Reinvention.

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Tonight I was decluttering my computer space and sorting through old documents in hopes of decluttering my mind and becoming the minimalist I aspire to be. I came across an article I wrote during the first few months of college and never posted. The article was simply titled “Reinvention.” It expressed the desire to reinvent my identity in college, move away from insecurities in high school, and become who I wanted to be. And yet I had found myself frustrated at the lack of genuine connection in college. So far college was a constant get-to-know-you game of introducing myself and excitedly making empty promises to hang out. I expressed my weariness at forever feeling new. I wanted to know people and for people to know me in a way I was never known in high school. Yet I concluded by reassuring myself that deep relationships would come in time and by committing to continue to introduce myself and make myself present until those relationships formed.

As a junior looking back on these reflections, I am overwhelmed by God’s faithfulness. Those deep relationships and genuine connections I longed for? Freshman-me was right. They have come with time. The desire to reinvent myself? When I surrendered that desire over and stopped aiming for a new identity, Jesus completely reinvented me. (Or perhaps, I am an invention in progress, being ideated over the years.)

Jesus flipped one hundred and eighty degrees all of my preconceived notions about my college experience. He flipped my major, my language of study, my summer opportunities, my leadership roles, my future career plans. And His plan has truly been SO much better than I could ever ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).

This afternoon a good friend and I reflected on the idea that people “find themselves” in college. And yet what we have found is not ourselves but our Jesus. The closer we get to Jesus and the more we discover who He is, the more we discover about ourselves. It’s beautiful irony. In finding Him, I have found myself.

I love myself more than I ever have. I am learning to fall in love with my imperfections and embrace my quirks. I am so much happier with the person I see in the mirror today than the person I saw a year ago. I have realized what makes my face light up and also what makes my heart ache. I have let go of things that caused me stress and embraced what gives me life. Slowly slowly I am continuing to find myself in Jesus.

I did not have to reinvent myself to get here. Even freshman-me realized faking an identity would probably end up leaving me empty. Instead I had to surrender my identity and allow my Maker to continue inventing me by His design. Sometimes it is a painful process. I have to continually surrender my insecurities over, and often I don’t see what God is doing. But His character never changes. He has answered the fears and desires I had years ago, and I trust He will keep answering the ones I offer up today.

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the year of shalom

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2017. The year of shalom. Holding tight to the promise that God’s kingdom will come. Not a far off hope but a close reality. A lack of fear. The cool, deep breath of peace. But more than peace. Because shalom is “the world as God intended it to be.” Justice. Love. Equality. Shalom is a culture; it is an atmosphere. It is the changing of the winds of normalcy. It is a push against the status quo. A culture is defined by practices and discourses. And so shalom is not an idea–it is a way of life, a way of being, a way of existing. A love that extends to all without accusation. An even distribution of power that provides confidence to take action. The empowerment of the individual and the strength of the collective. Justice for those who have been oppressed by a system and ignored by the privileged. A confidence that our identity is secure in a God who never moves. Rest in the knowledge that we were not created to be productive but to project his love. And grace. Multitudes of grace. For not only others, but also yourself. The year of shalom. The world as God intended it to be. May we establish it, keep it, and live it in 2017.

Learning, not Learned

Processed with VSCO with hb2 presetThey told me college would go by fast. I didn’t believe them. Four years felt like a long time to be away from family. And after first semester’s final exams, I thought to myself well, that was fun. 

But now the past two years have gone by in the blink of an eye. And I want to hold onto the next three semesters and tell them to just slow down. 

On my high school graduation announcements, I chose the verse Ephesians 3:20, “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” That verse was true then and it is even more true now.

Now people are asking me about where I will be in the next three years. Where do you see yourself after college? What do you want to do with that major? What is your dream job?

My answer? I don’t know. 

