Island

Here I sit. Waves overtaking me, no end in sight. I don’t see how I’m going to make it out alive. Dark, deep thoughts overtake my mind and suddenly I feel like I’m drowning. I can’t go one more day and I can’t keep slipping away. Away from; everything I once knew to be true. Nothing seems good anymore, nothing seems easy. Work, press on, keep moving; keep swimming. And for what? Just to do it all over again tomorrow. The current will always rise but will I? Rise up, soul. Wake up, it’s not that bad. It could always be worse, and that’s what gets me through the day.

I cry out:

“Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am in distress. Tears blur my eyes. My body and soul are withering away. I am dying from grief; my years are shortened by sadness. Sin has drained my strength; I am wasting away from within.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭31:9-10‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Done. Have you ever just felt done? Okay, my dark, depressing post is about to take a turn. Stick with me. There’s an island in the distance. There’s always an island. This island may not be the same comfort or have the same luxaries you’re used to but; it’s safe. You’re not drowning anymore and you’re surviving. There’s a simplicity to survival life. It’s not easy but there’s comfort in knowing you don’t have to struggle to keep afloat like you did in the big abyss. It’s a new struggle, a different struggle. It’s ok though, it’ll eventually become your norm. This is the shit show of my life, currently. Surviving, living off the land; so to speak.  I’m living on an island with the hope of survival. I have everything I need. I may not have everything that makes me cozy but it’s created a thankfulness in my heart for each passing day I make it through. It creates a bond between my people and I as we stride on to make it out alive and forge our way through the wilderness. Because, we will make it out alive. You want to know how? Finding comfort in the provider even in the midst of complete chaos. Not only are we not promised tomorrow; We’re also not promised to always have the comfort and safety of today. Anyone’s world can flip on it’s axis at anytime, it’s not a matter of if it will, it’s a matter of when. It’ll always blindside you, it’ll never happen when you have your fighting gloves on. It’ll always happen when you’re struggling to breathe as you gasp for one last breath. That’s okay though, the island is there. Explore it. Create life there. Keep hope of a God that rescues.

This isn’t the end for you. The island is a promise of provision and even, prosperity if you look past the unknown and trust the known, you’ll be okay.

When you just can’t even. . .

Don’t mind me and my sob story. It’s just one of those days, right? I won’t sugarcoat it for you. So, here I sit playing with these magnets my sweet friend intended for our crazy girl. I guess they give me more comfort than her, for now. I’m siping my third cup of heated-up coffee. Nerflix strikes again, I’m hanging onto every cliffhanger of this new show I dove into today and already on the tenth episode; sorry not sorry. My kids? Well, don’t worry it’s the kind of day where Sam and I take turns monitoring, disciplining, and try to not lose every ounce of patience. A teething baby and an overly-hyper active three year old does us both in. We’re out of diapers for the little, so I sent out the big and her dad to fetch some so I could secretly regain my sanity. Never mind, the fussiness of a little boy that just needs to be held by: yours truly. Typing one handed is a talent, I don’t possess. So, I’ll make this sweet and to the point. Although, there’s nothing sweet about losing your ever-loving-mind and having to muster all the “cans” for the “I can’ts”, there’s nothing more maddening. Today, was a minute by minute day. Depressed, not about the circumstances, though. Anxious, not about anything in particular. It’s just a combination of something you cannot explain.

While I can’t explain it; I just wanted you to know I was here. I’m here with you in case, you too just “can’t”. I wanted you to know that these days are okay, these days are normal. This feeling won’t last forever and as cliche as it may sound: tomorrow is a new day. But tomorrow isn’t just a new day to start all over again, it’s a day to pick up the brokenness and forge ahead to greener pastures. The sun may not come tomorrow but there’s something greater inside of you to stand for. It’s the quiet but unruly strength telling you: “you’re not your depressed days, you can make it another day, your fear won’t own you it’s just trying to trap you. But darling, you’re free. You’re free. Say that. You’ll always be free because grateness lives inside of you. The grateness in you was put there by the Great. He allowed you today and by His grace and mercy He’ll allow you tomorrow. So, live in darkness just one more minute because there’s still beauty there. There’s strength in taking life by each minute. Every minute you make it is another victory, it’s another testament of God’s work within you.

 

You can, I promise.

Don’t forget, I’m here. I’m just hanging on by a thread here but just for another minute.

Fight

Have you ever fought so hard for something?

I have.

