11.12.2017

Pain

Rolling over I feel groggy, how I'd imagine a hangover feels.
Still not dead, still wondering about the purpose of the pain.
I try to communicate what I feel but it all comes out in a choke of hurt.
It's like a noose is around my neck and it just keeps getting tighter, but never to its full capacity.
I'm still breathing.
I feel lonely. I seek God in the midst, but He seems so far away.
Why am I still here? 
They tell me I have a purpose here and I'm loved... even though I don't really believe that right now and I'd rather be resting in peace.
I want to cry, but these tears are tired too.
I want to kick and scream and yell and cuss and punch, but I've been fighting for so long.
I just want to lay down and let go.
I gave 100% to each situation. Why on earth am I still here?!
I'm Jonah.
I'm running. I'm tired. I'm afraid. I'm angry.
They tell me I'm pretty and smart, like those things matter so much to me.
They don't.
I'm not sure what matters to me anymore.
I'm sure God is still God. After that, I don't know.
I'm sure that my family is torn apart and my friends are few.
I'm sure that I'm clinging onto a rope that could tear apart any minute.
I'm sure that if I fall, I might not get back up.
I'm sure there is purpose in this pain, but for now I don't know what it is.

11.10.2017

His way in the midst

It doesn't have to be this way.

Faced with a choice - fear or faith?
Joy or sorrow?
Life or death? 

I was told not to do it... but my hands trembled. I was ready to go.
I'm not afraid to die. I'm not. I know the God that awaits me.
I'm afraid to let others down, to not finish well.
To have unending agony.
To be left alone.


Sorrow.
It felt so deep I thought I was drowning in it. I felt it in my throat, in my stomach, dragging me under.
I was breaking.
Tears.
So thick, so full, so overflowing that I swear I thought my eyes were going to fall out of my head before they stopped.
Beat, beat, beat.
My heart beating faster and faster.
Do I do this? 
God.
Rushing in. Giving strength.
Weakness.
My strength didn't look strong it was simply taking one step and then another and another. That's all.
It didn't feel strong, it felt weak.
And that's what He meant for it to be.

Tell me what God who can do the impossible would allow His children to stay strong in the possible?
To me that's the very definition of weak: belief in the Almighty, but never using it.
Like starting a car to sit in a parking lot... do you know the possibilities that await you?
How do you glimpse Him if all you see is the things you can do?
How do we call that faith when it looks more like doubt?

Silence.
Ever notice the silence that comes after a thunderstorm?
Here I sit in it.
Unfamiliar, quiet, peaceful, strange.
The tears come every once in a while, but not so often.
The pain is slight, aware of my more stable state.
The one true God watching me. Loving me. Caring for me.
He lets me rest.

10.31.2017

Three months and a beautiful mess of words...

I remember the darkness. I felt pain so deep that my heart threatened to fail me. I didn't know that an emotional pain could turn physical so quickly.

I sobbed.
I asked God to help me.
I prayed for sleep... or death.
I would sit in my bed and read the Word, journal, and try to sleep. My heart was beating so fast that I couldn't find sleep.
Hours turned to days and days turned to weeks and I was just. so. tired.
Drip, drip, drip.
I watched tears pool on my journal.
Reminders of the new reality of my life.
Silent mourners joining at a funeral, not knowing if this was to be the end or the beginning of something greater.

Rest.
The Lord gave me rest after three long months of tears falling every night.
I was growing. Seeking. Praying.
Thriving under the Son who made my soul blossom into something the world knows as impossible - but I dare to show them differently.

Fear.
Fear came and seized me on a typical day.
The reality of the situation became as clear as day and a choice was looming over my head and my heart- the same choice I discussed with my mentor- the same choice I had prayed about and wondered about every night before sleep came for me:
Can I do this, Lord? followed by, I can't do this, Lord.

Except I can because He did and so here we are.
The tissue boxes are emptied again.
The prayers are sometimes long (on the good days) and sometimes silent (on the bad ones).
Abba and I just sit sometimes.
I don't talk, I just try to listen for a change.
He speaks to me, too. He strengthens me.

Waiting
These days I wait.
I wait for this famine of the soul to be gone, this valley to be fully walked through.
I wait for Him. I look for Him. I look to Him.
He knows the weariness, the tears, the pain all so well.
He knows yours so well too.
Our stories may be different, but His story remains the same.
He wants you. He wants me. He wants the people in the world.

Mission.
You and I, we are on mission to tell His story.
To tell His story written thousands of years ago and fulfilled through Jesus Christ.
And to tell your story of His story unfolding in your life on the daily.
Don't sugarcoat it or ignore it, just share it.

