Screaming Silent Suffering.

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You turn on the shower, this is no unordinary movement. You open your mouth to say something but don’t even know where to begin. Nothing comes out. 

You get in and just let the water run, you’ve done this more than three hundred million times in your life. You’re scared and you know you feel it, but you give it a go anyways. You pour out your heart. 

You realize after a while, you’ve gotten used to the heat. You turn the nozzle up. You realize nothing gets through. Nothing is understood. Nothing is more clarified than it was before this new version of the same repetitive argument. 

The new temperature isn’t satisfactory, the nozzle goes up another time. You start to feel it again. Different boyfriend, years and years later, same sick wonder. What if none of this changes? 

Maybe the temperature gauge is broken, so you crank that bad boy up. It’s almost becoming too late now-it’s feeling like there’s no point in fighting. Fighting for what? You stand back silent, knowing deadliness of the heart.


 

It’s so different, but so similar at the same time. You know the water is hot enough, but you keep turning it up anyways. The lukewarm water isn’t good enough, it’s not okay to just be mediocre ‘okay.’ You get sick of having to turn the temperature up, so you blast it. The second that scorching water hits your skin you jump back against the cold wall of the shower-out of the direct line of fire of the piercing bullets coming from above. In that fight or flight moment, you choose flight-the fight isn’t worth your heart anymore. Then it all changes, you dabble your fingers in the fight, and try to tell yourself it isn’t as bad as you thought. So you tell your body to armor up, it’s time for battle. You step back into the fire, and let the attack rain down. At first it’s miserable. Your body doesn’t want to stand it, and begs you to give it relief from the misery. Your mind tells you a little more strength and perseverance is all you need, you can take more than you think. All of the sudden you find your mind wandering elsewhere, only then realizing you aren’t thinking about the pain any longer. You put your hand into the bullets and realize you’re numb. Now you think maybe the torture has gone on long enough, and you shut the operation down. Reaching for your towel, all you see is red. You look down and notice it’s everywhere. Your entirety is covered with red. Every single visible ounce of you is blotched and burning bright back up at you. The under-lying bruises are the only things you can see shining clearly through the red haze. Quizzical.

You step out and everything is vivid in your mind. You wonder what just happened?

It’s simple really.

The only pain you can control.

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Wednesday’s Were Always My Favorite.

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Is it true that all writers are depressed? All musicians? All artists? All photographers? You know, all of the people in a very creative outlet…I mean it makes sense. The places in my life that have been the most difficult on my heart and emotions have led to some pretty kick butt blogs. Even the snippets of thought that run continuously through my mind sound better after a struggle. Not really sure what that’s about.

I think I made a smart decision last night, leading into just a few moments ago.

Naturally, the largest of my life choices revolve around writing and words. For a while, I’ve known that I’ve loved writing. That I’ve found a passion in it that I can’t obtain in a lot of areas. Last year, my writing was at a huge peak. I started this blog, and wrote my way through all of the pains I was buried under. My words had power, as they were derived from very dark places other people don’t know how to paraphrase. Last year I was still a very, very damaged and scarred young woman. I had a lot to write about, even when I didn’t know I did.

Sometime throughout the transition into this year, all of that seemed to have ceased within me. I became happy. My boyfriend and I got really serious in our relationship, and continue to do so. I made an ambition decision to move in with my brother and sister, and their adorable baby girl. I transferred schools back to a place that once was the very root of the damaged heart I just talked about. I threw myself into numerous job interviews, accepting my first job at a hospital. I have grown more in my faith and as a woman.

For the first time in a long time, I didn’t have that hard hurt to mask my true heart anymore. That’s actually way more terrifying than it sounds. Such a long time had passed that the hurt had defined me. During that rough period of my life, I was no longer the woman that got up just to see the sun shine. I was the woman that only liked the dark, because the darkness was what had become of my heart. But now, I’m slowly finding my way back to that sunny girl. I’m continuously reminded that I don’t have to be insecure, and that I have every right to be confident in so many aspects. I’m remembering that there’s a time and place in my life for the darkness, and the end of that era is over. It’s almost like I have to remind myself often that the light is here, inside of me, and it’s there for a reason; and to not let the darkness consume me. Not today, not for the next hour, and not for the next few minutes.

