When God shows up at ER

I spent last night in the ER. I did a number to my finger. Needless to say, I didn’t want to be there.

It wasn’t how I envisioned my evening. I had planned to hunker down with “Call the Midwife,” a glass of vino and build IKEA furniture for my elderly neighbour.

Now I was here, in the Rapid Assessment Zone.

My Doctor has told me ample times to avoid walk ins and ER’s at all cost. Ive heard his horror stories about bad docs, wrong diagnosis’ and botched surgeries- so, I prayed continuously to ease the anxiety:

Get me in quick. Give me the best doctor possible. Give them full knowledge of the issue and how best to proceed.” Simple and to the point, but It gave me peace.

A young ER doc walked in. He was cold but did the job. At one point, he admitted he couldn’t see the full extent of the damage and wanted a second opinion, but no specialist was available. Neither was the one on call. So, I prayed again:

Give him discernment, Lord – tell him what to do.

He made an executive decision and went with it. I felt peace.

“I’ll give you the number of a specialist to follow up with in a few days. Be right back.”

Then he returned.

“Did you say your GP’s name is this?”

“Yes,” I replied. He grinned large…

“Oh, just go see him! He’ll know what to do. He specializes in practically everything.”

I felt relief. And then he added:

“And he trained me! I graduated under him.”

I laughed out loud… Of course he did!! Three cities away, in the middle of the burbs and my city-dwelling doctor gave this guy his stamp of approval- quite literally. God clearly has a sense of humour.

We shared a good laugh and I had him write his name on a piece of paper. I knew My doctor would want to know who stitched me up.

I might be biased, but I trust no one like my own doctor. He has years of training and he runs a department of a large city hospital- plus he trains other doctors. He’s legit. So when I’m out of his care, I worry. And believe me, I have reason to…. I’ve been the bad case study and the one who slipped through the cracks. I couldn’t have my doctor, but God gave me second best. Plus I was in and out of ER in under 2.25 hours.. their average is 5!

A glass water bottle is the culprit. It shattered in my hand and got down to my bone. I cut an artery and nicked a nerve. Needless to say, it was a blood bath and my two year old, bore witness. It’s wasn’t pretty.

I’m grateful for community who came running. My nurse Neighbour examined me and my girlfriend played house while I was gone. She even cleaned the murder scene!

The full extent of damage is not known yet. I won’t know for at least a few days. I would love your prayers though: for nerve growth, for full recovery of functionality and speedy healing.

 

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The new has come, the old has passed away | a NEW creation in Christ Jesus

I stood at the back watching, as 100 twenty somethings waved their hands in the air, jumping up and down with reckless abandon. A wave of emotion overcame me. We sang these words on repeat:

No sin too great, no pain too deep, no shame too real, that His love won’t heal.

In that moment, I knew it was true; not just with my head, but with my heart- I was convinced of it.

And as I cradled the revelation, I remembered God’s words:

Behold I am making ALL things new in you, Kailey-  a BRAND NEW thing. I’m making streams of living water in the badlands.”

Not two months ago, I wrestled for hope on Easter Sunday– I was living in not anymore, but STILL not yet. Waiting. Hoping. Holding fast to faith in what God has promised me, but I still had not seen the fruit of.

Yes, I was changed, but I was not entirely new- I still carried scars on my heart like tattooed reminders of my pain and past. And if those didn’t remind me, shame would – it always does, my mind a constant battlefield.

And yet, here I was fully convinced that these words were true for me, personally: There is no sin of mine too great, no pain too deep, no shame too real, that His love can’t heal.

And like a thunderhold, I heard Him in the recess of my heart:

It is finished.

Then these words fell from my lips, like a prophetic declaration:

The old has gone and the new has come. I am entirely new in Christ Jesus. It is no longer I who lives, but Christ who lives in me.

In that moment I knew:

It was done- all the pain of my past healed, redeemed and made new! God had taken every ounce of hurt- the things that hurt me the most– and used them to recreate me from the inside out.

The things that should have killed me, remade me.

Not a patched up version of my old self, but an entirely new creation in Christ Jesus. I look, sound and act like an entirely different person – because I AM!!

I had just preached for 10 hours over the course of three days, and by golly, that woman WAS NOT THE OLD ME! 

I am no longer a caterpillar in a cocoon, awaiting transfiguration, but a butterfly, emerged and ready to fly.

