Madhat Musicianry.

Standard

Throughout these past few wild and beautiful weeks, I have learned some important things. These weeks have been absolutely insane-like trying to run straight forward after your nephew wrecks the world of your boyfriend and you on the tilt a whirl ride at Navy Pier insane. Each day has been busy, a whole new set of little bitty hiccups along for the ride in this episode of Hannah’s Life. Gratefully so, quiet time and long car rides have given me time to digest all that has happened and changed so drastically. A penny for my thoughts they say…


 

>> What even is beautiful?

Serving as a missionary in Romania changed a lot of things within my life and my heart. One of the most significant changes is found in my overall self image. Just as any other young woman, I used to spend way too much time obsessing over the way I looked. I was guilty as charged in wasting a lot of money on my outward appearance. I was absolutely obsessed with shopping for new clothes, accessories and especially shoes. I changed my hair color a tremendous amount of times from the spring of eighth grade on. I got my nails done up all fancy all the time. There came to a point where I felt my confidence depend on whether or not I was ‘put together’ for the day. People would always always always reiterate to me that I was so beautiful and so natural. When in all reality, I couldn’t feel further from that truth.

From July 2k15 on, I had a REALLY hard time with what beautiful was ‘supposed’ to be. I talked to an enormous amount of women about their own experiences with this area of femininity. Everyone has repeatedly encouraged me to continue on with outward adornment-so long as I don’t feel it is Needed in order for me to feel beautiful. It just didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me though. I looked at my boyfriend, and I think he’s beautiful. Actually, I think he is just the most studliest handsome schmexy fox that I’ve ever laid eyes on, but you know, semantics. 😉 He doesn’t wear makeup, dye his hair, obsess about the clothes he wears [unless it’s camo/blaze orange]…and I still find him absolutely breath taking everytime I look his way. I look at him a lot. Like, a lot a lot. Whenever he isn’t looking at me, I stare at the features of his adorable face. The curvatures in his hand movements. The way he raises his eyebrows when he smiles, just like I do. I see all of these things, and I think they’re beautiful. So why would I think I need all of these ridiculous worldly things in order for me to be beautiful too?

Exactly, I don’t. So I stopped. For a long time, I stopped wearing any makeup all together. I stopped dying my hair at all. I stopped shopping for anything except groceries and boyfriend trinkets. And I’m so content with that, but I wasn’t at first. I was shocked at how much I compared myself to others, everything about others. I’d complain to my boyfriend about indecision on makeup and hair dye, and what it all means. Being his supportive self, he’d try his best to hone in on the wondrous mind of a confused woman. Nowadays, I am slowly finding the balance of both worlds. I put on makeup when I specially get ready, but that doesn’t happen everyday. I still, and forever hope to, find comfort in my own natural beauty just as God made me. I haven’t and won’t dye my hair, but it’s still nice to know I can make that decision based on my own discernment.


 

>>The heart wants what it wants.

My mother calls me her tattooed gypsy daughter. I am infamous within my family and friends group for moving around a lot. I do move around more than the average bear; but I almost never share the intimate details with anyone why I put myself exactly where I do. The truth of the matter, is that I follow my heart and what I feel called to do. Back in the good ‘ol days, I was a little more irrational in my life choices. I would make snap decisions, or peripheral plans as my Persuasion Comm Professor would say [I really like Comm Studies, nerdy]. At that point, I never argued back when people were beyond shocked with the ‘new scandal of Hannah’s life changing event.’ Coming up to recent however, I am not nearly as impulsive as I once was. From the outside, my decisions probably do seem irrational and sudden. But that’s mainly because I keep about 98% of the world on the outside of my own private world-for very good reason.

What the 98% don’t know, is that I put a lot of thought into the decisions of my life. I take my time, actually way too much time, overanalyzing options. I make list after list, and think of every possible scenario that could play out. I pray beyond belief, knowing that ultimately God’s plan will pull heavy rank over any of my own. And then finally, I either act or I don’t. This time, I acted. I followed my heart, jumped off that cliff, and leapt in faith knowing full well God would catch me. This tattooed gypsy is at it again, figuring out the next adventure life has to throw at me, one day at a time.


 

>>The past passed away, rest in pieces.

