Friday, May 6, 2011

Let's Play a Game

Hey you. You're pretty cute.
So let's play a game.
Let's sweet-talk.
Let's call each other babe, sweetheart
Pretend I'm your Lizzy always and forever.
Let's play fight
Let's talk, text, and think about each other all day long
and in your dreams each night.
Let's tell each other good morning
and good night every day.
Let's take walks together, hold hands together,
interlaced fingers like nothing could tear us apart.
Let's give each other nicknames: lil sis, best friend, Lizzy my love
beautiful, brilliant, cupcake, mine
Let's hang out with each other's friends
Let's go on dates
Let's talk on the phone all night, never say goodbye,
LEt's hold each other o so tight, you said you'd never
let me go, the only place I said I felt safe,
you promised I'd always be safe.
Let's kiss and hug, you said you loved me,
Just kiss me already, kill me with kisses
Whoever falls in love first, loses.
I always knew I'd lose.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Love, the only saint I ever prayed to.
Love, the only thing that leads me home.
Beaten and bruised and so confused,
leaning on the hope of something
more than scattered dreams.
I was made for more than broken dreams.
Love, the only medicine I'll ever need.
Love, the only truth to ease the pain of all these lies,
seeing clearly with unclouded eyes
all the things I wished I could become.
Love won't ever let me come undone.
Love, the faithful saint, will lead me home.
Saints and sinners sing your broken hallelujah
Join together in a chorus for all
our bleeding hearts, punctured lungs that draw
our final breaths.
Love, the only saint I ever prayed to
Why did you hide
your devil's face from me?
Why did you never
show me the faces
of broken people, your blind followers,
the only legacy that love left me with.

Bleed me dry with last month's promises,
Poison me with last month's kisses
Stale words and worn-out longings,
a joyless passion, the greatest sin.

Bruised, broken, damned.
You wouldn't save me
from the hell you put me in.
Saints sing their hallelujah
But sinners' cries are louder.
The only saint
Pray for me from hell.
Don't forget about me yet
One last kiss to send you,
This postcard from hell.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Pour it all out,
light it on fire, the incense
of our broken lives, silent cries
from poisoned lips whose kisses
brought only lies and death.
Some things never change.
Hiding our faults behind
glass doors, wishing for something more
than broken mirrors and lovers' lies.
Tears of a saint never change anything.
Blood of a martyr shed in vain.
Was I always this insecure, or
did your punches and blows push me over?
Saints and sinners, they all lie
in the same graves, their bones
all blow to dust the same way.
Some things never change.
Some people never change.
Empty hearts all look the same
And some of us never could be saved.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

"Maybe you would have been something I'd be good at; maybe I would have been something you'd be good at."
-Tegan and Sarah

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Just when you think
things have hit rock bottom,
the ground drops out
from beneath your unsteady
feet, and you fall
still further, plummeting
to a bottom you didn't
believe existed, leaving
you with the haunting
unbearable question:

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I miss you.
All those lost souls,
Fallen down those dirty rabbit holes,
Endless tangled tunnels of lost
loves, long-predicted failures.
Don't say I didn't try
to warn you with my cries.
You called them crocodile tears.
And now my tears have their revenge,
as they slowly fill the rabbit holes
and drown the lost souls
of all the things I loved and lost.
Don't say I didn't warn you.
I saw the signs, perceived the
patterns: when I was broken
by everyone I tried to love.
Love broke me and left me
waiting for a sign. But the only
signs I see are the signs
that you're leaving me.
Did I say I miss you?
Would you even hear me
if I did?
Now I'm drowning, voice
silenced in my own endless tunnel.
Miles of chains and delicate lace
Tie my heart in knots
and my hands behind my back.
I want to save you
from the burdens
you try to bear, chains you try
to wear, but my own heart
is too heavy with regret
to hold your hand tonight.
'If only's drop in my
mind like rather large
rocks in a flimsy cloth
bag, that never should have carried
stones. Broken bones cannot
stand on their own. But
I cannot save you this time.
Once I loved, and love conquers all.
Tonight there are only shadows,
whispers and shadows. Pain,
familiar friend, points to love
lost; I paid the cost,
a price too high to think
of love again. Pain,
that too familiar friend,
let's pretend we aren't
living in the shadows of what might
have been.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Friday, April 22, 2011

Never again
can I doubt His love for me,
can I see the cross without
fear and trembling and joy.
Never again
can I think of my own
suffering as worth anything
when compared to His
incomparable pain.
Never again
can I fail to understand
the solemn gravity
of my sin that nailed Him there.
Never again
can I praise the cross
and not mean it,
claim His blood as my ransom
and not believe it
can I live under condemnation.
For He has paid it all.
All to Him I owe.
Sin had left a crimson stain
He washed it white as snow.

