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.

One a Promise, Two a Promise.

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Love’s a scary thing when you step back from it. It just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. You’d give absolutely anything and everything for this one human. This perfectly imperfect, just as flawed as you human. Who could at any given moment-and potentially would in our messed up society-choose to no longer love you and walk away. And yet, we do everything for them day in and day out. Constantly trying to shove down that little blurp of fear that’s constantly whispering in your ear..telling you maybe, just maybe you won’t get your happily ever after. Despite the fear,  I look around my life and  see others constantly making all of these sacrifices for love. I see them giving up things they once dreamt of to pull them closer to the person they could’ve never imagined up on their own. It’s then that I realize I’m just as guilty of the societal ‘YOU’RE CRAZY’ reactions. When in all reality, I’d give anything to be doing what they’re doing.

So tell me-if love in this world is so unsure, why do we lean on it with our whole hearts?

Well, I don’t know about the rest of the world, but I know a little bit about my own heart. My answer is simple, it’s you.

It’s the way I’ve fallen in love with you, like I never have before. It’s consumed in the one big thing, Christ.

It’s followed by the million little things. The way you hold my hand. The way you pull me in and curl me up next to you. The screenshot from every ‘date before she says i do.’ The beautiful conversations about our Father and the blessings given to us. The morning encouragements. The way I miss you every minute of every single day. The way my heart stops when you tell me you love me, no matter how many times you’ve said it before. The feeling of seeing you for the first time in a week. How I know you don’t ever want to let me go, ‘nope, I’m not done holding you yet.’ The support in every split second mind change I come up with in a day. The spontaneity of our forever young hearts. The respect of waiting as patiently as possible. The confused looks from others and tried definitions of courting. Our beautiful devotional times. Every glamorous moment I get to spend being picked on by you, and fighting you back twice as much. The moments you pull me back from shutting down. The prayers we pray, each and every day. The transitional times from perfect to heart wrenching and back again. The struggles of loving from a distance, and realizing repeatedly that we’re so blessed to do so. The Mickey Mouse sandwiches. The ten squats a day. The times we get lost in corn mazes and you secretly resent me for making you think I’ve been stolen. The push you give me to be amazing at anything I attempt. Making me scrambies the morning of my half marathon. The way you sleep endlessly and I never do, even through all of the times I should be the one exhausted. The way you make me fall out of the car in Family Dollar parking lots. The way we get our fat girl on, only increasing our dad bod, helloooooo Culvers. The way you look at me laughing about our green paint issues. The way you try to handle me just the right amount, while standing back to let me shine the rest of the time. The way you miss me and worry about me when I’m away. How you always leave me voicemails because I like to listen to them on repeat when I’m longing to hear your voice. All of the notes you keep, showing me again and again that you want to know everything about me. The way you’re my safe haven, loving me so genuinely. A girl could go on forever…that’s the plan anyway.

You are simply beautiful. One of the most amazing, selfless, stubborn, goofy, Christ loving people I have ever met. You absolutely make my life shine like the diamond that you are. Our love story cracks me up. It’s the kind of story that people think you’re making up when you answer to them ‘So how did you two lovebirds meet?’

Being in your arms in this crazy world through this wild life, it’s like standing outside in the middle of a storm. It’s chaotic-everything near us is swirling in the wind, the rain comes down hard all around. Despite the raindrops, I look up, into your beautiful blues. The world gets blurry, fades away, and all I see is love. The rain freezes forming droplets stilled in midair, the air from the storm freezes me, my eyes freeze to yours. You put your hand on my heart and it bursts for you, melting the leftover ice from the past.

So if I’m going to be ‘stupid’ like society says, let me be stupid for believing in us. For being completely blissed out and madly in love with you. Let me be stupid for having a faith that is stronger than the weight the world puts on a halfway young couple in love. Let me be stupid for loving you.

Someday, forever.

Thank you Jesus.

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

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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?

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Lights will guide you home.

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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