Friend, you can’t possible understand the gravity of that statement…

I have been living in that cocoon for over two years,  in the darkness, awaiting the day when light would break through. Holding hope when it looked like nothing was happening. Trusting in the process even when it looked and felt like death. When it was uncomfortable, pressing in on me from all sides.

My cocoon was a test of faith and perseverance that matured me and built hope. And here I now stand a new creation.

In my newness, I am leaving behind baggage- the backpack I carried for years, like a penance to pay and protect: insecurity, striving, frantic and tired; the neglect of my soul and body- neither some possession that belongs to the spiritual part of me. I am a whole package, designed to love and be loved in unity- all of them deserving my care, attention and affection. If God can love and accept the whole package, so should I.

I have no notions this journey to flight will be easy – learning to walk out my freedom.

I know there will be days I’ll struggle and revert to old habits or thoughts, but through it all, I will ABIDE.

I will cling to Jesus as I learn to glide with grace.

Because I know who I am now- my identity no longer shaky or built on sand- who the world says I am.

I know who God says I am and that it is my lifebreath and song:

I am a warrior, a princess, a poet and a dancer.

… A warrior battling for myself and others to believe The One we belong to and who he says we are, in Him.

… A princess, beloved bride of the Only One who saves.

… A poet pouring out praises for all he’s done in me.

… A dancer, worshipping through movement- the breath of my body.

I am a writer and a speaker, but also a preacher; my voice is my gift to the world. God has called me to healing and deliverance ministry- something I’ve only just begun to taste.

The Holy Spirit will continue to lead me and guide me to truth that will set me free, so that others can be set free- to be who God created us to be, to walk out our callings, to Know Jesus and make Him known, to live wildly in His love and to love others the same.

Where I once doubted these things, I know them now to be true. Not true in some general, for somebody else sense, but all together true for me- my living reality:

God is able and he is trustworthy.

We can take him at his word.

He is powerful and our authority is found in His word.

Our God is good and he is working EVERYTHING out for our good.

What Satans means for evil, he will use for ultimate good- to show His glory and power- power to save, heal, love and redeem.

—//

Because you can take the girl out of the goal-setting but not the goal-setting out of the girl, this is what I hope for as I walk out my newness:

  • To leave a legacy of love and service, through simple, ordinary, every acts
  • To have loved Jesus more than anyone and anything else in this world
  • To have fulfilled my calling through faithful obedience, not necessarily quantifiable results
  • To have lived a quiet life, keeping to my business and working with my hands
  • For my daughter to know she is loved unconditionally, by me, her dad and Jesus
  • For the world (more importantly my people) to see Jesus in me, finding that beautiful and attractive.

In one year, this is where I hope to be:

  • To have experienced healing in my physical body, uniting it back to my soul and spirit
  • A simpler life: less stuff, deeper relationships and more time with family, friends and Jesus
  • Dancing again, running and yoga regularly, as well as, meditating
  • My health concerns on the mend with new routines and choices that ease my issues and I enjoy
  • Enjoying food and meal time again; uninspired and unmotivated to cook, a thing of the past
  • Minimal, if no TV
  • A spiritual mentor/group feeding, filling and challenging me
  • Regular church attendance that feels organic, routine and anticipated, not obligatory or a struggle
  • Rest as lifestyle
  • Listening to my body and welcoming what it needs

 

Ps: You can bet I’ve added these to my #powersheets and revised my yearly goals.

When you’re defeated and desperately want to quit

 

I took this photo going into my counsellors office last year.

I felt hopeless and desperately wanted to give up and call it quits. I thought things would never change. Settling felt easier.

Then I walked in and settled on the couch.

In her own words, She said something like this- and friend, it changed everything…

Courage isn’t found in comfort, strength isn’t build in easy places. Both are cultivated in messy, hard soil, which if you persevere, become holy ground: anointed and set apart with purpose and great intent.

They lead us to transformation.

Don’t give up.

Don’t short change yourself because it feels easier.

Push through.

New life is waiting on the other side.

I decided right then and there, that whatever had come to me, had to go through God.

And therefor, it came FOR GOOD.

And I don’t say that lightly- I say that from the most suckered punched part of my heart-made-whole.

