I Am Not Alone


This post is going to be brutally honest.

I’m actually more afraid to be writing this piece than I am to fail out of college. I think it’s just because the thought of saying these things out loud make them real and I don’t want them to be real.

The thing is, I’ve been writing this blog for you and that isn’t what I want this blog to be. I need it because I have a voice that is worth hearing. I may not believe that on most days, but it’s true and I need to repeat it, especially on days like today when I am shaking while clicking on letters.

So like I said, this post is going to be vulnerable— because we like to fluff things up. Everything has to have aesthetic, and be perfect. We are expected to be “hipster” and “have our life together” on social media. It has to look like that from the outside looking in.

My life is not perfect. My life never has been and never will be. So I’ll say it again, and feel free to say it with me: my life is not perfect. But, there are perfect moments: playing at my grandmother’s farm when I was younger, my first time on stage, my first kiss, my first love, when I met my best friend, riding wheeled chairs down a sloped hallway. But there is also hurt: when my friend committed suicide, when my grandmother died, when I injured my knee and ruined possibilities, moving every few years, being bullied, being abused. So yeah, my life is not perfect, but it is filled with perfect moments.

Yet, no matter how hard we try to focus on the positive moments, the bad always come creeping in. And it’s okay sometimes, we need to see the ugly to appreciate the beautiful. But when you focus on the negative too much, it can get hard to see the good at all, it can get hard to breathe—I find myself struggling to breathe.

Depression has this way of asphyxiating any living thing that he can get his hands on. He shows up at your door like the ex-boyfriend who is trying to persuade you to take him back. And you could say no, you know that you could… but you don’t, his presence is too intoxicating for that. You have some weird addiction to the sadness. Or maybe, you’re just not used to joy. Being joyful scares you.

So I welcomed Depression into my home. Told him to take off his shoes and make himself comfortable. And let me tell you— he knows how to make a home out of anywhere and at night, depression can get chatty, like somehow this is a sleepover between best friends. He’ll call up his friend Anxiety and they’ll talk your ear off all night long.

I wasn’t sleeping, wasn’t eating, wasn’t thinking positively about anything and yet, I still smiled… I tried so hard to convince others and myself that I was fine. I am far from fine. I fell so much further into myself than I ever have before and the enemy was feeding me lies of unworthiness. I began to lose sight of the truth. The bible became a book that hurt me to read, I would get queasy when people would bring up God’s name in a conversation. It was like the guy who left you, like he left you hard. I felt so abandoned by God and I didn’t want to let go of Him, but I was also so hurt by Him that I denied Him like Peter did. I began to feel so inadequate, burdensome even.

So I pulled away from my closest friends. How could I bring them into this? How could I bring them down with me? They were all so happy or had things of their own to deal with… I couldn’t burden them with my problems. I turned to an unhealthy option, a path I thought I had been redeemed from. I got lost in the woods of relapse and still haven’t gotten my footing back yet.

I am not out of the woods yet.

I am not out of the woods and I am not in the clear but I am grateful for friends who have wandered in with flashlights to remind me of who I am and where I am. And I am thankful for a God who has created me and created the woods I am stumbling through blindly.

So these past two months have gotten progressively more messy, broken, and human. But I will not apologize for that. I will not apologize for crying for hours, for needing people and God and help. I will not apologize for my feelings because they make me human and they make me alive. But I will apologize for the consequences of my reactions to the feelings. I will apologize for hurting people unintentionally, and letting people down, and for hiding it from people. I am truly sorry because being a Christian means living in fellowship and community and that means being vulnerable with the people within that circle. I should rely more on that love.

I am sorry for the pain I caused other but I can’t apologize for mental illness and addictions. I am seeking help, I am confiding within my community. I think that there is this stigma to romanticize the struggle that people with mental illness and addictions and issues go through. I don’t want to come off that way, I want to make it clear that I fight for my life every time that a stray negative thought crosses my mind, I fight for my life every time I get triggered, I fight for my life every time that I relapse with self-harm and my eating disorder. There is nothing romantic in that. But I will admit that there is hope in healing, in recovery. There is hope in being any way redeemed—which we are, by the blood of Jesus Christ.

So when the lies swirl around you and tell you, on repeat, that you are alone, know that you are never alone. Did you hear that babycakes? Say it with me:

I am not alone. I am not alone. My life is not perfect, but there are perfect moments to live for. I am never alone.

