still i rise | no. 10

dear october —

i. you know my name… we bumped into each other at the bookstore and you embraced me with hugs. you are all so warm and friendly and lovable. it’s hardly been a couple weeks.

i. mindfulness meditation… second week of class, and we wheel ourselves and gather in the front of the classroom. don’tfreakoutdon’tfreakout i try to tell myself but i hear his voice come through and interrupt my thoughts, and my mind starts racing and derailing. tears start to well, and the next three minutes were the longest i had to get through as i tried to fill my mind with songs and scriptures and promises and tell myself it’s okay.

ii. to you and for you… twas a long day with wavering emotions, feeling beat down, and not content with myself. you texted during class, asking if you could stop by. i came down to meet you, tshirt, shorts, and flips; i melted as you all met me with the most smiling faces and outstretched arms. i got back and shared my bounty with them and they reached for hugs, faces beaming. my heart was overwhelmed, oh, so full and oh, so loved.

iii. almost fainting… thanks for making me climb ten flights of stairs. my question is what made me think i could even make it. and hardly, for i nearly fainted at the top. but hey, no hard feelings, okay?

iv. anxiety… if i could label this week it would probably be anxiety-driven for more ways than one. grateful though for reminders in the midst of it, for both pieces of mail i received today had the same do not be anxious about anything passage written for me. and suddenly that rainy walk by myself to large group had a skip in my step and a hop in my heart, for through it all He is good.

v. before and behind… He has gone before me, this i know. even as i make my way home. this asian couple stopped to talk to me. i was in a hurry, mind fixated on my destination: home. walk to 30th st station, pray my legs will carry me that far in a good time, find the train, and get home. but they stopped me, and so i stopped. an invitation to their college fellowship group, with a sushi dinner that night. i kindly told them no, but expressed my interest. i was stunned. it was a simple yes to stop. and it was Him showing me He’s got me. that i really am surrounded by His people; as if He really didn’t want me to forget that, even as i headed home.

vi. a beautiful tension… i am totally and emphatically a broken a sinful human, yet i am totally and emphatically loved. a new perspective of a posture of praise.

vi. glowing, hot, and full of joy… worship is connection and i felt connected with the One tonight.

vi. maturity and growth in your eyes… your warm eyes meet mine and you tell me you see such growth. i swell, because oh, i can feel it. you must see it and feel it too. grateful. and grateful for you.

vii. commissioning… twas a small gathering, but a precious one. emotions brimmed, and yours did too. i see such strength in you, such depths of faith in you, such spiritual wisdom from you. as i pull away from you one more time, i hope it won’t be the last. such special memories shared, admiration built, a strand of affection that won’t be broken.

v. miss </3 … today i wrote how i broke down seeing all the posts. not simply fomo but truly missing places and people… people. i miss the people. i also wrote how she feels so far away. 

v. psalm 34… i asked about bible study, which led to you asking how i study the bible. and then without much of a second thought i turned and read psalm 34 to you. ❤ thank you for letting me do that.

xi. dreading the weekend… i didn’t want to face it; her; Him… not in the slightest. why did she have to, why did He have to, why did it have to go that way. my bitterness and my pain from the year past wreak and my heart is wrenched and hurt from all the destruction it seems it cost.

xi. what am i looking for? you come to me while the others make their way to leave and ask if i’m alright. thank you for you, ts. thank you for pointing me to the light.

xi. don’t be afraid to feel the pain in suffering… and to grieve the pain, but let it lead you to God not away from Him. rest and lean in His peace and presence. He is sovereign. 

xii. redemptive song… claiming tremble as a victory declaration cry over defeat, disappointment, disgrace.

xiii. recordings… thank you for sending and sharing building up of identity and majesty and build my life and reminders that loved is who i am. i close my eyes and listen while i spend a quiet morning on the train.

xiii. open hands… our car made its way to the top of the hill, and peace begins to take residence. the song plays, and i break a little remembering that time a year ago where things were whisked out of my hands and plans didn’t fall into place. the sweetest sound, the highest praise is the letting go of this life You gave. 

xiii. the sun will rise and we will rise again… she prays a mighty prayer as we gather around. it was a cold, bleak afternoon. she says a strong amen, and the sun shone on us all.

xiv. cora… i got to scoop you up into a huge hug and you pecked a kiss on my cheek and it was the most wonderful thing.

xiv. 40 minute calls with my anjel. ❤

xv. Ramen bowls and city strolls… twas good for my soul. 🖤grateful for talks of pursuing peace in the midst of anxiety, of trusting in the midst of not knowing, of finding life in every season, of having faith and keep pursuing.

xviii. needing to be patient… seeking cookie cutter answers but realizing i need to seek Him wholly and undeniably. who am i to put words in God’s mouth? 

xviii. late night writing… it’s okay to be in a place to just allow yourself to feel, because even here He is guiding me through every thick and thin. when your mind follows suit on fluctuated feelings, may you be still and remember though feelings sway, His truth remains. don’t let those fluctuated feelings cause you to lose grip on convictions you hold so dear, for His Word alone makes things morally clear. so as feelings come and go, seek the One who never lets you go.

xix. meetup with fgl… already within the past two months of meeting you, you’ve encouraged and inspired me to wholeheartedly seek the Lord; to think more deeply, love devotedly, and worship authentically. thank you for adding spice to my life 🙂

xix. sharm… you held my hands in yours and told me how beautiful overcome was. thank you. ❤

xx. highs and lows… you said how much you admired how i am able to see Him in everything. i never really realized or had that said to me before. all glory due to Him. thankful for conversations like this one.

xxi. one year… they sing gracefully broken and about overcoming fear and ahhhh so needed and such perfect timing how He led me to this one on this day.

xxiii. thank ya for da good food… thank you lydia so much i love you so muchhhhhh.

xxiv. i’m glad some dreams don’t come true upon waking up. ❤

xxv – xxvii. passion… experiencing new heights and depths of worship, new understanding of His love, and new declarations of His goodness. you prayed over me, that i would know His goodness, and oh, the way you choked with emotion as you spoke over me was so touching.

xxviii. stuck in woundedness… the sermon spoke of what entangles us from growing in healthy soil, then i was prayed over, that the Great Surgeon would do His repair work in me.

xxxi. halloween convictions… trying to navigate the way while the pressures build around me.

still i rise | no. 9

dear september —

i. hi i love your pfp that is all… which became a “why are you up” and “you alright?” and exchanges of assurance of His peace when thoughts wage war. even when lies come, you are altogether worthy and loved and understood by the Father and that’s most important. He understands your hurt and replaces it with peace. 

i. memories… my eyes glue to the huge movie right in front, as familiar scenes and familiar accents play before me. a part of me, a part of my heart still belongs in that little corner of asia.

ii. chubby wubbies and little miss sunshines fill my heart to the brim.

ii. driving lesson number one in the books… grateful for a patient instructor and opening this thrilling season with prayers of safety.

iii. seeking wisdom… we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. you don’t hide yourself to tease us… the spiritual person judges all things. we have the mind of Christ.

iv. thank you for the grateful and blessed. ❤

iv. more decisions… i want so badly to stay. i don’t want to move on, to walk away from where i’ve belonged. but now i don’t know… things just don’t sit right and though part of me says seasons change and this is a changing season i just don’t want it to be this way. why do i grow up and grow old…being an alumni is just awkward and weird and new and i don’t particularly like this churning of feelings that has been pulling me to wayward directions. help me to move, help me to see, help me to do whatever you would ask of me, help me to go… God help me to stay

v. i won’t be there… all these exciting things seem to be happening and i won’t be here. all these things are changing before me and i am still here. but also my shoes being filled, my place replaced… and i am still here.

