Hope Come Quick…

Yesterday was a rough day.. nothing significant happened, but lots of little things just added up to another aggravating day that just needed to be over quickly.

Today I was thinking about how much I really just want hope to return to me… Not a fun little passing hope, but solid unwavering hope that stays put through everything. I mean, I have basic hopes, I know God loves me, and I know “this too shall pass,” but I want the hope that brings joy again… And, it is coming, I can tell. Little by little I can feel myself being renewed, I can feel the pains and stresses falling off piece by precious piece. While some days I for some unknown reason try and pick back up the weights, I am quickly reminded that they are not mine to carry anymore, and I need to let go. 

I need to reboot. Start over. Refresh. Renew. 

“Is not your fear of God your confidence, and the integrity of your ways your hope?” – Job 4:6

This is where I start. My confidence is born from the one who made me and treasures me, and my hope begins in my dedication and will for what is right… even when no one else is around to see.

Hope come quick.

If These Things Are True…

I cannot count the number of conversations I have had in the last several months where people have told me how wonderful of a person I am… How beautiful I am.. How lovely of a laugh (it’s loud and obnoxious..) I have.. How caring I am.. How faithful and unconditionally loving I am.. How patient I am… The list goes on and on…

Ask my brothers, and you will soon begin to realize, that most of these things are not naturally or inherently me, they are complete and total examples of our Lord in my life. Especially, when you look at my patience level in several situation in my life as of late, they are clear indications of God moving and molding me in totally new ways to be the Krista Paula Beata He wants me to be.

I am finding that the compliments are sweet and thoughtful, and I appreciate them (who wouldn’t), but I also realized the other day that it is adding to a conflict in my mind. If all of these things they say are true, especially with how much the “fact” that I am this fantastic and wonderful person has gotten emphasized… If those things are true, why are the actual actions of so many of these exact same people indicative of that not being the case at all? I can tell lots of stories of people who have told me how beautiful and wonderful I am, how I am exactly what they are looking for, and yet somehow their actions do not line up even still. I can tell even more stories of people who have pursued friendships with me only to turn around and use the status of being my friend as a talking point in groups…

If I am this person they describe, why is it that they do not seek me out when they know I am hurting? If these things are true, why am I still single? If these things are true, why am I not more successful then I am? If these things are true, why am I not impacting more lives? If these things are true, why are more people still pointing to me instead of God in my life? If these things are true, why do I feel like such a failure so often?

I don’t know.

What I do know is I feel a disconnect when people compliment me. Part of me appreciates the thought of their words, and another part of me is sparked into thinking they are just being polite and actually have no intention of being authentic or allowing their actions to back up their words… Therefore, they are actually lying to me, even if they do not mean to. If the words of my mouth and the actions in my life do not match, I am a liar even without meaning to… Even with the best of intentions I am still a liar. So, somewhere along the lines I have begun looking at certain people as liars, untrustworthy liars that leave me with no option but to only trust them as far as I could throw them.

At some point I realized a battle going on… People are trying to be encouraging and speak these “wonderful” things into my life… and it became clear not long ago, they have no idea what they are talking about. Some of them are speaking things as though they are encouraging truth so flippantly that it is actually causing more pain, heartache, and discontentment in my heart, then if they had just kept their mouth shut or kept their compliments on a surface level. There is more damage done if you are speaking nice things, but not following it up with actions. If I am such a wonderful person to you, and you treasure me in your life, then why have you not sought me out when you knew I was hurting? Or, in some cases, why have you taken it personally that I did not come to you with my problems when you have not proven unconditional caring?

Let me clarify.. I am not talking about everyone in my life… I have some very close and dear people in my life that really do serve to stabilize me and hear all of these thoughts getting processed out… I know without any doubts I have people who love me and would in fact die for me if they had to. I am mostly talking about the random speckling of people who have no idea how much their careless words are effecting those around me.. aka me.

If all of these things they say about who I am are true… That is awesome! I would love to be the person others seem to see in me… But, the truth is, I do not want to just be this person, because, who I am now is still falling so incredibly short of the person I could be.

