Looking ahead, Eyes aflame

Hey, here are two sets of words I wrote towards the end of the ‘falling out of life’ period referred to in the last post. The first is the second set of words I wanted to repost, and the second was something I wrote after that. I decided to post them together because I saw a common thread connecting them. The only part I’d like to explain is David is the person I relate to the most in the Bible. He’s the David from the well known ‘David and Goliath’ story, wrote many of the Psalms, and is thought to may have had bipolar. Anyway, there’s some swearing because that’s where I was when I wrote them and I’m also quoting someone else in one place. I don’t always like to swear because I believe that comes from a hurt or fearful heart and I would rather not be in that place, but I have found sometimes it helps to express that hurt or fear to break through it and get back to being in a healthier place. So, check them out if you’d like. Maybe you can relate.

Looking ahead to promised land. Hope is all I have, hope is all I have. fallen. But Faith. Voice stolen. retaken, reclaimed in the name of white robes. why can’t he stop talking about the life he’s been given? Not the only one but the only one in his origins. the kids don’t like it, Aaron Barrett. Pickle, not a cucumber, Neal Brennan. Loner punk prophet wannabe nothing something to believe in. don’t follow me, follow the King who saves from the grave, Great Physician. ..conversation observations.. ..she says she wants out, crying, can’t leave. no place to go. ..bartender cleaning glasses, chatting and laughing with regulars across the way.. I’m a crazy bitch, motherfucker, don’t trust me, don’t love me. (But will you? All of me? All of my crazy? Indefinitely? ..somebody didn’t when I was only being me..) Who suffers the most? Idk. .Keeps referencing things I don’t know. Voice alone. Loud and proud without a sound, the wise don’t talk much, listen more. ..Courage the cowardly lion left Zion sick of hidin’ stepping out in defiance nothing wrong or right about a stream of head comments, transcribin’ inscribin’ all night day long flying by the motion city capital H hero zero soundtrack crystal light methadone pills. This isn’t me. FUCK.

Do these struggles glorify You? –

I want to feel the rage of decades for days, eyes aflame, stereo raking the pavement, vox wrecking my voicebox. been feeling FAKE cuz I haven’t expressed what’s truly in my chest. heart hardened from hiding behind caffeine and whiskey. Bank hemorrhaged to cover the damage. no more nice, no more doubt, no more hold up, let me check, not sure if I’m allowed. No. Genuine kind. Genuine life. Genuine fruit from the vine. Honest questions to God prepared to hear I’m still loved.. …Scared afraid of being ripped away, so I push away. don’t get too close to me. Subtle off rhythm dance, just enough to throw off getting attached. a lot me, a little bit of an act. Don’t know who I am without some guilt and transient tragic. Biggest fear is I forget what it’s like to be fucked up, miserable, enraged, and enslaved.. Maybe this is where I truly engage confident freedom in faith, know I don’t have to be the happy people I used to hate, but find something more, like a safe place where our True Face can be known, ruled by grace, no condemnation, to laugh and play, your kid within secure, again or its maiden voyage.

– You answered with a calming peace because You know rest is what I need. David wept, sang, and praised in the Psalms. So can I. So will I.

Learning to rest in faith

I feel ready to lay this down. This is the beginning of that process.

At the beginning of this semester, I had just come out of the best, most transformational year of my adult life. It was so transformational because about this time last year, after one of the first group meetings in my Counseling Theories course, I realized I had a decision to make: I could either continue to hide who I truly am, being afraid to be wrong, afraid to get stung, or I could take a risk and step out speaking from what I truly feel and believe, where I was at, and see what happens. So, in class the next week, God, knowing who I truly am I wanting so desperately for me to be known as He made me, gave me that opportunity when my professor called on me to ask what I felt about the discussion. I took that moment to express exactly who I was and instead of condemnation or uncomfortable looks, I recieved much affirmation from my classmates. They may have not known how big that moment was, but it was huge, and from then on I decided to do that as many times as I could take.

The results were indescribably good. I had not felt more alive since before I started high school. However, because I decided to engage as much as could, I reached the end of my winter break, turning 30 on January 17th, and realized I was impossibly exhausted. I was in no way ready to continue anymore transformation. I had also completed my first client case load in the previous semester, and was experiencing what many in the helping profession call “compassion fatigue,” because I had not rested well throughout that time.

