post, and for the chance for all of us to reflect together. visit her blog to read the powerful stories of women (and men!) who have learned the worth of a girl.

may our stories echo into each other’s hearts in ways that glorify the only One worthy of our every moment.


There’s a story about a man who goes to a church service where the pastor is trying to give a visual demonstration of what sexual immorality can do to a person. This pastor has a freshly picked rose on the stage with him and shows the congregation how beautiful and spotless and valuable the rose is, untainted by anything.

He then passes the rose around to everyone, that they might feel it and hold it and touch it. Once the rose has made its way through the fingers and hands of several people, it returns to the pastor’s hands and he holds up the now wilted, bruised, tarnished rose and he screams, “Who would want this rose now? Who would ever want this worthless rose?”


Unfortunately I believed the popular lie that my complete identity was wrapped up inside the choices I made. I believed that my worth was determined by my past; and I lived in a way that reflected regret and remorse.

I felt like I didn’t deserve good. I felt worthless. The price tag for my soul was a shredded up piece of cloth; I was used up, second hand, and something to be tossed aside. What I had willingly done with my heart left me as dry as a breath of wind.

Thankfully, Grace has different prices of worth.

Thankfully, God measures me differently than I do. And His measuring system no longer sees what I have done.

Thankfully, Christ – Someone of ultimate worth and value –  came to pay my debt, before I even made the mistake of walking in disobedience.

My value is not decided by my messy history.

My worth is not contingent upon how many times I have said sorry.

My cost is not compromised based on the amount of blood I spill at the foot of my own cross.

The fact that God sees me as faultless, blameless, and pure in light of Jesus is what determines my worth.


The man in the story feels heat behind his face as the pastor poses these questions. The man is so enraged at the pastor’s obvious blindness that he stands and yells to the pastor at the top of his lungs, “Jesus does! Jesus wants the rose! That’s the point of the Gospel!


God has priced me with a worth unimaginable.

God has picked me to be set a part, holy, and consecrated to His own heart.

God has chosen me, a worn out rose, as His beloved bride.

A girl is worth the chance to believe that, and to live like she is desperate for it.

lies the tv show [friends] told me.

22 Sep

This week’s post on Well Written Woman. Check them out!


1)   When You Graduate College, You Will Still Live Near All Your Friends Forever. Um, nope. This was the biggest lie of all. I’m not usually a pompous person, but please let the record show I had a lot of friends in college. Like, a lot. And then I graduated and POOF! There went all of my friends. All of the sudden I am living in an apartment without roommates, and I don’t have a whole army of people to run errands with, or spend money on drinks with. It’s creepy to live alone because I get scared by the weird sounds that a dishwasher makes and I have full conversations with myself that have beginnings, middles, ends, and a time for Q & A.

2)   Recycle Your Friend’s Exes. I am pretty sure everyone dated just about everyone else on the show. And no matter how messy the break up or fall out, all six characters were back on that couch in Central Perk at the beginning of the next episode. This does not happen in real life. Whether you follow the Bro Code or the Chicks Before You-Know-Whats, you know that it is against the laws of friendship to date a friend’s ex-significant-other. It almost always ends with a slap on someone’s face. Break ups are awkward and weird and a close friend seeking out your ex romantically only compounds that awkward weirdness. There are 300 million people in America; can we all just agree to leave our friend’s exes alone?

3)   When You Don’t Have A Roommate, Live With Your Ex. So Rachel had a baby during season eight. After much debate, it surfaces that the baby is Ross’. A few more episodes and a confusing wedding proposal from Joey later, Rachel and Ross end up living together. As roommates. Who aren’t romantically involved. But have a baby. And this is normal. What? It’s hard enough to survive a break up with someone who lives in the same universe as you. Everything reminds you of this person and you awkwardly bring that up in conversation, like, “How pretty is the sky right now? ::sigh:: My ex loved the sky.” And everyone gives you pity laughs while shooting each other looks that say, oh em gee, is she okay? And you are sure you could fill the void in your heart with cement and still feel completely empty. But not Ross and Rachel. They can live in the same 650 square feet every day and simply ignore the aches and pains and awkward feelings. How grown up of them, we think. How mature of them, we say. And then we don’t handle things that well, and think there is something wrong with us.

4)   “The Rachel” Haircut Will Make You Look Like Jennifer Anniston. We all saw how quickly Jennifer Anniston blew up. She is kind of the hottest thing that has ever happened to entertainment. She might be unable to age; only time will tell. But even if her looks do fade, we will all remember the early 90s when she was an icon of beauty, style, and sex appeal. Women wanted to be her so badly, they tried to copy everything about her, even her haircut. It was so hot, it was named after the fictional character she played on TV. That is trend at it’s finest. And it is a perfect example of why we try and copy celebrities; it’s why they share their skin care secrets and their diet tricks. We want to look exactly like them. Clearly I never experienced this personally, because I was much too confident in my own good looks and charm. But I heard of girls who, say, would tear out pages from magazines of Jennifer Anniston’s “Rachel” bob haircut, and would take them into their hairstylist and say “MAKE ME LOOK LIKE THIS.” And sometimes I heard that maybe that evening would end in tears, ice cream, and marathon episodes of season five, asking out loud, “Why didn’t mine come out like that? How does she do it? What does it all mean?” Like I said, no firsthand experience here. But I heard that once, from someone, somewhere. Poor thing.

