:a new year

whatever today looked like or felt like for you, i want you to know that is okay. even here you are seen, known, and held, and loved very very much. may today be a day where you breathed deep, smiled bravely, asked for hugs, and held yourself tight.

may you remember the mountains climbed and valleys where you fell, that He’s been there all along and that’s a story to tell. maybe not now, but sometime down the road – each step you’ve traveled tells a victor’s fight. you’re a fighter on heart-ached nights, you’re a fighter finding simple joys in the ordinary. you’re a fighter by choosing to keep going. so keep going.

whatever grieves and weighs your heart is worthy of your attention and He grieves with you all the more. may this year be a year where you break free of what entangles. a year you step into the process of wholeness, grace upon grace. may you lift your head in this journey, that He is good even when the road you tread feels anything but good. and may you remember the One who calls and pursues and rescues broken people and destines them as beautifully His. covered in perfect love, unending grace, redemptive arms. more than scars and people’s words, may you rest in the glorious truth that you are cherished forever and always by your Abba father. may you learn how to love Him, yourself, and others more deeply and trust Him wholeheartedly.

:overwhelmed

at times you feel like a ship at sea
when the waves a crash and feelings and emotions become uncharted waters
too wavering

may you be reminded of the Master of your seas
who sees it all, feels it all, and knows your greatest pleas

when you are in over your head
that’s when He grips your hands
and when things creep up like wildfire in the night
remember there is wonder in the wild in the middle of the fight

may you remember that this too will pass —
that even here this place is and will be your blooming space

in the wild of all that screams and follows, let yourself be still
rise in confidence, for the One who holds you still, dear, and tight
will also give you the strength to rise

 

:loss

to the one who has lost, and to the one who feels like she is losing –

the Lord wants to fill your holes and make you whole. picture a dog, whimpering and squirming. your Abba father puts His hand gently on that dog, whispering, “it’s okay…”

i pray even in this pruning and cutting away season where the knife that cuts away seems too sharp to bear that you would claim jeremiah 17:7-8. that even when heat comes, there is no need to fear for its leaves remain green and there is no place for anxiety in even a whole year of drought, for even then it does not cease to bear fruit.

and may you be so comforted by His spirit that one day you say, “the Lord gave and the Lord has taken away, blessed be His name.”

God hears you, God has not forgotten you, God sees you, God knows. (exodus 2:23-25)

rainy thoughts

today is a “sit awhile, cry a little” day. and it’s okay to feel this, even in the “crying because why am i crying” of it. i told someone recently that i miss writing about pain, and it was mainly because i hadn’t been feeling. oh how fast i’ve been running. running fast and free, yes… running with my guard up saying i’m a fighter, rise like a warrior, go Jesus go Jesus when i was also blocking myself from feeling.

it’s okay to feel this. in all of the unraveling and untangling that is being pulled up from below.

it’s okay if you can’t find the words, let me take your coat and this weight off of your shoulders

it’s okay if you can’t catch your breath, you can take the oxygen straight out of my own chest

it’s okay. hug yourself hard. hold yourself tight. there are a million things running through your brain but a million and one things that remain true in the midst of you. 

// and when the light has faded from the skies, and you can’t see the road ahead, remember the One who paved the path. when the things and people you love and cherish tumble off the shelves and out of your reach, remember the One who’s always just a heart cry’s away. //

dear “post-China” me

far away. 6,867 miles far. 57 days (and counting) far. it hurts that it feels that far away. i know you miss it. the people, the place, your kids, your team. yes, your heart made its home in new spaces. but hey don’t lose sight. it means your heart grew by the hundredfold, and that is a wonderful thing. things may look different now. your heart breaks all the more, but oh, your heart loves all the more too. you found yourself in China, but you didn’t lose or leave yourself there. you’re still here, blazing just as bright and beautiful. remember the fullness of joy that has lined your journey? don’t lose it. (i’m telling you that now, and i know even now you laugh and say it’s already lost) but listen –– even here, you have the capacity to be just as full. the same power that did exceedingly more still has exceedingly more for you today. in this year. in this place.

so in moments like these when you need a pep talk, picture the stars shooting again. our Dad is so loving that He puts His goodness, power, and beauty on display before your eyes. maybe the stars don’t shine as bright over in this corner of the world. but that doesn’t mean they aren’t out there, illuminating your dark. and hey maybe it means you need to turn your gaze to another corner to find it shining. maybe not as steady, maybe just blinking, but shining all the same. 

nothing to something

this morning as i got myself ready for church, i was discouraged. defeated. burdened. weighed down to the point of crushing.

i am crazy. what in the world am i stepping into? i can’t do it. Lord, what did you call me into?  

this morning’s church sermon was 2 Kings 4:1-7, about the woman with the jar of oil. “Your servant has nothing there at all,” she said, “except a small jar of olive oil (4:2).” she had two attitudes – i have nothing, yet i do have something. one thing my pastor said was, don’t focus on the nothing; focus on the something and use it for His glory.

so here i sit, words impressed upon my soul. recounting my nothings, but holding high my somethings to remember and use for His glory. ❤


[my nothings] 

nothing: the places of lackthe weakness, the burdens, the brokenness, the suffering.

my nothings of this year/freshman year could be listed with social anxiety, homesickness, school stress, grief, anxiety in general, loneliness, disappointment, and just the feelings that come with transitions. i can talk about the moments i felt like a lone floater, not feeling a place to belong. i can talk about school projects that amounted, bringing stress and anxiety piling high. i can talk about processing and walking through grief, and how much i was drowning in my emotions. i can talk about how my summer will be spent overseas and how i am all of a sudden fearful and doubtful and -ful.

yet i have something.