The dripping blood our only drink,
The bloody flesh our only food:
In spite of which we like to think
That we are sound, substantial flesh and blood-
Again, in spite of that, we call this Friday good.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

a bride

Curling my hair in an empty house

The cream-and-lace dress hangs

over a chair, waiting to be worn,

a little bit torn but still beautiful,

a little bit broken but still loveable.

Softly the violins sing, a serenade

or a lament? Walking down the aisle,

walking to new life as a bride,

or the bride of Christ. Is this new life

or a death? I don't know which

I'm pretending to be. Alone I pretend

to be a bride, but whose? Why

would they leave the bride alone

to curl her own hair, sob in that chair

where the wedding-death dress hangs?

The virgin bride prepares to lie

in her coffin, a slow walk down the aisle,

her last walk from the earth to her grave

in a worn-out wedding dress.

Keep on.
Don't lose heart.
Be confident of this: He who began a good work in you
will carry it on to completion.
Strive. Go forth.
Sanctified through fire
Satisfied desires.
I am worth more than I ever
dared dream.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

"A white blank page, and a swelling rage. You did not think, when you sent me to the brink. You desired my attention, but denied my affection. So tell me now, where was my fault in loving you with my whole heart?"
-Mumford and Sons, White Blank Page

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

That isn't right. Something isn't right here
Halt the world, stop the session.
Something's not right.
The slow-sliding struggle becomes a fight
A wall, a wail, and we all fall down in the night.

That isn't right. The bass shouldn't sound
that low, resound in the deep,
the dark shouldn't creep in so close.
Too low, too loud, such a fearful
sound that is more feeling than sound.

That isn't right. We shouldn't fight
to hold up our own banners, bear
our own burdens, look on these faces
and solitary places without love
that longs to fill the shattered spaces.

That isn't right. This day shouldn't pass
without something to redeem
those seven year's labor. All the loss,
the painful cost, the price she paid
to bring us home again. Why won't we
remember? Rise up, o bones, redeem
the wrong and set things right.
Death, defy the dying dream
Bones, become again a living being.
The art of losing isn't hard to master
Each time I love, I find I've lost
the moment after.
Loss of self, creating a new image
every day. You do it too. Rearranging
hair and eyes and clothes
to fit the people we pretend
to be. A different person every day.
Once we pretended to love.
But the art of losing's not too hard to master.
We created different selves, now make
a beautiful disaster.

Loss leaves vacant spaces,
places needing to be remade
where empty holes are not.
These things cannot be.
How can a thing that once was
simply cease to be? A black hole
absorbs all the existent things
into itself. The art of losing
isn't hard to master. Practice
falling harder, falling faster.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Lipstick-stained coffee cup.
the fake blood left behind after
false kisses, the Judas kiss, pretender's
affectionate embraces. Lips that once
kissed form prayers to broken
stone, broken bones. But His bones
were not broken.
The whole man stands on unscarred legs,
Cannot understand the shame
of broken bones and bloody kisses.
Bleeding lips and burning ships
and bridges cut off all escape.
Stagnant, stationary, stuck,
waiting to wash away walls
with waves of patient love,
why won't you let me in?
Lips of a saint send
holy kisses up to heaven.
Lips of a martyr
consecrate the sacrifice in blood.
Lips covered in blood, kisses
that kill and bring new life.
A bloody napkin, a broken stone,
and all the failures of a worn-out heart.

This is my prayer in the desert, when all that is in me feels dry

And though my heart is torn, I'll praise You in this storm.

You make beautiful things, You make beautiful things out of the dust. You make beautiful things, You make beautiful things out of us.

When Satan tempts me to despair or tells me of the guilt within, upwards I look and see Him there who made an end to all my sin.

When peace like a river attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll: whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, it is well, it is well with my soul.

I believe I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord, be strong and take heart, and wait for the Lord.

Though sorrow may last for a night, joy comes in the morning.

The man Jesus Christ laid death in his grave!!!

being confident of this, that He who began a good work in [me] will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Nothing in my hands I bring, simply to Thy cross I cling.

