Cafe Puro

It’s been too long since I have sat in silence in a coffee shop in fall, allowing the light to kiss my cheek as the words flow out of me like rain from the autumn sky. I have been chasing busy, chasing purpose, chasing a life like the one I left behind. I long to feel plugged in, rooted, established with twenty years behind me. But that is not here. It is not meant to be.

I search for things to fill the moments between the seconds. Perhaps I could take another class, perhaps I could pick up a new hobby (never mind the bones of those sitting in my closet corners waiting to be favored once more). Maybe I should go thrifting, savor the thrill of a new find. Hit up those I know, call friends from home, grasp for anything to fill the spaces between the clock’s ticks. For in those moments is the furious, raging reminder that I am not home.

The ticks remind me neither was I home in Miami. These emotions ran savage there as well, often rearing their heads in similar ways, or in the form of more time spent in the church office, searching for something of meaning. Slowly I am learning it will never be found here. The taste of this life will always leave my mouth dry, my stomach begging for more. Sustenance lay on the other side of the gorge.

At the end of the day, we’re all searching for Heaven on this misshapen planet we call home. This is not the life we were designed for, and the awareness of that must color the way we view everything. When faced with death, processing the grief somehow becomes more clear when seen with the understanding that it was never supposed to be this way. Instead of trying to rationalize it or romanticize the pain with such idioms as “they are looking down on us now,” or “God needed another angel,” the simple acceptance of what our bones know, that this is not right, somehow makes the bearing easier. Because at least in the midst of the trauma, we are being honest with ourselves.

This applies to everything, though. Work was never meant to be toil, but joy. Relationships were not meant to end; or worse, grow comatose. We were designed for lives of adventure without end, lives of deep meaning and fellowship and intimacy. Desperately we search for it here, but that’s as fruitless as searching for my Miami moss and vines in the California desert which now houses me. On this planet, life must always come from death.

tom-holmes-556804-unsplash.jpg

Photo by Tom Holmes on Unsplash

Stephen Hawking said it best (via USA Today): “We are running out of space, and the only places to go to are other worlds… It is time to explore other solar systems. Spreading out may be the only thing that saves us from ourselves. I am convinced that humans need to leave Earth.” One day Earth, and all that is in it, will fade away. However, contrary to Hawking’s speculations, instead of finding ourselves on Mars we will be standing in the presence of God Almighty, then faced with the harrowing question of how we spent our time here. Instead of searching for imitations of the destiny soon coming, I want to be found actively preparing myself for the day He arrives. I want to be found with the oil in my lamp burning, undistracted from the true purpose for which He has placed me here, “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14).

milin-john-559511-unsplash.jpg

Photo by Milin John on Unsplash

“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the groom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. When the foolish took their lamps, they didn’t take oil with them; but the wise ones took oil in their flasks with their lamps. When the groom was delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep. In the middle of the night there was a shout: ‘Here’s the groom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all the virgins got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise ones, ‘Give us some of your oil, because our lamps are going out.’ The wise ones answered, ‘No, there won’t be enough for us and for you. Go instead to those who sell oil, and buy some for yourselves.’ When they had gone to buy some, the groom arrived, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet, and the door was shut. Later the rest of the virgins also came and said, ‘Master, master, open up for us! ‘ He replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you! ‘ Therefore be alert, because you don’t know either the day or the hour.”
Matthew 25:1-13

Advertisements

October.

I need to bleed this words

Overcrowding my heart;

Such a fragile space,

Growing cluttered now.

I need to breathe,

To release these feelings,

But what they be?

Rest in who He says I am,

Rest in what He calls me to,

And know that it is enough.

Society says “Stay busy!

You must look important,

As glossy media is the new

Suit and tie,

Signalling you care,

That you’re worth it.”

Am I worth it?

The views,

The mindless clicks,

Declaring “value”

Upon this gentle life-

It’s all a lie.

They call this the shame

Of the hollow millennial era,

Forgetting the struggles of their own youth,

Deemed shallow by the generation prior.

Would you look inside instead,

And see the desperation

To live a life worth living?

Misdirected, yes,

But passionate nonetheless.

Even in my art (the way I breathe),

I find I desire

Perfection, applaud,

When once what mattered

Was beauty and release.

In the secret place, He sings

Turn to Me, all who are weary.”

Still we press on,

Determined to be

Strong, independent, busy-

Desperate to prove

We are worth it,

Can make it on our own,

Yet ignoring the One

Who gives us worth,

Who makes us whole.