When faced with thoughts of the past, you WILL get just as sick to your stomach as you did while you lived through it. The good part? You had a choice then, you acted on that choice then, and you have a choice now. Now, you can choose not to care about the ‘talk’ that people will absolutely do behind your back. You can choose joy, happiness and humility in the name of the Lord. You get to choose to be thankful for all of the amazing and life changing blessings that have been bestowed upon you. You get to continue doing what you’ve been doing; living your life for Jesus alone, and doing the best you can for yourself. You don’t have to answer to anyone but God, Himself. And if anyone tries to make you feel otherwise, tell them to have a convo with the one who loved you enough to put you exactly where you are. Long ago, you left the past and joined in a new realm of meaning for your life. So snap off the rearview mirror and drive on beautiful. That past is someone else’s mistake to learn now.

Dueces, applejuices.

8b7f155608f307f6ca30c14d7961045135ef588f503e93a9c5e4b046de078ef671d49e7841c05077017da76309487c1b6dac3a878e89202fcf4fe2fc0a235543e63fa84f081f996a0e7788f75a63ba3a

 

Advertisements

Equip of the Willing, Heart of the Able.

Standard

Have you ever seen a counselor? I have, on and off for probably around fifteen years. Not a lot of people know that about me. These counselors talk a lot about how you have points of impact in your days. Points of your life that deeply change you. That halt you in your tracks and reshape your destination. Moments that change your mind about everything you thought you knew and your point of view altogether. I think a lot about those seconds in time in my own life. I think there were too many points of impact for me to think about. Which one was it, which one shattered me way back when? Do our points of impact show up in the form of someone else? Was it any of you? Multiple villains that tore apart my life for such similar and yet distinctive reasonings? Was it something I did? Brought on by the dark and distorted woman I fell to becoming? I’m continuously curious. I’ve endured many of these points in my few days. So many terrible, horrible, gut wrenching points of impact that should have broken me long before the last.

I’ve been told many times that there’s something bigger to my story, to who I am and the things that I’ve been through. Whenever people say this kind of thing to me, I get all wrapped up within my own imagination. For a few seconds, I let myself think this could be a reality. That maybe someday, the Lord could have me sharing all of the deep, dark, and intimate details of the hells I’ve trudged through here on this side of heaven. That through all of the soul scorching struggles I have endured, and overcome through the Lord alone, someone else could understand. The idea that I could meet some other woman or man where they’re at, and show them what the Lord has shown me. It’s surreal. It would be the utmost honor.

Part of me feels this, while the other part pulls in the opposite direction. I have a great understanding that this is a world pouring out over the brim with these stories of painful lives. While I haven’t heard even the smallest amount of the ones that are out there, I think about them. I hear other peoples’ stories, I think about my own, and I think about the stories that are still not laid upon my ears, upon my heart. I know the importance of having my story be heard by people. Just as I know I need to hear the deepest wounds from the hearts of others. I long to be able to cry with them, mourn with these broken hearts over the sinful natures of our earthly home. I can’t help but feel though, that my story is too deep for some people. That if I truly and fully disclosed all of the thoughts, feelings, and emotions I’ve gone through within my own experiences, people would pull away in fear. Why wouldn’t they? It’s some deadening stuff….painfully miserable darkness.

I went through my share of depressing days-leaning on mentally, emotionally, and physically degrading of self. Sadly, they lasted far too long than should have ever began. But for a while now, I’ve been taking act in better ways to cope with the curveballs life and the enemy throw my way. For years, I’ve been an on and off runner. Loving it certain days, hating it the next-unable to fully decide where I stand. Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of running. A lot, a lot. And it makes my heart so beyond blessed. For a half a year I thought about doing a half marathon. Back then, up until a month and a half ago, the thought of running thirteen.one miles made me just as exhausted as I get from saying that. I always classified myself as a ‘lower category of runners.’ One that doesn’t fit in the ‘half marathon-able group.’ But why is that? Why would there even be these made up categories in my mind? Do I honestly think God puts these barriers on my capabilities as a person, as a woman made in His image? Heck no!

So I’m training! And I’m doing it! And I won’t give up, even when it gets hard.

Though when I started training, I thought there wouldn’t be a wall. I thought I’d just keep running on the daily, lowering my times while building up my miles. Then this Tuesday, I got sick. I felt absolutely horrid. Just ridiculous brain clogging, a terrible sore throat, and the most zombified exhaustion of the body I’ve had in a really long time.

I was clearly in no capable position to go out and run many a miles. So I had two days off in a row. During those two days, I tried everything in my powers, and those of the Higher dependency, to get back to normal. Yesterday, I wasn’t feeling even closely back to my normal self. But, I wasn’t dying. So I made myself get up and get out, pushing forward. I ran four miles. A route that should have literally felt like absolutely nothing after the ridiculous amount of running my body has graciously let me accomplish lately. After my miles were up, I was thoroughly peeved. I was so ashamed in myself. Realizing how far my training had fallen in just two days, all because I was sick. I guess I just left it at that.

