Friday, October 2, 2015


My soul is thirsty. And isn’t it true for so many things in life that it’s when you’re hungry and thirsty you start making compromises. That’s when you become weak and the temptations around you start looking like a more decent option than they would if you had fed yourself earlier. Temptations are always around, but now they feel like fortified walls of must do’s instead of a mist you can easily walk through. The fear of missing out starts kicking in, and logical thoughts start taking on a new form. The world is sneaking in, but the world isn’t there for you, it doesn’t have your back. It’s false promises and empty claims latch on and suckle the life out of you. Entertaining you for a moment just long enough to forget what you forewent to get that fleeting pleasure. Using truth laced lies to get from you what it will never replenish. Like an abortionist sucking a fetus from the mother’s womb, promising you a more comfortable, convenient life. But instead you’re consumed by guilt, shame, and regret leaving you not comfort or convenience in the least. You are full of the world but it doesn’t make you full. It’s a leach feeding off of you, a parasite using you.

You aren’t just hungry and thirsty. You are starving.

All that’s left of who you were is a skeleton; sunken and desperate to remember what it was like to be fleshy and vibrant. To remember walking in the freedom set before you, without chains entangling your feet. To remember being radiant with joy as you’d close your eyes and breathe in the rich love of a creator who cherished you. To remember the warm feeling of a father’s protective love.

Tired and weak, you curse the world for robbing you of anything tranquil; for draining your joy and peace, leaving you bankrupt. You tip your head back looking up toward the heavens and curse the god who let you get to this point. How could he just sit there and watch you waste away in misery? You squeeze your eyes shut and tense your whole body, allowing yourself to feel the rage that is coming from somewhere deeper than you’ve ever known. Tears start streaming down your face. You crumple to the floor, and the sobs take over. Struggling for a deep breath, you give into the dark sadness you feel lost within. You feel swallowed in depression. You pound the floor and scream! No one is around to hear you, but you scream anyways. Your frail body is so weary and fatigued you have no energy left to even hold yourself up. You lay on the ground, catching your breath. Thoughts of completely giving up flood your mind, what you wouldn’t give for a little bit of peace. Leaving this gloomy, selfish world seems like your only option. You shudder as the darkness around you seemingly reassures death as your only way out of this unbearable pain.

You close your eyes and slowly exhale.

You’re nervous and uncomfortable, but willing to go to the most extreme lengths to escape this unbearable agony. You stretch out on the cold tile floor in a symbol of surrender. If there were a god out there, now would be the time for him to say something. You lay in the silence, listening, only hearing the sound of your shallow breaths. You don’t hear anything. No soft voice, no comforting breeze. But you keep lying there. You lay there so long you give into your exhaustion and drift off to sleep.
            Even in your dreams you cannot seem to escape the darkness. You’re running and running but the darkness never stops.
            And then, in your dream, you hear something faint. You sop running and look around, trying to quiet your breath so you can hear better. There’s a long pause, and just as you’re about to start running again the voice comes for a second time.

            I love you.

            It’s so delicate you somewhat believe you are making voices up, even in your own dream. Besides, look at you. Who would love this shadow of who you once were; this decrepit, pathetic version of you? You have nothing. You are nothing. Who could love that?
            Then, interrupting your thoughts, you hear it again.

            I love you. I want to be with you. Come to me!
            No. You don’t know what I’ve done. You don’t know how I’ve hurt people. You don’t know how I’ve hurt myself. I knew the things I was doing were wrong and I did them anyways. You don’t want to be with me.

            I knit you together in your mother’s womb. I was with you in the darkness. I know you. I know all of you. And I love you. Come to me!

            I’ve gone too far. I’m too weak. I’ve done too much. You can’t love me.

            Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

            In your dream you look up and see a hand stretching out towards you. You try to step towards it, but you feel chafing around your ankles. Chains. You are still shackled to the weight of shame and guilt. You stare down at them, any hope you had dashed again. Then the voice comes back.

            So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. Give me your hand. I love you. Come to me.

            You’re sure the hand is out of reach, but desperate for love you stretch out your own  anyways. Miraculously, you feel the touch of the hand as it takes yours. Big and strong, it closes around your hand and all of a sudden there is a bright light all around you. You feel warmth coursing throughout your body. Parts of your soul you thought were long decayed spring to life! Chains are broken and you feel the weight of them slipping off. Weightless and hopeful, you laugh for the first time in what seems like forever! The soft voice is now a booming one, loud and powerful and full of authority.
           Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.

            This time you don’t just hear the words, you embody them. They hold such truth in the love that you feel you can’t help but respond with rejoicing!
I am yours and you are mine, God! You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You are familiar with all my ways. Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. Even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made!

At that moment you awaken from your dream. What you just experienced was indeed a dream—in your mind. But you know with a deep conviction the truth that it held in reality. You stand up. You still have remnants of physical weakness, but there is something drastically different.


If there is hope, expectant hope, there is also joy. You feel so full of joy it’s impossible to contain! It feels as though it is bubbling up within you, overflowing because you know the Good News! Your hope is based on eternity. It is based on what the Lord has already done for you and the love He has shown. You close your eyes and feel His presence! One day you will see him face to face and what else can you do but praise Him and thank Him and sing His praise! What, then, should you say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

You start walking forward. Each step, a step in freedom.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Moment with an Inchworm.

I had a moment with an inchworm the other day.
Call me crazy, but it was a real, honest to God moment with this inchworm.

Okay, so the moment lasted about a second, as I nearly killed him with my bike.
But for some reason I really felt for the little guy.

I identified with the exposure he was in from putting himself out there. He had mustered up the guts to inch his way across the paved bike path; subject to sun, birds, runners and bikers.
He was exposed to the world, yet he was still just inching along.