In Him alone

Do we find peace.

In Him alone

Do we find hope.

In Him alone

Do we find rest.

In Him alone

Do we find meaning.

In Him alone

Do we find identity.

In Him alone

Do we find truth.

The Bread of Life

Is not a diet

To be picked at when it suits us,

But rather the sustenance

Fueling our souls,

Breathing vigor and purpose

Into each moment of former monotony.

“At that time Jesus said, ‘I praise You, Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and learned and revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, because this was Your good pleasure. All things have been entrusted to Me by My Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son desires to reveal Him.

Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Matthew 11:25-30

July

In the recent days I’ve begun to realize a growing discontentment within me, of a sort I did not recognize. So I’ve decided to pick my camera up again, and reenlist her as my tool for seeking out and savoring the beauty of everyday life. These images are from a Sunday morning when my spirit was awakened early by the whisper of the King, beckoning me outside to the porch for some coffee and time alone with Him as the world awoke. 16-July-116-July-316-July-416-July-516-July-716-July-8

 

Sick Day Ponderings

Am I enough? Am I doing enough? Am I doing enough the right way? Or am I simply a messy failure of a twenty something?

Lately I have been rediscovering myself, as a desert rose does after a long and cruel winter. I suppose moves away from familiarity always raise such introspective ponderings. In this period I find myself continually inspired by anything green. Green is life, pushing forward to the new. On the good days, this is. On the bad days, I lean towards charcoal.

Life is found on the road of these curious insecurities, of thwarted desire, as we press on towards truth. To deny myself to feel the pain of betrayal, of disdain, resentment, and the continual sense of being not enough is to deny myself the joy of honest kinship, of mutuality, of watching as He fills all the places I’m cracking like delicious frosting fills a cupcake. These triumphs can only be reached through taking the painstaking journey of walking through the hurt with open hands, as He takes apart each memory and emotion and illuminates them with truth.

I have been hurt, deeply, by one I thought would be there till the end. But that does not make the desire for sisterhood unnattainable beyond that which already exists. I have one friend who has, in these short years I have known her, utterly changed me for the better and continues to show me through insane acts of selfless love what friendship looks like. I am well aware that never in my life will I have another sister like this covenant friend. She is the Jonathan to my David. When Jonny and I moved across country, I felt God was playing a trick on me. “How dare You,” I would whisper at Him in the dark. “At last, you bring me the kind of friend Solomon would write about, only to move me thousands of miles away from her. What kind of sick joke is this one, Lord?” Cheap comfort was the reality that FaceTime and cell phones make these things easier. What’s that to the joy of her presence? Slowly I’m learning the tragic truth that it is the same thing which makes this distance so hard as what makes our friendship so beautiful.

Pain and beauty, on this Earth, seem to always intertwine. We will always be left desperate for more. A few days after a date with my husband and I’m aching for the next one. I look into his eyes and wish I could jump inside those forests of gold, experience the depths of his soul in it’s fullness as he explores my own.

I used to spend entire nights gazing out my bedroom window as a little girl, in the room painted to be a fairy hut, dreaming of fauns and centaurs and voyages to the land where stars go to rest, wondering why we could dream up and imagine such things if we could never reach them. One day the deepest tragedy struck: I grew up. Now He’s bringing me back to this world of desire, this time with the resounding truth, echoing into the soil where these bones take root, that the time is coming.

These desires, ravaging our souls and playing tug of war with our emotions are the signal that we were made for something, somewhere, Someone, so much more than what we have here in this life. The solace of a covenant friendship is but a shadow of the companionship He designed us to experience with Him. The intimacy I enjoy with my husband was created as a shadow of the intimacy we are meant to know with Him. Even the wonder of our childhood years was destined to awake in us the realization that there is more to come. In the words of C.S. Lewis, “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the only possible explanation is that I was made for another world.”

Sea Fort

It’s been a season of discovery. Of looking back and rediscovering little joys in areas I had either forgotten or forsaken, thinking I wasn’t “good enough” to savor the small habits such as photographing flowers and banging clumsy fingers on piano keys. In this moment of newness these simple acts of self-kindness have reemerged, but I find myself still struggling against whether or not I am “good enough” to claim them as the hobbies they are.