Obedience
The road is hard and long and narrow and tiring.
It is worth it though.
When I'm left all alone, whether with my thoughts or physically, I know that the emptiness that creeps in is only there to remind me this world is not my home and this life holds nothing that can fully satisfy me other than my Savior Jesus Christ.

Acceptance
So I accept that only He satisfies me.
I accept His grace through these challenges.
I accept the help I am given in these challenges.
I accept the manna one day at a time.
I accept the challenge of the challenge.
Why?
Because the brokenness is beautiful and it leads me to Him.
So, I accept the broken too.

Sleep
It comes to me now, eyelids near shut, but heart and mind wide open.
He sees me here.
He holds me here.
He sees you and holds you.
So we can both sleep now.
No challenge will overtake us because He already has it in His hands.

10.12.2017

The Gift

There was a gift given to a young woman.
It sat outside her door.
It wasn't so beautiful on the outside to her
In fact, it looked mighty dangerous.
It had thorns and thistles around the brown paper that wrapped it.
She couldn't see what was inside, but she was afraid to touch it.
It had been burned on the outside, just enough for flame marks to be visible.
She wondered what on earth anybody could possibly be giving to her.
She decided she was going to get some gloves and throw it away.

Clearly, based on how it looked, there was no hope for whatever was inside.

Just as she was about to toss it away, a man appeared.

She had never seen him before, but from far away she could feel a sense of peace and calm from him.
He asked her what she was doing.

"Well," she said, "I'm throwing this away. I have no earthly clue who gave it to me or where it came from, but I don't appreciate someone leaving trash here at my home."

He smiled for a moment and then answered,
"I gave it to you."

Stunned she looked at him closer, did she know him? No, she was sure she didn't. So why was this stranger giving her this... whatever it is?
"Oh, I...uh... what is it?"

He chuckled and told her, "Why don't you stop being so afraid and just open it?"

Reluctantly she peeled back the paper carefully, so as not to cut herself on the thorns, and looked. Inside was a beautiful strand of pearls.

"Oh my. These are beautiful! Where did you find them? Why would you give these to me? I don't even know you."

Her last sentence must've saddened him because he looked away for a moment and then answered her,
"Daughter, I have known you all your life. I have seen your every struggle. I have gifted you with life and you're choosing to throw it away just because it's a little beat up around the edges and painful to handle. You cry out to Me, but when I answer you just throw away my Words and keep running. I gave you a gift and you rejected it. I gave you another gift and you rejected it too. The pearls represent the beauty that surrounds you because of Me. The thorns, the burn marks, they represent the pain that surrounds the beauty. I am over it all though. If you would seek Me you would see Me and know Me. That's what the gift represents- being unafraid to peel back the layers, however scary they look to you, and see the beauty inside."

The young woman started to say something, but didn't.
She knew the Man in front of her.
She knew He had heard her thoughts the night before. How she wanted to end it. To flee from the pain once and for all.
Immediately the tears began to roll.

"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to reject Your gift. I'm just so tired and hurting. I didn't mean to hurt You too. Will You forgive me?"

He gently wiped her tears and grabbed her hand, "Daughter, you matter to Me. You are going to make it through this. Yes, I forgive you. However, you must not doubt My goodness or My plans because they are much higher than yours. Learn to trust Me, daughter. I want what's best for you."

For several moments she cried and finally decided that she was going to accept all the gifts surrounding her and make Him happy by how she lived, even when it was hard. She started to tell Him all her thoughts, but when she looked up, He was gone.

He wasn't gone though. He just wasn't in front of her anymore. She knew He would always be with her because He told her He would and she knew it to be true.

She grabbed the pearls and placed them around her neck.
Just as she accepted these, she will accept life and she will live because of Him.

I can and will

I woke up this morning and I felt like I was choking.
I couldn't breathe well and my heart was pounding.

What's wrong with me, Lord? Oh. Yeah. That. 

Worry. Losing sight of the One who made us and trusting in what we see.
It's hard. Life is hard. God is not.
He is good and loving and just and He won't leave us in the hard.

This year has been my living hell on earth. I never believed that these seasons I've walked through, and am currently walking through, would happen.

I've cried.
I've yelled.
I've prayed.
I've begged.

But I'm thankful.

I have been praying for a long time that God would make me into the woman He wants me to be. Now tell me, how is that possible without tests and trials? It's not. See, I've learned something. We want to be godly and more Christ-like and holy, BUT we don't want to have to endure similar struggles that true saints must endure in order to get to that holy, godly, Christ-like heart.

