Friday, December 26, 2008

just live, kid.

i spent the morning with my friend shannon, at her grave site.
you might think this is mom sure does.
but loneliness will drive you to do things you normally wouldn't.

i just needed someone to talk to.
and i could always count on shannon, even now.

as i sat on the cold, frozen ground, running my fingers over the lettering i was flooded with memories: growing up with her and krissy, softball, all the stupid things we did, her grin, "lip chap", the 15 hour drive home from louisiana for her funeral. man, i miss her.

i don't know how long i was there...i don't think it matters. but what i do know is that for the first time since i got home, i didn't feel alone. granted, i know she's not there physically; but she was most definitely with me this morning. so there i sat: i cried. i laughed. i yelled at god. i told her my secrets. i poured my heart out.

as soon as i got home from school, i began counting down the days until i could leave again.
i don't want it to be like that. i want home to be a sanctuary, a safe place.
but it's not.

the future is uncertain and scary. i've started the process, and i don't know what will come of it. how things play out from here is out of my control. not knowing is terrifying.

but then i remember what shannon used to tell me:
you don't have to know. just live, kid.
i'm trying.

Friday, December 12, 2008

'tis the season.

dirty coffee cups are piled up and pushed to the sides of my desk.
books and papers are strung about the floor.
my bed isn't always made.
i've slept 12 hours in the past 5 days.
assignments are looming over my head, slowly but surely being pushed off one by one.

yep, 'tis the season....
for finals.

this year finals week is different. not only is it, and the preceding week, an incredible amount of work, it is also the last week i will spend with some of my dearest friends. at the end of next week, the end of this semester, five of my dearest friends will be jetting off to their respective study abroad locations.
brett to oxford.
jessie and laurel to harlexton.
sarah to spain.
and molly to...well i can't ever remember, but three different south american countries.
when i look at this list and think about these people being gone for a whole semester, it is almost incomprehensible to me. i cannot imagine jewell without them. and it's going to be weird.
no more waiting for sarah for breakfast.
no more trips into kansas city with molly.
no more making fun of laurel.
no more of jessie's sarcasm.
no more of brett's wonderful greetings.
while my selfish desire to keep them here is strong, i am extremely excited for the adventures they are all have set before them. this time apart, while difficult, will be good. we will each have our own adventures and come back together with a new appreciation of each other and our life together and many wonderful stories. "absence makes the heart grow founder"...i'd like to believe that's true.
so i bid you farewell, my dear friends.
gallivant around the world as you will.
love on people.
build relationships.
and don't forget to write.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

thank you.

twelve weeks ago i (temporarily) stepped out of one journey and back into another. this transition triggered a massive period of depression. this depression caused by leaving shreveport coupled with problems at home and numerous other undealt with issues has made the last twelve weeks almost unbearable at times, but i'm still here...and i'm still fighting.

by no means have i been the easiest person to be around lately, and yet you all have stuck by me. for this i am eternally grateful. when my depression told me i was alone, you stood up and showed me i was not. when it told me there was no hope, you reminded me my hope lies in something far more powerful than you or me. and when i pushed you away, you delicately balanced respecting my space and pursuing me.

so thank you--molly, sarah p, liz, sarah h, jess, lucy, and kels--thank you for your patience, support, prayers, encouragement, love, and dedication. there are no words to describe how blessed i am to have you in my life. i love you girls.

i am not at the end of the road, but i can see the light at the end of the tunnel...which is a huge relief. i've still got a long way to go, but knowing i have the support and love of incredible friends like you makes it a little easier to get by each day.

[for he wounds, but he binds up;
he shatters, but his hands heal.]

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

struggling to lvoe.

why is it we always hurt the ones we love the most?

all summer i fought for lvoe (yes, i did mean to spell it that way). for a backwards kind of lvoe. a lvoe that is not based on merit or things owed. a lvoe not based on blood relation or the color of our skin or our socioeconomic status. i fought for a lvoe that will never be perfect, but that is given abundantly in spite of that. a lvoe given freely and without expectation. a lvoe that set me free and showed me truth.

i now find myself struggling to show that lvoe...even to my best friend. what have i become? how have i forgotten that lvoe? there are times i cannot even be in my room because i feel like such a hypocrite. how could i have fought for this all summer and now do the exact opposite? how can i have a tattoo on my foot reminding me to lvoe and still treat her (and others) this way?

i just pray that we'll be able to forgive each other, and ourselves, for not showing that lvoe to one another.

love is patient, love is kind;
love does not envy or boast;
it is not arrogant or rude.
it does not insist on its own way;
it is not irritable or resentful;
it does not rejoice in wrong-doing,
but rejoices with the truth.
love bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

the great storm.

matthew 8:23-27:
currently, i am in the middle of the biggest storm of my life.

