Anxious Security

Anxious Security

To be known and loved, is a wonderful place for a heart to reside, but those two truths can create a tension between a deep anxiety and an immense security. To be known is to be exposed, but is to also be heard. To be loved is to be accepted, cherished, protected. But love is not always unconditional and is sometimes undone by the exposure of our deepest insecurities, our most evil secrets and most painful traumas or injuries. Love has levels and not all love is equal. there is a true love that is available, yet because of the amount of cheap love we see, it’s almost hard to fully accept or believe. In response to this, my own instinct is often to put on my best face and share my best dreams. I try to only expose my traumas in ways that are palatable, and with grave explanation so as not to make myself seem to have any needs. I share my fears followed by the solutions because I don’t want people to think I am weak. I know a lot of good things and strive to live more freely, but we all are all still connected to the little versions of ourselves formed through the hurts and habits we acquired those many years ago with traumas repressed deeply in our subconscious memory. It’s hard to look into our most painful and most secure moments with equality of acceptance and see them both as worthy, but that is is the place we can start to become free; free from the critiques of the false self and striving to hide the uncomfortable and exaggerate what is holy.

It’s wonderful to see ourselves in secret, but deeper freedom is seen in the vulnerability of letting someone in on the deepest parts of you; to admit those parts to them and also to yourself, on record and out loud. Oh, how painful it is to open up wounds that have healed over on the surface that are killing you from the inside. Nevertheless, there is one that sticks closer than a brother, The Great Physician who knows your name, knows your pain. He hears you when you call, knows the source and is the cure. He asks us, but He asks you to come to Him in your weakness and heaviness of heart. He says He will give you rest. He fills you with peace that doesn’t make sense in your human understanding, and His love never ends.

To be fully known and fully loved is uncomfortable, because people fail us time and time again. There are rare people that I hope everyone has in their lives that show them a shadow of this type of full love. I want to be this type of person as I continue in lean into the security I find in friendship with Jesus. I find my anxiety shedding off, but there are flair ups, reactions when I place the weight of my value in the hands of someone who never asked to hold it. They don’t drop the ball of my self-worth because they want to drop it, but because the weight is more than they can carry.

I pray that I might some day find myself secure in the truth of my position before God, but until then, I will invite him into my anxious security.

Good Art (Poem)

Good Art (Poem)

There is no wasted love.
There is no great unknown. 
Rather, there are things our hearts have known well, 
that we have since forgotten; 
things needing to be uncovered.

There is no holy grail, there’s no perfect fairytale.
There’s love for sure, and there’s buried treasure,
but it’s mostly buried within us
and is found when our hearts are untethered.

There’s longing in a fairy story that’s far beyond the tales and glory. It’s truth deeper and truer than our own stories hold, because the things otherwise unseen are pictured in the form of battles and fantasy.

I can’t quite put my finger on the reason we feel so complete
or incomplete
or hopeful of something sweeter than these black top streets.
The stories point to something,
like the physical pain in my knees
and the thoughts weighing heavy on my chest hold equal credence.

I know I’ve seen and felt things,
heard and known things I had no business knowing.
I know I’ve felt love and been loved by a being much
grander than human, and outside of a scope we can see.
Though supernatural experiences from the outside seems like delusion, seeing them first hand, I have resolution.

In the midst of calamity, we find camaraderie,
within peace and anxiety and somewhere between joy and tragedy
there’s a constant that has followed through history. 

The earth has seen him and he’s seen the void before the earth’s beginning. His wisdom is unknowable and untamed, yet consistent all the same.
He’s a story teller through and through, a creative; no, the creative; Creativity himself.

I can not explain each stroke of his pen or why he penned me in.
I can’t explain the earthquakes or tragedy amidst the innocent.
I can’t fathom how this universe once wasn’t and now is
or all the dimensions within it, but I can tell you this: 

When he said he loved me, for a while I didn’t believe him.
In my mind I heard him say it, but I believed it was just inside my mind, that I was perpetuating a lie I’d heard all my life.

There are coincidences, but when there’s too many,
we can make inferences.
It took weeks, months, before I’d believed him.
The way I’ve lived outwardly changed and inwardly began to rearrange, but what I did in secret didn’t say I loved him.

My outward kindness was a cover for my selfishness.
My insecurity was blanketed by enough transparency
for people to see what I wanted them to see.
I was less concerned with what God saw from his perspective,
as long as his Christians thought I was “it”.