I don’t really know what exactly it is that continues to try pulling my heart back towards the lost years emotion. It could be a number of things, and it could be the huge factor of one small aspect. I’m not a psychologist, I’m not a doctor of sorts, I’m just a girl. I’m just me and you would think that after almost twenty one years of me, I’d know me well. I know me well enough to know that something is off, somewhere deep inside.

But, it doesn’t have to be. I don’t have to let one ounce of sadness control me. I don’t have to take things that I’m allowed to be less than enthused about, and let them ruin days. I can choose to be Happy Hannah. I can choose to be optimistic, smiley, bubbly. I don’t have to think that I am less anyone else based on things they choose to share online. I don’t have to talk myself into thinking that I’m not doing enough. I have the ability to be exactly who I am, and endlessly work to transform myself into being exactly who God calls me to be.

Everyday, I may not have faith in my abilities. But I have in God’s.

Today, my faith shines through brighter.

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2.17.16.

Occasional Incongruity of the Heart.

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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.

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[May16-May24]

Label Me Yours.

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God is so so good. All of the time. Throughout everything. Through every triumph, every failure. Every second of this worldly life and beyond to endless amounts of merciful eternity. I’m in love with the transformations my life is taking. Some parts slowly, but definitely surely. And other parts in a more fast pace.

Typically, the things that we are known for or that follow us around have some sort of description of who we are. For me, there were quite a few questionable things my name was tied to a long time ago. Things I wasn’t proud of, but that I had to deal with the consequences of anyways. When people would see me, these choices and heartbreaks were automatically drawn into their minds. Among there being bad things connected, there were definitely good as well. Others, I thought were things that I deemed important to me in my own self description. The main focus that comes to mind is being somebody’s ‘someone.’ For a while, I liked that label. I enjoyed the fact that when people saw me, they knew I was _________’s girlfriend. That I was tied to this other fantastic human being, and that was ultimately all that mattered. That I would be happy and smiling, and that person would be the main source of my joy. I was ignorant.

This last Sunday at church, I got recognized. I wasn’t noticed for being somebody’s girlfriend, I’ve been single for quite a bit. I didn’t get noticed because I was dangling on someone else’s arm, hanging on every word he said. I got noticed for the right reason. I was gathering information and signing up to do Children’s Ministry on Sunday mornings, when one women sparked conversation with me. Within our talk, I was given the beautiful title declaring I was ‘One of the Romania Girls.’ Gah, my heart….it nearly exploded. Back in January, I signed up for my Romania mission trip. A very hesitant Hannah took one tiny baby step at a time towards this huge goal. Over time, I’ve been forced to take huge leaps and put my tiny baby steps to shame. Much work and planning has had to be done for this trip. Most of the time, I’m so caught up in the focus of getting it all done, that I forget other people are aware of it. I forget other people know we’re going, and that they are so eager at heart for our God searching selves.

I couldn’t even tell you the difference in emotion for those two titles of sorts. Being called someone’s girlfriend, and noticed for that, yea it’s cool. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy that comfortable feeling of connectivity. There’s just so much more though….Being noticed as a Child of Christ, in such a season of searching for deep and true love, it’s incomprehensible. I wish you could see the smile just spread across my face while I reacted, talking about my eagerness for my trip. It definitely taught me something, standing there next to a stranger, and yet a beautiful sister in Christ. More than anything, the title I pray to endlessly hold over my life and my heart, is God’s Child. His love, His princess, His bride, His. Yes, someday, I will be eager to finally be somebody’s ‘someone’ again. I will love to love, and yearn to share the Lord with someone. Those days of the future will be glorious and God filled. But those days aren’t here. Right now, God is showing me how to put Him in the forefront of my heart and mind, and to keep Him there always. To not let anything or anyone replace the lead spot in my life where only He can be fulfilling. Sometimes, my selfish ways can make this difficult on myself. But ultimately, God will hold true and He will provide.

[May10-May16]

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Tightrope Crawl.

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“How’s school going for you?”

Probably my absolute least favorite question in the history of foreverdome. As a college student, I get this question literally all the time.

My typical response?

Inside– “College is terrible. I hate commuting. I hate the stress. I love the stress. I can’t handle this. Pile more on my shoulders. I’m not doing enough. I’m about 25% sure I failed two classes this semester. I hate it. Hate’s a terrible word, but right now I hate college. I don’t know what I’m doing with my life. I don’t know why I do this to myself. Is it this hard for everyone else? Why can’t my experiences be as great as everyone else’s? Why do I have to put myself through school. WOW I complain a lot! Blame certain professors. Take the blame upon yourself. Stop! Just, stop. God’s got a plan. You know this. In the end, He puts you through what you go through for a reason. You know this. Stop. Just breath. You’re OK! We’re going to make it through this. Breath.”