vi. questions… they overwhelm. dreams and spirits and gifts and He beckons me to 1 Corinthians and i devour it and spit out questions on end. the spirit of God never leaves us, never abandons us, always fighting on our behalf… the spirit given to us is a spirit of wisdom, that we may understand the things freely given by Him. 

vi. attack… fear knocked at my door today and i didn’t dare let him in but somehow he started getting the best of me. she said don’t be scared, there’s nothing to be afraid of but here i am heart pounding, chest hurting. fear got the best of me. trouble won’t throw me, won’t break me, won’t scare me no more. fear must have thought i was faithless when it came for my heart ‘cause I got a song that will never die… tell the devil no not today

vii. our hearts are restless until they find their rest in You… in the middle of the confusion You are here with me. for God is not a God of confusion but of peace.

vii. dinner date… thank you for you. thank you for being someone i can trust to share things with. thank you for prayer huddles and chats in the car, for tender hugs, for transparency and strength. for reminding me there isn’t the presence of shadows unless there is light, so even in the moments that feel dark as can be, even there there is Light if we seek.

vii. i want to flee… somehow with the fact that i’m graduated all these things fill my brain with frustration and annoyance and exhaustion and i want nothing to do with all this anymore. maybe i don’t want to feel the hurt of leaving so i am doing this to myself or maybe this is part of the hurt of leaving but these transitions are hard, man. why am i resisting the very place and people i’ve grown to cherish?

vii. yesterday’s a closing door… that i don’t want to close.

ix. fighting warfare through worship… when it may look like i am surrounded, i’m surrounded by you… you go before i know that you’ve even gone to win my war.

ix. prayers before i leave… thank you for the encouragement, care, and love. for being family who supports and uplifts. and thank you, for the big red umbrella.

x. when you walked into the room… it was good to share with you. thank you for listening and not judging, and bringing me to next steps. grateful.

xi. i paid $1.88 for lunch today thanks to you but better yet was spending rare time with you and getting to catch up before i go.

xii. emotional and moody… i want my last days home to be full of happiness and lovely lasting last memories and yet they have been full of me keeping the house in order.

xiv. He gives what we truly need… lies were pulled like stubborn roots that had made their home too comfortable deep into the ground. i go in with one agenda in mind, yet He reveals so much more. she plays, i write, the tears flow, and the healing begins. sometimes the mark of wholeness needs to be made with a little pain. our hearts need to burst and break open to make way for all that needs to be made whole. it’s paradoxical, it’s painful, but it is mystically beautiful at the same time.

xv. #1 (move-in)… i start a new journal just as i start this new season. grateful for all the little things that make my heart start to settle and make its home — little fairy lights that light the dim, mason jar bouquet of flowers that fill me with happy, and first of many expected gorgeous sunsets that swell the soul.

xvi. goodbye… all moved in, and you all gathered around on my bed in my newly furnished and decorated room, joining hands and lifting prayers. parting words were few, emotions were many.

xvi. should we take the shuttle idk should we or not i’m glad we didn’t… oh Sam. starting off the year with friends made on a whim and staying up till 3am.

xvii. take me out to the ball game… out of the eight of us, only a couple of us even knew the game. truth be told, we went for the free food. and i enjoyed the shared experience that made for bonding.

xvii. Anjel… you are a dear. tonight as i hunker down i think of the day spent with you and feel so blessed as i scroll. i am so glad i found you. i am so glad He brought me to you.

xviii. testify… i shared with you my journey and how i got here. grateful for times of sharing.

xix. missing people… i wanna go home. then realizing home is in a million places because my heart has made its home in so many people.

xx. super uno and bible study… we toiled all night and took nothing! but at your word i will let down the nets. thankful for spiritual insights anew.

xx. feeling overwhelmed and out of place… and things back at home are insensitive and i want to run away from it all.

xxi. breakfast with em… talking psychology of people, personalities, relational intricacies, transitions, an actual conversation with a newfound friend.

xxi. campus wide worship… the first song is surrounded and i am low-key shook. i turn around mid-way during worship and see a fellow floormate. yes, i am surrounded.

xxii. chinatown with you all was filled with such joy and fun. it feels like i’ve known you all forever but it’s merely been a week.

xxiii. church visit and i see you ❤

xxiv. i feel like i should miss things more… but i don’t.

xxiv. first day of classes… isaiah 43.1_5 brings His word close to my side and reminds me i have Him as my shepherd and my guide.

xxv. bumping into billy from Philly… you made my day. sometimes i shake my head in wonder how i only meet a person once or twice and they are able to remember my name and greet me with such enthusiasm.

xxv. mail from mama. if we were face to face i’d tell you just what you mean to me, i’d tell you these simple truths. be strong in the Lord and never give up hope. you’re going to do great things, I already know. God’s got his hand on you so don’t live life in fear, forgive and forget, but don’t forget why you’re here. 

xxvi. hope… cling to it, never let it go. i sort of question why hope came to mind, but it brings such a new fragrant reminder echoing in my soul this season.

xxvii. divine meetings with strangers continually remind me that i am surrounded by a Family here.

xxvii. random love and encouragement notes make my heart glad.

xxviii. faith or friends?… i wrestle within myself but feel peace about spending time with friends. we paint a skyline against a sunset sky and it was a fun night.

xxviii. we call, and memories flood. i am worthy of love. i am loved. i am accepted. i am enough. even here i am blooming. 

xxix. oh how He loves… it’s amazing how my deepest heart cried for love just the night before and then the prayer vigil today claimed His love as the focus. i sit in my bay window as i soak in truth once again and tears stream forth.

xxx. every. single. day. i’ve met/talked with a believer since coming here. oh, He is good. so good. worship sings of do it again and holy ground and my heart brims of Motion memories and how His faithfulness reigns again and again.

xxx. are my rules keeping me away from people?… i don’t have to go to His house to seek His presence so i need not be guilty about faith over friends for His presence is omnipresent. thankful for reassurance over my struggles from this week.

you go before i know that you’ve even gone to win my war. you come back with the head of my enemy, you come back and You call it my victory. your love becomes my greatest defense, it leads me from the dry wilderness

and all i did was praise and all i did was worship, and all i did was bow down and all I did was stay still

and hallelujah, you have saved me. so much better your way
and hallelujah, Great Defender so much better this way

you know before i do where my heart can seek to find your truth
your mercy is the shade i’m living in, you restore my faith and hope again

when i thought i lost me, you knew where i left me. you reintroduced me to your love
and you picked up all my pieces, put me back together. you are the defender of my heart


still i rise | no. 7

dear july —

i. who am i?… why does it seem my work is so tied to who i am? yes, my work ethic draws characteristics, but who am i and what am i at my core? what makes me…me?

ii. just allow yourself to be… just being you, whatever that looks like. learn to separate yourself from the things that you do so that you can thoroughly know, understand, and believe that you are enough without any of the extra stuff that you do. if God loves you before you were even born, before you had the capability of doing anything, He loves you the same even as you have the capability of doing everything.

iii. we aren’t very good at resting… what does it mean to be at rest in this restless spirit and world of mine? what does rest even mean? doing nothing leads to laziness, filling my mind with busy thoughts leads to an ill spirit. do i just sit in solemn silence? 

v. they flaunted me as a mom too… and yes my flesh does feel proud, but inside, i cringe. what happened to team? 

v. royalty… we are royalty, yet i don’t feel like royalty. am i royalty? then that still but present whisper reminds me, i’m not entitled to feel or be treated like royalty. i simply am.

vii. it hurts it hurts it hurts… they ask if i’m okay and i say yes but how can i, when my insides are stabbing searing pain and all i can do is curl into a ball and squeeze my eyes shut. but even when it hurts like hell, i’ll praise You. 

