Good Intentions (Poem)

Good Intentions (Poem)

To write is something I know I can’t stop doing. When I take a break, it’s like the communication from my heart and my head gets rerouted. I don’t fully understand the neurological connection that bridges them, but the only connection I see is my pen.

I’ve been full of good intentions, full of quotations. I’ve been full of good ideas and dreams and expectations. I’d been full when in community and full when on my own.

Most recently, I’ve been alive with other people and empty on my own, but that empty feeling is starting to flow into my conversations. That emptiness has begun to seep into my friendships. The way I sometimes have nothing to say. And that’s not a bad thing, on it’s own, but I find my passion beginning to wane, my hope start to decay. Being honest is my way, but it hasn’t lead me through the pain.

To be honest is the first step and the start of good intentions, but it stays that way when that’s the only step I take; I’m walking in place. I’m facing my fears, then turning away, turning to shame, turning to pain, to my old ways.

Step two is find someone to help you through and I’ve found someone. good intentions brought me there, but business took me away. I take time for music, time for media, time to dress myself, time to work, and time to educate, but at the end of the day, end of the cycle, I still feel like I’m hardly alive. I’m pushing through, I’m telling the truth, and I know what to do. My pride will have me ignoring help, thinking I can’t look weak, especially to those I’m trying to let know that God brings life, but if I’m hiding my life, being honest, with a catchphrase on the side, making a change for a moment in time to take back the changes the moment I slide. If I’m living like that, I’m living a lie, and if no one else bought it, I bought it myself. I purchased fake comfort; see where it got me?

The part that gets me shaken up is I know I’ve lived in seasons of freedom. I know I’ve given up things I thought I needed. I know that Jesus is no less powerful when I don’t believe him, and is no less loving when I don’t receive it.

He doesn’t just want me to follow the steps, or fall in line. He hasn’t been forcing his agenda on mine so I give into his list of conditions.

His heart is for my heart to give up my pain, give up my worry, and give up my shame. His heart is for me to take up my cross, follow his lead and count the cost. His heart is for me to see that my habits, see that my hardships, anxiety and fear are much heavier then the cross we can choose to wear. The cross is no longer a mark of shame or surrounded by pain. It no longer caries the same kind of weight because of the cross that Jesus took on for me. He gave up his life to rebrand shame to forgiveness, and pain into healing, reducing it’s burden from heavy to light.

So why do I stay in this space, walking in place, one step forward and one step back, one step in faith and the next, relapse? The burden is light but it’s unfamiliar. It’s light, but it’s huge. What’s holding me back is my trust issue, because if my fears come true and it really does all fall on me, then I’m screwed. On the other hand, If he’s carrying all that weight, then I’m good. Any problem I might face I can face with him. He’s got my back and every other side an attack could come from.

when it comes to the spaces I’ve felt comfortable in, even if it’s filled with depression, I have to change my footsteps. I can’t step in the same places I have since been. I can see them from a mile away; I’ve worn a rut in and I know each mistake like I know my own skin. I know what will happen as soon as I give in. If it be lust, insecurity or depression or anything in-between, they’re all internally connected at my brain stem and never fail to pull me back if I let them take root in any place I am.

I must take the steps, and change my path; start to trust and not turn back. I’ve been honest and I’ll do it again, but only time will tell if this was all another good intention.

*

I’ve

Said

It

Before,

But

I

Pray

That

This

Time

Starts

The

Change.

*

To Someone *but not just anyone (Poem)

To Someone *but not just anyone (Poem)

Oh future one, who you may be, I’m giving all I have to be the one that you would fall for. I share the things I’d rather let alone, the moments that I treasure, I post in plain view, hoping that who you may be would see southing in me; something you haven’t seen.

I find myself shooting shots to every screen,  hoping that it would be a place my love hasn’t been, place that one would find my heart and treat it better then just another one. I don’t want this futile desperation, falsifying my character, overemphasizing my desires and heightening my anxiety with fear of rejection.

This is not who I am and not at all who I plan to be. My funk I’ve planted myself in will not be the place I stretch my roots in. I want to be at a place that God is all I need, with friends by my side. The family of God being unified, but in Christ, being satisfied. There’s still something about a life partner though. Something I long for, but something worth the lull, something worth fighting for.

I don’t want to settle for someone I don’t feel free with. Being tied down and walking on egg shells are thing I want to avoid like prison and bomb shells. I want to be able to be free without selling myself and advertising that I’m worth someones time. I want to be seen for me.