[my somethings] 

something: the places of abundance. the growth, the joy, the blessings, the fruit.

my somethings of this year/freshman year would include finding community in the midst of the wandering – sweet and special friends and relationships built and now treasured. my somethings include healing and freedom through past and current disappointments, struggles, lies, and grief. my somethings include experiencing His miraculous emotional and physical healing in a powerful way, which was followed by a very real but uncertain (howwhatwhenwherewhatextent?) call to missions. my somethings include an intentional time of feasting and fasting, feasting and discovering Him through His Word. my somethings include expanding the picture i had of God – that He is truly and absolutely ultimately good in His very nature, and that He is incredibly patient and kind to His children. this year has blessed me with so many peeks of His character, and in seeing Him, i have been able to share Him – with my roommate, my floormates,  and my church family. share Him boldly, vibrantly, courageously, undeniably. because this year i say with confidence, “how can i not?”

 

i do have something in this jar of clay. Lord, i know that you can use it. please use it. i know you can. will you? Lord, do the impossible.

we sang build my life today and oh, how fitting as i head again into wonderlust – a feeling of delight fused with awe, caused by something beautiful and unfamiliar. holy, there is no one like You. there is none besides You. open up my eyes in wonder. show me who You are and fill me with Your heart and lead me in Your love to those around me.

i may be weak, Your spirit’s strong in me. my flesh my fail, my God you never will. fill me and fuse me with delight, awe, and wonder, reminding me to look back and marvel at Your goodness and look ahead to how You will prove yourself faithful.


but we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. we are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. we always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. for we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. so then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. 2 Cor. 4:7-11

kintsugi – gracefully broken

it’s been a long day without you, my friend.

here’s to returning back to the comfort of writing. even if it’s raw, mangled, and unsorted. i’ve lost so much. these days i can’t bring myself to words. yet i know that in them, i find strength. i will embrace the process of kintsugi – the broken, fractured, and burst open parts of me so that He can hold me and seal me even in the broken. so here i sit, sifting through these parts. the parts where grace is evident and apparent, the parts where brokenness is all i see, the parts where the grace meets the broken and i can see His goodness in abundance to me.

11.11 – keep seeking. God has a present… a gift for you. remember the people in your life that speak into you. remember the words they say to bless you. remember each promise; it will be fulfilled.

12.20 – “Then fear not, O Jacob my servant, declares the Lord, nor be dismayed, O Israel; for behold, I will save you from far away… For i am with you to save you, declares the Lord. For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, declares the Lord. Thus says the Lord: the people who survived the sword found grace in the wildernesswhen Israel sought for rest, the Lord appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you. Again I will build you, and you shall be built. I will turn their mourning into joy; I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow. I will feast the soul of the priests with abundance, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, declares the Lord. There is hope for your future, declares the Lord. For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish.” from Jeremiah 30 & 31

12.22 – prepare Him room. prepare room in my heart – get rid of pride and make room for Him — love, humility, trust, and faith. not looking down upon, shaming, or pushing aside… but prepare Him the room that He deserves. remember that revelations sometimes come when you’re doing something you’d rather not do.

1.22. you are a bright light that will bring others to Him. your identity will be made firm in this season and you will unashamedly carry the love of the gospel. hold on to truth and foreknowledge. let it embolden and encourage. what was spoken will come to pass, let it be done.

1.23. today i had depression, but now i am full of the fullness of joy. the spirit of discouragement and depression were there and it was real. but thank you Lord for freedom and healing. let me not let depression define me. oh dear heart, remember that. remember this. remember this day. it was a stone marker day, she said. let it be so.

There’s a garment of praise for heaviness
There’s a new song burning inside my chest
I’m living in the goodness that He brings
Get your hopes up
Lift your head up, let your faith arise

1.24. Christ is your security and your strength. remember the times He speaks in the mulling of your mind.

feelings have been your security and your strength. the presence of feelings in your life have been an indicator for you that things are stirring in the midst of them.

but Christ is your security and your strength. the presence of Him in your life is an indicator for you that things are stirring and moving. even when your feelings are at a standstill, and when tears don’t come when you go before the Lord.

the presence of Him alone means He is always there. His love is always there. Joy is always there. Peace is always there. Healing is always there. He exceeds the spaces of your feelings and He is in the spaces of your feelings. don’t let feelings be an indicator of your present season of faith.

2.5. no longer needed. remember you are needed in this world no matter how disconnected or unneeded you feel you to be. you don’t have to be an active member to feel valued or loved. you are “part of” not because you are needed or wanted, but because you are loved for you. remember to stay humble because of that truth.

2.22. showing up. if deciding to show up to life was a decision we had to make for ourselves each day, i can’t imagine how many times i would make the decision to simply not show up. especially of late.

but God in His grace… He decides to sustain your days and carry you forward. remember to abide in the goodness of His grace.

3.3. your brokenness is beautiful… and no shame. remember this. your brokenness is not to be ashamed of. remember the broken communion you had in your hand as your brokenness met His brokenness, forming union with Him as you brought your broken heart to meet His breaking heart for you. remember how the Beautiful One broke for us, and how we now break for the sake of His glory.

the other day i described myself as a torn sheet of paper, rough and frayed around the edges. each day a new narrative to be written; fresh feelings and worries tear at the mind, festering my weary soul. this journey is still lined with grace, and to that i will choose to grab and cling. even in the severed parts, there is still grace filling the cracks like gold.

kintsugi.