Bittersweet.

Yesterday was a bittersweet day. One of my best friends was asked by the love of her life if she would spend the rest of her life with him. I was honored to be present for the proposal, and got to photograph this huge step towards the rest of their lives. Tears of joy filled my eyes as she threw her arms around his neck and gave him the answer he sought, yes. What followed was an evening full of surprises, tears of joy, and then followed by tears of sadness from those who call her family.

Something hit me for the first time last night. This is it. This is the future I have always sought after. This is the time in my life that I have spent the last 20 years saying, “I can’t wait until I am in my 20’s. That is when life will begin.”

But now the harsh reality has hit. It is not what I have always dreamed it would be. Each and every day brings a goodbye of some sort. Whether its goodbye to a place that has been called home, goodbye to a song that speaks of a time that should not be remembered, or to a chapter of a friendship that you did not realize would come to a close. As I watched my sweet friend laugh and socialize with her family and friends, with her fiance by her side, I felt a lot of emotions. The realization that she would be getting married, moving away, and starting a new life, in a new place was one that brought tears. My heart aches at the thought of her leaving. But then I looked back and saw the way he looked at her, and could not help but smile. He looked at her the way every girl dreams of being looked at by the man they love. I never for a moment doubted that this wasn’t right for them, but seeing the way he looked at her, and hearing the way he talked about her, I knew for certain that this was right. It is selfish for me to think that those I hold dear to my heart, will always walk right along side me. That is sadly not the reality of life. Growing up brings so much beauty, but it brings the goodbyes. The goodbyes to the memories built during my teen years. Goodbyes to that apartment that we spent hours up late talking on the couch in. Instead come times of 7 hours of road trips to see my best friend. Instead comes planning a wedding, and experiencing being in one for the first time. Instead comes late night facetime calls, lonely shopping trips, and more anticipation and excitement for the next time we will see each other.

So on this day, I process these things. There are tears of joy, and tears of sadness.

At the end of the day, I am so beyond overjoyed for my sweet friend. My heart delights in knowing that she has found one to call hers forever. Knowing I will get to watch them grow together, and build a life together brings my heart such great joy.

The future holds so much beauty, but also sadness. Oh, change. How I do love your presence, I just wasn’t completely prepared for this time.

 

 

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Rest Again.

This week home has been found in not a physical place, but in the hearts of those around me. Rest has been found in the people who listen to my ramblings, and who share the wandering thoughts of their minds. There is a comfort found when you are constantly reminded that the heart ache of this day shall soon pass, and of course snuggles.

Night drives bring a new light to the city; a perspective that has never been considered. Sunsets on the city skyline turn smiling faces into laughing silhouettes. With the wind blowing around us, there is peace found in the simple joy of the night.

Quiet words and twisted laughter fill the evenings, but rest is found in sleeping on couches, and ending up on the floor. Joy is found in the coffee of the morning, and the donuts we slowly feel clogging our arteries. Peace is found in the quiet bustle of the house, and in grogginess left over from the late night before.

Where is home? It is with the hearts of whom mine can find rest in. It is with those who make me laugh, but also will let me cry and not feel ashamed. This is where I am, and how beautiful it is to have found rest again.

Tired.

Don’t get me wrong, life is good. God is love, and his grace can be seen reflected in my life everyday. But I am tired. I am lonely. I long for more.

There is a certain amount of comfort found in Jesus. It truly is the greatest comfort. Then there is comfort found in those around you. Some become the greatest comfort. Their presence and words providing a beautiful rest to the soul.

Adjusting to life without that comfort has been exhausting. So now, as I sit here at my desk with the rain pattering on the windows, I fight the exhaustion. Not only is my mind tired, but my body as well. There is soreness that fills my entire body, and my mind. But I am at peace. I have a constant peace, and a quiet joy that does not waver.

Only time will change these things. With time I will learn to find comfort only in Jesus. With time, that empty spot in my hear will fill again. In time, I will wake up. Someday I won’t be tired anymore. And how I do hope that day comes soon.