Then today, I pushed myself a little harder. I prayed a little harder while I stretched before I headed out. I knew I was feeling slightly better, and that was enough for me to mentally trudge forward-halfway willing. Yet again, my body was more than exhausted within the first mile and a half. It just didn’t make any sense to me. It felt like my body didn’t even know what it was doing. Like I was running down the sidewalk, probably looking like the strangest dangling noodle flailing down the street. My mind could only imagine the crazy I looked to those poor bystanders on the streets. But crazy flailing noodle or not, I did my run anyways. I pushed myself to continue on anyways. Because it’s important to me. And knowing it’s important to me, I know it’s important to God too. 

So, mile four hit. Finally. Literally ready to drop to the side of Elmwood and Vine, not a care in the world. However, I didn’t do that. I started walking, ready to cool down before heading home. I took my arm band off to end my workout on Nike. And then I heard this song I have, something I’ve never heard before. It caught my attention as a foreign song on my running playlist-kind of like a spoken word art. Almost instantly, my body was just covered in chills. Goosebumps crawled over every single part of me. The words that powered heavily into my headphones were weighing so heavily on my heart, and I knew right away I had to keep running. So I did, I ran to the rest of this song, completely ignorant to the pain my body was in. As I ran, I could still see the goosebumps still crawling all over and around my body. The outward appearance an example of the emotions running through my heart like my feet running along the sidewalks of this town. Never before have I experienced something quite similar to this. So many God moments in my life, in all that I’ve lived through and within-just nothing like this. Never before have I felt so convicted to be exactly who I am in Christ. Feeling so beyond blessed to be the woman I am everyday for the righteous Lord my heart is called to serve. Never before have I ended my run quite like this. Pushing so hard forward, tears streaming so freely from my eyes down my cheeks. Thanking God so heavily for His time with me. Time within my heart that I’ve been seeking out from Him. Time to have Him lay everything on my heart-all that He wants me to do, be, and live in my own life, solely for Him. Thanking Him for this time to be vulnerable and weak, to let Him build me back up again.

I’m so grateful for this convicting song. This song that will probably never mean to another what it does in my heart. The impact it had on me through those three minutes and forty-five seconds. It truly amazes me, the great power we find in such a simplicity of words. You read a story or phrase, a poem, sometimes just a word, or hear a song that moves you to tears. That’s the kind of writing I want to make real in this world. The kind of impact the Lord has on my heart every moment of every single day. The broken down, vulnerable, Truth in it all. It’s the kind of emotion and heart wrench that drops you to your knees at the feet of the Lord. Unashamed to be exactly who you are, knowing full well that He’s waited for you to let go of everything else. To drop the world, and pick up your cross. That’s the kind of impact I want my thoughts, words, and actions to have on the people around me. Even if it’s just one person. Just another person to us here on earth is the wondrous angel God seeks for Heaven.

86576014201d218aa9935b6f180fb104 dad3c8199ebf15aefadd652a37100908 db59e48e102f10b886449e2a0d00261b f80fa9e908bf595229db164db09ef576

One Foot In Front, One Foot Behind.

Standard

Running can be difficult. From what I’ve learned, most people loath it. Some days I really don’t know why I enjoy it so much. While some days I can’t imagine a day without a good four miles beneath my feet. I have always always wanted to be a person that got up every morning and worked out. Kind of the second best start to each of my days [second best to quiet time with God of course]. This morning, I got to be that woman. I got a decently adequate amount of sleep for once. I set my alarm for 10:30 because sometimes you have to let yourself relax. I got up at 8:30 because I’d like to think I’m an overachiever. And I ran.

I really wonder what it is that gets me about my runs. What is in it for me with every step I push forward? What is it that makes me stop at certain points, thinking I can’t push forward any more?

What I’ve come to realize over my years and years of on and off running, is that it’s a lot like life. At first, I don’t usually really want to run-unless it’s been a long time since my last. Like normal, I’m tired. I’m tired, so why in the world would I put myself through a strenuous exercise, knowing full well I’ll just be more tired after? Well, because it’s good for me and it makes me feel beautiful and on top of the world. Sometimes, even on top of the galaxy. So I put on my shoes, cutoff, and shorts, place my headphones in, and turn my music up. In life, this is me basically every morning. I’ll admit [begrudgingly] that I wake up most mornings not wanting to get out of my bed. I LOVE the light hue in my room that the sun shines through my purple curtains. I love lying under my feather blanket, still sunken into my pillows. I love talking to God, thanking Him for yet another opportunity to continue breathing. So, I get up, I get ready [most days], and I go live my life for Him.

