Beautiful Biloxi.


I am a girl that writes to process. In order to really think about something and let it sink in fully, I need to put my fingers to the keyboard or pen to the paper and let everything else go. This is especially drastic in times that are HUGE in my life. One life changing event I never put full time into writing about was my first mission trip. I kept putting aside time for it, but never protected that time to the necessary extent. Finally, I had an ultimate goal of writing it before I go on my next mission trip. Welp, I’m a college student, and procrastination is lyfe in college right? So here I am, leaving for my next mission trip in T minus eight hours. Time to write.

Now where do I even begin? When I was still attending UW Whitewater, I was endlessly searching. I was living a part of my life in drastic change and upheaval. I had a few inclinations on why my heart was so unsatisfied and quite frankly, hurting. I was an aching heart in wonder of what else life and the Lord had for me. So first I prayed. I kept feeling these pulls in certain areas, towards one thing and away from another. I was beyond confused, and so were the people all around me. Still, I prayed. Philippians 4:6. Eventually, I came to a sad peace. I applied, got accepted, and transferred home to UW Oshkosh. My year long career at UW Whitewater slowly came to a close, and I wasn’t quite sure how I felt about it. Everyone claimed the usual stake of “I’m going to miss you’s” and many prayed over my heart and journey. My heart began to unsettle day by day during my final week in my home away from home. And then, it was done. The wild ride of a year I had at Whitewater was over, that chapter of my book was ready to close, and I was finally okay. I definitely shed tears during my two hour journey home, but those stayed between God and me. He was just about the only one who understood them, as usual. So I let Him wrap His mighty arms around me, assuring me that this is what’s right. And per usual, He was right. Funny how that happens.

I had a month off in between ending in the dub, and starting up again at osh. A month to plan, dream, and for my norm–panic. My mind likes to wander in every direction and worry about things, things that I don’t need to worry about. As if there is anything really worth worrying about. Psht. But worry I did, and worry did I not have to. After one solid tear filled break down [in my car as always], I was starting my hopefully last transfer. UW Oshkosh here I am. Transferring is always a really interesting thing to me. That stress and pressure you feel when prepping for college, it’s always like that when you’re starting a new place. It doesn’t seem to matter how many years of schooling you have behind you, how well acclimated you had been at either of your last schools-starting over is hard. Always. Definitely not as hard as continuing on in a life you know isn’t the one you’re supposed to be living though. When I started school at Oshkosh, I was determined to make things different for myself. For me. I wanted to be more independent from worldly relationships, and more dependent on my relationship with the Lord. Eventually, I got what I asked for.

I nervously walked around campus in the first week, always trying to find my classes on time like the new kid nerd I was. While walking in and out of the bookstore for the millionth time in the first week to grab many last minute necessities, I was stopped. For some odd reason, I like reading fliers put around campus and within school buildings. So I was naturally drawn to the column of fliers posted right outside the bookstore. Little did I know, one of the first ones I saw, was going to change my life.


On March 20th, I pulled up to the Go House on Oshkosh’s campus. I awkwardly drove my car to the back of the house, while a large amount of people I knew nothing about looked at me. I made the nervous ‘hello’ to a group I passed while walking to the front of the house, and I stood there with my bag. Slowly but surely, piles of people started to fill the front lawn, side lawn, and back lawn of this college campus house I knew nothing about. Eventually, there were fifty seven people collectively standing in a mass on this tiny front lawn. Fifty six people I had never met, knew absolutely nothing about, and then myself. Talk about nerves. It was about then that I wondered why I made this decision for myself. Why did I choose this as the way to get myself involved on my new campus? Why was this the organization I was choosing to try out first? Why did I stop at that bulletin podium outside the bookstore that day? But that’s it, I didn’t-God did. Looking back in hindsight, I can so clearly see that. I can see some of His purpose in the things I thought were of my choosing. And as usual, His plan is so much better than what I thought I could have invented for myself.

