Seen + Known, and Still Loved

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This picture makes me feel seen + known because these are the trees outside of Carolina House. These trees saw ALL my emotions two summers ago. These trees heal me.

Do you ever just wake up on a Monday morning, crying because you desperately want to be seen + known, and still loved? Because that’s me right now.

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I spent a good chunk of last week in my favorite place ever, Durham, North Carolina. My home away from home, my happy place. The city that holds my entire heart.

I know Durham is a super random, probably not exciting city for most people, but that place is where I can breathe the easiest. It’s where I can exhale a breath that I’ve been holding in for months. It’s where I am free and the best version of me possible (if you don’t like who I am, maybe go to Durm with me. I’m 1000x better there). It’s where I went to treatment and where I got my life back. I’m convinced that healing is in their oxygen there. Quote me on that. I’m so convinced that I’d probably even argue a scientist on it.

What makes Durham the healing and life-giving place that it is, is the people there. My people there. My people there are my TRIBE, the ones that I am so completely authentic and vulnerable with that it hurts but feels so so free and so clean. I can’t talk about my treatment friends without crying. I’m lowkey sobbing now as I write this because I LOVE my people there. I don’t have to wear a mask when I’m in Durham. I can feel all my feels so deeply, but also feel the joy that springs from so deep inside. I don’t have to hide. I can wear my heart on my sleeve there, which is tbh my favorite place to wear it because I’m all about vulnerability. 

With my treatment friends, it’s acceptable to struggle out loud. To feel all your feels to the deepest extent. Really, it’s expected. Because to us, being emotional means healing. And the shutting down, hiding, and avoiding means that you aren’t changing, you’re hurting, you’re struggling. It’s what we were taught, and it’s how we learned to get our lives back. It’s how we live our best lives. Because the emotions and the crazy brought us freedom in that lil yellow house in the woods, and it does the same out here in the real world too.

And y’all, I wanna live that way everyday, everywhere, with everyone.

But I can’t.

That isn’t how our world operates.

Our world teaches us that emotions are bad, that they are not to be seen, that we need to hide them and stuff them.

I lived like that for the first 18 years of my life, and it was hell. It landed me with an eating disorder, self-harm, and suicidality. It taught me to use my body to convey how I felt, instead of my words. Because that was prettier and a lot more acceptable. But oh my goodness, couldn’t have being open and honest about how I was feeling saved me from all of that? If I was taught to tell my truth with my voice instead of my body?

Glennon gets me (always). In her book Love Warrior, she says, “We started out as ultra sensitive truth tellers. We saw everyone around us smiling and repeating, ‘I’m fine! I’m fine! I’m fine!’ and we found ourselves unable to join them in all the pretending. We had to tell the truth, which was: ‘Actually, I’m not fine.’ But no one knew how to handle hearing that truth, so we found other ways to tell it. We used whatever else we could find–drugs, booze, food, money, our arms, other bodies. We acted out our truth instead of speaking it and everything became a godforsaken mess. But we were just trying to be honest.YES.

I am so sick of hiding. I have been for the past two years, so I’ve decided to be hella honest about where I’m at all the time. And that is so healthy for me. If I can just vocalize my thoughts, outwardly process them whether it be to my journal or to another person, it gets them out of my head. If they stay in my head, they take root and that’s when things get dark and messy. But if I can get those thoughts out into the light, they hold less power. So I’m honest. I’m vulnerable. I’m all about living open with my close group of people (and sometimes the internet when the time calls for it–#livingoutthatGlennonlifestyle amiright).

I REFUSE TO HIDE ANYMORE.

But oh man, refusing to hide has been one of the most painful things because wow, some people just don’t want to see and know you for all that you are. And maybe it’s not that they don’t want to, but that they just simply can’t. Which is okay, and so valid. But that doesn’t make the sting of “oh my goodness, I was seen and known, but not loved” hurt any less.

I’m not always a hot mess. I’m a deeply happy person that happens to feel every other emotion just as deeply, so ya girl has lots of thoughts and lots of feels. I’m sensitive, but that’s not a bad thing. My sensitivity allows me to see the world in a different light and is going to make me a kick butt social worker in a couple years. I just have a lot to process a lot of the time. No emotion or situation is black and white for me. It’s all gray, all the time. There’s a lot going on in my head, and I’m really not ashamed of that. 

I just desperately want to be seen + known. And even more so, I want to be loved for all that is seen and known about me. 

