Love Like a Lighthouse (poem)

Love Like a Lighthouse (poem)

When your shoulder no longer feels like a safe place to land; When you still give your heart, but you can’t give a hand; When your mouth wants to speak, but you know the words won’t stand; Is there anything to do when your love is like sand?

When your grace feels abrasive, and your peace feels like distance; When your love leaves a bitter aftertaste, Is there any way to comfort their soul?

When what you gave was at one time able to be taken and used like gasoline and now it’s as good as water in a gas tank, is all hope lost?

When a friend, or lover or family member is no longer able to see you like they used to, you must let another love them altogether. You must let go of the tether. It’s no longer held in their hand, it’s around their neck. To hold on is to cause them pain, no matter how much you’re trying to help, you’re stopping the flow of oxygen to their brain.

Love like a lighthouse. If they sail away, may they find another beacon to guide them, but stay steadfast in who you are. Shine brighter and brighter. Fuel your light, grow stronger in who you are. If they let you in again, you will both be better. If they move along, pray them onward.

You can’t hold them to you, let go of their anchor. Pray as they go. Show love when they let you. Don’t stop living, don’t stop growing. Please let them go, stop fighting and groping. You’re stunting their growth, you won’t bring them healing. Just let them go, you’re no longer shelter. Let them get clear of the storm, the waves are unbearable, let go, let go, LET GO!

And as you finally let them drift away, the sky might not clear. They might not cross over the horizon like you feared, but if they do, they’re out of your grasp, and there’s no longer a thing you can do.

Sometimes to love is to let go; if it’s your grasp today and your heart later, so be it. If your heart never stops singing for the one you’re releasing, may it be a song as free as the breeze, with your heart beyond a fantasy of what could be and into a realm where love transcends feelings.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails…”

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Grief: Where Eyes Are Open (Poem)

Grief: Where Eyes Are Open (Poem)

Today, I hugged a lady that, last time I saw her, yelled at me for something so silly, I couldn’t even believe. Her face was red then, but it was also red today. Last time, it was from rage, and today from pain, because her husband has now two months been in the grave, almost to the day.

I had a chorus teacher in high school who was known for excellence, her grit, and for making students cry or at least want to quit any activity she would lead. I also know that before she passed onto the other side, she flourished in a place she didn’t choose to show often; in compassion. I saw her become love out loud and as her body withered down and the cancer tried to drown her out, her joy through the pain would grow stronger and stronger, even to her last day.

One time, I lost my dog. Before this happened, I would have privately mocked someone who blubbered over such a thing. I almost had him a year when I heard he was hit by a car. I cried so hard, screamed so loud, and could not speak; when I would try, I would only wheeze. I never felt that way before that day. I was broken. I could not alter what had happened. My heart has broken since through the death of friends, the moving away of my twin, and relationships that would finish.

And isn’t it interesting how in the darkest hours and seasons of grieving, that the ugliness in us takes a season of receding? Our eyes are open to greater things if we recognize that life is so much shorter then we like to credit it for, and eternity is so much grater then holding onto pain.

Understanding trumps rage, compassion smacks power in the face, and taking on someone’s pain as your pain is no kin to mockery.

A hug beat a fist, a listening ear can save a life, and a hand can hold someone’s world from crashing down.

Let the things that seem to break you down hold weight in your freedom and don’t loose it when you’re on the other side.

Let it lead you to a life that remembers pain is not permanent, but love and time are, in fact, the only things that can really heal that.

About the Little Things (the things that matter most)

About the Little Things (the things that matter most)

What are some of the things you hate the most about yourself? Chances are, most of them are things you could change if only… (fill in the blank.)

What would happen if you decided those things would no longer control you?

When I think about the question for myself, I think of laziness, selfishness, lack of drive, my body mass (or lack there of) and other things. In the past few years, I recognized this in myself and slowly started to change these things.

As I write this, I’m realizing it is a sort of follow up post for “Disconnect (where character is built)“. If you haven’t read that one, it might do you good to check out.

These things I started taking steps toward in December, and carrying them through for a few months. I felt more confident and healthy then I ever had! About four months into it, I started to let little things go, one little thing at a time.

It started when I decided to let myself slack on pushups. This lead to letting myself slack on tidiness and lead to more important things, like letting myself slack on my personal time with the Lord. Life got busy, and although I had close friendships and relationships pushing me to be the best me I could be, I made excuses.

It’s really easy to get to a place like I had gotten. Excuses are everywhere. The question I had to ask myself was would I rather stand here, not being the person I want to be with a hand full of excuses, or do I want to stand here, slightly tired at moments, maybe bumped or scratched, but have become the man I want to be with a boat load of satisfaction, knowing that I gave my all.

As of the past week, I had some big wake up calls that lead me to take some self inventory. I realized that I was no longer living the life I wanted to be living. Most of this all stemmed from selfishness, and poor decisions that lead to burn out and a “screw it” mentality.

This week, I’m getting back to what I started; back to becoming the me I want to be.

What is holding you back from achieving the goals you’ve wanted to reach or becoming the person you want to be?

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.

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I’ve

Said

It

Before,

But

I

Pray

That

This

Time

Starts

The

Change.

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