x. sanctification at work… in progress of healing, yet looks and feels better. so maybe we need to push through. the breaking of us can truly be the building of us. He makes us new…

xi. turn your worry into worship, pain into praise… through it all my eyes are on you, there’s nothing i hold onto, i want more of you, God. i believe you’re my healer, i believe you are all i need.

xii. feeling like Job and juggling hope and despair… i am sorry to see your face twisted in anguish, fighting the pain, crying with questions. but it amazes me how even so, you choose to praise. when hope seems far, you choose to speak His name in faith. your praise will ever be on my lips.

xvi. it does not suffice… i got a bomb in my inbox and my shields go up. questions fly and i become disengaged, no longer even pursuing or hoping or believing. if He made a way when there was no way, will He really do it again?

xvi. are you attending college or not?… your words always have a way of stabbing a knife into one’s back and that’s exactly what i feel right now. stabbed, and pinned to the wall. hope you have not given up. 

xvii. You will stay true, even in the chaos… Your word remains truth even when my mind wreaks havoc…

xviii. meeting up… i trust and i pray that we were divinely orchestrated to spend the next year together.

xviii. sunflowers… we brought you sunflowers and honestly, they made my day. i can’t imagine all the questions or thoughts you had to wrestle within yourself to say yes to what today entailed. but you are brave and you hold a lot inside.

xix. learning to trust in the mist of unexpected uncertainty. peace, bring it all to peace. 

xix. how are things?… melting into hugs, coveting prayer, letting off the load in His presence. i rush out of the room… she sees my tears. it will be okay. i’m here for you. 

xx. knowing Papa’s love in a whole new way. i am so thirsty, so desiring, so yearning, so quenching for love. when all you see is pain, you lose sight of Me… yes, the garden is a mess. it’s wild and wonderful and perfectly in process. this mess is you. 

xx. i always marvel at His timing. like that night he talked of Sean, this night seemed so divinely timed as well. and maybe so well timed because i haven’t yet gotten over it yet. you’re not stuck because you can’t, you’re stuck because you won’t. have i? will i? please give me strength because i know this is all from You and i can’t do this alone. you don’t have to do this alone. I’m here with you… 

xxii. utterly low and utterly broken… oh God, meet me in this place that i’m in.

xxii. faith is not by sight, you said… why am i wavering like the wind? why am i losing sight of the promise of Your faithfulness? when all i see right now is looming clouds, where is the Light? thank you for speaking truth to me. for hand-in-hand prayers. for being a tall pillar of faith when i am weak. ❤

xxii. will you say yes to God or turn from His call? i felt a tug, and obeyed. would you like me to pray for you? Charise, she said. and then her hands in my hands, i prayed. God blesses our yes.

xxiii. if the wind goes where You send it so will i, if the rocks cry out in silence so will i, if creation still obeys You so will i…

xxiv. do not be afraid, do not be discouraged… you are looking at uncertainties, letting them unnerve you. fear and discouragement are waiting alongside your pathway into the future — ready to accompany you if you let them. grateful. and i woke up to thy will be done and you texted me the same. ❤

xxiv. they’re blowing up outside and i’m blowing up inside… steady my heart. 

xxv. 365… i’m grateful for so much. i’m grateful, ultimately, for how the Lord brought us together. i’m grateful for shared loves and shared passions – for our Savior, worshipping Him, and crafting words into art that express and heal the soul. grateful for trust, heart to hearts, accountability, and soul sisterhood. for the times our hearts resonate and are bound by the Spirit. for times of prayer, reading Scripture together, being in agreement with Him. you encourage me, inspire me, and sharpen me in so many ways. we rise and fall and learn and grow together and it’s so worth it. i love your squishie Care Bear cuteness for you. your beauty, your artistry, your strength. and the way we can laugh, cheshire grin, and fall off floors together brings such joy. thank you for stand by you and the broken beautiful and listening to them together. for always being there to listen, and trusting me enough to share your open and honest heart. thank you for grace, for seeking joy, for planting seeds, for being light. you are my honey bun, and you drizzle my days with sweet honey each and every day, you are the kaya to my toast, my bugaboo, and my little monster. and i love you mucho than muches and moster than mostest, babes. ❤

xxvii. in the crushing, in the pressing, You are making new wine… the worship screamed surrender and trust and the weight of the world came off as tears streamed. she spoke of return to surrender and it was then i said, okay God – your will be done, i will return the glory to You – whatever happens. and in the beauty of it all, despite shaky reception that whole weekend, one bar wavered to two. texts popped up, emails came in. all was well, the situation had passed through. worship came on again, this time screaming You are worthy and i’ve seen You move, You move the mountains and my heart and my lungs screamed out with abandon along with the thousands of others shouting His name. God you’re so good, you’re so good to me.

xxviii. being donned the mom… plus times with my wifey and pouring salt on my fam. sharing roses and thorns and belly laughing just because. and triumphing in my first battle of laser tag. though the day was full of hard conversations, needed reminders, and wretched tears, at the end of the night it felt good because this is the body.

xxix. sunrises and morning worship… and crazy dance parties on the bus. where there is new wine, there is new power. 

xxx. incredibles ii… spontaneously. my family is incredible. ❤

xxxi. encouragement spoken to another yet needed as much for me… courage and being brave don’t mean there will be no fear or no longing for something else or somewhere else but it means pushing through boldly making His strength your strength each step of the way

i know you’re good but this don’t feel good right now and i know you think of things I could never think about it’s hard to count it all joy, distracted by the noise just trying to make sense of all your promises. sometimes i gotta stop, remember that you’re God and i am not so thy will be done [thy will be done]

make me a vessel, make me an offering, make me whatever you want me to be. i came here with nothing, but all you have given me, Jesus bring new wine out of me. [new wine]

still i rise | no. 6

dear june —

i. no more night… daybreak has come. grateful for technology that allowed for grieving, celebrating in spirit, and joining in heaven’s song.

ii. 1/2… graduation. did it, done it. walked up, walked out, stood among, stood tall, stood proud. yet inside still denying whether this is all real. it will hit soon, i’m sure. here i am, send me. 

iii. to share or not to share…there was that burning nudge that morning, and it must have come from Him. with knots in my stomach and pitter patter at idea, i asked for the platform. insecurity engulfed me as i shared the raw parts of the grace that had carried me through and continues to carry me still. though eyes were casted, questions poked, and stigma lingers, i stand strong knowing i rose in courage and believing i did make an impact. to my, fp, dm, and rm, thank you ever so much for you. you have been my supporters, my mentors, and spiritual fighters on my behalf. and more fondly, probably the most caring, wise, praying, Jesus-filled people in my life. thank you for helping me see truth and see the light when i don’t see it myself.

iv. acceptance… feeling love not because of accomplishments or the joys of the evening, but because whatever i went through brought me to who i am now. standing at my bedside, though i still don’t know what you thought of it all, you looked beyond and spoke in the name of love. and my little heart’s craving felt ever so satisfied, in an ever-hungry sort of way.

v. surrounded by magnificent skies of magnificent beauty… oh, Lord, you’re beautiful. 2/2 is going to be a bittersweet one, but really good all the same. i can feel it in my bones.

vii. 2/2…congratulations, class of 2018 – on a job well done. this is it. it’s all real now. thank you and you and you for coming. to the one whose call to move to the country i grew to love, thank you. i will always remember the smiles we shared as the easipeacc made its appearance. to the one whom i only see every year on this day, thank you for bear hugs and cheering me on in whatever sights my eyes were set on. thank you for your comment on never lose your wonder. thank you to you, whom i tried but failed to pull a fun prank. thank you for the laughs and good conversation we enjoyed after. and to the one who spoke of six o’clock mornings and gorgeous sunsets each weekend, thank you for memories and reminders and encouragement and for you. thank you and broad smiles flow freely out of my made-up and glossy lips. and then over and over again we fling our tasseled caps into the moonlit night. thank you, and more.