Protect me, God, for I take refuge in You. I said to the Lord, “You are my Lord; I have nothing good besides You.”

serenity-monfreda-450868-unsplash.jpg

In the grand scheme of life, I recognize that such debates are pure minutia. Still, I think they are a part of figuring out who you are as a twenty something. These little frivolities we so quickly write off are part of what bring us joy in the day to day, so I don’t think Christ would write them off. In fact, experience proves to me that He cares deeply. Deeply enough to bring me to a home in the canyons when I was expecting a little duplex in the hub of the Inland Empire to be my abode, knowing full well that my spirit needed these springtime flowers dotting the mountains.

As for the holy people who are in the land, they are the noble ones. All my delight is in them. The sorrows of those who take another god for themselves will multiply; I will not pour out their drink offerings of blood, and I will not speak their names with my lips.

annie-spratt-370995-unsplash.jpg

Photo: Annie Spratt of Unsplash

Amid these small buds, full blooms of newness have been emerging, with hints of more to come. Realizations of what the Lord truly created me for are coming into play. Like ocean spray caught in a breeze, I catch whiffs of these promises here and there. The ocean is there, on the other side of the wind- I must keep walking. The terrain may change again, but instead of being afraid of falling down the mountain because my foot slipped on a stream, I will simply learn to step differently as I walk towards the sea.

Lord, you are my portion and my cup of blessing; You hold my future. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.

daniel-ribar-42301-unsplash

Photo: Daniel Ribar of Unsplash

It’s amazing how insecurities rise up. Rarely are they new, it seems, but rather the same old lies flying around like crows in our heads since adolescence. Instead of getting frustrated at our insolence as we pause in fear every few moments along the path of obedience Yaweh has laid out for us; instead of growing as short as our faith when worry seizes our muscles, He patiently reminds us of that which He’s told us over and over and over before.

I will bless the Lord who counsels me- even at night when my thoughts trouble me. I will always let the Lord guide me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

baptist-standaert-346864-unsplash.jpg

Photo: Baptist Standaert of Unsplash

It’s not about you, love. 
I am the One holding you together.
I will keep you on the path I have set before you. 
Though you may stumble, I will never allow you to fall irrecoverably. 
These scrapes and bruises are strengthening you, growing you into the woman you are called to be. 
I never said the road would be easy, but that I would be with you the entire way. 
To know the end from the beginning would be too much for you; trust in My hand guiding you instead.
This route, though at times dull, at times terrifying, at times miraculous and at others confusing, is for good.
None of this is pointless; I know what I am doing.
Your destiny is for a future and hope; a life filled with Me.
In the end, it will all be beautiful.
The more you look to Me, the more beautiful you will see that it is even now.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my body also rests securely. For You will not abandon me to Sheol; You will not allow Your faithful one to see decay.

utsav-shah-277395-unsplash

Photo: Ustav Shah of Unsplash

Like a child, we need the repetition. We need to be reminded time and again that obeying His edict, even when it seems as insignificant as photographing some flowers, is crucial. As His children, we do not always know where these small acts could lead in our lives. Even if they are only to maintain a level of joy and creativity in our private lives, that is of the utmost importance to our Father.

You reveal the path of life to me; in Your presence is abundant joy; at Your right hand are eternal pleasures.

joe-caione-597149-unsplash.jpg

Photo: Joe Caione of Unsplash

So we step forward. We walk forward along the uneven mountain terrain, taking in the beauties of quiet streams trickling from a rock where we may fill our canteens and be refreshed once more in the purest of ways, and choosing to trust Him when the noises at night truly are what we dare not think, because though danger be present, so is our King.  Nothing can truly reach or harm us when we are His.

Psalm 16:1-11

Under the Same Sun.

The cold post of the bunk pressed against my cheek as one of the boys shows me the music he’s been enjoying lately, downloaded to the sim of his flip phone. There’s sadness in his usually dancing eyes and I don’t know why. Ask, and he shakes his head. So we continue to listen to the sounds of Bollywood mingled with the rush of the rails. The next day he was gone, having left without a word to return to his fears and emerge a conqueror. After four tries and running away three times, he finished his Discipleship Training School in India.

Feet dangle hundreds of feet above the Ganges, hands gripping the door. The train stretches out on either side. From each window there’s smiling faces of the boys we were serving on the right, strangers’ contemplations on the left. Everything was grey and green and misty and alive.

Staring out the window, I see his face walking up, like I had dreamed would one day happen so many nights as a little girl, staring out that same window. The plumeria danced in the wind above him, his hair swaying to the same music. What joy it was to finally be in the same place at the same time. As the morning light caught his eyelashes, we met at the door to go on the picnic which would change both our lives forever.