I want to be believed in. I want to be valued from one who’s willing to take me on; and it’s selfish in part, but I want to invest in someone and champion them for everything they are and everything they’ve done. I want to love. I want to hold hands and dance. I want to talk about the things we don’t understand. I want to stay up way too late, feeling drained, doing something mundane, but knowing who I’m doing it for is worth every second of the pain. I want to grow and be known, but more so, learn about someone from head to toe and toe to head and back again, because in each season we change and I don’t want to be ok with knowing who that someone was yesterday.

I don’t think my desires are too much of a fairy tail or a romantics dream, but if it is, I hope that someone is my dream come true.

It Will Pass (when we’re not okay)

It Will Pass (when we’re not okay)

Sometimes Jesus revives us in a moment, but sometimes, he gives us eyes to see how he’s been sustaining us through our season of struggle.

Being in a place of hopelessness, or grief, or pain is often accompanied, in one way or another, with questions or feelings helpless. I’m not saying it’s a necessary thing, or that it is a “this, then that” statement. I am saying, due to the human condition, we often revert to negative introspection, especially when dealing with more serious things, like depression or anxiety.

The past few months have been amazing in specific ways, but really challenging internally in different ways, dealing with some mild separation anxiety with my twin getting married soon, some loneliness, but mostly just feeling some connection to the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz, and even more specifically the way the Avett Brothers described him in their song “Tin Man”. One line specifically goes, “I miss that feeling of feeling.”

This past weekend I took a spontaneous road trip with my cousin. I knew I needed it. I knew I needed something to jumpstart my feeling and remind me of the joy I had known to be, not just on the outside of me, but deep within me. It’s a joy that leads to tremendous peace, and I hadn’t felt it in a long time.

Throughout the trip, through music, podcasts, conversations and practical love from strangers, something changed within me. My circumstances didn’t change in my life, but after attending Jess Ray’s album release concert for her new album, “Parallels and Meridians” God began to soften my heart to a place I could begin to feel again; something other than tired or anxious. I started to feel the love, and even the community of the church being a singular body. We had no plans on places to stay besides my car, and with that being announced from the stage so graciously by Jess, we were offered 6 or so different places to stay by total strangers. We ended up staying with the first people who offered, went to their place and crashed on their couch bed. When I woke up in the morning, I felt a pease and comfort, something I hadn’t felt in a while, as well as a sense of belonging.

fast forward a day or so, and this evening, at “theOak” (the youth group I volunteer at) I had a realization; Sometimes Jesus revives us in a moment, but sometimes, he gives us eyes to see how he’s been sustaining us through our season of struggle. As I worshipped and sang to Jesus, memories came to my heart from times I wasn’t feeling it, but God was still using and calling me toward himself.

If you’re going through a season, if you feel empty or anything other than joyful and free, remember: It will not last forever. as my pastor said this morning in typical Pastor Ted rhyme scheme, “Your pain has not come to last, it has come to pass.” It will not be everlasting. Push into Jesus. Be honest with yourself and be honest with Him; he can handle it. In a moment or in time, you will see the other side.

 

An Undiscovered Diary (Poem)

An Undiscovered Diary (Poem)

I’m locked into this device.

I want to be free to write, like Ann Frank, like some of the people who didn’t think anyone would read what they had written in secrets.

I want to write like an undiscovered diary, that isn’t refined or worried about what other people would think, but raw, and in ink, and not typed like I’m doing.

For fear of judgement, or fear of misleading, I type on eggshells, because words shared on a webpage can be posted in a moment, and potentially cause effects that last a lifetime. There is no taking back a statement shot around the world in an instant.

There is reform in my writing, growth in my typing. Backspace hides my mistakes that would be otherwise scratched out; illegible behind scribbles, but their indents still present. If nothing else, the blotch is a reminder that their had been correction.

As I write for all to read, an open book, my life, my struggles and my everything. I share from poetry to concepts and grieving, there is still chance it will go unread. Maybe I didn’t write something as captivating as the one last week, or maybe it did not create enough posts in-between. There’s a possibility that what I write will change one life; bring them toward a more holistically human life. It’s changing. With each word, it feeds. With each  writing, leaving something not yet seen. If that human was me, then it’s my publicly placed undiscovered diary.