The truth is that we are all like these little, vulnerable inch worms, inching our way through life.
Learning the necessity of putting ourselves in exposed positions in life in order to grow, even if it is scary.

As I've grown older, now at the ripe old age of 24, I think I am gaining a more well rounded understanding for some of the negativity I've seen adults walking around with.
With a jaded, bitter, chip on their shoulder.
I've always wondered why that bitterness existed. It seemed to be everywhere.
But the more I get burned for doing the right thing, for letting people in, or for putting myself out there, the more I understand the callousness. Why would I ever want to do that again if that is how I get treated?

Enter: a jaded, bitter, chip on my shoulder.

Unless I made the choice to not let the bitterness enter.
Unless I decide to keep my attitude like a child-wanderer.
Like a an inchworm bravely inching into the danger and excitement of the exposed world.

So I made the very conscious decision to see the world in a glass-half-full kind of way.
The real struggle for me actually came after the initial decision to refuse bitterness. 
I have been ridiculed by other adults for my optimistic attitude. Calling me naive, uneducated and only wanting to see the best in people, therefore blinding myself to the truth.

I have been tempted to become more negative in order to seem more grown up.
To "mellow" down, and not get so excited about things because it makes me out to be childish.
To keep things to myself in fear of being judged by it.

My little inchworm would be so disappointed!

I don't want to live a life of fear.
Fear will betray me.
I don't want to live a life of apathy.
It does not define me.

I want to choose to keep inching.
Expecting Jesus Christ every at every turn, giving my life the attitude of child-wonder, which He wants me to have.
Against what the world may say, I want to continue to have a optimistic perspective. Knowing that I may not automatically think all good thoughts or have a pure or positive attitude about everything.
But if I keep listening to God, I will be changing all the time into the person HE wants me to be.

I am choosing to muster up the guts to inch my way into an exposed life. Subject to the world, but with my strength and hope in Christ Jesus.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

One Thing Remains.

 A little while ago I had a friend who was going through a hard time. Some of the things he described going on in his life hit a cord; sympathy welled up in me knowing that I had been in that same place before. Sometimes we experience dark times in our lives, and in the midst of being in this darkness, it is essential that we remember the true source of Light. However, sometimes the memory of Light seems to fade, and even though we know the truth of the source in our head, our hearts can't seem to remember the warm feeling of the Light. In those times, we need to be reminded of the Light--to be turned around and pointed in the direction we forgot we were going. We need to be reminded of the truth. There is a lot that we can get distracted by. Life is full of changes in plans, reasons to celebrate, reasons to cry, people who love us and people who persecute us. In all these situations, only one thing remains: the Way, the Truth, and the Life...that is, God himself. 

I wanted to share some truths I was able to share with my friend. A few things to hang onto in the times of distraction and darkness.


My heart has been so heavy for you after you told me some of the things that you've been going through and feeling lately. Not in a way that overwhelms me or is too burdensome, but probably more because my heart has known some of the same struggles you mentioned, and has known them deeply. But I wanted to offer you some encouragement, and do that by pointing out some of the things that I have seen to be true.

Feeling lonely is one of the worst feelings....I truly believe that the lie of us being alone is one of the number one tools that Satan uses. He wants us to feel alone, that way we become more susceptible for even more lies he has ready to launch at us when we are at our weakest. This time of year that lie is especially being thrown in your face, even without other factors to add into it. But this is what I do know to be are far from alone.
You. Are. Not. Alone.
There are people at work who you are around everyday, who appreciate you so much, but just don't always remember to tell you. There are other YL leaders who have become like a family, and may seem busy, but would be there for you at the drop of a hat if you let them know. There are high school students whose lives have been changed simply because you invited them into yours. You allowed them to be a part of who you are, and have covered them in love through all the efforts you put into that ministry every single day.

And of course, there's the cliche, but all too true matter of fact that you're not alone because you know Jesus Christ. Who you can't hide from no matter what you do.

Psalms 139:7-10
Where shall I go from your spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven you are there! If I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your had will guide me, your right had will hold me fast. If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me," even the darkness will not be dark to you;the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.

I know that you feel tired--warn down, exhausted, and over-worked. But here is what I do know to be true. There is no better time for God's strength to be witnessed than the time when we feel completely run down. Take hope in knowing that when you find yourself in the midst of an impossible task, it may actually be right where God wants you. Because you were made to be in a desperately dependent place for Christ.

2 Cor. 12:9-11
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. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.


I want you to feel encouraged, and I do feel like there is truth to those words. I know this about my own life, and where the journey has taken me in the past...when I would be over-worked, and tired, I would then get overwhelmed, which turned into anxiety, which eventually lead to a depression that was pretty hard to get out of. And when I was first experiencing this, I thought it just was something that just WAS. It was there and it sucked the life out of me, but there was a reason it was there and so it was just something I had to live with. What I have realized, however, is that there is something that can be done. I can fight to captivate my thoughts, and to identify lies and put them back in their place, and to remain in what I know to be true. I can choose to see what I should praise, and what I can be thankful for. And these things really, really helped me.


I am praying for you. For your heavy heart, and the darkness that is weighing it town. Praying that you could see the truth more clearly--even through the heaviness. Praying for peace, and for the loneliness to fade away.

You have something that I have seen other people strive for and desire, but haven't quite experienced yet--and it's a true, authentic, conviction and relationship with Jesus. It is more obvious, and inspiring than I think you even know and I am thankful that I have been able to see bits of this!


Life is full of changes in plans, reasons to celebrate, reasons to cry, people who love us and people who persecute us. 
In all these situations, only one thing remains
the Way, the Truth, and the Life...that is, God himself.