I wanted to be fully free from the dichotomy
and staying busy kept the feelings at bay,
at least until the evenings.

But there’s a difference between speaking it and living it.
My heart’s a mess without Jesus at the helm.
No counterfeit can stand up to the  genuine,
even if no one else can tell. 

If my senses are ever off track,
be it good music, a movie or a painting,
a bird singing, bees racing or a sunset that’s slowly fading,
good art points to something,
points to someone,
points to the hope beyond me and you.
It’s real, even if you don’t believe it.
If you conclude the truth,
there’s no turning back, there’s only through,
because love himself will pour himself into you.

We will never unravel all truth,
though through curious questioning,
there are dim views and little clues,
while blame is a warped and clouded mirror to look through. 

In practicality, I’d rather be safe than sorry,
to choose to trust a grander story that holds weight in history.
To give everything for a treasure that’s forever,
and if that treasure be untrue,
the life I would live would be enough of a gift
to this world we’ve been bound to. 

It is the most logical and most unnerving thing to give up total autonomy to a being we can not see, but from what I’ve seen, it’s worth the risk. 

*end scene*

Stop, slow, know (Poem)

Stop, slow, know (Poem)

to myself

Stop, Just stop. 
There’s something I can’t begin to explain.
It’s a shame. 
It’s something that is foreign to my joyful ways.
And when it comes, it want’s to stay. 
It finds a way to sabotage 
any dreams out in the stars 
and pulls them down to earth, 
but that’s not all.
I’ve given it a key into my vault. 
I’ve given it the gavel and the judges’ stand, 
and it uses that power to beat my foundation down to sand. 

And I stop, just have to stop, 
because there’s a lot of things I can’t explain, 
like why there’s Grace. 
It’s far more foreign to my melancholy ways.  
And when it comes, it comes in waves. 
It lifts me from the pit and reminds my brain 
that the dreams out in the stars 
that are oh so near my heart
are not so lost at all. 
That with all the noise around me, 
I didn’t hear the call. 
I started to forget the voice of the one who formed it all
and formed my heart. 

Fear tries to linger in my heart beat 
and pain tries to settle in my chest. 
When I start to uncluttered all my schedule,
I start to remember who I am.

That I am not a sum of all my pleasures, 
and stuff doesn’t fulfill my souls demands. 
There is still a good composer 
who can bring the tempo slower.

There’s freeing in breathing, 
there’s joy in winding in.
There’s peace in the knowing
that we are beloved by him.

There’s hope in the growing
and wonder in what hasn’t been.
In release, there’s knowing 
That he has the better plan.

Rise (Poem)

Rise (Poem)

This morning, I rise up from my bed, trying to seperate the things I learned in my dreams from reality.

Rising next is my phone screen. Within the Happy Easter posts are adds that I try to separate inside my psyche. Next to rise is my questioning. Wondering if I am enough or if indeed my daily “yes” to Christ is enough. I try to separate truth and insecurity.

My fork rises at the breakfast table. I wrestle with the need to photograph the serenity with family or to simply be.

The remote rises this year to tune into church with my friends that aren’t around me. I separate the urge to distract myself or sit back and the desire to truly praise and engage.

My heart sinks in humility as the elements of communion rise to my mouth. I separate the feelings of unworthiness from the truth that in Him, I am fully known and fully loved.

He has risen. And I have not purely separated out everything that’s truth and fantasy, but this one truth I know is that He has risen indeed.

Emotions rise within as I contemplate how his sacrifice unites what sin tried to eternally separate.

And when the son of man was raised up on that cross, and every joint was separated, Jesus’ love had not.

He raised his voice to the Father a few times that Good Friday before his soul would separate from his broken body, But when he rose again, he would speak again. In speculation, some doubted. Separately, the 500 plus people who had seen him surely could not.

And I rise in resolve that my belief in him is not simply because of a story or a tradition, but because, in the words of Job, “I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you;”

He is risen and with this I know; that the separation I feel is only in my own self condemnation. I come humbly now in simple adoration, remembering that the whole reason he came was so we could be with him. He wants me and he wants you; fully one with him.

And so, I rise.

Distanc ing (Poem)

Distanc      ing (Poem)

Fragile is my heart that longs for touch, that longs for something it can see. 

Fragile are my thoughts as they fail to remember the good I’ve seen.

Fragile is my body that is too week to lift the sorrow inside of me.

The weight is too great, the pain is too deep.

I lay in my bed, but I cannot sleep.