Sometimes praying is all we can do but most of the time I think it’s all we want to do. We pray in the name of Jesus but we don’t actually position ourselves to progress. People ask me: “how do you do it?”…I don’t. Christ in me does. I can’t do a thing right. I can only keep going, keep swimming. I can only get up one more day and trust the strength inside me to make one more exhausting phone call that may potentially lead to an answer; but probably not. I can only wait one more weekend for excruciating, life or death results. I can only watch my daughter go through one more procedure. I can only drive two hours one way to get the best doctors I can for my girl; hoping that’s enough. I can only fight my insurance company every single step of the way, one more time. I could’ve all this time, sat in the quiet and  prayed to a God that somehow, “it’ll all work out”, things don’t just work out.

What if Jesus just prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane but never did the next thing He knew needed to be done a few, sombering hours later? He fought it out in prayer and then He went to battle. Why do we think we’re exempt from battle? Folks, this life is hard. That relationship is messy. Marriage can be hell. Your job is, work. This diagnosis is devastating. That task is daunting. The everyday grind is mundane. I get it. It’s easier to let it be up to God than to fight through the barriers. It’s in the midst of battle that we realize our strength. It’s as we knock out our opponent, when we see God’s hand in and through it all. I can’t begin to tell you the nightmare of my last year but I can tell you I’m a better person because of it. I can fight harder and be sustained longer. I know my strength is in God but I put my hands to work with what’s in front of me. I fight for things to come into play I won’t wait to watch them unfold. I’ve learned; “taking the bull by its horns” has a whole new meaning. It means not just trusting people always and instead being persistent and calling doctors every single day, sometimes twice; to see if there’s been a cancellation because it’s her only shot. I’ll never just: “leave it to God” when there’s still more steps to be had. Walk out all the steps and then pray hard.

Fighting like hell is the only thing I know how to do anymore. My fighting strength comes from my Maker. He put it inside of me, He put it in you; let your faith rest in that.

A Letter to My Special Needs Daughter

Dear Sawyer,

There’s something so fierce about you. People stop in their tracks because of your captivating presence. Your glow and excitement for life lights up a room, little do you know something’s wrong with you. You’ve never given your disease a second thought. The other day at the playground you chased after those boys and played along with them; like they included you. They didn’t. You don’t need to feel included, though; you’re just happy to be chasing them and talking to them. You get the power and vitality of connection. You celebrate life. Like, every single day is a gift. Every bite of ice cream you eat, it’s like the most exquisite thing you’re pallete has ever tasted. You boss around people like it’s your job, you make me want to be a better leader with your persistence and resilience. You’re inclusive and everybody is forced to have fun around you because laughing is your favorite thing on earth. That and dancing. You’re impulsive and your little mind has no clue what to focus on when but you stop in your tracks when you come in contact with another little person because you see yourself in your peers. You see the friend in people. You obsess over the things you love because you’re passionate and you know what you want. Trust me darling, that’s a gift. You’re most likely the loudest one in a room, sometimes; because you have so much to say and you command to letting your voice be heard and your story be told. You’re brave as you cry big tears when you’re being poked and prodded at and you have no idea why, it’s just become the norm to you.

 

It’s not normal but you don’t let it define you. You do the hard things and continue on asking for all the stickers and goldfish. You take every minute as it comes and leave the past behind you. You always give people chances, so many chances.

This disease, this diagnosis has taught me everything. All the while, you already knew what it means to be special. You live carefree, courageously, and unashamed. I live with guilt, shame, and anger. I wish I knew how to live like I was special. I wish more people lived like you. I wish we all lived like we knew we were rare, we knew we were loved.

You live your life pursuing love, it radiates from you.

And that, my dear… is what makes you special.

Strength is rare

I’m still sitting here on my third cup of “heated up” coffee letting the morning clearly, slip away. I’m avoiding all the realities today as I mourn the loss of SEVEN Sanfilippo kiddos we lost this week. Seven in one week, it’s unbearable. This disease has never been more real to me. I learned something today; as I was sobbing watching the funeral online of one of the sweet girls who’s life was cut way too short.

Strength is rare.

Since Sawyer was born we’ve always referred to her as a rare diamond. Her smile sparkles and her personality is radiant, capturing everyone she comes in contact with. She’s contagious. See, diamonds are rare and the strongest mineral known to man. Everyone wants a diamond but not everyone is fortunate to have one. We have one. I’m not a scientist but what I can understand from Wikipedia; is that diamonds are put through fire. There are many ways to produce a diamond but fire is a resounding component.