vii. not there… i gazed into the audience that night. you said you would make it yet you never did. and she did instead. of course. the night was void of a few. a select few that i thought was always there. every year. but i guess just not this year. my year. my heart dips in the midst of the high and joyous evening as i lay in bed with the feeling like i looked and looked and you had gone.

viii. mornings spent with you… i poised the question, not expecting such a positive response. so that jumpstarted our frazzled and changed plans into motion. and oh i’m so excited.

viii. a little bit of salt, a little hint of bitterness… maybe i haven’t healed. but what is healing anyway? as time passes i know it’s not forgetting. a little but still-present piece of me still wants to be with you. and other pieces wish you away, recalling what went on merely one year prior.

viii. grace abounds… grace is who you are, grace is what you’ve been given, grace is what you’ll become when it’s all done and dusted. thank you for speaking truth, for shining light, and giganticest bear hugs from your beautiful self. ❤

xii. day one… good to be back yet wary of memories and challenges i’ll face.

xiii. changed perception on changing perception… an experience creates a belief that creates expectation that leads to behavior. and now i know this decision was a good one, this community is a great one, and this time will be a sweet one. because after all that is said and done, positive experiences coupled with the negative, i can be one who creates new experiences instead of being trapped in fear of the repeated old.

xiii. how i got to be here… we talked after small group in the listening room. and you listened. not only that, you spurred me on in a godly way. not to mention i got to meet your fun and bubbly self, the one i had heard about but didn’t get to meet until this day. and now i say, the second night here — it does feel good to be here in this place.

xiv. can i go on the store run today instead? we weaved through the aisles, gazed at big quantities, and tried fruit roll ups for the first time ever. it was a fun time. i am so happy we got to experience it together.

xiv. campfire conversations..there’s something about gazing into a crackling bonfire with sparks flying in mid-air and your eyes becoming hazy that somehow stir up deeper conversation. grateful for you and me together, sitting facing the fire and getting deep. thank you for you. for talks of trust as well as transitions. for existing while still trying to be present and a peek into your heart.

xv. teabag truths… he who wants a rose must respect the thorn.

xvi. pulled aside advice… you asked me for input and i was humbled that you would view me as one of you. yet i do so want to know your heart. will you let me?

xxviii. ba gua night… the infamous, the crazy, a highlight for sure. moments in the tower closet talking about everything from mid-shift concerns to relationships and sharing funny stories.

xx. we renew our mind… and in doing so, we are able to test what is good, pleasing, and perfect.

xx. serenity… just a year before, the prayer was said, and oh my heart clung to the words, desperately needing it at that time. and now, tonight, i see that prayer typed and laying on a chair in that very same room. and all i can think of now is God is good. imagine my heart leaping with excitement when i see the same prayer painted across those wooden planks outside the tc.

xxi. caffeine crash… i’m overwhelmed, burned out, anxious. the sugar strikes and my mental, emotional, and physical state goes bezerk. there, in the hallway of no return, i bite away tears as physically i explode and inwardly crumble, not knowing what to do. for a community who loves and cares i had wanted someone. and lo, after changed and ready for the night, you came to my corner in the closet. and as i sat there breaking down, your presence built me up. oh, your heart is kind. i love you, my little mei mei. ❤

xxii. there is no fear in love… grateful for reminders in devotions, for daily assurances of His love that is not in pieces.

xxiii. sleepovers… i loved sleeping over with the both of you. there is something different and amazing about seeing each other again a second time. our friendship is a fast one and a fun one. even in the midst of sleepover slip-ups, i loved it. thank you both for sharing your floor with me.

xxiv. dear mrs. freeman… what a sweet, sweet time with the whole team together at the same time celebrating the servanthood and leadership of an incredible woman. precious moments indeed.

xxiv. calls from my Care Bear… you told me the hard truth, and i was distant on the other line. you felt it, i’m sure. you spoke of fixing my eyes beyond, not getting caught up in all of the little things that were going wrong. and oh how i appreciate you. even thousands of miles away, as hard as it is, you’re here, influencing many, influencing me. ❤

xxv. meaningful conversations… sharing about faith over fear, big decisions, and His work through it all. i see tears well up in your eyes as my story intersects with your daughter’s, and feel His spirit guide and move our hearts and minds as we listen and share.

xxv. can we talk real quick?… which stretched into a couple hours, but that didn’t matter because being there in the hallway with you was such a blessing to me. i hope you know that – no matter what. you’re strong. thank you for trusting me. thank you for you. ❤

xxv. back rubs and going back to truth… i love how you tell others they’re amazing. and tonight i saw the amazingness that is wrapped up in you. thank you for asking the hard questions, for being open to honest answers, for giving me space, for speaking truth over me, over my past, and into my future. and hugs from behind and back scratches in the silence. the silence that hurt, the silence that stung, where i didn’t know what to let out and how much to share, but at the end the silence gave me space and gave me breath and was a lovely place.

xxvii. i love you more than more… opening the thin, folded paper to your beautifully written handwriting screaming babeeee and filled to the edges of sweet encouragement, heart words, and so much more filled me to the brim and over. it hurts not being together but here you are all the same. ❤

xxviii. empowering adults… honey and lily, thank you for being those kinds of people to me today. because at the end of our chats, i felt full of life and empowered.

xxviii. i was thinking of you when i was reading and thinking of freedom from our fears… little did you know that i had just started being filled with those queasy, uneasy feelings i label anxiety that is tied to this thing called fear. thank you for reaching out. Jesus, you are the keeper of peace, the liberator of fear.

xxix. once in icc always in icc… my heart breaks as i see you all stand on the platform and become commissioned. you – my people. you – my family. you – my community. and i’m not “in.” but i rejoice for the times and memories and experiences shared. and you and i, with hand in hand under the tablecloth, holding each other tight. shedding tears with aching hearts, then rising and dancing together to one more what makes you beautiful. 

God of Your promise, You don’t speak in vain, no syllable empty or void [so will i]



still i rise | no. 5

dear may —

i. decision day… glorious weather, beautiful blooms, unexplainable peace, bubbling excitement. phone calls with mrs. h in the thrill of the outdoors, imexcitedimexcitedimexcited imexcitedforyouimexcitedforyou

i. i’m sorry you don’t see the beauty in the night. i’m sorry for the darkness that seems to separate us, sending us in our little corners. i don’t like it either.

ii. surprises in the mail… omg i love you. this made my day. you are so full of God’s love, passionate to live for Him and serve the people around you even when you aren’t sparkling. oh, you put a smile on my face that sparkled wide… but not as much as the one stretched across my heart from your words, your friendship, and the way you sparkle to me. ❤

iii. worship night in america… turn your worry into worship. on the mountains i will bow my life to the one who set me there in the valley i will lift my eyes to the one who sees me there

iv. imagine how free we’d feel if we learned to truly believe that in every situation, trust was the antidote to fear, that consciously trusting God would cause our moments of anxiety to be diminished

iv. sun bathing on the driveway, moments reading with my baby, and helping her super-clean. spontaneous visits and joyful reunions, carside chats and making Lazzy laugh. heart-to-hearts half a world away with aa, exchanging encouragement and prayer, all full of love.

iv. if you could pick a song… i love how our hearts are joined in such harmony.  ❤

vi. it all feels so right right now.

vi. backs turned and secluded kisses… leaving glum feelings in my gut. did you know i saw you? you seem distant since that day.

