Sunday, June 17, 2012

Life won't wait on the wounded.

A couple of sun-kissed moments later
After a wave of everything comes storming my way,
I am left here.
A guitar in my hands and emotions brimming on my heart,
I strum the familiar chords
and I remember.
I remember every laugh.
I remember every smile.
I remember every moment when I was brought alive
Almost complete.
Almost, but not quite.
I remember being almost content.
Almost, but not there.
I was almost happy.
I remember flashing scenes
Regular life meshed with hearty dysfunction.
Dysfunction was life,
and I was ok with it.
I remember crying,
warm tears streaming down my cheeks
every time my heart was lashed at.
I remember feeling confusion,
lost causes met with incomplete silence.
I remember feeling frustrated,
lacking in what I wanted to be and being pushed into who I resisted becoming.
But I became that person eventually.
I remember feeling safe,
forcing myself to feel safe
when I was anything but safe.
Despite the fear that I knowingly ignored, I persisted.
Despite the warnings that seemed to pop up everywhere, I became ignorant.
Despite the caution in my spirit, I sprinted in the wrong direction.
Because it had become my home.
Even now, through flashes and fear, chaos and peace,
my heart finds the smallest piece of itself somewhere else,
lost in a past that I was forced to move forward from
behind in a dream that almost seems like it was yesterday.
I'm sore.
Running, pushing, waiting, using
Helping, thriving, living, striving
with a dull throb of a reminder in the back that I know must eventually fade.

Why is it that the faster you attempt to heal from something, the harder it haunts you?
Because around every corner there is a chance to be who I was
who is almost unfamiliar in light of the person who sits here now,
typing and wondering how it all happened.
But "everything I was I'm now running from.
I'm never looking back."
I can't look back.
Why does it hurt so much?
Why does pain have to be so painful?
Why do memories have to haunt you for agonizing hours?
Why do places fill you with remorse and heartache?
Because life doesn't sit still,
And life doesn't wait on the wounded.
In the midst of the drama of emotion and the abrupt halt of consistency,
life persists.
It moves.
It pushes on with or without your consent.
I've lost too much time knowingly and unknowingly being ignorant of the will of God,
and life has handed me a slap to get me back to reality.
This is my life now,
will I live in it or will I live from the past of it?
Will I push on with it
or will I avoid it in attempts of recreating shackles?
Will I let hurt become an anchor
or will I attempt to be anchored to nothing less then Jesus Christ?
I feel it,
His will.
His presence.
Chipping, breaking, grinding everything down to dust
So that He might rebuild.

He smiles, because through my stark change in direction
and heavy change of focus,
He's been waiting for this moment.
He's been anticipating this summer,
and when He smiles I feel it
and I know I'm doing something right.
"Not my will, but Yours" has never meant so much,
because I'm realizing now that it changes your life.
So through every weighing down possibility factor,
I am reminded that I am more than a conqueror.
This is my Everest,
and I will climb it until I
and when I take in the air of overcoming
I will be the mountain climber He always dreamed me to be.
And even though I'm not there yet
Not who I need to be
And far from who I was
He sees me as is and as I will be.
So, I climb.

Climb on, friends.
You are not alone.
We're in this together.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Three years later.

Today, through so much happiness and joy, I am soberly reminded of a friend I had 3 years ago named Johnson Ko. It's amazing how something can stay with you for so long, even though so much time has passed. All it takes is one moment and you're back to where everything happened. My friend Johnson passed away my senior year of high school. We had carpooled everyday to school and back since we both lived in the city and school was a little over 20 minutes away. During this time I really got to know him and see his family, along with all sides of his personality. There's only so much that people see and can tell about you at school. It really comes down to what you put out there, but you really learn a lot about a person when you visit their homes and ride with their parents, wait on them to get ready, and have conversations in the car about school, work, and classes. You don't necessarily have a choice in what they see then, because they see you in multiple environments.

