seven years.

Everything I felt on that day seven years ago. Everything I feel on this day seven years later.

wanna run and hide and i don’t know why / wanna run from all this filth inside. / wanna be complete, to kill this hypocrite / to activate this heart / ’cause i got one life, one life

i’m drifting. water’s rising. through a land before i drown

pick me up before i fade into darkness / shine a light, before i fall asleep. / chains of death are dragging me down / help me, because i’m destroying me.

i’m reaching up, still i’m holding back / save me before i fade to black / i cannot afford to keep slipping, Lord / the fighting from within, my sin keeps pulling, pulling.

can You tell me, take hold now, but will i be safe with You?

in my tattered state i cry again / in my divided mind i need Your hand / You find me bleeding on the floor / You gave it all but i wanted more. / You said You’d never leave / Your heart was all i need / relentless love has found me again / it’s time to burn up, this trash i’ve been living in.

divided, rescue

I am okay. I wasn’t on this day seven years ago.

I am okay. But I need You. I have been drifting, falling farther, for too long. And sometimes I am scared that my complacency is too strong for my own good. I am scared that I will slip back to that place where I won’t let God work.  I cannot afford to keep slipping, Lord.

He is working. He is stronger than I am. He is changing my mind and my heart, day in and day out.

When will I start recognizing that? When will I start engaging again, thanking Him for that? When will I again come to a place when God is more than an afterthought? When will I realize I am better when I am engaged in this relationship, like all the others I am working so hard to be even more present in? When will I, for more than a night, open up my heart again to hear You? When will I disregard this complacency–my complacency? Maybe this declaration is that first step.

so many wasted days, come and go like ocean waves. it hits me like a freight train, and now i can’t get off my face.

how could i have been so polite to simply let You die, who am i to spread my fingers / after God has filled my hands? / watching the moments slip through like desert sand.

you’re not guaranteed tomorrow.

ocean waves, flyleaf

Around 10:30 PM on September 7th, 2005, I changed. I changed in the fact that I no longer wanted to stop being here. I wanted to become alive, and I let Jesus come into my heart, into my life and do that by stopping pushing Him away. I say thank You because I am alive. Yet the biggest thanks I can give comes in the form of building my own relationship with Jesus.

And why has that become so unimportant to me? Why is that so unimportant after everything I have been given? Why can’t I get that spiritual hunger back? What do I need to change in my own life to make that happen? What do I need to, once again, change in my own perspective to make that happen? I realize that these are questions that may only get answered with time. And that’s what this is all about . . . the journey.

Here I am, alive in Jesus after all of my hate. Here I am receiving His promise that I will be okay. Here I am waking up so many mornings after so many nights of promises and breaking them. And yet i don’t even need to ask for Him to taken back–He already has.

i’ve come to pretty buildings all in search of You, i have lit all the candles, sat in all the pews.

i saw that oh the distance is not doable, in these bodies of clay my brother. / oh the distance makes me uncomfortable, guess it’s natural to feel this way . . . / let’s hold out for something sweeter / spread your wings and fly

my car became the church and i, the worshipper of silence there / in a moment peace came over me, and the One who was beating my heart appeared.

the distance, live

My words of thank You will never be enough–my actions need to be, in love and in worship . . . and in relationship.

i love You Lord / and i lift my voice / to worship You / oh my soul rejoice. / take joy my King / in what You hear / let it be a sweet, sweet sound in Your ear.

i love You Lord

 

I love You and i understand that You stood where i stand . . . thank You.

i’m sorry, flyleaf

 

i feel Your eyes crawling over me / as though i am something more than me. / but i don’t have anything good enough to say / i did not make myself this way.

i’ll show You what He did, but i won’t take the credit / it’s not mine anyway / i just held the pen that day

and i don’t deserve this / this time right now / it’s not something for which i can take the bow / i don’t deserve this / it wasn’t me / i can’t take glory for something that i can’t be / i don’t deserve this.

i know what perfection is like / and i cannot stand before its might / and i’m so far from what You think that i must be / i just drown myself in mercy

and all the art that i supposedly create / is simply a faded reflection of something He’s already made.

penholder, flyleaf

I don’t have the words, so I have to borrow them. I don’t know where I stand. Or where I want to.