Outside– *Smile and tilt head* “College is college.”

It’s so complicated and yet so simple at the same time. I can’t really fully understand it all, but I am putting my faith in Christ. When I was in high school, I didn’t have to try hard. I got a near 4.0, and I didn’t have to put in millions of studying hours to get there. I guess you could say I was blessed by this. A lot of people wish they had that capability. But now? Now, I feel it’s more of a curse than anything. I never learned the techniques I needed to in high school to be able to be somewhat naturally ready for college success. On top of making the millions of daily adjustments it takes to make this huge transition, I have to learn of this as well. I have to learn how to study, how to really apply myself, how to stay motivated, how to cope with all of it. Tomorrow, I’m officially done with my sophomore year of college, I’m headed off to juniorland. I’m headed off to be a junior, and I have absolutely no idea how I got here. Throughout my four previous semesters of college, I can distinctly remember one of them where I felt I did as well as I wanted. Where I was actually proud to answer the forbidden question, ‘How’s school going for you?’ The rest of the time? I’m disappointed. I’m disappointed in my efforts [or extreme lack there of] for numerous classes. I’m highly disappointed in myself for not being the shining student I was throughout my first twelve primary years of my education. Twelve years of being known for being bright, intelligent, and applying myself more than most. Two years of having the absolute most difficult time doing literally anything right when it comes to school.

Within the last two years, I have grown and changed more than I ever thought was possible in what seems like such a short time. It will never fail to surprise me how in a day, the various paths my life is headed on change and shift around so much. Nothing is constant. Change, is constant. And God, is constant. Nothing else is ever going to be constant. There’s just no absolutes in this life other than Christ. Huge revelation. Something I am reminded of so often. Throughout my first two years of college, my heart has gone through so much. There have been literally endless struggles when it comes to family issues, relationship issues, self identity issues, and the list goes on. One thing after another, I have struggled. I have been tempted and tried. I have succeeded in some areas, and fell completely flat on my face in others. Most definitely though, I’ve done more of the falling flat than the rising up. At least that’s what it feels like anyways. But that’s not to say I haven’t grown. In fact, it’s the complete opposite. At least I can take security in the fact that all of my struggles, all of my hardships, have grown me in some way or another. From each tough time I was put into or I put myself into, I learned. I’m still learning. Always. Every new day brings me endless opportunities to grow, learn, and show the same capabilities to others around me.

Some days, are just always going to be a little more tough to get through than others. Today, wrapping up my semester, is one of those days. Reflecting back on this past semester is kind of tough. I came into it completely new-eager and excited for a new start I knew was a long time coming in my life. Yes, my past, my old ways, and my memories will always carry with me. But I’m nothing of who I used to be. I was changed drastically, I was reshaped and molded into a new version of myself. I was metamorphosed. [Yes, that is a real word, I looked it up.] This transfer home, was the outward expression of an inward emotion. To me, it signified moving on with my life from the things of the past, and becoming more of who I have been called to be. So I got the move home part down, that was simple-ish. It’s the rest of it that falls into blurry details of the background. I don’t really know yet if I became more of who I feel I’m called to be, or if it’s just all in my head that I’ve grown and changed over the last half year. In certain aspects, I feel growth. I feel different. I feel like I can distinctly see the areas of impact on my life and my heart that will never go back. Really I guess, the only place I don’t really feel the growth is in school. The community of school? Definitely. Knowing my major is where I belong and feel I can excel? Still pretty sure. Pressing forward and being a kick butt student that is like, smart, and stuff? Definitely not. Which is quite unfortunate.

But you know what? I know God’s got it. He’s seen this. This disappointment and self-loathing type feeling I feel deep inside? He knows. He knows the certain ways I mourn for this semester. For the person I want to be. For the person I used to be. He knows the internal battle I fight every day. The well known fight against the flesh. He knows. And He will honor me, as I continue to honor Him.

So today, it kind of sucks. Today I’m sad that I’m not better than I am. Today I’m a lot disappointed in the student that I have been. But, repentance, mercy and grace are beautifully crafted in the hand of the Father.

