When I Try To Be God

madison_brick wall2_editOver and over in my life, I see moments of pain and failure than can be traced back to one grievous mistake:

I tried to take all control. I tried to be my own god.

One of the most recent moments is this summer. I was living at home in Greenville, TX, feeling directionless and lost. I wanted something to happen. I felt discouraged having turned down two jobs without really knowing why. I wasn’t getting anywhere and I didn’t have the finances to move somewhere on my own. So, I made an executive decision to move in with my friend in Little Rock. There was no real reason other than I had friends there, rent was cheap, and it wasn’t Greenville. Continue reading

Jesus is My Champion

IMG_9717Remember 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

He Will Because I Can’t.

Processed with VSCO with hb2 presetI’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.

No one else watches how much I can raise from the dust. Continue reading

The Time in Between

photosI 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

Agendas

picThe Feminist Agenda.

The Gay Agenda.

The Christian Agenda.

The Muslim Agenda.

The Republican Agenda.

The Democrat Agenda.

Are you tired of counting them? Because I am. I’m tired of trying to understand them, of trying to figure out which feminists, which Republicans, which LGBT members and which Christians have these crazy radical agendas and which simply

are.

Unless we are talking about inherently violent groups, then I think it’s safe to say that none of these “agendas” are actually what the other people say about it. These agendas most likely have a pure heart behind them. A desire to see love overrule hate. A desire to see life instead of death. Of acceptance rather than rejection or societal and relational exile. Continue reading

The Storm’s Purpose

picssYou might be in pain. You might be battling sickness. You may be suffering a loss. You may feel insecure. Lost about the future. Worried about your child or your friend. You may suffer from anxiety or depression or helplessness. You may feel dragged down with guilt or struggles you can’t seem to overcome.

You might be in the middle of the storm.

But remember three words that Jesus once spoke that still apply today: “Peace. Be still!”

Your pain is not too big for God. And your pain will not be pointless. The storm may not end how you want it to, but it will end, and God will bring beauty out of the pain.

How often do you feel you need to be in control of life? In control of what happens tomorrow, in control of what grade you make, in control of your job, in control of your relationships, in control of your weight, in control of how the world sees you. Continue reading

In My Darkest Days

39786331_10212593599581733_6465181104931340288_nI started this blog over five years ago with this post. I was about to go to YWAM in Kona, Hawaii for some of the best seven months of my life. I was getting ready to catalogue everything I learned while at YWAM, everything Jesus did, what I saw and who I met and what was happening in my life. I was 17, about to leave home for the first time to live across the ocean from my family. I knew it was going to be a crazy time in my life and I wanted to have a written history I could return to just as much as I wanted to share my experiences.

pics

Look how cute I was in 2013

I’ve had this blog through my entire college career. That first semester spent in Hawaii and Amsterdam getting to know myself, Jesus, his world, and making him known. I had it when I started college in Fayetteville, when I entered the worst two years of my life (all fault my own for that dark period), the faithfulness of Jesus when I left the dangerous situation I got myself in, the year I took off of school and lived at home and worked full time. I had the blog when I grudgingly enrolled at A&M, my dad almost died, I worked in news, and now. Finally my last semester of college.

Continue reading

Taking the Stairs

picsYou’re following my family’s story right? You’ve been reading our Facebook posts, liking them and sometimes commenting. Maybe you’ve shared one or two. You’ve prayed and reached out and I can’t say thank you enough.

If you haven’t been, that’s okay. Welcome to… well, I’d say hell but I’ve seen too much of heaven to be that blind. Welcome to one chapter of a bigger story. It’s a wild ride, step on and share it with us.

Here is the quick rundown: My dad is a traveling missionary. He was in Africa. Some d*mn mosquito bit him. (Eff that bug) My parents go to Siberia in the middle of no where. My dad is really sick and unresponsive. It’s 2 am. My mom is alone. Queue a week in a crappy Russian hospital where the paint is pealing off the walls and my mom isn’t allowed to see my dad and the doctors don’t speak English and they’re telling my mom to remember him as he was. Span over to Greenville, Texas in a full house on an acre of land where five people, mere kids in this moment, are desperately doing all they can to keep their dad alive from 10,000 miles away. Take in the whole picture and see thousands of people, believers, holding this family up. Fast forward to the success of my parents making it to Paris. The doctors doing all they can. The kids crying at his bedside while a machine breathes for their dad and their mom fights to stay strong.  Continue reading

You’re Going To Laugh

madison_lights_colored_edit11You’re going to laugh.

Loudly.

You won’t even think about those events from months ago because you’ve escaped.

Free.

You’ll be so happy you came home that you’re going to smile until your cheeks hurt and you’re sure you look like the Cheshire cat.

Every day. Continue reading

Defeated and Victorious

Tree I feel like I’m fighting the air itself as it pushes out of my lungs, crushing my chest with the weight of the universe. I’m sweating, crying, yelling with frustration as I shove against a hundred year old tree, willing it to move an inch for me. I’m laying on the floor of the boxing ring. I’m bleeding. I can’t breath. I can’t fight anymore. I’ve lost.

I’ve never won a battle on my own. I’ve never defeated the invisible enemy that renders me immovable. I will never be victorious on my own. I’m not made for solitary victory. I’m destined for failure. Alone, without the gospel and the Lord, I am defeated.  Continue reading