It’s been awhile since I did a debrief on the things I’m watching, reading, and listening to. I know when I’m looking for new things to read, shows to watch, or music to listen to I go by the recommendations of friends. So consider this post one big recommendation from a friend! This is not exhaustive, I’m reading way more books than the ones listed for instance, but this is a good overview of what my summer looks like, pop culture wise. Let’s go! Continue reading
In moments of tragedy it gets harder to hold on to faith.
I feel it slipping out of my fingers. I grab wildly hoping to catch it before it disappears under the waves of sorrow that won’t stop coming.
So many dead
So much sadness
So much hatred
How can we go on?
Where is He?
I put on my music and the song floats through my headphones. Quoting Psalm 56 “you are keeping count of all my tears. I am confident that you are for me now until the end” And I cry. Belief in a good God has gotten a little bit harder. But if I’m honest with myself I don’t want a faith I can fully wrap my brain around. I consider myself a smart person but if I can figure out the answer to that unanswerable question will that lead to relief? Or will I just end up more afraid than ever?
When I’m sad where does relief come from? Not from an answer. The comfort comes from the presence of others. The sitting. The silence. The crying. The laughing. The love.
And that’s it. As simple and cliche as it sounds that’s the answer to the unanswerable question.
I don’t want to be one of those people of faith who offers an answer with a sting to it. Some trite comment about the plans of God being above our thoughts and minds. Something about the nature of the sinful world we live in as sinful people. I’m not interested in that. In that direction lies sorrow and death. I want to speak words of life. I want to be known by my love for others. For joy to come we must mourn first. Jesus took time to weep at the tomb of Lazarus. He knew the end of the story, but he didn’t rush the process. He didn’t offer platitudes. He wept. And yes healing came. But I would venture to say the healing began with tears at the tomb, well before the breath came back into once dead lungs.
So I’m going to sit in silence and let others talk. I’m going to let people I love who know more about this tell me what they need from me and I’m going to give it to them. I’m going to give them my silence, my tears, my prayers, my voice.
I will weep with those who weep
I will hold onto the hope that joy does indeed come in the morning
Or rather, in the mourning
“Listen, listen. This is the best line. I keep saying I’m going to write something about this line and this is the year I’m gonna do it.”
It’s dark and raining slightly as my car weaves its way down the highway. My good friend and I are on the way home from the beach. Shore trips are a tradition in my circle of friends. The weather hasn’t been very cooperative lately; it’s not quite warm enough to be down there but we were tired of being cooped up. We missed the sand, the sun, the waves. So we went anyway. Defying the weather forecast that called for rain. And we were rewarded for that defiance. The day was beautiful and even the promised rain that did eventually come, came late in the day and left such a beautiful rainbow behind that I couldn’t be upset it happened. Continue reading
I’ve been thinking about how what you read can shape who you are; your worldview. As an adult reading a good book can change my perspective on a lot of things. But this change isn’t exclusive to my adult self. As a child there were girls in the books I read who seemed to jump off the page. So full of life they felt like real friends. Their stories and adventures became part of my story; part of who I am. Below I wrote about five of these heroines, what they meant, to me and why I carry them with me long after I first read them. Continue reading
I’ve had a rough couple of weeks lately. If I had to describe what made them so rough I really don’t think that I could. I mean sure, there are specific instances and things that happened that were hard and stressful, but honestly not anything too out of the ordinary. It’s more just a feeling of…unsettledness. Unhappiness. My fuse has felt shorter. I’m tired all the time no matter how much sleep I get. Everything seems to annoy me. Well meaning people in my life have tried to help me out of this mindset. They text me Bible verses, encouraging thoughts, funny pictures and memes. And they help…for a moment.
Usually, drawing closer to God helps me in the moments where everything in the world seems to annoy me. But…God’s the one I’m actually the most annoyed at right now. He feels far away. I don’t hear his voice as easily as I did a few months ago. Believing is a struggle. Having true joy is a struggle. Faith is a journey and it’s not a straight path. It can be hard climbing and I feel like I’m in one of those moments. It’s a cliche but truly I am in a valley right now.
But here’s my secret. I’m actually kind of happy in the valley. Continue reading
Lately, I’ve been thinking about the lies we tell ourselves. Maybe we didn’t start out telling them to ourselves. Maybe first they were told to us, by people we loved and trusted. People who never intended hurt in their words, but gave it anyway. Or maybe the lies were told to us by people that on the surface we couldn’t have cared less about. But yet the lies still burrowed under our skin, put down roots and started to grow. And before we knew it, they were lies we told ourselves. We repeated them over and over again and soon they become our truth. Each time we heard them we tied ourselves up a little more. Until we couldn’t move from the lies that held us captive.
“What lie have you believed so much it’s become part of who you are?”
The text was written by a friend in a moment of extreme vulnerability and weakness for me. I had been reminded of a certain lie. A lie I had been told enough that I had accepted it as the truth; started telling it to myself instead of waiting for others to tell me.
I have lots of lies I tell myself but this is probably the most pervasive one, the one that popped in my head the moment I read that text… Continue reading
The chaos is over
The crowds have gone home
The streets are silent
The blood on the road has dried and turned rust colored
His body is lifeless
His spirit is gone
So they sit
The upper room is the home of their doubts and fears
“What will we do now?
Are we the next ones to die?
How could this have happened?
Was he truly who he said he was?”
The silence is deafening
It presses down with actual weight
The hope of the world
We know the end of the story
But maybe, on this day
In between the moment where death seemed to win
And the moment we realized death had lost its power forever
Maybe on this day we should forget we know the end of the story
Put ourselves in the upper room
Like they waited
Not even knowing what they waited for
Not knowing their answer was just a day away
Their hope was right around the corner
If they had given up on this in between day
If they had walked away
They would have missed the moment of triumph that was coming
A moment that was closer than they could have ever imagined
Let them be a reminder to us when we wait
When our hope seems lost
Let’s not despair
If we listen
Not just with our ears but with our spirits
We’ll hear our answer
Do you hear it?
In the oppressive silence
Do you hear it?
The sound of the earth shaking
A stone being rolled away
Gather yourself and run
It’s Sunday Morning my friend
Death where is your sting?
Hope is rising