Friday, May 22, 2015

I've said before how you can tell a lot about a person by what others say about them. Initially, I said that in context to the relationship they have with that person... but recently, I was faced with thinking... what about when the others have been hurt? What would you say about someone else if they hurt you? What would they say if you hurt them?

Not long ago, a friendship of mine ended. A friend that I deeply care for is no longer a friend. It's the result of mistakes and hurtful words on both ends. And from that, I'm learning how to forgive all over again. I'm learning the process of letting go all over again. I'm learning what it means to pick up the pieces all over again. And no, it is never easy no matter how many times I do learn it.

Some things were said about me publicly... and some things were said about me privately to those close to me. And as much as I want to fight back and scream that no... that's not true.. or no, that's not the whole story... I find myself being silent. And yes I have vented.. yes I have cried. Yes, I have fought desperately the urge to blame myself... yes, I have replayed situations in my head trying to figure out what went wrong.. and yes, I find myself in moments of sadness over what has been lost.

But I still believe in the God of second chances because He's given me thousands. I believe that love still prevails. I believe that God knows the hearts of each side and is completely aware of everything. And I believe that He still redeems and restores. Because I believe, I am learning what it means to lay it all down at the foot of the cross.. because if I don't, anger and bitterness will root its way in. If I believe Jesus is who He says He is, I cannot have room in my heart for those things.

So I choose love. I choose to love even though I've been hurt. I choose to forgive even though I've been hurt. And I choose to have hope that these things will one day be extended out to me. I may have lost that friend.. but God still loves us both. God still offers grace to us both. And I believe He has the authority to guide each of our steps in picking up the pieces that have been shattered in both of our lives. I believe He still carries us both and has a plan for each of us..

So now I wait.. and now I trust.. and now I start over. I don't know what the future holds for me... but now, I choose to trust the One who does.

He still loves me.
He still loves her.
He still loves those we've hurt.
He still loves those who've hurt us.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

It's an easy thing to tell someone there is beauty in brokenness when that is the place you find them. Sometimes it's easy to believe that when you are the one there.. but we yearn to hear that things will get better, or easier, or that something good is going to come from that place. We long for it because it hurts to be there. To be in a painful place is devastating. You're in a place where you have to unlearn a lot of things, and start to learn new ones. And in those painful places, hardly any of it looks beautiful, or feels like something good can come of it. 

I will be the first to tell you that I am full of mistakes. I am messy and ridiculous and chaotic and difficult and selfish. I am all that and more. I will never hide any of that. Some of you know these parts of me deeper than others... and some of you just know the surface. Either way, these are things you will always know about me. I don't hide it, and I don't because I believe in being vulnerable. To love is to be vulnerable. If I want my life to be that example, then I have to let you see the real me. It's always a scary thing that involves great risk... for anyone. 

I would be lying if I said it wasn't hard for me to trust God. I'd be lying if I didn't say there are times when I don't go to Him unless things are falling apart in my life. I'd be lying if I said I loved Him with my whole heart and mind and soul and strength. And I'd also be lying if I said I never prayed for these situations so I would remain close to Him. If there was ever a reason for me to have faith at all, it's because I know only He can mend the broken places in my life. It's because I know I can find perfect peace only in Him. It's because I know He is the author and creator and holds my life in His hands no matter how much I betray Him. It's because I know that He will never change His mind about me or love me any less no matter what I do. I'm thankful for that. I'm incredibly thankful for that. 

In light of recent events, I've learned that you just have to walk away sometimes. No matter how much you don't want to, sometimes you just have to. And when you do, you will see the result of that. Sometimes it will be good... and others it won't be. This time is the latter. It sucks. It hurts. It's unfair.... but it's necessary. 

My life is full of I don't understands, and I don't know what to dos, and I don't know what's going to happens. There probably hasn't been a long period of time where one of those things wasn't on my lips everyday. And right now, I will admit that it's hard to know that anything good can come of it. So I have to rely on what I know, and I know that God causes all things to work together for the good for those that love Him. And I know that His grace covers me completely. And because I know know what's going to happen, I have no choice but to trust Him. 

No, I am not playing victim here. I'm admitting that I make a lot of mistakes. I always will because sin is my nature. However, if I fail you, if I fail at all, if I do anything to disgrace your name.... it's always going to be followed with admitting that... and asking your forgiveness. It's not going to come without me believing the best in you as a whole.. and wanting the best for you.. and being by your side. I will fail at all of these sometimes.. If I choose to walk away, only you can decide the way you view me altogether. Only you can determine the role I have played in your life. 

But I will guarantee this, I will still run to you.. I will still wash your feet.. and clean your wounds.. and wipe your tears. Because I will still love you.. because first, God loves you. And because He chooses to use me for these things. 

So now, I wait. I wait to see what path I will follow. I wait to see what's going to happen. I don't know what the future holds.... but He does. And I choose to trust Him. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

What a beautifully trying month February was for me. It was one of heavy weight, and beautiful grace. It was a measure of how God's goodness shows up in the dark moments. We know that happens, but when it does, it leaves you in just as much awe and wonder as it did the first time.

