Three Truths and a Lie 2014 Gave Me.

1 Truth: You cant be all the things to all the people at all times. This was a major theme this year, right up until the ball dropped and the last breath of the year closed the chapter called 2014. It cropped up in all the places I tried to deny my tendency to throw my heart and my soul into things that were never meant for me to hold onto or steward. I had to let go of people, friendships, relationships and failed expectations. I had to admit to myself that I’m not invincible and I’m good at convincing myself that it’s my vocation to carry the whole world upon my shoulders in the name of being enough. What I failed to realize is that I am enough whether I look cute or remember to call or comment or like the post or show up to the party with my smiley face or I call the members of my tribe sobbing through the current heart ache or simply have to sit in the consuming silence for awhile. All of it adds to the texture and fibers of this life I’m living. Participating in this adventure isn’t about making myself nothing to make others more; it’s about being fully me in all my wildly daring ways and inviting others to do the same.

2 Truth: You spend your whole life getting over your childhood.I had to dig really deep into a past id rather have liked to forget this year, and in doing so I realized that we (myself especially) are all a bunch of little kids inside longing to fulfill long lost dreams and heal disappointments. When I look around at the faces that have been characters in my story this year I realize that there is a whole lot of pain in the world. Some of those souls were the victims of great tragedies and some made choices that reaped the pain of consequence extending into adulthood. Either way there are chronically afflicted walking wounded all around me that carry things in their packs hoping somehow they will find freedom but not quite knowing how. They find solace in devastating things because it’s all they know and its comfortable. Some desire to change and others don’t even realize the darkness they’ve set up home in. Either way I’ve realized that a whole lot more grace is required of me to leave room for growth; in both myself and the spectrum of people around me from stranger to kindred. I need to let go of my judgments and my shame that I’ve heaped on little me and little them to allow for the loving hands of Jesus to comfort the devastation left from broken promises to all these little hearts. I need to allow for growth to be the goal, not perfection.

3 Truth: The journey is the point.As a wise friend of mine said this year “You don’t get a grade for living.” It struck a chord with me because so much of my life has been defined and measured in the striving. I’ve exhausted myself trying to do all the things I thought I was supposed to instead of taking hold of the beautiful agony of the ups and downs of existence. I focused so much on my “no room for error” based checklist for success and missed the details waiting to be enjoyed right in front of me. Life is a series of choices, which lead you along paths that aren’t meant to conquer all the things that rear their heads at you but rather to savor the simple sometimes-dysfunctional process of forward motion. There is room for backsliding, there is room for the questions and the doubt and the fear but even more than that there is room to explore and seek adventure with unadulterated joy for the sheer pleasure of it all. That’s a journey I want to partake in and this year taught me I don’t have to apologize for that anymore…I simply get to live it.

1 Lie: 2015 will be the best year yet.Hear me out cringing optimists, I don’t mean to say that 2015 wont have its triumphs or even that the tragedies will be in greater abundance than last year. I just think that the better approach to such a pressured statement is to reassign our expectations to the truths learned in the days of 2014…that being said the following can be said to this lie:

2015 will be a year of not being all the things to all the people but rather being the most honest version of myself to the valuable people God’s given me to whatever degree I can in my humanness to still maintain who I am.

2015 will be a year to let the inner child in me grow and learn and let go of the disappointment of the past and help others be brave enough to find the freedom to do the same.

2015 will be a journey; there is not another truer statement I can make than that.

So on I go, journeying through the next 365 days of 2015, abiding in the steadfast love of Jesus and knowing who I am will always be enough no matter what this year does or does not bring.

Most Impactful Blog Posts of 2014

(You’d be crazy not to read any of these fine women’s work) 

“Take up Some Space” by Sarah Schwartz http://www.sarahchristineschwartz.com/blog/space/

“Stop Sleeping with Liars” by Hannah Brencher http://hannahbrencher.com/2014/10/20/stop-sleeping-with-liars/

“They Gave Me a Box” by Kate Wallace                                 http://juniaproject.com/they-gave-me-box/

“life with a name often misspelled” by Kearci Moir http://kearci.wordpress.com/2014/08/29/life-with-a-name-often-misspelled/

Feel.