What the enemy meant for evil, God used for good: to bring a newness of life and transformation, I never could have imagined– or seen then! It would take months, until I caught a glimpse.

But for the time being, her words were a gift of hope – what I needed to carry on and push through to the other side.

Today, they’re my gift to you.

Carry on, Warrior.

#justkeepswimming #thedifferenceayearmakes #littlebylittle #newlifeiscoming

New Name, Old Problem | Hope in depression

I discovered an old blog post of mine from 4 years ago.

Yet as I read my words, I could have sworn I wrote them today!

Identical- my emotions are identical! Every t crossed and period placed – the same emotional battlefield, just four years apart.

This baffles me for two reasons:

  1. Maybe I’ve always struggled with minor depression and didn’t know it.

  2. I’m starting to see a pattern to how God works in my life – a rhythm to the seasons and struggles.

This isn’t the first time I’ve stumbled on old posts of mine, that speak directly to my current circumstance…

So messy, I am! Sometimes I resent my own heart… ’cause you know, shaming myself always works!

What I need right now is not that- not shame– but grace and acceptance.

Depression has a stigma though, doesn’t it? Few want to touch it.

Which if I’m honest, suddenly makes me feel like something’s wrong with me, when nothing’s changed- I’ve just put a word to a struggle I’ve battled my whole life.

Im no different… but suddenly I’m not ok?

I don’t want to feel like a freak or like there’s something wrong with me! Or like my emotions scare people… That makes me retreat more and withdrawal makes the darkness worse.

I need to stop hiding and actually engage people- be honest about how I’m feeling. Because it’s OK!

Depression is not a scary word: in fact, the vast majority of the world struggles with it.

Statistics show anxiety and depression are the number two disorder in ALL our world right now.

I needed to come to terms with this- that fact that I suffer with depression.

I needed to realize that I’m no different today, than I ever have been! I’ve always been this way – a deep feeler who experiences high, highs and low, lows.

I just have a name for it now.

It’s an opportunity to learn more about myself: understand my heart more, grow compassion and then extend grace to myself. Because I must learn it for myself before I can give it away to others.

… Like how I discovered I was an introvert after YEARS of living like an extrovert!

I’m still learning how to love myself in that one and walk gracefully in my new reality.

Nothing’s changed- I always was an introvert– but I wasn’t living like one (which explained the perpetual cycle of strive/burn out/numbing I found myself in every three months).

So, here I am again, at the crossroads of opportunity – to own who I am and love her relentlessly: a deep feeling introvert, who experiences seasons of depression.

Don’t you know I’m going to learn to love you well, Kailey.

God’s done this before and He’ll do it again!

When you realize you’re in a pit and depression seems plausible

I’m only now, just coming to terms with the probability- that I struggle with depression and could, from time to time. 

It’s entirely circumstantial- emotional stress, without a doubt….

It’s me carrying burdens I’m not meant to carry – things too big and outside of my control. 

Like people’s salvation and the world’s rejection and misconception of Jesus. It’s me thinking it’s my responsibility to save/change/convince people to Christ and manage outcomes. 

It’s yucky pride and me still trying to measure up, to make Jesus proud.

As much as I hate to admit it, this bout of depression is necessary: another layer God needs to shed, in order for me to walk in freedom and know Him deeper.

‘Cause I beat myself up when I see the darkness still inside me- as if on this side of heaven, I can obtain perfection. The lie that because I’ve experienced transformation and freedom and healing in Christ, I should have it all figured out now and no longer require grace or forgiveness. 

The realization of my sin sends me into deep grief.

And it’s that grief, when carried too long, that turns to depression. 

I see the light out of this pit- Jesus has begun to reach down and pull me out. But if I’ve learnt anything so far, it’s this:

It’s time to let Him move the reality of grace, from my head down to my heart. 

 


After writing this post, God led me to a one day silent retreat at home, using the following resource. If you’re feeling down, irritable, angry, weary, or fearful, I’d encourage you to set a day aside to be alone with Jesus. Go somewhere that inspires you or send the kids out for the day… I received the grace I needed- I walked away with quiet joy and peace knowing that this is not another thing I need to “fix” about myself- that God is sovereign over the dark, just as He is the light. He will use every experience, including seasons of depression, for good and glory.