5)   You Can Trust Men Who Use Pick-Up Lines. Joey’s classic “HOW YOU DOIN’?” became a household phrase pretty early on. And while the root of it all was that he was simply trying to add another notch to his bedpost, it was just so endearing to hear him say it. And Joey himself was incredibly endearing. So who wouldn’t want to end up with someone like Joey, who uses silly pick-up lines as a way to start a conversation with a lady? All of a sudden there were hundreds of Joeys, using this tactic. And all of the women were wearing Joey-goggles, blinded by the hope that the man behind the pick up line was a sweet-natured, fun-loving guy. But we all find out sooner or later; men who use pick-up lines are not to be trusted, not even ones as simple minded as Joey.

locked [rooms.]

18 Sep
“be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart, and try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. and the point is, to live everything. live the questions now. perhaps you will find them gradually, without noticing it, and live along some distant day into the answer.” -rainer maria rilke

patient, kind, [not easy.]

17 Sep

If you asked me a few years ago what I thought my brother’s heroin addiction would teach me, I never would have answered, “love.”

You could probably say that he was always the problem child. In fact I bet my parents would say that. My mom says he was the only one of three kids who did not sleep through the night as a baby. I can remember fits of rage early on; by the time he reached middle school he could easily be described as angry. He would stomp and groan and sometimes hold his breath until he passed out, just to spite my parents for their chosen punishment.

And he would flip so quickly that sometimes I would do a double take. One minute he would be laughing or telling a joke, and then all of a sudden he was angry, yelling, cursing at anyone in the room. His vivacious personality was a curse like that; when he was good, we were all good. When he wasn’t, well, the world didn’t feel right.

I think it started out as bipolar disease. How weird is it when someone you know and love becomes symptoms on a page? Like the situation is as simple as the black ink on the white paper. His mood swings were volatile. Even before he reached high school we all knew it was going to be very hard taming his fire.

I was too involved in my high school drama to spend any spare time investing in being his older sister. We fought a lot and he knew how to pierce my soul in the tender spots; the fat jokes or the threats to tell my parents about my boyfriend were enough to make me vomit bricks of resentment.

And oh, how quickly that wall builds.

I didn’t spend a whole lot of time with him, and I didn’t really ever ask how he was doing. There is no way to say for certain what could have been prevented by my efforts, but the question remains – what more could I have done as a big sister? That thought alone is enough to tear walls inside of my heart.

I remember he stole some items from a nearby pharmacy. They didn’t press charges, but they trespassed him from their property. That was the first interaction we had with the police. Soon they came to know my parents by name because of how frequently they visited our light blue house on the corner.

He became depressed a some point in that cloud of time. He would just cry because of his fears or worries or anxiety. He saw therapists, swallowed pills, and progressively got worse. I think it was the slow progression of his downfall that eroded my family’s spirit. And they drew lines, to keep him in check. But I watched those lines fall shamelessly. They wanted to help him but they didn’t know how.

It got really bad once I left for college in a different state. I almost never kept in contact with him; I heard about his whereabouts from my parents. Slowly the news from them became laced with stories of marijuana usage and the inability to hold a part-time job. By the beginning of my sophomore year he got expelled from high school for drug possession and behavior issues. It felt earth shattering and I remember falling on the floor in my apartment and telling my roommate that my family was falling apart. I had no idea it was about to get a lot worse.

They say marijuana is a gateway drug. I don’t like the word gateway because it sounds welcoming and warm. Marijuana paved way for my brother to try anything and everything else. It’s unclear when the heroin took over; I’m sure he has no recollection either. This part happened quickly and fiercely with the inexorability of a freight train. And it does everything the experts say it does. And the addicts behave every way the experts say they will. Denial, secrets, lies, bouts of anger. Then comes the money-stealing, the mixed stories, the scars on the wrists and elbows. The pale skin, the sunken eyes, the unbelievably thin frame. It’s all true. It’s the most painful thing in the world to watch someone so precious to you slowly deteriorate in front of your eyes.

My parents’ love never faltered. They gave of themselves in a way that amazes me: steadily and consistently. They allowed him to live in their house with certain restrictions. They set up rules in order to restrict what he could and could not be exposed to, in order to protect him. They answered when he called; they helped him when he needed it.

They were always there. They never interrogated him when he messed up; simply offered their sound wisdom and compassionate help. They desperately tried to get him involved in something he could be passionate about. They bought him a guitar in hopes of its music resounding louder than the cry of his veins for heroin. They never gave up, even when he pawned the expensive gifts for drug money. They disciplined him when he disobeyed, no matter the size of fit he threw. At its worse, they did not allow him into their house. It felt cold to me to try and grapple with understanding how a parent could deny their child space to stay.

