Sunday, March 20, 2016

writing again.

For months now, maybe it's been a year or so, the Lord has been pressing on my heart again and again to write. To be honest I haven't felt worthy enough to share anything I have to say. I feel like the person I have been these past couple of years is no where near the person who started this blog three years ago and shared the truth of Jesus. And, to be honest, the last time I wrote I was called to share the deepest, most raw parts of my story in front of 1,000 people, so a small part of me has been avoiding it to say the least.

Now I sit in my new home of Dallas, Texas after a year and a half of living in New York City. I have a fridge instead of a styrofoam cooler, no rats living under the sink, and a DISHWASHER. You could say I'm living the dream.

A lot has changed since this blog was first written. Four states, three jobs, yet still the same God who has blessed me abundantly. I can't even begin to describe the mistakes I've made, the friends I've lost, and the discontentment that I have let take over me so many times when my savior has given me everything I need. {Jehovah Jireh}

I'm not exactly sure why the Lord has brought me back to writing, as I feel completely inadequate to share such holiness, but here I am. Here we all are - broken, lost, afflicted, yet we all can run to Jesus. Even better, He chases us. He encourages us to come, all who are heavy laden, and He will give you rest.

Maybe someone needs to read that. Maybe someone needs to know no matter what you've done or where you've been, you are loved beyond measure. You are sought after, cared for, pursued. We are so undeserving yet He loves us unconditionally.

It's insane, this thing called faith. How you can believe in something you cannot see...but I see Him. I see Him in sunrises, in harvest moons and moments when you sit there stunned thinking "how can we not believe there's a God?"

You can argue science, you can argue coincidence, but I see Him. He's here.

I saw Him on the corner of 7th and 23rd after six months of living jobless in New York City when they called offering me the dream job. I saw Him in a Family, not by blood but by choice, of men and women who taught me how to trust and love again. I saw Him as my best friend's lives flashed before my eyes when their car plunged into a ditch yet no one was hurt. I saw Him in that stranger who handed me a kleenex and a smile after a traumatic episode of nearly getting kicked off a train in the middle of Hungary because I lost my ticket...but there was grace and there was Jesus protecting me, again and again in all kinds of situations, big and small.

You have to look. You have to keep looking for light in the darkness. You have to keep going even when it's hard. There is a God and He is here and He's not going anywhere.

Keep seeking and you will find...

Sunday, April 14, 2013

the truth about depression.



my heart aches for you this morning.


yes you - the broken, the lost, the afflicted.


waking up every morning, taking everything in you to get out of bed and up into the world that continues to break you down until you feel like you have nothing left. 



putting on that smile, even when everything hurts.

telling them you’re fine, when fine is the last thing you are feeling. 

thankful for sleep because sleep means you don’t have to face this cruel world. 




why do you feel this way when friends are there and family is present and blessings are abundant but somehow you are blind to them. 
why do you feel like you are nothing when you are loved by the One who is everything. 
i hurt for you. because i’ve been there.
i went to bed wishing i wouldn’t wake up. 

and the worst part is, you don’t know why. 


i got up every morning with everything i had and went through the day like a mindless zombie with a fake smile and knowing it would take more than the makeup to cover up my brokenness. 


and i didn’t know why i felt that way.



i didn’t know where all this pain was coming from, all of the lies pouring into my mind like rushing water, like an endless storm that clouded any truth that i knew. 

i didn’t know what led me to the scars, to friends calling me crazy and leaving me in a cloud of dust that never seemed to settle. 

what i didn’t know was that depression is real and can attack your mind in a way that cripples you. 


and when we hear that word, depression, we think of the crazies and the cuts and suicide letters that clutter the definition of this so-called disease.


but it is. 


in the words of Ann Voskamp, depression is “a cancer that attacks the mind”, and how can you focus on truth when your own mind is against you? 

how can you hear truth when the one thing that processes the truth is feeding you lies?

how do you escape the pain when you’re numb and the only way to feel is to self-inflict so you can just feel something?


it’s tough.


it’s hard and it’s real and it’s not going away.


depression is a disease that we all know of and hear about but don’t want to accept. 

depression is breaking people down, rolling them over with lies over and over again. 

depression hurts. and it cuts deeply and digs deeper until the only way out is to jump. 


“depression is like a room engulfed in flames and you can’t breathe for the sooty smoke smothering you limp — and suicide is deciding there is no way but to jump straight out of the burning building.”


listen to me friend,

there is hope. 


people may tell you you’re crazy and the doctor might make you feel worthless and the world may walk out on you, but there is hope. 


depression should not define you. 

the cuts should not shame you. 


your thoughts of escaping this world are not crazy. 


but hear this...

you are not alone. 
there is a God who is fighting for you, whose Word is waiting for you, who goes with you wherever you go and has gone before you. 


that means He has been in the dark. 


that means He sees your pain, feels your pain, and He wants those burdens.



“Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”  (Matt. 11:28)



rest in this truth. 


it is okay to get help. 


open wounds need cleaning, broken bones need casting, a broken mind needs healing. 


you are not a weaker person because of it. 



but remember this, medicine can heal, but it cannot heal everything.

it cannot heal a broken heart, erase hurtful words, or fix broken spirits. 

but it can help get you back on your feet, see clearer, feel again. and from there it’s your turn. 



only you can choose seek truth.

only you can choose to move forward.

only you can choose to read and soak up His Word and pray for His presence and be so wrapped up in Him that the lies cannot reach you. 



that is your choice. 


be freed from the lies and the hurt not by hiding, but by abiding. 

be freed from the chains that bind not by closing your fists but opening your hands. 

be freed by releasing the burdens not by cutting but by lifting them up to Jesus. 



be free. 


be free to love and be loved, to live in your identity as a child of God and not as a mental case. 

because that is not who you are. 

you are loved. valued. freed by the Cross


be free. 



Monday, November 12, 2012

sticks and stones



alright ladies. time to cut the crap.



excuse my french, but really, it's getting ridiculous.

I see it everywhere. I hear it in conversations. Self doubt has taken over and Satan is smothering us with lies and girls are hurting themselves with scales and numbers and turning into slaves of comparison.

Since when do we find our identity in how the world feels about us?

How long have we been carrying around hurtful words and painful memories that have scarred our self worth?

...words will never hurt me?


I've carried around hurtful words for too long. Words that have seeped into my skin like poison that interfere with my view of who I really am. Words are just words until they create a world within you that you can't get out of.



and then what? 



Your emotions, feelings, and actions are then based on a false belief of worthlessness and lost hope.


When someone says you are not worth their time you start to believe you're not worth anyone's time.

And it's a downward spiral out of control until you can't tell the truth from the lies...




truth.




The truth my friends, will set us free. Free from the lies, the hurt, the enemy. The truth is a beautiful thing.


There is this little book packed with truth, and if you open it and turn to Ephesians 2:4...

      "But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ - by grace you have been saved."



We need to stop believing the world's definition of beautiful and start believing in the real definition of beautiful...


Christ.


What is more beautiful than a Father giving His only Son to a broken world so our sinful souls can be saved and given eternal life?



What better way to counteract the lies with the truth that has set us free?


No longer should we be rooted in bitterness, living on lies, believing in disbelief.
We have been saved. Redeemed. Bought by precious blood.
We are beautiful because the light of Christ shines through us.


The next time the lies come crawling in and words hurt...open that little book of truth to Romans 8...

      "...we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us...nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."


Beautiful isn't it?


"If He is everything, and we are His, then nothing else matters."


We are His. And what better place to be than in the hands of your Father?



Friday, October 26, 2012

seek and you will find...


I don't blog. I don't know how to blog. I can barely work my iPhone, but here I am. I felt compelled to share my story, share my heart with others. Not because I really want to, but because I feel there is someone who can relate, someone who needs to hear truth from another sister in Christ. Someone who can read my mess of a life and know they are not the only one.

The past eight months of my life have been the most painful, joyful, crazy, confusing, complicated times I have ever experienced. I have spent most nights in tears, waking up with no motivation to get out of bed, and frequent "relapses" into a pool of bitterness and anger. Through it all, one thing remains constant and that is the love and faithfulness of Christ. I can tell you now even when you don't feel it, it is the one truth that has gotten me out of bed, pushed me forward to keep going even in times of despair and hopelessness.


I have been broken. Completely broken. I ended a three year relationship with the man I thought I was going to marry, and I never imagined a loss of love could be so painful.


But it is.


And I have had the hardest time accepting that. A break up? Really? That's the hardest thing in my life? That's the biggest thing I am dealing with? Out of all of the crazy stories I hear about suffering and my friends' painful moments with death and divorce and this is my story?


So I did what any single twenty-one year old girl would do and jetted off to California for the summer. I lived with an incredible family in a beautiful home overlooking the San Francisco Bay, took the ferry to work every morning, went to fancy parties, Giants games, met cute boys, and ate incredible food all summer.


It's all fun and games until you're alone.


Until you come home from the party, the first date, the distraction, and you're by yourself and the pain sinks in all over again. So you get on the computer and the pictures are everywhere. You look at your phone and you're reminded of the painful words and the hurt that occurred months ago. And somehow the enemy speaks lies and all you hear is "you're not good enough" repeating itself over and over and the girl who let depression get the best of her six years ago is letting it get the best of her now. Again. This time with a broken heart and shattered confidence.


How do you escape it? How do you escape the lies and find truth when it's dark and you call out to Christ and hear nothing?


Healing is a process. It takes time. It takes patience and waiting and being still. This girl did not want to be still. This girl wanted to move on and dive into life again without skipping a beat. But every time I tried to move forward, putting this mask on, hiding the bitterness and pain and slapping on a smile, I fell down again.


Will I ever move forward? 


"The secret to joy is to keep seeking God where we doubt He is." - Ann Voskamp


That's what I had to do...seek God. Seek Him in all the darkness, in all the bitter places of my heart. Constantly surrounding myself with truth, giving thanks, and praising Him in all circumstances.


I had to ask myself, "Where do you see God?"










And just as I opened my eyes, He appeared everywhere...His fingerprints evident in my story, past and present. It's not always easy. We know we are promised suffering, that it will happen. But the Lord has an incredible way of preparing us, intertwining our lives with others, revealing Himself to us in ways we couldn't imagine.


I still hurt. I still cry. I am still a mess. Life is still hard. But I remember, and constantly ask myself, "Where do you see God?"















 "You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all of your heart"
Jeremiah 29:13

May you seek Him and find Him even in the darkest places...