Untitled Vol. 1


I thought I was redeemed of all addictions until you came sweeping into my life and breathed yourself like heroin into my system. The worst part is I enjoy the high each time, more and more. Each inhale of your breath. Each injection of your presence. They each drag me deeper and deeper still.

I think that we have this habit of taking people aside and claiming them as our own. Even we don’t have a right to them, even when we know we shouldn’t.

I have this habit of taking you aside and making you mine. I have this habit of making you toxic and then blaming you for everything. I am sorry for that. I know I am toxic too. Some chemicals shouldn’t mix and baby, we are explosive.

There is this theory I have, about love: I think we don’t necessarily fall in love. I think we can choose love. And that love is a choice you make every day when you wake up and go “That human? They are mine and I am theirs. As long as we both shall live.”

I think love comes in waves. And today it is a riptide pulling me under and I am sinking farther away from the surface into everything that you are. It hurts, to be in the thick and thin of the pain. But I also know my limbs will fight. My limbs and body will fight to the surface and my breath will struggle until I survive.

When it comes to love, I think we all hope for the happily ever after. I am starting to believe that those aren’t real, I’ve given up on fairytales and have woken up to the reality. It’s true, what Stephen Chbosky said “we accept the love we think we deserve.” I have stopped believing I deserve any kind of love so it’s not shocking that everything I enter into is toxic.

And it’s not your fault you chose them over me. It’s not your fault or mine, it’s just reality. I just wish you saw me in the saw light that you see them, did I not shine? Did I shoot across the sky like a shooting star? I am sorry, I am a dwindling flame on a melted candle… just breathe away from going out.

Love has this way of choking the very thing that breathed life into it. I am sitting here, choking on saltwater, and wishing you could see me drown.

Go Tell Lauren


(pic credz)

There is a girl in Pennsylvania named Lauren who shines so bright. She shines brighter and brighter but I think there are days when her light feels small. When she doesn’t feel like she is shining. When she doesn’t think that the light is worth following. There is a girl in Pennsylvania named Lauren who shines so bright and I want her to know that she illuminates my soul form miles away.

Lauren, you are allowed to feel small and insignificant. You are allowed to think you aren’t worth it on some days. You are allowed to feel all the bad feelings, but you mustn’t make your home in them. Make sure that you only built a temporary home there, one built out of straw or sticks, so that when the time comes you can blow them down with a huff-and-a-puff.

People will tell you things that build you up but they will also tell you things that hurt. People are the worst and best things to happen to you. Make sure that you guard yourself, but don’t forget to live, Lauren. Live big and live bold. Take chances on people you wouldn’t normally take a chance on, but also know when a situation is out of your control.

It can be hard to let people out of our orbit. Especially when we’ve fashioned them into some sort of sun. But it is something that must happen. There comes a time when we get used to the toxicity of certain people and we start to accept the lies that they are all we are worth.

Lauren, you cannot make homes out of people.

My grandmother taught me that when I was young and I didn’t really understand what it meant until I fell in love with a boy that had the warmest eyes and the coldest heart. But he masked it, he tricked me into falling in love with how he made me feel and the rush I got from being made important in his eyes. The truth came out eventually but I was in too deep. I was too attached, clinging to the thread of him he left dangling in front of me to trail me along.

Lauren, you cannot make homes out of people and you can’t invite another soul to move into your rib-cage. That space is all yours babygirl, don’t let another human take advantage of the home you’re building inside of yourself. The home that is your safe haven, the home that enables you to love every corner of yourself. You can’t make homes out of people and you can’t let them make a home out of you. You will lose yourself and I don’t want that to happen, not when you are such a beautiful and special young lady.

You are a whole person and no human can ever fill any empty space within you.

We are not some puzzle that is missing a piece. You are whole. You are here. You are seen. Did you get that, Lauren? You are here and you are seen. Every stubborn molecule in your body is present and fantastic and human and seen.

Lauren, I want to thank you. For being my fan. For cheering for me. No, seriously, thank you for being my cheerleader. These past months have been hard but God has been good and people like you have given me hope. People like you have kept me from hitting delete on my blog and have inspired me to keep showing up, to keep writing: even when I don’t want to… especially when I don’t want to.