And tomorrow is a new day.

Thank God for that.

“Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”  Psalm 16:5-8

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Praises to God.

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Where did you come from? What are the things that make you, you? What has happened to you? What hurts have you gone through to make you a distant person? What is it about you that sets you apart from the person you want to be, the person you wish that you were? Where did your story start? Where is it now? What really happened from then to now? Those blurry lines, those bitter thoughts that just came to your mind, they aren’t from God. But none the less, He’s going to use them. I promise you. He’s going to use all of that hurt. Those deep gut wrenching pains that make you feel dead and empty inside. He will wipe them away, wash you white as snow, and make you overfilled with Him. Where else would you rather be?


Testimony: evidence or proof provided by the existence or appearance of something.

My testimony is harsh. It’s painful, it’s sometimes bitter, and it’s emotional. My testimony is filled with things that have happened to me, along with things that I have made decisions for. At times, it can be extremely hard to look at, to bring myself back to such different times. There’s a person that resided there. She was broken, empty, and lived a life of avoided reason for it all. But my testimony is my story. It shows how I got from where I used to be, to the woman I am now. It shows Jesus. It shows Him being right beside me every moment of my life, especially in my lack of knowledge. He held a protective watch over me, always. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t suffer hurts.

Molest: To harm through sexual contact.

I don’t think any young girl-five, six years old-thinks about molestation. Until it happens to her. Until it’s her family member putting her through something that would later reveal as so traumatic in her life. She knows no better. She knows only of innocent things-playing in the woods with her neighbor, loving to go to school and learn, spending hours in the YMCA pool having a blast. Someday though, she will have to deal with the consequences of the things she knows nothing about.

Sexual Abuse: Encouraging a child to engage in sexual activities. 

It’s more than an action. It’s more than a physical touch. For me, it cuts so much more deeply in the emotional and mental state. When you’re young, you don’t know enough to be mad. You don’t know better than to instantly forgive so you can go outside and play with your friends again, like a normal child. When you are asked such a phrase by someone who you would expect to protect you completely throughout this life, it’s devastating. You’re quite a bit older now, so you have a better grasp on ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ in the world around you. Being asked those words, it makes you second guess and question everything you have ever known about the life you’re living in. What’s wrong with you? Don’t you know better than to think people would love you for you? Don’t you see now that it’s normal to do all of this? Wrong. It’s one of the hardest things you will have to get over. But I promise you that you will.

Suicide: The act of killing oneself intently.

Most people walk through their days living out pure selfishness. They know no better, and they have also probably never lost a brother. They don’t know about the deep scars it cuts into your heart. Losing someone you love is difficult. Losing someone you love to themselves, is unbearable. Never getting to see him grow up with you, never getting to say you’re sorry, never getting to say I forgive you. These are wounds that may truly never heal, but will instead be continuously mending over for the rest of your life. They are wounds not many can understand and relate to, and sometimes that’s for the better.

Rape: Unlawful sexual intercourse without the consent of the victim.

Someone you don’t even know and were merely introduced to, someone you have known for many years and have spent years ‘in love’ with-rape knows no relational boundary. Rape is soul stealing. There could not be words out there gruesome enough to explain the ways in which it will make you view yourself. The words don’t explain the way you see yourself as a body, to be used and abused repeatedly. They don’t tell you how much you hate yourself for what they did you to. They don’t tell you how even though you do your best to give it to God, you’ll see yourself in the mirror and silently mock yourself for being so sexually repulsive. Rape will severely distort everything God created beautiful between a husband and wife.

Cheating: To be sexually unfaithful. 

Sex before marriage, there’s the first problem. Allowing yourself to fall into any form of sexual relation before being committed to your husband/wife is setting yourself up for deep, deep failure. You link so much of your past hurts to your boyfriend at the time. You blame him for the things he has done to you. You blame him in part for making your blood boil at the thought that you’re worth more than sex. How could you ever believe something like that, when all people seem to be after is the uses your body can provide-consensual or otherwise. Clearly it makes no difference to them. So you get drunk, off your mind drunk, black out drunk. Are you proud of that looking back now? Do you even remember anything from those three months? You remember that you were unfaithful. You don’t remember how you got there, how it happened, or why. But it did, and maybe it’s better that your memories remain absent. Just another way to prove God was and is forever protecting you. Hiding away any details of the person you let yourself slip into becoming for a period of time.