You have to go through fire to gain your strength. It’s actually in the fire you find your strength, you have to. You have no option but to press on and be pressed.

This whole thing, Sawyer’s entire life has been a wildfire. It’s completely changed me to the core. From the moment I gave birth she needed strength, she needed me to be strong for her. When everyone said she was fine, she needed my strength to fight for her. When everyone that I loved thought I was insane, she still needed my strength. Regardless, of my insecurities; strength was the only thing I could muster to keep going. Finding strength in the fire is nearly impossible as you muddle through wondering if you’re doing the right thing. Don’t leave room for wondering and questioning, just take the very next step in front of you. Don’t be tempted to question the future or demand all the answers just blindly trust and boldly step. Anyone can do anything for one more minute. At least that’s what I tell myself and Sawyer she endures yet another test no three year old should have to go through. One more minute I tell her, second by second we count to the minute. I’m not saying it’s all ok because there’s nothing ok with being in the fire. The light is about the only thing that gets you through and keeps you looking up. Being in the fire is scary but worth every single burn.

Like diamonds, strength is rare. Not everyone has it and not everyone can walk out in it. Some, let the fire burn them to destruction; while others avoid it all together.

Whatever it is in your life, whatever your fire just keep going for one more second, until a minute. Rely on strength that God put in you to get through. Don’t ask God to get you through this, instead KNOW He’s already given you the strength to walk through the fire.

Loving can hurt

So,

Ed Scheeran and I have become best buds, at least where his musics concerned. Photograph, there’s something about that song that gets me every single time. Especially, the first few lines:

“Loving can hurt, loving can hurt sometimes
But it’s the only thing that I know
When it gets hard, you know it can get hard sometimes
It is the only thing that makes us feel alive.”

Pals, we were meant to love and to be loved. We were meant for this. We were meant for such a time as this. God wanted relation with us before time even began. It’s so true, yet so painful. We try to keep our love far from pain and near to joy. We try to protect our fragile little hearts in hopes that at the end of time they’ll be steadily, in tact. Lord knows why we do this. I mean these people that I love are going to fail me, they’re going to hurt me, and my least favorite; they’re going to leave me.

From the time I was little my love language, as in: how I feel loved, has always been quality time. I just like people near me, just being. I like conversation, consoling in one another, and living life with people. When I was thirteen years young that part of me was compromised. I quickly learned that people can’t always “just be” and life suddenly takes them from you. Life took my dad from me. Drunk driving, to be exact. It wrecked me. It stirred up this indescribable fear inside of me. I couldn’t imagine the injustice of people that I loved were being taken from me. One after another of my aunts and uncles and grandma and grandpa and brother. They just kept leaving this earth and leaving me in pain. Loving can hurt sometimes or maybe a lot of times. My heart has seen loving pain.

 

Love pains grow deep within you as you quickly and forcefully grow deeper and deeper for people in your sphere. I believe this can even happen with people that are still in front of your face and have yet to leave this earth. Love pains are hard, painful, messy, complicated, hurtful aches. Can I just be a little honest here, my ache is for my family. My nuclear, sweet little family.

I have love pains for my husband. I long for the day when our relationship doesn’t revolve around a sick and dying child. It longs for deep, meaningful conversations instead of keeping scores of duties done. It longs for sweetness instead of bitterness. My heart longs for him to know I’m in this, forever. Let’s do this together. It’s bursting with a void he can’t fill but a need only he can meet.

My Zion. I have love pains for him that he won’t have to be an inocent bistander to the suffering we’ll all face. My heart beats for his future, his bright amazing future. I long for Him to know his purpose in this world. I long for him to know he’s loved, deeply with no strings attached. My pain births airplane parenting for this one and I pray to God he makes it through with me and for me.

Sawyer. My beautiful, beloved girl. I always wanted a girl. My mom did so good with me. She made me believe I was beautiful. She conveyed confidence and reflected it onto me. She made me into her little princess and loved me every single step of the way. I so wanted this for my little girl. I want to do so many things, big and small. I want to teach her the ways of Holiness and love instead of the ways of this tragic world. I wanted to do life with her. She’d be my best friend, my forever little girl. But we all know how the story ends without a cure. So, here I go campaigning for my broken girl and my aching heart.