In continuation, the beginning of this mission trip with fifty six other people gathered on this lawn, was a true blessing. We listened to Aaron talk and pray over our trip, and we piled into six vehicles headed for Biloxi, Mississippi. Talk about excitement! I piled into the very back seats of one of our massive vans with two people I had just met, and clung to instantly. But then I had a chance to be outgoing and adventurous…which I of course scooped up. The van I was riding in needed a co-pilot for the trip down. Someone to talk with the driver and keep them engaged so our van filled with lovely people could arrive at our destination safely. Get to ride shotgun and be of assistance by being a jabberjaws?? My kinda gig! So I took it, hence getting to know fourteen other people pretty well over the next sixteen hours. Luckily, I love road trips. And talking.

After losing half of our huge squad of vehicles within the first hour, regrouping, many gas station stops, many cappuccinos for me, many bathroom breaks, many chapters read out loud of The Princess Bride, and many ‘get-to-know-you’ questions later, Biloxi bound we were. And yes, they have palm trees…just so you’re aware.

How to explain our week in Mississippi, one can’t even begin to imagine finding the right words. Cliche, but the only thing that could bring some kind of justice to my experience is life changing. Having never been exposed to missions, I didn’t know what to expect. All I knew, was what I had heard about from my old high school math teacher. I heard that people were in need, as so many are. I heard that Mississippi was a beautiful place, and that it was still deeply hurting. I heard that my heart would long to help those people, and that I was the kind of person that would love to be there. All of those things, were very true. At lunch with said math teacher right before I left for our trip, I was given a verse.

Isaiah 6:8 “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

This verse stuck with me, becoming one of my many favorites, especially for my [hopefully] many more missions experiences. So I clung onto my newfound life verse, and hugged my teacher goodbye. Beyond telling me how proud and excited he was for me, his last encouragement to me went right to the heart. “Go do great things.” And that’s exactly what I was determined to do with these fifty six beautiful souls in this new place, with the help of the Lord.

There are so many moments during this week long mission trip that I will forever hold onto in my heart. The whole week has meant the world to me, even now, months after returning home. When we arrived, we got to know our camp leaders a bit, got settled in, and headed straight for the ocean. We spent the next few days doing the typical touristy stuff. We swam a lot. We got a whole lot of sunburn, even to dangerous degrees [love you haleybaley, and Linda]. We ate tons of ice cream, reached home by watching the Badgers kill it. We searched for alligators with no luck in a beautiful nature preserve. We bought massive amounts of souvenirs [including a few hermit crabs] from a ridiculously huge tourist shop. We got to experience an amazing southern church service. We had huge group breakfasts and dinners. We worshipped the Lord and prayed as a team in the  beginning of our mornings. We took the world’s most insane amount of wonderful pictures. We sang horribly, amazingly, and filled with love. We went on muddy runs and random Walmart trips. We ate real Krispy Kreme’s and real good southern cookin’. We had a few hospital visits thrown in the mix. We had Waffle House. We experienced life. We bonded, we made new friendships, we spent real quality time together. I could probably continue on and on with all of the amazing experiences I was privileged to enjoy with this fantastic group of people.

Most importantly, we served the Lord. 

I never knew what it was like to truly give my heart, my time, my everything to others. I never knew the fire that was deeply burning in my heart for those around me. I just never knew. I had the heaping honor of serving at Seashore Missions with a group of amazing people while we were in Mississippi. We had many other groups that did FANTASTIC work at other volunteer sites, this is just a brief on mine. The projects we were able to bless Seashore Missions with in our time there, I know are forever appreciated. My team changed a few times while we were there, some trying out different volunteer locations, others being welcomed into ours. As much as I loved the idea of spreading out to another job site to broaden my horizon of Biloxi just a little bit more, my heart was set on Seashore. Jeff and Judy held a firm grip on my heart, and that wasn’t going to go anywhere.