Like many, I am very accustomed to transition and/or destructive chaos, and very much like in Shawshank Redemtion, I don’t know what life is without being “imprisoned” and tend to return there soon after doing all the “digging” to be free. So, when this semseter started, coupled with misunderstanding a biblical passage, wondering if all my experiences with God were something I had basically hallucinated, and being afraid of the new opportunity to be genuinely restful, peaceful, and healthy, I decided to pretend like the world didn’t exist and I almost completely fell out of life until I realized it was Spring Break last week.

In essence, I lost faith and the confidence in who I truly am with Christ. What I’m choosing to lay down is the guilt I feel that comes largely from the way I treat myself or others when I am living apart from that, which I believe to be what Richard Rohr calls the false self. I really dislike the way I experience life in that state, but I often decieve myself that it will be different this time, or it wasn’t really so bad last time, or sometimes I even wonder if it’s neccesary to retrun to that place sometimes. But the truth is I probably would’ve been ok if I had decided to faithfully trust God’s goodness and engage rejuvinating rest in God’s presence rather than let my fear run me when I encountered new territory. But this has been my consistent cycle of growth and I decided to go with what was familiar.

Last semester, I came to the conclusion that life, or a walk with Christ, is about growing. which means always taking scary risks. But after this time through the cycle I’ve learned that following Christ through life can also mean authentically resting in God’s presence, and faith will still carry you through that process. Which ultimately means I don’t ever have a true reason to fear being who I am in Christ and living in the Way that He meant for us to live.

Thanks for taking the time to read. Hope it’s encouraging for your journey.

 

Lycanthropy (repost)

Hey, so a couple posts ago I stated that I would repost some words that I had deleted. I said I wanted to redeem what many refer to as a “highlight reel” of social media that tends to display only the good parts of one’s life. However, I admitedly tend to overcompenstate in that pendulum swing and hardly show the fun, happy moments of my life. So, I decided to delete that post and post some more positive posts in it’s place. The truth, however, is that up until very recently it wasn’t too often that I was truly able to enjoy friendships or family time, and it was through my decision to expose as much as my struggle to people and God that I was able to grow and be affirmed in who I was, where I was at, in those moments that I am now able to enjoy social interactions in person, and truly have joy again, as I described in my last post. To me, God wants us to be in good, joyful community where we celebrate who we are as people and are able to support each other through the struggle of letting that inner True Self show again (or as others might say, becoming more like Christ.)

So I would still like to reshare my two sets of words that I took off because they contain my struggle of becoming who I truly am, and it seemed that some people may have connected with that, and that’s so exciting and affirming to me. So, here is one of them called Lycanthropy that I wrote last summer when I realized my mood can sometimes be affected by the lunar cycles and seasons, especially when I have been eating very clean and am very spiritually clean as well. When I realized this, I thought it was really funny, because it occured to me I’m like a werewolf. So I Googled “werewolf” and the term “lycanthropy” came up. Turns out it is a term in folk tales that describes someone turing into a werewolf, which then reminded me of a +44 song called “Lycanthrope,” which listening to reminded me of HS when I was dating a girl and I realized most of my memories include snow on the ground, which explains a lot of depressed mood! Anyway, there’s a lot more to this set of words, but I’d rather let it speak to you. If you are interested in any of the references in the content, let me know in the comments or send me an email! Thanks for reading!

(extra note: +44 is the band Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker started after Blink 182 broke up. “Lycanthrope” is embedded at the bottom if you’d like to listen)

lycanthropy. the Mystery. when the moon wanes and waxes til empty. visceral. i see the tides i hide behind. get tired of cracking lenses. get tired of making friends with, enemies. yes this is the life to me. but why so serious? joy twisted with tragedy. cant love or live without taking a risk. without jumping off a cliff, without believing poetry, screaming violently, tearing at skin sleeves and mind reams with dreams of highlights and skylights, the city so esteemed.  i miss the rain. the hot rain in the south. its too good here. good hurts. u crazy. its too safe, secure. somethings gonna leave me. dont act like u dont know what. think. sand beneath the feet. only stays on the beach. # hey theres a tweet. except its also at the bottom of the ocean. gettin drowned under thousands of pounds. all the way down. til there is no sound to be heard above the surface. no secret crowds. no air allowed. but oxygen tanks. shit. I’m sick of it. ..consumed. gotta get it need this to fill that. im all outta whack, cant feel nothing, mindhacked like a macbook. hooked up and cooked up like a slab of meat to eat with a little treat. take another trip to the store. buy another pint of ice cream. buy some more fake sweet drink. drink it up fool. americone dream. wake up you’re asleep. i was talkin about me.