vii. why did you doubt? He said as He reached his arm. So He will do the same for me… reaching into the now-doubtful crevices after commitments and decisions and saying yes that make me feel weak and insecure and replacing with peace.

vii. good things can’t happen without change… oh how true.

vii. Cheshire grins and kaya dates makes up for this dark before dawn day that it was.

viii. finally done with finals… three essays in one night, boo yea.

ix. i had a feeling that would be the one… thank you for being in communication with the Father on my behalf and being someone i always look forward to giving you updates.

x. i felt so exposed, and so ashamed… but i braved it. i thought for sure no one would pick such an artist like this one. and i was right. my artist… so different. but there was something that took place in exposing and raising corners of secret places that led to satisfying peace. peace. a peace because i said yes to being open and transparent and giving more of myself for a homework assignment, a peace because each and everyday He redeems my story. a peace because i didn’t just give more of myself, i gave myself. i used to think i was the strangest person in the world, but then i thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways i do. i would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me, too…

x. her kidneys are shutting down and she doesn’t have much longer… till we meet, till we meet, till we meet at Jesus’ feet… God be with you till we meet again. 

x. the greatest showman as i lift into the skies and soar among the clouds. this is the greatest show. 

xi. i will never ride a coach the same again… opening my eyes in wonder in the land of Budapest and sitting in cushioned seats, with air-conditioner blowing my hair rapidly. i cannot help but muse on the last time i entered a new land and sat in a now-familiar coach like this.

xii. sea billows roll and dwelling in the river… sorrows can come like how sea billows roll yet peace like a river comes my way. the same God who made the currents in the waves has the power to still it. reflections on the river danube.

xiii. art art art and architecture, coffeeshops, and confluence of the danube bringing me back to memories from the city of muddy confluence.

xiv. sunning on the deck… just me, music, and the expanse of nature and landmarks and Europe around me. being excited and full of glee over the mention of the city of willendorf.

xv. walking the color painted cobble-lined streets of passau… laughing over our (lack of) german and running up and down and through the halls of the glass museum like a bunch of happy six year olds.

xvi. spontaneous shopping yayayayayay.

xvi. stained glass sights… their breathtaking and majestic sky-towering beauty. there is beauty in the “stained,” the tarnished, the broken.

xviii. mrt station vibes, fisherman’s friend, and you bundled up with only your little eyes peeping through your jacket… oh take me back.

xx. it is well… thank you a million times for doing that. my heart bubbles over. He is good today, and everyday.

xxi. last happy dance, last time in my chapter as a chapter member, last of a season of the chapter crew that i know. will we see you again? i realize so much now how much i love these people. this family. this community. this is my story, this is my song…

xxiv. skyline against the golden sunset… thank you for saying yes, for enjoying the night together, and being old knocked-out ladies slumped over together too. your head with mine, and my head with yours, and all the feels.

xxv. return, return, return… to me. signed, fear not. oh what a sweet blessing you are to me.

xxv. bring me back — bring me back to the place where i felt warm and at rest. bring me back to the people, the people who know and love me the best. bring me back to the time when doubts didn’t evade, when there was not a slight glimpse to question my security, my acceptance, my belonging. comparison snatches away hearts and souls, mind and spirit. it cranes your neck, puts hunger in the eyes of one’s heart. that hunger and drive should crave instead for the only Love that satisfies — the One who says this is my child, whom i love and of whom i am well pleased.

xxvii. you understood, you didn’t ask why… and didn’t bring condemnation either. and you, of all people. thank you.

xxvii. strip me, bruise me, wreck me. i want You, i miss You, i need You… so i will chase You, find You, hold You. even here You chase me, find me, hold me. i am Yours, Yours, Yours and you are Mine, Mine, Mine.

xxvii. oh the treasure of those you love… to hear heaven gained a faithful servant today swashes the grief with joy that you are home. death is real, death is real, death is a real deal yet on this i will hope and on this i will cling — God will be with me till we meet again. 

xxx. another last… but oh, worship was on fire as much as ever tonight. so thankful i get to part of this community. never forget where you started.

grateful for people and places… and places with the people i love.

still i rise | no. 3

dear march —

i. why does healing take so much time? and this thing called time — will it ever come?

i. big yellow umbrellas and northern lights… i’ll just sit with you in the dark and hold a big yellow umbrella over your head until the sun can shine again and we can see the best yellows. thank you for you a million times over.

i. joy is there, trust me… we are walking in it in spite of the storm in our life. we are taking our thoughts captive, trusting Christ, staying in prayer, and in His word… that secret place — joy can be found there.

ii. don’t wait it out… pray it out. prayer is the force that makes all hell quiver in fear and causes heaven to stand to its feet with joyful applause.

iii. nián gāo and dòu fu flan… safe from the storm.

iv. limited power doesn’t limit the power of the Holy Spirit… candlelit worship center, huddled in the cold; communion in huddled coats. overflow in this place… the spirit of the Lord is here. and indeed — where there was alarm and loss of power, He poured blessing and peace. loss of power became the Father’s great gain.

iv. you saw me sitting there, wrapped up in my coat. you beckoned me — bid me — to move towards the fireplace. and though i was okay where i was, i shed my coat and moved myself closer. i sat there on the floor, the warmth of the fire dancing against my back and giving heat to my cheeks. sometimes shedding and moving out of what did provide warmth is necessary for experiencing the next level of the warmth of His goodness. thank you for inviting me to draw closer… draw nearer.

iv. the paints won’t behave, the shading doesn’t look right, the gradients are simply awful… and yet what matters is the progress, not perfection. and reminders to give myself grace, to admire the beauty that is there, and not be too hard on myself. oh, the journey of an artist. this is what makes artistry — not so much as to perfect as it is to understand and grow — from within.

v. invigorated by the power of the Holy spirit… we’ve got the Holy Spirit and all of His power in us. in Him we have peace, joy, and hope and He will finish what He starts. confidently flawed. 

vi. learning the secret of being content… striving to give the glory due His name, for i deserve none of this.

vi. out of the heart the mouth speaks. so though my brain wanted to say one thing, You took it away and replaced it with my heart. don’t let what you don’t know about God hinder you from believing what you do know about Him. rejoice in hope, be patient in trials, constant in prayer.

vi. it started with a cat… and then the crazies came out and then we fell off the floor… and i became a laughing bobbly head. (falling rn, actually… rereading texts again)

viii. heaving all my cares away with each heave and agonizing shovelful. hot dogs in the cold, and blasting praises all the day long. the snow never bothered me anyway. 

x. in pursuit of becoming fearless… maybe God is letting all this happen so i may experience a breakthrough of all that is tying me down. maybe this is a year of fearing more so that i can be fear-less.

x. marks of the true christian… share with the Lord’s people who are in need. practice hospitality. a wake up to love — i need a change of heart.

xi. the power and influence of prayer, and the awe-inspiring hand of God in even the littlest of angels. pray, pray, pray. trust and obey for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus than to trust and obey. 

x. have you ever seen the wonder and spending time with little sunshines. Zay-Zay and Phyllis — thank you for allowing me to squeeze you tight, peck cheeks, make silly faces, and stand in the cold for you in such a love-doing way.

xii. from the journal: “the gentleman seated on the plane in front of us chewing his gum with such vigoration (yes idek if that is a word but it is now) made me laugh so much and i wanted to just swing a bat around at life because hey everyone should do the simplest of things like chewing a piece of gum with such satisfaction that all who watches them just can’t help but smile. kinda like the lollipop effect. wow… i’m deep. thanks, gum-man.”

xiii. more trust, less fear. and may purity line the spaces of my heart and mind.