Durham with my treatment friends is my small slice of heaven. I am so seen and so known, and yet I am still so deeply loved. I want that kind of community everywhere. I don’t want to have to hop on a plane to experience that.

If you’re wishing to be seen, known, and loved also, let me know. Write a comment, shoot me an email. I know we’re all out there. We’re all fighting to find our place in this world, wondering what’s the perfect equation of being real with the world enough to be appreciated and applauded but not too real that it makes people uncomfortable.

Personally, I’m tired of that equation. I just want to be real. And I know that a lot of y’all are feeling that way too.

Let’s make this a goal. A community goal. To be real, to be authentic, to be vulnerable. And to encourage one another in that, lift each other up, and love each other so so big. Let’s form the community that we’re all desperately wishing for.

I’ll see you and I’ll know you, and I promise that I’ll love you.

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I’m Not Okay

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“it has been one of the greatest and most difficult years of my life. i learned everything is temporary. moments. feelings. people. flowers. i learned love is about giving. everything. and letting it hurt. i learned vulnerability is always the right choice because it is easy to be cold in a world that makes it so very difficult to remain soft. i learned all things come in twos. life and death. pain and joy. salt and sugar. me and you. it is the balance of the universe. it has been the year of hurting so bad but living so good. making friends out of strangers. strangers out of friends. learning mint chocolate chip ice cream will fix just about everything. and for the pains it can’t there will always be my mother’s arms. we must learn to focus on warm energy. always. soak our limbs in it and become better lovers to the world. for if we can’t learn to be kinder to each other how will we ever learn to be kinder to the most desperate parts of ourselves.” – rupi kaur

My sophomore year has been one of the messiest years of my life.

Trust me, I’ve had a lot of messy years (hashtag mental illness starting in seventh grade probs). But this year has absolutely kicked my butt in a way that I thought I was past.

The past two years, I’ve been the strongest that I’ve ever been. My freshman year, even if I didn’t realize it at the time, was 1000% the healthiest and most secure I’ve been mentally. Eating disorder struggles were definitely present being just a few months out of treatment, but man, I was SO STRONG and reliant on the skills that I knew. I had a lot of emotions, but I also knew that no matter how big my emotions were, I was bigger than them still. They didn’t have to control me. I could feel them and honor them, but also still own them. What I was feeling was valid, but that didn’t make my thoughts true. I had all the emotions in the world, but I knew I had ground over them.

Somehow in my sophomore year I lost my ground.

I really don’t know when it started exactly, but probably around the time that I started “dealing” with trauma for the first time. I didn’t know how to relate my skills to those kind of emotions, so I kinda threw everything I knew out the window.

And dang, I crashed and burned pretty quick.

I like it call it, “November/December happened,” because it did. But so did January, February, March, April, and May. All these months I truly thought that I was in the clear. I wasn’t engaging in any self-destructive behaviors, I was pursuing Jesus in deeper ways than I had before, I had my group of people, I was traveling all around the country, trauma wasn’t that bad. I kept telling people that life was the most yellow it had ever been. Now I’m realizing that it definitely wasn’t.

My friend held me accountable me a few weeks back about some patterns that she was seeing in my life. After I truly thought about her words, I texted her a few days later and told her that this past semester was “death masqueraded as life.”

How true that is.

I thought that I was living so good, when in reality I was masking so much underneath.

Towards the beginning of the semester, I was sexually assaulted again. It really, really messed me up for a week or so, but eventually I convinced myself that it was fine and that I was over it. I truly thought that I was… until after my friend confronted me and I traced everything back and realized yup, everything messy and death living started right after that happened.

I had myself so convinced that I didn’t need healing, when all my actions and reactions were SCREAMING for healing.

The strength that I had over my emotions–the ability to validate them, accept them, and then move on from them–disappeared. I became a slave to my own emotions again, and it. was. hell.

Not only did I become a slave to my own emotions, but I also became a slave to the emotions of other people. I put myself in that role for sure, probably due to the guilt of last semester and everything that happened as a result. With everything that I did and every breath I took, I was trying to do this to please one person, worrying about what this other person thought of me, and making sure that I was doing everything “perfectly” for yet another person. I was exhausted, I was a mess, and I was constantly hella anxious, but everything internally felt okay when everything felt okay in my external relationships.

I wasn’t doing anything drastic, but I was grappling at the outside world to numb whatever I was feeling underneath. I was focusing on anything except what was going on inside, trying to convince myself that my problems were coming from anywhere but within myself.