Keep showing up for people, Lauren, especially when you don’t want to. Keep showing up and keep being a light into the bitter darkness that surrounds us. People need you. The world needs you, m’dear.

Dear Future Daughter of Mine (Vol. 1)


(pic creds)

I want you to know that I love you already and you are tucked into the prayers that I whisper to God at night. I’d like to think that I will be able to protect you from everything but I know that that is not how this world works. Your grandmother was the best mother and she couldn’t save me from a lot of the darkness from this world, that’s just life. You have to wrestle with the dark in order to find the light that is deep inside yourself.

Baby Girl, when Despair come a knock-knock-knocking on your door, open it wide. Welcome him in. You’ll be able to know it’s him from the wrinkles of age and worry etched onto his face. He will be almost bald and have a welcoming, but eternally sad smile. Let him, sweet child. He has many stories and many lessons for you.

Despair will try to tell you that you have to be with him all the time. Know that it is a choice. You will have a choice to stay with Despair. But choose his cousin Joy sometimes too. She can get lonely and needs some company, especially when Despair comes over. So turn on the lights that he has dimmed, tell her to join you guys for dinner.

Joy will sit down with a plop and bounce all evening while exclaiming “Isn’t life so great!”

“You’d like to think so, wouldn’t you?” Despair will interject, “But haven’t you seen all the work that Tragedy has been doing? Where is Hope? Where is the reason to keep going when all things will come to an end…”

To this, Joy will always answer “people are the reason to go on. They are the reason to keep fighting, Despair. I mean, look at her— (at this, Joy will look and point energetically at you) she’s been in your company all day but is still smiling, I think that is where Hope hides. In the smile of broken and raw people.”

Despair will stare at you with those sad eyes that seem like they are way older than he is, they hold the entire history of pain and hopelessness inside them. And you, baby girl, you will stare right back. Because you shouldn’t be afraid of Despair. And you shouldn’t be afraid of Joy. You should only be afraid if you stop feeling both altogether.

There are some people that will tell you that feeling all these things can be unhealthy but I want to assure you that it isn’t. Not feeling is so much worse than feeling and I hope you stay in a pool of emotions your whole life. They can be overwhelming. They can feel out of control. But I promise you, I promise you sweet daughter of mine, that God and I will be there every step of the way through the thickness. We will not abandon you.

So open the door. Let them all inside. Feel joy, and anger, and sadness, and despair, and fear, and courage. Feel all the things that your favorite song makes you feel and the boy next door. Feel the things that come when you lose your footing and when you contradict the popular opinion.

Baby Girl, feel. feel. feel.

You’ll thank me one day.

Unveiling the Masks // A thank you note to the guy who illustrates from the Girl with the Stars in Her Eyes


(Pic Cred)

It’s been almost 7 months since I wrote and submitted this post to If You Find This Email. It’s been almost 7 months of him and me and ups and downs and no’s and yes’s and why’s and goodbye’s. I may not have been in Fillmore at the time but, the story is true. Read it if you want. Him and I are still friends, we still talk.



So I’m unmasking myself. I think I wear too many masks nowadays and I don’t want to be living a life of lies anymore. I think that transparency and vulnerability are what let us really be intimate with God. I want that more than anything.

I am the Girl with the Stars in Her Eyes. I dream too much and too big. I eat junk food on a daily basis, but I also try to run or even do dance every day as well. I watch Netflix and movies everyday. I sing loudly and off-key. A lot. I get depressed and have panic attacks. I enjoy coffee a little more than I should. And I like girls and boys.


That causes dissonance inside my heart and inside the church. It isn’t as hard for the church to accept it as it is for the God-fearing christian who experiences it.

But I am accepting of that part of me now. I don’t sit in my closet anymore and curse at God for this, begging him to take it away from me. I accept it now because we are suppose to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. I wasn’t loving myself. So I wasn’t loving others.

It all comes back to the guy who wanted to illustrate my book and my life. We had deep conversations and he was one of the first people I admitted that to. One of the first people who knew I experienced same-sex attraction and he didn’t judge me. Slowly, I started opening up about it and not being judged and I am proud of the church for that. And I am grateful for that guy for helping me. If you are reading this, thank you for saving the stars from going out of my eyes. I owe you one, bud.


