We know the deal...

It would be just terrible for anyone to know that we aren't perfect, and we put up the walls and place a big 'ole "you can look, but don't touch" sign.
It would be just too much for anyone to know your heart is bursting with something so good, and we put up the walls and hang that "all is well here" sign.

We want to fit into that tiny box. We want to wade that line. We want to be a picture perfect person who doesn't need to look past the first layer.

Memories are a powerful thing. So powerful that sometimes we want to ink them on to our skin. A permanent song of our lives. We want these memories, these mantras, these words, these ideals of who we are right there -- on our very being. So we do just that. We do just that.

People seem to think embracing life means jumping off cliffs and kissing strangers. Don't get me wrong, there's a thrill to be found in this adventure, but maybe it’s in slowly learning to love ourselves that we find the greatest embrace. Maybe it's less about a free spirit, and more about faithfulness. The choice to actually do something rather than hoping it finds us. 

You finally face the demons, the heavy weights, the burning fear. You lay it all out... and what now? No one ever tells you that part. No one ever tells you what to actually do once you've called it all forward. So, what now? They're calling you by name. They know you. They are a part of you. How do you rid of a piece of your existence that has been home for so long?

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. // Philippians 3:12-14

I don't love like her. 
I don't pray like her. 
I don't encourage like her. 
I don't write like her. 
I don't give like her. 
I don't laugh like her. 
I don't receive like her. 
I don't speak like her. 
I don't understand like her. 

We have reached the final notch of our rope, but too far from the top. Fear reminds us that we cannot finish on our own while we desperately cling to the last bit of strength. It whispers we have little choice. 

We have the way out...

A Savior.

We don't want to let go, we don't want to fall, we don't want to let our shaky heart fail. No. We want to feel fresh air in our lungs, fresh hope in our heart; we want to be upheld by His righteous right hand, we want our weaknesses to open up the way for God's strength to be felt. 

SO IF WE HAVE A WAY OUT, WHAT STOPS US?

I have a track record of wanting to save people. Peeling back every layer possible until they had no choice but to show me their heart. I missed the part where we are here to save each other, and sometimes that means unlikely heroes coming along and shaking up our hearts.

There are so many sides to every horizon. No single mind could hold it all at once. No single story could even begin to shine a light or open the windows of the hearts that stood at each. That doesn’t stop one, though, from telling the unheard and unseen stories sung by those hidden hearts. So we must choose. Will we hear them? Will we tell them?

It was probably a Sunday. That seems to be the day most of these moments happen. After another week of mundane routine, I was a little hopeless of all the tomorrows. I knew they would inevitably come, but I couldn't imagine much other than more mundane and more routine. 

I don't think I could ever say it enough - we need each other. People need people, a haven for when the world gets too cold. We need hearts on sleeves, and arms to call home. We need coffee dates and secret handshakes. We need safe places to land; we need to be safe places to land. 

What if we really looked at people?
There is a game changer in the power of seeing others.

You see, people need us. They need us to quietly remind them: "the words I speak have no expiration date, these open arms have no closing time, my heart is forever ready for you to come home".

The only time I don’t feel like a ghost is when you look at me, because when you look at me, you see me. You see me. This is me. This is me. Please, see me.

Good stories are brought to life from the most desolate of places filled with pain and glory, misery and triumph, abandonment and love. Our job is to live and tell, because until the most broken and darkest of souls burn with worth and light, we cannot claim our purpose fulfilled or the story complete. 

You're a storyteller. Live it out.

I think I lost myself. I think somewhere along the way I dropped little pieces of myself that I never cared to pick back up. They were the pieces that the world told me weren't good enough, or worthy enough, or pretty enough. They were the pieces that others told me would hold me back. They were the pieces I decided I would be better off without.

I chose to break myself apart just to please the shouting voices.

So did you. You chose to break off little pieces here and there, never realizing what you were sacrificing. You lost your innocence, your joy for the stillness, your heart for others, your hope for the wild dreams.

Before God moves suddenly, we will wait. Waiting for answers is a fact of life — nobody gets out of it. So the question is not if we will wait, but rather how we will wait; I believe how will determine how long.

I have been in this season, a season of waiting and tears. A season where I feel as if everything is out of my grasp. As if I am sitting here, shackled with just enough room to grasp into the darkness. Grasping for something I know is there, but have not one of latching on to. 

I have two options: worship while I wait, or sulk and deny any possibility of hope.

I know I am not alone, so I want to share this season with you. 

But about midnight, as Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the [other] prisoners were listening to them, Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the very foundations of the prison were shaken; and at once all the doors were opened and everyone’s shackles were unfastened. (Acts 16)

God hears you while you are waiting. He is not absent, He is not far, He is not useless. 
God hears you, and God will release your shackles.