SOFTENED LIKE SAND

goodness is doing its work in me, and it’s face looks a lot like trial.

every time I go to the beach I spend the first day clinging to the sand. terrified of the waves and the way they crash, white foam sputtering, into themselves. flinging bits of sand and seaweed into the salty air. thrashing upon the shore like violent fists coming down hard on a pillow of gritty sand.

perhaps it’s childish. perhaps I’m just not very brave.

but they scare me at first. every time. no matter how old I get.

I imagine getting thrashed and pummeled by those angry fists of water and foam. imagine getting dragged like a rake through turbulent under-currents. just thinking about it sends little spurts of anxiety, like lightning, through my chest.

ah, yes. goodness is doing its work in me, and it feels a lot like being drowned, sputtering and gurgling, to the bottom of a swirling ocean.

and if I’m honest… the shore feels so much safer, so much objectively smarter, so much kinder to a battered & waterlogged heart.

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but the sand is only smooth from being softened.

and I am only gentle from being rubbed the wrong way till all my sharp edges are gone.  Continue reading “SOFTENED LIKE SAND”

praying for lightning bolts (or, a lesson in forgiveness)

you know what sucks?
forgiving people.

you know what’s awesome?
forgiving people.

yup. I’m a walking contradiction. (which, by the way, we all are.)

and let me be real: while I know forgiveness is something I’ll be glad for after the fact… in those moments of hurt and pain, I just don’t wanna.

can you identify? (don’t you dare say no, ya little liar!)

because on days like today, when I’m still reaping the consequences of someone else’s cruel decisions, I feel a bit like praying for lightning bolts.

praying for lightning

you see, sometimes the pain lingers for longer than you’d like. sometimes the wounds inflicted upon you get infected. sometimes the consequences of their bad choices are yours to pay for a while. and it’s not fair. and it sucks. Continue reading “praying for lightning bolts (or, a lesson in forgiveness)”

Why I love Jesus, but I cuss sometimes…

This post is going to offend some of you. I know that going into this. I’m sorry about that, but I’m not sorry for writing this. Because my goal on here is to be real & raw with you, and to let the cracks in me shine out as much of the light of Jesus as it can.

A couple of days ago I was called out on my Instagram account by a young girl who claimed that I was ruining my Christian testimony and was not using wisdom because she had seen a cuss word in a post of mine.

It took me a little while to process the things she said and what she claimed to be true.
shitty loss

I knew two things already:

1. Not everyone feels the same way about this issue that I do. Some people feel very blatantly the opposite of the way I do. My point of view is not necessarily popular in many Christian circles.

2. I am pretty real & raw & open about who I am & where I’m at. I’m not perfect, and neither is my life. I’m wide open about the hard, rough, scary things. They are not easy!! I’m also open about my beliefs, opinions, and the ways my heart works. I think my real & gritty approach to writing is why a lot of you have expressed your love for this little blog. (Thank you, darlings!) ❤

I’m pretty surprised I haven’t encountered messages like this before now, honestly, and that fact doesn’t really upset me. I totally get that most of us in Christian homes grew up with the teaching that those four letter words were dirty, ugly, and not to be used. And so did I!

And… I totally agree. With the first two descriptions.

“Cuss words” (or whatever you prefer to call them) ARE dirty & ugly. That’s kind of the point of them. They’re not nice, or pleasant, or beautiful words. They’re not intended to be.

And sometimes? …I’m more than okay with that.

Why? Let me tell you.
Continue reading “Why I love Jesus, but I cuss sometimes…”

When being planted feels a hell of a lot like being buried

Hello loves ❤

Can I share with you a quote that’s been especially impactful to me in the Darkness that has been my past few months? 

Sometimes you’re in a dark place, and you think you’re being buried, but actually you’ve been planted. // Christine Caine 

Those words have been of the utmost comfort and encouragement to me at a time in my life where there have been more hard days than easy ones, more tears than laughs, more prayers of desperation than elation. 

Because the message it carries is one that is both often overlooked and yet so very biblical.

Sometimes the darkness holds treasure.

Sometimes the dark is what prepares you for the moment that you burst through into glorious light, and you realize that this whole time you’ve been growing, growing, growing… And all the while you thought you’d been dying.

Sometimes the darkness is just the tightly-packed soil that’s feeding your soul in ways you didn’t know you needed to be fed in order to grow.

Sometimes the darkness is the hiding of the hand that planted you, so you could learn to trust that the One the hand belonged to knew what He was doing when He brought the dark. 