The first mile is probably the easiest. If I’m running at home, it’s typically a pretty even landscape. I love the feeling of this first mile, especially in the first half. My body starts to warm up, realizing the familiarity of the steps I’m taking. I typically have to push myself more starting at the mile and a half point. My terrain starts going uphill from here, which kind of annoys me on every run. It annoys me because I know that from this point on, I have to put in work. Similar to my life. When I start my days, I have lists of things I need to accomplish, want to see done in my life, and dreams for the future. It’s hard to wrap my mind around it sometimes, but in a way I asked for it. I go to church services and mission trips, and talk to fellow Christians and non-Christians. I talk to them about the things they love in their lives and the ways some seek out the Lord. Within everything I have done in my life, it hasn’t been a cake walk. Sometimes, just like my mile and a half mark, I have to work harder than other moments. In my runs I have two choices: to put in the work and push forward like I know my body can handle, or, don’t. In my life on the daily, I often face a very similar selection. I’d like to say that every time, every run, every day, I choose the first. I’d like to think that I’m the type of person who loves a good challenge, and who will put in the work to be where she wants. And I am, I don’t have to wish for all of that stuff, I am her. I know these small details about myself. However, I know also that I am human. Just as you. I am not God, I will not go on without having a break in my chain link. I am filled with hopes and dreams, running right along side disappointments and fallen strides. The more important aspect to me, is what I do in those moments. Whether or not I choose to stop and breathe, or push on and breathe level. There’s definition about myself and my character in those times.

I read a blog [surprise!] recently about two different types of happiness-instant gratification and fulfillment, it definitely took notice in my mind. I knew all about instant gratification before I read these words. Being human, I automatically lean towards this always. I want what I want, and I want it now, right? No. God doesn’t work like that, 9.99 times out of 10. He is a patient God, and one of our main goals is to be more like Him, so here’s to learning patience. Fulfillment, ugh, when you read about it, it makes you think there’s no way you’d ever want instigrat. ever again. I’m telling you, the way this blog put it, fulfillment should be sought out solely.

So, back to my runs and my daily life. In those moments, those defining times, I have a choice. On the days when I’m not the strongest and I choose to stop and breath, I give myself a little pep talk. I remind myself that I can’t be strong all the time, and how beautiful that is. I tell myself that even though I stopped and I view myself as ‘weak’ or ‘incapable,’ that God doesn’t see me that way. That He will continue loving and adoring me, even when I feel I’m not enough. Story of our lives as Christians, huh? Then there are the other days, the ones where I continue to push on. My pep talk is a little different on these days. Our natural heart wants to boast, to pat our back and say great job. This definitely isn’t a bad thing, just something to be cautious of. Simply put, I’ll refer to Galatians 6:7-8.

‘Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.’

When I choose to push forward, and fight back against the struggle right in front of me, it is not of my own courage. Which brings me to pretty much every mile forward in my runs. I cannot even explain to you the amount of times I want to stop and breathe while I’m set out on a run. Literally it feels like every second I’m thinking about the next time I’m going to take a break. To be honest, it’s frustrating to me. Instead of being a whinebag, I thought about it the other day. I thought about my thoughts while I’m running, my motive, and where my strength comes from. Simply, it’s God.

