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All of It

The more I try to write, the more I run into the reality that the name of this blog implies. Sometimes words aren’t enough to capture something beautiful. Or something terrible. Sometimes I fall frustratingly short when I try to interpret the emotions and fears inside me. I want to write about happiness. I want to write about grief. I want to write about my new friends and my old friends, and the friends that I’ve lost. I want to write about the subdued atmosphere of reflection when I collapse into my car after a long day of work. Or the way my world starts to crumble around me when one small push reveals how much I’m repressing my pain. The moment of inexplicable emptiness when I can’t handle the brokenness of the world on my own. The thrill of new friendship, of discovery and exploration, made all the more exciting by the vulnerability it brings out in all of us. I want to write about it all. So here’s the best I can do for now.

. . . . . . . . .

Life is good. Or at least, better than the last year or more maybe. Which isn’t saying a lot honestly. But it’s harder in new ways too. It’s funny how vastly different struggles can create the same amount of turbulence relative to what’s going on in our lives. Even every step in the right direction leaves one battle behind and moves on to a new monster .

I no longer have night after night of no activity, sitting in my room bemoaning my lack of a life. A free evening is precious now, a rarity. But I’m busy, continually plagued with fomo and stress, wondering if I will ever have time to truly rest. I traded complacency for overactivity.

I’ve found a rhythm now, between my new independence, my work, and my school. A good pattern to my weeks and months, the kind that’s occasionally interrupted with something unexpected, momentous, or new. It keeps life interesting enough. But a little voice inside keeps telling me that what’s good cannot last, that this peace isn’t real and isn’t earned. Sometimes it’s hard to tell if I’m getting better at handling the pain or at ignoring it.

I’m making friends now. I hope you know who you are. I’m no longer wallowing in my loneliness, missing my friends who’ve moved away to bigger and better things and wondering if I could ever make connections like I used to. The loneliness is still there, and the missing, but there’s a newness, an excitement that gives me hope for the future. And yet, new friendship brings back old insecurities. There are old scars, still healing scars, that are stretched by the vulnerability of burgeoning relationships. There are parts of me I’d forgotten about, aspects of myself that don’t appear until I truly start caring about something. I rediscovered my jealousy and my pride. My selfish urges to be somebody to someone, to be in on the secret, to be wanted more than the others. It scares me sometimes, wondering where my love for the people I care about ends and my desire to matter begins.

Moving forward now is understanding and trusting that God can use a broken person for good. My life does not have to be a balancing act, making sure I have more good intentions than manipulative ones. I understand my love for people. I know how my heart aches when I’m close to a friend in pain. I know that I am passionate about leadership and improvement. These things get so tangled up with my selfishness, my pride, my jealousy, or my loneliness; My fear tells me I have to separate the good tendencies from the bad in order to make a difference.

But if I lay all of this at the feet of Christ, He redeems what could be lost. He tells me that this brokenness is not loss, but a roadmap to his perfection. He tells me to pursue despite my insecurity, because my identity does not come from those around me. He tells me to lead well and love deeply, because He hasn’t left us to shepherd this world alone. He tells me “take heart, for I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

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