hope. // another freewrite

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i am still here, fighting the waves. fighting for my words.

facebook reminded me today of some words i wrote last year. when i wrote them, i was thinking of a friend going through a hard time. and today when i read them, i thought of myself.

“hope lives in you, too. hope hides underneath your skin, reminding you that this winter of yours is only a season. reminding you that you are not who you’ll be. that you will bloom. that the daylight will make your soul its home. hope is in your bones, reminding you that you are still here. that you are still alive. that your life is waiting for you to grab it by the shoulders and shake it.”

hope is mine. it lives in me, even when it feels like i lost it. hope is mine, because my soul craves it every day. this winter is not the end. my life hasn’t ended. my heartbeat is a song of hope. every time my heart drums, it tells me i am still here. i still have hope.

even when i don’t think i do. even when i can’t find my words. even if i feel lost and small. even if the waves are too strong and i can’t fight them. even when joy hides a little too well from me.

love is on his way. hope is on his way. He will knock on the doors of my heart, and sit on the chairs of my soul. and He will wipe my tears, and call me redeemed and beloved. he will make it rain, and the spring my heart longs for will come.

“and as you wait for your winter to end, celebrate. celebrate that you are still here. that your heart is still beating. that beauty is everywhere you look. celebrate the flowers that are growing down the street. look at them, and marvel at their simple beauty. at the way they reflect their maker. at the way the reflect glory and hope and grace. take one and put it in your hair.”

but in the meantime, i will celebrate. i will celebrate my smallness, even when i don’t want to, because my smallness leaves room for grace. i will celebrate the beauty around me and inside me. i will let the daylight in. i will place flowers on my head, symbols of beauty and glory and grace.

and hope.

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still brave.

today marks six months since A Song of Bravery was released.
the days and weeks and months that followed were full of joy and excitement and just about every existing emotion. i loved waking up to find comments and reviews and book royalty reports.
i felt happy and accomplished. my bravery, my decision to be true to who God made me to be, was being rewarded.

and slowly, with time, the excitement began to dissipate. comments and reviews and book sales were less frequent. college became more demanding and i found myself with less time and creativity to write new poetry. i’ve told you before that i tend to place my worth and my identity in my words, and this season of my life was not an exception. i was discouraged. i felt sad that i was unable to make new art. whenever i managed to get a few words out and write what i considered to be a decent poem, it felt like it was the best day of my life. that’s how bad it was.

and yesterday i sat down to read my book. i felt encouraged and inspired as i read my own words. i read those verses a thousand times when i was putting the collection together. but yesterday i didn’t see the string of words i’d grown accustomed to reading when i looked for typos and mistakes. i found hope and joy in my very own song of bravery. i remembered who i was.

and i asked myself, “am i not still brave? if my words were to be taken away from me, wouldn’t i still have worth? wouldn’t i still be enough? am i not still brave?”

the answer to all of those questions is yes.

yes, i am still brave. yes, i am still enough. yes, i am still worthy. because, oh my soul, you are more than your words. you are more than where you place your worth. you are more than your dreams. you are still brave because you choose to hope. you are brave because you have chosen to believe in your Maker. you are brave because you are still here, because your heart still beats. because you still wonder at the beauty your eyes see. because you haven’t lost all of your joy.

my soul, you are brave. your bravery isn’t big. it doesn’t shine. your bravery maybe goes by unnoticed. but it is there. between your heartbeats. inside your bones. in your glittering eyes.

yes, i am still brave. because i no longer walk with shame and fear. i walk with a head that is lifted high. i walk with grace, the same grace that erased who i used to be. yes, i am still brave. because i am not who i used to be.

i still sing my song of bravery. the melody and the words have changed, but the brave heart is the same.

let the daylight in.

open the windows
of your soul
and let the daylight
rush in
let it swallow up
the darkness
and let it
dance in your heart
and watch it
take away the
pain and the hurt
and let it
leave
sparks of hope
in you
open your windows,
open your doors,
open your soul
and let the daylight in

this poem is from my book A Song of Bravery, which is free today and tomorrow! may you let the daylight in. may you be brave. may you let hope guide you. may you find light and joy. may hope and grace trump the pain you’ve been feeling.

loved, so loved.

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i want to be wild. to leave trails
of stars and spring and
rain and light and
glory behind me.
to never settle. to never forget
who i am
who i was
who i’ll be,
who made me
and why my heart beats.
to let the sun make my soul its home.
to let freedom run in my blood, to look at the sky and to find the
stars
smiling down at me.
to let drops of rain
soak me.
to feel, to know that i am alive, that this heart of mine was meant
to beat.
to believe that i am
loved,
so loved.
and to know that my eyes were meant to see glory, to know that the
darkness
does
not
own
me.
to know in my heart, my soul, my bones, my inmost being
that i am a child of the Light, a daughter of the sunrise and
loved,
so loved.
to know that this life of mine was made on
purpose,
that my eyes
blink
and i
breathe
and my feet
walk
and my heart
loves
because it is what
i
was
made
for.
to know that i am not
a mistake, i am not a failure.
i am my dreams and my
laughter and my
tears and my
hopes and i am
loved,
so loved.