Don’t Force It (It Will Come)

Don’t Force It (It Will Come)

No matter how hard I try to hide it, I want to be Iconic and known for leaving something behind. I want everyone to know that God is real and that they’re important to his heart, purpose and plans. Mixed in, there’s definitely some hope to be seen as important as well. That being said, I’ve also had a lot of opportunities to do things in my life, and because of that, I know I am privileged.

These opportunities that have presented themselves and continue to are, strangely enough, not always “blessings.” I could write a book on what true blessings are, especially from a spiritual standpoint (and I am also sure plenty of people already have), but the point is this:

What looks like a blessing could possibly be a distraction. 

I’ve started seeing a counselor and a part of what we’ve been working through is my desire to help, mixed with a selfish desire to get something in return for the help I have given. I am one that tries to be for everyone else what I don’t have for myself; you might relate.

Through this process, I find myself often trying to solve or fix situations, but never actually finding satisfaction in that achievement once it is completed. I had a moment of reflection a few months ago and checked my gas gage (hypothetically speaking) and saw that my gas light was on. I was so close to running out, I was running on fumes. What I was trying to do was create something impactful without any intention on finding contentment in the process. I was all about making it happen and spreading myself thin in the name of hustle.

I asked myself some questions and pondered some thought:

  • “there’s gotta be something more then living a tired life.”
  • “how can I fix this? all I’m doing it throwing myself into everything and hoping someone will catch my vision.”
  • “How can I be more intentional?”

These are some of my conclusions I came to:

  • Fighting to become something if futile. No one will ever see what all you put in, and having an identity driven goal means you’re in the middle of an identity crisis. That’s possibly a little bit extreme, although it does point to one fact. Your identity is not already secure, and without finding security in yourself now, their will not be security when you get that title,or job, or house, or skill. That grind will wear you down and bring on anxiety and stress.
  • It’s ok to say no. You will have more energy if you take time to rest. (Also, social media and Netflix doesn’t equal rest.) Spend some time with yourself and God! That is where you’ll really be refreshed.
  • Intentionality is key, and is found and rooted in confidence. This confidence, for me, is only found in spending moments with Jesus, if it’s journaling, or reading the Bible, or singing, or soaking and just listening, actually meditating, and resting. Through “waisting” time resting, there is a refreshment that takes place, as well as that confidence to make the decisions that need to be made to achieve what needs to be done, in a healthy, peaceful way.

It’s ok to wait. Some things don’t need to be acted upon exactly when it’s dreamed up. Some things will be ready immediately, but if they’re not, don’t force them.

I have a list of things I’m super excited for in my life. I know most of them will happen, but until then, I will strategize, I will rest, and I will act when it is time.

 

Growing Into (Qualifications are Worth the Wait)

Growing Into (Qualifications are Worth the Wait)

There is nothing more powerful than someone who walks into their destiny with boldness because they’ve walked humbly into the secret place. They walk out knowing this is where their confidence and qualifications come from.

Have you ever failed at something? If your answer was yes, you know it is no fun. If you answered no, then this blog post hopefully changes your perspective. Either way, most of us know the feeling of failure, if it be in big ways or small ways. I myself have learned a lot from my failures, but even more so through the conversations and prayers that have followed.

One thing I’ve learned is that it’s much nicer to fail in your living room than on the stage. I first started to pick up this truth at a young age while involved in theatre and church activities. As I’ve grown older, I’ve found this applies to life now a lot more clearly than I would have ever imagined.
This relates to jobs, relationships, ministry, and pretty much every place we go. At work, I saw this play out when I tried to get into a position before my boss thought I was ready for it. In ministry, I’ve tried leading large groups without first practicing with smaller groups and sharing messages without deep prayer for wisdom. I’ve tried presenting poetry without rehearsing or memorizing my art. I thought I would be fine without putting in the preparation, but embarrassed myself and looked like a fool instead.

When I was around 19 year old, there was a prayer and worship night at my church on the National Day of Prayer. I was super stoked for it, because I personally fed the idea for us to host such an event.  I made it known that I wanted to speak about revival and prayer and all kinds of good stuff! The problem was, even though I had an idea didn’t mean I was meant to carry out the message. The pastor asked someone else to speak, so this created a little awkwardness. I felt I had all the answers, since I had just gotten back from a discipleship school. I believed that the people at my church didn’t have what I had to offer, and I was going to be the one to break through to people’s hearts. Because of my pride and God’s mercy, a friend spoke to me about the subject of waiting on the open door instead of trying to bust through using one’s own power or initiative.

