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.

Shipwrecked

Church.

Relationship with God.

The Bible.

It all seems too much. Really, really hard.

Never in my life have I struggled to get myself into a church building. Ever since I was a little girl I begged my parents to take me to the little country building with the steeple and stained glass windows. Something about that sacred place made me feel safe, free, closer to Jesus, and comforted. I didn’t understand it all as a little girl, I just knew that God lived there. It wasn’t until I was nearing my twelfth year in this life did I figure out God could live in my heart. That revelation transformed me. I revolved my life around this principal: God is the center and everything else will fall into place. I would have considered myself as a good Christian. I tithed, read my Bible, went to Bible studies, surrounded myself with christians alike, but even more than that; I knew God’s love for myself. Christianity never meant riding on the coat tails of my parents faith because let’s face it they were broken humans, it was this amazing covenant between Him and I. I’m not saying it was always a cakewalk, it wasn’t. I’m not saying I was always faithful, I failed. There was one thing I always knew to be true: God was ALWAYS with me, providing, walking through the desert times, and ever so near during the mountain top times.

I won’t mince words here, I don’t feel the nearness. I don’t feel the presence. I don’t even feel His love most days. I feel incredible sadness, loss, and hopelessness. I feel like it’s all for nothing. I honored God and lived my life for Him for the majority of it and then this happens, this diagnosis; God…really? It’s hard to even type or say out loud because I can hear, I can feel the judgement of those knee deep in Christianity. They’re doing all the right things just like I used to do but how did I get here when my faith was seemingly so strong?

I’m shipwrecked. I’m a mess. I don’t want to be just another person who fell off the bandwagon. I want to be real with you, I don’t know how to navigate this and I’m drowning in all the pain of what I thought a Christian looked like and what it actually is. I’ve been hurt by Christians in the season but I know it wasn’t intentional. I know it’s because I’m in the midst of this storm and they’re view is mountains and magnificence. I know everyone has their “hard places” they endure but this God, well it’s unbearable. It’s even more unbearable walking through it with people that say things like: “just trust God.” This sounds like a nice Christian thing to say to get people to realize He’s bigger than this and believe me, I know He is but it’s extremely unloving. In the midst of my shipwreck where I can’t see God, I can no longer feel Him, I need to learn how to trust him with this. I’ve always just had to trust God with finances, with my job, with passing tests, in my marriage, in friendships, but trusting Him with losing a child…that’s easier said than done.

I know I’ll get there, though. Don’t worry. It’s a learning curve for all of us. Someday’s, I’ll count my blessings and other days I’ll curse the world. God is still in my heart, He still abides within me and through me. Shipwrecked is a new thing for me and it requires me to be real. I go to church but I’m not sure if I believe it all. I worship God but sometimes my arms are far to weak to raise. I read my Bible but often times I don’t. I’m in the midst of this storm and the only thing I know is it’s not going to take me out.

What’s the thing in your life? Know that God is gracious and has endless amounts of patience for you. Know that within the storm and wild waves of life God is loving and sovereign. His love far outweighs the pains of this life but that doesn’t mean they aren’t real. The suffering is earthly, His love is eternal. Leaning into God and God alone will carry you from wave to wave and through storm after storm.

Sail on, dear friends.

Diamond

you’re gold,

everything about you is different but lovely and unique but necessary.

For years I lived thinking I was a fake. Fake it till you make it. Don’t rock the boat, just go with the flow. Even though, “the flow” gave me anxiety it was who I was. It was the definition of my personality. I’ll tell you this, it isn’t me. It isn’t how God intended me to be. It’s not my makeup, it kept me from giving my heart to people, it in exchange gave me anxiety instead of the freedom it seemingly promised.

Its not worth it.

Don’t label yourself, don’t limit yourself. You have dimensions, you luster, you have SO much to give this world. This season isn’t it for you. Open your heart to shine and stand amoung the weary. And always, always be brave enough to live free.