I had myself so convinced that I was okay even though I was constantly anxious and having nearly full-blown panic attacks over little things, such as friends or making plans or work. Basically, to feel okay, I needed someone with me constantly reassuring me, validating me, and reminding me that they didn’t hate me. I knew deep inside that I wasn’t okay at all, so I was trying to make myself feel okay through my relationships with other people. But that only made me feel more broken.

I thought I was okay. I was convincing myself that I was okay. But not only was there so much going on inside of me, I was also allowing my anxiety to create so many outside problems for myself that made me feel even less okay, making me more anxious to focus on the outside world, please people, and ignore what was going on within me emotionally.

This year has been difficult. The whole thing. I wanna say it was only first semester that was messy, but second was just as bad, just in different ways. In more hidden ways, I guess. I wasn’t physically harming my body anymore (praise Jesus), but I was still dealing with the aftermath of last semester and my recent assault by emotionally and mentally putting myself through so much torture.

I’m not sure where to go from here.

Healing, yes.

But healing is daunting.

I’ve spent the past five months pouring everything in me into outside relationships to convince myself that I was okay. How do I pour back into myself? How do I learn how to feel okay within myself, without needing outside validation?

Jesus and I were talking about this yesterday. He reminded me that this isn’t who I am. He reminded me of the days when I was so steadfast in who I was because of who he is. He reminded me that I know how to live a different way.

So, that’s the goal. And to do that, I gotta own the crap that I’ve been feeling, experiencing, and putting myself through for the past five months.

So, hey, friends. I’m not okay. I’ve been trying to convince myself that I am by ignoring everything inside and focusing on everything outside. It worked for a while, until it didn’t (shocking, I know). I have a lot of things that I’ve refused to process or work through. I’ve stuffed these things deep, deep down, but they’re still festering inside and causing so much anxiety in every area of my life. I’ve put way too much into outside relationships so that I didn’t have to focus on myself, but that’s left me even messier and in need of even more healing than before. I’m finally realizing this castle of lies I’ve built for myself over the past few months because it’s lowkey crumbling on top of me.

I so badly want to be okay, but I’m just not. And that is okay. I need to be okay with where I am. Not every season has to be sunshine and yellow. Some seasons are lessons. And I think that’s where I’m at right now.

I’ve said since January that this year is a year of healing. “God’s gonna heal that” has been my mantra. And I’m still believing in that. It’s May, and so much has changed. It’s been a lot of steps and a lot of twists and turns and I haven’t experienced full healing in any area yet, but everything that has happened up until this point have been necessary steps to the full healing that I know is coming.

So, things are messy right now. I’ve spent the past semester ignoring a small fire that has now spread to an even bigger fire. I’ve got a lot of damage control to do. But, I know that I am going to be okay. I’ve spent all semester running and avoiding, and now I’m looking at all of the mess in front of me, and it doesn’t seem as daunting. I see how one thing led to another and how I got here. It’ll be a process, but I’ll get back.

I have peace and joy in knowing that okay is coming.

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Remembering Two Years Ago

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April 15, 2016the day I was told that I had to enter inpatient treatment.

April 18, 2016the day I received my Carolina House admit date.

April 22, 2016the day that I was pulled out of school.

April 25, 2016the day that I was supposed to admit to Carolina House for residential eating disorder treatment (that they then kept pushing back due to current patients not discharging).

May 4, 2016the day I did a phone intake with Eating Recovery Center + was in the middle of booking a flight to Denver when I got a call from Carolina House saying they could finally admit me the next day. 

May 5, 2016finally admitted to Carolina House and my life changed forever.


This time of year is the weirdest/hardest/best. I wrote about it last year, and honestly I thought the feels of reliving the past would be gone by year two, but wow, they are just as strong.

Each day this month it seems like I tell my friends, “oh this day two years ago I was doing _____!” because I can remember everything about the month leading up to Carolina House. Everything that happened was necessary, but oh man, it was brutal.


I remember being told that I had to go to treatment. I remember going to the doctor for a weight check, and they removed my mom from the room as my doctor and nurse both confronted me, saying that even though I was 18, they were going to push extremely hard for me to go to treatment. I remember walking back out to the waiting room and telling my mom and boyfriend what they said. I remember my mom telling me that she was going to call Carolina House once we got home.

