you can’t leave it behind.

people change.  i’ve heard a lot of people lately tell me that they aren’t the person they used to be.  i’ve even felt that way sometimes, like the person i met is a completely different version of who is standing in front of me.  but i feel like there is an absolute truth of who we are.  deep down inside of us, we are.  like bill yonker says, we’re human be-ings, not human do-ings.  we have an unchangeable identity.  and not just an unchangeable identity as in, we are Christs, and he is unchanging and our identity is wrapped up in him.  that is absolutely and beautifully true, but its too simple.  we are not just robots, uniform clones who belong to a god.  we are people.  fearfully and wonderfully made.  (psalm 139).  no one is like another.  we are beautifully individual.  in revelation, it says that to the one who overcomes, god will give a new name, written on a white stone, known only to the one that receives it.  (rev 2:17).  there is an absolute true nature in us, apart from the confusion and conflict of the world, the uncertainty that surrounds us.  one day, we’ll know that true self, completely, but for now, we’re stuck to struggle with it.  but its not a struggle of becoming what we should be, but becoming ourselves.  its not changing who we are, but becoming more who we have always been.  no matter what changes we go through, what name we call ourselves by, what labels we wear, what life we lead, what places we go, our hearts don’t change.

god isnt a god of hopelessness. i refuse to believe that.  sometimes i feel so so light, tossed around by every changing wind.  but there is some part of me that will always stand firm, and its up to me whether i stand with it or not.  but also, life is a journey and sometimes we are moving closer to christ, closer to our truth.  sometimes, life seems right.  at riverside, i always feel that.  maybe i’m just feeling a little more that i’m living closer to the truth of my heart, of who i am.  but a lot of the time, i feel like i am walking away.  its overwhelming how much i mess up.  but, even when i’m moving the wrong direction, i’m at least learning which way not to go.  and thats something.



i want to write something extraordinary.  i want to say the right thing so you will understand.  i want to be perfect and show you exactly what is in my heart.  i want to find the right words to take away your pain.  i want to be able to give my god the worship he deserves and express love in every aspect of my life in all its beauty.

but i can’t.

i’ve been seeing lately how inadequate my words are.  i have a tendency to say too much, too little, or the wrong thing.  i struggle to make others understand and to feel like i am understood .

what i have to offer is my heart.  people talk about giving your heart to jesus and i try, but its embarrassing to walk to a king with nothing in your hands but a broken, bleeding, bruised heart.  our hearts arent perfect.  we’ve all been through pain.  we’ve all had our hearts broken.  we’ve all felt crushed.  we start out walking toward our king with a beautiful, pure gift to give to him and somehow along the way, we meet all sorts of obstacles and its not easy to keep that gift pure and beautiful anymore.  And we know the king understands what we’ve been through and still treasures us, but its still hard to see all his majesty, his mercy, and his love, and offer something as pitiable as our broken hearts.

but its what he wants.  for some reason nothing touches his heart so much as our own.  so i’ll carry on.  trying to trust you not only with my own heart, but also with the hearts of the people i love, the hearts who have touched mine.

though what i offer is broken, you can make it beautiful.  lord, its just hard to wait.


flawed.  broken.  beautiful.

its okay to be messy.  god has enough grace to cover me.  sometimes i feel like i should be perfect. i want to have it all together.  i can see why the idea of penance has held the church for so long.  we want to be able to make up for what we’ve done wrong.  we want to fix it.  but we can’t.

i feel so helpless when i realize that.  i’ve screwed up and i can’t undo it.  nothing i can do can get the blood of my hands, the stains off my body.  i get so caught up in that.  in hopelessness because there is nothing i can do.

its so easy for me to forget.  forget that i dont have to fix it.  i’m stuck in this mess, and i can’t pull myself out, but i have someone who is willing to come get me.  i’m sinking in the mess of this world, but my savior took my place.  i can’t fix it, but he can and he does.

god’s grace is messy.  it covers everything.  it isnt neat and it isnt like going to a doctor’s office.  i imagine it more like an artists studio.  it might seem haphazard, but the artist has a plan and a purpose for everything.  sometimes it might seem harsh to be molded on the potters wheel or thrown in to the kiln, but the artist has a perfect design in mind.

god is love and it is reckless and beautiful in the wildness and adventure of true life.  there is mercy and there is grace, but there is nothing i can do to earn them.  i am a beggar.  in humility and love, i am brought into the light, not by my own good, but by his own goodness.

its hard to accept.  sometimes i dont want to.  but its true.