Strangely, that answer doesn’t worry me. I’m okay with not knowing. The future is not calling. I don’t need to pick up. I’m learning my responsibility is to live right here, in the moment, taking the next right step. There is strange peace in knowing I can not mess up God’s plan for my life with one or two seemingly wrong decisions.

My job right now is to learn, to discover, to take in new information. And I’m learning far more than how to give a professional presentation, write a research brief, or balance a company’s balance sheet. (Praise the Lord.)

I am learning that I was not created to be productive; I was created to love God and love people–and sometimes that is the least “productive” but most important thing I can do. In the words of my roommate, we were created not to produce but to project. I am learning to project His peace, His grace, and His joy.

I am learning to keep short accounts. In being open, honest, and humble, there is immense healing.

I am learning to listen to people’s stories. I do not know or understand the experiences of my friends who are minorities, but I can be an ally when I am quiet and when I listen.

I am learning that making difficult, controversial decisions may lose me the respect of my peers. Yet I am also learning that when I am convicted of something, I must act. Knowledge calls for action.

I am learning that home is more ambiguous a word than I thought. Home is where my family is, it is where my body is, it is where I feel most at peace. Home is less of a place and more of a state of being. Home is not one but it can exist in many forms, yet its multiplicity does not decrease its significance.

I am learning to pay attention to the things that make my heart break. Often I would rather not care so that I can keep moving forward. But I am learning to take a step back, to sit in the pain, to allow myself to cry, and then to give it all to God.

I am learning that the Gospel is not for the fearless or the tearless. Jesus did not come for the strong. He came so that the weak would be strong and the broken would be whole and the fearful would know love.

I learning that I still cling to the past I long to be rid of. The same insecurities I thought I released are still a struggle. And sin continues to manifest itself in similar ways. And yet–there is grace for that.

I am learning that it is okay not to know what I have learned, but to simply know that I am learning.

Where is the good?

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God, where is the good?

Lately the cry of my heart has been for glimpses of His goodness. The past three months have been full. This summer has been the most challenging and most rewarding summer of my life. And so, fear wracked my heart as I prepared to head into a new semester. Fear that I would become stagnant. Fear that I would forget what it is like to feel alive. Fear that I would become overwhelmed and stressed and anxious all over again. Fear that I would become overly invested and wear myself out.

The past two weeks have been exactly that. I’ve felt dead inside. I’ve become overwhelmed with the constant motion of life. I’ve felt like I’m running and can’t breathe. My empathy has become toxic. I am tempted to withdraw from life.

On mornings like this morning, I am on the brink of tears from the moment I wake up. The bad seems to be overshadowing the good. Transition is hard. My friends and their families are struggling. The news headlines only project negativity. Oh God, where is the good?

And so He shows me.

He shows me good in laughter with friends, windows rolled down, and music playing loud. When we sat on the edge of a lake eating ice cream and talking about the realities of life. When we rode around a small town in the back of a pickup truck.

He shows me the good in the flowers that spring from the Earth and the changing of the leaves. When I stopped to admire the colors of fall and marveled at tiny creatures hanging from thin branches. And I realized, God cares for even the smallest of these.

He shows me the good in conversations with friends. As a good friend walks into my house and everything feels right in the world again. When that friend and I take a walk, stopping to buy expensive (organic) chocolate and reminiscing about our summers, but mostly asking each other the hard questions of life.

He shows me the good in His Word. When a speaker shares a message that shakes me to the core and I am reminded of His faithfulness. In that moment when I can’t even hear the worship band because of the voices singing loudly around me and I turn to see so many hands lifted up in praise.

He shows me the good when a friend texts me to remind me she is praying for me. And when my mom sends me Scripture on a Monday morning because she knows right where I am emotionally, and she also knows what I need.

Yes, this is the good.

I have to constantly remind myself of the good. I so easily get consumed by the realities of life. I forget that God is faithful and worthy of my trust. I forget too quickly that He has already won the ultimate victory over sin and death. And I often disregard the fact that this world and its struggles are only temporary.

