Friday, 4 March 2016

Finding My Way Out Of The Dark

It’s been awhile, because life has thrown some hard lessons my way. Things got dark for a bit there… No matter what I did, nothing was changing and it got to the point where I didn’t know how to hope anymore. It got to the point where I had to actually give up on some things, and accept they were just never going to happen, and that was hard. I’m a fighter, not a quitter, so giving up on something, on someone never comes easily to me.

It was a season that was easy to be really angry at God for. Like no matter how much I asked Him to just do something, to make at least one thing better, things just kept getting worse. It was like Murphy’s Law, anything that could go wrong, did go wrong. And I was angry at Him for that. Angry at Him for hurting me, for allowing this kind of pain into my life. Even the people who encouraged me never to give up on Him had to agree that all of this just seemed so cruel, and so not the way God operates.

But here I am standing, almost on the other side of it, and I can see a little clearer now. Firstly, I have learned yet again, that God is faithful. When you’re in the pitch black and it doesn’t seem so, it’s hard to believe this. But it’s in His nature – He is faithful, so even if it’s not straightaway, He will come through, He will turn it around. And He will never leave you in the process, even in the darkness He will be right there, getting you through, whether you feel Him or not.

Another thing I have learned is that when God does something, He does it fast. Literally 3 days ago, there was no hope and everything was black. Today, there’s a second chance, things have changed so much faster than I ever knew they could, and it was nothing done on my part. He brought it about. He literally made a way where there was no way.

The biggest thing maybe that I am learning is that God is truly the healer of my heart. I got myself into such a heartbroken place, the biggest mess I have ever been in. Though I was doing everything I knew how, I couldn’t fix myself this time, the brokenness just wouldn’t mend. And then He gave me this picture. This picture of my heart, the bullet holes in it, the chaos… and then He showed me a needle with thread, stitching me up. It wasn’t me doing it, it was Him. And as He stitched, and I looked again, it was already healed over. He was cleaning up the mess. He was putting me back together, making more whole than I’ve ever been before. Not only is He faithful to be with me in the process, but He’s faithful to heal me through it.

No, it’s not over yet. No, life is not perfect. I’m still finding my way out of the woods, but I’m better than I was before. It has been one of the hardest seasons of my life. It’s been more overwhelming and more painful than I have ever known before, and I don’t wish that on anyone. But God is faithful in it and faithful through it. Healed people heal people. And so maybe, one day it’ll all be worth it.

Hope is not lost. Darkness never wins. Don’t give up.

Saturday, 20 February 2016

A Letter To My Best Friend

There’s a story behind these coffee mugs that only you and I know. They were bought for us, one was always intended for you, my best friend. And since they were bought, they’ve sat in the top of my cupboard, just waiting for the day you were here with me. Now they serve as the reminder that you were meant to be here beside me.

The thing is, nothing in life prepared me for the day I would lose you, my best friend. Nobody ever told me that I would meet you, and not only would you be my best friend, but I’d fall in love with you, plan a future with you, and then have to say goodbye. I wish I could say I had the answers for us. I wish I could say I knew how to grieve well, how to let you go and how to move forward with my life. I don’t have those answers, baby. All I have is how I’m getting through.

I’m getting through by letting myself grieve. By letting myself ugly cry, or be angry, or feel hopeless. I’m letting myself feel whatever I have to, and then I’m trying hard not to stay in those moments. I’m trying to keep living my life.

But it’s really hard without you, my best friend, by my side. No matter where I am or what I’m doing, I miss you. It can be the smallest thing that’ll happen and it will just trigger all our memories. There’s this quote I love. Someone wrote in to IYFTE and said this: “it’s living daily, a single occupancy, in a life that was made for two.” And that’s how it feels. It feels like as much as I can figure this out on my own, I can find a life that will keep me busy by myself, but this life was always made for two.

Before you I would read that quote, and I’d think how nice it would be. I’d think two was better than one. But I really had no idea, just a picture in my mind of what it would be like, how it would feel. It was so much better than I imagined. Because you were my best friend. And as hard as it would get, two really was better than one. And everything, even the little things, like grocery shopping was so much more fun because you were by my side.