But for now, I will continue to rest in my heavenly daddies arms. I will continue to wake up, and go through the motions. I will continue to smile, even when I am fighting to keep my eyes open at all. And when I feel as if I have nothing left to say, I will rest in the Lords presence and let him fill me with more joy.

So on this rainy day, I rest in Jesus’s arms. For this is where the greatest comfort of all is found.

Eve.

There is a certain essence of beauty that few carry with them. There is a certain gracefulness that shines in the way one interacts with others. These are the things I see in my dear little sister. Over the past 17 years, we have been best friends, mortal enemies, and everything in between. There have been good times, and bad times. But I would not change a thing. Today, I look at Eve and not only see a beautiful young woman, but a person who will always be my best friend. What a gift it is to be her big sister.

Dear Eve,

Though you have been taller than me for about 5 years now, you will always be my little sister. I will always stand up for you, and feel the urge to punch anyone who speaks a negative word about you in the throat. I will always be your shoulder to cry on, and someone who you can tell even your weirdest thoughts to. No matter what, I will always be here. Even when we fight, or argue, or just can’t even stand the other, I am still here. I am always a listening year, and will always have open arms when you just need love.

Thank you for so many beautiful memories over the years. From going on walks with Tank when it was only us being home schooled, to running into the middle of busy streets to get an amazing photo. From sitting by the river for hours talking, to driving for hours through Wisconsin with Sam and Mase. From being my other half during the greatest summer of my life, to loving me from afar while I was going through dark times. Thank you for being someone I know I can be 100% transparent with. Thank you for laughing at my stupid jokes, and making your own that make me laugh. Thank you for praying for me, and for supporting me during the hard times. Thank you for loving me always, and for being my forever friend.

I cannot wait to see what the future holds for you, Evie. There is such promise in your future. And I will be there for all of it. Sorry, you can’t get rid of me. Don’t even try… it would be a waste of time. I will be there in the front row, being the most proud big sister in the world.  I will be there on your wedding day, grinning like an absolute doofus. Through your entire life, I will always be here. Whether near or far, I always have your back and will always be here for you.

And to close, Happy 17th Birthday, Eve. I hope this year is the best yet. May it be full of blessing and prosperity. I love you forever, and always.

Your big sister,

Em

 

Light.

There was a lone figure walking on a path. Dark hair, pale, with eyes that no longer shone. She walked alone in the cold, dark woods.  She tripped on a root, and fell to the ground. Tears fell down her cheeks, and created a pool on the rocky ground. As she pulled herself off of the ground, she kept her eyes down as she walked forward. Then she felt that familiar feeling, her hand being held. She looked over and found that familiar face. There was a terrifying darkness, yet a strange comfort found in the knowing that it would not leave unless she really told it to. It was reliable. The pain of having her hand held by it was worth it, though now she could not tell you why. It seems it was part of the life.

As they walked along slowly, many others approached and voiced their opinions.

“Why are you still walking?”

“Where do you think you are going to end up?”

“Who are you? Oh, right. Not even you can answer that question.”

Depression held her hand the entire time, not letting go. The already dark sky, became even darker as she continued to walk. Though she did not seem to notice. They continued to walk in silence, only speaking rarely when Depression would ask her that question.

“Why are we still walking? We aren’t gonna find it.”

Her response was always the same, “Because I know it is here. I just have to keep going.”

And that she did, for what felt like forever.

As she slept one night, she heard distant laughter. Thought it was nothing that she heard from Depression, who was always there. She sat up and looked around. That was when she saw the light. She slowly stood up, and walked towards it. Depression slowly woke up, and saw her walking away. It tried to get up and follow, but it could not see her. The light made it unable to see anything around. So instead it sat in silence, and hoped that she would come back.

But she did not. She walked towards the light. She felt the ground change beneath her feet. She looked down to find grass, perfectly green and full of life. As she looked around her she saw fields, there was not much in them, but there was sun and green grass. It was more life than she had seen in a long time.

