the mess is the best

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, and how you will come out of it.”- Maya Angelou

I wrote this as my Facebook status 2 years ago….I had returned from a once in a lifetime trip & was feeling defeated I think. I am sure I was feeling down & out because the trip was over & I didn’t know how to deal with my feelings and process them in a healthy way. So I am sure I was overwhelmed and wanted to remind myself not to feel defeated no matter how tough it seemed at the time.

All the things have happened to me in the last 2 years….well, ok, maybe not ALL the things, but many things have happened–growing, learning and strengthening things. Tough things. Things I don’t think I ever thought I would experience. Life is so funny- you have this idea in your head of what you think it’s all going to look like & it pretty much turns out NOTHING like you thought it would. Yes, I’m 26 and have not lived as much life as many others but my life is not quite what I had envisioned and that’s OK. I used to fight it because I wanted to have this certain image that I showed to others. I wanted it things to be “picture perfect” and guess what? NOTHING is picture perfect. EVER. Life is messy and it hurts and it makes you want to give up. It’s made me want to give up, a lot actually. But the mess has been my biggest blessing. It has made me give up the need to have that perfect image because I would rather have the experiences I’ve had to allow me to grow closer to God. I feel more confident in the person I am and who I want to be & what I want because of the mess. The good times are good, they’re wonderful, they’re great, but the tough times are when you learn the most about yourself. Being able to look back on this quote now versus where I was 2 years ago- MAN, can I see such huge growth in myself. It’s encouraging to know that when I felt really low, I would come out of that time and  be stronger and more faithful. God has taught me so much trust & how to be faithful no matter what and while I know I don’t always have it together, I know He has me. I know He’s right there with me every step of the way on my journey, no matter what mess I find myself in.

to be

every Monday morning I get an email from hb. She is a 20 something who I felt this instant connection to her words when I received her blog 2 years ago in my email. They’re deep (do I like any other kind?!), mean something, get me thinking and praying, and always so welcomed on a Monday. This morning’s referenced another blog of a friend of hers and MAN was it JUST what I needed to hear this morning.

Melissa’s blog says:

“My tattoo means “Be where your feet are.”

A friend of mine used this phrase as her New Year’s resolution. “Be with the person who planted her feet on the ground today,” she had said. “Don’t walk away from that person…[This life] goes fast. And it’s unpredictable. And it can be cruel and graceless and then the next day remarkable. Choose to feel all of it.””

WOW. How powerful are those words?! Be where your feet are. Yes, I’ve heard that quote before but today, I heard it differently. I heard it loud and clear for the first time today. And it was so welcomed.

You see, I’ve been on this war path (it feels to me anyway, it’s been pretty intense) to feel a certain way and to “be ok”. It’s all I have wanted for the last 6 months or so and fighting with myself to get there has been really tough because I don’t give myself grace. I want to skip the journey part and just get to where I’m ok…and happy. Striving for happiness I feel is just this unattainable goal and frankly, hope I never get there. I realized I kind of love the journey part more. Over the weekend, I went on a trip with girls I’ve known most of my life. Parts of it were not fun but really, I walked away with the realization of how much I’ve grown and how much happier and content I am compared to where I thought I was. I saw the growth in myself but the mirror image of my past self where I wasn’t ok and wasn’t content with who I was. I realized I don’t really care what others think about me and I don’t need approval from anyone for who I am or where I’m at right now. Today when I read Melissa’s words, I thought “Yes, I need to be with who I am every step of the way…..don’t try to hurry it along because every moment is important to your growth and your journey.” It’s OK to feel sad sometimes and that makes the better and brighter moments that much better. And being able to see my struggle through someone else’s (as hard as that was) just made me incredibly thankful for how much I have grown.

The 2016 journey has been everything but easy and I was fighting the hard and the tough because I felt I had dealt with that long enough and when I let go of that expectation and just appreciated for where I was at, it’s made all the difference. The last few weeks have been so incredibly freeing for me. Letting go of that expectation and just BEING, wow. I hope I never lose that, ever. God has blessed and granted me with a pretty amazing journey and story so far and I know He’s got so much more planned for me. And I know I can and will get there…especially by just being me and feeling everything & not beating myself up over not being where I think I should be. He’s clearly telling me I’m not ready to be in whatever place I have dreamed up yet. Embracing the journey and each step and moment make the victories and the feeling of growth that much sweeter.

be. to be. being. It’s the most wonderful reminder. be. be confident, content, present, and free. be that and everything will fall into place.

These feelings will not kill you

this a beautiful way to describe precisely how I’ve been feeling over that last few weeks. It has been a truly wonderful gift & I could not feel more blessed to feel my pain and know it’s making me stronger and more beautiful person.

girl gone free

“Sometimes, when I’m positive I’m being crushed, it’s like I feel God grab my face in his hands and say to me, ‘I am here with you. These feelings will not kill you.’ And every time, I make it through. I survive.”