Romans 13:8-10 is so important because Love fulfilled the law. And Love wins. Love always win. “When Jesus was sacrificed on the cross, he provided the ultimate fulfillment of the animal sacrifices. His death and resurrection accomplished the purpose that all of the Old Testament regulations about sacrifices could only point towards– the final reconciliation of God with God’s people. As a result, the sacrifices were no longer necessary. It’s not that the laws were abolished, but they became irrelevant once their purpose had been accomplished. They were fulfilled.” and I am so thankful to love a God who just calls me to love. Everyone. All the time. No matter who they are, what labels they wear or identify with, we are called to love.

And if I am called to love all others “as I love myself'” then I am glad I started to see myself and accepting myself for who I am, for who I am categorized as, for the masks I am tired of wearing and the labels I suppose I fit into. I need to love myself– no matter who I love and who I fall for because Jesus will still be at the center of my heart.


It’s crazy to think that God swooped me out of an existence of not knowing Him with the same line that is helping me gather the courage to press the publish button. “I don’t have time to maintain these regrets when I think about the way that He loves us.” Because Holy Crow. Nothing I do can ever snuff out His light in me. All of my shame, all of my sin, all of the darkness and masks and closets that I’ve been hiding inside of… His Love and Grace covers it. So I’m shedding this shell I’ve been hiding in for years. Because I don’t want to regret never being completely honest and completely me.

I Understand Now Why They Name Hurricanes After People


(pic cred)

You said you had moved on.

You said you had moved on and the ship had sailed. So why do you still flash up on my notifications and message me asking me how I have been?

You said you had moved on.

So for the past year I had pushed through the feelings: the denial, the unwantedness, the self-loathing, the “am I not enough”.

But you just kept showing up, every few months you would show up and I couldn’t move on.

You said you had moved on and the ship had sailed but it took me months until I realized that seeing your name didn’t drown me any longer.

It took me months to look in the mirror and stop picturing you standing behind me.

It took me months to breathe easy and stop smoking. To accidentally drop the lighter you had given me into a river… washing you away with it.

It took me months because you said you had moved on but kept showing up in my life but now, it’s been months since I have thought of you, longingly and lovingly.

Now I just pray that you get happiness and sometimes, I don’t pray or think of you at all.

It’s been a long race: running to you, then away from you, and then finally running for freedom.

And fear was a big contributor to the chains I was wearing for the past year. The fear of being alone. The fear of rejection. The fear of not being enough. Just fear, crippling and disabling fear.

You see, I let fear be my life’s author this past year, and depression seemed to co-write it too. I let them wash over me. I became complacent and submissive to everyone around me. I was drowning in fear and sadness and I couldn’t move my limbs to swim.

I wish you could see me now. Like really see me. The kind of seeing that involves us sitting down over coffee and talking about life, our faces so close we can see our reflections in each other’s eyes. I need you to see me that way so you can see how I have changed:

How I no longer filter everything I say. How I move my fingers like I’m playing clarinet when I get nervous. How I second guess a lot of my decisions. How I can look you in the eye with no fear of getting attached any more. How I am stronger, more peaceful.

But I need you to know that you have changed me, for better or for worse because you said you had moved on but still showed up. It changes someone that does. And it helped me realize that I am not okay, most days.  That I still am not okay.

I am a hurricane; I destroy people before they even get close to me. 

That is a truth I am trying to change, the only one I want to change. I am sorry if I destroyed you, but you destroyed me first. That is a truth I cannot change, no matter how much I wish to.

Swim For The Better Days


I’ve been treading water for the past 10 months.

I’ve been treading water because I have been too afraid to actually swim, to put my hands out in front of me and to trust that my body will keep me alive.

This depression was the worst one. It wasn’t one that made me think about taking my own life, but I can understand why people do. Finally, I understand the reasons why.

It’s not because you’re sad, it’s not because depression is crippling. It’s because the control is gone: to get out of bed is a battle with your mind and to eat is a battle and to walk is a battle and to think is a battle and to be with friends is a battle. You don’t have a choice… you have to fight every. single. day.


I think our society has a tendency to brush off mental illness. We have a tendency to scoff at it, like it’s not a real problem. Like Mental Illness is the girl who sits in the back of every class you have but you know nothing about her, just the rumours that travel around. Mental Illness is the mysterious one, stories surround her. But no one will even try to get to know all her sides.