I speak of vulnerability, with glass walls built all around me. 

I Feel alone, but I cannot be.

My friends are here, but I’m distancing.

My God is here, but I’m not listening. 

*one day into social distancing* 

I’d been so busy I couldn’t think.

The pressures off, now my mind can think. 

Mixed feelings, but I’m thankful that I now can think.

There’s things important I’ve distanced myself from,

Things in my room I can’t escape,

Things in my mind I can’t erase. 

It’s more than sin, it’s more than rhythms.

It’s more then the closets and skeletons in them. 

It’s more then heath and wellness and wisdom.

For the depths I reached weren’t dug in a day, 

The selfish and pure motives weren’t traded for in one exchange.

The joy did not up and fly away.

Alone. 

Here. 

Safe. 

What will I do in the weeks to come?

will I get off my phone?

Will I grow and become?

I will distance myself from my vices that drown me.

I will dream larger, though my surroundings confine me.

I will draw near to the One who found me.

I will not be alone.

I am not alone. 

We are not alone. 

Loved Regardless (Poem)

Loved Regardless (Poem)

It’s one thing to be alone, but it’s another thing to feel like there’s no hope; like no matter what you do, no matter where you are, you’ll never find home.

It’s one thing to have someone by your side, but it’s another thing to know that no matter what you do, they will be closer then your body can stand, but closer then your heart could ever ask them to.

It’s one thing to love, but it’s another thing to know that a person would go to hell and back if it meant saving you.

It’s one thing to be betrayed, but it’s another thing to be back stabbed by the one by whom’s arms you felt most safe.

It’s one thing to feel, but it’s another thing to know.

It’s one thing to learn, but it’s another thing to grow.

It’s one thing to be ok, and yet another to feel safe when everything around breaks. To have peace when everything is great. To be still and take time when the grind brings results in the best ways.

It’s one thing to feel and another one to be led by what we feel, regardless of what is real.

In the wondering, take each step in the footprints ahead led by the hand of the one who made yours. Walk in step with the ones you love, but hold fast to the one who’s breath is in your lungs.

Feel the love, feel the pain, feel alone, feel framed, but breath free. Know you are seen. Know that if home never finds you or finds you empty, that there’s a being who weeps for you with tears unseen. He felt the things you feel today, he’s gone through them in different times, in different ways. He holds you closer then you can feel, but he hold you. Don’t give up. He’s here.

Anxiety Attach (poem)

Anxiety Attach (poem)

My heart is in my stomach. I’ve got lead in my veins. I step in the shower and try to scrub away all the painful thoughts. Scrub my head so hard my scalp is raw. Rub my body down until my arms are sore. Let the water rain down my face and I don’t even mind. Sit down, I’m panicking, elbow on my knees, I can’t even weep. Turn the water off. Dry my body off. Send a message, short and to the point, try to walk in love and not in fear or anger. I get so shaky I can’t stop my legs from breaking my balance. I lay down. Shake more violently, pray to God for some inner peace. Feel so alone and no one can see. Reaching out feels desperate, but I need it. Turn to my notes in my phone to write because it’s easy, but it can’t give me a hug now. It can’t talk me down. It can’t give me council, but it’s half past 1 in the morning and I feel like nothing is working. My heart rate is slowing to normal, my eyes grow heavier and God let’s me know he has me when I feel cold. He has me when I feel old. He has me when I think I should be farther along then I am. He has me when I’m desperately holding onto all that I know. He’s always faithful, always stable. He is The rock on which I stand.

Questioning Alone (Poem)

Questioning Alone (Poem)

*I wrote this because I needed to. I share it to remind you when you feel alone, you can know (if only in your head) that you’re not.

Lord, why do I feel like I’m all alone; like the progress I’ve made was all for not? Why do I strive and fail? Why do all of my ambitions feel fruitless? I’m walking up stream. A moment passes when I feel I’ve prospered, but I find my foot crushed by a stone. One moment, I feel I’ve made headway and the next, I am knocked down. I float down stream. There is no trace left in the ground beneath me to prove I’d gone anywhere. Do the trees have eyes to back me up? Do the mountain peaks stand up in my defense to vouch when I’m seen striving in the place I’ve already been for seasons that have come and went?

Why does it feel like I stand alone? I feel that I’m following the plans set before me and when I’m doing well people notice me, but they do not join me. When I’m starving and isolated and even in my dreams, don’t find relief, I’m left alone to sink.

