When I was a kid, single digits, my biggest sin was lying. I loved it. It was a game for me. I wanted to see how cool of a lie I could come up with. My fake lives were more fun and adventurous than my real one.
And I would play with lying. I knew my parents could see through my deception so I came up with a plan. To this day I think it worked more often than it didn’t but who knows? Memory colors in favor of the reliver.
I started lying poorly about small things I didn’t care about. The hope was my family would think that is how I lied. That way, when there was something bigger I actually wanted to get away with, I could lie well and they wouldn’t catch on.
I don’t know about you, but I find it difficult to have a calm, kind friendship with those who seemingly don’t care about issues I do, and who don’t care for justice. It’s not necessarily people who don’t believe in what I do, like atheists of Muslims, but those who say they do but don’t hold the same level of conviction and need for justice that I do.
As a believer, I see other believers as part of my family. And when members of that family seem to betray (what I interpret) as our calling and command to carry out love and justice, I feel personally hurt. And I can find it too difficult to live peacefully and lovingly with them.
Even though we are given dozens of examples of this in scripture. And even more moments where we are commanded to do just this. (See Romans 12:18 and Matthew 5:43-47 as examples). Continue reading →
Remember in season four of Game of Thrones when Tyrion was on trial and he demanded trial by combat but no one would fight for him? Prince Oberyn (remember? The slutty pansexual sand prince?) ended up doing it for his own personal revenge but no one wanted to fight specifically for Tyrion. To save his life and clear his name. No one wanted to lose their life for him. No one thought him worth it. Not even his own brother.
Tyrion was facing death and he was alone because no one would be his champion.
Sometimes I realize I’m Tyrion. Imprisoned, facing death, sneered at and looked down upon, with no one to be my champion.
I think a lot of us can relate to this. Not on a crazy Game of Thrones level, of course, but we can feel alone. Like we have no champion. Continue reading →
Forgiveness is one of those weird acts that we all have to do every day but most of us don’t really know how to. And the lack of forgiveness tears down societies, relationships, and families. Unforgiveness is painful. It’s poison in the body of the hurt and ice in the life of the unforgiven. It spreads pain and fear and distrust.
M.L. Stedman said it like this, “I can forgive and forget… it is so much less exhausting. You only have to forgive once. To resent, you have to do it all day, every day. You have to keep remembering all the bad things.”
Just because you’ve been hurt doesn’t mean you have to live hurt. You can make the choice, daily, to forgive and free yourself, and others, from those chains.
Unfortunately, forgiveness can also be painful. Sometimes it hurts.
“Playing a Role” is a constant theme in my life. I mean my first book was pretty much based around this idea that to live, you have to play the role society gave to you. Accept the role, play the game, and try to survive.
This idea is also bleeding into the funny memes on the internet (See photo to the below) and I talk about it all the time. Such as here in this recent blog post, “The Facade We Wear.”
We are all constantly trying to play a role given to us. The smart kid, the pretty one, the blonde one, the fitness king, the writer, the photographer, the mother, whatever it is. And to be real, to be vulnerable and true, it’s almost as if we have to fight against these roles. Continue reading →
I’m not sure at what point in my life I gave myself some sort of unspoken challenge. To make myself great. To be successful. To live an exotic, adventurous life. To make my pain and failures into something good. Some sort of dust I can rise from.
I don’t know when I started being so hard on myself. When I found myself overwhelmed by the heavy responsibility on my shoulders.
I’m also not sure when I realized that I did that to myself. No one else gave me this false responsibility.
No one else expects perfection.
No one else judges every single aspect of success in my life.
The other day I couldn’t sleep. And I usually have no problem sleeping.
It was the second night in a row I was up, riddled with anxiety and frustration. I was scared about what was next, I was sad for no reason, and I didn’t know how to handle all the self-deprecating, prideful, and anxious thoughts that were plaguing me.
I didn’t want to wake my mom so I called a good friend of mine I knew would be awake. She talked me through an anxiety attack for an hour before I laid down again at 2 am. I prayed and did rhythmic breathing before finally falling asleep around 3.
Someone at some point gave the Bible chapters and sections and verses. While this is super helpful for Bible studies and memorizing verses and creating sections to focus on, it’s not how the original text was written. Therefore, it can occasionally hinder how we read, study, and understand the Bible.
I’m a writer and that, on top of doing BCC with YWAM, has kind of conditioned me to read the Bible in a literary way. Meaning, I try not to read the Bible as individual verses or chapters, but chunks of texts we now know of as books. For the bigger ones, it’s difficult because we don’t always have time to read all of Genesis in one sitting. But you can take the larger context into consideration and always look at what was before and what is after.
It can make the biggest difference in how you understand what you’re reading.
For example, this verse, which is the start of a new section of Genesis 6:9.
These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.
I found this photo on Pinterest and I’m pretty sure the credit goes to these guys. It seems to perfectly encompass what I feel these days. The time in between.
Slow motion. Blurred. Still and alone.
There’s this weird period a lot of us go through where we’ve finished college or school or whatever it is but don’t have our next step lined up yet.
If we’re lucky, we get to live at home with good parents while we figure it out. Or maybe we have a significant other we move in with. If not, it gets a little harder.
We apply to jobs, ones we really want but don’t get, and ones we don’t want but need. We apply to entry-level positions and we reach out to any connection we might have. We scour LinkedIn and Indeed and job search sites. Continue reading →
I can’t explain how proud of my friends I am. Whatever they do, they do it with all they are. Monica crushes the arts and Amy crushes the academics. They are lights in the dark, make you feel so known and loved, and are each champion for people, for the unheard, the unjustly judged, the misunderstood, and the lonely.
I have the immense opportunity to visit them in Atlanta every few months and watch them work hard and love well. Monica recently choreographed an incredible show and Amy kicked a$$ during her first year of Emory while working multiple jobs. Anyway, this isn’t brag on my friends hour (though it should be). Continue reading →