Prayer in the Night

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I’m done searching for a miracle.

Done asking for fixed things.

I won’t plead with You any longer to release these bruises from my bones.

Or to lift the ink from my heartskin.

I don’t need restoration like I need to know You.

So, don’t take away this achiness.

Don’t let Lonely leave.

I hate her.

More than I’ve ever hated anyone.

But, You said she can stay-

So, she can’t be that bad.

Keep me here.

Trapped in a world I can’t see clearly…

Fuck my eyesight.

Because, there’s nothing worth seeing if I cannot see it with You.

You see in darkness as you see in light…

Will you see enough for me?

Let all I have lost remain lost.

Cast away into the infinity of finiteness.

What is any of it worth, if I am lost from You?

It hurts.

Oh it hurts.

To love with this mess of a chest.

The imperfect trying to love the imperfect will always be imperfect.

The imperfect trying to love the Perfect? It too will always be imperfect.

But You the Perfect, loving the imperfect, will always be Perfect.

So, Leave me in the pit.

In this groaning flesh.

In this sickness.

In the inexhaustible pain of existing here…

Just please don’t leave my side.

Miracles won’t help me now.

One thrilling, blood-tingling, impossible happening,

Would leave me cold just the same as the mundane.

It could never be enough.

I need a lasting happening.

Happening and moving constantly from one ache to the next.

I need a True Love.

A Transformational, Supernatural, All-consuming fire.

You.

Will You be enough for me?

 

Unbroken

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I love music.

Not in the – “oh, this is a catchy song!” kind of way, but more in the – take me anywhere slowly, wrapped up in thrills, romancing with my soul kind of way. I could get lost in a song. It’s like each one is an alternate dimension, whisking me away on some ephemeral journey that lasts a lifetime within.

One of my favorite artists is a British alternative singer called Birdy. Her songs reserved for days of not being understood. Songs reserved for crying out all of my hopes, fears, and introverted passions. My very favorite song of hers is a lyrical masterpiece called “Unbroken.”

The first time I heard it, I felt like it had been written out of a breath I’d breathed. It was my song somehow. And it found me unbroken.

It was my quiet anthem in the dead of night. My reminder to keep my head up. A promise to myself to remain unbroken. But, then this happened. And now I will never be unbroken again.

I never used to understand why grown-ups were so serious. Where did that glimmer in their eyes run off to anyways? I couldn’t imagine why they were in such a wonder-less mood all the time. Today though, I know exactly why.

It’s this little thing called heartbreak.

There will come a day for all of us when we die at the mercy of caring about someone else. When that happens, you have no choice but to become something different.

Most of us turn into callouses, never to be scathed by such an evil again. Transforming into this guarded, untouchable, robot of a person is my greatest fear. But it’s also my greatest fear NOT to.

In reality, I know can’t fight it. It’s happening whether I want it to or not. My eyes are done glimmering. My nose will begin to love the smell of the grind more than it loves anyone or anything around it. And whatever it is that’s left in my chest, it’s not a heart.

So, now that song means something quite different to me. It’s not about being unbroken. Because no one stays that way for long. Instead, it is a call to strength from the things that used to be unbroken.

Yeah, your eyes don’t shine anymore, but they did once. And THAT can’t be taken away. Yeah, you gave it all. But it isn’t gone; it’s all right there where you left it. No, you’ll never be that beautifully innocent, heart-wide open child again. But she’s still alive.

Somewhere in the past, she lives. Unbroken.

 

All-or-Nothing

 

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“You’re such a perfectionist!” These words have been spoken to me on countless occasions. Whether at work, school, or play I listen to people moan and groan about how I always want things to be exactly right. And while they’re going on about it I stand there with my arms crossed wondering why it’s frustrating them so much.

What IS so wrong with being a perfectionist? Isn’t that a good quality to have? Perfectionism is a highly encouraged trait, especially in American society where we place so much value on hard work and climbing the ladder to success. After all, perfectionists are organized, high achieving, and often extremely successful. Who wouldn’t want to be that? Unfortunately, as I’m learning, that isn’t the entire story.

On the outside, their lives seem so put together. They get the A’s, stick to their schedules, and fix everything that’s out of place. But, what happens when they don’t? What happens when the red ink pen comes out? Or how about when something interrupts their perfectly balanced schedule? I’ll tell you this: It ain’t good. All of those high expectations and the constant pressure to perform can quickly become damaging when their humanity strikes a blow. Perfectionists are at a higher risk for mental health problems including depression, anxiety, and eating disorders.

