So Silly

The past couple of months have been a wild ride. I moved into a new house in September, started a new job in October and have been running around like crazy during all the time in between.

I feel like I haven’t given myself a moment to take a breath and truly sink into my surroundings. I’ve been occupied with making everything in my life perfect. Having a perfect house, being the perfect small group leader, being perfect at my job. It is a constant demand I put on myself. Day by day goes by and I beg myself for nothing less than perfect.

I’m always analyzing. Trying to figure out where I’ve fallen short. I become consumed with the voices in my head, telling me to try harder, do better, be better.

Sometimes it takes a serious slap in the face for me to realize this constant chase is not living. To remember that I was created to love and serve, but also to rest in the hands of a sovereign Creator.

For as long as I can remember I’ve tricked myself into believing this lie: I can’t spend time resting when there is so much out there I could, and should be doing.

Recently I agreed to stay with some kids from my church while their parents went on a cruise. The week I stayed with the family was like any other week in my life (with the added challenge of being responsible for two other humans).

But my body and soul began to grow weary. I became so aware of the amount of the amount of time I had been shunning rest over the past few months.

Over this week, I would see the Lord speak dramatically but oh so gently to me. Calling me into deeper rest. One morning I was reading in 2 Thessalonians and came across this verse, ” We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy, they are busybodies.”

At the moment it felt like it was meant just for me. I began to reflect on how much of my time was spent moving, running, but not actually being productive. How much of my worth did I base on how busy I was? WHat would it look like for me to rest alone in who Jesus is?

Minutes later I closed my Bible and rushed the little one to get his shoes on so we could leave for school. As soon as we left the house I went back to my normal routine: constantly planning out what was next. After school drop off, I would head to work, and I hoped I didn’t run into traffic because I didn’t want to be late to work, and after work, I needed to do this. It never stops.

Later that day, I got the slap in the face I needed. It had been a long day and I was frustrated for a reason I can’t even remember right now. I was driving this little boy in my backseat, a boy so full of joy, so content with playing a game and repeating “You’re so silly,” to himself over and over.

I was thinking about everything that had been left undone, or needed fixing when all of a sudden something beautiful happened.

I was on Spotify and a song that I didn’t recognize was playing. All at once I heard the lyrics “through darkness there came a light”, and the boy in the backseat was laughing his head off, and saying “so silly, so silly” and my eyes began to fill with tears.

My, child, you are being so silly, the Lord whispered to me. I have come that you may have life, and have it to the full. This constant running is not the abundant life I desire for you. Stop running, stop striving. I am enough. I came to bring you out of the darkness and into my glorious light. I came that you would be filled with joy, love, and kindness.

I felt immediately convicted of how much time I had spent over the past few months trying to perfectly align everything in my life. Seemingly forgetting that God was here all along working in ways I couldn’t even imagine. I turned the music louder.

“While we were sinners and lost you walked among us. While we were too weak to stand, you bore our cross,” rang out from my radio.

I was reminded of how Jesus, perfect and spotless, bore my cross to set me free. Free from all the running and performing. I thought about Jesus’ words in Matthew, about coming to him and resting in his easy yoke.

All I have to do is rest in Him. He can give me rest.

I took a peek at the boy in the backseat. He was unruffled with the traffic that had been driving me crazy, or the rain or the cold weather that I had most definitely complained about earlier in the day. He was smiling ear to ear.

I was smiling too.

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The Rescue

people having bonfire at desert at night
Photo by Tomáš Malčo Malík on Pexels.com

Have you ever listened to a song thousands of times and never really tuned in, but in a particular season listened to the same song and saw it as fresh revelation? Well, during the Christmas season this past couple of months, that exact thing happened to me. I was listening to “Rescue” by Ellie Holcomb. I’ve listened to this song too many times to count. I’ve always loved it and thought of its general message as God rescues us wherever we are. But this particular day, the lyrics came to me in a whole new way. The chorus echoes, “I need a rescue, I need a reckoning, from all the things I’ve done and have been done to me”.

I suddenly began to hear the words for what they were, a cry from a broken person for a perfect Savior. As the chorus repeated over and over, I was reminded of the sin in our world and the immense need we’ve had from the beginning, for a reckoning of that sin—for justice to be met in the graceful, redemptive way of Jesus. Purely reflecting on the depravity of the world can create stress and anxiety, but when we are reminded of the ultimate gift we’ve been given in Christ, we have hope.

