I sat in a place I’ve sat many times and realized I was withholding the very thing I’m created for. To love. Love when your scared. Love when you don’t know the outcome. To hope for something. To dream a little bigger. Make God bigger than all the other things. It’s His rightful place. I talk about it all the time, yet needed desperately to make it personal this morning. And so on this ridiculously warm morning, I looked at my life and realized how easy it is to put up a wall in defense of the unknown and not even realize it.
Pretzel legs and hands open, I repented.
I sang these simple words.
“Unreserved, unrestrained, your love is wild Your love is wild for me.”
That’s what we receive…and it’s what I’m called to.
Just like that she let go.
With ink passing over clean spaces.
Strong, sharp inhale. Slow, shaky exhale.
A hum lightly in the background. Fear rushing out, as the unfamiliar pushes in.
She let go.
Of the girl everyone thought she was. In her stillness, she let go. It wasn’t for show. It was for her soul. It was for every decision she made by holding on for too long. It was the reminder that you are more than your physical self and the thoughts that circle.
The slow, drawn out sound of scissors by careful, steady hands.
It was a bold stirring of the heart to change and to not be stuck on the familiarity of being what someone else approves of, including yourself.
Hum. Buzz. Snip.
Inhale, sharp. Exhale, slow.
Without a sound. Eyes closed. She let go. One unsteady breathe at a time.
Opened her hands and gave every ounce of her heart, for the hope that the best is yet to come.
Do you think sometimes God gets tired of making amazing things?
This thought crossed my mind, as I sat on the lakes edge and watched the sun go down. God are you tired of making beautiful sunrises and sunsets each day? Tired of wooing my heart?…Am I high maintenance? hahaha
I looked out in front of me and thought, this was the kind of sunset that didn’t make a big deal about itself. It wasn’t overly vibrant. Not orange or yellow and red. It didn’t fill the whole sky. It just melted behind the clouds like it was no big deal, as life moved quickly into evening. Blurring one day into the next. A transition I think little about. Maybe no one posted a photo on instagram of this sunset and no ones breath was taken away when they walked out the front door. No second glance or double take.
And I heard God tell me in that moment that God created things so they don’t have to be managed. He’s not putting on a play, where he plays all the characters and the stage crew and he runs everywhere and if he misses his cue the sunset is less than overwhelming. He’s not tired of pursuing my heart with pretty sunsets, or wild, white flowers, or snow peaked jagged mountain tops, or acoustic versions of my favorite songs. See the pursuing of my heart isn’t always the sunset itself. He’s helping me become aware of my surroundings and that’s how he woos my heart. Through relationship. Through presence. It isn’t the flower, or sun, or even the mountains themselves. It’s the awareness of pursuit that truly makes the thing in front of me matter.
But in spite of Him being the all powerful God of the universe it’s amazing that He gave us 6 days of working, creating, wooing…and then day seven He taught us the importance of resting in it. Of being and not having to do all the things. Of simply sitting in creation in awe that all the world is autonomously working as instructed, while we rest in its beauty. (In my best Gru impression)
The world is designed with forward motion. To autonomously function without constant instruction. It’s built in. Sometimes our circumstances and choices make for sunsets that don’t draw attention to themselves. And our hearts inward focus to less awareness of him and more awareness to the problems crowding our life. Then there are times when God grabs us with sunsets that bring us to our knees in tears. And you can’t help but be in his awareness. Fully immersed. But it’s always important to take a second and rest your heart when it feels too heavy. To remember to sit in who he created us to be instead of striving to hit all the marks. Sit and recognize that autonomously we too are created to woo. With your kindness, your smile, your very presence. It’s important.
This morning I took my coffee to the park and sat at the lake’s edge. The past few weeks have felt emotionally tiring, I’ve probably felt all the emotions under the sun in just seven days. If I didn’t know better I might think I was losing my mind. So despite the impending rain, I made myself do something I knew deep down would jump start my soul, check my heart.
Inadequacy has been weighing heavy on my shoulders, especially at the thought of not being able to fend off negative thoughts recently. I fell back on the earth and closed my eyes, feeling the weight of what felt like failure. I ran my fingers through the grass and when I pressed my palms to the earth, I felt like a child with her hand on your dad’s chest. Safe. If I lay long enough maybe I’ll feel a heartbeat. I brought my hands up in front of me in the air and my focus shifted to the trees beyond.
I realized most of this tree I can’t actually see. Most of this tree is below my feet. And it’s standing steady.
Most of the world will never know your struggle the way you do. Most of the world will never know what it feels like to rest in your heart, breathe in weighty breathes in your lungs, and most of the world will never ask. The beauty I’m focusing on here is that breakthrough happens in the parts no one sees. Becoming. It’s awful. I want to jump into a safe feeling and forget that sometimes I do put on a smile to be viewed as “professional”, “likeable”, “put together”, not crazy…(I know this is false, but it’s a very real thought through one’s mind in this world sometimes).