I look at my runs, and I think they aren’t that fantastic. To me, there’s nothing special about how many miles I put in, or lack. I’ll tell people I like to run. I’ll get the typical ‘WHY?!‘ response, and I’ll tell them my distances. People look at me like I’m crazy, and say they could never do it. Well, I’ve been ‘Not being able to do it’ for years and years now. And I can tell you that it feels absolutely amazing to slowly grow in something I love to love, as well as my faith. During my runs, when I feel those moments of altering emotion, I pray. A lot of the time, I don’t think I can do it. I don’t think my body is strong enough to handle one more mile. My mind says I can, but what does it know? So, I pray. Insanely loud and beyond angry music blaring through my headphones, breathing heavy but attemptedly paced, and feet pattering in sync, and I’m praying. I’m asking God to give me the strength to carry on. I’m letting Him know that it is a desire of my heart to be strong enough to keep pushing on, and that I believe through Him that I am capable. Sure enough, God knows. This morning on my run when I prayed this same prayer, He answered within the next song on my shuffled phone list. I was in my last mile, kind of like a cool down mixed with one last pick me up. I was exhausted and could have easily given in to my unwilling legs. But then ‘Don’t You (Forget About Me)’ by Simple Minds came through my headphones. Instantaneously I smiled, and heard myself outspokenly thank God over the blare of my music. With that, the end of my run felt so much better. I winded home, walked it out, stretched, and felt accomplished. The sad part about this, is the reality of it. It took me until my third mile, to start praying to God. I was already halfway done with my goal of the morning, and I did that without a whisper to God spoken. One thing I know though, is how much better my run would have been, had I asked God for strength earlier. How similar that is to everyday life..How many times I go through my life trying to carry the weight of the world on my own two shoulders. How silly, foolish, and human of me. There are many times in life I need to reach out to God. Moments I’m quite aware that the only thing able to hold onto me and bring my heart back to earth are Him. Yet, I wonder similarly why it takes me getting to the edge of that cliff before I cry out to Him. It’s foolish really, but a very common worldly pattern. A pattern I’m determined not to live out in my time here on earth.

So now I have to realize the importance of this running lesson. I have to remember that God should be my number one, always. My closest pal, the pursuer of my heart, my one love. I know that deep down, that will always be what I crave the most. An un-hindering love that He supplies greatly, something every heart longs for. I have to be disciplined enough to guard my time with Him throughout my crazy busy days and weeks as a growing adult. I have to hold onto Him, like He holds onto me.

Today, and everyday, I’m grateful for His lessons. I’m grateful for simple things such as early morning runs, lemon poppy seed muffins, and beauty without glam. I’m thankful that my life is organized beautiful chaos, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

[June8-June14]


YUs29Le2453eff10ca8789a67fa2168f794dcc6b8018597e8291196b745d41a8307aa91d875d9bcbcebbdf58ed6e81c256504c2
df939c9928d5eb676a2802dbce31d63f (1)

Occasional Incongruity of the Heart.

Standard

I constantly wonder if I’m truly what you wished to have in a daughter. You told me a week and a half ago that you couldn’t ever wish for anyone more. But did you mean it? Truly? Because then you made a mistake that cost so much, and yet nothing at all. I think it may have cost you your relationship with me though. And neither of you seem to care at all. Why is that? How is it to me that you only love and reach out to those around us who fail you? Why do you only care about those who seem to care the least about you? What is it about our relationship that makes you despise me? What is it going to take? Because I’ll forever be over here looking for you to see me. Notice me. Love me. And yet it’s so heartbreaking to me. You’re the two people who are supposed to offer the most love and support, and it’s such a foreign thought to you. We have such different perceptions of what that even means. Sometimes I think I will be endlessly praying for it. Driving down the road asking God to put Him as the love I constantly seek, and to let go of my longing for yours. Biological or not, maybe it will just never happen. Ultimately, it’s up to God.


Closure and forgiveness. In so many areas, it’s just so necessary. I don’t think it really became so super clear to me the effect it has on my life until literally this week. Harboring these hurt feelings, all of these emotions, has SUCH a heavy burden on my heart. But how does one with such a wrecked and damaged past simply let it all go? I just have to. I have to give it to God, every morning I awake. I have to remind myself that He holds the world. I have to forgive you. I have to let all of the hurt and pain go back to Hell where it all came from. I won’t harbor these bitter feelings towards you. There’s no point. You can’t have that control, it’s useless and undeserved of me to feel. The anchors can be released. Keep moving forward.

Chin up darling, your tiara’s falling. 


The fact that so few people know the such huge things that are affecting my life. Day in and day out. The thoughts preoccupy my mind and heart but such little is shared. A new found person. Where have you been the past twenty years? The day, will forever remain utterly unexplainable. I don’t understand how that even happened or came to be. After such a long time. It’s mind blowing. I can’t wrap my head around how similar to you I am. Such a huge part of my life was forever abandoned. Who says it still isn’t going to be? All I’ve ever known are the stories I’ve been told. Drilled into my mind by the people that thought they knew you the most. But people change. And things change. And life happens when you’re growing up and allowing God to shape you into this completely new person. My biggest lesson from this recent happening? People have the potential to be so much more than you think they are. Let go of the gossip. The ‘truths.’ Let go of cynicism. Trust that God is placing in your life what He deems necessary. That’s it.