As I thought about the present season, I began to realize that a “rescue” is exactly what Jesus is for us, and further what Christmas represents, well after the celebration of Christmas has ended. From the beginning of time, prophets foretold of Jesus’ birth. He would come to reconcile the relationship between God and Man and justice would be served. The prophet Isaiah proclaimed,  “For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”. (Isaiah 9:6)

Ellie continues to sing, “I need revival, I need recovery, I need to know that there’s an answer for what’s missing.” As we bask in the wonderful promise of hope through justice, let us proclaim this truth: Jesus is our rescue, our reckoning, our revival, and our recovery! He is the missing piece that came long ago, on that dark evening to save us and clothe us in righteousness.

A perfect and spotless baby came and carried the sins of the entire world on His shoulders. And for decades to come, we will continue to celebrate His arrival during the Christmas season. But after presents are opened, trees are taken down, family from far away have come and gone, we should hold tightly to this true reason for the celebration of the season: Jesus, perfect and spotless came into our aching world to be the rescue, the Savior that we so desperately longed for.

Just Go Kill It

person with his hand filled with rocks
Photo by Alan Cabello on Pexels.com

Just go kill it.

These words from Matt’s sermon have not stopped ringing in my ears, “If there is a dream that is separating you from God, just go kill it.”

Time and time again, the Lord asks us, his children, to cast away our idols and turn to him. One of the many times he asks this is in Genesis 35. God asks Jacob to go Bethel, a place of remembrance and praise, and make an altar to him.

“And Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, ‘Put away the foreign gods that are among you, purify yourselves, and change your garments’” (Genesis 35:2). Jacob remembers the God who had answered him in times of trouble, goes back to that place of remembrance, and buries the idols under a tree.

If you trust him, just go kill it.

To say this is easier said than done is more than an understatement. My struggle with idols looks a lot like a game of cat and mouse. Sometimes I’m the cat—stalking my idols, becoming consumed with the thought of attaining them, thinking that once I hold them in my clutches, I can rest easy. Other times I’m the mouse—running as fast as I can but knowing my idols are still looming around the corner, easily accessible and ready to capture me if I were to turn a few steps back. But, at the end of the day, attaining comfort or control won’t give me true rest, only the Lord will. And he has. He has met me in my brokenness too many times to count and carried me.

Just like Jacob’s remembrance at Bethel, the Lord calls us to remember the places of his faithfulness—to remember his might in the midst of our weakness. And from this remembrance, we are called to trust. To trust that God’s goodness is better than our comfort and that God’s sovereignty is better than our control.

To fully trust in him, we must let go of every idol we have been trusting in—our finances, our relationships, our health. We must open our hands wide so that we have no means of clinging to these idols anymore. And then, in a final declaration of our allegiance, we must kill them.

If you trust him, just go kill it.

My tendency is to let my idols fall at my feet, only to pick them back up and put them in my pocket. There, they are easily accessible and can be within my grasp in mere moments. This is not what God asks of us. He asks for all of us. He asks us to lay down our idols and kick them aside for true life found only in Him.

Kenya

DSC_0317.JPGThis summer, I was able to take participate in a mission trip to Kenya.

From the moment I signed up for the trip, the Lord began to work in ways I could never have imagined. After sitting back and reflecting on my time in Kenya, I see one shining theme: the Lord will always provide.

While in Kenya, I experienced multiple examples of the Lord’s provision—the first of which started out as a simple day of vacation bible school. The high school students on our trip had completed months of planning for a day of leading VBS for 200 kids. When we arrived in Kenya, some of the local church partners began to mention that more kids than expected may attend the VBS. One person even said up to 400 children might attend. Being the avid planner I am, I began to stress over the possibility of more students showing up than we originally planned for.

On the day of VBS, we arrived at the church, set up, and waited for the children to arrive. Over the next two hours, we watched as people poured in riding busses, walking, or through hired rides (similar to a taxi). By the time things began to start, there were 500 children in attendance! While we planned for the children to be organized in “small groups” by age, each small group ended up having nearly 150 students. Between thinking through how we could accomplish games and crafts with this number of kids, and taking the language barrier into consideration, it is needless to say the control freak in me began to stress out.

Spoiler alert: I did not need to freak out. While I may have momentarily thought I needed to take control of this situation, God was working all the while. We were able to get through four rotations of the craft station, all of the kids did outdoor games, and we somehow had enough supplies for everyone to make salvation bracelets. My favorite part of the day was standing outside of the church, watching 600 children and adults alike, eat to their fill. It was truly life-changing to be a part of.