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This season of my life is all about feeling all the things. Taking time and giving permission to my little heart to partake in the sweet adventure that is emotional response. My soul is over trying to deny itself the right to react to things. We are done with prideful neglect of the rhythm God intended us to dance to. We are ready to roll up our jeans, take off our shoes and splash around in the floods waters of living this human life. So here it goes…here’s to feeling all the things…

I’m feeling the hope rush back into a heart that thought love would never feel like a gift. I’m feeling the praise for a God who never forgot me, even when my doubtful wandering told me differently. I’m feeling the gratitude for a new hand to hold through the sweet moments of true joy and also fight alongside in the battles with. I’m feeling privileged for all the smiles and the hugs and the tears of rejoicing. I’m feeling restoration to a part of my soul that was ready to quit rebuilding. I’m feeling the beat of the drum thumping against my chest beckoning me to commune with the heart of God through all the pretty little lyrics sung by his people. I’m feeling the terrifying urge to be apart of something I cant control knowing its what will ultimately give me peace. I’m feeling the fear in learning how to trust another soul with my own. I’m feeling the breath leave my lungs and flood back in at the thought of the journey ahead. I’m feeling the grief at the brokenness around me and my realization that I cant fix them…or anyone for that matter. I’m feeling the relief in admitting the truth and still being who I know I am. I’m feeling brave, real brave, to know that at the end of the day I am enough, and nothing this world says or does is going to change that.

I dare you to feel all the things too.

Tired.

IMG_0096Im tired…sick and tired. I’m exhausted from all the confusion and the chaos that seems to swirl around me everyday. I’m tired of seeing the weary expressions making residence on my friend’s faces. I’m tired of hearing the pain on the other end of the phone with no words able to give relief. Yeah, I guess I’m just tired.

I saw it today, this very day; the injustice in the world reared its ugly little head at me reminding me that there is a very real battle going on. I think I just ignore it sometimes and think that there is nothing to worry about but really I should be very concerned. I should be terrified at what we allow and even accept. I should be appalled every single second of every day when I hear what we’ve done to each other. After the bombs have been dropped and the dust settles on terrified and defeated souls I should weep. I should tremble with a burning anger against the lies & the sin & the hate that perpetuates within the church that claims to bridge the gap of these cycles. Brother against brother, sister against sister, we fight wars against each other that were never meant to be fought, victories that should be renamed failure.

What about the little kid that just saw his mother get beaten into a heap of worthless shame? Who’s fighting for that little heart? What about the old man laying in the hospital bed desperately fighting for breathe thinking about the last 60 years of complacent tolerance? Who’s his advocate? What about the despair of the homeless woman who can’t feed her kids today? What hope does she have to cling to? What about the deceitful words of him telling her he’ll never do it again, that he can change this time and her somehow finding ways to be responsible for the shame? Who brings truth to that situation?

I don’t have answers to any of it. The heaviness sits on my chest like a ton of bricks tonight threatening to crush my perfectly structured denial. I sure don’t claim to be able to be all things for all people at all time but my heart begs the questions: isn’t there more than this? I want to live in a world that doesn’t feel the need to sacrifice others on the alter of self-preservation. I want to see a world where there aren’t ulterior motives behind every act of kindness. I want to be apart of a collective humanity that seeks the genuine well being of the person not only next door but around the world. The truth may sound cynical but I know it isn’t possible for all of this to be resolved. I know the trauma will continue to manifest in headlines and nip at our heels every morning and leak into our dreams at night. But you know what…in God I trust.

As cliché as it may sound, that’s really the only reason I can come up with to go on in a world that produces so much pain. It’s the only shot I have at explaining why the tragedies are worth it. Its the only chance of sanity I can hold onto when so many things don’t make sense and stir every emotion in me resembling revenge. It’s that simple…I believe in a God of grace. A God of sovereignty. A God of love. That’s all I know when I’m so very tired of not being able to change a single thing. It makes me wonder if maybe God is tired too…