But I know I don’t deserve this. I don’t deserve anything. I am blessed. I am blessed to be here, to be thriving, to be alive.

You keep healing me in spite of me / opening my heart and killing me for me / bring me back to life, yeah I’m gonna be alright / i got You on my side tonight.

me, october 2010

So, I will say thank You. Thank You for having patience, thank You for giving me hope, and thank You for life. Because I don’t deserve this. At all. And I need to not forget that. I need to worship, I need to love, and I need to live.

Still, two simple words raise from my heart: “Thank You”. Thank You will never be enough, Lord.

celebrating what is coming

The past is important in telling our stories, to understand where we’re at and why we’re there.

But tonight, I am not celebrating what’s ending . . . i am celebrating what is coming.  I don’t “do” new year’s resolutions, because a resolution is simply a goal–and goals need to be set and re-set frequently to make progress.

Today I closed off 2011 with my friend and former coworker, Sara, just one of many amazing people I experienced the joy of meeting in 2011.  We ate too many crepes and had an amazing time, and were ironically wearing the same Hollister hoodie in different colours, pink t-shirts underneath and brown jackets!  [I took mine off for the picture].

sara and i!

After making a final pharmacy trip for the year (gotta love breathing, yeah?), I came home to do a final workout to hit 800 kilometers for 2011.  To give some perspective on how much I’ve grown in regard to exercise and fitness in 2011, my total on December 31st, 2010 was a tiny 100 kilometers [which was upped to a legitimate 106 as I found later on that I had forgotten to count an April race in there].

That. Is. Huge.  The big change in 2011 came in September through the amazingness that was Physical Activity: Promotion and Adherence, definitely my favourite university class thus far, and really gaining the understanding that the SMALL things make a BIG difference!  Though an unintentional success attributed to making small changes and regulating physical activity, since mid-September [at my highest ever weight which may have been some sort of weird fluke] I have lost a total of 17 pounds.  I can’t say I felt “bad” before or anything, but comparatively, I feel totally awesome both physically and emotionally with the GOOD changes that have happened!

I’ve walked 213 km, stationary biked 143, and racked up hundreds of kilometers in commutes. I walked one race, went on a few short hikes, went on an adventure rock climbing this past week.  I played hockey both in my skates and in my Sauconies and skated down rivers.  I’ve played in concrete jungles and playgrounds.  This has been the most active year of my life, and I plan to strip that title away from 2011 and give it to 2012.

This year, I have reached farther than I thought I could, pushed my lungs and my body in bigger ways.  I started thinking about things differently, relationships changed and growing happened.  I did things I couldn’t believe I would or could succeed at.  
I got a new job at an amazing daycare.  I worked one-on-one at camp for a week, which was one of the biggest challenges and biggest joys simultaneously.  I have met so many amazing people in “real life” and online.  One of my best guy friends for a time became my first boyfriend and even though it mutually didn’t work out, it definitely did not damage our friendship, which was the most important thing to us.  I returned to Chicago.  I watched one of the girls I do inclusion with grow so much in where she’s at, while simultaneously realizing the growth in myself through her.  I have fallen more and more in love with the subject that is applied health.  I have changed my perspectives on health advocacy, become more involved, and continued to learn how to OWN my asthma and encourage others to do the same.  I have learned to better live with what I’ve been handed.  I have learned more deeply that health and wellness is a choice.  I have learned to see things differently, engage differently, and not just make goals, but meet goals and ENGAGE in these goals to use them as learning experiences.

I want to continue that next year.  Continue moving forward, continue proving myself wrong, continuing to grow and learn and thrive, not simply survive.

There is more goodness coming.  There is a year of hope, joy, change, growth, learning, and love ahead.

Bring it on 2012. GOOD THINGS!

remember.

i can’t forget you

but i can’t remember . . .

turn my head, live

A day to remember those who made sacrifices for this country to be free.  Those who sacrificed being with their families, their time and ultimately, their lives.

I can’t remember. I can’t pretend to understand the horrors of fighting for the rights of your country, of sacrificing everything.  But it’s because of these very people who understood their own sacrifice that I am free to write this.

And I can’t forget them.

No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

John 15:13