Humble Hero (Poem)

Humble Hero (Poem)

Being hopeful and full of emotions does not make a man a hero.

You have not won simply because the fog has lifted.

You are not made new when you’ve rounded the bend from a struggle you stumbled your way through.

When we feel on top of the world and our life has taken a turn; when pain is replaced with laughter; when toil is turned to rest, we can not boast as if we’ve done a thing.

Character is is not proven by a hard season ending, but by endurance in the pain. Relief is not a personal gain, but grace from the creator of the day.

Rejoice when the storm subsides, but thank the one who brought you through to the other side. Do not boast or claim that it was by your own strength or even in how you’ve changed. Without God’s strength, we each can fall back into any phase, any vice, any maze, and it’s only because of Him that we can be saved!

In humility is where we find victory. Character is where we can continue to live healthy. All else is vanity, and every other boast except in Jesus Christ, the king of kings is false security.

May I not even be honored for the art or talents I bring. May I not identify with worthless things. May my God be where I seek out peace. May my heart be totally given and my spirit ever free.

Disconnect (where character is built)

Have you ever been in a place that you feel like you have no clue what to do, but something has to change? That’s been me. I decided to get off social media, but I also decided to get off of solid food for a time and stick to a water and juice diet.

This was prodded by a lot of things, but what it really was motivated by was the desire to rewire myself from the inside out. I’d gotten so used to just living moment to moment, with little self control in areas that, in that moment, weren’t a big deal in and of themself. About a year ago, I felt like God was saying to me it a time I was really struggling to overcome some junk I let stick around for far too long, that if I would brush my teeth before I went to bed that night, that I would be able to overcome these struggles I was having in a bunch of areas in my life.

What I knew he was telling me is that if I’m willing, at a time I’m dead tired, feeling depressed, anxious and trapped, to do a task that could have waited until morning, I would begin to learn self discipline. This would guide me to a long year of going through valleys and valleys of those valleys, filled with self discovery, self discipline, and honesty with myself and others.

That’s just a back drop for what’s finally begun this year:

One funny thing that was a catalysts to a lot of this was getting a filing cabinet and dealing with all of my paperwork, collected in boxes and piles throughout all of my stuff. That lead to me organizing all of my tools and barber equipment to finally getting a system down for myself so that I could finally grow up a little bit, but also see spiritually how in my life, I’ve had everything mixed up with my emotions and feeling and art and passions. I felt like I was just a machine achieving tasks and sleeping, without much more feeling then feeling alone.

I also met a new friend that is extremely encouraging and passionate to love people, love Jesus and do life excellently. This new found friend caused my entire prospective and hope to change. For some reason, everything I was doing, I knew I was doing for a reason and everything that was changing in my life began to come alive in full color!

I saw how much Jesus loved me and was able to look back at that past year or more that I felt isolated and alone. Jesus began to fill me with passion to love and fight for my family and friends like I never had before.

From there, I’ve had a lot of old fears expose themselves to me and passed mistakes that tried to frame me. This happened through dreams and thought trying to convince me that That past junk was a part of my identity. Jesus spoke to me, through the Bible and through his still small voice to my heart. He asked me, “do you trust me?” and asked if I trusted him to take the shame and let him continue to love me.

All of this at once was a lot for me to take in, and I just felt myself drained. I was on social media way too much and eating in such an unhealthy way, I wasn’t able to take in everything going on.

In church on Sunday, I felt challenged to take a leap of faith and take a break from the things that were getting me tripped up, and I didn’t want to wait. I started that moment, and with God’s strength, he will be with me through the entire thing, and I will not only survive but thrive in his goodness.

Through this disconnection, I’ve felt so much more connected to the Holy Spirit of God, and so much more in need of him every moment.

The crazy part is, I’ve wanted to share all of this on social media, for such mixed reasons. I for one, wanted people to continue to see what God has been doing in my heart. Secondly though, I wanted people to notice me and think well of me. I feel like what I do often goes unseen by the people I want to see it, but I know that it’s not about that.

I know that God doesn’t need me to broadcast myself, especially if I believe that he is where I should find my strength and worth. I know that he will open up the eyes of any person that needs to hear my testimony.

More than anything, it’s in times that we embrace healing and freedom, with no one else around to see or hear specifically what’s going on, that we don’t only grow, but we build character.

I also realized that at times before, I would reach out through my Instagram story or Facebook posts to find recognition for something to try to build myself up, or overcompensate for a place I was feeling weak.

Now, I am able to find myself first feeling alone, to realizing God’s nearness and closeness. From there, I become filled with thankfulness, to a place of recognizing there is something that needs to be addressed. From there, my mind is clear enough to go to both the Bible, and my good friends that are able to build me up in faith and actually address the issues.

My disconnection from things that distracted me opened up doors to deeper friendships, deeper intimacy with Jesus, freedom from addiction, and trust that God has it all in control.

I’m writing this in a place of longing and knowing that this is only the beginning, and it will be even more worth it throughout each step I take from here.

Longing for Home (Poem)

Longing for Home (Poem)

when you find someone who feels like home, you want to hold them close. you want the moments to last a little longer when you’re with them. You hope the moments will lead to more moment like the last, that the hope you found in them will not stay in the past.

If a person like that couldn’t change your path, I don’t know what could. It’s not what they say, or how, per say they act, but it is who they are. Your emotions feel so distant, yet so close at hand. You know you’re not dreaming, but at the same time, it feels like it can’t be reality.

As time goes on, you pray that what you felt won’t fade; that the other’s heart felt what you felt. That you might have felt as much like home as their company felt to you.

If there is any hope in a memory of a moment in time, if it be to find yourself at home with them or another, it is that home can be found and does not need to be forgotten. Sometimes, it is to be fought for and other times let free.

That longing for home will not end here, for it’s etched deep inside of me.

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.