Browsing Category:

Seeking encouragement

Here’s to the ones who dream

Heres-to-the-ones-who-dream

I used to be afraid that eventually I would run out of ideas.  

That all of my words would run dry and I’d have nothing left to say.  

But I’ve learnt that my writing is a gift.  

It’s God’s abundant grace spilled out in black and white.  

It’s limitless.  

It’s infinite.  

It’s not something that can be lost because it’s within me.  

As long as I have breath in my lungs, I can write.  

Because my DNA is the alphabet strung together.  

My blood is the stories of my ancestors.  

My heartbeat is the poetry of life.  

I create because I was created.  

This is my purpose, this is my life, this is me.   


 

I think my whole life I’ve been trying to squeeze myself into a box.

There is this particular type of person who I’ve always believed I am supposed to be. This girl is intelligent. She’s scientific and she’s loud. The kind of person who always knows the answer and readily volunteers it.  The kind of person who always sticks their hand up, voices their opinions and doesn’t let anyone scare them.

 

I’m am slowly coming to the realization that I am not that girl.

 

Since finishing my studies and stepping away from the arduous pursuit of intelligence. For the first time I’ve given myself permission to be the creative, romantic, whimsical person I’ve spent my whole life suppressing.

 

Suddenly, no longer bound by the labels of a major I have been free to pursue the things that really make me feel alive. Namely words and the compelling task of piecing them together perfectly.

 

And it feels as though I’m fighting everyday to prove my worth.

 

Because society says success looks like a hefty paycheck, a stable job, a clear direction. I had this wonderful idea that once I graduated I would glide effortlessly into a job. That I would jump into the world of adulthood and land gracefully on my feet.

 

Except that daydream was promptly shattered about five minutes into job hunting when I realized that path was not going to be for me.

 

Endless piles of paperwork are not for me.

Sitting behind a desk all day is not for me.

Mindless work to secure a salary is not for me.  

 

My heart longs to pour itself out in poetry. My hands ache with this need to create.

 

It seems that my art is no longer just the thing I squeeze into the hours I have spare but what my whole day revolves around.

 

And art is anything but certain.

Art is mystical, emotional and ever-changing. 

 

This calling makes me uncomfortable because it’s anything but conventional. I feel the pressure to conform. To be the university graduate who gets a steady job and makes her parents proud. 

 

I, like so many others have bought into the lie that my worth is found in other’s opinions of me.

 

It’s not true. Their opinions don’t matter. It’s all just noise. Noise that prevents us from doing the real work; the daring work our hands were called to.

 

So of course my opinion doesn’t matter either, but I will give it nonetheless.

 

heres-to-the-ones-who-dream

 

And to that end I will say, here’s to the ones who dream. Thank you. All of you for the work you do. You are all valuable. Your work is important and necessary.

 

Thank you all you authors and poets, you give words for the feelings I cannot express. Thank you to the scientists whose minds are never satisfied. The ones who cannot sleep until they figure out how things work, even if that means pulling things apart and stringing the pieces back together again.

Thank you to those who spend their whole lives working on puzzles I cannot begin to fathom. For the ones who design buildings, take stunning photographs and raise children.

For the ones who make history come alive again, give me music to dance to and fix me when I fall apart.

 

Each and every one of you make this world go round.

 

And my heart breaks at the thought of us carelessly snuffing out your song.

 

Imagine a world where musicians never played, philosophers never pondered, teachers never instructed, astronauts never flew. Imagine a world where we never dared to dream. 

 

We are quick to celebrate those who frequent stadiums, operate in theatres and grace the red carpet. But there are the humble few whose work goes unnoticed and unappreciated. Those whose worth is underestimated.

 

So to you I say this, don’t give up. Just because we fail to recognise your worth, does not mean your work isn’t valuable. Keep creating, studying, showing up and giving it your all.

 


As for me, I’m sick of being a square peg in a round hole. Squeezing myself into a box I was never meant to be in. 

 

I’m tired of trying to live up to the unfair expectations that others place upon me.

 

I long for this world to be a safe place where all of us are free to be our most authentic selves. That choosing vulnerability wouldn’t be considered brave but commonplace.

 

But I guess it starts here. With me writing these words to you. I will lay my cards on the table in the hope that you will do the same. My courage will spark courage in your heart and yours in anothers.

 

So this is me. I’m not loud, scientific or overly intelligent. I’m a writer. A dreamer. A hopeless romantic. I’m a square peg.

 

I might not fit society’s definition of success but that will not deter me.

