This morning, I woke up and I didn’t want to get out of bed. I really love to sleep, and I don’t mean to brag…but sleep really loves me too. This morning I woke up and stayed in bed an extra half an hour like just any other morning when I’m not rushing off to anything. I finally got up, and went on a run. Nothing too dramatic, your average three and a half miles. I ran because I’ve gotten into the system of it this week and I felt like striving on. Like normal, I waited until too late in the day, even though it was only nine in the morning. Still, it was beyond hot and humid to be out on those country roads, burnin rubber under the soles of my feet. By the time I got home from my run, my parents were getting up just as I was cooling down. After placing myself in front of my fan for ten minutes, dousing myself in a bottle of water, I went in by my mom. I needed a pep talk. Tonight was supposed to be the first night I would work PM’s by myself at my new job. I had only trained for two days, and I felt ready, but hesitant to take on this task. After my mom gave me some words of wisdom, I thought I was another step in the ready direction for the hefty goal of the day. So I took a shower, put on my scrubs, and mentally prepared myself. I figured I’d make the day worth as much as I could, getting things accomplished. So I ran to FonDuLac quick, a few hours before my shift started. I thought of how productive I was being, and I felt pretty proud of myself. I made two different stops and got things done! I left my last stop in time to get me to work thirty minutes early. Plenty of time to look over all of my resident notes, and update myself on anything new I needed to know from being off the last two days. I tried to be an overachiever today. I set my GPS up to get me to work because there’s construction consuming my normal route from FonDuLac to Mount Calvary. I headed out on the back roads, just like I do every single day. I watched as I left FonDuLac, I watched as I entered each tiny town, and left it just as quickly. Singing along with the radio like I was on the American Idol stage. I watched as I passed the Mount Calvary sign, pleased with how much time I’d have before work to prepare. I took a left onto Calvary Street. I thought to myself that I didn’t even need to look at my GPS anymore, I knew where I was, work was up the hill on the left. I was singing along to Macky’s “She’ll Come Runnin” on repeat like always. I thought to myself that I knew these roads pretty well. I thought to myself that this was the point where the speed limit changed. I glanced my eyes to my dash screen, and then back up at the road.

There he was. I didn’t even have time to react, but I did. Where did he even come from? I know I didn’t follow him into town. I didn’t follow anyone into town. It was just me. There was nobody on Calvary Street when I took that left. It was just me. But he must’ve come from somewhere, because here he is. All of this in a second.

I slammed my feet onto my breaks before my mind even realized what was happening. I’ve never heard sounds like that before. I’ve never felt a car jerk that way before. I stopped as much as I could as fast as I could. I tried to turn my car to the right to avoid him, but there was a sign there blocking the way to the field off the road. I had nowhere to go. He wasn’t moving, I couldn’t stop, and I had nowhere else to go.

And then we hit. Impact. Wreckage.

Now I have some kind of understanding of what the movies always make it look like. For those mere seconds, life slows. Everything in my car went flying. All of it pushing as far forward as it could go without escaping my windshield. My cold pizza for break at work, bouncing off my passenger air bag compartment. My tea and water flying from the middle counsel into my radio system. My purse and all of its contents, my books, my cell phone, everything flying forward so fast, with nowhere to go. My sunglasses, that sat so cozily on my face, completely ripped off and into the dashboard from the force. My body, every part of me pushing into my steering wheel. My head jerking forward so fast, still nowhere to go. My legs coming up so quick, smashing so hard into my steering wheel and dashboard. My seatbelt, pulling me as much back as possible against the heavy pulls forward. My breath, absolutely gone and speechless to my lips. My mind, not even understanding what is going on or what to do.

Then just black.

So many thoughts. So much shock. So many tears. I don’t even know how I managed to put my car in park. I didn’t remember to put on my hazards or turn my car off. Just to get out and see if he’s okay. Like a checklist in my mind. A shook up sob restarting after each mental box was x’d. His safety, check. The police, someone called, check. My parents, CRAP! Realizing how in shock I was. I ran back to my car and searched the upheaval inside for my cell phone. I couldn’t get my fingers still enough to unlock my phone, let alone dial my parents. So many unintelligible sobs I couldn’t even believe I was speaking. ‘I got in a car accident.’ I’m sure it came out absolutely nothing normal sounding like that. Still in shock, I didn’t even realize people were talking to me. Hannah, she asked you if you were okay. CRAP! I didn’t even think! Looking down and around myself to see if anything was battered or torn. No, no, I’m okay. Check. Work, CRAP! I’m a minute away, and I have to make this call. I won’t be coming in tonight. All of the mental preparations I was making, done for the day. Macky and Mandy, oh my gosh. How in the world could I call either of you and tell you I’ve been in a car accident? How did I get in this position? I don’t get in car accidents. This kind of thing has never happened to me before. The calls would have to wait, there’s no way I can mentally handle that right now. My car, I should probably look at it. Oh my gosh. This isn’t my car. My car is nice, beautiful, Dori. These shattered and smashed pieces all around are the remains of her front half. The broken headlights, blinkers, paint, plastic pieces strewn all over the road are now Dori. The massively crunched and smashed ends of her are her results. The wheel well insides laying behind my precious baby near the ditch, how did that get all the way back there? The bent axle and frame, how did that even happen? How did this even happen?

So much. So many people. So many questions. So much emotion. So much panic. So much confusion. So much shock. So many tears and breathless sobs. So much. Too much.