 

Alone with the Lord: A Guide to a Personal Day of PrayerAlone with the Lord: A Guide to a Personal Day of Prayer by Gordon T. Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A powerful, yet easy to use tool for a day of personal reflection, and encountering Christ. I appreciated the prompts and pointers, while still leaving room for personal application and interpretation.

I used this for my very 1st silent retreat- I didn’t know what to expect, really, but I left with joy, peace and clarity. Great resource. Will use it again!

View all my reviews

The UnBecoming | Welcome 29

Every knows that
I was the good girl
I did my best to
Make everyone happy with me
Then I found out that
It was impossible to please
The whole crowd

So I spoke up and I spoke out
I learned that love don’t hold its tongue
And passion doesn’t bow to what they think
It’s You and me
Sometimes it’s painful to be brave
To look fear in the face and know your name
To find your strength

I Spoke Up by Steffany Gretzinger

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But I did.

28 was the year I finally did… or undid.

It was a year of undoing that began with an unravelling.

I faced a death so I could see new life both in me and through me, in the life that I have now.

I found my voice. I found my name. I found Him waiting in my heart, there deep within.

To hold my hand and take me on a journey to who I am today, made new.

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It started first with unbecoming who I thought I was.

Who I’d come to be, not because it was the girl I truly wanted to be.

I’d build up walls. I’d hid in shame.

I’d listened to the voice of fear and all the lies that called me names and told me everyone would leave if I was me.

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Yet here I stand at 29. He’s mine and I am His. I’ll always be.

He’s chosen me. He called me Bride. I heard it clear and I came running to His arms.

I tore down walls. I let him in. I sat there still in his near presence and I received love. So divine. Beyond my words His power healed me deep within.

So today I cry with grateful tears, for all He’s brought me through to bring me here.

This unbecoming to become the woman I was made to be in Christ, indeed set free.

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Photo Credit: Dragonflight Photography

 

When you crave a relationship more than religion and blank days more than to-do’s

As I look back over the last two years, I see the obvious etchings of a new sculpture being crafted from the old; a new woman emerging refined and reshaped from the gentle strokes of a loving creator.

From the pressures of grief, heartache and unhealed pain, his hands have birthed a new creation. Through slow, intentional time together, he’s made me more in his image. And he’s been unhurried and unafraid of how long it’s taken me to see that the chiseling, while painful, has been for my good. 

But what I didn’t see until now was the subplot of this season; the new story being birthed below the surface.

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Where I once longed to do [for him], I now long to be [with him]; to abide in the presence of my Father, my Saviour and my friend, Holy Spirit.

Abide –  connection, dependence, and continuance.

Where I once ran, I now sit- with him and myself in whatever my current state.

Where I once tried to hide, I now readily undress every imperfect part of my emotional soul, longing to be seen and known and loved unconditionally.

Where I once felt unworthy, I now know I’m loved in real time; not in spite of my past, for what I’ve done or even what I dream of doing for his glory, but simply because I am.

Where I once felt rejected, I now feel embraced.

Where I once felt alone, now I’m known intimately, by not only my Father God, but by my husband and my friends.

Where I once pushed away, I now welcome near and where I once wanted more, my quiver feels full.

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Through the forced rhythms of suffering, grace came near and became real; palpable for the very first time.

I have drank of the goodness of mercy, peace and comfort. I have ate of the fruit of patience, gentleness and kindness. And in my unravelling, I’ve found stillness in not just the physical, but in my mind and my heart.

My soul has found rest and joy beyond circumstance.

In the quiet of my closet, the rustle of the trees and the giggle of my daughter, my soul has come home.

Amidst the unhurried moments, I’ve discovered a diamond that was always there – buried beneath the dust of my frantic former life.

Where I once felt chained, I now feel free and where life once felt heavy, it now feels light.

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28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” – Matthew 11:28-30 MSG

Where I worshiped the hustle, I now bow before the feet of a saviour- a man who wants my heart, not my hands and all of my attention; more than the works and the words of a woman with something to prove, Jesus wants me near, abiding in the presence of my bridegroom. 

He’s made me Mary, when I once was Martha.

38 Now while they were on their way, Jesus entered a village [called Bethany], and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. 39 She had a sister named Mary, who seated herself at the Lord’s feet and was continually listening to His teaching. 40 But Martha was very busy and distracted with all of her serving responsibilities; and she approached Him and said, “Lord, is it of no concern to You that my sister has left me to do the serving alone? Tell her to help me and do her part.” 41 But the Lord replied to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered and anxious about so many things; 42 but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part [that which is to her advantage], which will not be taken away from her.” – Luke 10:38-42

Will we hustle for our worthiness or will we linger a little longer?