But love looks different sometimes.

And grace wears different hats.

Their love sought to correct his path, not always soften the blow. Their aim was to be patient and kind, but firm and guiding. And their grace made it possible to believe that there would be good to come from all of this. But it was so, so hard.

I’m sure when they decided to be parents, they had no idea that this could be a possibility. I’m sure they thought it would be hard at times, but overall it would be easy.

Love is not easy; it is relentless. My parents have taught me that.

Sometimes I think about the internet, and how forgiving it is. It’s like the perfect parent. You can ask any question, type in anything, and it finds you the answer. It doesn’t demand a good reason for your question but rather allows you to explore the questions, easy and hard. It doesn’t interrogate you about the answer you choose. And it doesn’t ask you to prove what you do with your findings. It simply asks how else it can help. And it’s always there. It gives you helpful tools to find answers to life’s hard questions. It allows restrictions on what you can and cannot be exposed to, in order to protect you.

I think love is a little bit like that. Always accepting, always searching, always trying tirelessly to find answers. Placing restrictions when we are too weak to know what we should and should not be exposed to. Always forgiving, and always protecting.

I wish this ended with a sunrise. I’m sure there will be one day. Or maybe it’s already warming our cheeks and we are too distracted to see it. But I guess that’s the beauty of a sunrise: you get another chance to see it every day.

confession: sometimes i don’t trust [God.]

10 Sep

i’m participating in a blog series hosted by ally spotts — a very talented writer and a fellow 20 something believer in life’s adventures and God’s love.


confession: sometimes i don’t trust God.

it’s not that i don’t know how. i’ve heard it explained several times. the problem is that i’m pretty good at tasks, and trusting God isn’t really a task. it s a belief, a lifestyle, a way of letting go of something. it is the unclenching of the hand and the calmness of breath. it doesn’t come very natural for me. i fight against it constantly because i’m a doer. and trusting doesn’t seem like you do much. someone else does the doing, and you just sit there and believe that it’s all going to be okay.

i guess it’s not so much that i actively don’t trust God to make things okay, but that i trust myself more.

what kind of crazyness is that?

i think it started like most control-issue stories do: i lost control of a few key relationships in my life over a short period of time, thus sending me into an overcorrecting nightmare where i steered myself into believing that if i control situations, people, emotions, outcomes, then i’d always end up happy and fancy-free.

i have learned over and over that when i make plans, i don’t always end up happy and fancy-free.

it’s happened in dating relationships. i used to see, from a distance, someone who i thought i would like to be romantically involved with. so i manipulated situations. i constantly started conversations based on half-real facts that i believed would make us instantly linked by our common ground, thus catapulting us into love.

truth: it never worked out. i never really heard from them again. rejection hurts anyways, but it hurts worse when you thought you had stirred everything together perfectly and wouldn’t end up feeling like crap. and instead of seeing it as an inevitable consequence to my type-A planning, i told God that i couldn’t believe He would make me feel this rejected, again and again.

it’s also happened in friendships. i once held onto a friend’s deep dark secret for so long that i felt like it was seeping out of my pores.  i knew God wanted me to be a different voice in her life, a voice of truth in love; but that sounded like i would lose her as a friend. so i controlled the circumstance because i wanted to salvage my friendship with her. and as it usually does, God’s plan finally came to fruition. and as it usually ends up once i finally let go, my world fell apart. it was painful and rotten feeling. and instead of thanking God for bringing both of us out of the miry pit of lies and secrecy, i yelled at Him for taking away my friend — something i felt like i deserved.

and that’s the root of it all. i feel like i deserve a controlled, predictable life.

i feel like i deserve to know what’s going to happen, and i feel like i deserve for those happenings to be in complete alignment with what i want my life to look like.

as if i have any clue what that should be.

so i try and try to take the wheel into my own hands and i tell God what i want, when i want it. it is hard for me to trust, because i think i see the entire picture. i think i know what’s best for me.

the Bible says “trust in the Lord with all of your heart, lean not on your own understandings; in all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.” [proverbs 3:5-6]

sometimes i need to stop and just read that slowly, like a nap. i flip it around, and i acknowledge what He’s already done. i thank Him for the coffee in this cup which reminds me i’ve been given a job that pays enough to sustain me. i thank Him for the hours of paperwork that are required when students are being charged with harassment, because it reminds me that He’s given me a job with purpose, a job in line with my passions. i thank Him for an over-filled email inbox because it reminds me that the power of story is endless, and we are all learning from each other one word at a time — and i get to hear about all of those stories.

trust isn’t easy. it’s hard almost all of the time. but beauty comes from letting go and remembering that He is the only One who is looking out for our best interest all of the time. we whine and scream and cry about how desperately we feel like something’s gotta give. we need our wish to be granted. right. now. and then when God steps in and breathes the warm whisper of provision, all we can say back is, “no better timing, Lord.” and we acknowledge His understanding. and we trust Him with more and more of our hearts.