When she looked out into the distance, she could see fields of flowers, and streams of bubbling water. She saw life, and so many things worth running towards. Then she heard running footsteps. She turned, fearing that she would see Depression had followed her from the dark woods. Instead she found herself face to face with Joy. It was a familiar face, one she had missed everyday of the last while. Joy looked at her, smiled, grabbed her hand, and began to run. They ran towards the streams and towards the brightest light she had ever seen. They stopped at the stream, and in the flower fields. There was so much beauty to be found, and knowing that they were heading towards more beauty at all time, made every minute greater and greater.

Every once in a while they would pass by the dark woods, and she would see Depression lurking in the shadows waving, and waiting for her to wander back in. Depression would always be there waiting to befriend her again, that she knew. But she chose every day, to take Joys hand and continue to run towards that light. Everyday she learned more about who she was, and joy showed her what made her life worth living.

And that it was, a life worth living. She felt that more and more everyday. There was a calling on her life, one that was full of joy, peace, and promise. So everyday she pursued that. She pursued the call, and from that came a life of prosperity. The girl who had once tripped and fallen in a weeping heap on the ground was gone. In her place stood a woman who gained her confidence from the Lord, and exuded joy.

There is hope, always hope. Keep pursuing that light. It is the key to living a beautiful life.

 

 

It is all a journey. I am barely out of those dark woods, but I see the promise. I see joy coming towards me. I have hope. So here is my heart right now.

 

 

Nothing.

I have nothing left to give, and nothing left to say. My mind is never blank, but words can’t come out without tears joining along. Utter brokenness feels like my life. Exhaustion fills every bone of my body, and flows into my mind. How did I get here. How did we fall so far. Why am I the only one feeling pain from this? I have become invisible. There is nothing.

Heaven holds my heart. It holds the joy I have felt for years. It is there now, not here. There is still peace and comes and goes. But the joy feels as distant as the sun. I can see it, I can even feel it sometimes, but I can’t touch it with my own hands. Without joy, what is there. Without my heart, what am I.

But they say it can only get better, but they’ve also said it has to get worse before it can get better. I’m receiving mixed messages. I just want to reach the light at the end of the tunnel.

I do not want my heart back. I feel as if maybe I just need another. The Lord will give me his, I just don’t wanna ask for it. For I am afraid my humanity will overrun it as it did to my other. I broke it into a million tiny pieces. Then the Lord took it into heaven. He fixed it, but he seems to be keeping it there. Which is fine. I wouldn’t want it back anyways.

It’s nothing. That’s what I say. I’m dealing with a lot, this is true. But there’s nothing anyone can do. So again I say these words, but what do they really mean? Maybe they just mean nothing.

Hopeless.

The world around me seems to move in oblivious slow motion, as I, in their presence slowly deteriorate. I am brave. I am optimistic. I will stay strong, and lean on Jesus. These words ring true for a while. I continue to go through the motions, day in and day out. My heart has to be reminded on a daily, “Do not grow weary. There is good to come.” But after a while, those words start sounding empty. The heart starts halfheartedly believing what I speak to it. It starts to question whether my mind actually believes what I am speaking. It becomes routine, and doubt becomes a common factor in every conversation and interaction. It weighs heavy.

The sun shines through my window as I lay staring at the ceiling. It is blank. I wish my mind could just be blank. Then in a single moment I realized something. The hope was gone. I had none left. I was living a life trusting the Lord, but having no hope that good… or greater was to come. Just a heart that loves Jesus is left. But it is ridden with sadness, and depression. It causes the world to look like a dark place. It refuses to see the light at the end of the tunnel. In the moment that all of this dawned on me, I realized that hope is the key. Hope is the key to j0y, and love, and true trust in the Lord and how good he is. Hope leads to all those things. And the hunt for hope began.

1 Peter 1: 3-6

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials.

Job 11:18

You will be secure, for there is a hope; you will look about you and rest in safety.

There are so many verses that helped me through that time of rediscovering hope. But these two were the greatest comfort. This is something I dealt with about 6 months ago. I never posted about it because I thought no one would want to read about not having hope. But the reality is, we all lose hope sometimes. It is easy to do so in this world we live in.

Just know you are not alone, and there are people who understand.

If you’ve lost your hope, you can find it again. In Jesus. He is so good, and he will carry you through the hard times. You just have to let him.