I remember going to the play at school the next day to watch my two friends make their musical theater debut. I remember sitting in the plastic chair and my boyfriend having to go get a sweatshirt from the car for me to sit on because I was so bony it hurt to sit against the hard chair. I remember going to my favorite restaurant for dinner afterwards and actually trying to eat (an attempt to prove that I wasn’t sick), but my stomach being so shrunken that I could only manage a few bites before I had intense stomach pain and nausea.

I remember texting my mom while I was at school the following Monday, continually asking if she had heard back from Carolina House yet. When she finally told me that she did, I remember immediately checking myself out from school and going home and laying in my bed, refusing to talk to anyone.

I remember freaking out that night, screaming at everyone who tried to talk to me or comfort me. I remember trying to break up with my boyfriend as a “punishment” for making me go to treatment, and I remember screaming and crying and begging my parents to let me stay home because I promised that I would eat. I remember never feeling any panic like that before and feeling like everyone hated me and just wanted to ship me off.

I remember going to school on my last day. I remember my guidance counselor calling me to her office and showing me that I had approval from all of my teachers to leave my coursework as is and not require me to do any make-up work while I was gone. I remember being pulled out of class to go take pictures in my cap and gown since I was going to miss the class picture day. I remember the looks of all my teachers, unsure of what to say, but aware that it was going to be the last time they saw me. I remember emptying my locker, and getting weird looks from classmates who didn’t know I was leaving. I remember hugging my friends goodbye in the parking lot, crying and not knowing if I’d be back for graduation.

I remember the week and a half that I was out of school before I admitted to treatment. I remember the frustration and anguish I felt each day when Carolina House called saying they had to push back my admit date another day. I remember thinking I wasn’t sick enough to go, so that’s why they kept pushing my date back. I remember laying on the couch all day every day, watching Lifetime movies while my parents were at work and all my friends were at school. I remember taking at least two naps a day because my body was so exhausted. I remember my dad coming home from work early everyday so that he could spend time with me because we had no idea how long I would be gone.

I remember doing an intake with Eating Recovery Center. I remember them telling me that they could admit me in just a few days, so I was about to book my one-way flight to Denver, Colorado. I remember my dad running upstairs to tell me that Carolina House called–they were admitting me tomorrow. I remember throwing a few last-minute things in my already packed suitcase. I remember saying bye to my dog and friends and leaving within an hour of getting the call and driving halfway to Durham.

I remember waking up in the hotel room in Greensboro the next morning. I remember trying to pick out what the best “first day of treatment” outfit was. I remember wanting to make sure that I looked thin, but not sick (lol). I remember the quiet drive to Durham. I remember not knowing what to say to my family, and thinking that the downpour outside was a good representation of my mood inside.

I remember pulling up to Carolina House. I remember heaving my heavy suitcase out onto the pebble parking lot. I remember walking up to the house, taking notice of the rocks that said “hope” and “where miracles happen” on them. I remember feeling hesitant to ring the doorbell. I remember the RPA answering the door and saying, “you must be Sarah Beth, right?”

I remember sitting on the couch, playing with a fidget toy while we waited for all the patients to go to nap time so we could get a tour of the house and fill out paperwork. I remember saying goodbye to my crying parents and boyfriend, trying to not cry with them because how dare they know I had emotions. I remember being led to the kitchen after I said goodbye, watching my family through the window as they walked back to the car and realizing that there was no longer a way out. I was in treatment.


These memories haunt me. Each day it feels like I’m almost reliving these things.

Today? Today is two years since my original admit date.

These little mini anniversaries are the weirdest thing. So much hope and despair all at the same time. But I’m holding and honoring both feelings. 

What happened two years ago was hard as hell, but it saved my life. I’m no longer in that place anymore, so I can rejoice over the mountains I’ve climbed and valleys I’ve walked through since then. But I can also mourn the girl that I was, the sickness and frailty that I made my life for so many years. I can exist in both emotions surrounding these dates.

Hope, because I am no longer there.

Despair, because I once was there.

These anniversaries are hard. I don’t know if April 25 will ever be just another day to me. But I do know that I have space between now and April of 2016. And so much beauty has happened in that space.

It’s hard to sit in memories of April. All I feel is hopelessness and pain when I think about who I was then. But I do know that May 5 is coming. May 5 is a day I can celebrate and feel good about. May 5 is a day where I know how to mask the ugly and pain with the beauty of surrender and recovery. It makes sense like that.