I know people mean the best when they say nice things to me about me. But, the reality is I need them to show me first or at the very least while they are complimenting me. I do not need more useless chatter in my life, and I certainly do not need more vanity spoken as a wonderful truth in my life. I need authentic, unashamed, unconditional love poured into my life, not just spoken for me to hear. I want people to see and recognize who I am, and then encourage me to be better tomorrow, push me to be who I could be, but, above anything else.. Pray for me.

Who I am is a very imperfect and flawed daughter of my Lord. But, who I am, is made perfect and whole only because of my Savior. These things are true.

I Get It, But…

I feel like I have had a lot of major things that are inconsistent in my life as of late, and while part of me really likes the changes and the change of pace, another part of me is just ready for something to FEEL normal again.

I long for my emotions to feel constant and normal again. I realized today, that while things are definitely better then they have been, and while I can see and feel Hope returning to my heart, I can feel myself really smiling instead of faking it, and I can feel the joy that has been so intimately familiar throughout my life returning slowly, through it all I am still very easily agitated. (I am so sorry to my friends who so graciously put up with me…) I also realized today, I spend most of my day being very ok, nothing being wrong at all… but, as the evening arrives and progresses, something inside me becomes very not ok. This has been my daily cycle recently… One, that I am really not all that thrilled about. It is almost as though the weights of the problems facing those around me, and the concerns and emotions that are going on inside of me are held at bay all day, and then I spend an hour driving home praying, and everything just comes out to stay for the evening.

I feel like I am in this weird state of being totally ok. I am content in being single, I am appreciating the new challenges my job is offering, and really content that things are at least visible and not a total black hole. I can see the growth that has taken place in my life throughout everything, and I am mostly happy with who I am becoming each new day. I am content and understand the slow progress that is my chronic pain, and the rehab that needs to take place in order for everything to heal properly, I realize and have mostly come to terms with the fact that I cannot solve the problems of those around me, but that I am just called to love them… and that involves spending a LOT of time praying, and I am totally ok with that.

I treasure my praying time, but I definitely am finding it more of a challenge in the state of my current emotions… And yet, at the very same time I am finding a stabilizing force I cannot explain, I have no real words to describe what it is or what it means right now. All I know is, it very clearly comes from my Savior.

There is a part of me that feels like everything going on inside of me has this barrier between my emotions and my rationale. It feels as though there is a glass wall between the two factions, I can very much feel what I am going through, but it is almost like there is a disconnect there. I am sifting through and working through hurts, pains, and insecurities all over again, but I have not fell like it has taken over my thought process. I can pick apart the various aspects of things I am going through, and I feel every bit of it, yet I can also recognize what is at the root of it all, and that alone is seems to provide the very welcome barrier. I find myself spending a lot of time each day just thinking through things and allowing myself to just FEEL what is going on, not pushing to solve or burry it, but just to feel it for a while, then I am finding that I tend to then spend some time figuring out after feeling it, what do I actually I think about everything… Then, I always end with a really simple prayer “Lord, I get it, but it still hurts, help me.”

So, Lord, I get it.. I see how this is a critical phase of my life… But, it still hurts.


What does kindness look like to you?

Not long ago I decided that I would slowly try working my way through the fruits of the spirit Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, and Self-Control.

So, Kind: Of a friendly, generous, or warm-hearted nature. Showing sympathy or understanding.

It seems to me that everyone’s understanding of kindness is totally and completely different. Especially the more you get to know someone and the deeper you find yourself in their life. For example, things that were seen as kind in the beginning of a relationship begin to lose their appeal as time goes on or they begin to be seen as expected, which then transitions into something totally different…

How do you cultivate a warm-hearted nature?… I can see working on being generous.. learning to give without expecting anything in return. Learning to be friendly is fairly easy… Deciding to be sympathetic and understanding towards someone is a choice you must make every single time, it does not come naturally, especially if you find yourself in the right mood…

I would like to think I am naturally a kind person… But, if I am being totally honest, it depends on my mood, and who the person is that I should be kind towards… What I do know though, is that I try very hard every single day to be kind, to show kindness to those around me even when they do not deserve it or when they perpetually make being kind to them difficult. 

All of the women I respect the most just exude kindness out everywhere.. Not to say that they aren’t strong, disciplined, capable or anything of the sort, you just get this feeling that to them you are the most important thing in their life in the moments you interact with them. You get this sense of understanding that for whatever reason you are loved and cared for, they have gone out of their way for you and done things they never had to do.

