Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Time will always move on, chiseling in stone events of the present, establishing the past in permanence.

Dwelling on the past will lead you down an inevitable path. You'll come across things that you wish you could relive, memories you'll cherish forever. And of course, your mind will stumble onto other things, moments of weakness or anger, memories laced with regret and hopelessly unchangeable. Yes, the past, once lived moments, are parts of our being that, while physically gone, stay with us forever.

Too often, I allow the past to define me, or worse, allow it to determine my future. I forget how powerful the past can be, a mental presence that can yield glorious hope and overwhelming fear. Ultimately though, I know that I empower the past. I determine whether the thoughts can consume me or not.

And firmly grasping that truth, I can let go. I can give the past to God, and He can use it to guide me in the future. Recalling those painful events can retrain my focus and remind me not to allow those situations to arise again. In the moments where I'm at my weakest, where I'm far gone and I don't believe I can ever get back, I'm reminded that God has got me through it before, and even better, He can do it again.

The past isn't just an eternal reminder of our shortcomings. It's a lesson learned, a tool that equips us for the future. Through God, the past can heal us.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Life is really good right now. I know this comes as a surprise given my recent whinings about all my drama, but recently, God's been going above and beyond to give me peace. And, beyond that, I'm genuinely happy.

Church is unbelievably encouraging. Lately, I've felt like the sermons were written for me, which I know is God's way of speaking to me, but it goes even further to remind me that I'm not alone in my struggles. He's working on and speaking to others just like me. Even my job is a reminder that God will provide. I work for a company founded on Christian morals, I have a great boss, and with a few small exceptions, I work with some awesome people from many different walks of life. My friends and family are there for me, even in the hard times. Time after time, I'm being reminded of how truly wonderful my life is, the countless blessings that I don't deserve and take for granted all too often.

Coming from an instantaneous generation, I tend to live in the now, confining my view to the things going on at this very second. That's, I guess, why I go downhill so fast when things get tough, but I'm learning. I'm learning to turn to God for everything instead of just the tough stuff. Beyond that, I'm learning that I can, in fact, trust people. I used to think that talking to people, letting anyone too close was dangerous, social and emotional suicide. I'd been burned too many times to ever think otherwise.

Now, I realize that God doesn't just put people in our lives to come and go. God puts people in our lives to affect us, in one way or another. Sometimes, it's to test our faith, and other times, it's to provide a tangible presence to help us through the hard times. Either way, they all have some sort of purpose, no accidents. Through others, God can mold us and make us stronger.

Ultimately, I feel like I'm being guided, which is quite possibly the most incredible feeling I've ever had. To know that my life is in God's hands (and, even better, not in my hands) has brought me peace. I'm looking forward to my future with excitement and wonder, rather than trepidation now, and to be honest, I want others to feel the way I do.

I'm not trying to turn my blog into a church invitation or anything, but I'm completely serious. If you get anything out of reading my words, I want you to know that you can have true peace and you can know true love through Jesus. Because, as I'm being reminded again and again, that's really all that matters.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

We all need somebody to lean on.

Psalms 34:4 - I sought the Lord, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.

Story of my life, right there. This entire week I've tried to, once again, place my focus on strengthening my relationship with God, and I'm not going to lie.

It's really, really difficult to keep that focus.

I fail. Constantly, I fail. I have to remind myself of my goal incessantly because if I let myself slip, even for a moment, it's back to square one. And it's frustrating because I know I can do better. I know I can try harder to clean up my act, to be a better person and Christian, but even at my best, the thoughts are still there. I still have to fight to keep myself in check, especially this blasted tongue of mine.

Despite the fact that I do have to rely entirely on God to "deliver me from all my fears," I have a really bad habit of idolizing other people who are closer to God than I am or, at least, people I think have a stronger faith than I do. On it's own, that's not a terrible tendency, but the catch comes when those heroes and mentors fall. Because when they screw up, I fall right along with them, and my excuse, of course, is that if they can do it, it must be okay. The logic is twisted, yes, but that's human nature for you, twisted.

I've seen people go down hard, people I looked up to and respected and turned to for help in almost every aspect of life. Whether it's using God's name to advance their personal status and fame or blatantly going against the very things they supposedly stand for, it's not easy to uphold the standards taught in an atmosphere of hypocrisy.

