Maybe I was Brainwashed

I’m pretty sure I grew up in a bubble.  Most of us probably grew up in a bubble.  Up until high school, I only knew Christian people.  I went to Christian camp.  I went to Christian school.  I had friends from church.  Even the after school program I went to was Lutheran.
I was told that “non believer” friends would cause me to “stumble.”  And then, when I got older, I was told to bring those same people to church, but they couldn’t be my friends unless they were Christian.  How was I supposed to bring someone to church without first befriending them.
The Seventh Day Adventist private school I attended for most of my life told me that eating things like pig, or catfish, or any other “bottom feeder” was basically sinful and that it would make me an unhealthy person.  To this day I can’t stomach some of these foods if I’m aware of what I’m eating, even if they taste good, are made right, raised right, and are something I want to eat.
In high school, where a lot of people are discovering who they are and they’re sexuality, I was told that gay was not okay and that abortion was murder.  And I had gay friends that would come to church with me.  I used to be so sad because I was told they weren’t going to go to heaven, all because of who they loved.  If someone felt that they were born the wrong gender, they had to be wrong, or sick, or have some sort of hidden sin in their life, because God doesn’t make mistakes.  Yes, we are God’s creation, but I think a lot of Christians forget that our world is broken, so someone being born the wrong gender isn’t necessarily a God thing or a sin thing, its more of a fallen world thing.  God is in control, but he gave over the reigns a long time ago.

In Acts, God spoke to Peter and told him to not call anything unclean or impure what he has made clean.  Didn’t Christ abolish the law?  So why are we still so legalistic?  We don’t “get to heaven” by following a bunch of rules.  It’s not even really about being  a good person.  But I think if we started seeing everyone as created, seeing everyone as having a purpose, seeing everyone as worthy, maybe some of the hurt in this world would end.

By the way, bacon is awesome, gay is okay, I won’t invite you to church because I don’t have one locally, and I will listen with an open mind and open heart if you need to talk about abortion.

All the Little Things that Break My Heart

A thing that I’ve been really bothered by lately is how cruel people can be to one another.  And I’m not even thinking on a large scale.  I’m thinking, small scale, people you work with, people you’re related to, people you serve or buy coffee from.

It’s like, we all try to see what we can get away with.  We tease, until our teasing turns to cruelty.  We go too far, and refuse to say we’re sorry.  We refuse to admit when we’re wrong.  And the cycle keeps spinning.

And I’m probably guilty of this.  I’ll do my best to accept some of the blame.  But really, what’s the point in making someone’s day miserable?  What’s the point in calling someone dumb, or making them feel dumb, or spreading their little mishaps around?  What’s the point in making someone feel useless?  We are all useful.  Everyone has a purpose, so why do we like to try to take that purpose away?

I’m really bummed out that so many people have excuses for their actions.  They say we’re too sensitive.  Or they ask us to have an open mind, without first having one themselves.  They’ll say it’s their religious duty.  They’ll say their protecting our country.

But this country does not define me.  This religion does not define me.  We were all made with much larger definitions, much larger purposes, much more reason to exist than just… existence.

It sounds too simple to just beg everyone to get along.  But all of this getting under each other’s skin has really gotten under my skin.  Get out of my skin.  You’re breaking my heart.

Not Even Falling

It’s easy to feel forgotten in the familiarity around you
But you are not forgotten
It’s easy to feel you are losing yourself, caught up in it all
But you are not lost

Maybe you were led here for a reason
He’s waiting patiently for you to embrace it
So wrap your arms around this confusion
And realize that it’s not confusing at all
It’s all a part of the adventure

Maybe you feel small, that you could have no impact
But a raindrop can cause a tidal wave
A butterfly’s wings can cause a hurricane
And it’s hard to notice anything outside of the storm anyway

You might dive in straight, afraid to make a splash
But you’re a freaking cannonball
These waters are churning

He holds his breath in anticipation
Excited for your next move
While you fear the wrongness of each decision
He has already seen the outcome
And it is BIG

You are a BIG DEAL
Created more than worthy
Here with more than a purpose
And maybe your impact feels small because you’re already a giant

Don’t be afraid of the next step
Or the next
Or the one after that
This ground you walk on is solid
It will not cave beneath your feet

But even if it does
You are not forgotten
You are not lost
And there will always be hands to catch you
Even when you’re not even falling

Trust

Trust.  It’s something I’ve talked about a lot.  I’ve talked about moving across the country and trusting God that it’s the right decision.  I’ve talked about how scary trust is sometimes.  I’ve probably talked about trusting people.  But I was recently confronted with a realization.