We had the opportunity to finish two completely gutted rooms in their homeless shelter. One we turned into a clothes closet and the other a food pantry. We tried our best to organize two massively massive massed out quonset huts filled with blessed donations to the roof. We had a savvy student literally redo the entire technological situation at the shelter. The surveillance cameras, the internet, the phones, all of it. And the most important thing to our blessed souls, we got to serve others. We got to lend a hand in dishing and serving meals to massive amounts of people in need from around the area. The insane part?! I simply cannot think of a time in my life I have felt more purely blessed than my countless minutes spent asking people ‘if they wanted green beans with that’, and convincing them by telling them ‘there was bacon mixed in.’ The fact of how deeply it touched my heart to be able to be that simplistic person for so many is indescribable.

One of the most touching moments I had on this trip happened right before our last time serving a meal. Judy always prays and gives a message of sorts before the food is served. She has a beautiful way with words that brings such high glory to God and all He has done in our lives. During her last message while we were there, she said something about our work. She spoke on how grateful she was to have our group of volunteers there, making such an impact on their shelter. She told the people benefiting from the shelter that the following Monday, when we were going to be gone already, they would get to try out the new clothing room we built and get a new outfit. There are no words to explain the feeling of gratitude poured into our hearts from every soul that room encompassed. They clapped and cheered, like we just got done running a marathon. That was nice, but that wasn’t what hit me. I looked around, looked into the grateful eyes surrounding my team and myself. Seeing the true and genuine joy from such a truly small act of handiwork, it was breathtaking. And that it did. It hit me hard then, the whole point of it all. The big why of God bringing me to this campus, to this organization, to this mission trip and this shelter. To experience the whole point of life on this earth. To be more Christ like than ever, even if just for a glimpse of a moment in my continuous time here. Absolutely breathtaking. I was overtaken with emotion, bursting into tears. I was grateful for the opportunity to change lives, and have mine so much more drastically changed without them even knowing they were making it happen. I was grateful to be able to let myself cry while Judy prayed over lunch. I was grateful Macky and Troy cared, handed me tissues, and understood because they felt those similar waves of emotion. I was grateful to look to my left and see similar tears in the eyes of my lady teammates. I was grateful. I am grateful. And that moment will forever be greater than almost any in my life.

After serving the meals, we got to spend one of them finally sitting down with the world of people around us. It was more towards the end of our time at Seashore, but I was so thrilled for the experience none the less. So my dear friend MackDilly and I sat down at a table of men. We talked with them about anything, and a horizon of everything. We discussed our trip, where we were from, what it was like being in Mississippi. We talked about the movie that was playing, I hadn’t seen it but made conversation about it anyways. We talked about their lives in Biloxi, about the experiences they had on a daily basis. We talked with them about that fantastic southern food and how Judy filled our plates so full we’d probably never have to eat a meal again. Then ‘high tea’ was over, and it was time to get ready to go back to work for the afternoon. The men around us slowly faded away, one by one leaving until the next day Seashore was all open doors. One man stayed and sat with Macky and I a little longer, an extended goodbye. He asked when we’d be leaving, and we told him that the following day would be our last in Biloxi before we headed back to Oshkosh. Then, magic. Macky and I were probably making some goofy inside joke, and being our awkward selves while we ended our conversation. The man we were with turned a more serious note. Looking at us as if we’d been friends forever, he gave us a simple, ‘Well, how can I pray for y’all?’  The amount that I was caught off guard literally sent chills down my spine. After thankfully speaking for safe travel prayers, I asked him the same question in return. With one of those million dollar southern smiles, he looked at me and said ‘My name’s Steve.’  Core shaking, and simply life changing. A homeless man with seemingly nothing to give is one of the few people on this planet to give me the most hope in my life yet. God is so good.

The amount of times my heart was touched on this trip, there wouldn’t be a number big enough. I couldn’t even begin to go as in depth as to how blessed I am to have had such an amazing experience. Coming home, I struggled hard. Every part of my core felt so pulled to Biloxi, to serving, to more. Sitting in a giant lecture hall filled with students who didn’t care less about the world, while the professor talked about cloud scatters, it just simply sucked. I transitioned so harshly. I stayed in bed for a day after we got home, completely drained in the most amazing way. Biloxi took a piece of me. A piece of my heart and my life I couldn’t imagine another place with another group of beautiful people taking. My first mission trip. The first time in such a drastically long time I did something seemingly for me, but more importantly for the Lord. The first time, but so far from the last. Such an absolutely amazing life experience. So much heartfelt prayer for so many different people, organizations, places. Absolutely beautiful. The blessings abounding. Life changing. Fill in the blank mantra. Just God.