So no, nothing prepared me for the day I would lose you. Nothing makes the grief easier or the pain go away. Maybe it’d be easier if I got rid of the coffee mugs. Maybe it’d be easier if I sent you the letters, returned the clothes. But deep down, there’s a part of me that still wants to hope. And so, the coffee mugs stay. And they remind me that we existed, that we mattered. They remind me to pray, to ask God for that second chance we both always wanted.

I miss you every second, best friend. I’m still learning how to breathe without you. I’m still learning how to live a life single that was always made for two. 
I love you and you love me more and I love you more.
 The light is still on for you.

Friday, 19 February 2016

The Darkness

I’ve been reading the book of Isaiah lately. It’s one of those books that isn’t so easy to swallow, and yet it makes total sense to me in this season. I feel a little like the Israelites. I feel wounded and broken, bruised, just lost in the valleys of life. I often feel like God has just turned His back on me, like He’s done what He can to destroy me and has just left me in it.

And yet, this is what I am reading and learning. Though God wounds, He also heals. He’s sovereign. He doesn’t leave us in the pain forever, but instead He makes a new way for us. And He leads us to places of rest and healing, He leads us out of the desert into a place filled with life.

I must confess, it’s not the easiest truth to deal with.

We all want a God Who just does what we want Him to, who just blesses our life, gives us all the good things and takes away the bad. I wish I could say that’s who God is, but it’s not. Our God is sovereign. Our God’s ways are not like ours. And as painful as it is, we have to trust Him through that. We have to trust Him even when He allows hurt, and allows pain, and breaks us apart.

I’m not going to lie, I’ve had some days of wanting to give up on God lately. It’s not that I think because I have Him that life should just be perfect. But there are so many moments where enough is enough. Where 5 years of darkness is more than I can handle and I just want out. I want out of the pain. I want out of the suffering. I want out from a relationship with this God Who just gives and takes away, Who does whatever the hell He pleases with seemingly no consideration for how it’s going to break me.

But I know I can’t do this without Him. I know that even when I don’t see Him or feel Him or hear Him, He is what gets me through every single day. He is Who holds me while I cry. He is still Who I cry out to when I don’t even have the strength to get out bed anymore.

I don’t pretend to have any answers. I know so many people who are just going through the trenches of life lately. Who, like me, have had not just a horrible season, but a really hard few years. I don’t know why. I don’t know if and when it will get better. All I know is that one day, everything will be perfect. And God’s sovereignty will make sense in a way it never has before. And we’ll be able to see through the eyes of His Love, why He allows things that He could stop, or He could change.

He doesn’t make sense to me. I don’t know how to trust His heart always. Sometimes I don’t even want to, I don’t have hope and I don’t want anything to do with Him. But still, I read His promises in this book of Isaiah, and I choose to believe that someday, that will be me. That though He has wounded time and time again, He will heal. Though my heart feels unfixable, I choose to trust that one day it will be whole. No, I don’t think that day will come this side of heaven. This side of Heaven will always hold struggle and trials and everything else. But when I get there, when I meet this God face to face, I will know and be known. I will be whole, and there will be no more darkness.

That is the one truth I will hold on to through it all.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Needing People

You are so strong, darling, and you know that. I know in times like this, in a season where you have been so, so hurt, you just want to use that strength so you dont need people.
I know you feel like you have a point to prove - a point that you're doing just fine by yourself and you dont need anybody to help you get through.

Baby, I know it hurts, but you need people. You were made for community. And not community in the sense of just being around a lot of people all of the time. Real, genuine community - people you can share your heart with - people you can mourn with and celebrate with. People who can build you and people you can build.

I know people have let you down. I know that lately needing people has been dangerous - because they've all left you in one way or another. Not everyone leaves, darling. Look for the ones who stay - not just in the physical sense of the word - but the ones who will stay present in your life, who will keep being there and being real even if they're half a world away.