Perfectionism has pervaded my life in more subtle ways as well, creeping into decisions, habits, and thoughts until I’ve become consumed with its voice and started to believe I am who it says that I am. For a long time, I didn’t see how trying to be perfect was holding me back from living fully. I didn’t understand that joy doesn’t come from getting everything exactly right. Until one day when I looked at my life and just wondered: why?

Why does my life look like this? Why did I ever go on that extreme diet? Why did I quit taking piano lessons? Why isn’t singing fun anymore? Why can’t I play board games with my friends? Why am I procrastinating on this class? And the worst why of all: Why is it so hard for me to see God in any of this?

And here’s the “why”- Perfectionists suffer from All-or-Nothing thinking. Here are a few examples to illustrate.

Oh, I only have 30 minutes to do this today, and I really need an hour and a half, so I’m just not gonna do any of it because I won’t be able to get it all done.

Ugh, I had so much sugar for lunch today; forget eating a nutritious dinner because my progress is already ruined.

I messed up on that part, and that part, and that part on this song, so clearly I sang the whole song horribly and should never sing it again because what’s the point if I can’t get the whole thing right?

All-or-nothing means either the whole task gets completed or none of it does. It means that if you eat a cookie, then the salad won’t help. The whole song is right or none of it is. There is no middle ground, there is no moderate view. And we hate incompleteness. We avoid it at all costs even if it means procrastinating because we can’t get it all done. Living that way makes it extremely hard to see any good anywhere. It makes it hard to accomplish anything. It makes you miserable. And the most horrible thing is that it is a complete and total lie.

When we are pursuing perfection. Perfection becomes our god. If perfection becomes our god, then guess where we are going to place our worth? All the while the One True God is calling. Perfection Himself, Jesus Christ, invites us into His presence on this earth and one day in Heaven to partake of a perfect Kingdom in a perfect body. THAT is what’s worth pursuing. Jesus is the One who will make us perfect. We could never do it ourselves, but we try to believe the lie that we can for the sake of pride.

I’m exhausted from chasing an unobtainable perfection when I should’ve been chasing the available Perfection.

But, here’s the good news: all I have to do is turn around and run the other way. With the wind instead of against it. And that’s exactly what you can do too.

1st Corinthians 15: 51-58

51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

Do a Brave Thing

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My secret is out.

I have a blog.

Or I should say, I’ve HAD a blog for seven months now and you’re just now finding out about it! The truth is, I hadn’t planned on ever sharing it with anyone. It was gonna be my hidden treasure amongst the trillions of pixels and web domains parading about the internet. But today, I invite you to it both excitedly and humbly for one reason: I accepted the challenge.

This story actually began a year ago, on my 21st birthday. My first day of Twenty-One was like filling your lungs with too much air and not wanting to let it out because you’ll never have that exact same breath again. It felt big. Important. And so, I made it my goal to challenge my fears that year. I got on elevators. Ate fear foods. Shot a gun. Sang a solo. Spoke from the stage. And I stopped sleeping in the basement during thunderstorms. I thought that I had done it all. That I had held nothing back….

Until a few weeks ago.

It was then that one of my dearest friends, who is also a blogger, sent out this challenge to all of her social media friends after a day of facing one of her longest-held fears:

“Do something brave today! Because being afraid isn’t a way to live; it’s only a way to wish that you had.”

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Several people reacted with brave stories of their own, while I just stared at her words; struck by the realization that I HAD been holding something back after all:

This Blog.

This blog where I’ve written my story. This blog where I’ve discovered my voice. This blog that I’ve kept hidden out of fear. This blog which is, ironically, all about being fearless.

So today, on my last day of being twenty-one, I’m not hiding it anymore. I’m going into twenty-two knowing that I left no fear unturned and no insecurity unchallenged.

This is it. This is my brave thing.

Now, I want to know yours! Help me continue this challenge by commenting your brave story either directly on this blog post or on Facebook and Instagram! It could be anything! Did you talk to someone new? Go for that interview? Stand up for what’s right? Play a piano solo? Or did you simply try an exotic food and experiment with a different style? Whatever it is, I want to know because I’m proud of you!

So go ahead! Comment! Tell me your story. Be fearless. ❤

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(I dedicate this, my first blog post to the world, to my dear friend Courtney. You’ve supported this space from the start and inspire me constantly by simply being you. <3)