In the beginning of the month, I was asked to leave my job. I was let go over a misunderstanding that I couldn't prove. I wasn't given a warning or a choice. And when I was given the chance to give an explanation, I couldn't even remember the situation. So after three and half years, I walked away from the company I worked for.

I couldn't say I was worried, because I believe in a good God who wouldn't leave me or forsake me. He's a provider and somehow, I've never been left without. But I can say it was a bit of a blow. That was the first job I knew I would never get a raise at, but still wanted to give my best. It taught me to step up and take initiative. I learned how to treat my job responsibly and looked at it in a different light. I knew that I didn't represent myself so I couldn't just do the job how I wanted. I had to do my best because it represented someone else. That's never easy to do because it requires laying down pride, which I'm full of so much of. I guess you can say my heart was a bit broken.

Needless to say, instead of letting the course run, I started to prepare for the worst. I didn't know what was going to happen, but before it did I was ready to go. I didn't want to, but I wasn't sure what to expect. I thought that being let go meant my roommate was going to be disappointed and want me to leave. Instead, the exact opposite happened. She offered to cover my part of the next months rent. Everything fell into place for me to stay put as the days rolled out.

Not only that, but friends stepped up and told me where to apply because they knew people. Here I was thinking I was on my own in this situation. It's never easy to let someone see you when you've been kicked down, but I think that's where we see the beauty of what grace and love looks like. My roommate didn't hesitate to start figuring something out right away. Here I was preparing for anything to happen, and there was my roommate working on what to do to help me out. Pure grace.

I also had friends step up and give me any kind of suggestion they could. They offered any kind of help just to ensure my stay in Las Vegas. Even though I have issues with staying in one place for too long, I have my goals and Vegas has such a tug on my heart.

But it wasn't too long after that I got called for another job. I still have a long way to go with reaching the level I had at Dunkin Donuts, but this job offers me more than I would have ever gotten while being at Dunkin. And by more I mean benefits, opportunities, discounts, and almost double the pay. I never would have expected that, but I am grateful.

It's been a month since this all started, and I'm still mesmerized by how good it truly was. Everybody says that when one door closes, another one opens. I don't necessarily believe that's true. I think sometimes doors close because the season for it being open is over. It doesn't always mean something awesome is around the corner. Sometimes, it simply means that we need to slow down. Sometimes it means we need to apply what we've learned. Sometimes it means that God wants us to remember Him and that He is God. If that were the path He gave me, I would have still believed He was good. That was my choice, and I had to make it. It's our choice and we have to be the ones to decide to believe He is still good when He shuts a door, or doesn't step in the rescue us from the fire. Sometimes, things happen.. and sometimes, things don't work out.

But in this situation, I can equate it to an answered prayer. A few weeks ago, I found myself crying out to Him.. asking Him to show me He still loves me. Not that I doubted Him, but I just wanted that reminder. I needed Him to let me know He still wanted me. And I begged Him to reveal that to me once again.

When I think about all that has happened this past month, I can't help but think of how beautifully trying it was. It was heavy and yet light. It was amazing to see Him work something for the good once again.

To me.. of all people, He worked good for me. If this example shows the kind of God I believe Him to be, then may He always put me in beautifully trying times.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The other day, I saw a post on instagram that had me thinking hardcore. So, I decided to write a blog about it. Actually, I decided to make a statement, and that statement is...

I will NOT apologize.

I will not apologize for standing by those who I disagree with or who have failed me. I have learned where my identity lies and that is all I need to keep standing by them when I feel I can't anymore.

I will not apologize for the timidity I feel when I am about to present something important to someone. It isn't the normal or mundane things that get remembered or stand out, it is the one of a kind out of the ordinary things that do.... and sometimes that is scary. Most of us don't care enough to want to make a difference or love someone so effectively, so we tend to brush it off and act like we don't care about what happens.

I will not apologize for the way I love my friends and speak of them. If the way you get to know them is through my words, then may you always know the very best of them.

I will not apologize for constantly promoting or talking about those I believe in. If there is something I see in you, it should not surprise you for me to see something in them. The only difference is, I may know you a bit better and the only interaction I may ever have with them is through social media.

I will not apologize for being excited about the ridiculous things in life... I know sometimes my enthusiasm for those such as Mackenzie Ziegler or The Glass Child or whoever I choose to support fully at the moment can be a bit much... but if some of you think of the way we became friends, this shouldn't be surprising because at some point, it was probably the same way toward you.

I will not apologize for sticking to my ways of what it means to be respectful. I've been told a few times that a few of these are things I am alone in. While that may be, I am okay with that. If I'm the only person to feel the way I do on certain things, at least I'll be remembered for them.

So why am I making this proclamation of not apologizing? Well, because the post I read mentioned something about being full of joy. We were created to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. We were created to live life to its full and experience joy to its full. We only get one chance in this life to celebrate eachother. We only get that one chance to leave our mark in this world. Most people I know don't care about that...... but I do. No, it's not because I want to be remembered... it's because I want to go out knowing that people knew I loved them and the things that mattered to them mattered to me. When you are fully open to things like that, you begin to experience what it means to have life at its potential.

What I will apologize for is not setting the example or living the life of a believer.... that the most important relationship in my life is not the most evident one.

And yet, Jesus loves me just as much as He ever did anyway. And because He loves me, I will not apologize for being different.