Baby, you dont have to prove anything to anyone. You dont owe anyone an explanation for your life. You deserve to be genuinely happy - not to show them, but for you. For your sake.
Dont let the ones who didn't choose you, the ones who hurt you, who broke you, ruin good things for your future. What they did is on them, not you. You, my love, have just been given the opportunity to be brave.
You've been given the opportunity to take a deep breath, and start again. You've been handed the opportunity to build a life you'll love.
You've been given the chance to build a genuine community. Nothing makes you braver than trusting again, loving again.

Be strong, baby, but strong in all the right ways. You get to be happy - but happy for you, not to prove a point to 'them.'

You are worth it, love, so so worth it.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

To The One Who Doesn't Feel Good Enough

To the One whose Heart has been Broken (making you feel so far from good enough),

A broken heart is a never ending train wreck of emotions. Though it's all over the place, I believe there are two main stages of it. The first stage - the one that seems to last the longest - is the 'it aint pretty' stage.
This is where the tears and the screaming, the lying on the floor numb, the desperate to forget emotions come in. This is where the desperation kicks in. The desperation to feel loved and wanted. The desperation to escape from the hurt and the pain.
You've convinced yourself by this point that you are not at all good enough. You've convinced yourself no one will ever want you again, and so you will do just about anything in order to feel wanted. Like I said, it's not a pretty stage.

But from one ugly broken heart to another, I want to tell you a few things.
First thing, as is evidenced by this letter - you are not alone. Everything you are feeling now, so many of us have felt before. Our situations may all be different, but a broken heart is what it is.
Whatever happened, baby, it's not your fault. Dont take on the responsibility for another persons choices and actions, especially to the detriment of yourself. You are worth everything - dont blame yourself, darling.

Second thing you need to know is that you are good enough. I know nothing in you feels it. I know you could give me a list of reasons right now as to why you arent. I know the messiness that comes from this breaking apart just adds to you feeling so far from worth it. But I promise you, you are so worth it. and this season, this chapter in your life? Well, it's not the end of your story. It's not where it all has to end.

You see, the second stage to a broken heart - that's the beautiful stage. That's the part where you begin to find yourself again. It's the part where you start to smile through the tears. It's the part where, when the memories come back, you laugh and you smile, and you thank God for those times, and then you keep moving forward. The beautiful stage is the one where you care about the person and wish the best for them, but you know its not you. And you know there is a future out there for you so much better than you can even imagine.

Darling, I know what a broken heart will do to you. I know it will tell you that you are not enough; that you're not pretty enough or fun enough, or sexy enough; or that you're too much, too loud, too emotional, too whatever. Those are lies, baby-cakes. Lies straight from hell. You - exactly as you are - you're beautiful in every way. You are worth fighting for, and I'm so sorry that persons actions didn't show you that.
You are fun to be with. The right person will find you so unbelievably sexy, and they're the only one who will matter anyway. You dont need to be desperate, my love. You dont need to disrespect yourself to feel wanted. Be you. Be kind to yourself. Find ways to deal with the pain in a way that promotes your health. Forgive yourself.
Look for the blessings, the little moments of joy in every day, and be thankful for them. I know it's not pretty sometimes, but that's okay too. Just dont stay in that place too long. Keep taking steps forward. Do what you can to get strong and stay strong.

You are so precious, baby. You are worth everything. Life will be beautiful again, I promise. Know your worth.

Monday, 11 January 2016

Dear Future Husband

Dear Future Husband,

I’ve gotta be honest with you. Nothing in me wants to believe you exist right now. I think that’s just a by-product of this past year, and everything I’ve been through. But that’s where I’m at – trying to remember that you’re still out there, but feeling like you mustn’t be and even if you are – I’m never going to get myself together enough for you.

I fell in love. I chose to love. I chose to trust. We planned our lives. And then it all broke right in front of me. And the trust was gone, and half the time I have to convince myself I wasn’t the only one loving. I thought he was you. So badly I wanted him to be you. I felt God saying he was. But then everything changed, and I still don’t know why or how, I still don’t have any answers, all I have is this knowledge that you must still be out there.