Along with Mental Illness are  her younger cousins, the triplets, Sadness & Wretchedness & Numbness.  They rush into your life so quickly and quietly , it really is hard to catch the warning signs sometimes


And then everything else starts to fade… they almost get a pedestal to rest upon, we unintentionally idolize them. And then we look outward at everyone else and feel envious. Why are they happy? Why aren’t they feeling this way?

And we grab a hold of people and they look at us and feel a surface-level fulfillment..  I think all humans have some sort of savior complex. At the end of the day, we all want to save others because then maybe, someone will save us.


I am obsessed with trying to save other people. Let me take your burdens. Let me carry your load. I am willing to help, take me on as a willing scapegoat for your troubles.

I don’t spend even close to enough time trying to save myself. I focus outward and think that society and a culture-based version of Christianity have taught me to do so. Serve others. Be small, be invisible.The good Samaritan didn’t have a name, so help and don’t think about who you are. Just help. Just save. Just look outwards.


Don’t get me wrong, I think that serving others and putting them before you is definitely something that we should do. But not always. Not every minute. Take the time to look inward. Take the time to notice the warning signs, to see the hurt, to work through the pain. It’s okay to take time to yourself. That doesn’t make you selfish— that makes you human. And this world needs more humanly people walking around on it.

All this to say that I have been treading water and focusing outward.

But last Thursday I prayed a simple prayer in my closet before going to a student-lead worship night. It went something like: “Lord, I don’t want your love if it’s a half effort. I want real, unrelenting Love that wrecks my walls and pulls up my roots, just to plant a new and better and more reflective version. I want joy. I want your faithfulness to be prevail and for this promise to be met. These sermons I’ve been reading and listening to, promise that Joy, a Joy of a divine nature, is possible. Make it possible, Father. Please?”

And nothing happened. I didn’t expect it to right away. But this past month, I have been reading and listening to sermons on joy— mainly because Hannah  Brencher recommended it, mostly because I need joy— and I had been praying for this joy to take root in me. But it hadn’t. But these things take time.
During worship, the team started playing “How deep the Father’s Love.” And I thought “how fitting, a somber song for a somber girl.”

But at a line I usually just sing over and never think about, I remembered 2012 and a talk I had in a chapel during a thunderstorm. I remembered a question and an answer: “why would God love someone who is as unworthy and small as me? He just does.”

That line was: “To make a wretch his treasure.”

And maybe the signs include the sermons telling me that Joy is a choice in my heart and God whispering “why, child, won’t you just choose me?”

I’ve never thought of myself as treasure. It all starts there. I have never thought of myself as treasure or worth gold or the perfect love of an all-encompassing God that knows the inner bits of my heart.

I can relate to the wretch. I am wretched on most days. I am a wretch, and sad, and isolated, and self-hating. I am most definitely a wretch.

But I am also treasure. You are also treasured. For all your insecurities and imperfections and worries and anxieties and beauty and heart. You are treasured. Above all.

So my prayer this week has been even simpler than the first:

“If you choose me God, then I am all in. I choose you, too. I choose you, too.

Small One // A Teeny Talk On Fear and Gumption


My nickname from my close friends is Tney (pronounced like Teeny). And today in church there was a message on Identity. The pastor put it as “what do your friends call you? What are you known for?” Then he went on to talk about his grandmother who passed away and how at the funeral her identity was clearly seen as people talked about who she was.

I’ve had this desire for the past 6 months to be smaller so that my God could be bigger.  Because I don’t think having a big God gets a good enough rep. We want a God in a box. A God that is like the genie in Aladdin, always on our side and there to grant our wishes. But I want a big God who will make me small and say no to some of my requests and place people and things in my life that are hard. Things that make me scream at Him and doubt Him and fall from Him. I need a God that will make me feel all of those things and still be waiting for me when I come running back whispering “Small One, I’ve always been here. I never moved. I never left. Just keep pushing. Just keep fighting.”

So my friends call me Tney. The origin of that nickname has nothing to do with being small, but still- it’s been quite the blessing that that became my nickname, my identity. I thought having my identity resting in a Big Big God meant that my smallness was okay, wanted even. And it’s taken me 3 months of a prayer for God to “keep me hungry and small” to realize that this whole time God has provided that. He has been answering me sweetly, saying “Small One, look around you. I have placed friends in your life that keep you small and hungry for more of me. Just look around you. Look up and around you.” 