Catfish: Lure someone into a relationship by means of a fictional online persona. 

These days, it’s the most difficult for people to be honest about who they truly are. The technological advancements our generation has achieved make catfishing such an easy project. You aren’t proud of who you are? Simple, you mask yourself behind a computer screen and a false persona in hopes of getting back into someone’s heart. You don’t understand the fragile heart you’re dealing with, and your actions make sure you never get the chance. Some people will grow to be spectacular, and you will move as God sees fit within your life. Simply, and graciously, as He did for me. Times like these I see God carrying me away from anything that is not of Him. I see Him extend a loving hand to me, welcoming me to something more.


Testimonies are difficult, and they’re supposed to be as such. They harbor so much hurt, locked away for years upon years. So long ago, you had nothing else to say, so you put your words away. Now you know better. You know to place the hurts strictly in front of you, and to give them all to Christ. You know that only He will protect you and your fragile heart. Although I’ve spoken my testimony to a very select amount of people, I find it much more difficult to write it here for infinity. Some people, I’m sure, will be offended or gasp at what I shared from my life. Most people will not fully understand there are so many different parts of healing your broken heart. For me to heal, I need to witness all of the hurts that I have stood tall through by the guidance of Christ. I need to understand only the parts God has revealed to me, and save the rest for a rainy day.

My testimony affects the person I have become. It affects me as a woman of God. It affects the ways in which I love others and love Christ. My testimony is hard, and it takes me to a large amount of dark places and memories. But my testimony does not define me. It is who I once was, to who I am now. It is the blurry messed up lines of everything in between. My testimony is real, and I’ll never complain to God for that.

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. Genesis 50:20

Nobody else will persevere. God will heal the wounds you feel in your heart. He will endlessly choose to love on as many people as He can. He will hold onto you. But one day at a time, Christ will be endlessly working within you-turning all of your intended harm into beautiful growth. All praise be to Him.

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Thirty Six Hours.

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December 20th, 2014

I was told some harsh words by someone who used to mean a great deal to me. It was all super unexpected, and hit me like a freight train. It caught me completely off guard, and ripped open every wound that I held together with scotch tape for the past three years. Never wanting to truly accept the inevitable, never wanting to let go of any control. Shamefully, not even to trust God. I felt I was suffocating, that there was not nearly enough oxygen on the planet that I needed to survive those three seconds of torture.

For many months I felt like I was ripping off the slowest and most painful band aid. Like I’d lose hope completely and rip the band aid halfway. Exposing so much dreadful pain, but still not ripping it off completely. Then I would realize that meant I’d be giving up, and there was no way I was going to do that. I promised I wouldn’t ever do that. So there I would go again, repasting the band aid, half torn and mangled, back on. Each time getting more and more worn and the skin underneath damaged and raw. It was an ongoing battle in my head, my heart, my life. I was so constantly conflicted that I didn’t know what to do with it all but to just let it envelope my entire world.

But those words, those eight words shattered everything I could promise, everything I had hoped to have for what seemed and felt like forever. False hope. I needed to escape. I needed a clean break. I needed something to make it all real and final in my mind, my heart.

So what else does one do in a time of angst but pack a bag and get on the road? So I did it. I left my home at 5:00 pm, and I drove eighteen hours straight to Wilmington, North Carolina. What a crazy idea, what a wild journey, what a rude awakening.

The drive there truly wasn’t the worst. The first few hours passed by fairly quickly. I had a lot on my mind. I had a lot of frustrations and anger about the things that were encompassing my life in the moment. I knew that I sought out clarity, that I truly wanted to know and understand God’s will for my life. How, is the true question and adventure. Once I hit Indiana, things got kind of boring. My family understood finally that I had packed up and left so out of the blue. They panicked, worrying about their baby girl being out in the middle of nowhere completely alone. Little did they realize, that I had the absolute best passenger possible, the Big Guy.

Then things slowly dragged on hour after hour. Pit stops for gas, bathrooms, snack foods, and hugely loud jam sessions to keep me awake. Along with phone calls to my best friend and one individual family member at a time. Each person trying so desperately to understand my cry for help and clear vision in my life. Sadly for them, they had to get in line for any kind of knowledge on what was going on. I claimed that golden ticket long before they hopped on my crazy train.

