“He loves us no matter what…”

“Authentic communication is a sign that our relationship with [God] is genuine and close. God wants us to be real with him, not hide our feelings or dress them up in sparkly talk. When we show God our wounds, we show him we feel our wounds are safe in his presence. They become the bridge to an even closer relationship. When we quit hiding them, we discover he loves us not in spite of our messy feelings but because of them. He loves us no matter what, and our relationship is strengthened by honest communication.” – Kristen Strong, Girl Meets Change

 

Currently, situations in my life are reminding me again — roughly and bluntly — of what my weaknesses are. These difficult things have been thrown over my shoulders like a heavy quilt, dragging along the floor and pulling me back and off-center.

To my shame, I’m realizing that with these old and new challenges, I’ve fallen back into my default coping habits: 1) trying to rely on myself to figure it out and endure it, or 2) looking toward friends or family for validation, empathy, and understanding. As well-intentioned as both strategies are, there’s an inherent flaw to both of them. Neither is fully satisfying or complete; neither fills my soul or helps me feel understood; neither can give peace to my restlessness. And oh, do I go through cycles of restlessness, aimed at my inabilities and failings.

Maybe you’re like me and find yourself struggling internally. Maybe you’re an over-thinker like I am. Maybe you’re finding your life circumstances a little overwhelming right now. Maybe you’re like me and try not to burden others with your problems. Maybe when you do finally open up to friends and family, you hope they’ll say something inspiring to help the weight feel lighter. I know I do. Yet as much as I want them to understand — inevitably, they won’t. And it’s not their fault; those expectations do not belong to them.

I implore you — instead, look to the One who perfectly understands those wounds, understands those longings, and understands that fluctuating emptiness. Instead of wrestling to hide your struggles and keep them out of sight, lay them bare to the One who sees them for all that they are and all that we ourselves cannot perceive. Cry out to the only One worthy of being called out to — and stop trying to use your family and friends a substitutes.

This week, I’m trying not to hide. This week, I’m seeking my Heavenly Father.

I’m grateful He’s using this restlessness to pull me closer to Him. I know I don’t deserve any kind of close relationship with Him, and I know I would not come to Him on my own if He wasn’t prompting me. It’s all His doing, and I’ll praise Him for His undeserved love for me.

Authentic communication, established and maintained by God. What a true blessing this is!

“Go outside. Don’t tell anyone…”

“Go outside. Don’t tell anyone and don’t bring your phone. Start walking and keep walking until you no longer know the road like the palm of your hand, because we walk the same roads day in and day out, to the bus and back home and we cease to see. We walk in our sleep and teach our muscles to work without thinking and I dare you to walk where you have not yet walked and I dare you to notice. Don’t try to get anything out of it, because you won’t. Don’t try to make use of it, because you can’t. And that’s the point. Just walk, see, sit down if you like. And be. Just be, whatever you are with whatever you have, and realise that that is enough to be happy. There’s a whole world out there, right outside your window. You’d be a fool to miss it.” ― Charlotte Eriksson

We are here. We exist. Isn’t that enough?

Existence is not easy. Our lives have joy, pain, laughter, crying, moments of listlessness and glimpses of apathy.

Yet, I’m not suffering in affliction. I don’t have   Continue reading

Toyohashi, Here I Am! Thanksgiving, Here We Are!

“There are moments in life that are bigger than we know it at the time. When you look back, you say, that was one of those life-changing, fork-in-the-road moments and I didn’t even see it coming.”Jenny Han

Happy Thanksgiving, America! To my family, to old and new friends, and to the many people I’ve been privileged to meet and get to know around this world… thank you.
Continue reading

Thanks Day #6, #7, #8… and Beyond

“‘Live each day as if it’s your last’, that was the conventional advice, but really, who had the energy for that? What if it rained or you felt a bit glandy? It just wasn’t practical. The trick of it, she told herself, is to be courageous and bold and make a difference. Not change the world exactly, just the bit around you. Go out there with your double-first, your passion and your new Smith Corona electric typewriter and work hard at … something. Change lives through art maybe. Write beautifully. Cherish your friends, stay true to your principles, live passionately and fully and well. Experience new things. Love and be loved if at all possible.” ― David Nicholls

Alright, before anyone takes a look at this and says “Hey! You skipped the last 3 Thanks Days, and it’s already December! We’ve moved way past Thanksgiving already…” then I’m going to beat you to the punch and say… Continue reading

Thanks Day #4 and #5

“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” –Edith Wharton

Alright, so I may have taken this whole ‘Sunday = day of rest’ concept a little too far by skipping my post yesterday. Whoops! Sorry to keep you waiting!

So in true last-minute fashion, I’m giving you a ‘two for the price of one’ deal. Continue reading