uprooted from the only place i've ever felt a sense of belonging. anger. jealousy. cynicism. loneliness that cuts to the deepest parts of me. restlessness. this unrelentless weight on my chest. constant pain. depression. confusion. misery. insecurity. exhaustion...spiritually, mentally, physically. discomfort. hopelessness.

each day when i wake up i ask myself, "why do i even bother getting out of bed?" it's a struggle to simply scrape through the day--i used to be strong. i used to be reliable. i used to be a good friend. i used to be in control. i used to know joy...

what's happened to me?
what's going to happen to me?

i feel like a burden, and obligation, like i'm too i keep to myself. but i can't handle that either. what am i supposed to do? i want to be okay, please believe me. but i'm not...not even close. and i'm so afraid that i never will be.

why am i writing this? does anyone even read this? maybe that's why...because i don't think anyone actually does. or maybe it's a cry for help. who knows.

save me, lord; i am perishing.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

not your year.

Scattered shadows on a wall, you watch the long light fall
Some impressions stay and some will fade
Tattered shoes outside your door, clothes all on the floor
Your life feels like the morning after all year long.
Every day it starts again
You cannot say if you're happy
You keep trying to be
Try harder, maybe this is not your year.
Movies, TV screens reflect just what you expected
There's a world of shiny people somewhere else
Out there following their blissliving easy, getting kissed
while you wonder what else you're doing wrong.
Breathe through it, write a list of desires
Make a toast, make a wish, slash some tires
Paint a heart repeating, beating "don't give up, don't give up, don't give up."

Friday, August 29, 2008

the end of myself.

is it christmas yet? can i go back to shreveport yet?

before i came back to jewell someone asked me if i was ready to "go back to the real world." here at jewell i'm insanely busy--two jobs, RA, 17 hours, co-president of Amnesty, the list goes on and on--but this is NOT the real world.

i experienced the real world this summer...
poverty. little kids not getting to be little kids. the struggle to simply survive. societal divides and barriers. people loving and taking care of one another just because. joy. community.

i did not go on a "mission trip" or work at a "community center" this summer. i went and became part of a community, and built relationships.

already the transition is proving incredibly difficult...but i expected this. i'm finding myself tired, frustrated, lonely, hurting, and cynical. but i refuse to let life at jewell suck me dry of the joy i found this summer.

if i'm honest with myself, i'd admit it's harder for me to love these people than it is to love the people in cedar grove. some people have trouble loving the poor...i'm the opposite. this is where i have to remind myself that i'm just as broken, guilty, privlaged, undeserving as anyone here.

soon i'll be burnt out, stressed out, exhausted, and empty. that time will be the end of myself, and thank god...because i suck at doing this thing called life on my own.

god's challenging me...and i'm game. mostly because i know it's not for me to win or lose.
so bring it on...i will continue to learn, grow, be, and love.

Friday, July 11, 2008

a work in progress...

things i've learned so far this summer:

-2 on 1 is fair in any game (when it's me against my kids)
-to love being barefoot
-to sleep under the covers instead of ontop of them
-the healing power of love
-green houses aren't really green...thanks toby
-strangers can become family
-healing takes recognition of the pain
-my heart is bigger than i thought...and right now it belongs to about 20 kids
-the joker beats any card in war
-kids will amaze you, given the chance
-i'm actually black...haha
-real change comes little by little
-kels and i were destined to be friends (same girl scout troop number and everything!)
-i have a lot to learn
-i am absolutely ridiculous

Friday, June 13, 2008

a turning point.

Summer is upon us. Friends are scattered around the country, around the world--two here in Louisiana, one in Washington, two in Texas, one in New York, two in Colorado, two in Africa.

This's going to be a turning point in all our lives, I can feel it. We're growing up, heading off on our own, doing very big yet very ordinary things. We're all doing different things in different places--but the common theme of striving to serve and love as Christ would persists.

Change is taking place. Growth is taking place. These passions and fires burn deep within me. I feel like life is finally beginning. Through all the pain and frustration I face, I can feel something building, moving. The future is nearing and this growing up thing is scary. But exciting things are happening. I look back and see what God has done with/through/in me in the last two years and it makes me even more excited for the uncertainty I face. I have no clue what He is doing with my life, but I'm certain He's doing something.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

this strangely familiar, unwelcome feeling.


it's this pain, somewhere deep within me, that never seems to go away.

i can't really describe it. a state of being that has consumed my whole self. i'm finding myself dissatisfied with everything...with my family, my relationships, my faith, my choices, the places i'm in. i thought coming down here would help, but i feel it even more. maybe because for the first time in a long time, i'm actually letting myself feel.

my mom called me a drifter. she's right. i've never been happy in one place for too long--i'd rather have the open road under my feet. there's something deep inside me that longs for something more, something new.

part of me wonders if i'll ever find satisfaction. i'm hesitant to believe i will. but then again, who's to say i should?
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