Kindness… Maybe.. possibly.. just might be the easiest of all the spiritual gifts… if you choose your attitude towards people and life right…

Not Good Alone…

One of my best friends gave me a book not long ago, it’s I, Isaac, take thee Rebekah by Ravi Zacharias. I am only a few chapters into it, but I found a couple thoughts that really have intrigued me and got my mind thinking and mulling (which I tend to enjoy).

First, he spends a little bit of time pointing out that we so often have this view of emotions as a profoundly woman thing, and that is a weakness… and then he points out the fact that it really has more to do with the fact that woman are aware of the emotional ramifications of actions and things. Which, that caused me to pause a bit and really think about how often I try to squash a reaction because I know it originates out of emotions instead of logic. One of the quotes he says is “A man’s charm is in his strength, a woman’s strength is in her charm.” How true that is, even when we do not try to force it to be this way.

One of the more profound things that Ravi points out is when God says in Genesis 2:18 that it is not good for man to be alone.. (We all know God said this), but Ravi pointed out that we forget a couple key factors here… God did not say this because there was already a divide between God and Adam.. in fact, they walked and talked and had as close of a relationship as anyone has ever known with God, but God realized that Adam “needed” something that was purely a human thing, and could only be filled by another human. “Something” had to be fulfilled in a way that only a human could do it, and God intended it to be that way. Ravi also points out that God did not merely create another man for companionship, he created a woman to be complementingly different. To portray a new and different side of Himself. We were never meant to be the same, nor were we meant to be better or worse than one another, we were designed specifically to fulfill and portray a unique side of our Creator. Sweet!

I think it’s an interesting idea that God was making His creation in a way to fulfill needs for each other in a way that only we can, in order to glorify Himself even more. Which that alone is a pretty mind blowing   thought process I have never heard this before. I have always heard the “God is all I need” perspective… But, if that is true, why would God say that it was not good for man to be alone?

So, while God created every single detail to glorify Himself, and to show how magnificent He truly is… He also created us to want and need the dynamics of a guy/girl relationship. As odd as it sounds, that’s a comforting thought… Just thought I’d share 🙂

Love Hurts..

“Love stinks” .. Everyone knows the song that goes with that saying, but, recently I have found that I have a serious fundamental disagreement with that statement. Love does not stink, but man it sure can cause a lot of pain. I do not know if you have ever experienced the simple fact that love just hurts. Not necessarily because whoever the person is has hurt you intentionally or unintentionally, but mostly just because life is hard and we make mistakes, and somewhere along the line of life, you realize how love is hard and painful… And, when I say “you” I really mean “me” just so you know 😉

I have been talking to several different people recently, all having different topics of discussion, several having problems, and others just needing to talk. All requiring my time and energy, and in all of the discussions I was completely powerless to actually change anything about their circumstances. I mean I gave all I have to them, which really was only a listening ear, humorous comments, serious comments, but mostly, I just gave them my time. I walked away from each situation and prayed for them, asking God to show up, to make Himself known in their lives, to soak into every corner of their lives so heavily that they begin to feel like they are breathing Him in.

After one of these encounters I realized love just hurts. Love brings pain, heartache, trouble, and pretty much every other negative thing with it…. Yet, why in the world would I expect anything else? I mean, my God died for me… Because He LOVES me. How can I expect anything less than pain when I am trying to love those around me?

Love is not this fun little emotion, twitterpation, infatuation, blindness… Love is calculated, hard work, and never ending. But, I realized the other day after a certain conversation, I cannot love those around me without allowing them the chance to love me in return, no one can, it does not work that way. Love is 100% an outward flowing thing, and when you encounter someone who wants to 100% love you in return, whether it be a friend, family or romantic interest, that is when the we are at our greatest and Christ is glorified. Because, if I am spending every ounce of energy I have to love those around me, I never have to take a second thought to worry about myself or be selfish, because someone else has spent their time making sure I am loved and taken care of. In fact, I have found that a lot of my aggravation with people recently stems from the fact that there is a breakdown somewhere in the way love is supposed to look.. Haha.. how cheesy does that sound?.. But, it is totally true.