There was something funny about my friendship with Johnson, mainly that he always made fun of me. But we made it into a running joke and I will admit that I AM quite unpredictable at times, so it all played in together. We embraced it, for the most part, and we just laughed. I have all these memories of laughing with him, or laughing at myself. He also could always tell when something was off or wrong with me, and he would actually make an effort to ask what it was. I usually didn't tell him. I usually brushed it off and let him figure it out for himself. He usually did.

I remember giving a speech on the day of my graduation from high school introducing a song about heaven and tying it into the death of my friend: "You Hold Me Now" by Hillsong. This song will always have a tie to this loss for the rest of my life.  I remember saying that "You Hold Me Now" was a reminder that Johnson was in heaven, and what we all hope for as Christians we will one day come to see there. God granted me the grace and honor to know that Johnson was happy in His presence through that song and through a powerful encounter I had with Him in a church service.
I KNOW Johnson is in heaven. I KNOW he is free and fully satisfied. I know it.

There is so much uncertainty in life. I never knew that Johnson would never get to graduate. I never knew that we wouldn't be randomly talking on Facebook about college or life. I didn't anticipate it.

In my life today there is so much uncertainty with what I have and where I'm going, but I'm encouraged by these words my good friend Johnson wrote in an essay our senior year in high school, and I hope you will be too. It's in remembering these words and the memory of our friendship that I can look forward and know with certainty where my future lies:
"In my short life, bitter and sweet times fill up the past. The bad times are bearable only with the presence of good times. These good times give preparation to endure the harder times. In this way, the past affects the future and sometimes restrains the future, yet your future ultimately depends on what you will make of it...Though I have no clear vision of the future, I plan to walk by faith without sight. However, while the inability to see into the future or the goals that will limit is fearful, being led by the hand of God places exhilaration and enjoyment in that life. My future will not be something I can predict, given the sovereignty of God, but it will be mind boggling to see a life given to God unravel."

Friday, June 1, 2012

Love is the movement.

For me, love is so special and so real and has the power to alter you so much that it should be treasured. It should be honored and revered. I think that what I see a lot is that people have lost it.
Love doesn't hold the same meaning and weight that it should. It's flippantly displayed and boasted and then it's mind is changed but days later. That's not love, and if it is I don't want it.
I don't think that love should change it's mind immaturely. I think that when it does and it's been publicly displayed on social networking sites that it leaves people looking foolish.
And it annoys me. But seriously:
If love is supposed to be so special, honoring, and treasured, maybe we should treat it so.

Love should be respectful, but maybe even the concept of love should be respected.

I read this quote in a book the other day that goes along these lines: Maybe it'd be the best thing for you if your greatest fear came true, because then you'd realize that it isn't the end of the world.
There's this world outside what you think - how you think, how you feel, what you feel.
There's this world out there: outside your box, outside your reality, outside anything you know to be true. I'm currently living in that world. I didn't think it were ever possible, but it is. I'm here. A long time ago one of my greatest fears came true, and I realize now
It's not the end of the world.
It never was.
It was the end of a world I myself had created and made my own.
But that world faded, and the real world hit. Hard? Maybe a little. But all the more, very real.

People - If we are supposed to love like God loved us, how foolish are we into showing love and affection one moment and then changing it the next? This isn't even in reference to relationships - it's just in general. What does that show everyone? What does it show each other? How can we say we're like Christ when we change our minds on a daily basis & never follow through with our commitments?

One of the bravest things I have ever seen anyone do is stick it out and stick around. That's the stuff that you see that stays with you, that really means something. When I'm brave enough to say to you: "I love you so much that I'll stay," "I love you so much that I won't let you do this alone," or "I love you so much that you shouldn't be afraid of me changing my mind" and actually follow through, then that's real love and courage, because doing that is one of the greatest challenges you'll ever face: consistency and commitment.
I wonder sometimes how God feels when He extends those words to us and we display the opposite in return.

If we are to be ANYTHING like Christ let's take a step changing our actions revolving around love. It's in realizing and fixing this that one of the greatest feats can be achieved: unity.
Love should be the thing that attracts people to us, not the hypocrisy that turns them away.