But it is also hard to look forward to the joy that is May 5 when I have to recognize all the hardships that led up to it. May 5, 2016 wasn’t a pretty day–I cried a lot, refused fajitas at dinner, and didn’t understand what was happening or why someone had to watch me pee or how to make friends with all the other patients. May 5 itself wasn’t glorious, but the surrender and life that came out of it make that day glorious. 

Nothing pretty came out of the days leading up to treatment. They’re just a lot of crappy feelings and memories and experiences I’d rather forget. I’d rather forget all the talks and looks and tears of my loved ones. I’d rather forget the turmoil my eating disorder was putting me through mentally. I’d rather forget the tired body that could barely do anything anymore. I’d rather forget all the doctors appointments and blood draws and weigh-ins. I’d rather forget it all.

But today I’m choosing to be thankful for those moments. They shaped me, and I wouldn’t be who I am today without them. They were hell, but they led to some really beautiful things.

So today I’m choosing to exist in the in-between. The memories are hard, but they are also strangely beautiful. Because I know that life is coming. True joy is coming. Hope is coming. 

What’s coming next is awesome. I’ll exist in April because I know May 5 is coming!!


Two years of recovery completely astounds me. I don’t know how we got here, but I am #BLESSED. So many ups and downs. Victories and relapses. I am thankful for the beauty and pain and glory that these past two years have been!! I’ve truly lived life for the first time ever and just WOAH how did I miss out on this for 18+ years!!!!! So much joy. Hardest journey I’ll probably ever be on, but the most worth it for sure. I wouldn’t trade a second of it. I have passion and joy and life inside of me that I never knew existed. Thankful. And strong. And so, so worthy. 

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Healing is Exhaling

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I see you. I see you fighting to take that next breath. I know that it feels like all the wind has been knocked out of you. There’s so much pressure from the void inside your chest that it feels physically impossible to breathe. But you can.

I know that telling you that you are able to breathe doesn’t help. It’s like telling a person who’s drowning to just swim. But I want you to know that you aren’t weak. You aren’t a victim to this. You have power. You are strong. You can control so much of your story.

Whatever it is isn’t bigger than you. I know that you feel small. I know that you feel like you can’t possibly change anything. What’s the point in trying to heal if it’s always going to loom over you? I promise you, it’s not always going to be there. It doesn’t have to at least.

Small steps become a huge long road that you’ve traveled. You might just be barely shuffling your feet, but soon you’re going to look back and you’re going to be one foot, five feet, fifty feet, one mile, two miles, twenty miles from where you started. That one small step might hurt like hell and it might feel like it won’t make a difference, but soon you’ll look back and think wow, I’m glad I took that step.

You gotta heal for you. This thing that is haunting you is only affecting you. Sure, what’s hurting you has somewhat of an effect on the people around you because they care for you, but they’re not the ones waking up in a sweat from a nightmare, having a panic attack when they’re alone in the car, or leaving class early when something triggers it. They’re not affected in the same way that you are, because they are not living what you are living.

I know that you wanna heal for your best friend, your boyfriend, your family, your whoever so that they don’t worry about you. It shows so much of your heart and character that you want to care for them, but that isn’t true healing. That’s just people-pleasing. And that will be the death of you. Probably not your physical, literal death, but it’ll be the death of your real, life-altering healing. 

If you try to heal just so you can please someone else, you aren’t healing. You might feel like you are, but really, you’re just stuffing everything under the rug, placing a coffee table on top of it, and pretending that there aren’t lumps underneath. It might feel okay, but one day you’re going to go to redecorate your living room and you’re going to move that coffee table and rug and everything is going to come right back out.

Healing has to be for you. And you’re the only one who can heal yourself. Your friends can’t heal you; your therapist can’t heal you (WHAT I know isn’t that what you pay them for??). You and God are going to be the only two players on this team against the darkness. But hey, that’s more than enough. Your loved ones will be cheering you on from the sidelines, but you gotta fight this one yourself.

You’re more than capable of this. Whatever it is, someone else has fought the same battle before you. They made it through, and so will you. It won’t be easy, it probably won’t be quick, but it’ll be worth it. 

Real healing, the kind that takes time and uncomfortable effort, is glorious. It’s unlike life that you have ever known. It’s like exhaling a breath that you’ve been holding your entire life.

You can breathe again and finally just be.

This healing is yours.

It’s waiting for you.

It has your name on it.

It’ll hurt at times, but it’ll also be kind and gentle. You can go at your own pace.

Just please, begin.