His name was Thomas. He sat down across from me in a coffee shop,  this elderly gentleman that had to be almost 70, and tells me straight up with no introduction “My dear, you need to stop living life on the back burner. You need more gumption.”

I thought this meant that the last three months meant nothing. That my prayer had been wasted because I had become too small, too meek, too mild. So I asked Thomas if he thought I had lost my fire, I told him of my prayer and being small and I asked if he thought I had become so small that I wasn’t worth while any more. He cocked his head a bit and smiled a sad smile.

“Sweetheart,” he whispered so that only I could here him. “You are only as small as you see yourself. You can be small in the sense that you mean in that prayer of yours, but that doesn’t mean you can’t live a big life. Live a big, worthwhile life with the people that matter. With the few people that have stuck with you and been your cheerleaders and have loved you hard during this season you seem to be stuck in. You don’t need a lot to live a worthwhile life.”

Thomas and I talked for a bit longer, we swapped stories and then he left. And I was left with a book about Holocaust survivors and thoughts on how I could be more like Thomas, gumption-filled and real– in the sense that he knew who he was and what sat in the very bottom of his core. And he wasn’t afraid of that.


I think this all really boils to down to fear. In the root of my smallness and desire to have things that are bigger than myself rest fear, all snuggled up  like he owns one of the rooms in my heart. Fear doesn’t play no games neither. He gets right to the point and whispers lies and uncertainties into your ears at night, or when you would least expect him too. Wanna talk to a boy? He wouldn’t want you anyway, why do you think you’re single. Wanna start a business? No one would buy your product or follow you.

All these lies that tell us that we are not worthy or capable or adequate all boil down to the fact that we are riding shotgun to fear. I may be Tney but I am also immensely worthwhile and most definitely adequate to do whatever sets my heart on fire. So  muster up some gumption, go take the world by storm but don’t forget to whisper a thank you to the one who is so much bigger than you, and still notices all the little things about you; don’t forget to come running back to the God who always knew you were His “Small One.”

Breaking Free From The Bottle // On The Cusp of My 19th Birthday


i fell to knees that had never kissed the ground before.

communication had never been my strong point,

and yet He aches and groans with a desire

to speak with me, alone and lovingly


i never believed in my own worth,

saw my life as sawdust and shattered glass

but He saw a boat trapped in a bottle–

fighting against elements it was never built to weather.

He cradled me with calloused hands,

worn down from the work

of holding this broken world together.

how could He ever envision beauty rising from these ashes?

lost faith and stolen hope,

but He always believed in what i could become.

pushing obstacles in my path

that would condition me for the harder hardships

before smashing the bottle to pieces

and freeing me from inside this shell.


I turn 19 in less than a month. I know. I’m young. Believe me, I hear it all the time. But this past year was one the hardest years I have faced yet and I know that they are just going to ebb and flow. Next year may be easier, but it also may be harder. I am just trusting that I will be able to lean on Christ on and my friends. I am trusting in that a lot.

This past year I started college. I had a rough first semester, battling the party-lifestyle I had known all summer and dealing with the loss of some people in my life. I got hit with depression, and anxiety attacks became a normal occurrence to me.  I started to fall back from the party scene, but I definitely suffered from the lack of socializing. My depression got worse. I relapsed and started to battle self-harm and an eating disorder again.

I am not telling you that for sympathy. I’m telling you that because I swore to be honest with you in the beginning of all this. I swore brokenness, beautiful ashes turning to stardust. I swore white-knuckled hands holding onto the last grain of truths I had within my chest.

I”m going to cut to the chase here.. I hated God a lot this past year.

There were nights when I had to pray openly in front of people and I felt like a fool leading that, falsifying love when I really couldn’t stand the thought of Him.

There were days when I told friends that God was awesome and I could see Him moving in my life, but those were lies. I lied to my friends in the moment but I can truthfully say now that He was, indeed, moving.

There were times when I had people telling me that my story was such a testament to His faithfulness to me. I would nod my head but was secretly wishing that He hadn’t intervened that day during the thunderstorm, I didn’t want to be saved. Why did He save me?

So yeah, I hated God a lot this year. But there were moments when I really loved Him too.