Finally around noon, I made it to Wilmington. My two purposes of choosing this city were simple. One, I’ve never been to the ocean-sad but true. And two, it was the major filming place of my best friend and my’s favorite tv series, One Tree Hill. Cliche, I know. After grabbing bearings on everything around me, I cleaned myself up, ate something, and adventured. I went around to what felt like a million different important locations from the tv show. Taking pictures to reminisce over with my best friend, trying to get the most out of my mini vacation. Over my six hours in Wilmington, I got hundreds of pictures,  beautiful visions, many provocative glares from complete strangers, and too many feelings of discomfort and confusion.

So what else to do when you get overwhelmed and lost in a place you came rushing to for clarity? You’re more than eighteen hours from home, and you lose your mind. I left. I cut my trip two and a half days short and I headed home. I hadn’t slept for two days, and was honestly but insanely going to attempt the grand journey home. Two hours in, I found myself falling asleep behind the wheel. Every last attempt to keep myself awake failed. Saying I was exhausted didn’t begin to put myself into perspective. I was drained, mentally, emotionally, physically, any way I could have felt emptied, I was two folds over. After talking to each of my siblings on the phone for the first two hours, I lost my mind and I pulled over. I started crying on the side of the interstate, as cars flew past me at eighty miles an hour. Shaking my car and my mind even more intensely, putting a physicality on the way my life felt day in and day out. Out of the blue, who should call to save the day but my momma? In a time like that, I don’t think anyone else could have better understood the words I couldn’t even find in myself to cry. From sixteen and a half hours away, my momma lovins took my hand, and calmly got me to a hotel and into bed to unfurl. And that’s exactly what I did.

In room 107 at the Super 8 in Burlington, North Carolina, I finally let it all go. As I laid down, I felt relief. Then I called a friend for comfort, only to find more pain added to the mountain my heart had just been building up for far too long. Hanging up that phone call, I lost it. I let every emotion go, everything I had been pinning up, shoving away, not allowing myself to accept or face or feel. I felt it all. I cried it out to God, and begged Him to give me understanding. I begged for clarity, I begged for the pain to stop, the bitterness, the anger, the hatred I felt in my heart to dissipate. I begged God for the peace I had been longing for and not truly allowing myself to seek for such a great while. I knew that it probably wouldn’t be instantaneous, but I needed God to know that I needed Him. More than ever I was allowing myself to be completely broken down, shattered, and vulnerable. In room 107 at the Super 8 in Burlington, North Carolina, I cried out to God, and I cried myself to sleep.

After almost two days of not sleeping at all, I stayed in hibernation for twelve hours. Finally I woke up and got back on the road. Eagerly awaiting my sixteen hour arrival home to my crazy beautiful life-my loving best friend, my supportive parents, and my own bed. The drive back seemed to take double the time over the trip there. I guess Passenger had it right, you really do only hate the road when you’re missing home..

After sixteen more hours of endless driving, another long set of continuous phone calls, pit stops, and one distracted speeding ticket, I was finally home around midnight. Another exhaustion spell took me over and I became a lightly snoring rock for the next ten hours. I woke once in the middle of my sleep, feeling the familiarity of my momma. Kissing my forehead and telling me that she loved me. There will never be such other comfort found on this earth than something like that. I was home. I was safe. But in no way, was I the same.

Somewhere along the way, something changed in my heart and in my mind. God gives us the desires of our heart. And it wasn’t until within these eight days later, when I am finally able to wrap my mind around everything I’ve experienced, that I understand. God did grant me the desires of my heart. God gave me peace. After three long and dragged out years of hello and goodbye, God allowed me to let it go. It’s not that I’m giving up. It’s not that I’m breaking my promise. It’s that I’m fully and forever putting my trust of it all into the only hands strong enough to grasp it, the Forever King.

God took this spur of the moment decision laid heavily on my heart, and He used it for the best in me. He allowed me to feel the things I wouldn’t let myself fully feel in the fear of breaking down, of disappointing. In finally letting myself lay it all at the alter, I have found the most comfort yet. I have such a burning desire to live the life God has planned for me. I know it’s nothing like anything I could imagine it to be, but so so so much more. I’m grateful that in my time of despair, among all of the day to day moments in my life, God was there. He was my bodyguard, my road trip passenger, my hope, my true destination all along.

One road trip halfway across the country and back.

One wave of reverent peace.

One Almighty God.

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