I have one word to describe this semester: DAUNTING
verb (used with object)
1. to overcome with fear; intimidate: to daunt one’s adversaries
2. to lesson the courage of; dishearten.
Have you ever had this feeling like, something doesn’t feel right but you can’t pinpoint exactly what it is? I sometimes can’t even tell if it’s emotional or actually physical – do I really have a headache and no appetite or is something deeper going on? Am I really just tired or is it more serious? Maybe you’ve never experienced this confusion – I hope for your sake, that you haven’t. It can start a spiral of “what if’s” and “shoulds” and “whats wrong with me?” and my all time favorite (sarcasm) “Am I just imagining this entire thing? What is real life?!?!”
So, I’ve been silent. I’ve been silent because I haven’t known exactly what to say or who to say things too. I haven’t felt confident in acknowledging what I can’t even seem to identify in myself. But silence fuels shame and shame spurs negative cycles and negative cycles keep us stuck.
If I’ve learned anything, it’s that it’s alright to not know all the answers and it’s alright to not fully understand – it’s alright even to not fully understand yourself.
I have been both confused and perplexed by people’s behaviors and interactions I have witnessed and been a part of over the past few weeks. I have found myself feeling confused, speechless, and even ashamed. There have been times when I regretted opening my mouth and letting words spill out without a second thought, but there have been even more times where I found myself with a knot in my gut because I chose, in the moment, to stay silent.
I’m passionate about a LOT of things, but above all things – I am an advocate for GRACE. I strive to show grace to others and lately, I’ve been trying really hard to work on showing grave to myself. Lately my biggest mantra has been: The God that got you here will get you THERE!
The scary thing is that I don’t know where “THERE” is. I’ve felt a lot of shame and fear over not knowing where I want to end up and what my “destination” will be, career wise and in regards to my earthly life. I tend to tumble headlong into a disastrous mashup of every potential outcome for my life, when I need to be right here, right now.
That is my ultimate goal this semester – amongts the 10 hour (+) days at school, the late nights, the early mornings, the tough assignments, the long rehearsals, and everything in between – I want to be present. I have been having to take things quite literally hour by hour the past week or so. I can’t even bare to think about 5 years from now, much less 5 days from now without spiraling into full on anxiety attack. And that’s where GRACE makes it’s entrance – Grace says that it’s okay to feel weak, it’s okay to feel fear, to feel insecurity, to feel uncertain. But Grace also says that I don’t have to STAY in those feelings. Grace sweeps in and reminds me that I don’t have to prove anything to anyone. God loves me consistently. God loves me unconditionally. Grace reminds me that I am far more REAL than the world around me – my reality is eternal and unchanging. Grace says that the biggest acts of faith almost always involve fear. Grace refuses to allow me to forget the fact that EVERYTHING in my past is preparation for something in my future – God will never waste ANYTHING. Grace tells me to rest. When I feel weak and unsteady grace walks in and says, “The God that got you here, will get you THERE! God has already written your story. Trust.”
I am sharing all this with you because Grace will tell you the same thing if you open your heart to it.
Be still and know that I am God.
Be still and know that I am.
Be still and know.
In the midst of what feels like utter exhaustion, I am endlessly blessed. I do not want you to think for one moment that I am unhappy. The long and short of it all is this: I am fine. I am okay. I am here. I am living. I am breathing. My heart is still beating. I woke up today, and that counts for something. Not everyone got that lucky. I have a wonderful pup who’s sweet kisses and cuddles make everyday worth seeing through to the end and which make every morning worth crawling out of bed for. I am so fortunate. I am receiving a college education, which many people could not even dream of having. I have literally everything I could possibly need (even when it doesn’t FEEL like I have everything I need – it’s simply that I might not have everything that I WANT. But my needs are more than met.) I am relatively healthy – physically, at least (lol mental illness = yuck, but I’m working towards healing and it will always be a work in progress.). I have friends who are great, people who love me and look out for me, and a tribe that is cheering me on. Most importantly, I have a Savior who loves me so much that He died for me – someone who sees me in every moment and still somehow manages to love me unconditionally. I am growing, learning, tripping my way through life, but still moving forward nonetheless. I am grateful. I am thankful. I am endlessly blessed.
Grace is there. Grace is everywhere I look. Grace wins every time, if only we will take the time to “be still and know…”
“Set your minds on things that are above; not on things that are on earth.”
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the holy spirit you may abound in hope.”
“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”
― C.S. Lewis