Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Sunday and Graves

Easter Sunday and some of us are still living in graves. 
Graves we made and graves people threw us in. 
Graves of shame and graves of guilt.
Graves of remembering and graves of forgetting too soon. 
Graves of death and graves of life too soon and mistakes made too late to learn from. 
Graves of sin and graves of heavy things. All of these things are heavy like stones, heavy like the stones that cover our graves that hold our names and hold the reasons we're in the graves in the first place. 

But I know of a rock that will cry out in my silence and a rock that's burden is the opposite of heavy, and I'm glad for God's contrast to the graves that hold us in and weigh us down. 
Sometimes it isn't our fault that we're still living in them. Sometimes the people we love throw us in them. But sometimes it is our fault. We can't always live there. Life is not in the graves that are comfortable even if we've made our life in them. 
Life is in the one who was put in the grave but did not stay there. 
Life is in the light burden, the easy yoke.
Life is in the "follow me" and in the "it is finished". 
Life is in the one who knew defeat and death but won. 
Life is in the empty grave. Let's be empty graves together, full of life. 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Lonely, Not Alone // Alone, Not Lonely

Christmas time and the New Year can be a reminder of what is missing. Of what is not anymore.
If that is the case for anyone reading this, then I hope this serves as a reminder.
I'll be reminding myself as this reminds you too.

You'd think that twins, triplets, or any multiples would be as thick as thieves and inseparable. And to an extent, that is true for me. 
Yet, spending the majority of my 20 years side by side with my sister and brother, I can still feel lonely. 
We continue to feel alone. 
We still feel like separate islands. 
We are not islands even though waters can put distance between us. 
I do think this feeling of aloneness is one that is not unique to you or I. 
As humans we all fight the wars waging inside of us. And a lot of the time, that is fighting the lie that we are alone and separated from the ones that love us and from the ones that we love. 
Though you may not have an abundance of friends and family that understand what you are going through, or what you are dealing with, you don't have to feel alone because we are still here. Living this with you even when we don't know what "this" is. 
My family is still my family, even when I feel most disconnected from them. 
They still love me even when I don't understand what I'm walking through. 
Love will conquer loneliness.
Love from family. Love of self. 

I could ask you what you love and you'd list off movies and music and books and coffee and your friends and family and I learned tonight to wonder when you'd list yourself as what you love. 

Sometimes, I think this disconnect between myself and the world around me turns into this loneliness that I carry. And maybe that is a result of the lack of love that I should feel for myself. 
We are, after all, made of dust. Therefore, let us love the world around us, and we might find things that we love about ourselves. 
What if we started loving ourselves a little more. 
Would we become comfortable with being alone and knowing that being alone doesn't have to mean being lonely. 
If only I could give you the love I have for you. 
Replace the emptiness with a warm heart that feels like it's getting hugged, and a soft smile. 
If only you could give me the love you have for me. 
Replace the emptiness with a sense of comfort and security. 

We are not islands, though we may live on them. 
We are family, even if we're just friends.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Fight and Cheer

Three people.
These are Thank You’s.
Part 3. 

I had a conversation with a friend today. We talked about weddings, funerals and the life people live in between. We talked about the upcoming summer, the upcoming school year, and all the challenges we will face. We talked about her fears and mine, and how we both expect the worst.

I know next year will stretch me, just like this year has.
I know next year will teach me, just like this year has.

She told me, “You aren’t there just to fight temptation”
And man is she right. I don’t have to sit around hoping that I pass the next test, but I can fight, and I can be victorious, and my battles will not be in vain. 
They will see truth in my fight. They will see light in my stance. They will know it isn’t from me.

She told me, “I’m cheering for you”
There is a remarkable sensation that comes with knowing someone is on your side. To know someone is rooting for you, thinking of you, and hoping the best for you.

She told me my story would help someone someday.
She told me things I’d always read about, but needed to hear out loud.
She told me truth.

Thank you for the truth:
“You aren’t there just to fight temptation.”
“I’m cheering for you.”

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Hard Words

Three people.
These are Thank You’s.
Part 2.

If there is ever someone in your life who will tell you the hard things but always keep love on the tip of their tongue, keep them around.
What a joy it is to hear those words, as heavy and difficult as they are to swallow.
Know that the person who is handing them to you truly loves you.

Listen to the hard things. They might prevent you from doing something that could lead to harder things.

Thank you for speaking truth to me.
Thank you for speaking in love.
Thank you for knowing what’s best for me, and telling me.
            Even when I don’t want to hear it.
Thank you for listening.
Thank you for using your words to encourage me to stay true to my self.

I think the hard words are the easiest to remember because they make the biggest impact.
I think the hard words are the most important to remember.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Hills and Valleys

Three People.
These are Thank You’s.
Part 1.

We got lost in the woods.

Our conversation was mostly silence.
Our conversation was made up of feet hitting the damp sand, and the occasional “oh shoot.”
Our conversation was continued in words written on paper, old school style.

We got lost in the woods, but found a clearing a ways off. We both knew we had been there before, yet we didn’t want to face having to go back the way we came.
 We were on a hill at that point, deciding when we’d face our fears and trek back down into the valley.

It’s no wonder we were so hesitant to go back the way we came.
To get home we had to go through a valley.
To get to safety, to get back to the place we had known, to get back to the place we had come from, we had to go through the valley.

Valleys come. And hills come too.

You have to get through the hard things to get to get over them.
You have to face your fears to fight them.
You have to go through valleys to get to the hills.
Valleys can be long and dark, scary and tough.
Valleys can be filled with laughter and smiling, jokes and memories.

There is always someone walking next to you, ready to catch you when you trip and fall.
Fight for them.
Hold on to them.
Fight along side them.

We talked about dark things:
demons and death
We met Satan that day. But that is to be expected.
God was there too.

Thank you for fighting for me.
Thank you for catching me when I trip and fall.
Thank you for fighting along side me.
We talk a lot about how life is messy and hard.
We talk a lot about how we’re living it together.
Thank you for living life along side me.
Thank you for your togetherness.
Thank you for laughing with me as we get stuck in the quicksand.
Thank you for this memory and constant reminder that life is made up of hills and valleys, and that all I have to do is remember I'm not adventuring through them alone. 

This memory will always be a mountain to me. 
That day, my Polaroid produced a landscape with hills and valleys.