Thankfully I learned that lesson and backed off of trying to be one of the speakers and resorted to, “Whoever you have scheduled to speak will be great, I don’t need to speak at all. I want to just serve in any area needed.” My hear was super humbled that day. I could have continued to push and try to lead a revival, but my question I answered within my spirit was, “how can revival start if there isn’t an anointing or blessing from the people God put in charge of what was happening?” Humility is so tough for me, but being willing to serve in whatever way to get the task finished is super healthy and encouraging!

Through all of these and other failed attempts on a small scale, and not forcing my way into specific situations, I’ve gained trust, wisdom, skill and grown in integrity. These things I pray I never stop growing in, because with each new responsibility that presents itself comes more risk and requires a deeper trust in Jesus Christ and stronger character.

This is all developed through:

-failing and learning in the seemingly smaller/more forgiving tasks at hand, so you may have the skill-set with bigger tasks.

-learning to love your family, so you will be able to love your future spouse, boss, coworkers, staff, neighbor, or enemy.

-growing closer in relationship with Jesus, so that walking in humility is second nature, praying is first nature, and confidence and trust is built between yourself and the creator  and author of everything that might come your way.

From this, people will see the gifts and talents that you have been given and that have developed in you, and in each step, will want to promote you, and God will put you in places of influence as you serve faithfully in everything you do.

There is nothing more powerful than someone who walks into their destiny with boldness because they’ve walked humbly into the secret place. They walk out knowing this is where their confidence and qualifications come from. Success will follow, change will occur, and lives and organizations will be transformed. More importantly, than any of those things, destinies will be discovered.

Hope will blossom, joy will bloom, faith will rise, and love will reside inside of you. 

From Honor to Success (And a Little Perspective)

From Honor to Success (And a Little Perspective)

I’ve heard a lot of different perspectives on success and what it takes to succeed. Some measure it with money or fame or happiness; family, specific belongings or health.  I would say it’s not one or none of these. I look at success as always moving forward. That includes losses and wins and has nothing to do with quitting. Many of you probably agree with this.  Something I’ve found as a key to success in living our lives successfully is honoring others.

Google defines honor in verb form as to “regard with great respect.”

In my interactions with people and in my observation of myself, honor is something that seems to be under rated, whether it be social media, job resumes, sports, and so many different places, including our day to day conversations. Everything usually revolves around seeking honor for ourselves. I know that when I see someone seeking attention and praise from people, it does the opposite then what they’re looking for. On the flip side, seeing someone lift up and point out the good in someone else, I not only see the one being honored in a better light, but I see the person honoring in a more positive manner.

Some people say that you have to show yourself off (especially in a job atmosphere) so that they will see how good you are. I struggle with this myself. No one likes to be overlooked, but I like to look at it this way; if we try to exalt ourselves to achieve some sort of promotion or status or raise, we might very well receive it.  I would question, if that were to happen to you, would you be ready for it? I had been looking for some big promotion in the past, but at one point I saw that at the right time, if I would honor others and honor my boss at the time, God would honor me when I was in a place that I would be ready to accept the responsibility.  That has continued to carry over into my every day. I don’t always carry it out, although I always try to bring it into every aspect of life, whether it be in my family, my job, my church, or somewhere I’m volunteering.

The amazing part about having a mindset to honor others is having no other expectations to receive any honor.  The only failure that can occur is if you aren’t putting everything you can into whatever you’re doing. You then end up blaming someone in order to elevate yourself; Or, instead of honoring another person, you honor yourself or even dishonor the other person.

One positive to this mindset and attitude is that we end up acquiring a more grateful attitude when we see all the amazing things other people do and not look for the bad in them. We also begin to find satisfaction in other people’s successes instead of solely on our own success. There are so many other ways this leads to more joy and fulfillment, but another super cool bonus is that as your heart changes, others will begin to honor you. I would love to live in a place where people are all honoring one another. I heard Andy Byrd (an amazing communicator and friend of God) talk about what it would look like if churches started promoting other churches and praying for their success instead of being so closed minded and selfishly motivated. It makes me think of a scripture from Romans 12:10 where Paul encourages the people to “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.”

Success is something we all want, whether we strive for it with everything we’ve got, have given up on it due to fear, or float somewhere in-between.  However, what is the price of success?  Did you really succeed if your success stands on the corps of every person you stole honor from, slandered, or overlooked on the way there?  I would rather stand in a valley with a view of all those who have gone ahead of me, fed by the encouragement and integrity of others and me.