Granted, human nature is overwhelming at times, and everyone falls. I get that. Regardless though, it can hinder those who are still learning, those like me who yearn to be closer to God but need true and dependable guidance to get there. I'm not calling anyone particular out, and this is in no way an attack on any specific person or people, but from a young Christian who has seen leaders crumble under the weight of sin, think about the people who look up to you. Think about your followers, those who turn to you when their back is against the wall, when there's no one else to turn to.

Because when you fall, you throw them into a state of confusion and uncertainty, and if they're anything like me, it'll take a long time to build up that stability again.

And it'll take even longer to build back up their trust in you.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


For the past few days or so, I've been down and out. I haven't become emo or anything else that requires dark makeup and death metal. It's, more or less, a conglomeration of several different things going on in my life right now, not just that horribly depressing blog I wrote yesterday. But I'm working through it, mostly me and God with a little advice thrown in from a few close friends.

I'm horrible at showing my emotions. I rarely do, and even when I do, I usually do a really crappy job at it. I've attempted to contain all my drama, offering fake smiles to conceal what I've been feeling. That's why, I think, this last little while has been so difficult for me. Wearing my emotions on my sleeves makes me unstable, even more so than I usually am.

Last night and for the majority of this morning, I prayed nonstop for God to show me what was wrong with me, to somehow bring me peace, joy even. At church today, I felt bitter and apathetic towards pretty much everyone I came into contact with. But God, in His usual way of fixing everything I've screwed up, spoke to me through the message. I'm not talking about the usual bull where you pretend that whatever was said was "just what you needed." This was straight up conviction.

Tim Lee, a retired Marine and Vietnam Veteran, spoke at church today. He gave his testimony, which tells the story of how he lost both of his legs to a landmine. He told his story with such passion and forcefulness that I felt compelled to listen. Despite how incredible his story was as a whole, the aspect that floored me was how God changed drastically changed his life in a matter of months. From a troubled teen rebelling against God, to a Marine, to a man without half of his body who loves God with all his heart. Tim was unbelievably encouraging, and his story only further proves that God can use anyone, even the broken and the abused.

I left church today realizing that all the problems in my life that I've spent so much time dwelling on are all in God's hands, they're so small compared to His power. Tim Lee's problems and struggles were so much worse than mine, even to the point of physically disabling him, but through God, he was able to live on, happy and serving. It showed me that whatever God has in store for me will come about, regardless of what this world throws at me. For the first time in quite awhile now, I was reminded what it means to be saved, what it means to have hope, and most importantly, what it means to be loved.

Friday, May 13, 2011


These bones, once filled with spite and anger, are tired. You've exhausted them, left them bruised to the marrow. I guess, even if you'd held back whatever it was you felt when you left me, we'd have eventually reached this crossroads, where we are right now. It was inevitable, and at this point, no amount of separation or silence will compel either of us to move, but then again, neither will words. Sometimes words just fail.

For weeks, I hated myself for needing you. I could feel myself drifting towards writing your name on some hopeful correspondence, an unpronounced gravity, every successive letter building on the pressure, pulling me in. I fell again and again, hopelessly transfixed on your absence. Thoughts of you flooded into my mind, spilling into my dreams.

Some mornings, I would lie awake, my eyelids clinging to one another trying to recover disfigured images of you, images of you smiling and happy. It was a nightly siege, a storm in my head. My conscious self fought to erase you, while my unconscious self spent hours recreating memories of us and making new ones. The two halves of me warred with one another, neither knowing whether you were ever coming back. I ached to hear your voice, to see your face, subconsciously searching crowds and passing cars for some trace or sign of you. But I've always been strong willed, prideful even, and I broke that need for you. I isolated it in my mind, analyzed it, and eventually talked myself into a state of contentment. Not happiness, but contentment.

Now, I don't know if I'd recognize your voice. It hurt me deeper than you could possibly fathom, all the things I've heard, the lies you've believed. I know that you couldn't have known though. No one who truly understood how it's affected me, how devastated I am could've possibly put me through this. No one is that heartless.

We tried to work it out, but apparently, that was perceived as yet another attempt to manipulate you. That day, we left with the same tension that hangs over our heads today, that tension that continues to force apart the walls of this ever-widening rift between us. For weeks, any communication I received from you was nothing short of accusatory. I felt like, when we spoke, I wasn't breathing oxygen, just the heat from your anger. I refuse to believe that anger was self-generated because, for quite awhile now, someone else has been calling your shots. That's why I can't bring myself to speak anymore, knowing every word will be twisted and mangled by your self-serving interpreter. I know it's not you, not the girl I love and am terrified of losing forever.