My heart has been holding in my emotions lately, because I knew they might be viewed as negative. I was afraid that my emotions would lay heavy on another person if I shared them. I was afraid of what it might mean to let them out. And all of that is too many afraids to be even one good reason not to be honest about my heart. Last year I told myself that I don’t pretend to have it together anymore. I have an amazing group of friends who I trust with my vulnerable feelings and they have changed my life. So yes I don’t have to deal with everything alone, but I am responsible for myself and where I go from here. I deserve to be able to feel all the emotions for a moment, acknowledge the weight, and then part ways with things not fitting on me. That last part is vital. Not every day is good, great, or even decent. And getting through hard things isn’t a one time event. It can look like refusing the same bad thought thirty times in one day over the course of three months, until it no longer has an effect on you.
It’s hard. It’s intentional. And most of it happens in the quiet parts that no one, or at least not many, will ever see. Just know wherever you are that God has got you. You don’t have to be afraid of where you aren’t.
Live your beautiful life. The one you have. The one you dream of. The one your afraid to admit you want. The one others might judge you for because they may not understand. Live it.
I played so safe for too long. Most of my life. Afraid to let people down, to be too much, or not enough…to be too spunky or loud or quiet. Trying to fit the mold of what it meant to be…human? American? A woman? A daughter? To be bright? Or beautiful…and all of that led me to nothing sustainable.
But when I gained perspective I lost sight of what fear tried to get me to understand. I gained the perspective to understand that I had nothing to lose and everything to gain. The unknown is scary, but it holds bad things and it also holds great things. If we do only what we know we grow nowhere. We cap what we can do. And what God can do. Be smart. Be informed, but don’t be afraid.
3 time zones
3 finished books
2 rental cars
Roughly 300ish cups of coffee…just a rough estimate. 😂
This has been life for me the last two weeks.
It’s exhilarating…and exhausting at times.
It’s completely comfortable and terrifyingly uncomfortable.
It’s an interesting place to be. This inbetween.
The last 24 hours have not felt good. Coming from the amazing trip I just took with friends transitioning to this work trip has felt completely different from the last. And I’m reminding myself that there were plenty of uncomfortable moments with the last trip so I need to push through to find the growth and beauty this place has to offer.
I’m pushing myself to accept that I need to go with the flow here.
I’ve been awake since 4 am and got in last night around 10, which is 1 am at home, registration isn’t until 10 so I’m making the most of this incredibly cold, snowy morning at Lake Tahoe and going to find a view 🙂
Happy Sunday friends. 🙂
Back in Denver for our last day in the mountains, we are reinventing what it means to have a “case of the Mondays”. We are meeting, climbing, and exploring the Rockies.
We hiked bear lake, nymph lake, dream lake, and emerald lake…in the snow…feet of snow…in shorts and sandals, and it was totally worth it. 10,000+ feet up in the snowy mountains, getting rained on.
I can’t get enough of this place.
The views…this is why panoramic photos where invented. Because no one would believe it were real otherwise.
My toes were numb. My breath shallow. My mind not feeling as alert as normal, but I was already missing these views. My heart longing to soak in every second.
I just wanted to lay on rocks and sink in a little more. Like an inflatable bounce house all to myself. I want to sink in and become a part of this place. Feeling the most myself I have in weeks, I stared out at this view and asked God to give me more dreams and the willpower to chase them.
I worry about zero things here. No make up, don’t fix your hair, wearing smiles and laughter like blankets over us. It is the most beautiful accessory to my heart.
Yet I know this isn’t my every day. This isn’t my 8-5. It’s not my job, it’s not my home, and it’s not my everyday life. It’s a peak, literally a peak, but also the exciting top of a mountain in my journey.
One year ago, I was told to move on. At an airport, nonetheless. My heart broke. My dreams felt shattered. And I felt lied to.
I’m here on the other side to prove life is what you make it. I refuse to settle for mediocre. I refuse to drop bars. I refuse to become bitter about things that are painful. (Praying God will always help me with that). I want to redefine standards, for others and myself. And I’m reinventing parts of my life that were dying that now require a little more tlc to start new growth.
There are too many days in my life I wake up and don’t want to be happy. Plenty of mornings I wake up and feel a pinch of bitterness…and then I look at what God has brought me through.
God is giving me the most epic love story. It isn’t compromise or settling. It’s everything I could ask for and more, but I have to choose to see that over what others try to point out. It doesn’t always come easy. I’m not immune or excused from pain, negativity, or any other thing. It involves grace, prayers, lament, and the tears I talk about all too often.
These mountains are my awe inspiring, soul awakening reminder that beautiful things are made where we care for them.
Stop calling wildflowers weeds, friends, and run through them embracing that wild is just as beautiful as “put together” gardens.