The next area of God’s provision is something I’m still baffled by. To give a little background, at the onset of the summer, I was considering myself “supergirl.” Be in a friend’s wedding? Check. Go on a mission trip right after the wedding? Check. Go to Kenya two weeks after previously mentioned mission trip? Check. If anyone could do it, I could, right?

In case you haven’t already guessed where I’m heading, the answer is I could not do it. Midway through all of the events of the summer, I began to regret my “supergirl” mindset in planning my summer. To top it off, an incident quickly followed which involved me falling off a curb while running. One stress fracture and a walking boot later, I was growing more and more uncertain as my trip to Kenya crept closer.

What happened while I was there is something I can only attribute to God and his nurturing nature. The moment we arrived in Kenya, everything changed. It was as if I was an iPhone, straight off the charger and back to 100%. The Lord gave me a sense of energy I didn’t even know to ask for. The truth of the fact is, God’s provision is not dependent on any work on our part. It is ingrained in His nature to be a provider, whether we acknowledge that we need His provision or not.

The last area in which God demonstrated his provision came through the sweet realization that God has equipped us with certain gifts to use to glorify Him. At our first meeting for Kenya, I learned that I would be responsible for teaching part of a women’s’ study. I was baffled. Why wasn’t one of the older, wiser women in my position, I questioned. I felt neither credible nor qualified, but still, I studied and prepared.

During the women’s’ study breakout session, I was intentional about presenting information in a way that was clear and relatable. Though we had a translator, many of the women we were teaching spoke English. I was shocked as they nodded along with what I was saying. Were they understanding me? Was I doing this right, I thought?

Afterwards a few people on our team told me I had a gift for teaching. In May 2017 I graduated with an Education degree. While I spent four years shadowing teachers in classrooms and creating lesson plans, I ultimately decided I would not pursue a teaching career. I often feel less than because I’m not actually doing what I went to college for. However, in this moment, God reminded me he had equipped me with the gift and love of teaching, and he had a plan for how that gift would bear fruit. While it may not be in a class full of first graders, I was able to use the way the Lord has gifted me in order to partner with sisters in Christ halfway across the world.

As I think about these experiences I have listed, I am overwhelmed by the way God provides. Whether it was enough materials for a massive amount of kids at a vacation bible school, unexplainable energy, or an avenue to use a skill I thought had been wasted, God provided. We serve a mighty God, who will always provide. I didn’t have to go to Kenya to learn that, but my time in Kenya sure did help me remember it.

“And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”

2 Corinthians 9:8 (NIV)

Habits

Y’all, I love my house. I love falling asleep to the scent of lavender and eucalyptus in my diffuser and the sound of a storm from the noise machine app on my phone. I love getting out of bed in the morning and doing yoga on my blue yoga mat that I bought from Target. I love listening to worship music as I prepare myself for the day, fix my coffee and make my lunch. I love sitting in my little den spending time in communion with the Lord and letting all else fall away. I love coming home on a random Monday night and watching tv with my roommates.  Ok, I guess this goes deeper than me loving my house. I love my house and even more-so, I love the habits I’ve created there.

I began to think about all of this a few weeks ago when I house sat for some close friends. It didn’t happen all at once, but after my 10 days in their home, I realized how anxious I felt not being in the comfort of my own home. The thirty minute drive that separated their house from mine felt like a world away. I felt like I was in foreign territory, with no roadmap. No falling asleep to my sweet essential oils. No Monday night couch sessions with my roommates. It felt terribly wrong.

As I type all of this, the irony is not at all lost on me. You see, the last day I spent at their house was not an ordinary day. It was a day in which I went to an important meeting. A meeting entered into my iPhone calendar simply as “Kenya Meeting”.

If you don’t already know, in just 4 months I will be on a plane headed 7,900 miles from home to Kenya. I will spend 9 days there serving and working alongside a local church. And if my house sitting experience affirmed anything at all, it is that I am a true creature of habit. I thrive when I know my surroundings in and out, when I feel like I have total control and when I feel like I can anticipate what is coming next.

I don’t think that is what God has for me in Kenya. And honestly, that terrifies me. I don’t know what I’m stepping into, I don’t know how I will be received, I don’t know if I will meet my fundraising goal. I think this is right where God wants me to be. In a place of total uncertainty, that leads me to fully depend in and trust Him.

As always, I am in need of your prayers; specifically that I will lean into the unknown and shake off the fear I have, trusting that God knows what he wants for me in Kenya and that he has a purpose for me as I prepare for this trip.