 

See, I’m no stranger to pain and I’m definitely no stranger to love that hurts like hell. I’m sure you’re not either, right? But can I tell you, it’s the only kind of love I want to give and it’s the only kind of love I’ll ever receive. I want to give this love to mankind. The world needs to know the painful love. The love that hurts and is messy and takes work like a boss. I’ll tell you right now; this is the only kind of love worth living for it’s the only thing that makes you feel alive. If anyone or anything offers anything less it’s not love at all. It’s a false version of a cultivated reality that surely is the very thing that created suffering. Pain is inevitable but it’s real. Real, is love. This love is permanent in your heart and is the only thing you should fight for and with. It’s so painful to write this. Lately, has been no cakewalk. Pain has been all too near as hope for a future is at my grasp. I’m scared, yet trusting. I feel loved, yet frightened and that’s entirely okay because real, well it’s all I’ve got. This love I know, it’ll get me by. These love pains are tangible evidence of God’s everloving grace in my life. Through and through, He loves you.

 

Marriage

Six years ago at this time I was planning my dream wedding. The amount of effort I put into planning that event was unbelievable. To this day, I still have no idea how I managed to not lose my mind entirely. I’m not crazy about planning big events, big events will in fact be the death of me. The dress, the flowers, the food, the guest list (Lord, help me), the cake, the music, the frills, the photographer; it was all so magical to me but thinking back to that day, I don’t remember the details. I remember how I felt. I remember looking at this man with such confidence of a future with him. I remember sobbing and hardly making it through my vows to him because I couldn’t imagine a better man to do this life with. I remember his face seeing me for the first time, pure wedded bliss.

The wedding was perfect but little did I know: I was entering into an imperfect marriage, with another imperfect human. But we were meant to be, we were a solid couple. We did everything “right”. No sex before marriage, premarital counseling, we didn’t live together before marriage, we wanted to set up a flawless foundation. We wanted to plant our life around ministry. We ensued so much passion to live by two standards: love God, love people. We were so unclear about how to reach this broken world but we planned on taking the world by storm, hand in hand. Fast forward six trying years, the storm is fixing to take us out. I used to believe marriage counseling was for the weak marriages that weren’t making it; now, I’m convinced it’s for the strong ones. It’s brave, it’s grace to committ, to fight, to say all the sorries in order to save your hurting soul.

Sam and I have always been in love. Love isn’t the problem. Our counselor once told us we were going to make it through this because he saw something special in us. I didn’t really feel like that at the time. See, this world created a storm for us that I’m certain will destroy not only me but my marriage. If I’m being frank, most days we battle each other. This past month has been some of the most trying for me. I can’t even fully communicate my anger, my bitterness towards my partner. This post is not meant to bash him in anyway, please understand he’s an amazing man. I just have these expectations, I have the weight of “our” world on my shoulders, and I’m feeling a bit like a pile of rubble. The desolate disappointment is killing me. Day in and day out I dream about how different my life would look if only I chose another path six years ago. My mind wanders and gets me so far away from my husband that somedays I can’t seem to find my way back. I know he’s here, he’s with me but I feel so empty and alone. I’m boggled by how I got here. I’m mad that I let bitterness rule my heart and can’t seem to forgive. If there’s one thing we’ve always been good at is quickly forgiving, not today. Today, I’m sitting here in all the hurt and disappointment in this life and wondering if we’re going to make it. I close my eyes and pray to God for guidance. My marriage was never meant to satisfy me, my marriage is a sacred sacrifice to my partner to be wholly his and he mine, forever. We may feel like we’ve drifted whole continents apart but in reality we’ve only grown closer to ourselves. Living in a self-centered marriage will wreck you. No person on this earth can give you what you’re looking for in any season, in any stretch of your imagination; not even yourself. I’ve created a monster within me: I’ve put myself, my needs, my expectations, my justifications, my burdens on myself. I’ve offered them to my husband as merit badges looking for some sort of prize. This is not love, this is not holy matrimony, it’s selfish.

Everyday I walk past our vows that we confessed for each other all those years ago as they hang in our bedroom. Somedays, I breathe heavy as my eye catches the words on the paper. Sometimes, I want to take them down because they hold me accountable when I don’t really give a shit. Today, I took time to read them and realized something for the first time: we both started out our vows saying: “with God’s help”…with tears in my eyes I can truly say that we can make it through this and anything:

with God’s help.

 

Void

When will it stop, make it stop.