In the high times of my life, I find rest in you, Jesus, and joy in the moments I spend with you. In my confident moments, I still hear your voice of pleasure, your peace when everything around me seems to be anywhere from building to crumbling, because I know you are with me. In my joyful days, my humor and laughter is uncontainable. In my persistent days, nothing on earth or beneath can stop me from following through with bringing the wonder in my mind to the world in the unique way only I could do.

But in my despair, the days I have reason to feel alive, I feel empty. One moment I can hear truth and put on the face I feel people want to see, and the moment I’m alone, my hope leaves as if I hadn’t heard a thing. The things that normally feel rejuvenating feel exhausting and even the littlest lie from any of my enemies can throw me into a spiral of self loathing. I find myself drained, lying in my underwear in the middle of the day, trying to find motivation through music or the Bible or anything. In the process, I usually find myself asleep.

These aren’t the places I strive to be or the mindsets I ever want to be having. In a few hours or even by the time I’m finished writing, I may have mental clarity. Hope will eventually arise along with energy and redemption of the waisted moments in sin or self pity.

We do not deserve whatever hellish conditions we put ourselves through when we’re held in a chokehold by the devil’s schemes, others lies and selfish tendencies, or the evil we can be to ourselves when our flesh proves to be weak.

Sometimes, I am my own worst enemy, but I will push through, learn what only my weaknesses can teach me, and force myself to bring others in with me that I know have my back. These are the hardest times to do it, but the most crucial times to get through it.

As a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, do not give up or disqualify yourself when your weak. Get reinforcement from one who is willing to be close enough as you reconstruct, build you up, and hold your ground. That’s what I surely need now.

Dream (Poem)

Dream (Poem)

There is a longing beyond myself. It pulls me most forcefully when I read or watch or hear a story of adventure and passion and mystery. The longing is not for something imaginary, but rather truer then the life I am currently living. I am pulled into something that isn’t, and maybe in this current reality could not be, but that doesn’t deter me from closing my eyes and feeling free, content in a dream. 

If it be the new Spiderman movie or the musical “Once” or a concert or hearing someones dreams, I cannot leave without inspiration flowing through my veins and into every vessel inside of me. I’m inspired in spite of the fiction, that it is not currently true, because it reminds me that even in fantasy, we are awakened to greater things then living, working and dying. There is beauty in the wondering; how I long to live an adventure. My lungs feel stuffed up when clogged with practicality. 

It is important for a person to dream, even if that dream never comes true. To dream is to create. Sharing that creation with another is a more beautiful picture of faith then any lecture could ever portray. 

There’s a time to swing back into reality. There’s a time to schedule, plan and critique, but when do we schedule a time to dream? For to dream is to step into hope of greater things.

Story, fiction, and passion are each portals to the truth that this life is not all we’ve been made for. There is truth beyond the cubicles or fork lifts or house calls or stacks of paper. There is life beyond the plans and five steps to success, beyond the meetings and desks, beyond the 9 to 5 and books and tests.

There’s freedom in the open air, adventure in decisions that cause you to risk, joy in the unknown. When you go for that thing that everyone says will not pay out without the proper certificate or experience or training, ask yourself the question, “are these opinions a help or a hindrance to me fulfilling the dreams that pull at my heart strings?”

Write down the stories or passions you hold in your heart. Jot down a reality if you had all you needed. re-read it. Don’t let your imagination be flooded with what ifs; fight for potential beyond what is in plain sight! The stories of justice and fighting for truth ,where good conquers evil when evil seems like it cannot loose are stories for fighters like you. dream. Forge through.

Ps. If you feel like this is for someone else, this likewise is for you. You too, dream. Forge through. 

Vulnerability (are you enough?)

Vulnerability (are you enough?)

The root of overcoming the lie, “I’m not enough” is found in finding vulnerability within community.

M.B.

On Instagram, I asked my followers for suggestions on what they wanted to read about. Ironically, only one of my friends (Jordan Brenize) responded with “vulnerability.” I was, at first, kind of bummed I didn’t get more response on this one, but I believe it brought more merit to the topic of this post. It reminded me that any pride I took from an overwhelming response to one of my posts can be totally stripped away by a lack of response on another.

I realized that my value in that moment was not determined by truth or how God sees me, but rather determined by a number. I was no longer in the zone of creating to create; because my heart aches when I don’t write. I found myself, hungering and thirsting after the approval and applause of others. I even thought of trying to trick or convince people to respond with FOMO without looking desperate.