I couldn’t stop the thoughts from pouring in. What is God trying to show me? Why did this happen? I’ve always wondered what it would feel like. I’ve always wondered how it would happen. How the people I love would react. I can’t believe this happened to me. I can’t believe it. I was a minute away from work. I was so ready and motivated to be the best CNA I could be tonight. I was ready to take on this shift. What if I wasn’t getting to work a half an hour early? Would I still be in an accident? I woke up today like any other. Why do I take my life for granted? Do I take my life for granted? What if my accident was worse than it was? What if I never walked away from it? I never thought I’d see my brand new car being lifted on a tow, like a crumpled box car. I never thought I’d hear so much fear in my parents’ voices, ‘Are you OK?!’ I never thought I’d pray so much and so hard to God. Wondering what was going on, what I was supposed to do, begging Him to take the reigns. Begging Him for guidance. I just don’t understand. How did this happen to me?

I woke up this morning and I didn’t want to get out of bed. I wanted to lay in bed and dream about the people I love. This morning I got out of bed anyways and became productive with my day. I ran, because I have two working legs and two working feet and my body lets me run. I talked to strangers because I love to be friendly. I sang along to my favorite CD in my car, because whether or not it sounds good, I have a voice I can use.

I woke up this morning and I got in a wreck. Because I’m human. I cried heavy tears today because I was more scared and confused than I have ever been. I got angry because I didn’t have all the answers, and I’m the furthest thing away from them.

I woke up this morning and I know I took a million things around my life for granted. And that makes my heart the heaviest it’s been.

I woke up this morning and I literally saw that opportunity flash right before my eyes.




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


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.



Lately, my heart has been in a consistent season of change. I moved back home and in with my parents, I’ve been healing over a very serious and long relationship, I transferred schools…tons of drastic change. For about a year, various things I thought had been on track in my life have taken a plot twist. When I graduated from high school two years ago, I never would have pictured myself where I am right now in my life. I didn’t expect to transfer to two different colleges. I didn’t expect to EVER move back home. I didn’t expect to go through massive amounts of heartache. But I did it. And all of it, among so much else, is now woven into the story lines that make up my life.

Once in a while I catch myself thinking about how much things have shifted for me. I think about how much things have changed around me. And I especially think about how much things have changed within me. I sometimes wonder what would have happened if I never transferred out of Madison, if I never let myself fall in love, if I never went through the battle of this life. But if I hadn’t, where would my scars come from instead?

Being in such a season of change literally blows my mind. I feel like I haven’t stood still in such a long time. Is it bad that I kind of like it? Becausedo. I have found through all of this change that just about all the time, nobody will understand what seems to be going on in your life. The beauty of it? They don’t have to, and you don’t have to either. It’s not important for me worry about the mindset of others, because then it takes away from the praise in my heart for Jesus Christ.

I’m starting to be witness to some traits within myself that are nothing like the young woman I used to be.

HBC [Hannah Before Christ]

_I was selfish. I wanted whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted it. I wanted things to go perfectly smoothly all the time. I was hardworking, but striving towards things that only mattered to me. I didn’t always consider how my actions impacted those around me.

_I was insecure. I was so insecure that my insecurities held their own insecurities. I was constantly aware of how beautiful everyone around me was, and how much I lacked that. I was constantly in awe of the amazing traits everyone else held. I saw nothing worthy or great within myself.

_I was attention seeking. I didn’t want someone’s attention for long. I sought it out to fill some kind of sick void. Knowing someone else thought I was cute, funny, interesting. It was the high I needed to get me along until the next compliment came along. It was twisted.

_I was damaged goods. I allowed the ways others had shattered my life to effect everything I did. I made sure I remembered all of the hurts I felt. I figured if others could hurt me so deeply and keep on with themselves, I must not be worth too much.

_I was wrong!


HSC [Hannah Since Christ]

_I am free from all of my baggage. My past will always be my past, and my sins my own. But none of it will ever matter when I know Christ is the holder of my heart. Each new day that passes is a struggle to learn selflessness. No, it’s not easy-but most things aren’t. It’s a learning process just as anything else. A beautiful one at that.

_I am beautiful in God’s image. I will never need to be anyone other than the woman I am. God didn’t make a mistake when He made me. He didn’t make a mistake by making my blue eyes turn green when I cry. He didn’t make a mistake when He made my brown eyebrows unique to my golden blonde hair. He didn’t make a mistake when He made my extra sensitive and tender heart. He made me exactly who I am supposed to be. It’s my beautiful journey to find out just who that is to Him, and what that means to me.

_I seek the love of my Heavenly Father. I don’t have too far to look. Everywhere I turn, I see a new way in which God’s love completely encompasses my heart. Each quiet time I take, I am drawn closer to Him than the hour and a half before. Just thinking about how much love the Lord holds for me gives my whole body goose pimples. Without it, I am not me.

_I am redeemed. Could there possibly be something more breathtaking in this world? I will never have to go back to seeing myself so shattered. I will never have to wonder if I’ll make it through to the end of this wild journey. I am taken over by the grace I have been given. I am forgiven, I am free, I am transformed.

Each new passing day, my life is changing-and I simply cannot apologize for that. I shout praises of thanksgiving to my Lord of Lords! I cry out to Him to keep working within me. Removing the parts of me that hurt Him and dishonor Him, and filling me with the beauty He encompasses.