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“No, Daughter, I Died FOR You”

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Holy Week/Resurrection Weekend. They get me. I’m pretty sure I cry more in these seven days than I do in the entire year (okay, that’s an exaggeration because I’m a very emotional person, but you get my point). They completely wreck me and they leave me undone in the best way possible.

Yesterday my church held a Good Friday service. Instead of being a typical hour long service with a message and worship, it was a come-and-go as you please as you go around to different stations and reflect on different aspects of what happened on Calvary so many years ago.

It wrecked me.

I sat on the floor at one station for the longest time. It was a painting of Jesus, and there was a note that said “look Jesus in the eyes and ask what he feels.” 

I cried. A lot.

It reminded me of the humanity that Jesus existed in. He was fully human when he died, so he felt the full physical and emotional pain of the cross. The cross was gruesome. I cannot fathom the pain. But the emotional pain, y’all. He had been abandoned by his closest friends. He had been given over to die by one of his disciples. Those that he came to save were begging for him to be hung on the cross. We all know what it feels like to be stabbed in the back by a friend. But Jesus experienced the ultimate betrayal.

And if we had been there, if we had been in that crowd, we would have been yelling “crucify him!” right alongside them.

After visiting all the different stations, I came back to the picture of Jesus. I sat down and journaled. I wrote, “Sunday is coming and you have won, but this day is heavy. It is a celebration, but I did this to you. You died because of me.”

Jesus immediate replied,

“No, daughter, I died FOR you.”

Oh my Jesus!!!!!

Hallelujah.

My Jesus reminded me that there is no guilt in the cross, and to cloak what happened on Calvary in our own guilt is to take away what Jesus did.

The cross is about what HE did for US, not what WE did to HIM.

To twist it any other way is to exalt ourselves higher than our Lord and to pretend that we have that much power. We don’t. We didn’t have any control over Good Friday. That was planned and orchestrated all along by God. We have no responsibility in what happened. To think that we did is to give ourselves power that belongs to God. We aren’t that mighty.

Doesn’t that just take a weight off your shoulders?

I’ve been feeling that guilt this Lenten season. I’ve been feeling dirty and unworthy of my Jesus. I’ve labeled my mess bigger than the cross. In all honesty, I’ve been feeling more grief in the cross than joy. Because when I’ve looked at the cross, I’ve been seeing what I did, not what Jesus did.

I’ve been looking at the cross and seeing my sins, not his forgiveness.

Oh, but that’s not what it is.

I’m thankful for the humbling nature of the cross.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I know that Jesus was put on the cross because of us. I don’t deny that it is my sins that put him there. But he chose to be there. My sins were not a bondage that held him there. He could have saved us another way. He could have had a legion of angels come rescue him from the pain of the cross. But he stayed. Because he wanted to show the crowd (and every other human to exist for the rest of eternity) that his love for them was so much greater. The cross was radical declaration of love that was literally the laying down of his life for us. He could have chosen another way. Yet he decided to completely give himself away to show us how much we are worth to him. He died so that we could live. THAT is love.

Oh the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God.

It’s Saturday.

We’re almost to Sunday. We’re almost to the resurrection. We’re almost there.

But he’s in the waiting.

Saturday was dark. Saturday was painful and lonely for his followers. Their first full day without their Savior.

But we can exist in the Saturday in hope because we know that SUNDAY IS COMING.

Today I am thankful that we can rejoice in resurrection life while we wait for Sunday to come. 

Hallelujah.

How much that reflects my everyday life. I feel like I’m in a season where I’ve experienced the pain, but I haven’t yet experienced the glory and resurrection. I’m in a season of waiting between the two. I’m living in the Saturday. It’s frustrating and it can be really dark and lonely, but I can have hope in the Sunday that is going to come.

Hallelujah for how the resurrection is reflected into our normal, everyday lives!!

Crying at my Jesus and the beauty of his resurrection and the selfless, recklessness of his love.

Amen, amen, amen.

Thank you for pouring our your love. Thank you for reminding me that their is no guilt in the cross. Thank you for the hope in the waiting for Sunday.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Thank you.

I can’t say it enough.

Thank you.

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Why We Need The March For Our Lives

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I’ve really been avoiding writing anything political on this blog. I have lots of thoughts and lots of passions about all things social justice, but I have been afraid of making this space “unsafe” for those who disagree or appearing ignorant if I get a fact wrong. But those Parkland kids, wow, they are changing the (and my!) world. They are using their voices without fear. They are apologizing if they are wrong, but they are standing up for their beliefs wholeheartedly. And I am amazed and inspired. I want to follow in their footsteps. 

