i can't read a letter from myself at 30; so i'll write one to my 19 year old self

This is a little weird, but here's a letter from me. Or you... the 25-year-old self. I know at 19 you're trying really hard to put on a brave face. Trying to live up to expectations. But would you admit cancer sucks? You don't have to add "God is good & faithful" as a tagline anytime what you're actually walking through starts to come through in your words. cut all the "happy and you know it" crap. YES God is good & faithful; but ya gotta be a little more honest. It's k that you're bleeding & angry some days. There isn't a single good reason for all the suffering of cancer on this earth. its only going to get worse; so you need to get it straight right now: it's ok to not know. And people who make you feel like admissions of doubt or fear or hurt are questioning God? The ones who stifle you? Well they won't be in your life in 4 years. You'll benefit from gut-level honesty now vs. waiting til your mid 20s. Read Job. Read Romans 5-8, Ephesians 2. I know you think you're honest with God. But people around you need to know. Cause all this trying to be so strong & cheerful for everybody else is going to lead to lying to yourself. Next comes lying to God, and before you realize it you don't even know what your insides look like. The only way to kill doubt is to admit it. Confess it out loud. Don't try to pretend it isn't there. It's eating your heart into numb but you can't see it. Just tryin to save you some hard lessons later on.

Spend every weekend in Titusville. The group of friends you hang with? None of them are in your story long term. Don't avoid the hospital either. I know it kills you to see him dying. I know sometimes you gotta get coffee so you can bite the salt back. but you'll be SO GLAD you were there more weeks than not. Remember what sarah said. you'll regret not being there for the rest of your life so in feburary when you get off work? don't go home to feed the kids. go to the hospital first.

There's no nice way to say this. the nagging voice that says your writing stinks... that it's terrible and nobody would want to read it? it's right. your writing is awful. don't even try to be serious, please? you're gonna be embarrassed. you'll go just a few years and want to delete the whole damn blog! let's try to use spell check? maybe change sentence structure? stop talking about boring details? but don't stop writing. i think it gets a little more livable, (our 30-yr old self is probably laughing), but that's not really the point. whatever you do keep voicing. this place is going to be your only outlet through some deep darkness. because you learn to share the real introvert you here; you'll learn to open up to others. being transparent & raw & vulnerable is gonna make some friendships into a brotherhood. it's also gonna bring you the most intense pain yet and get you cut in the back a few times. but you come through it wiser. so that's good too. you'll be ashamed of some of the things you say now. your whole manner of saying them actually. lol but you'll STILL say stupid things in 6 years so don't stop. just try to think a little deeper. try to be brutally honest.

a lil encouragement...you're not quite as silly as you think. you are pretty dorky. & immature. but in fact. your appreciation for your church & your belief its always going to be a wonderful family; the way you trust the people you love; & your genuine excitement about the future yet LOVE of your mundane little life...those are beautiful things. you're not cynical yet. you haven't *really* tasted the price of your innate loyalty. the world laughs at you & yeah you're a little innocent. most of it's been taken, but you keep some. you'll miss it. Damn you'll miss innocence! there's a freedom in you that gets constrained. there could be more--don't worry about being your total self. not all the friends you think are lifers will be; and the ones that are? love you better when they know the worst things about you. you're too easily influenced. you're trying to be "humble" and less stubborn; but it's not the way you need to grow in humility. you're not confident in who you are in Christ. get that. you don't have to let others influence you; but you do need to welcome correction with a critical ear.

you have some incredible international travels ahead of you! you'll see breathtaking countries & have some insane adventures...yes, you do have "wake me up its too good for reality" moments coming.

i'm still waiting on the letter from me (you?) at 30 to tell me I'm in a better place than I think. to point out all the graces i'm taking for granted. cause i'm staring at cancer again and i already forgot just how ugly it is. but this time i'm not pretending its ok. i figured while i waited i'd write to you instead. maybe figure some things out faster this time. i'm hoping the 30 yr old me would say not to give up. i'm sure she'll have a little more Jesus instead of less so she probably will.

i feel like a narcissist...


double header

two theme songs today. one is the way i feel i've been acting towards God. and the other is how i feel He actually is towards me. horrendous theology implications aside...