All the chaos all the pain, make it stop. My life has become a shit show that spins out of control with every passing moment. Sure, I’m blessed, we’re all blessed but that’s not really the point. Blessings can be painful. Sweet, sweet pain why are you so near? I feel like King David, I love God but I’m so mad. I’m so blessed but I ache for an eternity. This place is not my home but my heart is rooted here. My soul is conflicted. I love the Lord but my daughter, I love her something fierce. Why do some people have to face the loss of losing a loved one that’s still living; meanwhile, others coast through life unscathed and at rest? Many people tell me I’m strong when in reality I’m just forced to be. I have no other option. Many people tell me I’m a fighter but can I ask: what would you do if your child was dying in front of your eyes? I’m at peace with making memories and living in the present with her enjoying each day, please don’t tell me to enjoy every moment. I do, every single one to the fullest. I’m not grieving for the future I’m trying to make it through the next minute. I’m grieving the current pain dwelling in me. Void, why are you so empty? Heart, why are you so big and forthcoming? I’m so weak and yet you, love on. Loving on looks like fighting for appointments, debating with doctors, collecting medical records, humbling myself and applying for assistance, changing the dirty diaper when I just; can’t, corresponding with all the people about meaningless jargon. All the things, opening my heart and pushing through to make it to the very next minute and even then: loving in my weariness…wondering…. Is it worth it, void? Is my pain, is my suffering, is my aching and longing and striving going to be enough to save her? Because, if not I give up now. Call me a quitter but my strength only reaches so far.

I can’t say this out loud, so I’ll type it here: what if I would’ve taken another path? What if I would have married another human? Lived someplace else? Pursued a different career? The “what ifs” keep me up at night. Most people would respond (my heart responds): “then you wouldn’t have your beautiful kids.” Let me ask you, void; is it better to have loved and lost or have never loved at all. That question haunts me. I don’t think I’d prefer one over the other but it’s where I’m at. It’s what we’re dealing with, friends. This question has overtaken me the last few weeks because I think the weight has finally crushed me. My shoulders are only so big but I feel like God keeps requiring things of me, life keeps begging me for more. It’s impossible to keep up. I’m crushed. My spirit, “myself” whoever that is, is lost. Void, you’re for real but you’re not going to destroy me. You won’t take me out. I’m fighting blindly, beaten down, and betrayed but I belong here and I’m not going anywhere. I’ll stand up, I’ll show up, and I’ll press on through the loneliness and emptiness of this space between blessed and crushed. Thank you, void. Thank you for reminding me that even still; I need a savior.

Speak

If you’ve known me for any length of time you’ve probably figured out by now; I’m a talker. Love to talk. I’ve got the gift to gab but with God, lately I’ve been pretty silent. There’s so much to say but no words seem to match the emotions. I try to write them out but even that feels empty. I’m so full of all these thoughts but I’m pretty much done trying to speak to God. If I could say a few things to Him I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t be what He would want to hear. They’d be things like:

Why me? Do you trust me with this, really God? Are you testing me, because that’s not very loving. I don’t see you in this, I’ll never see you in this. I need help, no one gets this, no one is here, I want to scream, I want to be selfish, are you punishing me; God? 

I get so wrapped up in trying to mumble out the words I think God wants to hear instead of dealing with the words in my heart. The problem with these words in my heart is the bitterness, the weight they carry. It’s too much to deal with on top of everything else. I talk a lot but not to God. But just because I don’t talk to him doesn’t mean he stopped talking to me. I see God speaking to me in all kinds of unique ways. I cringe when people say: God told me this, or God spoke this word to me. Did He really? Because, I may be a “lesser” Christian because I don’t hear His voice but I still see Him. I still listen for His presence because He can speak without actually saying anything.

Example:

There was this particular day that was pretty tough. I didn’t have any energy to deal with my anxiety or depression, so it manifested by cleaning and organizing. I found myself rummaging through a very unorganized closet, digging in a very unorganized box. This box made it through every single move since I was eighteen years old. Since then, it’s accumulated a lot of unnecessary stuff I can’t seem to throw away. One thing in particular is a canvas. There was a time in my life where I thought I could have been Picasso, pipe dream. Anyways, this painting was more than just really bad, it meant a lot to me for a lot of years. Everything within me believes that God wanted me to be reminded of those words, in that particular moment. The words consisted of this:

