Today, Rachi and I woke up WAY too early. My alarm was set for 6:30am, but my brain was wired for 4am apparently. I mean, hey, what can ya do? So, we played for a little bit and then she went back to sleep (lucky dog!) as I read my bible and spent some time with God…and with coffee. At 6:30am I decided to start my day and so I took Rachi to our favorite park. With humidity still asleep and the sunlight just peeking over the edge of the horizon, we walked. It was the perfect temperature and the perfect time too because there were only a few other people out on the trail. And so, with time alone with my pup and in one of our favorite places, I kept up the dialogue with God that I had going on in my head and I tried to relax and breathe in my surroundings and the fresh cool air.
Time in nature is so crucial to my well being. I am starting to find that I thrive off of what’s natural and what’s authentic. I used to think it was my dream to live in a big city. But I need water. I need mountains. I need sunrises and sunsets that are pure and not tainted with smog and high rises. I need early mornings and evenings where I’m crawling under the covers as the sun is setting outside – even though that’s not the “early 20’s” thing to do. I need a few really good friends, not a bunch of acquaintances. I need people who know me, ALL of me, and accept me for who I am….a human, sinner, imperfect, but also honest, empathetic, and loving. I need people who push and encourage my creativity – not ones who stomp it out like a smoldering fire. I need people who aren’t scared of the very parts of me that scare me the most and I especially need people who will be vulnerable enough to share their own scary parts with me. I need open space and quiet time. And even though I am outgoing and love interacting with people – in order to be healthy and happy, I also need a lot of time to be alone.
I used to think I could save the world. I used to think I wanted to be well known, loved by everyone, and have my name up in lights. The older I get, the more clarity I’ve received – although all those things sound nice (at times), what I truly want to do is love. I want to simply be. To exist. To live in a world where, even if I just save ONE person, that’s enough. I want everyone whose paths I cross to feel as though they are special and loved and valuable. Because they are. When people see me, hear me, and interact with me what I want more than anything in the world is for them to see Jesus, hear Jesus, and feel Jesus. I wanted to be a well known musician. But my dreams are slowly changing. More than anything in the world, I want to be like Jesus – I want to be His hands and feet. I want to help others find and experience His love and I want to love them in the ways they so badly need.
There is so much that this world does NOT have – there is so much that our souls need that is lacking. I used to think I could find it somewhere around me…that I could somehow find some magic thing that would automatically bring me happiness. I know now what I was truly looking for. I know now that it’s possible to catch glimpses of Jesus in everyday places – the passion of music, the creativity of writing and art, the serenity of nature, the joy of children’s laughter, the tears that are cried in happiness. But those things are not a means to an end…they are just the beginning. They are just the start of a wildly romantic and intimate relationship with our Savior. I want everyone to feel and experience that kind of unrelenting, compassionate, unconditional, and joyful love in their lives.
I don’t have any idea where to even begin to do these things that I want to do. All I know to do right now is to live in ways that honor God, to continue seeking Him and learning about Him, to always keep a dialogue going and to tell Him everything that’s on my heart, and to be open to receiving His love and His guidance – to follow wherever He leads even when (ESPECIALLY when) it’s hard and uncomfortable and I don’t understand it. I know that He is molding me, changing me, growing me for the use of furthering His kingdom and I want to be His light for the world.
Here’s to Monday…to early mornings, long walks, river swims, talks with God, and to hearts that constantly ache for Jesus – may that ache never stop encouraging us to strive to love and share His glory!
“It’s not hard to decide what you want your life to be about. What’s hard, she said, is figuring out what you’re willing to give up in order to do the things you really care about.”
― Shauna Niequist
“People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed.”
― Audrey Hepburn