Pressing On

Last Friday, I headed towards Yosemite to meet a group of my closest friends from LA. It was the perfect weekend. The weather was gorgeous and sunny (but not too hot), the company was fantastic, the views were breathtaking.

unnamed (1)11046701_10205898164626707_1248721991145253886_n

They say that you’re either a mountain person or an ocean person but I have to disagree, I adore both. Being up in the mountains, surrounded by giant trees, rocks and waterfalls, it’s hard to look around you and not be amazed by what you see. Seeing everything towering around me reminds me of how small I am — in the best way. It’s hard to stand at the base of a waterfall and still be wrapped up in my own head. It’s impossible to stand peering over the ledge of a giant mountain and be distracted by my minuscule problems.

While we were hiking to Nevada Falls, climbing up countless steps, I just kept telling myself to keep moving forward. Hiking is interesting because it’s a beautiful picture of what walking through life looks like. When you’re on a trail, the only choices you have are to move forwards or to give up and turn back. There are moments of (literal) pain that hurt so deeply, you may want to give up or return to where you started. But if you keep going, once you come to the top of the hill and see all around you, the journey feels worth it. At the top of the mountain, you can look back at what caused so much pain in the moment and appreciate how the perseverance through that pain has allowed you to see this beautiful site. Without the difficulties, you miss out on the beauty.

We can choose to live in our pain and live in our struggle, or we can keep our eyes forward, trusting that there’s beauty on the other side of the hurt for those who can just push on.

Some days the baggage I’m carrying feels so heavy, I’m amazed that I can even stand under the weight, let alone keep my feet moving forward. But I trust that I have a Saviour who will carry the weight for me. And with His help, I continue on.

“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 3:14

unnamed (2)unnamed (4)

Chasing Waves

Well I learned a long time ago that you shouldn’t love a wild thing.
Even though I’ve always been drawn to the wild – to adventures.
But holding onto someone as they walk away
is like trying to hold onto a wave.
It comes crashing in to kiss the shore,
but as soon as it brushes gently against the sand, it’s gone,
rolling back to the deep waters where it belongs.
You can chase the wave as it disappears back into itself,
deeper and deeper you may swim, but it’s lost, you’ll never find it again.
Even as you gasp for breath, drowning in the sea,
you’ll sink, defeated, knowing you never could have held onto something that didn’t want to stay.

In this moment of my hurting, in this moment of my yearning,
You are good, you are good.
In this moment of my breaking, where my heart cannot stop aching,
You are good, you are good.

You meet me right where I am, when I cannot stand,
You reach out to carry me.
You hold me when I fall apart, you see my breaking heart,
And still you tell me you love me.

In this hour of my trial, when my heart lives in denial,
You are good, you are good.
In my failure, though I’m so weak, you have reached out and you’ve saved me,
You are good, you are good.

You meet me right where I am, when I cannot stand,
You reach out to carry me.
You hold me when I fall apart, you see my breaking heart,
And still you tell me you love me.

All I have is broken, but I offer all I am.
Trusting that my breaking is a part of your good plan.

Come carry me home,
Come carry me home to you.
I’ll give my whole world, if you’ll still have me.
Come carry me home,
Come carry me home to you,
I’m broken and bruised, and yet you still want me.

Masterpiece

I’m a shadow of the girl I once thought that I would be,
The dreams I held tightly to, now a distant echo.
My edges have been blurred by my failures and faults.
The once bright colors, now diluted by tears.
And still you step back from the picture that you’ve been painting,
And you say that I am a masterpiece.

And words choke up in my throat because I look at my life and I wonder how you could see this mess and think that it is beautiful. Each brushstroke looks so wrong from my point of view, but I know that you have planned the placement of each one. So I trust in the one who has perfect perspective. Holding onto hope that someday I too will be able to see the beauty born from my breaking.

Foundations

Some things we don’t say.
Like how bad we hurt each other all those years ago –
3 years, right?
Like how we said we were the best of friends,
but walking away was so easy,
as were words whispered behind each others backs.

Some things we don’t give voice.
Like the time I admitted that I hate you –
and that letter I wrote.
Like how we abandoned each other,
right when we needed one another most.
It was easier to pretend that we didn’t.

Some words don’t ever form.
Like the words I feel about that boy who ripped us apart –
remember him?
Like the words I said when you walked by,
and my friends all laughed,
and so did I because it was easier to laugh than to cry.