Mind blowing. Certain things happen literally out of nowhere, and I can’t explain it. Isn’t it pretty sad that my mind automatically resorts to assuming things will break, hurt, and end. Because of the past and everything I’ve dealt with. Makes me want to snap  myself into focus, and remind myself. Not everyone is going to be painful, damaging, manipulative. It’s not all going to work out the way it always has. Someday, God will have it right in front of you. Did you ever think that He never let it happen until you really gave it all to Him? When you finally surrendered to Him your life, your heart, and the freedom for Him to work within it all? Maybe that’s all it took. Surrender. Que perspective shift.

You have such timidity, and then you have days like you keep having. Great days. Days where you’re continuously smiling and laughing, completely carefree. When you don’t have to try and think about it all. Where it just clicks for the first time in such a long time. Will you let yourself hope again? Will you get in your own mind? Just give it to God. Continuously. Remember again what it feels like to be beautifully free in someone else’s arms.

c1839efca1f0db530a031aa0af43aa72
31bcc9bc3a8987ec06ba28472879dd0d45d902ac21defe9edb7d0297d39445bf63e8ada1fade17d7e2d88a87237aa29a

[May16-May24]

An Open Letter To The Only Person I’ve Ever Loved.

Standard

Five hours straight of writing, and one all nighter later..

Words fail me, when it comes to you. Words fail me and it’s literally that simple.

Lately, you’ve been popping up randomly in my thoughts, out of the complete blue. Even as I type those words, I feel like I’m suffocating. I feel like I can’t think straight, like I can’t breath at the thought of you. I think you’ve been showing up in my mind because we’re about to hit a landmark. For eight and a half years, we were friends. We grew closer and closer, and our walls fell down one layer at a time. After five years of friendship, we began a relationship. Some approved, while others couldn’t have disagreed more with our decision. After five short months, I knew you had my heart. I fell so in love with you, I began to forget what life without you ever was. I remember being so cautious in the beginning, waiting for the perfect moment to tell you those three beautiful words. To say them for the first time, and not even be able to begin to explain what they meant to me. That’s how I knew they were true. They were so innocent and pure, so absolutely indescribable. That’s how I knew I loved you. I knew it because I didn’t even have to think twice. It was as if loving you was second nature to my heart. As if I had known all the while that you were the person my heart was longing to hold onto forever. From the day after Christmas on, we started celebrating. One day at a time-you started changing my life. One week at a time-our memories piled up. One month at a time-I got to hold you a little tighter and kiss you a little stronger. One year at a time-I got to understand the deepest parts of who you are. To know the things about you, you can’t fully expose to anyone more than your first love. To dive deeper into your soul than you even knew existed. I know all of this to be true, because you pulled at my life in the exact same way. One year meant a lot to us. Each year was so different than the last. Each held it’s own set of difficulties, while taking our relationship to a completely different place than it had ever been before. I was completely in love with you for sets of three hundred and sixty five days at a time. This time though, the landmark is quite a bit different.

Three hundred and fifty eight days ago, our relationship ended. For the very last time. It was the last time you ever had full preview of my heart. It was the very last day you knew the woman behind the tear stained eyes. There has been so much change within the last three hundred and fifty eight days of my life. On May fourteenth of last year, I was an absolute wreck. I had no idea if my choice to walk away from you was the best thing that ever happened to me, or the biggest mistake of my life. To be honest, some days I still struggle with that contemplation, as if it would ever be a realistic decision I’d ever have to make again. But it won’t be. Because I chose to walk away. I chose to once and for all remove myself from a situation that for a long time, had hurt me more than flourish me. I chose to trust that God would take every ounce of pain this decision caused each of us, and through it instead show us the depths of His abundant grace. And He has. Sometimes I am blind to that fact, but deep down, I’ll always know.

May fourteenth of last year, I couldn’t breath through the sobbing. I couldn’t face you and tell you all of the reasons I knew it had to end. I wasn’t capable of looking you in the eyes and staying strong enough to back away. May fourteenth of last year was the first day I fully gave control of this situation to Christ. Within the last three hundred and fifty eight days, I’ve gotten that surrendering confused in my mind. There have been numerous moments of beyond control breakdowns. Times in the middle of the days I’d want to dial your number that’s been forever engraved in my mind, and listen to you pick up the phone. To hear the hesitation I knew I’d be exposed to when you saw it was me calling you and didn’t know if you should click accept. There have been so many sleepless nights like this one, where I’ve wanted to unblock your number and say something. Anything. To know that everything that ever happened between us was real. That this kind of stuff simply couldn’t come from the depths of my imagination. That I really lived through it all, and am sitting here writing about it now. Pouring my heart onto this page. On May fourteenth of this year, we’re going to reach a new landmark in our relationship. It will create a completion of the first year out of the last four that we never spent a day in a committed relationship with one another. It will prove to me that we broke that cycle-the vicious back and forth that made us hold such a deep begrudging hatred for one another. It’s done and over with.

