Without Baltimore, there is no San Diego.

Well, I’ve got to say, sitting in the throughs of BWI Airport for an 8 hour delay sure provides an environment for the mind to wander…

My departure? Myrtle Beach.

My destination? San Diego.

My endless layover? BALTIMORE.

It’s funny how God can speak to us through the most inconvenient of situations.

The moments we want to rip our hair out, He speaks.

The moments we are frustrated with the process, or the seemingly unnecessary steps, He speaks.

The moments when we can’t hear anything through our inner shrieks, He whispers and we hear Him.

I’m trying to get somewhere…and I know eventually I will get there. BUT BALTIMORE. But Baltimore (AKA the unenjoyable parts of my journey, the delays, etc.) is necessary for me to get to San Diego.

It is here – in Baltimore, in the extra steps – where I wait.

It is here where I ponder.

It is here where I listen.

It is here where I gain clarity.

Is waiting inconvenient? Yes. But is waiting needed so that I can be prepared for San Diego? Absolutely. Had I left at the time I had planned, it would have been an incredibly turbulent journey. Had I not stopped in Baltimore, I would have never gotten to San Diego.

Without Baltimore, there is no San Diego.

Without the waiting, there is no steadfastness in Him. Without the storms of Baltimore, there is no sunny San Diego. I’m just so excited to get there!!!

PS: I don’t hate the actual city of Baltimore. I hope you’ve understood the metaphor! Haha. 🤓

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The In-Between

Life is a compilation of seasons. At the end of our lives, I don’t believe we will see life as one giant mass, but a bunch of small, defining, moments. The highs and lows, the struggles and victories, the regrets and joys. The moments we knew what we were doing, and the moments we had absolutely no idea.

The in-between.

This is my current season. A season of transition, of change, of loss, of vision.

It’s funny the kind of things you find out about yourself during these “in-between” seasons. When your previously hectic schedule becomes open, blank, space, you find yourself with a lot of…welp, time. The time you often focused on tasks and goals, now is suddenly empty space. The question is, what do you fill that space with?

I suppose you can fill it with things that you love, things that you are passionate about, things that, perhaps, you did not have time to previously pursue. And, I am. (It’s sad how quickly you learn how out-of-shape you are when you finally have time to run a few laps. Ouch.)

I have, however, come to realize another outcome. What we do in these “in-between” seasons reveal a lot about the state of our hearts. With more time, it is easy to fall into old ways, to feed the negative, to feed the flesh, and to recognize the voids in our own life and heart.

The in-between offers a season when staying “busy” is no longer an option, or a means of ignoring the deep-rooted, buried, and hidden heart issues.

This can be a scary place to be…but it should never be somewhere that we live.

We all have seasons of ups and downs, seasons when we love ourselves, seasons when we scare ourselves, seasons when we feel like strangers to our own hearts. Each season we endure provides a means for growth.

And with growth comes pain.

And the heart is a painful place to grow…but it is the best place to grow.

God is too good to let us live in the state of a mediocre heart. He wants our hearts to align with His, and that requires a lot of painful surgery. Surgery, while uncomfortable, is meant to re-establish proper function. Heart surgery is painful, yet necessary for living a fully-surrendered life to Christ.

Embrace the in-between!

Expectation vs. Reality

Date: 12/16/15

A Letter to Who I Thought You Were

Letting go of something you never truly had is impossible. In order to let go, you must have first obtained it – first have had something to hold on to. So, how exactly does this work?

I never really had you. I only had the idea of who you were. I had the hopes, the desires, the over-analyzed moments, I, wrongly, had the expectations. You were my prince, my knight, my dream man…but were you really?

Expectations are a funny thing.

You can think and think and think and build someone up, turning them into an ideal, rather than seeing them for their reality. That is where I went wrong. I dreamt, I fantasized, I thought, I plotted, I discussed – not who you were, but who I had hoped that you would be.

You were supposed to be the guy who ran after me, just to say one last goodbye. You were supposed to be the guy who surprised me at my graduation. You were supposed to be the guy I saw through the crowd, dressed in your white uniform, glowing as you watched me cross the stage. You were supposed to be the guy I ran to the moment I tossed my cap. You were supposed to come home, show up at my door, and tell me that you missed me. You were supposed to tell me your feelings and be truthful. You were supposed to choose me. You were supposed to.

You weren’t supposed to let your hazel eyes gaze deeply into mine. You weren’t supposed to confess your struggles to me around a bonfire and then tell me you joined the Navy. You weren’t supposed to know that I had feelings for you and not address my feelings or yours. You weren’t supposed to uncomfortably watch me stand in the doorway at your going away party and not chase after me. You weren’t supposed to talk to me through the night, up until the moment you left for boot camp, only to give me false hope. You weren’t supposed to tell me you had feelings for me. You weren’t supposed to get deployed for 3 years. You weren’t supposed to meet some other girl. You weren’t supposed to propose to her…but you did.

Who you are and who I had hoped you’d be is in stark contrast. Hope can only get you so far without truth attached to it.

Expectations hurt.

Love hurts.

People hurt us.

This hurts.

But seeing truth, and letting go of falsified hope, is necessary to move forward. And the harsh truth is: you were never mine, and apparently will never be.

So, here’s to letting go.

Here’s to tossing away 6 years of unrequited love and heartache.

Here’s to 6 years anew.

Here’s to holding onto hope again.

Here’s to who I thought you were.

Here’s to trying again.

Here’s to you. Goodbye.

Cowardice to Confidence

Perseverance has a lot to do with perspective.

Seeing things from God’s perspective changes our outlook. It takes our eyes off of the temporary, and turns them towards the transcendent.

We may not be able, in our own strength, to endure the trials of life, but our God is more than able to carry us through – and beyond – our trials.

Our circumstance may be overwhelming, but He turns our cowardice into confidence.

Place your faith and trust in Jesus, holding fast to the completed work of the cross. He overcame every trial we will ever face, so there is nothing left to fear.

Uncertainty

Uncertainty is an awkward place to live in.

Uncertainty is unsettling.

It’s funny how a lack of perspective for the future can influence your present in such a deep way.

7 months ago, I was certain. As someone who is, generally, go-with-the-flow and spontaneous, a definitive plan is something I tend to lack. It’s not to say that I don’t have goals and dreams – I live for the dream! I struggle with making those dreams into a reality. I dream, I idealize, I procrastinate, and I optimistic-ize (new word) everything. So, for me, having a plan is huge.

7 months later, I’ve come to learn how quickly plans can change. I’ve experienced how quickly certainty can become uncertainty, sending an eternal optimist into the dark depths of reality.

So, here we are.

Uncertainty is unwelcoming, yet I sit here writing this whilst resting on a pillow that says, “Find the beauty in every day.” Funny, isn’t it?

Even when the expectancies of life cause us to lose our sense of settledness, it is important to not get lost in it. It is so easy to become consumed with the misery of the question mark. I can attest to that.

Don’t let your present realities distort your potential to dream again.

Uncertainty, while unsettling, can become a beautiful time of discovering new depths to trust and hope.

Uncertainty ushers us into new seasons of growth – just don’t let the growing pains cripple your ability to walk.

Find the beauty in today – even if your “today” isn’t what you had hoped it would be. Hey, at least you have a today!