That being said, if you don’t like politics or differing opinions, please feel free to go ahead and exit this post. I’m not here to step on toes or be disrespectful to those who believe differently than me, so I will not tolerate those who are here to argue and will promptly delete any comments that are hostile, disrespectful, or name-calling in nature. Thank you!! 🙂


This past Saturday, I marched here in Nashville at a sister march of the March For Our Lives, a march to end school shootings organized by the brave students of Majory Stoneman Douglas in Parkland, FL, where 17 people were killed and 17 others injured in a school shooting on Valentine’s Day of this year. An estimated 10,000 to 12,000 people, ranging from newborns (literally saw a baby wearing the beanie they give babies in the hospital–she was TINY and obviously just a month old at most) to the elderly (people were there in wheelchairs/walkers), marched in Nashville, while over 200,000 marched in DC. In the United States alone, an estimated 1.2 million people marched at one of the 800 other sister marches. This generation, the generation of high schoolers who are not even old enough to vote yet, are NOT backing down. And the world is listening and joining in.

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Saturday was one of the most moving things that I have ever experienced. Being surrounded by thousands of people (many of whom where children and teens) who believed in the same things I do lit a fire under me and reminded me of why I fight. I was encouraged, challenged, and empowered. I listened and I watched and I learned. I was reminded that we are literally fighting for life. This movement IS a pro-life movement. I’m not sure why it’s even a question (are we going to value our right to a gun over a child’s right to live?), but I know that we are answering with LIFE. The answer is life. We deserve life.

The march has obviously met backlash due to its political nature, but one argument that I will not let slip by is that “these kids don’t even know what they are marching for.” Let me tell you, I was at the march on Saturday, and WE KNEW WHAT WE WERE MARCHING FOR. The high schoolers I saw at the march in Nashville knew, and the Parkland students leading the march up in DC knew. Just look at the How We Save Lives page on the March For Our Lives website. THESE STUDENTS ARE NOT IGNORANT. These teens know history, they know policy, they know what makes a gun automatic, they know where we need extra funding. As high school students dealing with homework and AP exams, they are also devoting so much of their time to researching and learning about gun control. They are not blindly demanding guns to be taken away. They are not being brainwashed by a liberal agenda. They are informed and they have done their research and they will not stop until the politicians listen to them.

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I have become more politically involved in the past month since the shooting than I have been in my entire life. College has made me a liberal (sorry dad) and I have become so much more passionate about social justice issues since starting my freshman year, but this month has driven me even deeper into that passion and has urged me to do even more research about the things I don’t know much about. It has taught me how to listen and how to move in action. The Parkland shooting changed me for the better, and I never want to lose that.

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In class yesterday, my professor said that students today are “not even marching against people dying, they are marching against the NRA who has done nothing wrong.” In the words of Emma Gonzalez, I call BS on that. To water down this movement to simply attacking the NRA completely disregards the lives of the 3,308 people that have died from gun violence in 2018 alone (Gun Violence Archive). There have been 50 mass shootings in the past three months. And still the NRA refuses any and all gun control. We want automatic weapons banned, we want bump stocks banned, we want the minimum age to be able to purchase a firearm to be raised to 21, we want gun records digitized. We want sensible gun control. We are opposing the NRA because the NRA is valuing their right to own a gun over our right to live. They believe that gun control will make them “less free,” while children are losing all of their freedom and dying because of senseless gun violence. We want the NRA to value the lives of children in schools over their weekend hobbies. We didn’t march against the NRA. We marched for gun control. But the NRA is standing between us and our goal because they are able to buy off the politicians in office. So we marched so that people will hear us. We marched so that we will make a difference. We marched so that we can vote them out.

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I could go on and on and on about why I believe that there needs to be gun control, but that isn’t the point of this. I don’t want to throw out a slew of facts and debate with people, not on this platform at least. I just want to show that these students–the Parkland students and the students that are rallying around them all over the world–know what they are talking about. They’re high schoolers, many of them not even old enough to vote, and they know more about policy than most adults know. They have taken more action than most adults have. They are doing the things that most adults won’t.