This year my relationship of four years ended. I found out there was somebody else in the picture. That broke me for several weeks. I asked God why somebody would do that. How. You know what I sensed after I asked? Well, for four years I had allowed one person to become my all in all and I allowed that person to draw me away from my Savior.

So He told me, Daughter, it felt the same way when you chose to run from Me instead of to me. Unfaithful and disobedient.

Ouch. Okay God, I hear You.

I wanted to hold on to this bitterness and anger I felt. This pain. Yet, how could I when this pain was the same I gave to my Heavenly Father and yet He forgave me? So I let go. I thanked God for allowing me to experience emotions that He experiences and giving me a glimpse of true forgiveness and love.

Now, this month has lead to yet another trial. This one is bigger than the breakup and much harder and I want to run. I want to run fast and long and hard... away. I'm a fighter, but not to this extent. Yet, I believe He wants me to do this. To fight this. To fight for this.

I wish I could tell you what is happening, but for confidential reasons, I cannot. However, know this my friend, whatever you are facing today our God is bigger and mightier than it and you will and can get through this.

I will and I can through Him.

So tonight, let's rest. Rest in Him. Trust in Him. Cry our tears and know He sees and cares and will comfort us and be near, His presence being the difference maker. His will being done. He kingdom coming. His children becoming. At the end of it all let's focus on the eternal and leave the fears and doubts behind.

Lord, help us.

9.26.2017

Not My Will

This year has not gone as planned. This time that has passed is almost impossible to believe when I look back on it. I thought by the end of the year I would be married and in a different job and almost done with school and so forth.

Well, God had different plans for me.

I try to look back on every experience and situation in my life with a positive perspective because God allowed me to go through it. I don't believe He allows anything in our lives that we cannot gleam something from.

For instance, a four year relationship ended. I was heartbroken and hurt beyonds human words. I cannot express the kind of pain I felt and the kind of betrayal that came with it. I simply can't. I could dwell on that (and believe me, it's easy to do), or I can look up to God Almighty and thank Him that I didn't marry the person He didn't want me to. I can thank Him for the postive experiences I had while in that relationship. I can thank Him for the closeness it has brought me to my Heavenly Father. I can thank Him for saving me from living my life unhealthy just for a person. I can thank Him that He pulled me out of a toxic relationship before my stubborn self stayed in it.

I honestly see so much more goodness in my life now, possibly even fruit (still working on this... the Holy Spirit that is... your girl has some heart issues, ok. Anger and sadness and depression make for some ugly grudges at times. It's a daily release. Promise.) since my plans fell through.

I am so thankful for His will over mine.

I have joy in Him. I have peace. I know that I can do what He wants me to do without being tied to another person. This is such a gift and yet it's referred to as a curse in our society, but being single really is amazing. Friends and family are provided on those lonely days. Dang, it gets lonely. But God is with us. Friends and family are alongside us and we can get past the lonely into the holy and into the eternal and what a gift that is, friends!

Yes, you can have all of that and be married but marriage provides us with a divided focus- focus on God and focus on the honey. Singles have an undivded focus - focus on God. It's a gift.

So I'm taking my gift and praying God uses it to change this world and bring His Kingdom to earth that all may worship Him. I know He will, because if He can thwart my horrible will and STILL TURN IT INTO SOMETHING AMAZING then He can do anything. Yes and amen! He is incredible, PRAISE HIM.

8.21.2017

The choice to rely

Semester starts tomorrow. I'm nervous.

For those wanting an update (or to my future self wondering how in the world I was doing at this particular moment of my life) I am doing so much better than three weeks ago. The battle has been won by the LORD and I am okay today because of that. So, for those going through a dark season where maybe suicide is a thought, death is a prayer, and living is a nightmare, please press into the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY hard. Keep pressing. Read the Bible over and over again. Write Scripture in a notebook (sidenote: this helps me so, so much!!) and begin to believe it. Even if it's hard to believe, pray for God to help you believe. This is hard, but you will get through because God has a purpose for your life and it goes so much further than this moment. Yet, even in this moment He has a purpose for it. Find it. Also, journal everything. Thoughts, fears, doubts, joys, sorrows, EVERYTHING. Let it be a prayer to God and trust that He will lead you through each thing. It's going to take some time (which hurts like hell to the soul right now), but I promise God will help you get through this and you'll be closer to Him because of it.

Now, back to semester starts... well y'all... I'm scared. Not really about grades or such. I'm scared to be alone. This is the first time I've been going to college completely by myself. That's scary to me. Memories are there. Memories of a person who won't be there with me. Nobody is gonna be there holding my hand. I will be walking alone (but not alone, 'cause Jesus). This is just hard today.