Coming home, I was also blessed abundantly with two new amazing people [among the other fifty four] to share my life with.

This, is MackDilly.

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Simply, one of the most genuine and kind hearted people I have ever met. I got to spend the entire week in Biloxi with this guy by my side. My random music singing, hand slap fighting, belly hurt laughing work partner. I am so insanely grateful God brought him into my life and allowed our friendship to flourish. I am so blessed to have made one of my best friends on such an outstanding mission trip in such a beautiful place.

And this, is Hale. 11156210_10153806013253012_7899597025979667958_n (1)

11175006_10153823418443012_7492801739443819699_n (1)My beautiful roommate, and such a fantastic woman. I am always sure to be laughing my face off when I’m with her. Always such a loving heart towards anyone and everyone. Truly one of the strongest people I know. Always so willing to be anything anyone needs, no matter what. I am so truly blessed and excited to experience life with her everyday this year and beyond! She’s going to be the absolute highlight to my days and I love her to death!

These two, are two best friends to cherish beyond this planet.

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Now, T minus six hours until I leave on the Lord’s newest adventure for my heart. Romania. Mission trip number two. God only knows what’s next.

Isaiah 6:8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

In the meantime, this, is a snippet of the Biloxi in my life. Forever grateful.

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One Foot In Front, One Foot Behind.


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.


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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.

My Selfish Longing for Christ.


I guess I’m going to have to be a little bit selfish now. I’m going to be selfish for the sake of myself and the life the Lord has planned for me. Let me explain:

I have a tough time being and remaining single. Before I had my first serious boyfriend, the boy I fell so in love with so hard, I was this outstandingly independent young girl. Over the last three years he and I have been going through things and playing the unsteady back and forth game. Through all of this I lost my independence. I lost myself. Let’s be honest, I lost it all. Within all of our times of being separated, I would continuously try and move on with my life. My ‘brilliant’ (truly completely ignorant) idea to accomplishing this was to move on with other guys, boys if you will. (Not boys because their age, they were all well of age, I’m no perve. Boys because they lacked so much maturity I don’t think any deserve a higher up title). I tried dating two other people and both ‘relationships’ lasted a month, ahhh sweet, sweet success. It has taken me such a long time to understand the misguidance of my heart. I tried so hard so many times to take control. Control of my life, control of my heart, and control of the things that weren’t happening for me right this second. Instant gratification. Something our society is trying to grow accustomed to; which may explain the displeasure of our world. My heart holds true to a few things I grew up hearing. 1) Nothing worth having comes easy. and 2) Patience is a virtue. I’ve finally gotten a glimpse of the reality of what God needs me to understand.

I’m unstable. I’m unstable because I have allowed myself to repeatedly put myself in failing situations. I have set myself up for failure because I haven’t placed my heart solely and completely in God’s hands. I have understanding that God will do anything for me, that He has a beautiful life and plan ready for me. All I have to do is ask. I’ve let God down, by continuously allowing my emotions to guide my acts, to guide my life. I haven’t placed my stability in Christ, when deep down I have always known that is the only place to truly find it.

Because of my instability, I have had a pretty rough year and a half. I started my first year of college at UW-Madison. It was my first time in two years being away from the boy I was in love with. It was my first time being away from home and on my own. I was shattered. I decided in my first few weeks of college not to get sucked into the drinking scene everyone around me couldn’t wait to dive into. Looking back, I think truly I was depressed. I would skip as many classes as I could throughout the week and spend my time in my boyfriend’s dorm room at UW-Whitewater. I would do homework that I’d be missing class for while he’d be in classes. When I was in my own dorm room in Madison, I was constantly watching tv and laying in bed. I never wanted to leave my room. I didn’t want to socialize with people, I didn’t want to have anything to do with the astounding school or city around me. I was in really bad shape. After my boyfriend and my’s second break up the week before finals week of the fall semester, I was distraught. I drove the hour and a half drive from home back to school at three in the morning the night before all of my finals. I packed my dorm up, and I drove back home, arriving at around six thirty in the morning. That was it. I didn’t go back to take my finals, I failed one class because of it, and I didn’t care. I didn’t care that I was putting my education in jeopardy. I couldn’t feel anything but hurt and disappointment.