I surrender all, I surrender all. All to Thee, my blessed Savior, I surrender all.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Recent obsessions

Cheerios. Honey nut. with milk. makes me feel like a little kid again.

dramatic musicals. Moulin Rouge, Les Miserables, Wicked. love the music. so much.

Jelly Bellies. Pomegranate, raspberry, juicy pear, orange sherbet.

Paradox. Myself. I am such a contradiction in terms sometimes. The Incarnation. Love.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I don't want to be Anna. A lot of people do, apparently. But I've been there and I know it's hell. Greatness is worth nothing without love. Life is worth nothing without love.

What can save Anna? See people as beautiful. Love them. But what if you don't feel loved in return? Keep loving anyways? What if you only feel loved in ways that people can't love you? Change your desires? How? How do you educate your emotions?

Just love people and love God. Maybe I'll never really be happy. But if I love, it'll be worth it...right? Love is always worth it.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

i love Robynne Peterson so much.

that was cause Robynne told me to and i wasn't sure what else to say.

i'm not quite used to not knowing what to say. ive been told so many different things lately. about myself, about my problems, about how i should handle them. and i just don't have any answers anymore.

maybe that's a good place to be. if i can stop trying to answer my questions and let God answer them for me, that'd be best, i think. if i can stop asking other people my questions and rest in the answers God has already given me, that'd be good too.

i need to learn that i'm not being punished and i'm not going to be rewarded. it's life, not a game. and God works all things together for good, but not always for my good. or at least not for my immediate good.

depression sucks. but i can beat this. losing people was my worst fear, and it's coming true. but i can overcome my fears, because perfect love casts out fear. to hold a thing loosely...its hard but good.

im tired. normally when i'm tired, i guiltily take short breaks while thinking of all i should be doing, i harass myself into powering through anyways, and mentally flagellate myself for getting tired in the first place. today, i rested. some, anyways. i didn't do anything productive until 11. i read Ecclesiastes and played some worship songs on my piano. i listened to Rachmaninoff's All-Night Vigil and watched Moulin Rouge with Robynne. when i'm tired, i'm going to sleep. when i'm emotionally spent, i'm going to journal. cause i need to learn to take care of myself, cause no one else can do that for me. i need to learn to get myself better, cause no one can make me do it. rest, space, healing.

i don't really like where i've been at these past few months, and i don't know if i can say it's a good place to be, but it's a real place. and its where i am. and it's nice to have people who can acknowledge that and then treat me like a person and not just a problem to be dealt with. some people forget i'm still a person too. some people try and pretend i don't have any problems that they're aware of. i like honesty, but i also like respect. acknowledge that i'm struggling, but that's not all of me. my problems aren't the only part of me you've ever known. but they're a real part of me. so love all of me, and i'll try to do the same. i'll do the same regardless, but still, love me in my sin, don't see me as only my sin.

and through it all, God is God and all shall be well.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

In the Mirror

Sorry, Sean. You weren't completely right. If you were, this might be a lot easier. Yeah, I don't really love myself, but there's more to it then that.

Dr. Reynolds hit a lot closer to the truth when he said that I hated myself. There's a lot of that in this. A lot of disgust for the deeds I've done, a lot of loathing for the lies I've told myself and others, a lot of hate for the hearts I've hurt.

I think it's even deeper though. I don't want to love myself, because I don't think I'm worth it. I don't believe I am loved. Why would I be? Anyone who has loved me has been hurt by me, been smothered or rejected by me, been used by me. Anyone whom I have loved has blessed me and bruised me, held me and used me. I've gotten to be ok with this.

I need to stop being ok with being hurt and hurting. I need to be able to wake up every morning, look in the mirror, and say, "Screw this, I am pretty freakin' awesome." But I can't. Because I don't believe it. And I'm not really sure where to start to learn how to believe it. I think I've been hurt a little too much, hoped in a few too many failed ventures, tried to stretch my wings and just strained my shoulders.

I think...I really don't hate myself so much as this creature I see myself becoming, and the world that's made me become so.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord. Be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord.