There are good days and harder days. Tonight feels hard. Tears are threatening to fall... tears that used to be wiped for me, but now I'm the only one wiping them. God will wipe them away one day. One day is the hope I cling to. On the hard days and the scary days we always have a choice to rely on the One who holds our hearts in the silence, the waiting, the confusion, the darkness, the joy, the mundane, all of it.

I have a choice to rely this semester. This is a blessing in disguise. I had a person to cling to before. Not a bad thing really. We need each other as human beings. We need fellowship and friendship and relationship and these are all good things. Yet, this semester I have an entirely different opportunity to seek the LORD and rely on Him for all my wanderings, all my fears, all the hard stuff. I'm scared, but I'm thankful.

I'm thankful that three weeks ago when I prayed for death, He still gave me breath and life and goodness. I'm thankful that even though I threw up 2 weeks in a row every ounce I put into my body, He still sustained in more ways than one (and let me tell you, I was not wanting to be sustained. That's the Lord's goodness!!). I'm thankful that every thought that threatened to drag me into the deepest, darkest pit of despair I've ever felt,  was replaced with His Word and truth. Every now and then, the valley gets dark again. It keeps me humble and seeking so I keep pressing and pushing by the grace of God.

Moment by moment we have the choice to rely. I choose to rely. What about you?

8.08.2017

Hard words, hard things, hard life.

"Tara, I don't love you anymore."

The words hit me like a ton of bricks. A TON. If this were a movie, this is the scene where the black hole erupts out of nowhere or the volcano explodes or the world ends. Why? Because for me that day, my world felt like it was ending.

I had a panic attack. I got no sleep that night. I cried. I prayed. I cried some more. I emailed, I called, I messaged. Why didn't he want me anymore? Yes, I was lonely. Yes, I was desperate. I'm a fixer. I fix things. This could be fixed, right? Sure, I'm no perfect being (duh, that's why I need Jesus), but I thought I was kind of cool. I didn't understand after so many years how something (and someone) who had so much value to me, no longer had value for me in his eyes.

What did I do wrong?
What can I do right?
How do I fix this?
Is he serious?
He didn't mean it.
No, this is not happening. God, please, don't let this be happening.

It happened.
I couldn't fix this.
DO I HAVE TO ENDURE THIS!?

So two weeks have passed just like the relationship. Lots of journal entries written, prayers to God, prayers from friends, tears, talks, food, food thrown up (sorry. graphic), and depression. Oh yes. Depression came back. Hard. I don't want to get out of bed. I told God I wanted Him to take me home, 'cause obviously, I'm ready. He said no.

I'm still here.

This morning I asked for help. Again. 'Cause it's not that I need a man. I just wanted him. Yet, God said no. Again.

It's not that this is the end of me. But it is the end of that part of me. Death brings pain and the death of what once was looms over me right now. I see some seeds being planted, but have they bloomed yet? I don't know... maybe I see some growth coming.

There aren't really any hard feelings. I've learned to forgive. God knows that. There are words, though. Painful, hurtful words. They play like a record over and over and over in my brain and you better believe Satan is using them right now. If I could've tattooed how I felt last week it would have said "Worthless". I don't feel like that today. Today I feel restless. Tired. Worn. God knows all this. I've told Him about it a million times.

So my point to all of this (besides general therapy) is that the best thing to do after a breakup is take it one step at a time. Today, I read my Bible. I did my devotionals. I journaled. I prayed. I went for a walk. I listened to worship music. I cried. I allowed myself time to breathe and shut my brain off. Not because it's a good checklist of things I did, but they were accomplishments to me moving forward with God. I don't know what tomorrow will look like. The thing about a breakup is we get so involved in routines with one person that once they are shut off our entire being goes into breakdown. However, didn't James tell us that we don't even know what we will do tomorrow? Um, yeah, God already knew this would happen. He already knows what will happen tomorrow. It might involve amazing things or it could involve horrible things, I don't know. He knows. Exercising trust is painful.

Today, Jesus, I trust You. You are enough. I let go.

8.05.2017

Loose ends and a messy blog

Well. Where do I start? With my absense? Or with my current presense?

Let me tell you, this is my therapy tonight. I'm tired. I'm hurt and I need help and I think other people might need help too... to know they're not alone. We're not. We're ok.

So for the past four years I've been in a relationship. It was good. It was nice. It was fun. But it was unhealthy. I knew that. This is not to throw shade or shame at him. I still love him. He's no longer mine, but he still belongs to God and he is my brother in Christ, whether he wants that identity now or not. That said, it was unhealthy and not what God wanted and I knew that, but no matter how many times the Lord told me (why am I so hardheaded?!) I completely ignored Him. I couldn't do it. And I didn't.