xiv. random texts, gifs that say you’re rooting for me, and reminders to take courage. ❤

xiv. what if i didn’t complain but stuck through it? what if i didn’t question it as a sign of weakness but knew that God must think i’m strong enough through Him to come out of it? what if i didn’t mumble saying this is the worst, but changed my perspective, knowing God only gives me His best?

xiv. 2/4 now and i put this one aside with barely a second thought.

xv. mid-day spontaneity brings joy and laughter to my day. milkshakes and strolling with you leave me feely but mixed.

xviii. nothing i hold onto… heaviness in my heart but not knowing why and “feeling weird.” i walked out of the room, needing some space. you said it’s okay to let it out. oh God, it’s so hard to surrender. i lean not on my own understanding, my life is in the hands of the Maker of heaven. 

xix. God-given brain lapses remind me to fix my eyes ahead and remain steadfast. i need to trust His heart with all my heart.

xix. not everything in life has to show a rose in bloom, or a light at the end of the tunnel. sometimes the greatest ministry is to establish connection, showing the darkness in the tunnel or the thorns on the rose, sitting by someone in the dark.

xix. desktop wallpaper reflecting, “i will climb this mountain with my arms wide open…” and amazed at His way in nudging this theme to me over and over.

xxii. 3/4… oh happy day. plus two jars of kaya.

xxii. feeling cingulomania for you, kalon. 

xxiv. even after so much, you never stop loving… oh thank you for you.

xxiv. even here, there’s still grace… thank you for your warm hug that made me melt in your embrace.

xxv. seeing the early morning sun rise… a canvas of Your grace.

xxv. God you are sovereign… in sickness and in death. grateful for soulful anthems that we are not alone even in deep waters, and chats of wisdom and guidance. brokenness cracks open a soul so the power of God can crack the darkness in the world. 

xxv. broken seashell… along the edge of the shore; with the tide lapping in and out over it. even in the low and high tides of life, the waves don’t overtake me – there are people speaking into me, praying for me, and thinking of me. through emptiness and brokenness, celebrating life that comes after death while also taking time to grieve… through it all it will be alright. He makes use of the broken pieces of our shells and makes us vessels for Him.

xxvii. i will trust here in the mystery… i will trust in you completely.

xxvii. love — a continuing debt we owe others. may we love as You love. 

xxviii. people and places and all the like… things are changing, and it’s all so bittersweet.

xxviii. convictions… figuring out what it means to love as He loves and follow through. grant us the courage to give as You are calling.

xxx. seeing you after i had dreamed about you last night filled my heart with so much joy. God is good.

xxx. our lives a tapestry of Your grace… it is finished… yahweh. so humbled and blessed to serve You with such amazing artists before a packed house and an audience of One.

xxxi. following through with convictions… let’s love in that crazy love He’s shown us, one that He gives so extravagantly and freely. 

xxxi. when God’s children obey, the enemy preys… thankful for that recognition. this. this comes through following through.

i will climb this mountain with my arms wide open… there’s nothing i hold on to. [nothing i hold on to]

may your love cause us to open up, cause us to open up our hearts. may your light cause us to shine so bright that we bring hope into the dark. all that we do without love, it means nothing. grant us the courage to give as you’re calling. make me an instrument of your peace. where there is hatred let me show love. where there is darkness let me shine light [open up]

still i rise | no. 2

dear february —

i. happy mail from cc… shrills of delight, tears of joy, tugs from the heart. thank you. ❤

i. oh deer… he says i must get it in, everything there or not. i give in and comply. later, another bids me to join. and there i surrender all. all of me and nothing less, Lord have your way. strip me, take me, now i have empty hands.

i. build my life… thank you for rich reminders like these. thank you for your heart, your sensitivity, your following of His prompting.

ii. come here. *snarky grin*

ii. thank you for your application… weeks and weeks had passed and this morning it went through. thank you Father for teaching me what it means to wait. you were waiting for me all along.

ii. hey beautiful… my heart went out for you in the late of the night, so i scoured scripture, interceded, and sent words + songs. you are so strong, my love. and even now in your weakness, in the unknown, in the sickness and pain, you are still strong. why? because you are allowing others to surround you. thank you for allowing me to do that, dear.

iv. you put your arm around my shoulder and it felt nice.

iv. you don’t realize the significance of a day until it becomes but only a memory.

v. those who watch for the providence of God will never lack the providence of God to watch for.

vi. tainted heart… thinking about anything and everything. but no, i will keep myself from fading. i am strong and full of life. 

vii. the storm that’s brewing… we mustn’t forget the beauty. each drop of moisture, each drop of precipitation — they’re beautiful because He made them and He makes all things beautiful.

viii. burned out… please give me strength for today and joy to face tomorrow.

viii. hey thanks for your comment; i needed it. every seed buried in sorrow, You will call forth in its time. 

ix. exposing and expelling fears and bringing them to light. i fear i tarnished our relationship yet again. but i thank you for your grace.  fear not – if i could say it any louder i would. 

ix. breaking bread together, sharing in community. raising our voices, laughing as one. oh praise the One who paid our debt and raised this life up from the dead. 

xi. for it’s when we break a little — we come alive. it’s in this space of feeling, we get to expand.

xi. v day approaches and all sorts of muddled feelings come with it. but with it, comes wisdom, laughter, learning to say no, and hey – it’ll be okay.

xii. there’s sunshine beyond. yes there is. yes there is. yes there is.

xiii. i sat there paralyzed, struggling to calm down. one hour went by, then two. i shared i was going under and you did everything you thought of to help. and i just want to tell you i appreciate it.

xiv. be my song when i have no song. be my melody when melodies seem lost. You are my song. be my song again.

xiv. i don’t know what is going on… and i feel so far gone. one, two, and then now three. breathe, breathe, breathe. breathe, honey, breathe.

xvi. she says she is dying… oh poor baby.

xvii. the early morning fog – when you can barely see or feel around you, only what is directly in front; and just barely. and yet the coolness of the air is breathtaking and comforting because you have faith that things are stirring in the mist.

xvii. you ran away and into my arms. so precious.

xvii. i must freely, lavishly, generously, completely give grace. and grace will enable me to do so.

xix. consider it all joy… through it all my eyes are on You. it is well with me.

xix. nothing, no nothing takes Him by surprise. focus on the master of the work, not the work of the master.

xx. we should patiently abide, rest in the rivers of who he is. choose hope and joy in the waiting; in the in-between; in the space between the paragraphs. so i will speak in hope and think about hope. i will use hope as the anchor of my very fragile soul.

xxi. how is it that the weather can change from beautiful heaps of snow to all of a sudden warm spring-like day? how is it that the atmosphere of our hearts can go from full of life to all of a sudden dormant?

xxi. could you just leave me alone and let me be? respect for others, respect for me?

xxi. hey i just want to thank you. for speaking out and speaking up. you are pretty amazing. really. a true giant slayer.

xxii. the engine stopped and stood to a still. rememberconsider it all joy. yes, even this. and the engine lurched and jumped into motion.

xxii. we’ve got a treasure that’s not like any treasure. it’s Jesus! my heart melts when i’m around you.

xxii. championing diversity and icc… a diverse culture means an innovative culture. ah, it feels so good to be introduced to a culture that models and values the same language.

xxii. beast it. find your voice. rise above. break beyond.

xxii. you looked into my eyes and i looked into yours. you gave me perspective, you gave me courage. you made me see how my family is a treasure, and how i am empowered, equipped, and emboldened to act. to not simply be okay with okay. i am indebted to you – the woman you are to all and to me. your ability to have such strength – through Him. how you make your faith evident and strong to all. how you carry your head high. how you stand as a lifeline, as a support, and second mom.

xxiii. i have sought joy and found it. He’s in the waiting and the sun does rise, painting colors in the night.

xxiii. sometimes after a storm’s passing you go back and recount the storm. my mind lurched into cognition and words and phrases became a line and then another… overcoming, overcome, overcame. grateful for the gift of words.

xxiv. adrenaline rushes and essays, rococo and impressionism. i am so so happy.

xxv. when everything goes array but everyone gives you grace, you realize how hard you are on yourself and how desperately you need to receive that one thing — grace. it’s okay. it’s okay.

xxvi. sunsets and new beginnings… even the end can be beautiful. the sun will rise again.

xxvii. Easter – it changes everything. we carry the resurrecting power of Jesus every moment of our lives. how can i keep from singing your praise?

xxvii. some dreams feel so real you wish they were true. then exchanges that bring all smiles and grins and i miss you.

xxviii. we tried again. i couldn’t tell if he understood, but at least he listened. grateful for those who pulled chairs to make sure things were alright. for those who spoke, and for those whose quiet presence gave security to me. and even for those who weren’t there but made sure to check if things went alright.

there’s no shadow You won’t light up, mountain You won’t climb up coming after me. there’s no wall You won’t kick down, lie You won’t tear down, coming after me.