I can’t really even comprehend it. All of the sudden, last night it just hit me. I didn’t understand why I had been thinking of you so much lately. I couldn’t justify these random thoughts or what emotion they put on my heart. This process, has been something intense. Falling out of love with you. These thoughts of you, they used to be an everyday occurrence. Well really, they used to be an every millisecond occurrence. Back then I couldn’t imagine how one day, it would stop hurting. People around me would try to be supportive; giving me these tidbit encouragement phrases. Really though, the sugar coating only made it a billion and two times worse. I didn’t want to think that someday it would go away. All of my love for you. I didn’t want to have to let go. I specifically remember saying to so many people that I wasn’t strong enough. That it was such a conflicting situation because I didn’t want to move on from you, I never wanted to. Falling out of love, it hurts like Hell. it’s the absolute most heart wrenching and painful thing I have ever experienced. But do you know what’s even worse? Making yourself fall out of love, with the one and only person your heart ever truly cared for in that way. Telling yourself you have no choice but to keep him blocked on everything. Lying to yourself if you have to, repeating any mentally justifying mantras in your mind that make an excuse for the reaps of pain. Burning the letters he wrote like it was your own soul on fire deep inside where nobody else cared to look. Deleting the emails, one by one; as if the person that used to be the only thing you ever knew, never really existed. Staring at the photos, while your mind goes absolutely blank as you look at his face, just like you seemed to have trained it to. Denying any sense of self the moment anyone ever brought his name up. Your body going into shock, confused and conflicted as to whether it’s supposed long and cry for him or miss him and mourn him today. Your heart screams out that you love him unconditionally; and yet your mind asks who even is he?

My heart is the weakest part of me. Every fiber of my being will always long to love and be loved like nothing else in this world existed. Like nothing else could ever matter nearly as much as the person your soul is intertwined with. My heart remembers everything my mind tries to forget. These thoughts of you? They’re burned into the muscle memories of my heart. Spelt out and circulated through my body by the very blood that’s pumping through my veins with every breath I take. My heart thinks of every second I spent loving you. It makes me remember any good I ever believed was created by you in my life. These are the things I made my mind forget. The things I chose three hundred and fifty eight days ago to instead cover up with the scars you carved into me.

I loved you. With absolutely anything I had in me I deeply loved, and cared for you. It consumed me-you consumed me. The way that I cared for you was as simple as breathing. Needing you like I needed the air that surrounded me to keep going through this life day by day. I loved you so much that I let go of myself. I dropped the girl you fell in love with to be the girl who was in love with you. I never saw it until it was too late and too much had changed. All I knew was that I was your girlfriend, and that was all the happiness I thought I needed as a junior in high school, a senior, a freshman in college, and a sophomore in college. My identity became loving you. But by loving you I learned to hate parts of myself. Neglecting the honor I needed to be a woman of God, a daughter, a sister, a best friend, a wife, a student, an aunt, a teenage girl, myself. Letting the rest of who I was fall away, I then only knew to be your everything.

I’m not really sure when I was possessed to change this. When I finally understood the things people in my life narrowed in on from day one of us. One day, I got a grasp on every terrible horrible thing we put each other through. From that day on, I knew my life would never be the same. I knew I would never again look into your beautiful blue eyes and see the innocent hearted young man I grew up knowing and eventually falling so deeply in love with. I knew from that moment forward, you could no longer see me as the beautiful and carefree spirit you had cherished. Even when you don’t tell me, I know you hated me. And you hated you. I know because I hated each of us the exact same. The things we’ve been through together, I hope neither one of us ever has to go through again. I pray to God that we learned. That this consequence, this terrible and long and yet so growingly beautiful three hundred and fifty eight days shows us for the rest of forever what not to do. I pray that it shows us what we had, and what we gave up.