DSC_0187

Sitting in the green chair from the thrift store, the first piece of furniture either of us ever truly owned, His Words opened on my lap, sun smiles on the mint flowers given by a sister who had no idea the act she was doing for the Lord. In those flowers I saw His eyes illuminating everything that had passed and was that I could not understand. The struggles of marriage. The pain of seeing too much in all the wrong places- in yourself, even. The sugar of betrayal from one you thought would always be close. The furnace of making a home. The insecurity of young friendship, and the stars of acceptance. The galaxies of what it means to truly love and be loved, asking nothing in return. The sparks of discovering home may never be a place anymore, but will always be the gold in his chocolate eyes.

IMG_1285

Feet propped on a coffee-colored chair. White windows meet at a corner as the peach tea flows down my throat. It is miraculous the moments a single song can tie together, crossing years and emotions. Waiting for the one who makes my home to arrive, learning what it means to grow through dirt and allow the nutrients to replenish the soul without the weight crushing down in the process. It’s so easy to think we know it all from our little corners of perspective.

tim-wilgus-58457-unsplash.jpg

Photo by Tim Wilgus on Unsplash

I wonder what he was thinking, as he knew the week was coming to a close and the group of people he had lived with for two weeks now would never be seen by him again; that he was returning to a journey he had never been able to complete; that this time he would. I wonder what the women a few cars down thought as they watched the pale legs clad in Colombia hiking boots now so coated in dirt the original shade is indistinguishable stick out the door, pink and blonde hair whipping her face. I wonder what the flowers thought as they saw two kids, young and in love, smile through glass without words. I wonder what stories that old chair has carried, tears besides my own soaked into its welcoming plush. I wonder what the woman across the street in the tribal shirt and tattered skirt is thinking as she walks her bike across the intersection. I wonder all the lives walking into their purpose at the moment I write these words- all the lives missing it in this instant by a seemingly small choice but which would define their destiny. I wonder why these words pour themselves out as the branches dance in the wind, like blood through my fingertips requiring release.

DSC_0033

We can never know fully what is on the horizon. I think if we did, it would steal half the joy and excitement. In this interim time, caught up in a cocoon of the Lord’s love, I can sense the dawn coming by the layer of misty fog in which I dwell. When the morning comes, shedding light on the next season, these wings will emerge in their fullness and beauty, ready to discover what it means to fly. After having tried my wings for a bit, tired from the weight of newfound beauty, I’ll settle on a flower for a bit, under the same sun where I learned what it meant to relish in the joy of being His creation.

DSC_0178

Retrospect.

In an evening filled with the Spirit and raw emotion, He whispered to me through the vessel of a sister the purpose for which I had been created. With what I have and will see, I am to speak and create, and in that discover my blessing. However, flash forward six months and I am huddled up in a heap on the front porch of my first big-girl house, sobbing at midnight because it was all simply too much. I had sensed the burden for years, but could never determine its origin or identity. When Hannah spoke to me, I began to understand, but now that I was back in the field I was raised in, I did not know what to do with the revelation. The pouring out – the speaking and creating with which I was designed to bless and serve – were  coming from my own shallow pond of strength. I would allow Him to give me His topic, then fill it in with my words and judge the reaction according to a self-perceived dosage of talent. It would originate from Him, but get polluted along the way, leaving me frustrated, burnt out, confused and crying.

mark-eder-313738-unsplash.jpg

A year later, my husband and I lie exhausted after fleeing a hurricane in the one place we could find power and running water- on an air mattress in an upstairs office at the church where we served. After setting up camp there on Thursday, the Lord gave us our next assignment that Sunday. We were to move to California. While in the process of packing up and saying goodbye the excitement never waned, the familiar theme kept rising up in the form of what has proven to be my life’s most pervasive question: Am I enough? Each time I received the same answer: Of course not, because it’s not about me.

Do you realize how hard that is to learn? As the only daughter? As my daddy’s baby? As the pastor’s daughter raised the sweetheart of the congregation? I can tell myself as much as I want that it is not about me, but when it comes to the grit of things, there is a part of me that will always think that it is.

seth-schwiet-39421-unsplash.jpg

But before I am anything else, I am a Christian. From the moment I was born I was on a sort of pedestal. I would breathe and to some it was miraculous. I would yawn and to others it was sin. And then I went to YWAM and the proverbial plastic tiara proved transparent in the Pacific breeze, and I was worn out and without identity. For all my years either directly rebelling against the PK stereotypes or picking one to decidedly play into, while trying to figure out life, I had found my identity in the diadem rather than the Maker of my soul. So what happened when no one could see the thin little outline framing my artificial crown? I shut down. I came home and tried to stand back up but found I was crippled and dirty and confused. But during that time of paralysis, the Lord was slowly cleansing my knees, straightening my bones and picking the broken shards of  plastic out of my hair. When I hit the ground, so did the chaplet, and in the confrontation it broke.