You’re my hope in the shadows, my strength in the battle, my anchor for all my days.

deut. 32.3_4, matt. 11.28_30, ps. 55.22, lam. 5.21, job 33.4, ps. 34.5_6, job 36.15, 1 thes. 5.16, zech. 4.6, job 42.2, is. 46.3, is. 40.28_31, ps. 34.19, rom. 15.13, micah 7.7, luke 1.37, jer. 31.25, dan. 12.3, heb. 13.8, rom. 5.5, is. 9.2

overcoming, overcome, overcame

her heart stirred violently inside of her chest
her weary hands, trying to push it all down,
all the while choosing to breath in with hope and exhale with grace.

she didn’t settle, no she reached for more —
more than just existing, more than just breathing.
she was made of cells and atoms and matter so she knew she had to matter… somehow.

finally, with each labored breath
her shaking slowed and came to a cease.
now she walked step by step,
allowing her hand to be pulled by the King’s,
making His strength her strength and living with peace.

minute by minute, moment by moment,
the battle in her soul –
that was His battle now.

and then heaven met earth with an unforeseen kiss.
she felt a push and a pull –
it was the love of the King.

she thought to herself that battle that rages, oh the battle inside –
that battle within her, it’s already been won.
for the One that is in her is far greater in power
than the monsters and demons that tease to devour.

so she takes courage in the waiting.
she knows dark comes before dawn,
and the pain she feels is a catapult to an ever greater, ever bolder
chasing of peace
though night surrounds her, the light still shines on darkest nights.

the battle that rages?
the battle is her victory.

she’s an overcomer. 

yes she is, yes she is, yes she is.
it’s what’s painted across, etched into, and engraved on her soul.

i’m an overcomer. i’m an overcomer. i’m an overcomer…
i’m overcoming. i’ve overcome. i’ve overcame. 

peace, bring it all to peace, the storms surrounding me. let them break at Your name.

(anxiety attacks are hard and painful and awful but hey, i’m an overcomer and this poem just sort of came from that high tide/low tide and i just sort of had to get it out, you know?)

slipping by | pt. 9

dear september —

i. paralysis… worry and fear paralyzed me. oh no, Father… not again. but yes, it seems. yes… again.

iii. pride… pride got the best of me, and i could feel it. i was running on a performance cycle rather than a serving heart. i wonder if hamsters get exhausted once in awhile or maybe that’s just me.

iv. memories… bowling alleys and bbqs. cannolis and laughter. lighthearted conversations, but also bittersweet ones. sitting on the pink carpet, posing for a last picture, with our faces forlorn – all i think about is how dreadfully short life is and how whatever we have now we won’t have forever.

v. mr. nice guy… i understand now. my heart cringes at every menacing act and now i’m just as fired up as before.

v. voice… gonna help you find your voice… 

vii. prayers… when you realize the prayers you utter for someone else become your heart’s cry too.

viii. midday encouragement… i had one person in mind, but when God gives you an idea, he likes to make things as big as he can. so out it went. and wow God. it is more blessed to give than to receive. 

viii. wifey… you helped me be myself tonight. you filled me with laughter and silly antics until we had to be shushed. but girl, if i had to be shushed for once, it’s a good sign indeed. in fact, you made me feel safe. and most of all, you helped me break loose and be free. free to finally be me– in a place that’s supposed to be home and feel like family. and for that, i thank you.

viii. victimized… i feel like the victim. she broke down, and all of a sudden tension broke loose. and i got so annoyed when he came over and invaded my personal bubble. there is therefore no condemnation… 

iv. mornings texts… i genuinely appreciate that mixed with promises of truth and sending angels your way make my heart just a few ounces lighter.

xi-xii. heartache… here i sit, writing a date at the top of my page. flashbacks, numbers, anxiety. is this what depression feels like? i wrote for therapy; some cared to ask, some didn’t. and sadly enough, some of those who did ask, didn’t seem to really care for that matter.

xi. just listening… that’s all i did. but what came out of it was so beautiful. so beautiful that it could have only been arranged by Him. it’s not me — it’s God.

xii. grateful… and forever thankful for thoughtful hearts like yours. i am so glad God brought me a gem like you. your love you mores and sorrys mean the world to me as all else fades away.

xv-xvi. resuscitation… today, an extra bit of fresh, living air was pumped into my heart through the mouth of the beautiful brokenness of another and through the reviving power of one of my favorite bands. your failing heart is never actually failing. when God claims you, He will never fail you. 

xvii. Joyce… its meaning – cheerful and happy; bringer of joy. oh tis so sweet; what an angel! you gave me a quick hug, and reached over and gave me another — this time hugging even more tightly and longer than before, then facing me with your bouncy manner and smile so broad. that was the love of the Father! 

xvii. reminiscing… celebrating accomplishment, community, and the incredible power of cheerwine.

xx. trying to understand… in the midst of this chaos, open up my eyes in wonder. show me who you are and fill me with your love to those around me.

xxiii-xxix. serenity… grant me the serenity to accept the things i cannot change, courage to change the things i can, and wisdom to know the difference.

xxvii. walks… thank you for walking life with me. for guiding me in wisdom and truth. let’s make this a daily thing, shall we? from now till the day i embark to the next place i’ll be for four years. alas, senioritis. it is real. i am going to miss you so much.

xxvii. sweet friend… with statistics as a conversation starter and personalities as a common bonding, we started sharing of each other. oh sweetheart, thank you for being real with me, and letting me be the same with you. counting down the days till we meet again…

xxviii. words… they bleed. the pixels and ink — they smear the torn, wrinkled, scorched pages. they haunt too. repeated event after repeated event, not sure whether to laugh at the devil’s schemes or cry in defeat.

xxix. bitterness… holding it together until i could stand no more. where’s the sky when i hit the ground?

xxx. i sat there on the couch, holding back tears. you take my hands and beckon me to look into your eyes. my small frame melts as yours envelops me — things are going to get better, baby

xxx. i feel alive… i’ve come alive. the joy of the Lord, yes it’s been restored in me. the peace of the Prince, yes oh yes… it’s come over me.

walking around these walls, i thought that by now they’d fall…waiting for change to come, knowing the battle’s won, for You’ve never failed me yet. 

col. 2.6_7 / ps. 37 /  dan. 12.3 / ps. 125.1 / is. 45.2_3 / is. 46.4 / ps. 30.5 / ps. 94.18_22 / jer. 17.7_14 / 1 pet. 1.6_7 / 2 cor. 4.7_11 / is. 57.18_19 / ps. 77.16,19_20 / job 11.13_19 / ps. 37 nlt / ps. 55.22

slipping by | pt. 8

dear august —

i. our love for each other broke loose as we ventured into greater depths and allowed ourselves to look into into the heart of the other.