I wish I could prove to you that I care. God, I wish I could show you how so, so very much I care. But my hands are bound, my words have to pass through her filter before they reach you, and whatever comes out the other side is out of my control entirely. Heck, even if I gave you my words directly, it'd be only a matter of time before they were repurposed to fit her agenda.

I realize you've replaced me, you don't trust me, and you don't feel that I'm worth that effort, but out respect for what we had, please be you. Some people are very, very good at putting on a show, at gaining power through varied manipulative means. Some people absolutely want to use you. Don't let that happen. Don't let someone else tell you the whos, whats, and whens. It's your life, follow your dreams. If someone hates you for it, forget them.

This entire situation is beyond any influence I have or ever had. Everything I do backfires, pushing you farther away, and so, shutting down was and is the best course of action. Even now, I realize that the very words on this page will be used against me, but it's worth the risk. You're worth the risk. I never intended to hurt you, never EVER felt you were my pawn or puppet, and I most certainly didn't base our entire friendship on manipulation. I believe you've contributed very little to this situation, and you're most certainly not the one to blame.

I care about you, and even if this merits absolutely nothing, I want you to be happy. I want you to be famous, to catch all those dreams you used to chase, to see the world, to find true love. I want you to have the greatest life you can possibly have, God's blessings through and through, even if I'm not in it.

As I write this, I feel an ache leaving my body that has haunted it for far too long. Should she tell you, as I expect, that I'm trying to lure you back into my "power" (the power she so fervently wrote about, berating me for holding over you for the past ten years), just know she's a liar. She may have swept all solid traces of her manipulative pries under the rug, but I won't. Here are my words, my feelings. Take them and keep them.

You may shake your head violently, screaming that none of this is true. But I have never written anything so true in my entire life. You can curse the ground I walk on, burn every last bridge between us, but I'll always be here if you need it. If you need one, you have a friend, unconditionally.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Keep chasing those pavements.

Whenever I come across an artist I like, it doesn't take long for me to start obsessing over their music, studying their iTunes profile, searching for lyrics and sheet music, even delving into their lesser known songs. This month's artist is the ever-lovely, ever-British Adele.

I have to accredit SIRUS with uniting us, Adele and I. Sitting in the driveway, refusing to turn off my vehicle, I listened, speechless, to the final lines of "Make You Feel My Love." There's so much power and meaning in her lyrics, echoed by the ferocity in her voice.

Adele sings of things everyone can relate to: love, heartbreak, revenge. It's all there, hidden amongst cryptic metaphors and intense intonations, and she's the perfect messenger.

But what impresses me the most about Adele is that her fame and popularity ride on nothing but her incredible talent. Adele doesn't need some sleazy getup, anorexic diet, or profanity-filled lyrics to make anyone like her. Adele sets an example by being true to herself. And you know what?

She is absolutely beautiful just the way she is.


Adele did an interview with Rolling Stone, and as part of her closing, she made a statement which pretty much sums it up:

"...but that's not what my music is about. I don't make music for eyes. I make music for ears."

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Sometimes I forget the impact mere words can have on people.

Whenever I post to this thing, I tend to envision close friends and family reading (and hopefully enjoying) whatever I've written, my blog contained right here in Tennessee. Never in my life could I have imagined my words leaving an impression halfway around the earth.

God managed to convey weight and meaning through these small, simple letters thousands of miles from where they were conceived to bless someone. And in turn, He blessed me.

John 1:16

"From the fullness of his grace, we have all received one blessing after another."

Monday, May 2, 2011

Please...just stop it.


Osama's dead, gone, perished, expired, pushing up daisies. All that crap. So, for the love of my sanity, stop the social networking presses. I don't care about all this DNA testing, or the caliber of the weapon that did him in, or the color turban he was wearing when he was buried in the ocean or Area 51 or in Obama's second-cousin's vegetable garden. I don't care.

The majority of us are sick of hearing about it. America, an entire country, succeeded in killing one man. Granted, he was a very dangerous, ugly man. He killed thousands, started wars, and made many, many people very scared and very sad. Yes, Osama was a dirty trashcan full of poop, but c'mon people.

Reveling in that man's death will not change what happened. Sure, we can praise God for safety and for victory, but running around in your American flag boxers, a beer in each hand, screaming "OSAMA DUN' GOT DEAD!" is not accomplishing anything. Actually, it's just degrading the entire situation and humiliating our country.

War is not a game, and death is not funny. Show some dignity, America. Raise your flags high, but don't get so caught up in the death of some punk that you lose sight of what we're fighting for.