 

 

 

Let’s go to the Ska Show, (Eden to me)

Hey! So a big part of my life growin’ up was jumpin’ and skankin’ (name for dancin’ to ska music) at ska shows with bands like Reel Big Fish (RBF). I first heard RBF when my cousin gave me their Why Do They Rock So Hard? album way back in middle school and I’ve been hooked on the catchy, fun, fast, horn-driven awesomeness since. However, when depression first hit and subsequent relentless anxiety, my ability to be free and have endless fun was robbed of me. Essentially, I had left Eden, and you could say that all my struggle since then has been to get back home to those moments where I had no fear, no real shame, no real guilt, and no real pain to get in the way of simply being me, and jumpin’ and skankin’!

I’ve found that freedom again in Jesus Christ, and 20 plus years later RBF is still releasing records and touring almost non-stop to put on ska shows. This song is off their latest release Life Sucks…Let’s Dance!   It’s called Ska Show. After a brutal year of heavy, deep, transformational growth in a Master’s Counseling program, it’s good to remember “if we don’t have have fun, then what are we livin’ for?”

 

Cliffs to Bridges, Clear as the Spirit

Hi, so I wanted to post two sets of words connect through the reference of the metaphor “cliffs to bridges.” The first was written 4 to 5 years ago when I had first begun to step out in faith, and the second was written this past Sunday after my first experience with a Charismatic service. I feel it’s commonly believed that making a decision to follow Christ is a one-time decision, or “leap of faith,” that forever changes you. While I believe it may begin with that decision, there are also daily or moment-to-moment decisions to make to trust God’s prompting and step out in faith, which over time changes you as well. Sometimes, especially when first beginning one’s walk, those steps can feel like stepping out over a huge cliff without truly knowing if you’re going to be caught before hitting the rocks. I see it as taking a risk, that at first you’re hoping God will come up to meet your foot like a bridge to continue your walk with Him, and overtime with experience you’re confidence grows that He always will. Finally, I believe in those decisions you are stepping out as you truly are created to be by and with God, and to me that is what it means to be “born again” into a “new life.” It’s exciting to see in my own writings the same concepts remain true throughout the years and are something to be cling to in the uncertainties of life and when I’m feeling a need to be reignited. Hope you enjoy, and points to anyone who guesses where the reference comes from.

 

(written 4-5 yrs ago, 2014, 2015)

cliffs turn to bridges. don’t believe your eyes. minds create prisons. don’t believe your lies.  I wrote that too. When do I write my own life down? All the time? Your life’s not much different than mine? Maybe I stop. Hiding? Born again? I vomit. Hurled into a new life. wake up you’re on dry land. Soak up the skies. Remember it felt like a leap but it was really only a step. Remember your mind? Sometimes we believe, I forget now, there’s something more beautiful ahead. and i repeat. and i repeat. Over and over again.

(written this last Sunday, 2019)

Purified clear water Spirit of fire, light me up and crack me open, praise You loud to pour You out, shake out the shame, when I bless your name life changes. Open the flood again, the wellspring with no end. No need to feel ashamed, one sixteen. No need to feel strange, imago dei. Faith transforms cliffs to bridges, Indiana. Awake! Awake!

Coming back alive

Hey feels like I’m coming back alive today. This seems to be what’s helping. It’s good to be seen. Sometimes that’s all I need.  Wrote this a couple years ago when I really started coming back alive as well:

so rebellious against us. against me. against ourselves. the inside turns out. now im going out on a limb. I’m bursting through my own skin. snake and a venom. wait a villian. the lines aregetting crossed. like meyses the lines are blurring. I see it. on the vherizon the phones ringin. I’m picking up the phone but why, what whos on the other line? Yea we got caller ID. But i can’t see it. But my screens cracked. WHO IS IT? I WANT TO KNOW!! but it’s so much more fun not. wheres the mystery? not an adventure without the adrenaline. I’m divin in. heard that one too much Mr. Chapman. I gotta write my own story. Ill hold you to it. and here we go again. new day. new light new memories new thoughts. new feelings, which ones do we follow? who’s advice do you trust? It’s like a light with a candle and a compass and a camp, with a map.  follow your heart? but its in my chest? maybe they meant to chase it when it’s beating out of it. maybe we write our own prophecies. I hope so.

Thanks for taking the time to read.