When He swept in during worship and cradled the broken heart I had thought I had gotten over. When He held my family in His palms through custody battles, homelessness, and lost faith. When He orchestrated me meeting some of the awesomest people, and then having them become some of my first closest friends. When He threw my heart and soul into organizations located in Atlanta so that I could meet some of the most inspiring people ever. When He started whispering to my broken cries and answering my whispered sobs to the ceiling of closets. When He started showing me how to love myself for who I am and to be okay with that, to be brave with who I am. (one day, readers. one day.)

Eighteen was a hard year for me. I was broken beyond compare by people and God and myself. But I have a feeling that Nineteen is just going to be more growing and stretching and moving.

But you know what, I am still trusting.

He Took Me By Surprise


“Are you sure that he was the one?” they asked me.

We were sitting on the swing set residing in the back of our college campus. It was dusk, my favorite time of day. Just two lone souls, ebbing and flowing with the rocking of our feet. They in their white t-shirt and I in my flannel.

“I was sure about two months ago but I’m not so sure now. If you had asked me then, I would have bet my life that him and I- we were that thing called forever. We  could’ve out shone the sun if you had asked me two months ago. But now, I think I’m forgetting him.”

What I didn’t say was that someone else was filling that hole, the one he tore open in my heart. You couldn’t know it was you, the one that saw every broken piece of me reflecting on my face when we first met, you couldn’t know that our 2 p.m. walks and movie nights would mean so much to me. If I’m being completely honest I didn’t see you coming. You were the one that took me by surprise and to be truthful, I am not 100 percent sure you are the one either.

I’ve moved on from the idea that we all have that one person that completes us. I don’t believe that. I think we are whole without another human residing within the depths of us, we aren’t some puzzle that needs solving by someone else.

Don’t let someone try to tell you that they need you. 

A friend of mine who lives 3000 miles away from me texted me out of the blue one night:

“God needs you more than you’ll ever want someone to need you.”

It’s frightening to think that I place the fear of being lonely above the fear that God won’t love me. It’s more times than not that I find myself talking to someone out of the fear of the lonely ache that sets in at dawn and not a real desire to mean something to them. If I’m being honest, I talk to people when I’m lonely because talking to God scares me: how will I know if He’ll show up?

But God needs us and wants us and loves us. That causes me to shake in fear because I have never been needed and wanted and loved by someone who could really stay, who could really know all of me. So I stay tucked in my comfort zone, I stay with people who text me “but I need you” and I try to save them when I know I can’t.

We often place ourselves right in the line of fire. We latch onto those who need us because all we would rather do is fix other peoples problems before acknowledging our own. It’s a cycle laced in fear and discomfort. And aren’t we all just looking for someone to save who will in turn sweep in and rescue us from our own demons?

I’m the girl who is always looking for the next person she can save.

I have so much fear inside of me and problems I hide under the blanket called insecurity that I focus all my time on others. How can I help you today? How can I better you today?

And I have wore the savior cape for far too long and God is unraveling the threads as I breathe. Inhale. tug, tug.  Exhale.  tug, tug.

It scares me that God has a plan for me. There I said.

It scares me because it means that even though I like to think I am in control, I really am not. And for a girl who loves to be in control a God that reigns is the most frightening thing of all. A God that reigns means that I have to let it all go and surrender everything to Him. I’m telling you now that I am growing tired and my knuckles are turning white from all I am holding tightly too.

I’m not sure how to let go of fear.

I’m not really sure how to take the first step to unclenching my hands. When control is all you’ve ever known, how can you let it up to one whom you have never seen? God, don’t you know how badly I ache to see you?

I read that God is good. I read that even His plan for me is good and I cannot fathom that yet. I cannot fathom how to be vulnerable with Him, completely vulnerable. When life starts to hit you on the head with fear, shouldn’t we be turning to the hands that can lift it from our shoulders? I am learning that the answer to this is yes. But it is harder to be vulnerable with myself and God than with other people. That’s what I am learning as of late. That’s what God is whispering to me today:

Let it go, small one. Let it all go and I can take it from here. You can’t be the lead runner of this race forever, that’s where I come in. Give me the exhaustion, the nights when you can’t stand and all you can do is fall onto your knees. Give me the fear, the worries that haunt every dream and moment. Give me the shame and disappointment, let me wash it away with Grace and Mercy. Have faith, little thing. Have mountains of Faith and Trust and I promise, everything will turn out fine. This will all turn out fine. Give me everything, small one. Give me all.