The next year and a half – my time in Miami, with all the sidewalk tears and air mattress edicts – was about learning to hold my neck without the weight. Often I’d reach for other things to place there instead – a sewing machine here, a bit of dirt formed in the shape of a trial there – but in His grace He’d take it down and readjust my neck held crooked for the old balancing act. He was never offended, never frustrated that I had just dumped a mudpie into the hair He had just washed. He just smiled (sometimes I think He chuckled), and kept the shampoo close.

pipe-a-464975-unsplash.jpg

When we were reassigned to California, a new lesson began for the new season. Now I was to learn to say my name, and nothing else; to present myself as the same girl who sat alone with Jesus in a tree instead of the one poising a synthetic wreath with synthetic gems tilting slightly off my head, staring at you sideways, searching for eye contact through the shadow of the falling crown. I’m learning what it means to truly find my identity in Christ and nothing else. I’m learning how to thrive.

So what does it mean that I am a Christian first? It means that He has a waterfall gushing through these carbon bones. It means my entire being is made up of those moments sitting with Him, where His love flows into me just to rain on someone else as I do as He instructs, and perhaps those droplets of Living Water can help lead to their eternal life. Yet even as I make these notes, the girl who is used to the plastic crown cringes within me at the Christianese of it all and the amount of “I’s” written down. She is used to looking at her own talent and performance, and now Satan knows he can use that to stop my hands and mouth from doing as commanded.

That is what it all comes back to. It is not about me. It is not about my talent or performance but pouring out what He has put in me in the way He assigns, without worrying if my voice sounds like the old princess or if any of those old dregs of manufactured dignity come falling out of my hair. They will. The plastic polluted me. It is a part of my broken humanity. But it is not my identity. He is, and He alone.

mira-bozhko-254047-unsplash.jpg

What’s the plastic polluting the garden of your identity? Would you bring it to Him?

“I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33

“For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.”
Ephesians 2:10

Taking Ownership.

Recently, my incredibly loving, amazingly faithful, brutally honest husband looked at me with genuine curiosity and asked, in so many words, where my personality had gone. While that almost sounds like it would be offensive at first, I knew what he was saying and knew he was right. Since the day we first met, I had been growing steadily duller by the minute. Yet I had no answer to his question.

Laying up, gazing a midnight ceiling, the answer came to me like the hush of rest. I was happy. For years, anger and discontentment had fueled my passion, but suddenly joy had taken their place. However, while in the frustration I’d learned to scream, in comfort I hadn’t learn to sing. When fury was fueling every ounce of my emotion, at everything and nothing in the most Salinger of ways, I failed to submit it to the Lord. Thus, when mirth took over I didn’t know what to do with it. So I slipped into what I presumed to be peace, when in reality it was a spiritual slumber of sorts. I was worn out from all that screaming.

Photo_20180130_135125.png

We have to claim the fullness of our relationship with Christ. My husband can tell me as many times as he wants that he loves me, but I have to accept these words as truth for them to affect the way I live. I knew intellectually that the joy of the Lord invigorates, refreshes, and restores us. Yet when it came to living it out, I walked tiredly, just getting through the day as opposed to laying hold of the spontaneity and moxie evidenced by the disciples. I allowed my struggles and surmountings to define me instead of the verity overflowing from His eyes.

If our walk with the Lord is truly a relationship, at some point we have to take ownership of our side. He isn’t a genie or even an old lackluster boyfriend, satisfying ardor’s itch for a moment, but never wrapping us in agape. Because He is the only One who can satisfy our deepest longings and passions, searching for other modes of appeasement will always leave us dull and colorless. On the same note, thinking we are okay to live with Him as “just friends” when He’s asked to be our Groom will result in drab days of subdued existence, instead of the beautiful, intense romance He longs to draw us into. But first we have to accept His invitation. It’s only there that we will find the vivacity of life we’re made for, as it only ever comes from life with the One who created our hearts’ desires and begs to be allowed to fulfill them.

