Grace Yourself

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I became a college student this month. I’ve been learning what the real world is like. And this month hasn’t been the best. It’s been stressful and long and tiring. I don’t remember the last time I’d felt so weary. So tired. I’ve learned what being an adult looks like. I’ve been busy trying to leave my procrastinating ways behind, getting out of my comfort zone, using an ATM, taking taxi cabs every day, meeting new people, making friends, trying not to miss my high school friends, being brave…. I’ve made many changes in such a short period of time. I’ve been so busy trying to be successful and to get everything right, and when it doesn’t happen, I end up angry and frustrated with myself. And in this new season, I’ve forgotten to be still. To relax. To breathe. To abide in my Savior. To be quiet and to listen to His whispers. To grace myself.

I’ve forgotten that I’m in a new season of my life. I’m going to make mistakes, and that is normal. It’s okay. I’ve forgotten that sometimes being brave is hard. That things won’t always run smoothly, and that is fine. I’ve forgotten to grace myself. I’ve held myself to a standard of perfection, and unsurprisingly, failed. I’ve forgotten to love myself.

This Sunday, it all came tumbling down. I felt tired and weary and I didn’t feel good at all with myself. As I got ready for church, I decided I’d wear the first thing I could find. I didn’t feel pretty, nor was I in the mood to dress up. [Truthfully, I wasn’t even in the mood for worshipping.] But then the little sassy [and smart] girl inside of me said, “No. No. No. You are going to find your prettiest blouse, you are going to let down your hair, you are going to put on the brightest shade of lipstick you can find, you are going to wear your heels and you are going to look great.”
And so I did.

Friend, the change I felt in my spirit was almost instant. I saw myself in the mirror and I liked what I saw. My smile grew a little bigger. I felt happy. And I felt so pretty. I felt confident and brave and beautiful and smart and all the words in the dictionary. And I know that it wasn’t just the makeup or the nice clothes that gave me that boost I needed. It was the fact that I’d chosen to love myself. To be kind with myself. And friend, I invite you do the same. I don’t know what you’re going through. But as you go on through this crazy life, be kind to yourself. Don’t get frustrated when things don’t go the way you planned. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Love the brokenness, because it will be made beautiful. Don’t forget to be still and have some time for yourself. Buy yourself some flowers. Get your nails done. Spend time with Jesus. Get a new haircut. Go to the movies. Go on a walk. Buy a pretty dress. Make art. Write. Get some froyo. Take a nap. Do something that will make you happy. You deserve love, especially from yourself. Go and #treatyoself.

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Made for More {a poem}

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i was made for more
i was made for shining bright
i wasn’t made to drown in my sorrows
i was made to find joy
I was made to gaze at cotton candy skies
i wasn’t made for fear
i was made with a brave spirit
i was made to give love
i wasn’t made to hide in shame
i was made to dance in grace
i wasn’t made for here
i was made for eternity
i was made for more.

Enough.

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[poem originally shared at gabywrites]

Something I wrestle with every day is feeling loved. Feeling accepted. Feeling like I am enough. I’m not sure why this is my fight. I don’t know why I am constantly bombarded with thoughts about my life not being enough, about my art and poetry being insignificant. I don’t know why I constantly forget that I am loved and cherished and sought after.
There are rare days when I do remember that truth. There are days when I wake up and I feel like the sun shines just for me, that the birds are singing just for me. There are days when I am overwhelmed by love, when God tells me that He loves me through his words, through other people, through little everyday things. And that’s good.

But when those things are not enough, when it feels like God needs to write his love for me in the sky, or braid it in my hair, or pour it in my morning coffee, I must remember the cross. I must remember that Jesus died for me. I must remember that He did not die so that I would wake up every day feeling worthless. He died to give me abundant life. He died because He loved me, because He believed I was worth it. I don’t know what he saw in me. I don’t know what he sees in me. But he sees something. He thinks I’m worth saving. He thinks I’m worth loving. He says I am precious and honored in his sight. He says He loves me. He says he made me, fearfully and wonderfully.

And when I feel like I’m not enough, I must listen to His voice. The voice that drowns out the voices of fear and guilt and shame. The voice that drowns out the lies. The voice of truth. The voice that takes delight in me and sings over me. The voice that calmed the seas. The voice that whispers, “You are enough.”

all i ever wanted {a poem}

all i ever wanted
was to be loved by You
and instead You
made your heart my home
You kissed my tears away
and filled the void in my soul
and turned my sorrow into dancing
and made my brokenness beautiful
and placed a crown on my head
and called me yours.
all i wanted was your love
and You gave me life.

Never stop loving.

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Hey, you. We need your love. No one else can take your place in this world. Don’t stop loving because you’ve listened to doubt. Don’t listen to the voice that says that you’re not enough. Because someone needs to listen to your words. Someone needs your encouragement. Never stop loving. Share the love that’s in your heart. Don’t hold back. You, darling, can never love too much. Never stop loving.

Don’t stop loving because your heart has been broken. Don’t stop loving those you haven’t forgiven. Don’t stop loving because you’ve been hurt. Don’t let your heart turn bitter. Give grace. Give forgiveness. You’ve been forgiven. You’ve been given grace. You have been given love. And you have been given love to share with all, not just the ones who love you. Love because love can tear down the walls of bitterness. Love because love can soften hearts. Because love changes hearts.

Love because you were called to love. Love because love is the reason you are here right now. Love because love always protects. Because love always hopes. Because love endures. Because love never ends. Love because everything else runs out. Because only love remains. Love because love is what makes this life worth living. Love because love covers a multitude of sins. Love because love brings hope. Love because love brings healing. Love because you were first loved.

Yes, there will be people who will reject you and your love. But there are those who crave to be loved. Love those who crave it and love those who turn their backs to love. Because those who turn their backs on it are the ones who need it the most. Because one day love will tear down the walls they’ve put up and will come rushing into their hearts. Love because love always wins. Love because love is more than bitterness and hard feelings and grudges. Love because love is enough to fight anything that comes. Because love is more than enough.

Never stop loving.