Talking to a friend today, I was convicted that I so easily become worried and negative because I don’t trust that God is actually working all things out for good. When it comes down the root, I simply  don’t believe that I can trust Him to handle my struggles. I focus so much on finding the next “high” and the next “good” thing that I lose sight of the fact that He is good.

So today as I carry a heart heavy from the pain of my friends and the hurt in the world, my soul whispers, show me the good… And I know He will. Because that’s just who He is. He is good.

 

The Ultimate Injustice

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I would describe the season I’m in right now as one where I am learning to embrace vulnerability and weakness. And it’s been a while since I have shared openly and honestly here. Part of that is because life is a whirlwind that never seems to slow. Part is because I haven’t known how to articulate what I have been learning and how I have been growing. This post won’t remedy that. Yet this is me opening my heart to you. I find that God meets us most beautifully in the rawness…

Death is so unfair.

Life is so unforgiving.

As I lie here on the floor, my makeup smeared and my face crusted in dried tears, I feel raw and human. I feel alive. And yet I feel incredibly small and aware of my own insignificance.

I am overcome by the realization that this life is just a passing wind, and I am swept up in it and gone in an instant. Eyes burning and body shaking, I am strangely aware of the realm of evil and the presence of God and my humble yet tenuously balanced place in between.

Jesus wept.

I weep.

Because death is not right. Something is fundamentally wrong with the idea of an end. Jesus came to give life. He weeps because He must go through death and His beloved must suffer through it as well. My comfort in moments like this is that Jesus was completely human and yet completely God. He knew the hope that His death would eventually bring and yet His heart still broke. I find comfort in caring so deeply because Jesus’s heart broke over and over at the injustice in this world.

And death is the ultimate injustice.

My roommate and I have both been faced with the reality of death in the past twenty-four hours. The reality stops everything. For her, a young man and friend she looked up to had his life taken away suddenly. For me, I watch a young boy, who is like a brother, slowly end his fight with cancer. We both weep.

Why does it seem like the young, loving, caring, generous people are taken so soon when they have so much to offer? I want to scream out in anger and shake my fist at a God who would allow this. Where is my faith now?

And then I remember that the whole Earth shook at the death of Jesus. The whole Earth responded physically to death. Because something is not right when life is stripped away. The whole Earth cried out in anger. The sky turned black. The curtain in the temple split in half.

There are no answers. There is only peace and reassurance and hope. I can go directly to God and cry out “why?” For He is not some higher being who is separate from my pain. He has felt the pain, dwelt in the suffering, and carried the injustice.

As I watch this young friend end his fight with cancer, and I cannot be there and am rendered helpless, the only thing I cling to is the fact that I can walk up to the throne of mercy and grace because my God understands. I cling to the fact that justice is coming and right will win. I do not cling to Him because I have faith. I cling to Him because I have nothing else.

And instead I shake my fist at death and declare, “Oh death, where is your sting? Oh hell, where is your victory?” 

In the Aftermath of Easter

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What does the aftermath of Easter look like?

Realistically, it looks a bit messy. Lots of dirty dishes. Piles of leftover food. Floors that need to be swept after all the feet that stepped on them. Easter eggs in the yard that won’t be found until next fall. Exhausted humans.

Spiritually, it looks a bit messy too. On Sunday we relish in the holiday of Easter—the fancy dresses, bright colors, beautiful music, and smiles all around. We sit in the hope of our King who has come to defeat sin and wipe our debt clean.

And then Monday morning hits. The weight comes back. The grey sets in.

I carry the pressures of success. The world says I need to perform and execute. I need to “get ahead.” I carry the stress of education. I begin to measure my worth in numbers and letters.

The world looks dark and feels hopeless. Life throws twists in the road and I blindly stumble around trying to find my way. The headlines are filled with mass shootings, violent riots, and covert bombings. A classmate struggles with depression. A family friend is dying. I wrestle with anxiety.