Photo_20180130_135451.png

He Restores.

It’s been such a wild and drawn out ride, I’m sure many of my friends and family are done hearing about it. But bear with me just one more time.

In March of 2016, the love of my life officially proposed to me with a ring I had picked out while still in Nepal. Handcrafted by an artist to resemble branches, it matched our wedding bands and was my pride and joy for the summer.

Just days before the wedding, however, the ring disappeared. I had taken it off during a time of sweet blessing and prayer with some of my dearest friends, and during that time it “mysteriously vanished.”

Being the amazing man that he is, my husband stole away with my brother in the middle of an utter bridezilla meltdown in Macy’s and figured out a way to surprise me with another ring, so I would still feel like a bride (despite my diva moments) on our wedding day. This is the ring I have worn and cherished since October 28th, 2016, when the most amazing man in the world took me as his wife.

Praying that the original ring would turn up, however, we had had the second ring sized a half size too large, so that should the first one surface, the second would fit on another finger as a reminder of the devotion of my husband, and my God. However, after endless searching it never materialized.

Today, on December 27, 2017, exactly a year from the date we celebrated our marriage in California, I received in the mail my husband’s Christmas surprise for me. Over a year later, as we continue in our new life in SoCal, my husband located the artist who originally crafted the ring for us, and had her make another. Today the ring sits proudly on my finger, with the wedding band it was designed to match, and the ring signifying the faithfulness of a husband sits on the other.

I’m aware how petty this may seem, but to Jon and I it symbolizes so much.

It symbolizes the faithfulness of the Lord in our marriage.
It symbolizes the strength of choosing love when everything seems to be going wrong.
It symbolizes redemption, in every area.
It symbolizes a fresh start, just in time for the new year.

When the ring first disappeared, the Lord told me He would restore it to me. I came across verses such as Joel 2:25 on a daily basis, often multiple times a day. At the time, I had no idea how it would come about. As I sit typing this proverbial journal entry, I am so grateful for the perfect beauty of His timing and methods. This is is so much more than a ring: it is a stone of remembrance of all that He has done and will do in our lives, of His unfailing love, and all of His fulfilled promises.

IMG_3194

And may I just say, I have the most devoted and romantic husband a woman could have.

Until next time,
XOXO

The Beauty of Mediocrity.

It’s been nearly two months since Jon and I moved to California, bringing nothing but what fit inside the 1971 beetle which served as our main mode of transport when in Miami. As with any substantial life change, reflection and insecurity have been frequent kinesthesis. Through it I’m learning, maybe feelings of mediocrity are not always a bad thing, contrary to what society’s drum continually beats. Maybe it keeps us aware of the truth that we are mediocre, we are broken, we are ash falling to the ground and drifting with any lift of the wind. And maybe that’s okay, because when we’re aware of our futility there is room for Christ to step in and give substance to these bones.

IMG_3158

When I fail to present these emotions to the Lord, however, they often give rise to others, such as inferiority. While remembrance of our human insufficiency apart from our Maker is healthy, the sense of forlornness and desolation deriving from dwelling there, as opposed to turning eyes heavenward, are in no way beneficial. The truth of it all is we are each of us works in progress, hopeless without Him but miracles once inside His hands.

IMG_3157

Often I’ll find myself, when in these navel-gazing states, comparing my walk with those around me, wondering why (like the millennial I am), I am not yet rich and famous, or even on the road there yet. While in word I recognize that His calling for me is unique, as His calling for each of His children is, when the negative emotions come knocking I fall directly into the mode of contrasting my current situation with what the world says it should be if I am to reach location x within y amount of years to be z amount successful. It’s the same mistake Sarah made when the Lord promised she and Abram a son. Instead of trusting in His holy (although yet unexplained) method for achieving the promise, she proceeded to follow the route which seemed right to her, although ultimately it only produced a detour they had to double back from. In the end, God still worked out the promise in His way, not hers, not her family’s, not society’s.

IMG_3154

As much as I know this story like the back of my hand, when questions regarding my future arise I begin thinking like Sarah, trying to conjure up my plan for producing the results I desire, instead of trusting the Lord enough to simply do what He has instructed me to do in this current season, and refuse to worry about the rest. Over the holidays I was asked what my goals for the new year were, and at the time, besides finishing my associates well, I could think of none. After writing this post, I realize my goal for the new year is this: to simply do what the Lord sets before me with trust and diligence, and rely on Him to fill in the blanks.

IMG_3152

Until next time,
XOXO