A close friend tried to promise something and I said I wouldn’t hold them to that.  They asked if I trusted them.  I told them that I was fairly certain I didn’t know what trust is.

And maybe that’s true.  That I don’t know what trust is.

Trust is defined as the “belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength” of someone or something.  It means to “have faith or confidence.”

Such a simple definition for such a huge concept.

Trusting God is hard, but it’s also the best decision, because he already knows the outcome.  Trusting a bridge when you cross it makes sense, because you’ve crossed it before, it has been crossed a thousand times.  We trust what we know.  We trust what makes sense.  We trust what we’ve experienced before.

But trusting people?  I’m pretty sure I forgot how to do that a long time ago.  Because people are forever changing.  If I look at my own life, a year and a half ago, I had no idea that I’d be living so far from where I grew up.  I didn’t know that I’d be starting my life over.  I didn’t realize that I would suddenly become an unknown.  So anyone who trusted that I would stay in Mammoth, or in California, or at least on the western side of the country ended up having their trust broken.
People have their own agendas.  So being close to someone, trusting someone, is one of the easiest ways to be let down in the long run.  As soon as my heart calls me somewhere else, I’ll probably leave, so if anyone comes too close, I’ll let them down.  And every time I am somewhere new, or around new people, I’m an exciting person, because I don’t really fit into any regular mold.  I am constantly surprising.  However, after a while, that gets old too.

I recently told someone that it’s better to be hated than to be passively ignored and forgotten.  Not a lot of people hate me.  But a lot have gotten over me.  That’s one of the things that I can really trust.

Sure, go ahead and prove me wrong.  I mean, it’s fine.  I’m fine.  I’m pretty much just over all the false promises.  And I fully understand that no one does this on purpose.  You can’t know the future when you say something in the present.
I promise to never promise something again.  Trust me.

Blogging Everyday in July|About Breathing

About breathing, take a breath.

Tonight we talked about breathing.  We talked about fear.  And we talked about courage.  And if you’ve followed me at all, you know that I talk about the air in our lungs, the breaths we take, probably far too much.  I reference breathing and suffocating and drowning in my poetry far too often.  Because when I am stuck in anxiety it’s almost too hard to breathe.  And I like breathing.  I like air.  I like life.
So here’s a couple more little unnamed poems about breathing etc.

Fear, have no fear
Suffocation, you can breathe
Pounding heart, settle
You were made for this

Wings of doves overhead
Promises fulfilled
Home.  Here.
Enhancing the blend

Community
Satisfying cravings
Whole, unbroken
Anxiety reconciled

 

Breathe every breath with intention
Your thoughts fill your lungs
And you can rest here
On your father’s breast

Every moment is not fleeting
Be aware of your reality
It’s not always easy, not always hard
But it is always real

Welcome to emotion
Holding back, letting go
Drowning in vulnerability
You are safe here

Life is not an accident
Live it on purpose
Take a breath of courage
Take a step in bravery

 

Sitting in Silence

Sitting in silence
By myself
With myself
Really getting to know myself
As my purpose is forgotten

So utterly alone
Wondering if I can make it
On my own
As it’s too late
To abandon this quest

Empty home
Empty heart
Fill me up
To the brim
Overflowing
Welcome me in

No one said this was easy
Though I wish it was
It’s something I have to do
My hand is held
Let me just trust this

Within my chest
Lays a cavern
Where my heart still beats
Where my lungs still breathe
Take care of me

Mistaken identity
Please remember me
Though I won’t be returning to you
Anytime soon

I was used
Abused
And kept coming back for more
Because I’d forgotten how to feel
And I just needed to feel something

Yet now I feel too much
Threatening to pull away at every touch
Begging you to hold me
2,000 miles away
I’m lonely
Sitting in silence

Touching Presence

Feel it build with the music
Something I’d forgotten
Something worth chasing
I’ll catch it as I rest

Faces unfamiliar
No knowledge that they are welcoming me
The prodigal has come home

Peace washes over the room
Presence touching souls
Warming in a new light
Now open your eyes

Consume me in this fire
Burn me up
Take my bones and remake me
Into who I’m supposed to be

I have a purpose
Though I’m easily distracted
I just had to find it again
As it’s standing right in front of me