As silly as it sounds, don’t we all do this in our own ways? we try to cover up what we see as weakness in our own lives so that others will see us in our most refined light. If it’s social media with scenarios like mine, or like some, trying to up sell the fun you’re having so people can see you’re not boring or ordinary. Some of us will act totally different around our bosses then our coworkers if it means impressing them for that praise or raise, while still trying to keep up our image around our co-workers. Some will donate publicly and others will buy expensive clothing or shoes or you fill in the blank. Some will fake an identity to win the heart of a man or woman and end up loosing themselves in the process. Some will hide within themselves, taking on the title of shy or mysterious. They’re afraid of how people see them if they were to actually speak their mind. The main fear behind each of these examples is this; “I’m not enough.” It’s normally posed in question form, “are you enough?” provoking the answer, “no, but what if I (do/become/say) this? then maybe I will become enough. This fear is no stranger or new theory to humanity. The first man and woman felt incomplete, even though they had everything they needed, in the closest community with God and each other.

This lie has started wars, divided churches, separated families, taken lives, caused people to cheat and steal; each act of sin motivated by striving to be someone that is enough. As each of us sells ourselves short, we believe it’s for our better, even if ultimately we know it’s not where satisfaction is found. But Thankfully, we aren’t forced to stay in that mindset, because the truth is, in this moment, you are enough! We all have weak seasons of life.

The root of overcoming the lie, “I’m not enough” is found in finding vulnerability within community.

The thing about vulnerability is it often gets mixed up with transparency. Transparency is putting yourself on the internet, to then hide behind your screen, looking for pity or praise. Transparency is also showing up to a small group or even a stage and sharing all of your problems and avoiding or not hearing out those people you’ve opened up to. In a good, heathy context, opening up to a solid community, or a good couple of friends if it’s a sensitive issue, is the best thing you can do, although part two is the most important step you can make: Let them touch your problems. The Bible says in Galatians 6:2 “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfilling the law of Christ.”

Transparency, like a ship in a bottle, says, I’m here! I’m fragile, but don’t tough me. Take pity, but don’t you dare try and change me. Vulnerability is if that same fragile ship was able to be taken out of that bottle and set on a table before a group of people, knowing full well that if they choose, they can with one swift swing, smash it into a million pieces, or harder yet, point out and help you improve your ship towards greater beauty. It takes humility to let people into your heart and the places we feel dirty or not good enough, or crazy. The amazing part of this, and the reason I say that vulnerability within community is the best way to fight the lie, “I’m not enough” is because a lot of places where we feel alone or out of our minds or dirty or ashamed are the same feelings that other people in your community have likely gone through, are going through or will go through. It gives you encouragement that it won’t last forever, creates bonds with people that you can fight side by side with, and it gives foresight to those who will possibly go through it.

With all of that, anyone can find so much freedom, although, as a Christian, I believe without Jesus as the center of your community, when your community isn’t looking at you through the eyes of Jesus, and if your heart isn’t first going to him for help in times of need, then there’s a higher chance that in your community, those people will accidentally speak something into your life that isn’t true. They will tell you that you’re not enough or that you must be someone or something to finally be happy or free.

With the perspective that none of us have it in our own strength to be perfect or earn our way to heaven, we can then see we are all enough for Jesus. He sent his son to earth because, in our sin, we deserve death, and he didn’t want that to be the end of the story. Jesus took our place and said, if you come to me, know I’ve created you in my image for a purpose and a plan. Stand by me. Believe I am the son of God and that through me and only me, you can be set free. Turn your face away from all the things that left you lonely and unsatisfied and turn your face to me and I will fill you with joy unending, love overflowing, peace that passes human understanding, and I will even give you a helper, my Holy Spirit, to live inside of you.

That seems like the most no-brainer decision I’ve ever herd, but he also desires and even prays in John 17:20-21 that we (his followers) would be unified, and not just unified, but that we would be one as Him (Jesus) and the Father God are one. That’s a pretty wild prayer, but if Jesus prayed it, I believe it can happen!

In closing, if you don’t have a community that you can trust and lean into for help, please reach out and even pray that God would lead you to one. If you don’t know what Jesus thinks of you or how he sees you, ask him, ask your community, and read the Bible, his word. (If you don’t have one, there’s a free “youversion” bible app thats really comprehensive and easy to use.) Be open with God and others about your questions, insecurities, and fears and let them help bring you towards a place of freedom so that you can confidently be you without striving to fulfill someone else’s dreams. You are enough.