The beauty of spring is that after a grey and cold winter, color and warmth return to the earth. Each year spring brings new life and with it new hope. The beauty of Easter is that when darkness enshrouds us, light has come. Each year I am reminded that true life is attainable and real hope can be found. To me, Easter coming in the spring represents the way the physical mirrors the spiritual.

Yet the Resurrection of Jesus is not a moment we point to but a constant grace we live in. When the smiles, sun, colors, and music fade, the grace remains.

This is the aftermath.

You were once at odds with God, wicked in your ways and evil in your minds; but now He has reconciled you in His body—in His flesh through His death—so that He can present you to God holy, blameless, and totally free of imperfection as long as you stay planted in the faith. So don’t venture away from what you have heard and taken to heart: the living hope of the good news that has been announced to all creation under heaven and has captured me, Paul, as its servant. (Colossians 1:21-23).

The hope does not end after Easter. The joy is not a passing feeling. Yet each day we must choose—will I follow? Following is not a once a lifetime choice or a once a year choice, it is a daily choice. Jesus has already made you whole. He has already cancelled your debt. But living in that wholeness and accepting the cancellation is a daily decision.

Spring is creation crying out for new life and light. Easter is our hearts crying out for renewed hope and grace.

On this foggy Monday morning, I am holding on to the reality that spring has come and the light is returning—it just doesn’t always look that way. And on this Monday morning where stress and anxiety are attempting to take hold, I am holding on to the reality that Jesus is victorious and my identity rests in Him—it just doesn’t always feel that way.

In the aftermath, I’ll choose to stand in the light of spring and the hope of Easter.

On Turning 20

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An open letter to myself on the eve of my 20th birthday (written February 4, 2016)

I know how you feel. You stare at that number, 20, and it makes your breath catch in your throat. It makes you feel small, scared, and inadequate. It reminds you of that one time you were lost in the downtown of a city and it was raining and you just wanted someone else to take care of you. It makes you think of the friends you see getting engaged on Facebook and then wondering what happened to playdates. It makes you think of “grown-ups” in suits making small talk over hors d’oerurves. It makes you feel like you have to be something you are not.

20. You will be just as close to being 40 as you are to being born, and that is a scary thought. Suddenly articles for people “in their 20’s” apply to you, and you don’t feel ready. You are exiting the teenage years that you were so remiss to enter, and yet now you don’t want to leave. The past two decades are marked by a nostalgia that you never want to forget.

Somehow the number 20 makes you feel like you suddenly have to “have it all together” and be an adult and face responsibility. The truth is, you will never have it all together, you are already an adult(ish), and you have already taken on a lot of responsibility. But there’s always more to learn. At 16, would you have thought that you could take on love and heartbreak, that you would experience inexplicable grief, that a strange town would become your home, or that you would start a life on your own? No, and yet you did.

You are afraid, yes. But you are entering a brand new decade that holds all the possibility of grander adventures and bigger accomplishment and greater joy.

I do not know what this year holds for you. But as you enter year 20, my hope is that you leave no room for fear.

May you never lose your sense of wonder. Getting older doesn’t mean you have to lose your childlike excitement and your relish for life. There’s so much more out there to wonder at and delight in. Do not worry about what others may think, but allow yourself to embrace life to the fullest. You’ve only got one to live.

May you love intentionally. Love people with purpose and take time to love yourself. May your love not be shallow or half-hearted but may you learn to love wholly, genuinely, selflessly, and unconditionally. Know what in life is worth loving and what is worth letting go (people are worth loving, the world’s definition of success is worth letting go).

May you overflow with joy. Challenges are going to come, things harder than you’ve ever faced before. But you are strong. And despite whatever hellish things life throws your way, you can choose joy. Keep smiling. Continue to let your smile be the defining characteristic of who you are.

