This last year, my life exploded in the best way possible. I made so many amazing friends, learned about my world and myself. But most importantly, I learned so much about God. I started thinking about what I believed on a personal level, instead of just willingly lapping up all of the (sometimes bullshit) doctrine shoved toward me by my school, church, friends, teachers, and books. I started to think for myself, and learned that Jesus is greater than I ever could have imagined. And that blew my mind.
All of this to say: before this year, I didn't live with a ton of hope. God was always an afterthought. Something would start to go a little screwy and I'd throw up a quick prayer. But living with my heart leading the way instead of God led to a sad and empty little existence.
But this year, when things came along that made me sad (like a boy or sickness or accidentally hurting a friend or past mistakes being dragged up through a stupid facebook message), although I still felt my full range of emotions, although tears and sleepless nights still happened, there was this happy thing that kept me from feeling bogged down and completely useless: hope.
I'm not sure where it came from: reading the Bible, more prayer in my life, meaningful relationships, a change of location, an excitement for living. Maybe all of these things. But I suddenly realized that the depressed angry little kid I was for a lot of years is gone. What liberation.
I was just writing an email to a friend who's going through such a tough season in her life, and as I was shelling out all this advice I realized that I'm terrified of giving advice. I always have been. I mean, when someone asks for help, they sort of expect you to give them meaningful answers, say something to actually be helpful. And I am hesitant with those words: what if what I say just makes it worse? There's some self-doubt for you.
But as I was typing this email, and the words and verses and analogies and what I hope were encouraging words started flowing, I realized that I shouldn't be fearful because everything I was saying is so true. That Jesus is the author of hope and love and sometimes being released from brokenness is the most painful thing in the world, but also so necessary.
I don't know. Our lives are never going to play out exactly the way we think they will, but oftentimes if we just let go, these amazing things we never imagined come pouring into our life without end. And that's so amazing.
Like a passion for the Word;
Like an inexpressible craving to worship;
Like a best friend absolutely filled with light and joy;
Like a relationship with a tri-lingual crazy face;
Like a sister who is entirely inspiring;
Like a promise that we will never be abandoned or forsaken.