Will be perfect the art of religion or will we rest in the connection of relationship?

Will we make him another to- do list or will he be our best friend? 

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One means going and the other means staying, but both require time and intentionality.

The choice is mine…

 

and ultimately yours. 

 

When you can’t help but give thanks for the hard stuff

I fell to my knees and weeped. I weeped in gratitude and then in confession and finally in gratitude again.

I weeped for the gift of this season and the things I never realized until now, that it affords me. I weeped for all the ways I’ve squandered it away, even fought it, and finally for the reality that it’s not too late. I haven’t missed it!

It’s taken me 14 months to get here and truth is I’ve pushed back against it all the while – against God. I’ve pushed back in fear of who I would become and what I would discover when all the noise and doing was set aside; what I would hear in the rest and slowness of my new found normal.

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But most of all, I feared what I would come to know when I wasn’t so full of “all knowing” and my plans.

It’s taken me an entire cycle of seasons, becoming a mother, a marathon of healing, giving up everything I’d worked for and grieving major loss and heartache to get here but I wouldn’t change a moment of it… not for anything.

Because it’s in the trials and the hurting that God has shown me who He is and who I am, apart from my plans and my expectations; apart from the reputation I built for myself and the “good work” I want to do; apart from perfect circumstances and comfortable living; apart from being heard, seen and understood by the world – even those closest to me.

There are days I’ve taken more than I can give
And there are choices that I made
That I wouldn’t make again
I’ve had my share of laughter
Of tears and troubled times
This has been the story of my life

You were there when it all came down on me
And I was blinded by my fear
And I struggled to believe
But in those unclear moments
You were the one keeping me strong
This is how my story’s always gone

And this is who You are
More constant than the stars up in the sky
All these years of our lives
I, I look back and I see You
Right now I still do
And I’m always going to

I have won and I have lost
I got it right sometimes
But sometimes I did not
Life’s been a journey
I’ve seen joy
I’ve seen regret
Oh and You have been my God
Through all of it

Colton Dixon | Through all of It

He’s showed me how every hard moment invites me into something greater that he has planned, if I’ll surrender to it.

The cross invites us to see grace where there is pain, resurrection where there is death and that every hard moment leads to new life. – Henri Nouwen | Turn my Mounring into Dancing

He’s taught me the battle’s won in prayer – to pray like I’ve never prayed before- believing in miracles. He’s taught me to face my hard emotions and not run from them or punish myself for feeling them; that it’s ok to not be ok and to admit it. He’s taught me to love people where they’re at, having compassion for their pain and hurting. He’s taught me that true love is the hardest gift to give- the deepest sacrifice- and yet the most rewarding.

He’s taught me being “no one” is so much better than being “someone”, because it affords me the time and space to live fully alive – alive to the people and places right in front of me, investing in those that actually mean something to me.  He’s taught me I can’t love all people but I can the one– the one desperate for recognition of them– the one I hurt when I’m too busy seeking others recognition. He’s taught me true community comes at a cost; a willingness to sit with others in their ugly without fixing it and going when it’s all together inconvenient.

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He’s taught me the transformation power of solitude – of intentional times of silence and justing waiting in his presence. He’s taught me the freedom of accepting I’m not enough and I never will be and that is all together ok because He’s enough for me.

And he’s taught me that nothing I do, no matter how small, is insignificant in the kingdom of God. Whether I’m folding laundry, talking to a stranger, running food to a friend, giving clothes to a mom in need, leading a teeny tiny bible study in my home or writing a few words on a blog that few will ever read – none of it will come back void, if done in gratitude and for His glory alone.

For the first time in my life I don’t want to be someone, I don’t want more and I don’t want to be doing for the sake of doing. And I can’t tell you how freeing that is…

Like the heaviest burden – years of endless striving and trying but always failing – has ceased to exist and in it’s place a lightness and childlike joy I carry in my heart….

Like I’m five again and I believe anything is possible – that I can be anything I want to be without a care for what the world thinks- but in the mean time, I think I’ll just enjoy twirling and running into the arms of the ones I loves.