Of course, if you are willing and able to support me financially I would greatly appreciate that as well. My personal goal is to have all funds raised by July 1, both through support raising and personal saving. If you are able and willing to support me, a check may be made out to Grace Church and sent to 2801 Pelham Rd, Greenville, SC 29615. Please be sure to include my name in the memo line. You may also give online using the following link: https://gracechurchsc.securegive.com/SG/WebOnline/Home/Index?WO=gracechurchsc#. Once on the site, you may click the option to give without an account. Next, you will choose “Missions” from the drop-down box. Finally, you will enter the monetary amount in the box denoting Mission: OVC Kenya, and enter my name in the box titled “‘Giving Memo”.

There may be a lot of things I don’t know as I prepare to go to Kenya, but there are a few that I do know:

  1. I probably won’t be taking my diffuser
  2. Or my yoga mat
  3. God is with me every step of the way

 

When God Shows Up In Your Living Room

The other day I was having a conversation with a friend about her struggles with body image and views on food and exercise. She felt the need to confess something to me, and I was there. A shoulder to lean on, an ear to listen, a non-judgemental space for confession. That is all I had anticipated being at least. She confessed to me that when her life had gotten really crazy and she wasn’t able to exercise every day she had begun to skip meals. I thanked her for her honesty of confession and talked through it with her for a little bit.

What happened next though, was not something I could have ever planned for. I guess in order for you to understand the greatness of God’s work in this moment, I have to share with you some of my story. When I was thirteen, I began to heavily restrict what I ate. When I did eat, I made myself purge to get rid of the food. I spent the next seven years living with strict guidelines on what I could and couldn’t eat, when I could eat, how much I could eat, when I had to exercise, ect. My life revolved around the set of rules I had created for myself. If I followed the rules, my life was great. If I didn’t, complete and utter chaos ensued. I was in complete control of everything.

I know now, it wasn’t a life at all. And I was not in control. Rather, I was living in complete slavery to sin. The enemy had tricked me into thinking that by creating this extremely rigid lifestyle, I was gaining power and control, when really I was completely weak and broken. I thought I could rest in myself to control the way I felt, and further, to manage everything else around me. What I actually needed was to rest in my Lord, Jesus Christ. Submitting myself to Him with the full knowledge that I could not be my own savior.

If you know me well, you know that this came in the form of my carefully curated life being completely upended. As a sophomore in college, I reached the worst point in my battle with my eating disorder. I finally told my parents what I had been struggling with for the past seven years. I don’t know what outcome I expected, but I definitely didn’t expect what happen next. Mere weeks into my fall semester, I withdrew from Furman University and traded my classes, and sorority involvement for a 9 hour daily program at a center for Eating Disorders in Greenville. The program I was in was called PHP (Partial Hospitalization Program) and it was anything but what I wanted. I spent the next three months there, breaking all the rules I  had made for myself and lived by for the past seven years.

I won’t go into all the details of the program (like our daily nurse visits to have our vital signs checked, or weekly lab-work, or the number of awkward meals to last a lifetime). But by the end of the program, I knew it was what I needed. Up until very recently I still saw the same counselor that I saw while I was in the program, and can say that I have been in recovery for nearly a year.

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been struggling a lot with eating and body image. But, it is very different than my past struggles. The heart of it is still about control. That I know. I shared my story with my community group leader and how I’d been struggling recently. She suggested I go back to my old counselor. Maybe you guessed it, but this was the last thing I wanted to hear. I was done with this struggle. This was over. Door closed.

Because I love and respect my community group leader (and because I know she was right) I saw my old counselor. I told her what things I had been struggling with, but added that they were different. She didn’t think they were really that different at all but were the enemy disguising himself as something different for nothing other than my destruction. I knew she was right but left not wanting to change anything. And I didn’t. I still kept doing the same things and then like magic, God places me here, in my living room, having this very conversion.

I spoke to my friend a little bit about my past struggles and how her behaviors alarmed me a little. She politely told me she didn’t agree. Another friend was with us and agreed with me that she was worried too. The first friend began to defend herself and list reasons why her behaviors were normal. At some point during her speech, I found myself in tears. In everything, she said I heard some of my old self. I closed my eyes for a second, remembering what it was like to feel that control. How good it made me feel. In a moment of letting my guard down, Satan crept in and tried to pull me back into his clutches.