May you speak and think words that give life. How many times have you heard and spoken the words I am tired, I am stressed, I am overwhelmed, I am so over this? May you choose to speak life into your day, into your situation, into the lives of those around you—words like I am strong, I am thankful, I am blessed beyond measure, I am loved. 

May you dare to step out of your comfort zone. You never know what grand adventures you will have or what incredible people you will get close to until you take that first step. Dare to step beyond the place where your body and soul feel comfortable and into a place where they take flight.

May you find out more about who you are—what makes your heart ache and what makes it sour. Explore your passions and do things that make you glow. May you become more of yourself in this next year.

And as hard as it is to leave this phase of life behind, remember: it only gets better than this.

Happy 20th Birthday.

What I would tell my first week self (Sohphore edition)

Or, 29 things I learned during my third semester of college.

1. You actually can’t spell without spellcheck/autocorrect.

2. You thought last semester was tough… just wait…

3. You will experience failure. When your roommate said, “You’re going to have to fail sometime!” it was bound to happen. Failure is part of life. But it does not define who you are.

4. You will make mistakes. Get prepared to come face to face with your humanness and your sin in ways you haven’t before. You are going to feel guilt and shame. The quicker you forgive yourself, the quicker you will be able to move on. There are no regrets; there are only lessons learned.

5. You will question a lot. This is college, this is sophomore year, and this is okay. Cling to Jesus because ultimately He is the only thing that does not change.

6. Speaking of Jesus, even if it means getting up earlier, don’t stop taking time to process life and spend with Jesus. Without doing those two things, you end up feeling like you are getting sucked into a black hole.

7. (And by the way, black holes don’t actually suck in. Also, Astronomy will become the bane of your existence. And you will survive it.)

8. Late nights in the library can be beautiful, but especially when you leave.

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Taken on a foggy night, at midnight, after many hours of paper writing.

9. Priorities will change throughout the year. You will struggle with what matters, who matters, and how to spend your time. Just know—you still stand on solid ground. You just got mixed up for a while.

IMG_1353.jpg10. That mental breakdown during fall break? Best thing that happened
to you this semester.

11. Stop and let your soul catch up. You are an introvert who loves people. You need to take time to recharge. It is completely all right to take mental breaks and just sit in quiet. You will be able to love people better as a result.

12. Coloring books are still very relevant.

13. Sophomore year is the year of “dis-equilibrium” when life and beliefs and academics and relationships feel uprooted. Go ahead and accept that now, so that you don’t have to freak out later.

14. Your roommate is about to have her toughest semester so far (and maybe of her college career). She is strong, but be there to support her.

15. Expect the unexpected. Life throws you a lot of curve balls this semester. Ephesians 3:20 holds true.

[God] is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.”

15. Let go of all the crap that caused you to stress and worry about moving off campus. Finances work out, utilities work out, and housemates work out. Plus it will be a decision that you won’t regret at all!

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16. Walks in the woods are never platonic. Listen to your roommate. She knows what’s up.

17. Some people who you relied on will let you down, and others will far exceed your expectations. But ultimately, no one is perfect. Grace is a good thing to learn to extend.

18. You will doubt your decision to study Arabic for the first solid month of the class. But it turns out to be the best decision of your semester. So trust and hang in there. (Also, the haters are going to hate. But you’re just gonna shake it off.)

19. Make pre-decisions—decide what you are going to do in awkward situations before they happen. You will avoid uncomfortable moments later on, and you will be better prepared to face temptation.

20. The transitions between home and school get easier, but the goodbyes never do.

21. Find a way to stay in touch with your family better. You feel more comfortable out on your own and you don’t feel the need to call home as often, but they are still the most important people in your life. Also, if you start to worry that the distance is becoming more than just physical, let me tell you that when you get back together, you remember why you loved these beautiful humans so much in the first place.

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22. A stressful situation coming up? Something you are worrying about? Imagine Jesus in the picture. See? The anxiety disappears and peace replaces the space.