A friend said this to me on the phone the other day. She’s walking the painful road of recovery from an addiction, and she’s experienced all kinds of feelings of discouragement, loss and desperation in the months she’s been pursuing sobriety. These feelings aren’t new. But for the first time, she is choosing not to try to run from them. Instead, she sits with them. Maybe she asks the question: “Are my insides trying to tell me something? What might I need right now?” But mostly, she just grieves and cries and feels and trusts that God is not removed from her suffering.

We’re all addicts.

We’ve all…

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stop the lies

It’s amazing the power of thoughts. Your thoughts could be the biggest lie out there but if you tell yourself it over and over again, it will become the truth and nothing can be done to turn that around. That’s the problem I’m facing right now. I keep telling myself lies over and over again….and they’re mostly about myself.

Yesterday was one of those days where I just kept beating myself up and was giving myself zero grace. I felt like a failure at everything….my job, my friendships, my hobby, and then I felt like I was failing myself because I kept telling myself I was failing. Does that even make sense? No, probably not. But I was talking so much self doubt & worthlessness into my head that it was impacting everything happening around me. It was ugly and not fair to myself.

You see, I hold myself to this extremely high standard. For most of my life, I didn’t take risks or chances or make terrible decisions because I was afraid of the disappointment that would follow. I had a lot of examples of how NOT to be and I refused to make decisions that would put me in that category. I was so afraid of making those types of decisions that I didn’t live my life and do what I wanted….I was living for someone else or someone elses entirely. Then one day I decided to live my life for me and so I made a decision for me. It was a selfish decision on many levels but for the first time in my life, it was a decision that I was happy about and was for me. But because of taking that chance and making one of those decisions that would lump me in the category I forever wanted to avoid, I find myself long after, still beating myself up. Months and months later, and I’m still beating myself up. I’m telling myself how terrible I am and that God is punishing me for making that choice and that I’m getting what I deserved all along. And those terrible, awful thoughts just keep getting stronger and they’ve become the truth. And because of that, I have less self-worth and self-esteem than I did before (which I didn’t think was possible). I hate that the lies and that severe negativity has overcome my brain and that I genuinely think all those terrible things about myself. I am not allowing myself to be happy and be content and be confident and say, “yeah, I struggled through some of that but I came out on the other side stronger, happier, and a better person”. I feel like I’m never going to get to that place that I’m never going to be able to make it out of the tunnel….that all hope is lost.

I’ve been trying my hardest to embrace the journey and give my mind a break and give myself some grace but giving myself grace is something I’ve always struggled with. I owe myself to feel that grace and to feel good about the decision I made and don’t wish ill and bad things upon myself for making those decisions. Because I feel like every time I turn around, the bad things I feel about myself regarding this choice, are haunting me and that I’ll never be happy. And that is not a way to live, at all.

I’m posting this because I want to hold myself accountable to give myself the grace and happiness I deserve. Life will be ok and God is not punishing me…He’s teaching me lessons and skills that I will take with me for the rest of my life. I want to be happy and living my life the way I deserve to and not how the lies in my head tell me. God has blessed me with so much and instead of beating myself up about it, I will embrace, accept it, and keep going.

Death of a game player.

this post is truly inspiring and really gave me yet another “AH yes…so much truth in these words.” You should read.

HANNAH BRENCHER

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It was two summers ago. 2013.

I would have told you, in a nonchalant tone of voice, that I was “keeping my options open.”

He and I, we weren’t official. We weren’t much of anything at all besides a few dinners and a person to report back to at the end of the night. I knew that if we talked about it then the consensus would be mutual: This won’t go too far. And it’s okay if there are other people you talk to at night.

He was sweet though. Schooled me in enchilada-eating competitions. Took my hand at the movies. Sang (out of pitch and out of tune) right along side me in the car.

You could have thought the world of him. You could have told me he was certainly “it” but my conclusions were certain and drawn already: I knew I wasn’t going to date him long-term.

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true

it’s been a while….5 months actually. and you know, it’s been pretty nice not feeling like I need to draft about 12,000 of these a day to keep in ‘drafts’ to reference when I’m feeling down and out. I feel good. I’m in a good place. FINALLY. I suppose I really have been since one December day.

I’ve learned a lot since my tenure of writing all the things I was feeling those months ago. I’ve learned that it’s hard to lose people. I HATE it. Hate it more than anything. Whether it’s by my choice or the other person’s. I just hate it. And when I don’t have closure or know what to do to move forward, I sit on it. And I stew and think and think and think about what I did, what I should have done, and mostly, how to move on. while I’ve gained a lot of life experience, I’ve lost too much in the process.