So fast forward to now, he broke up with me.

The words are surreal. The pain is SO REAL. I'm heartbroken. The last words he spoke to me were anything but loving which confirmed the end of the relationship, but the grief I have is still there and so real. It's been 2 weeks and I still think about him. I still struggle at night with thoughts of why. I pray and read God's Word and I CRY. I mean, ugly cry. Like shoulders bobbing up and down, can probably hear me outside the house cry. He was my best friend and I made him my idol. I loved him more than I loved God and it showed. God allowed what happened to happen for a reason and a purpose. MAN IS THAT HARD TO BELIEVE!!! Y'all. This is sooooooo hard. I've listened to sermons. I've read articles. I've talked to countless people. All in all, I'm looking for a way to replace the pain. Yet, God allows it. The end of this relationship was ugly. It wasn't one for the movies or books. IT WAS UGLY. I wish it didn't end that way. My entire being loves to fix things. I hate loose ends. This is a loose end that just has to be left hanging. I can't fix the words or the actions that have happened. I can only control my actions and my words. God knows that I've struggled with that too. I don't want to talk bad about him. BUT I DO AT THE SAME TIME. Why? 'Cause I'm just trying to escape the pain. Yet, I'm doing my best under God's hand to not talk badly. Not to lie or let the situation be looked at as better than it was, but to only say what needs to be said and leave it at that. Why? Because I believe that's what God wants me to do right now and I'm just trying to be obedient for once and do what He says.

So, my identity is hurt. I have no clue what to actually do now that I'm single. Four years is a long time, and yet a short time too. Perspective. My life is not over. God still has a plan for me even if it looks dark right now and confusing and hurt filled. I still have my God. I still have Him. I lost my best friend, but my Forever Friend is still here. I keep reminding myself this in the dark. You have to do that too, if you're suffering as well. We have the Lord always. No matter what. He never forsakes us. I told several people that maybe this happened because Jesus is getting ready to come back and God wants to make sure I'm ready. I can honestly see that. I don't know, though. But God allowed all of this and now I have to seek Him in the dark and love Him in the dark even while the pain threaten to overtakes me. I encourage you to do the same. It's hard. It's gonna hurt. I don't know your situation or your pain, but I know our God and HE will NOT leave us. So cry your tears, wipe your eyes, pick up His Word and if all you can read is a verse, then read it. Hold on to it. Hold on to Him. Know that He is holding on to you and we can do this together. I don't know who is reading this, but I give you an internet hug. We're gonna be okay. Feel free to share a verse, a story, or a prayer request in the comments. God bless you, friends.

4.17.2017

Long time coming...

So it's been months since I've been on here. I haven't had the time nor have I felt the urge to write in quite some time. I've had many things going on in my life. Things to work through, things to drop, things to pick up. So. many. things.

I started college. Wow. Let me say that was and is a huge deal and a big, long, hard, bumpy, exciting ride. I'm going into nursing. Some will probably roll their eyes at that. Let me explain. I've had an experience in the past with a family member. They weren't cared for or treated well by the nurses she had and it eventually cost her her life. As a family, this was heartbreaking for us. Worse was the nurses didn't even care. I thought that was kind of the definition of a nurse- care. How can you be a nurse and be indifferent to the things around you?! How can you be a person and have little to no regard for anyone else? So, because of that situation I felt like God has given me a unique situation that allows me to care for others from a different perspective. The family and the patient both matter GREATLY and they should know that. I want to be that. I know God can use me in this way and I'm excited about it.

Secondly, my relationship with God had become stagnant. I realized a few days ago just how sad it had gotten and have since rededicated my life to Him. I haven't made time for my Heavenly Father like I should have. I allowed things and stuff and jobs and work to get in the way of truly living. How can I help anyone when my well is dry? I have nothing to give. So, I gave it all back to God and asked for His help. I'm excited to see where He takes and I'm more excited to see His face one day.

Thirdly, family situations have been STRESSFUL!!!!!!! Y'all, the older you get, the harder it gets. For real. Life has been freaking hard lately, but thankfully, my perspective is changing and my spirit is becoming more in tune with His Spirit and life is looking better. PRAISE THE LORD. Even if things don't change soon, I know I can do all things through Christ and that really does strengthen me.

I'm not sure if anyone is reading this or not. This was more or less an update for me, to see where I am now. If you are reading this, who are you? How is your life? Tell me something interesting.

God bless you. <3