23. It may feel like you are drowning academically and that you just can’t get it right. You will be humbled (a good thing!). But there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The semester eventually ends, and when you see those grades roll in…let’s just say, they aren’t as bad as you anticipated. Yet remember: your GPA does NOT define you.

24. Your day may be busy, but your soul doesn’t have to be. This means taking time for the spontaneous conversations, the unplanned dinners, and random encounters. At the end of the day, you will remember the people so much more than the classes.

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25. Missing people is really hard. Yet this is a new season of your life, where friends aren’t always in the picture. People come in and out of your life, and friends become spread out across the globe. It is a risk to  get close to someone you know will leave, and it may hurt when they do—but the risk is worth taking and friendships are worth making (and so are spontaneous rhymes).

26. Be aware of what you are rehearsing and repeating. At the end of the day, the things you replay over and over in your head are going to become the tune of your heart—the way you feel about yourself and the way you love others. Taking the time to be thankful and shift your perspective makes all the difference in how you enter and close your day. On a practical note, taking time to write down three things you are thankful for each day really does improve your attitude.

27. You will not regret any of the time you spent with people instead of with homework. Always worth it.

28. You will want to transfer, go to an easier school, move to an organic farm, or drop out to start your own business. But just wait! Once again, come the last few weeks of school, you will be immeasurably glad you are a part of the Tribe.

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29. Even numbers aren’t a bad thing, but odd numbers are still your favorite.

Breathe Deeply. It’s Finals Season.

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Breathe. Take a deep breath. That is what they tell you. But you can’t. You are choking. You are gasping for air. It feels like you are drowning but the liquid filling your lungs is the dark murkiness of fear. Anxiety bubbles up inside you. You can’t raise your head above the dread.

Think. Think positively. Think broadly and conceptually and creatively. But it doesn’t feel possible. You are numb. Thoughts are routine and mechanical, not your own but ruled by notes upon endless notes of regimented classes gone by. Your thoughts are clouded, foggy, restless. Exhaustion and worry seem to block the creativity from flowing out…or in…

Stuck. Numb. Anxious. Unmotivated.

Yet it feels good, because it means that you have it hard. And hard means that you are taking challenging classes. And challenging classes means that you are smart. And being smart leads to good grades. And good grades are followed by success.

So we allow ourselves to become consumed. We stay up late. We watch the clock. We complain about our schedule. We talk about how many hours we spent in the library and how many shots of espresso were in that afternoon coffee. Finals become a competition – who will stretch themselves to the breaking points yet not snap? Who will lose the most sleep and sanity, but gain the highest grade? We push and pull and strive. And slowly the competition consumes us.

Maybe. Hm. Maybe the battle is not against sleep and classes and exams and papers and the clock and our fellow students. Maybe our weapons are not caffeine and color-coded notes and a deep focus playlist. Maybe the battle is not against finals at all. Maybe the battle is against our human tendencies. Maybe our weapons are peace and joy and perspective and a good friend. Maybe the battle is to not be consumed.

Breathe. Breathe deeply. Suck in life. Let peace and purpose fill your lungs. Feel joy bubble up within you. Take advantage of these moments. They won’t last forever. Appreciate your friends. Take time to enjoy the coffee and the cookies and the dogs.

Think. Think positively. Process the fact that you get to learn. You are among the rare ones in this world who get to graduate with a degree. You get to walk around a campus filled with interesting and passionate students. You get to hide out in the library surrounded by your best friends.You get to study this fascinating and beautiful world around you.

Breathe deeply. Because this is life. And you are given the precious gift to live it.

*a short article, because it is finals.

 

 

 

Meet Me in the Fog

It is a Friday afternoon. I’ve got a long list of things that are awaiting my attention. Pants to return. Checks to mail. Two chapters to read. A paper topic to choose. And a desk to organize, before I can do any of the other. But I can’t seem to organize my desk, because facing the strewn papers, ignored notifications, empty boxes, and endless sticky notes means facing my own inadequacies and weaknesses—the disorganization of my desk that represents the disorganization of my soul.