I lost one of my very best friends….sometimes it’s almost like she actually died because that’s how I feel and that’s how I’ve had to grieve her. We haven’t talked since a day or so after my last post and she won’t return my texts emails or calls. And since I have no closure about what happened between us, I’ve treated it like a death that needs mourning. It’s heartbreaking. But, I’ve finally gotten myself to a place where I’m at peace with it. I know I’ll never have closure and so I have accepted it, mourned it, and continue on living my life. And that’s been probably the hardest lesson I’ve had to learn in life. People will leave, they will disappoint, and you will be hurt by those you think will never ever do that to you. But that can’t stop you from living your life, being who you are and not apologizing for it.

I’ve also come to a place of peace with whatever my life holds. It’s not going to go as I plan it and I’m finally getting to a place of peace about that too. God laughs at plans, so they say, and I’m expecting nothing less with my “plans”. I finally have the faith and reassurance that He has a good one for me and I’ll appreciate it even more when it all comes to light. I am just not on the same path as most of my friends or what is considered “normal”. Sometimes it’s hard to be OK with and clearly has taken me a long time to get to that place, but I have. And I’m ready for it. I’m ready for whatever He gives to me.

life is a funny thing….and instead of dreading it and waiting for the next bad thing to happen, or the next person to leave, I’m just going to be content and be myself. And while that will disappoint people at times and I’ll fall short, I’m not going to change who I am to make someone else happy.

2015 is going to be a good year for me…it already has been, and I’m going to make damn sure it stays that way. And the first step is staying true to myself.

heavy heart

My heart is heavy today. Extra heavy. It feels like it’s weighing me down 10 fold what I’ve been feeling recently.

I just don’t think I can handle or accept any more “bad news”. I don’t think my heart can handle it. I’m tearing up writing this right now. I am just so incredibly sad. Too much wrong and evil in this world is making me lose my faith in the good. The good in others, the good in me, the good of the hope that I normally hold onto so tightly. I just don’t understand why and how all these terrible things keep happening and are hitting so beyond close to home for me. Thankfully, no one in my immediate family has been impacted but that doesn’t mean they won’t or that those that are hurting aren’t close to me that it makes me so sad. Sad is such a generic word to me but that is the only way I know how to describe how I feel. SO SAD. And it’s not going away. Every time I think things might be looking up, I learn of something else happening.  Someone new having cancer, someone else dying who I know, I’m tired of my own head and my own heart being sad. I’m just tired of carrying all this around.

I have to say, it’s also made me more angry at God which is just stupid for me to even admit. But it has. I’m angry that God is going to allow this to happen to a good and faithful person who has life yet to live. I want to punch his chest (if He has one) and just say “why why why??” But as I think more about it, I realize I have no reason to be angry with God. I need to cling to, rely on Him, talk to Him, tell Him what’s going on in my head (even though I know He already knows). It’s okay to be frustrated and upset…these are hard things to process and deal with. But I know He’d be telling me, “I know. I know you’re upset and scared and hate not knowing what’s going to happen. But just trust Me. Trust in Me. I’ll help you and everyone get through this just as I have carried you through before. Just hold tight and trust in me.” It’s so much easier said then done, but I’m out of ideas and I just need to give it all to Him. I need to stop being frustrated with God, thinking I can deal with it on my own, and just let Him have it all.

Yes, evils are all around us. Finding us when we least expect it. It’s happening around me way more then I’m used to and that combined with my own personal heartache is not helping me AT ALL. I’m scared. I’m scared of who’s going to be next, what it’s going to be, who’s going to be hurt, will I be able to handle it? All these ‘what ifs’ aren’t healthy and I need to release those too. I have to let it go, give it up. I lose. My heart can’t handle anymore. My brain can’t process any more alone.

God, please…take it all; every single last bit of it, take it away. I can’t deal with it anymore. I haven’t been as faithful and reliant on you as I should have been. I haven’t been sitting and listening like I needed to. Please just help me be at peace with all the possibilities and to be there for those who need me. I’m giving it up and starting again with a lighter heart. Thank you for guiding me, God, and I know I can trust in You no matter what and despite everything that is going on. Thank you for loving me.

Life is not easy. There is no manual on how to deal with the tough stuff. It’s also not fair. It’s never going to be fair. It’s never going to go how I want it to or plan it to be. But, with this renewed spirit of relying on God, I know I will be better equipped to handle things. My heart was too heavy for my own good but now I’m free and on my way to being a rock for those who need it.

Keep fighting and keep going…we’re stronger then we know and knowing I have Him in my corner, is going to make all the difference.