“My dove is hiding behind the rocks, behind an outcrop on the cliff. Let me see your face; let me hear your voice. For your voice is pleasant, and your face is lovely.”
‭‭Song of Songs‬ ‭2:14‬ ‭NLT‬‬

So, I hung it up in my bathroom. I’m reminded that in the times where I want to present a better version of myself to God; He thinks I’m lovely as is. My darkness is lovely. My hope for you is that you’ll know that even when you feel like you can’t talk to God or that He doesn’t hear you, He’s right beside you, talking you through your very next moment. See Him, in you. See His goodness in every small thing. He comes soft and sweet and endearing. He knows your heart, express the rawness and realness of your thoughts it’ll only help you rely on His voice. This season has been so different that what I’ve ever known. Speaking to God has been lifeless and most days I question if He even cares. Then, right in the midst of my anger a ray of hope springs forth from a thought, a conversation, a kind soul, a smile, a hug, a laugh, a song, or like most times: a mess.

Speak, He’s listening. He wants to hear your voice, see your face. Come out of hiding and speak the brave, dark, yet lovely words you’ve been longing to speak. He shows up every single time.

 

Political Weekend.

I asked my husband what was wrong tonight. He made some joke like he always does and laughed it off. There were no warning signs, like he wasn’t crying or anything and we seemed to piece together what was supposed to be crappy weekend but turned out to be pretty terrific. So, why would I think there was anything wrong? It’s just that unsettling, erie, overwhelming feeling. You know? This weekend my newsfeed was filled with those shouting and marching to make a difference and we’re over here just trying to keep our household alive. I love the passion, I love passionate people, and I love causes but sometimes I think we overlook the cause that’s right in front of us. Sometimes, I think we get caught up in these fights for justice and forget to fight for our marriage, our mental health, our kids, our community, our broken relationships, we forget to fight our addictions, the very things placed in front of us, you know? Sometimes, I forget that my husband is a human with feelings and not a robot that does what he’s told. Sometimes, I forget I need a moment away so I can connect with a friend and hear about her world because sometimes it’s way to easy to get caught up in my own little world. I mostly forget that the people in my world have issues and need just as much help as I do. I always forget that people, right next to me need me to march with them to overcome their trials and step into freedom.

My husband and I laughed for a good five minutes like we normally do until he’s comfortable having a serious conversation. He then began to utter phrases like: I’m mad at Sanfilippo, I feel like our life is shit, we’re living in chaos. I then asked him to name five things he was thankful for. His family was one amoungst many others such as: his air compressor. No comment to that. Here’s what I know: if you don’t cultivate the very things God gave you, if you don’t water your own grass you’ll always want your neighbors, if you’re always hiding behind all the good and righteous things instead of tending to the important things in front of you; everything will go wrong. It’s so exhausting to me when I hear Christians say: “God called me to this or that” when the very people God placed in their lives are hurting, broken, in need, when they could make a difference, they could BE there and show up. Why would God call people away when God already provided a calling on their life and provided purpose in their steps? think it’s because of two things really.

1. They’re running. People never want to clean their own house but never mind cleaning other people’s houses. Why? Because it’s not their mess. I think the same is true in this context. People, we don’t want to face our own stuff but we will take up causes and injustices all day, everyday so that we can still feel like decent humans. We want to raise our white flag as we run hard towards the easy things and flashy things and run away from the hard and meaningful things. The people in your life matter, the job your at, the people you see every single day; matter. Their your people. Those are YOUR issues. Don’t run to the next best thing. Be the change in your sphere, not in the world, but in your little community.

 

2. They’re scared. It’s scary to work through your junk whatever that may be. It may be divorce, family feuds, difficult co workers, a sick family member, a difficult roommate, your marriage, a prodigal son, a diagnosis. Don’t be scared to tackle those things head on. You are the difference in the equation. God trusted you with those delicate situations. He’s enabled you to stand up and face these fights head on. We fight for those we love. If you want to see a political change in this world it’ll happen in little circles that’ll create a ripple effect. Be there, be present, show up for someone in your life. They need to see the Jesus in you.

God never contradicts Himself. He never gives up and moves on. He always shows up for those He loves, that includes you. If this world is ever going to have a chance at peace you MUST do the same. No matter where you’re called to or what you do if you don’t do it in love, it won’t even matter.

Love your people. Be strong in your faith. Stand up for the unjust issues right in front of your eyes. Please don’t be silent, your small world needs you. Get up, show up, love hard, and keep marching.