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Don’t discredit them. They may be young, but they are mighty. And they are going to outlive those that are opposing them. They are going to vote, they are going to run for office, they are going to change this country. They are not the product of a liberal agenda. They are a product of witnessing all the generations before us and saying, “hey, we don’t want to live in a world like that.” They don’t want to live in a world that is run by skin color, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, immigrant status, or social hierarchy. They’re calling BS on all of that. I’m calling BS on it too. They are a product of their own minds and their own passion. This is their doing. Without prompting, and I’m sure sometimes without full support. But they’re still doing it anyway because it is what they believe in. 

They are changing the world, and I am so here for it. We need the March For Our Lives movement. We need these teens. We need them because they carry the hope for this country. Our future is in good hands if they are going to be the ones running this place. I 100% believe that, and I will continue backing them up, supporting them, and fighting alongside them. This fight is important. They are important.

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Right now I’m loving this article called These Magic Kids. I wanna leave y’all with a quote from it, but be sure to go read the entire thing. It is beautiful and breathtaking and captures these students so so well.

“The truth is these kids didn’t spontaneously erupt from Florida a month ago. They have been deconstructing the bullshit of our generations for their entire lives, and now they’re ready.”

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Dreaming of Malibu

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If the stars were made to worship, so will I
If the mountains bow in reverence, so will I
If the oceans roar Your greatness, so will I
For if everything exists to lift You high, so will I
If the wind goes where You send it, so will I
If the rocks cry out in silence, so will I
If the sum of all our praises still falls shy
Then we’ll sing again a hundred billion times

I can’t. stop. thinking. about Malibu.

And Redding, and really just California as a whole, but Malibu. I’ve never seen anything like it.

If you didn’t know, I was blessed to have been able to travel to California twice this past month. A few weeks ago I spent a long weekend in Redding to go to Bethel Church, and last week I went to Los Angeles for spring break. And wow, Cali stole a piece of my heart.

I had such a blast in both places doing so many new things, but the views, y’all. The nature. The beauty of all of the creation. I still can’t get over it.

On Thursday of our spring break, Kayley and I rented a car and drove the Pacific Coast Highway up to Malibu and spent our day exploring the cutest little beach town I’ve ever seen. We stood in the Pacific Ocean, had a dance party on the side of a canyon, sat on top of a mountain, played on rocky beaches, and just had a really, really awesome day. One of the best days of my life.

And all I could say was, “wow.”

Seriously. Pretty sure at least 60% of conversations in Malibu started with “wow” or “oh my gosh.” We couldn’t find words to vocalize what we were seeing. All we could do was scream at the top of our lungs or happy dance or run or just sit speechless. It was beautiful.

At one point, as we were standing alongside Malibu Canyon Road, Jesus started talking to me.

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Malibu Canyon Road

I had spent all day obsessing over the creation, but I had yet to turn it all back to the Creator.

Mid-sentence, as I was saying how breathtaking the view was, Jesus stopped me in my tracks and said, “I made this just for you.”

He pointed out a short little palm tree in the gorge of the canyon and said, “I made all of this for you to enjoy. I made that tree just to make your smile. I formed this canyon with my hands knowing that you would come visit it one day. I made this for you to see me.

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This was the view that I was looking at when Jesus said the quote above. See that cute lil palm tree? Thanks, Jesus.

I was vocalizing all of this to Kayley and Jesus spoke into my heart again and said, “and I’m glorified through your amazement of my creation.”

WHAT!!

My speechlessness and inability to say anything besides “wow” is LITERAL PRAISE to my God.

He is glorified when we appreciate what he created for us.

He is honored when we give credit back to him.

He is worshipped when we stand in awe at what he has done.

That blows my mind.

Me standing on the edge of a canyon, dancing around with tears in my eyes, was praise to my Jesus. The amount of times that I screamed and said “wow” and made Kayley pull over just so I could get out of the car and take the scenery in was worship. Me looking out and pointing the creation back to the Creator was exaltation.

Me simply living and enjoying what God made for me was the same kind of praise that happens when I worship in a church. He is glorified just by me soaking in what he made.

What a good, good Father.

If creation sings your praises, so will I.

Jesus, your praise will literally ever be on my lips.

Let me never forget that the creation is yours. Let me not only see its beauty, but also see you in it. Let me forever be in awe of what you have made. Let me never forget that you created it just for me. That you thought of me when you made the mountains of Tennessee and the beaches of Malibu and everything in between. Let me forever worship you when I see the earth. Let me cherish what I have been given. Let your praise ever be on my lips, even if it is just a simple “wow.” Let me always point it back to you.

Amen amen amen.

Now, let’s go back to Malibu??? Please?

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