Psalm 27:13-14

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

cause hamlet-ing is inevitable when you're me

in a place. a place that feels empty. the same place i've been for a very long time.
and i don't like this place. its a little too dark for me. a little too lonely. a little too hopeless.
but...i'm not quite sure how to get out. honesty, maybe? admitting that this is the place where i am and where i need to be?
but...i'm not quite sure i want to be honest. to take off the mask. cause honesty means being vulnerable, and being vulnerable means getting hurt. and i've been hurt enough.
to be or not to be. to go numb or to keep feeling everything, both pain, and eventually, joy.
to live or just cope. a thousand decisions and revisions and indecisions. because i cannot act unless i decide. and i can't decide. either to commit emotional suicide, or to keep stabbing the knife into my heart.
they say i've gotta swim when i'm not so sure i'll survive. so why swim?
im not ok. and im not ok with not being ok.
if i knew who i was, then maybe i could love myself and love people. i just want to love people. but i just want them to love me too. im tired of working to earn love. but how else do i get it?
i'm not sure who i am, but i don't think it's someone lovable. so i need to create a new person to be, one that they'll love.
being me is killing me. but so is being someone i'm not. being alone is killing me more quickly.
i can't go numb, so please come get me rescued.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

"I'm finally numb, so please don't get me rescued."

-Jack's Mannequin, Rescued

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

a meditation on Liszt's b minor sonata

Dissonance, dark descent into
Despair, tumult of chaotic
Cries for resolution. Abrasive
demand for attention, pulling
at my ears to pay heed
Release, deceptively sweet
Ethereal hinting at desires unfulfilled
Insistent interruption of a low note subsides
into melancholy meanderings, sliding
into triumphal meditations to the minor
Shifting in and out of demanding
dissonance and airy whispers of tension.
Pull and release, tension between
silence and sound, soft and loud,
heaven and hell. But man lives in between.
Passion and power escalating to
simultaneous heights and depths
Open wanderings, significance in space
and silence-pauses can say as much as sound.
But sin can creep into the spaces
Trembling tremelos, with passion or fear or strain
to uphold the tension, strength and silence then
softness building into surety, sliding into
running water and notes and thoughts, falling
heavy downwards and leaping up to silent stars.
SIn creeps in whenever we start to soar.
I see the light. The cross. My saviour, my God.

Because I can't use facebook

I now have a tumblr too...

Monday, March 7, 2011

life and all that jazz

Paper=done. At 3AM. And...I think I might be wrong. But hey, I just rewrote my thesis on Saturday afternoon, so that's not bad considering. New paper maybe? We'll see.

Sleep=whatevs. 4 hours...I can deal with that. Good times with friends...probably some pretty crazy times today when I'm totally sleep-deprived and crazy.

I'll Make A Man Out Of You-apparently it's Quadratus' theme song. And the song that never fails to get a carload of people to sing dramatically. Disney for the win.

Life is getting better. Tense, but better. People are pretty awesome.

I think I don't have to know what love is to be able to love. That's sorta nice for me :) But I also think I know a little more about love than I used to. That's also nice :)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


I should be writing my paper.
I should be healing.
I should be resting.
I should be learning what God brings to me.
I should be sleeping.
I should be forgiving.
I should be loving.
I should be loved.

I can't really write a good paper.
I'm not allowing myself to heal.
I'm only pretending to rest.
I don't know if I'm really learning my lessons.
I'm definitely not sleeping.
I'm trying to forgive.
I want to be loving.
I am loved.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Broken is a good place to be. God's love can't get in when we put up walls. The walls need to come down. Hammering at my heart with a sledgehammer hurts, but it works. Breaks, but its good. A terrible good, full of suffering, but the kind of suffering that leads to joy. Dante walked through the fire for Beatrice, for love. I want to do the same. Because fire purifies. And once you've gone through the fire, the old loves, old habits, old fears and failures and follies are all burnt away and a new creation is left.
Falling hurts. Learning to ice skate is painful. You stand insecurely, barely upright, unable to move forward. And you fall. Again and again and again. And no bones are broken, no fatal wounds are sustained, so you can't call a doctor. But you bruise your knees and hands over and over and over. Ripping a newly formed scab off doesn't just keep you from healing. It makes things worse. And you fall, and stand up, and fall, and stand up, and you aren't moving anywhere because you can't even stay upright long enough to take the first step. It feels like you're breaking from the repeated bruising. So you try to find something to steady you until you have strength. You grab onto someone. And it works, and you start to take a step, so they let go, and you feel insecure, and you fall. And you grab onto something else, pull yourself up, and it slips away and you fall. Only one thing will hold you up forever, but you've got to run to it. And you can't even stand. But you have to stand up if you're going to run forward.
Run to God, they say. But I can't even stand up. God, you're going to have to run to me. Please be my strength, cause I don't have any more. I can't love, can't run, can't strive or strain anymore. God hold me please, cause I've got nothing else. Everything I've loved, I'm losing. Help me to hold a thing prying it away from my deathgrip, if need be.

