So my eyes beheld a weariness just a little over a week ago. My spirit had seemed to be weakening with the passing of each day. My footsteps became slower and more intentional, because moving just a step forward took everything from within me. And then...
Then I was able to pack my bags and look forward, rather than behind.
I was able to board a plane and leave what my life has become, behind me for a week, without looking back.
I was able to return to a home of mine, and there, I was able to love His people, that I love to love.
I was able to venture to see a dear, beautiful friend of mine that I hadn't seen in 501 days.
I was able to relish in coffee outings, taco stands, smoothies, shopping, church, photo shoots, sunsets, tattoos with some of my closest friends.
I was able to be still and sit for awhile in beloved company. I was able to dance in the parking lot and not be ashamed.
I was able to bask in my Father's presence with beautiful people. I was able to cry and be held. I was able to just be.
What a revival of the spirit that is, what a welcome renewal.
You may not have known how much this trip was needed. You may not have known that in the days before my arrival it was hard to keep moving, to keep breathing...that everything seemed to just be closing in around me. You may not have seen the weariness, until the tears began to fall. All this to say is that God used you. He used you to lift me out and remind me that I am not alone. He used you to show me that I am still His, that He is still here with me.
The dynamics of friendships have changed, I can see it...it just cannot be denied. I guess I want you to know that you should just talk it all in, because you will miss it. Take everything in with the people about you, the people that have stood with you through it all. Don't let them go so easily. Fight for these remaining moments. Fight for those beside you, when they are too weary to fight.
Don't you give up hope. I say this for each of you and I am saying this for myself. There is so much left of this life. So choose life. Choose to wake up and behold His steadfast love and mercy that is your's for the taking. Choose life, over misery.
Say what needs to be said. And stop holding everyone at arm's length while they are right there in front of you, okay? Because I am sure someone among you needs to know that they are not alone. Someone needs to know that you will fight for them. Stop holding back and love until there is nothing left of you. God's love and strength will see you through.
"We all need to be carried, and we all get to carry. And it's grace that holds us up so we don't collapse under the weight of it all.
Yes, the world is beautifully broken, and it wraps us up in both extremes. But in the end, our story comes back to us. Humanity is wonderful and flawed because I am wonderful and flawed. Humanity is wonderful and flawed because you are wonderful and flawed. And when we confess the simple truth of both to each other, we embrace the grace and mercy our Father has given us. Then somehow all those broken pieces come together in an awkward mosaic and we find life. We find healing. We find hope. Yes, we have been broken. Sometimes we've been broken a lot. Some of us think we've done too much, or had so much done to us that we're not worth being rescued....The one, solid, faithful promise of truth in all of this is that we are being rescued. And it's time for you to tell someone about it. It's time for you to speak freely....Confess the beautiful and the broken. Because someone is waiting on you to speak."
-Permission to Speak Freely, by Anne Jackson
These are just the fragmented cries of a girl that has been blessed to feel it all. I haven't made it yet. I don't have it all together. I just know that you deserve to cherish each moment that God places within your palms. I know that you deserve to be rescued. I know that you deserve to speak freely. I know that you will look back on these days and that, they will give you strength when it's lacking.
So take hold of those closest to you and keep fighting for them....even when it is hard to keep up the fight. Hold onto the hope, the steadfast anchor of our souls. Hold onto love, because it binds everything together in perfect harmony. Hold onto each other. There is more to this life-more than pain, suffering, tears, loneliness and depression. The beauty of it all is that He knows you. He is right where you are. You haven't been left and He isn't leaving.
Take heart, dear friend. You are loved. And He is enough. All is not lost. Your friendships don't have to be left collecting dust or stowed away in your memories; open your eyes and you'll see that there is still hope. A near revival, so pray and seek, dear friend. Pray. Seek. Wait.
He is faithful. In these past few days, you have all done your part to show me that there is truth to those three words. My heart is brimming with gratitude that God brought me to you...and continues to do so in the times that I need it the most. Prayers are being said for you without ceasing. You are dearly loved. You will never be forgotten. I carry you with me. I carry you in my heart.
For the days when you need a sunset, a piece of hope, written with you in mind:
II Corinthians 7:4, 10-11