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When I’m with You
I feel the real me finally breaking through
It’s all because of You, Jesus

It’s like my heart’s on fire again
I’m not afraid
I’m not ashamed
I’m safe when I am with You

So I’m here just as I am
Bruised or broken
I don’t have to pretend

Citizens Way | When I am with You 

 

 

 

How to help when someone you love’s life is upside down

Today I watched you play and all the world just fell away.

It was exactly what I needed, because lately my worlds felt heavy and today I couldn’t carry it a second longer. I needed to remove the load and walk away, even if only for an evening. 

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We were at grandma and grandpas- great grandparents to you- in the same home, with the same smells and the same blankets to cuddle in. The ones I used to wrap myself in when I was your age. 

I watched grandma run after you, sing songs, play pretend and teach you new tricks, all the while you squealing and babbling in delight. She used to do that with me too. 

I watched her pick Disney movies, pull you up on the big soft bed and dim the lights so the room was all cozy. She used to do that with me too. 

She fed you dinner, poured you juice and sent you home with a Nic Nac bag or two. She used to do that with me too. 

And while nothings changed – no problems were solved and no deep conversation was had – everything felt right in my world.  What we shared instead was something better; something mommy needed more instead: comfort, company and simple unconditional love.

Because 90% of showing you care is simply showing up. 

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Love doesn’t always have to try – to be intense, exhaustive or laborious. It doesn’t always have to have the answers or silver line the hard stuff. Is doesn’t always have to ask questions. Love is sometimes just about being there; being humble and quiet, ordinary and predictable. 

‘Cause when all the world feels upside down, this kind of love speaks louder. 

 

When you feel like a social outcast and your passions lead you to hard places

I’ve always been a passionate person – on fire for the things that God has wired me to love, excel in and/or fight for. It started young for things like art and design, hospitality and organization, business and personal growth.

But as I’ve grown older and grown closer to him, those things have evolved and come to resemble things that matter to him; specifically things that break his heart.

I used to pray that he would unveil my eyes and soften my heart to see the world through his lens; that my heart would beat for things that move his.

Little did I know it would lead me here – to places of deep pain, hurt and many times loneliness, feeling like a social outcast. Like the woman who walks in the room and everyone else walks out.

I used to enter a room and people would light up. They’d flock to me. I used to be the life of the party!  Now I feel more like the party killer; like when I open my mouth, the things that come out make everyone (including me sometimes) squirm and get uncomfortable.

Nothing about me or my heart feels “normal” or “socially acceptable.”; things we’re taught to socially filter from conversations.

I struggle to know what to say anymore, how much and to whom, constantly filtering the thoughts that overwhelm my heart.

Because there are people who deserves the whole story and others the cole’s notes version. There are people who are mature enough to handle it and others who will buckle under scrutiny. There are places and times that warrant conversation and others that simply can’t lend the empathy or understanding. 

I want to be genuine – not hiding or denying Him who’s stolen my heart – but there’s a difference between vulnerability and authenticity and I’m still learning to navigate that….

The hard way, I might add, sometimes feeling like I’m pushing more people away than I’m drawing in. But I’m bound to mess up in these muddy waters.

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I’ll fall down 9 times and get up 10. But with Gods grace and mercy, he will continue to lead me in wisdom and discernment. I can count on him and trust he’ll give me what I need.

God knows my heart and he knows the plans that he has for me. He promises to finish the work he’s started in me, on all accounts, including my tendency to go deep too fast with too many people and then get frustrated when they can’t handle it… or me!

In the meantime, I’m thankful for the people he’s put in my life who consistently walk in when everyone walks out.

They lean in hard, when everyone else has leaned out long ago. They check in when everyone else has frantically checked out. They accept me when everyone else is judging me. They trust my heart when everyone else has assumed it. They love me when no one else knows how.

They sit with me in the dark, hard and ugly places, when everyone else would rather pretend its sunny.

They say if you have even one of these people, you should count yourself blessed. I have six and one who will not just sit beside me in the mess, but roll around in the mud and get messy too. 

Thank you Lord, for knowing what I needed long before I ever would; for giving me safe places and loving hearts to be your arms of embrace and unconditional love. Thank you for answering my prayers so abundantly and giving me friends- family– that I could never have found on my own.

And thank you for making us all brave enough to walk the narrow path together.