ii. he whines and drags his feet, sending her voice to rise and fall with increasing intensity, then snap. and there i sit, bending to accommodate, but whispers cloud my brain. missing out; disregarded; alone; not special anyway. turmoil boils within me. should i have gone? i will never know.

ii. anxiety rose and despair bubbled from within me. things that ought to have been were no longer there. and yet that thought pops up – practice faith instead of projecting with fear – and gives me peace of mind. when disappointments and stress abound, you were my comfort.

ii. she is upset with me. i did it out of love, but i feel she didn’t feel it in return. oh, to think that there will be a time when i will no longer be your mate as i have been all these years. let’s make these times count, dear. i’m sorry.

iii. living a love does life requires daily surrender and conscious effort. thanks for showing me how i need to make love an action verb and not just a state of being.

iii. i feel bleh now that my heart is stable. now i’m not okay with being okay. and life moves on…

v. in the midst of lows and discouragement, you gave me words to say. you put a song in my mouth. you planted seeds of truth that just kept on flowing. and it felt beautiful… and oh, so freeing to be a vessel of assurance. it was not i, but him. keep speaking truth…

v. he answered the bonus question on that quiz and my heart gave way. disappointment. pain. rejection. i’m sorrys won’t make things better… not right here, not right now. why did i allow myself to be hurt in this way. i’m not comfortable with who i am anymore…

v. i wish i could have had a moment to look you in the eye, hold you tight like that time just a few weeks ago, and say how much i would miss you. words don’t suffice. and you knew that. your texts… you showed me you really cared about exactly how i felt. i am thankful for honest exchanges in the midst of bumps and feeling like hell, and when people are being a baka. you’re there. i care. i think you’re just fine. you’re not unloved. i love you and you’re not alone cause i’m here still. those words are my security… even in the midst of the heartache.

vi. the quaking of my heart broke loose as every lie was met face to face with the voice of truth. i sat there, elements in hand, and tears clouded my eyes. you give life, you are love, you bring light to the darkness, you give hope, you restore very heart that is broken…

vii. you can’t walk right; you’re turning in. crooked; like a pigeon… it’s actually cute. no, i know it isn’t. don’t make it sound like it is. but thanks for those gentle reminders of beautiful imagery that comes with crooked feet.

viii. my heart stopped again. i seem to be prone to heart attacks lately, i must say. your questions – they are insensitive. your words – condescending. only when i snap, do you offer some uplifting words. and the comment i utter in return – simple, yet beautiful and profound. when you’re in the deepest pain you learn to treasure even the slightest joyful moments.

viii. you are my rock. with you i will not be shaken. you are so cool and your timing is incredible.

viii. he wanted a facetime and of course i couldn’t say no. and when he told me why, i nearly burst into tears. dang, warm sensations swelled in me. not because of what we had done, but what he did. trust is lovely, when not harmed. he makes beautiful things out of us…

ix. you are a world changer. don’t let anyone or anything come between you and your purpose… oh, my soul. thank you for your heart and your random email. you spoke into me exactly what i need to hear.

ix. i won’t begin to try to imagine what you are going through, hon. but i can see it in your eyes… not just the physical pain but also your heart. i want to get through to you… but all i’ll say for now is that i’m sorry and i love you… through it all, my eyes are on You – it is well with me. yes – it is well with my soul.

x. late night hazy thoughts brought uneasy convictions. what’s been done can’t be undone… i need love to cover the shame and regret.

xi. juggling between surface-level inclusion and real, deep community is oh so hard.

xi. when you pass through the waters, i will be with you. when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you… grateful for beautiful melodies hemmed by equally beautiful souls.

xiii. memories came flooding back. i will build my life upon your love… i will not be shakenshe walked up… and i did too. and the spirit of God came down. yet she turned around with dumbfounded shock… why?

xiv. all of a sudden i feel like skipping and leaping like Motel Kamzoil – wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles. shout it, go on and scream it from the mountains… that he is God.

xiv. prophetic words – grace upon grace. fresh pouring out of anointing oil, running over my face. art… and a wide and beautiful canvas. relationships too… and peace instead of anxiety. as she said those words, my eyes met hers and gazed deep within. thank you, my angel.

xv. thank you for lunch dates with my fellow twin. her discerning spirit encourages me to come into the light. and he shares his own moments of darkness, assuring me that i’m not alone. grateful for heart-to-hearts.

xv. laughing till tears roll down our cheeks… three hours of catching up and adding bits and pieces does a soul much good. celebrate good times, come on.

xvi. soak in God’s grace… grace, crashing over me. crashing over and over and over…

xvii. demons run and flee, at the mention of your name, King of majesty. wow, God. a force was great upon my chest, i could hardly breathe; my limbs felt numb, and then panic had stricken me. i didn’t know what to make of it. there are still so many questions. but she said, there is no reason to be scared. God’s not scared. my eyes are open now. i do believe.

xvii. disappointments and blame pained my spirit as things didn’t happen the way i had hoped. clinging to the promise of redemption despite seemingly missed opportunities.

xvii. he asked if he could vent and my heart broke for him. suddenly his insensitivities didn’t matter anymore because now i knew his story.

xviii. you called my name and i ran out of that grave. yet i came home and it seemed like i was buried deep again. he is sneaky. but i must stay strong. keep singing that fight song.

xviii. she said she would see him that day and something in me begged to break off the falsehood. no, dear… something happened and all i feel is love. not the kind of love that is infatuated and mushy with feelings, but the kind of love we were meant to have for each and every human soul.

xix-xxiii. prone to wander Lord i feel it, prone to leave the God i love… in the storm we conquer, we fight. we raise our banner high, for we know that He who promised is faithful.

xxi. frustrations abound. what do i do and how.

xxii. taking time to exchange lies and replace them with goodness and truth. i am deeply and immeasurably loved…

xxiii. i’m breathing in your grace, i’m breathing out your praise… forever my heart will sing

xxiv. thank you for the joy of realizing the correct day of the week… it made my heart so happy.

xxiv. he has drifted. gone absent. being sad about the thought is rather an understatement. or am i taking things too personally with my head wrapped in fantasies?

xxiv. hand in hand we walk together. the air is fresh, the talk is pleasant.

xxv. texts pop in and i grow bitter. in pain there is a purpose, in hurt there is a hope… 

xxvi. oh how my heart rejoiced when what was lost is now found. the impossible can always be made possible.

xxvii-xxx. i’m not sure what to do anymore… and honestly, i don’t know if i want to do anymore.

xxxi. panic gripped me by the neck, shook me back and forth, sent me flying. someone said it, and it shot a million triggers in my already crazy brain. i am sinking down in a sea of whys…

xxxi. thankful for three-hour long concerts in the comfort of our home. for the cause of Houston, but more like the comfort for my heart and soul.  in the middle of the storm, you are in control. in the middle of the war, you guard my soul. you alone are the anchor, when my sails are torn… your love surrounds me in the eye of the storm.

there are days when clouds surround us, and the rain begins to fall, the cold and lonely winds won’t cease to blow. and there seems to be no reason for the suffering we feel; we are tempted to believe God does not know. when the storms arise, don’t forget we live by faith and not by sight… bow the knee.
wow thanks for an eventful month. for testing and refining through the fire. for drawing me closer to yourself into intimacy with you.
matt. 11.28_30 / gen. 50.20_21 / john 14.27 / ps. 37.7 / is. 54.10 / ps. 147.14_16 / matt. 7.24_27 / 1 peter 1.6_7 / is. 42_16 / ps. 27.13_14 /  is. 40_29 / ps. 23.1_6