But oh, here comes the good part. The part where God shows up and saves me like he makes a habit of doing. All of a sudden, words began to flow from my mouth. “You don’t have to live this way. This is not what you were created for,” I said. “This will never satisfy you. It will never be enough. The creator of the Universe reaches down and says I want you! Our identity is in HIm, not what we eat, not how many calories we burn, not how much we weigh. Those things will never satisfy you. Believe me, I’ve tried.”

I said all of this between sobs, and am convinced of two things:

  1. This was God, our sovereign Creator speaking in this moment.
  2. Though I was speaking these words to her, they were mostly for me,

 

God’s presence filled the space that night an reminded me of this bold truth, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

I find my whole life in Him. When I was beginning to lose sight of this, he kindly but fiercely led me back to this truth.

Going​

I have seen God work faithfully in my life over the past several years. As a freshman at Furman University, I began attending Grace Church. There I saw what it really meant to serve, to live in community with others and to surrender wholly to God’s leading in my life.

I interned at Grace in the summer of 2016 and worked with our department that is responsible for missions and outreach. During that summer, I helped coordinate a mission trip to Allendale, SC. It was an incredible experience. It wasn’t incredible because everything went my way, but because God showed me so much of Himself. It was a hard summer, and I failed a lot. But in the stumbling, tripping, and falling flat on my face, God was with me all the while.

The mission trip to Allendale was the first mission trip I had ever been on. God began to stir something in my heart while I was there. I began to crave the opportunity of sharing the Gospel through serving others and humbly meeting them where they were. This desire began to grow. I began to feel energized with the thought that God could use me to spread His glory to people around me, whether that was across the street, across the state or across the country. Since then I have been able to go to Allendale several more times, and am reminded of God’s glory each time I am there.

For one week this July, I have the opportunity to go to Kenya with Grace Church. I have experienced freedom in Christ, through his glorious grace. As believers, we are called not to use our freedom for selfish purposes but to serve others. (Galatians 5:13) I am confident that as much as I will have the opportunity to serve others, God will also use this trip as a growing opportunity for me.

I believe that this summer in Kenya is my opportunity to deny selfish desires, to serve the Kingdom, and to learn from my Kenyan brothers and sisters in Christ. I have an amazing opportunity in front of me, but I cannot do it alone. I will need to raise $3,000 for my trip. I am boldly asking for support from my friends and family to reach this goal. I am also placing my trust fully in God, who is faithful to provide.

My personal goal is to have all funds raised by July 1, both through support raising and personal saving. If you are able and willing to support me, a check may be made out to Grace Church and sent to 2801 Pelham Rd, Greenville, SC 29615. Please be sure to include my name in the memo line. You may also give online using the following link: https://gracechurchsc.securegive.com/SG/WebOnline/Home/Index?WO=gracechurchsc#. Once on the site, you may click the option to give without an account. Next, you will choose “Missions” from the drop-down box. Finally, you will enter the monetary amount in the box denoting Mission: OVC Kenya, and enter my name in the box titled “‘Giving Memo”.

I am a creature of habit; one who seeks comfort, control and security in every aspect of life. I would ask specifically that you pray that I look to the Lord for comfort as I prepare for Kenya and while I am there. Pray that instead of longing to have the trip ruled by my routines, I would surrender all control. And pray that through it all, I will find security in Christ and the battle He has already won. As my brothers and sisters in Christ, I ask that you join with me as God prepares the way for me to go to Kenya. Whether that is in prayer, financially or some other way, I would be so grateful for your support.

When I Don’t Feel Like Singing 

I take my daily drive into work very seriously. I have a playlist of worship music that I listen to every morning. I make a big deal of queuing the most appropriate songs based on how my heart is feeling. The next 30 minutes are a non-stop praise fest.

There is very loud (and off-key) singing, raising of hands and sometimes crying. One morning I listened to “Out of Hiding” by Stephanie Gretzinger on repeat for the entire drive. I showed up to work a mess of tears, completely overwhelmed by how good God is to me. Consumed by the fact that He relentlessly draws near to me.

Lately though I haven’t felt like singing. Whether it’s grogginess from not getting enough sleep or annoyance because I couldn’t find the right outfit to wear, my daily commute has become silent. My usual morning routine has been hijacked.

It started out as a slow change. At first I would play my music and even sing the words, but my heart wasn’t in it. My mind was fixated on something dumb I had said two days before and wondering what people thought of it, or thinking of all things I had to do when I got to work. I would try to push the thoughts away and hold fast to the words I was hearing in the songs.

Eventually I succumbed to the thoughts in my mind. The music still played, but my thoughts were so loud I didn’t hear a word.