 

“The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all, the world needs dreamers who do.” – Sarah Ban Breathnach

 

Beauty for ashes

Lately, I’ve been overwhelmed by this sensation of carrying a weight on my shoulders. I’ve had a weary heart. I’ve been walking around with heavy, labored breathing. As though getting through every day is a struggle.

 

I’m aware that this darkness scares some people, but not me.

 

Because I feel things very deeply, I am affected by the burden of pain a little more than most. I am blessed to be aware of so much love, beauty and delight in my surroundings but this comes with the struggle of feeling equal measures of despair at the suffering I see.

 

I’ve got my hands in fists on each side. In my right hand I hold the darkness, in the left I hold the light. And each day I battle to keep this balance. Exploring the light without being lost in the darkness.

 

How can I hold all this suffering within? How can I live in this world which is so broken? How can I cope with the pain I will inevitably suffer?


 

I’m thankful that God is gracious in his approach to us. That we are free to wrestle with these fears and doubts. That we are allowed to feel angry and sad and come at Him with a billion questions.

 

What matters most I’ve found is that in the search for truth, it always comes back to Jesus. We’ll always end up at the foot of the cross staring into the face of the one whose love protects all things, forgives all things and perseveres through all things.

 

I’ve been searching for answers.

I’ve been angry with God.

I’ve questioned my faith and coddled my doubts.

 

What I found wasn’t a clear answer or divine revelation but rather a gentle whisper, a heart nudging, a deeper appreciation for the beautiful, mysterious way that God works.  

 

I had to look outside of myself. I had to move beyond the cynicism clouding my vision. And in nature I found an answer which satisfied my crumpled heart.


 

Have you ever considered the life cycle of a humble flower. Seeds drop into soil, dig down and find their place. Awakened, they send up shoots, gather light and fight their way through the earth. Buds turn to blossoms which are admired by all and then they droop, wilt and fall back down to the ground.

 

Which is where we tend to believe the story ends.

 

But as the flower, leaves and stem decay, the nutrients return back to the soil and provide sustenance for the next flower to grow.

The death and decay feeds the new life.

 

It seems that nature always moves towards harmony, peace, rest. Shalom.

 

And we see that in our own bodies too.

On New Years Eve I hosted a party at my house and during the evening I retreated to my bedroom to grab something and in my haste to get back to the fun, I accidentally slammed into a door and cut the back of my hand.

Over the past few months I’ve watched with fascination as the wound has slowly healed itself.

The cut was gradually coloured in with flesh and blood and the scar has eventually blended into my skin.

 

Our body always moves towards balance. Our homeostasis is healing.

 

Right now, what I see all around me is suffering. Around every corner I am faced with brokenness. Our world is a mess and if we dwell on that for too long it’s easy to fall into depression.

 

Families are breaking down and leaving shattered pieces. Countries are being torn apart and are spilling their inhabitants in all directions. Diseases are choking out the life from our very veins.

 

If ever there were a time for a mighty flood of destruction, I would say this is it.

What good can possibly come from a wretched place like this?


 

I feel that darkness beginning to close in.

 

But then there is a stirring in my heart which is calling me to say, hope is here.

 

God is making all things new. He is trading beauty for ashes. He is binding up wounds, drying up tears and pushing up flowers from the dry, barren ground.

 

His intention has always been redemption. His promise has always been restoration.

All creation beats to this rhythm. It’s humming in the bees and rustling through the trees.

 

Some of you may be in a situation that feels hopeless, but know that new life is just around the corner. The seeds are dormant and still but they are there underground.

 

beauty for ashes, finding God, faith, redemption, healing, encouragement, God's promise of healing,

 

I have this hope that none of the pain or loss is wasted. The death and decay filter down and provide the foundation for new life to flourish.  

Our bitter losses and tragedies are not worth comparing to the glory that will be revealed in us.

 

I take comfort in knowing that my God is BIG.

My hands are easily weighed down because this burden is too great for me to bear. My humanness is insufficient for such a task, but God can hold it all. He can hold both darkness and light without strain. He can be all consuming love and righteous judgement. He can dance with us in our joy and weep with us in our sadness.

 

Over everything, He is our redemption.

In all seasons, He is our hope.

In the longing, searching and seeking for truth…He is our answer.

 

I waited and waited and waited for God.

   At last he looked; finally he listened.

He lifted me out of the ditch,

   pulled me from deep mud.

He stood me up on a solid rock

   to make sure I wouldn’t slip.

He taught me how to sing the latest God-song,

   a praise-song to our God.

More and more people are seeing this:

   they enter the mystery,

   abandoning themselves to God.”

-Psalm 40 : 3-5 (MSG)