Sometimes that’s hard to believe.

Because being planted can often feel a hell of a lot like being buried. And being buried can feel like hell.

Oh, little seedling… The darkness is only your protection & preparation. The flood is only the watering of your soul. Soon, you’ll break through. 

Soon, you’ll see the sun, and you’ll think, oh yes… I’ve been growing, all along…

But the Gardener knows what He’s doing, little seedling. Even if this darkness lasts a long while, it won’t last forever. We’re all growing together, yet at the pace at which the Gardener intends for us. 

We each bloom differently, bringing glory & joy to the One who planted us 🙂 together we are becoming a garden, little seedling.

“For everything there is a season, and a time for ever matter under heaven… He has made everything beautiful in its time…” // Ecclesiastes 3:1&11

This is your time to be planted, little seedling…. But your time of sprouting is just over the horizon! 🙂 and, oh, little seedling… You’ll be beautiful

5 truths for when life doesn’t look like you hoped it would

we’ve all been there.

I am there, guys.

life does not look like I’ve always hoped. the life I have is not the one I asked for. this life is so much harder than the one I wanted.

it requires buckets of faith & enough perseverance to scale dozens of mountains. it’s forced me to mourn the loss of dreams and the loss of friendships and the loss of things that turned out to be false.

life is hard, you guys, and the desert is dry.

but (I love that word sometimes!) God is still GOOD!!

here are some truths to keep you afloat if you’re floundering soaked through this rough sea with me.

5 truths

  1. He has made everything beautiful in its time… // Ecclesiastes 3:11 //
    considering the context of this verse finds a young Solomon who has seen just how crappy life can be, has declared just about everything in life meaningless, and concluded that the only thing that matters is God & spending eternity with Him, I’d say he pretty much gets the feeling of “this is not what I hoped it would be!“. he totally gets that, and still he knows that God is in the business of making things beautiful. here’s the key, though… it’s in His time. God doesn’t play by our rules or conform to the equations we create. it’s His will, His plan, His sovereignty, and His time in which the things become beautiful… but that time is coming for sure!
  2. the LORD longs to be gracious to you. therefore He will rise up to show you compassion. // Isaiah 30:18 //
    I love love love this. so much. the idea that anyone at all would long for me… let alone the God of the universe!!… brings me wild joy. plus, the fact that He not only longs for me, but that He actually acts on it and rises up to show compassion is a really big deal. how often have people promised and not come through? how often have you been betrayed when something was said, but never fulfilled. when someone said they longed for you, but then showed the opposite, trueness of their heart. it hurts. we can know that our God will always act on what He says. He will always rise up to show us compassion, even if no one else will.
  3. I believe my Redeemer lives, and in the end He will stand upon the earth. // Job 19:25 //
    I think it’s super helpful to speak truth over your life, and this is one of the most powerful ones there is: He is alive! and He’s coming back for us! no matter how miserable or painful this life gets, we can know in the deepest places of ourselves that He will once again stand upon the earth… and that time, we’ll get to go home. no more tears. no more pain. just home with Jesus forever. ❤ what a promise.
  4. …those who seek the LORD lack no good thing. // Psalm 34:10 //
    this one can be a tough one to swallow sometimes… “what do you mean I have every good thing! I just lost a beautiful friendship! I’m going through a divorce! The dreams I’ve held onto my whole life have all fallen through!“. but His word is always, always true, and this is no exception!! the heart of this verse is this: He is the only good thing. if we have Him, we have it all. if we have Christ, we are complete, made whole, and filled! it’s hard to truly believe when we’re gasping breathless in a wave of trauma or fear, but it is true, nonetheless.
  5. But the LORD is with me like a mighty warrior; therefore my persecutors will stumble; they will not overcome me. // Jeremiah 20:11 //
    Jeremiah was pretty much alone. like many of the prophets, his message wasn’t exactly one that people wanted to hear, and so they did what people have done since the beginning of time: walked out on other people when things got tough or they got hurt. and that sucks. big time. but I love Jeremiah’s response. after a lot of being really disappointed and vocal about how upset he was (he was human, guys), he turned to God and remembered that He is for us. that He is with us. not only that, but He is a mighty warrior. how awesome does that feel to know that when we walk with the Lord, He defends us like a mighty warrior?! that His plan for our lives is a plan where He is walking, defending, and fighting for us!!

don’t stop speaking truth over your life friends.

the desert ends.

I am choosing to believe this in a desert of my own.

walk with me.
choose hope.