One day, I turned the music off altogether. If my brain couldn’t chill for thirty minutes, then I wouldn’t even bother. The thoughts in my head would counteract the painful silence of a car with no music. It seemed like I was fighting a losing battle so I threw in the towel. I was bitter and it definitely showed.

In a stunning act of kindness, God unraveled the tangled mess of my thoughts in my head and plucked something incredible from amidst the war zone.

“Sometimes when my heart isn’t in it, I feel like that’s when I really need to raise my hands in worship.”

God is funny isn’t He? A pastor I’ve known for years and really respect has said this on multiple occasions, and in the moment where my thoughts had overtaken me, had stolen my joy, God lifted this piece of truth from the recesses of my memory.

Sometimes it’s when my heart isn’t in it that I must be led by action. Sometimes it’s when I feel like I can’t draw near to God, that I need Him the most. And sometimes, it’s when I don’t feel like singing when I must shout the loudest.

 

 

 

Choices

Depression, I’ve learned is not something I can run from.

Whether I like it or not, I will live with it for the rest of my life. There will be times when it seems to lie dormant and other times when it seems to consume the very life inside me. I certainly did not choose depression; did not choose moments that seem so bleak. But,  it is at these, my darkest moments that I am given a choice. This choice carries great weight and has great impact on all that follows. In these moments, I can choose the path I will take.

My choice will always stem from what I know to be true about this illness: I alone cannot defeat depression.

As a result of my inadequacy, and the knowledge that I am hopeless to defeat depression, I default to Choice One. I realize that its nasty claws are in and I am powerless to take them out. Give up. Call it quits.  Shut down. Skip the event. Lock the door. Ignore the call. Snooze the alarm. Close my eyes. Pull the covers higher.

As I dive further and further into this choice, it leads me down a path deeper and darker than I ever imagined I’d be on. I found myself on this path nearly one year ago, unable to recognize any of my surroundings. Even if I wanted to turn back, I wasn’t sure I could.

But over the past couple of months I’ve become aware of an alternate choice. Like missing keys hiding in plain sight Choice Two was revealed to me. Like a light being turned on in a dark, dark room I finally began to see.

My weakness isn’t a call to surrender to depression, but rather a call to surrender to God. To remember that aside from Him, I have nothing and that He alone is my strength. Instead of championing my depression, I champion Christ as the victor that He is.

The same facts still apply. I still have depression. It still punches me in the gut sometimes and knocks me to my knees. But, on my knees I begin to acknowledge that Christ is all-powerful. My weakness is illuminated, but not in a way that defeats me. It is illuminating in a way that pushes me to complete dependency on the Lord.

The following verse comes to mind: “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

I see that in my weakness, God is strong. In my inadequacy, He is adequate. In my defenseless, He is the Great Defender.

I sink comfortably into Choice Two. The choice to acknowledge that Christ has the final word. That He has already overcome. I glory in his defeat of darkness and stand firmly in the light with Him.

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I Wrote A Poem

If you know me well, you know that I struggle with depression. It is a constant in my life, and probably will be as long as I live. Some days can be really dark but I believe there is always a light shining in the darkness. If you happen to read this and are battling your own demons, I hope this poem instills you with the hope that you too can rise.

I had to do an assignment for a class in which we worked on a piece of writing throughout the semester. On the last day of the semester, we had a publishing party and shared our pieces with the class. I write often so I didn’t think the assignment would be difficult, but I began to struggle with what I wanted my piece to be.

One day while sitting in Methodical Coffee, I came across Still I Rise by Maya Angelou, an old favorite. I was reminded that despite the struggles I was facing, I would rise, and in fact, I had already risen. I decided to capture that in a poem.

If you happen to read this and are battling your own demons, I hope this poem instills you with the hope that you too can rise.

 

A Poem Inspired by Maya Angelou 

Just like moons and like suns,

With the certainty of tides,

Just like hopes springing high,

Still I’ll rise. 

 

Depression, you seem

Oh so wise

But like mighty oak tress

Still I rise

 

You ensnare me

You darken my skies

But like the sun

Still I rise

 

You weary my heart

You ignore my cries

But like the phoenix

Still I rise

 

You make the world blurry

Before my eyes

But like warm baking bread

Still I rise

 

Truth is not within you

You are full of lies

But I know the truth

So still I rise

 

He constantly pursues me

So ardently he tries

But I’ve found a greater glory

So still I rise

 

No more will I fall

For your thin disguise

Like Jesus my Lord

Still I rise

 

 

P.S. Here’s to you, Dr. Stover.