Fast forward to the spring semester of my freshman year in college, I transferred to UW-Whitewater. Yes, the home of my ex boyfriend and the person I still so desperately longed for. This semester was a lot better, and I could see differences right away. I joined Cru (Christian Org on campus) and brought the person I love the most with me, even though I could only get him to come to spend some time with me. Amazing things instantly started happening for both of us. What a crazy semester. We both found Christ, and instantly committed our lives. We spent all of our time with either each other or fellow Christians, for the most part. We ended up getting back together, doing our best to hold Christ at the center of our lives. Although it was short lived, it was the best part of our relationship. We remained so in love with each other, throughout all of the hard times our hearts had endured. However, my heart was still that of a child. Although I knew exactly what I wanted, to marry him, I did not have a healed enough heart. All of my future was staring right at me, I knew he was going to propose, and I ran. I was not ready, in any meaning of the word.

After a summer of difficulties and continued questions of our future, I still remained so in love with him. My heart was broken that I ran away, and it didn’t get easier to deal with over time. It got more and more intensely difficult. I made it through my first year of college barely breathing, and wasn’t foreseeing the second one to be any better. I started my fall semester of my sophomore year back at UW-Whitewater, home. I had high hopes of what the year would bring. Sadly, it was absolutely nothing as I had expected. I was the definition of lost and pathetic. I have always known how much I care for my ex boyfriend, and I had to be the one to run away. It’s been the most difficult thing to try and even understand, let alone explain it to the rest of the world. I spent my entire semester back secluded to myself. Driving two hours home to my best friend and parents every single weekend. I was back feeling depressed. Not understanding why I had to go through all of this. Wasn’t one tough year enough to handle? Apparently not. Now I’m done with my fall semester, I still made it out alive. I’m home. I’m safe. I’m still breathing.

Saying the last year and a half has been rough is the epitome of an understatement. But there are definitely a few upsides to all of the rough I’ve been dealing with. The wondrously beautiful thing about being absolutely broken down, is being built up in Christ alone. Allowing yourself to become less and less of who you thought you would be so you can become filled with more of Him and who He has planned for you to be. Also, if this is the absolute lowest point I’m going to hit, then it can only go up from here.

So this is where my selfishness comes into play. I’m going to take my time. I’m going to take time just to myself to let God shape and mold me into the beautiful woman He is ready for me to become. I’m ready for things to turn around. I’m ready to do whatever it takes to put Christ first and foremost in my life. I’m ready to let go of the pains and the aches that only hurt me more as I clench onto them.

I’ve given these small pieces of my heart to other people, mainly guys, for the past few years. Because of that, I’ve suffered more hurt than I thought could be possible to try and handle. What is the most unfair about it all is that I wasn’t being fair to myself, and most importantly to God. I was reminded yesterday that by giving away even the most tiny fractions of my heart, it leaves less for God, and even less for the husband God will place in my life someday. Talk about a smack of reality. To truly think about that, completely shatters my world. I know right now who I hope that God has me saying ‘I Do’ to in years to come. But something I’m now learning to do is to give that completely to God. I’d love nothing more for His plan and the plan I have in my mind to line up down the road. I truly have faith in Him that it will indeed. But even if that doesn’t happen, I know that His plan will take reign and it will be the most glorious of blessings. I’m going to be selfish from the world and give my heart abundantly to God. I’m going to let Him have all of broken pieces left of my heart. And I already know now that He will take all of those broken pieces, and restore in me something so abundantly filled with love.

I have faith.

What more do I need?


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