I want you to know that I remember. No, I don’t remember what it’s like to fall in love, or how that even works. But I remember what it was like to be in love with you. I remember the details of us, all of the things I knew as such norms in my life. All of the things I now know I simply took for granted during our time together. I remember almost every moment we’ve spent together over the past near decade of our lives. Every picture I have, you have, or that someone else shared of us. I can remember the conversations we had within that split second snapshot of time. I remember the way my world lit up when you smiled at me. I remember the same bone chilling, mind numbing effect my body was overtaken by every time I felt your skin touch mine. Whenever you’d wrap your arm around me and pull me in close. Whenever you’d slip your thumb over top of mine as you held my hand. A tradition I’ll carry into any new relationship, that I didn’t know I cared about until I held your hand. I didn’t know I cared that much about being protected until you were the one who I was entrusting my heart to. I remember the way you laughed at me until you had tears rolling down your face. That machine gun laugh that I could probably near perfectly reenact to this day if I tried. That laugh that sent my stomach into fits of giggles, just at the opportunity to make fun of you. I remember wrestling, playing around constantly, knowing full well that you’d never truly hurt me. Not in that way at least. I remember one specific feeling that shatters my heart to reflect on. It’s that moment, tell me you know it. That moment when you’re walking into the room, and you look for me? I’m watching you walk in, and noticing that the first thing you want to do is find me. Make eye contact with me. Come to where I am and pull me close. That’s the one. That beautiful moment when I realize I’m the initial thought on your mind. I crave that moment. I see it happen to couples around me, people that don’t understand to truly breath that moment in like it’s their last. I remember what it feels like to have that moment happen in my very own life. I remember what it feels like when you play with my hair, without fail putting me to sleep. I still think about the way you smell. I forever found such comfort in that. Pulling you close and embracing the familiarity of your scent, as if it was an aura I could never tire of. I think about the way you so effortlessly put your arms around me for so long. I think about how simple it was to love you. For so long. I think about and remember all of it. I remember you. I remember whoever it is you used to be, the boy I used to be intoxicatingly in love with.

But then, I too remember the heartache. When I think about the good too long, it makes me question myself if all the bad was simply made up in my mind. If I came up with my own excuses to walk away, and never really had justification. But then I see my scars, and I know better. I think about the beautiful things until I remember when it turned ugly. How the two became so intertwined, they were indistinguishable. When it became so messed up that you started using my own gentle heart against me. Turning me into a bitter ice princess, that sought out nothing but anger and resentment towards you. I remember the endless arguments and the tears shed. Filling the lives in the world around me with my core cut sorrows. I remember the insecurities. I still look back and can’t believe that was ever me. I remember having to tell myself I needed to save me. Having to pep talk myself into loving who I was as a person and as a woman. Telling myself I was enough. I remember all of the times I should have let you go. How much pain, trouble, and love wasted that would have saved each of our hearts. Like the cloudy day you sat in Rosie in your driveway. I remember the scruffle on your face and the white tshirt you were wearing. I begged you and begged you to choose between me and her, and you chose her. And I stubbornly refused to accept that as a truth in my life. I should’ve just let you choose her. I remember when I pulled you over to stand in the spot that you first kissed me. I kissed you with tears streaming down my face, pathetically begging you to remember the love we shared-but you never kissed back. I remember just how bad that hurt. I should’ve let you go then too. I should’ve saved us sooner, I just didn’t know how. And I’m sorry for that.

I guess eventually, I just got tired of it all. I got sick of having the same circle round conversations and disagreements that never ended up leading anywhere. I got tired of being tormented by the scarring memories of the painful past we had. I was wasted away by being constantly reminded of the bad decisions I made for myself. It was exhausting to hold your mistakes back against you. As if any of it could have been resolved or handled. I was an exhausted and sad girl that didn’t want to be sad anymore. I just wanted to be understood by someone, by anyone. I got tired of talking about it all. The pain. I needed it to stop, and to never look back on it again.

And yet here I am. Three hundred and fifty eight days later. Still mourning the loss of the first love of my life. Putting out there in the open all of the things I never wanted to speak into my life. For the first time in an excessively long time, being vulnerable about you. Letting myself hurt and still mourn over the loss of you within who I was. I’ve spent the last three hundred and fifty eight days being strong. Holding my guard higher than it has ever been before. Blocking out any sign of hurt from anyone, but most definitely from you. Making sure that there was no way you could break the hedge of protection I held up against you and the effects you always had over me. But it leaves me with one question that I endlessly ponder.

Who’s going to be strong for me, while I’m too weak to any longer be strong for us both?

417996_10150810435618012_588902431_n 10323984_10152791420598012_3227730781106386032_nFrom the first, to the last:Fix You-Coldplay.

Lights will guide you home.