I would love to introduce you to one of my superheroes in my life. Her name is Christina. Though we have never been best friends and only got to hang out while working together one summer back in 2003, this girl has had an incredible impact on my heart and walk with God.
Christina is an explosion of joy to everyone around her. The strength and transparency she has shown through her journey the past 5ish years has left me speechless and challenged me in so many ways. Her foundation of faith has conquered fear through her unwavering hope that God has great plans for her life.
This beautiful girl and her family has been on my heart so often lately. Very soon she may have the honor and privilege to be pain free and celebrating in paradise. The challenges of battling multiple brain tumors is coming to an end! As amazing as this is for Christina, my heart is breaking for her husband Doug, her five month old baby boy Isaiah, and her family and countless friends.
I would love for you to hear her story from her own words and join me in prayer as her story continues. Although NOTHING in comparison to meeting her in person, go check out www.christinaahmann.com and read her story.
i sat during worship on sunday with a dull, flat feeling in my heart. passion and joy linger only in memories right now. lately it seems like my time during worship at church has been the only time i have honestly taken the opportunity to open up a conversation with God and allow Him to speak.
as soon as i inquired about why i am here again, the answer was so clear. i have been disobedient. many times i have been reminded to write out my heart in this season and i still resist. excuses come quickly and squelch the gentle reminders. i don't doubt that the words will come...i'm afraid of what they will say. it's sometimes scary to come face to face with what you are wrestling with below the surface.
sadly i realized that the distance i feel from everything i hold dear has been my choice. i fill my schedule to the brim and try to balance it all out by checking out on life during my down time. i have mastered this as a way of surviving the days, weeks and months, but i'm tired of merely surviving...i want to thrive.
so i start again today, because right now is all that i have. i can't change yesterday and tomorrow will bring enough distractions to keep me busy.
today i write because it's all that i know how to do. i can't leave this place until i realize where i am.
i would love to introduce you to a girl that i love dearly. let’s just call her beautiful one. this week she became my new hero.
beautiful one is currently at an age that most would agree is a tough stage of life. normal life challenges are amplified by a fickle and harsh social environment...also known as middle school. this has not been an easy road for beautiful one to walk down. destructive words are spewed out of people’s mouths frequently here and have caused her chaos and pain. these wounds cut deeper than anyone can see.
the lies were hard to ignore and they took a great toll on beautiful one. desperate for escape, she began to cut. eventually she tried to end it all but thankfully this is not where the story ends. God continues to have great plans in motion for her life.
over the years, her strength has always been obvious to me. even though she is younger, i was drawn to her and wanted desperately to be her friend. i am so honored to be a part of her life and my heart melted when she introduced me to someone as her big sister recently. but beautiful one now has another role in my life...she has become a source of inspiration and someone i look up to.
soon after returning to school from a break, she wanted to tell her story. i had the great privilege to be there as she shared in front of all of her peers. amazed by her courage, i still wonder if i could do what she did even at this stage of my life. tears poured down my cheeks as i heard the story again...beautiful one has endured so much.
i wish i could prove to her how much she is loved, wanted and cherished. beautiful one is a piece of God’s heart that is unique and significant. just as a butterfly can not see the beauty of it’s own wings, i desperately want to show her a picture of the amazing woman that God created her to be and that she is already becoming. i am so proud of her.
while you may not know my beautiful one, every day you are around people who have been lied to about their gorgeous wings. don’t forget that your words have great power...use them wisely.
the steady roll of waves have left me gasping for air. the illusion of having it together has been replaced with the desperate longing to just keep my head above the water. holding on tightly to so many things while treading water is just not possible. i am overwhelmed.
a sadness washes over me as i allow the disappointment i feel that i am to surface. yet again i am learning that i am not enough. in the rare quiet moments of my day, i distinctly feel a sinking sensation that describes this season so well...surrendering to the pull of the deep water sounds so appealing. although seemingly drastic and destructive at first, tonight i began to see the truth of it all.
my source of life, hope and sustainment has never left me. although so much bigger than just this, think about God as your personal SCUBA gear for a few minutes. i will continue to struggle, be beaten and battered by the waves and be completely exhausted if i choose to stubbornly try to do this thing called life on my own. the SCUBA gear has been firmly secured to my back the entire time, but it isn’t until i fully trust and slowly sink deeper into the water that the peace comes.
the chaos on the surface becomes distant and muted as i relax into the gentle weightlessness of the water. my grasp of time gets hazy and life seems to slow down. it is quiet here and i allow myself to listen. the intensity of the beating of my heart lessens and a new rhythm settles in. beauty surrounds me and i am overwhelmed by new perspective. i’m not oblivious to the rain continuing to pelt the stormy water above me, but i watch as things dance in purpose and time to a song the Creator is directing. i’m not here on my own strength or abilities because by now my lungs would have begun to scream...in this place there is no question to how i’m surviving.
this is where i want to live.
it’s time to let go and breathe deep of the life He has designed for me.
the moment of anticipation peaks as you hug a friend for the first time in a long time. all of the stories and memories of things that you haven't discussed yet are barely being held back. even though the opportunity has arrived, you hesitate and wonder where to begin. this is how i feel today in regards to even beginning to write this post.
God is constantly reminding me of the power of words. in this season of seeking healing and learning about forgiveness, He is showing me that it will come through this gift that He has given to me...the ability to write. most of the time my jumbled thoughts and emotions start out with a negative twinge and i can feel the struggle as the words cause clarity...but as i see it plainly on the page, the white area is a much bigger mass than the black markings i have made. in between each letter there is space for hope to shine through.
i don't like that Christmas is next week. as harsh as that may sound, i wish that time was flowing like a jubilant sleigh ride through soft fluffy snow instead of the intense treadmill that i feel like i'm clinging to. Christmas has so much depth that i hate to miss and there is just so much going on.
last week was a horrific news week and the depravity of this earth grieved my heart in a new way. both shooting incidents, one here in clackamas and the other in connecticut, reminded me of the heartbreak that i am still walking through with my loss. but i learned something new...my heart is starting to break for the severely broken. i ache for the people who have been marinated in lies and confusion to the point of destruction. forgiveness is a challenging path to walk, but God has my hand and is showing me the way.
after all...didn't Jesus come to forgive?
don't let the craziness of the world and this season pull you away from this incredible gift. offer it to others and yourself freely...it will far surpass any present that can fit under the tree.