Some things we don’t talk about.
Like when She left us and we didn’t know how to be –
because she held us together.
Like how we had changed so much that we didn’t know
who the other one was anymore,
but we didn’t know how to say it, so we said we were the same.

Some conversations we don’t revisit.
Because it’s easier to forget they happened.
Let’s erase them in our silence,
let’s forget the ruins in our past,
let’s build on top of them a new monument,
ignoring the shaking foundation beneath.

Side By Side

I loved you since the day you caught my eye.
I swore I’d make you mine.
And still, even after all this time,
I can’t bear to say goodbye.

And I know you’re the poison in my wine,
Can’t hold you tight enough to make you mine.
And I hear them say we should run away,
But I want you to stay.

Let’s just stay here where we are,
Pretend that this won’t break our hearts.
The turning world might stop tonight,
While we are side by side.

You broke me on the day you left,
I swore I never would forget.
But when I look back on the day we met,
There’s not one thing that I regret.

And I know you’re the chain the weighs me down,
I know you hold me on the ground.
And with you, I’m a bird that cannot fly,
But I like this cage of mine.

Let’s just stay here where we are,
Pretend that this won’t break our hearts.
The turning world might stop tonight,
While we are side by side.

Begging for Crumbs

The world we live in is broken. No matter who you are, no matter what you believe, there are very few people, I think, who would argue that we aren’t broken, that there’s not something wrong in this world. At times, we are overwhelmed by this feeling that there was supposed to be more. It was supposed to be different, or better. This world is so full of hurt and Hard.

Every once in a while, as we are walking along, we see a glimpse of how it’s supposed to be: a tiny piece of heaven on earth where, for a passing moment, we see the beauty that God intended. This world is just a shadow of the home we were made for. It’s a reflection in a distorted mirror where nothing looks quite like it is supposed to and everything is gaudy and out of shape.

We hold tight to those moments, to those glimpses. We long for more of them, we search for them. And why wouldn’t we? Why wouldn’t we grasp at the split seconds in which we are able to see perfection? They help to spur us on in the midst of the Hard that otherwise surrounds our daily walks. But they were never meant to be what we lived for.

Those fleeting seconds, those passing mirages, they are a picture of what we are promised, but they are not the life we are called to here. Here we live through the Hard. We push into a Father who has promised us peace and joy even in these ugly moments, in the moments where it doesn’t make sense.

We are begging for crumbs.

Please God, please. Just this One thing. Just that One person. Just that One dream. Give me that, and I’ll be satisfied. I’ll never ask for anything else. Let me hold onto this moment. Please, don’t take that too.

It breaks our heart when these comforts, these securities that we cling to with our entire beings are ripped apart from us. When we realize that we might not get that dream. There are areas that we get a no in spite of the fact that we are begging God for a yes.

It’s beyond painful to hear a “no” from God where we are praying for a “yes”. Living in the knowledge that He is the GOD OF THE UNIVERSE and He could easily say “yes” and yet he still says “no” is distressing. It feels as if God is giving us more Hard; more Hard in this already Hard world. It’s overwhelming to have to remind ourselves that He is there and that He is good; that His “no” is good. We have to remember that the author of all eternity is writing our stories and we are crafted purposefully and perfectly.

We are begging for crumbs.

God has promised us a feast. And sometimes, we get scraps from the feast while we walk through this life. And when we get them, it’s just so good. There are some crumbs which remind us of the feast that’s waiting for us, so God lets us keep those scraps. But other times, when we fail to see those crumbs as a reminder of the feast, He takes them away. After all, we were never meant to have just crumbs or to live for just crumbs. We were made for so much more.

It breaks us down when we feel like God is saying “no” to the good things we could have. When it seems like He is taking away things or people and you are saying “God! How is this bad?! Why this one?” We forget that God is taking away the crumb that He blessed us with, but He still has a feast prepared. What He has for us is so much bigger and better than what we cling to. It’s so much bigger and better than what we imagine.

God is the author of my life. He is writing the plot, the setting and the characters. It’s up to Him when the setting shifts. It’s up to Him where the plot will twist and turn. It’s up to Him to write people into different roles: to write them into the story and to write them out of the story. I desperately want to grab the pen. There are people I want to write back in. There are people I’d gladly write out. There are people who would play entirely different roles if the pen was in my hand. But it’s not. And every time I ask Him to make something happen my way instead of His, I’m begging for crumbs.