gates of heaven

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i cry semiannually.

you think i am joking, but it’s true.

normally when i refer to myself crying, i am speaking of a wave of emotion that presses so deeply into the front of my forehead and the back of my eyelids that i feel the weight of the world overwhelming me.

and if i am lucky, one single glistening tear might show up.

my ENFP friends,

my sweet, bundle-of-joy, feeler friends.

they tell me that they are going to turn me into a feeler.

they tell me that one day the Majesty of God will overwhelm me to the point of tears on a daily basis.

maybe. i don’t know.

one of those friends asked me last night, “when were your semiannual cries this year?”

i told her.

i told her and her roommate whom i had met just a few hours prior.

i didn’t go into detail, though i know each and every one.

i remember.


another friend asked me yesterday, “what has been the best thing about your time here?”

i cried.

again, not the gushing flow of tears that happen twice a year, but the pressing wave of emotion that reminds me that my heart is not made of stone.

i told her all that i had been reflecting on.

previous visits to florida.

future plans to move.

goals and dreams and passions.

where i see myself in ten years.

all the fears that i am facing and will continue to face between now and then.

i told her of the fear that she was ultimately and unintentionally the source of.

the fear of wanting to be someone who impacts the world the way that she does.

the fear of desiring the wisdom that she so beautifully portrays through her words and through her actions.

the fear of idolizing her experiences.

the fear of longing for wisdom, longing for influence, longing to see the world the way that she does, and not knowing how to get there.

it was a raw conversation.

one that a year ago, i would have been to afraid of to confront.


fear.

the concept has been on my mind so heavily this week.

fear brings out the ugly in human nature.

and fear is what drives the majority of our culture.

fear thrives in the quiet.

at least, that has been my experience.

fear, we keep it to ourselves,

we let it build up and turn into jealousy, anger, depression, anxiety.

we hold grudges.

we run away.

we hide.

we argue.

we put up our walls and our defenses.

i have seen fear take over our culture as a whole.

i see it in this election.

i see it in divorce.

i see it in the refugee crisis.

i see it in the church.

it is everywhere, and it destroys.


something has shifted in my life this year.

i suppose, many things have.

each year of my life, especially the past five, has had unique purpose.

in january, i heard one word on repeat as i asked the Lord for purpose in 2016.

freedom.

i was so unsure of what that meant, and totally unaware of what that would look like.

i don’t often set expectations, because nothing ever seems to work the way that i plan.

for me, freedom came in the shift.

the slow change in who i am and who i spend my time with and how i live my life.

i think it was, more often than not, a domino effect.

a change in this led to a change in that which led to growth in this which led to healing in that.

etc… etc… etc…


at this point last year, i believe i was at my lowest of all lows.

the community i leaned on accepted me where i was at, in the mess.

i started asking for help, and felt unheard.

i sought help, and was told that if i loved the Lord more everything would be okay.

maybe there is some truth to that. maybe not.

i visited west palm, and was plagued with ruthless anxiety.

with glazed over eyes and a weak soul, i survived each day.

hour by hour.

moment by moment.

i survived.


this year, i found freedom.

i found freedom in both who He is and who i am.

not in some cheesy, matthew west lyric sort of way.

(in my head now, all i can hear is “hello my name is child of the one true King.”)

but while that is all good and true,

the song lyrics are lacking the depth of what i am aiming to express.

i found freedom in who He is.

His goodness.

His faithfulness.

someday i will write a post just to display those two truths.

i have goodness and faithfulness in the sweetest of ways, all wrapped up in the daily moments of 2016.

i cannot help but proclaim it with every opportunity i have.

i found freedom in who i am.

holy cow.

never have i known my true self as well as i do today.

that may seem obvious, because clearly we are always learning and discovering new things, especially about ourselves.

but the depth of what i have learned over the course of a few months has completely changed my entire life.

self-awareness is so key to a healthy lifestyle, i am so sure of this.

maybe you think i am crazy,

but i will go to my deathbed encouraging every human i come in contact with to discover their personality type, the love languages, their strengths, their weaknesses.

know yourself.

see what makes you tick.

know how you need to be shown affection, and express that to those around you.

find your strengths, and build upon them.

discover your weaknesses, and learn from them.

knowing myself.

and sharing what i know of myself with those whom i love and who love me.

it has completely changed my community, and my life.


freedom.

freedom means that anxiety no longer has a hold on me.

freedom means that i am no longer bound in chains.

freedom means that love wins.

freedom means that joy is the primary source of emotion flowing from my soul to my tear ducts.


this life is a beautiful journey.

with not-so-beautiful roadblocks thrown in along the way.

it was never meant to be easy or even happy.

it was promised to be the opposite, actually.

i’ve seen the hurt.

i’ve seen death’s sting.

i’ve seen sorrow overcome the night,

and yet i still have always seen the joy of the morning.

i have seen the sunrise, and i know that there is so much more to come.

in fact, i am convinced that the gates of heaven will somewhat resemble the view of the sunrise over the ocean, in an even more majestic form.

it is coming.

fear will die.

death will lose.

and light will overwhelm.

we are almost there.

everyday, a moment closer.

everyday, another fight to live a life beyond surviving.

everyday, a journey to freedom.


it will come.

it is out there.

He is right there.

He is in the journey.

in the fight.

keep walking, despite the blisters between your toes.

keep fighting, despite the vertigo that this crazy life brings.

keep coming back to the feet of Jesus.

keep running to His arms.

He is freedom.

He is here.

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