One simple example.. My roomie and I have a fantastic relationship. I LOVE living with her (besides everything else, she makes me laugh ALL the time!), and I can honestly say I am pretty sure there is not a single day that goes by that one of us does not do something totally selfless for the other one just to show we care. She’ll make me coffee or get it set up the night before for me in the morning, I’ll do the dishes or schedule time for a roommate date, she’ll transfer my clothes to the dryer then fold them and put them on my bed, I’ll make a special trip home to feed the dog… Every single day at least once I think “I really love living with her.”

On a totally different side of the spectrum, I realized not long ago that we are made to need love. We have a “God shaped hole” that if you do not know Jesus, He can and will fix that seemingly bottomless hole inside. But, we are made to need each other, guys, girls. family, friends, romantic relationships.. We NEED community, which includes a wide variety of roles that need filling. Some of the most broken people I have ever known, are people who do not have (or do not seek out) these places to be filled with people who actually love them without any strings attached, and then in return they do not love anyone in their life without a benefit to themselves. Words simply cannot express how much my heart hurts for these friends of mine. How much I wish my love for them could be enough, and since I am a girl, I can always fool myself for a while into thinking I can be enough, love them enough, work hard enough. I can fool myself into believing that my love will help the “see the light” and it will make a difference. Somehow, I am certain for a time that I can DO enough to heal them and solve the issues in their lives. And then, my Savior quietly reminds me that it is not my job… He can do it just fine on His own thank you.

Please understand, I do not view the broken and hurting people in my life as charity cases… There would simply be too many, since every single person I know is broken and hurting in some way. These people are not put on a to-do checklist every day, they are people that I want to genuinely get to know and love. I want them to know they are important, wonderful, and cherished… They are not forgotten, alone, lost, or looked over, and their pain is real. I want the people I encounter to know that they are seen, their pain is not stupid, and there IS hope…. However, I ALWAYS come back to knowing that it is my job to love them (whatever that looks like), and Jesus’ job to save and restore them.

Love will always hurt. But, loving those around me is THE most important thing I can ever do. I hate that I forget that so much, but, I am also broken and hurting, and I am keenly aware of how desperately I need Jesus every single day.

Cricket In the Silence…

Today I feel better, different… I do not really have any explanation, except for my Savior.. because to be honest, physically I FEEL terrible today. I was up insanely late two nights in a row, I have begun rehab on my back, plus I have been running a lot, then all the not stretching enough or drinking as much water as I need… And, as my little icing on top, for someone who hates running with a passion, running a couple miles every night has been a HUGE feat for me!.. Plus, the massive heat-wave we are experiencing means that after dark it has been around 90 with humidity at least! Lung capacity while running has been shot because of breathing in water instead of air.. :/

I bought David Crowder’s new cd Church Music and LOVE it.. On my way into work today I was listening to it (for the 20 dozenth time in 3 days), and this song really struck me… it’s perfect.. Actually the whole cd feels like it was meant for me at this point in what is going on, but this song is right on for today.

My hands are searching for You 
My arms are outstretched towards You 
I feel You on my fingertips 
My tongue dances behind my lips for You 
This fire rising through my being 
Burning, I’m not used to seeing You 
I’m alive, I’m alive 
I can feel you all around me 
Thickening the air I’m breathing 
Holding on to what I’m feeling 
Savoring this heart that’s healing 
My hands float up above me 
And You whisper You love me 
And I begin to fade 
Into our secret place 
The music makes me sway 
The angels singing say we are alone with You 
I am alone and they are too with You 
And so I cry 
The light is white 
And I see You 
I’m alive, I’m alive, I’m alive 
Take my hand, I give it to you 
Now you own me, all I am 
You said You would never leave me 
I believe You, I believe
Somehow, in the chaos that has been my mind, the last couple days have felt overwhelmingly silent. The type where you go from such a loud overwhelming noise to… nothing, and the dramatic and sudden change startles you. My mind has done just that… Silence. The type of change where suddenly, you can hear a cricket’s overwhelming chirp in the silence, instead of the normal cadence of the loud noises. My mind has not become silent in the “I suddenly have no thoughts” type way at all, but in a “there is a sudden dramatic shift” type way. The pause before the storm, the held breath just before the race gun goes off, the split second before you dive, the overwhelming pounding of your heartbeat… 
I do not know where, why, or what it means.. but it feels like a sweet and welcome change. I like feeling the silence enough to hear the cricket chirp in my mind.