I don’t know what it’s going to look like now. I can only imagine that when I meet you, I’ll be more fearful than ever before, because love is a risk I don’t feel like taking anymore. I can only imagine that when we’re together, it’s going to take me a long time to trust you, because once trust has been broken, it’s hard to forget that. I can only imagine that when I meet you, memories are going to keep flooding my mind for a while, because so many things will remind me of him and me.

But then there’s a part of me that thinks maybe it’ll be nothing like I’m imagining. Maybe it’ll be so much better because that’s the God we serve; a God Who is faithful to keep His promises. A God whose Love heals me, and never ever hurts me. Maybe it’ll be better because you wont be that guy. You wont be the one to destroy me. You wont be the one to break all your promises and break all my trust. I know you wont be perfect, and praise God for that, coz I sure as hell am not either. But I believe that when you say you’ll love me, you’ll show it with your actions every day. I believe that I’ll be able to trust you, because you’ll give me no reason to ever question you, and honesty will never be optional with you. I believe that God is going to use us, and the things we’ve been through individually and together to help and encourage and strengthen others.

I don’t know who you are. I’m still on this journey of letting God heal my heart. There are many moments I don’t believe you’re out there. In almost every moment I still miss him and have to convince myself all over again he’s not you. But I’ll get there. And I’ll keep praying for you. And I’ll keep striving to become the woman God always intended me to be, so that together, we can accomplish all He has for us.

I’ll keep hoping for you, my love. I’ll stop convincing myself I’ll never love again. I’ll stop thinking I’m never going to be held again. I’ll stop convincing myself I’ll never dance again, or have my forehead kissed again. I’ll stop convincing myself I’ll never have someone to pray with again, and worship God with again. I’ll stop telling myself it was my fault, and start trusting that God has a plan and a purpose. And when it’s right, all of those things will come about. And you’ll pursue me and fight for me in the ways God always intended me to be pursued and fought for.

I’ll hold you in the light.


Wednesday, 30 December 2015


It’s been one hell of a year. And I know people usually say that like it’s a good thing but that’s not how I mean it. This year has literally been like my own personal hell in some ways. It’s been a year that completely broke me, not in very good ways. Through all of it the one resounding thing that came out is that I need to learn to love myself.

I lost myself this year. In a year that was meant to be all about finding out who I was, I actually lost who I was. I didn't love my God or myself well. I compromised on things I never thought I would. I made so many mistakes and fell so many times, and still God's grace in that is astounding.

That in the midst of my mess this year, He would provide me with 3 of the best friends I ever had is His grace and love alone. They're the kind of friends I've been praying for, the ones who show up for me when I hit the floor, and I couldn't have got through without them.

That in the midst of my sin He would tell me how much He loves me is grace I don't deserve.

That in the midst of a broken relationship He would still allow
moments of laughter and happiness and love is grace far beyond what I should know.

And so that's what 2016 is about - it's about finding myself again. It's about living my true identity. It's about letting God build me back up again in the Truth. He taught me this year what love and what grace truly look like - and so that's what I want my life to be. Next year I want to learn to love myself and have grace for myself. Next year I want to love others and have grace for them as He has for me. I don't want to lose myself in the midst of the hecticness, but I want my identity to be solely based in Him, only found in Him.

It means some painful goodbyes. It means letting go of some stuff I've been using to cope. But God won't leave me there. He promises that those who lay down their lives for His sake, those who lose their lives for His sake actually find their lives. So that’s what I’m going to try to do. I’m going to try to lose myself not in the negative way I did this year, but in a way that lets Jesus in. That lets Him in to heal me and restore me, to make me who I was always meant to be.

It’s painful, yes. There are people and things I don’t want to give up, goodbye’s I don’t know how to say, and yet, Jesus will meet me there, because He always does. He won’t leave me unable to breathe, or without hope. He’ll give me space for healing. He’ll fill me with His grace every time the enemy tries to throw my mistakes in my face. He’ll show me my true identity and give me the strength to live it. That’s all I know.

2015 – You sucked. Here’s to a better year next time around.