So I’m curled up in a blanket on the couch and I just finished reading a chapter of a book I chose to read for fun… for me. Because it was a tough morning. One of those mornings that leaves you wanting to cry in the car and sleep on a couch. So I did.

And that’s counter culture (especially counter “Christian culture”). We seem to think that we have to go – go – go and give – give – give to be the ultimate student, friend, or Christian. Yet that just leaves me exhausted and worn out and tired of people. I’m realizing the importance of “me time.” It seems selfish, and once again, it means facing my own weaknesses… or what I identify as weakness.


I like blue, sunny skies. With just a few soft, cotton-like clouds. And clear, crisp air.

Yet lately it’s been a fog. A fog that hits me when I walk outside and breathe in the thick humidity. Or a fog that clouds the horizon as rain tumbles down from above, as it has been the past seven days. I like rain, but only when clear skies follow.

I suppose the weather represents my life quite well right now. Just like I am not a fan of dark days outside, darkness and confusion in my own life terrifies me. And I’m beginning to think that like the rain that is beginning to seem endless, the mental and spiritual fog is less of a season and more of a lifestyle. Perhaps it is just life.

Maybe the answer isn’t in trying so hard to find the light but in being willing to face the fog and remember Christ stands here too. To remember… that he is sufficient in the light and in the darkness, in the pain and in the joy, in the morning as well as the night.” ~ Simply Tuesday*


I’ve been angry a lot lately. Angry at professors. Angry at the school administration. Angry with people who have hurt the people I love. I’ve been angry at the injustice in the world around me. Angry at the violence I see on the news. Angry at the spiritual darkness in the world. Angry at leaders’ lack of response or action. I’ve been angry with myself. Angry at the disconnect I feel. Angry at my lack of energy. Angry at my inability to overachieve anymore.

And as a result, I end up angry with God, pounding my fist at the sky, wondering why I don’t see or feel Him like I used to. That’s when the fog sets in.

Maybe the answer is to agree… that Jesus looks nothing like I think he should look, speaks nothing like I thought he would speak, allows things I don’t think he should allow.” 

A lot of times Jesus doesn’t feel like enough.

He doesn’t feel like enough when the exam scores aren’t high enough.

When the to-do list is too long and my energy level is too low to accomplish enough.

When my abilities don’t feel like they measure up enough.

When my friendships don’t seem deep enough.

When I don’t have time or resources to give enough.

I need to confess my fear in confessing that and face my longing for more. I need to remember Jesus is enough even when he doesn’t feel like enough. I need to tell him so, to question him, and to be willing to receive his answers of love, of hope, and with-ness that sometimes don’t feel like answers at all.” ~ Simply Tuesday

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You may very well be asking the same question I’m asking myself right now. I’ve got a mumble-jumble of thoughts but no real clear direction. So where am I headed with all this?

Well, I don’t have answers. (That seems to be a common theme lately…)

But I do have a Jesus.

Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—let’s not let it slip through our fingers. We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.” (Hebrews 4:15-16)

Here’s what I do know. He meets me right where I am. In the fog.

He says… I’ve been there.

I’ve been exhausted and worn to the point where I feel like I can’t give anymore.

I’ve been angry at the hate and injustice and confusion I see in the world.

I’ve been brought to the point of tears.

But I am here for you. 

Embrace your weaknesses. I am sufficient.

Take time for yourself. I’ll make up the difference. (Oh, and I created you to enjoy this life. Don’t let it slip through your fingers.)

Your anger is not without reason. But you can trust me. 

Come, meet me in the fog.

So I am choosing to turn right where I am, face the fog, and meet Jesus in that place. Will you join me?

— Phebe

*quotes from Simply Tuesday by: Emily P. Freeman