first one: ooohh so me!! i live functionally as if God is my part-time authority. i'm a part-time lover, running to Him when i'm in need and wandering away when i see something else i want. i've never been a full time man. sooo often i think "i've been faithful and God hasn't come through" and i stop. quit. give up. um. word to the girl, you've never STUCK IT OUT! the definition of faithful means *not* giving up when it gets rough. when it looks pointless. i'm willing to admit i'm spiritual Hosea's wife; that's not a new realization. but that my character itself is unfaithful? that something deep in me is a giver-upper? mmm. not me! i'm supposed to be the loyal one, the faithful one. i'm that girl who still thinks about people who walked out of my life in high school & wonders about their stories. i'm the person who doesn't give up on people even when they're just takers. i'm the girl who gets fed up and decides she's done but can't ever make it out the door lol. i'm back, every time. but with my Jesus? nope. no endurance.
it's a hard pill to swallow. that i am not steadfast. i am not loyal. i don't have what it takes to follow Him with all of me. not yet. (we're in process--Jesus doesn't give up on His kids.) of course God doesn't think of me as a fool or a mistake...but really. i relate.
PTL-reliant k
There was a time when I was scared of nothing
Nothing can touch you if you don't look back
I walked away from every good thing that I had

By the time I met you it was 12 past midnight
Told you I'd be the best you never had
You said "Are you serious?" 
I said like a heart attack

But it was far too late before I figured it out.
I never meant to be your, I never meant to be your
One night, one mistake.

I never meant to be your part-time lover
Then again I've never been a full-time man

Never though it'd hurt so bad to see you with another
Guess I'm the fool that ya, ya think I am

I never called you like I know I should of
Thought I could save you for a rainy day
I bet the sun was shining when I let you slip away

I never meant to be your fool
I never meant to be your fool
I walked away from every good think that I had.

but God? oh no. He doesn't leave. He fights for me. He pursues me. He aches for me when He sees me trying to live in my head, trying to work it out, trying to escape reality with my dreams and books. I avoid Him, He breaks in. He is determined to use me. God is charging over my walls. He won't let me go.

wondrous. now i'm not one for chick flicks. i'd like my own love story be as non-dramatic & little complicated as possible. if i even have one. still not positive on that, can't bear the thought of it ending nastily. but it is kind of amazing to realize i am on the receiving end of the most beautiful love story ever. one with freedom and breaking chains and rescue that leads to action & life abundant. one where the Hero is actually the whole focus & central character with no flaws and real genuine goodness. oh, and the damsel gets to join the fight to free more captives. heck. to the yes. come and get me, this child of Yours is laying down her weapons and waiting for You to break in all her walls.

I can feel you step away now
Subtle but these things I’ve grown to learn
It’s in the way you’re moving hearts around
But I’m climbing on top
Right over your barricade
Never gonna stop
There ain’t no keeping me away

Did you think I wouldn’t notice?
When you’re building walls outside yourself
When your words leave me defenseless
I'm climbing on top
Right over your barricade
Never gonna stop
There ain't no keeping me away

I’m in your blind spot now
Falling through your cloud
Reaching for you inside out
To bring you back around

Now I’m right back where I started
Here to give you the best of my love
Just when you think I’ll walk away now
I'm climbing on top
Right over your barricade
Never gonna stop
There ain't no keeping me away
There ain't no keeping me away

life is beautiful #304: rainstorms & songs that nail me & remembering i'm not alone


“When we compare ourselves to other people; what we are doing is not simply lying to ourselves, we are telling God that He got us wrong.
Did you know that before you were even knit inside your mother, God knew you. That means that He knew that you were you before the world did.
Since when did we decide to listen to the world instead of God? The world wants to end you before you even exist. The world wants you to think you were an accident. The world wants you to think that beauty comes from letting your “cover girl” out. The world wants you to find value in the arms of another. The world wants you to be your own god knowing full well that it will rip you apart. The world wants you dead, it has been trying to do that ever since your birth.
God wants you. It is plain and simple, but it is truth.
Find your worth in the one who knew you before any of us, the one who desired you before you were even someone to be desired. Stop listening to a liar and start listening to God. Our ears were, in fact, designed to hear Him first.”

the tumblr i found this on didn't have a source for the quote. it's a concept i know so well yet still fail to implement daily: seeing WHOSE i am and who i am in CHRiST. oh for that to define me! Make me more Yours, and less mine. 


"no. I know you."

this woman. how she has carried me. how richly she paints the Gospel for me! I don't know how to explain the comradeship God has built between us. the way He built passions into our hearts that we had no idea were similar until later. ah. words fail.