I can't keep living like this. Falling, jumping up, falling, jumping up. I've gotta just run. All the energy that goes into crashing and soaring needs to stop and go into running to God and loving Him. A friend told me last night, that I need to believe I'm worth it first. Before i can try to love others, love God, fix myself, I need to believe that God ransomed me because I am worth it to Him.
But I'm not worth it, my mind and heart cry out. I've fallen so far. I've hurt so many people. I'm breaking, I'm killing myself, I'm bruised and bleeding, helpless and hopeless. Why would Christ, the perfect lamb, shed His blood for someone like me? No, not for someone like me, for me. Because I am worth it. To God. And to those who still love me when they've seen me at my worst. I can't say "Screw this, I am pretty freakin' awesome." Not yet. But God has said "Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life." (Isaiah 43:4). And I believe it. Jesus loves me, this I know. And His love has to outweigh all the condemnation I feel. Because if I reject His love, I spit in the face of a bleeding, dying Savior. So if God says so, I am worth it. So I'll keep running. Cause I've got nowhere else to go.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


‎"How did I get here? I'm not who I once was. Am I crippled by the fear that I've fallen too far to love?"-Tenth Avenue North, "You are More"

Falling apart, spiraling out of control. My life the past few days has been one miserable failure to love. Anxiety, depression, strain and stress and a breaking heart, coupled with physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion and the cares and frustration with running on 60-70% energy almost constantly have broken me.

I have no strength. I can't fight, I can't love, I'm slowly unravelling and I'm going to end by hurting everyone I've ever loved. A walking disaster of bitterness and betrayal, abandonment and angst, bump me and I'll bleed toxic waste. I've already hurt people I love, and that's killing me slowly, bleeding out from an imperceptible wound. Throughout the past semester, my one comfort was that no matter how much I screwed up, no matter how unhinged I came, I was still learning to love. And now...epic fail beyond that of all epic fails. Eyes wide open, hands free, I destroyed my one security-the belief that I could love.

Crippled by fear...that's so incredibly true. I'm starving for love and acceptance that I've convinced myself I no longer have. I need. So much. And this intense need is driving the very people I need farther and farther away. Without this assurance of love and sense of belonging, I feel like I'm slowly dying inside. But the very pursuit of being loved is killing me too.

I'm too far gone, I think. I'm an emotional wreck. Each mood swing more drastic than the last, the pent-up pressure can only result in an explosion. And when I explode, it won't be pretty. So look out world, cause I'm dying, and I won't go down gently. Slipping into the dark, grasping at straws that I know won't save me, falling off a cliff with nothing to break the landing.

After our Reynolds session last night, my biggest realization was this: Love is the most important thing in the world. And I'm screwing that up. So I'm basically gone, burnt out by a passion I didn't have strength to maintain.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

What's In My Head Right Now

"I throw my hands up in the air sometimes, singing "Hey-o, gotta let go" This song always makes me think of crazy awkward dance parties in the back seat of my car. Not a good song to sing while I'm driving. Or at least, not a good song to obey.

Plato. He's pretty awesomeness. Symposium was good on the first read. The second read-through just to skim for key points blew my mind. Pretty sure I'll need to read it again before session. And talk to lots of Morgan House kids about it. And my mentor. And other mentors. And Dr. Reynolds. And then write my paper on it/Anna Karenina and have my mind blown some more.

Love kinda blows my mind. There's just so much of it here. I don't deserve any of it at all, the encouragement, the support, the hugs and compliments and patience. Maybe that's why it's called grace. I don't accept grace very easily. But I am so grateful for it nonetheless.

Grenade. Depressing song. I hope I've never been like that to anyone. I hope I've returned the love I've been given. Cause I'd catch a grenade for all of you...and I know you'd do the same. Still...catchy song :)

Catchy but depressing songs-John Mayer. Kinda mildly obsessed with his music sometimes. Learning Heart of Life on guitar and Dreaming with a Broken Heart on piano would be a successful accomplishment this semester.

It's kinda awkward sitting alone in the caf on a computer, wanting to sing your heart out and not being able to. Not that I'd do it if I weren't alone, but still. I wish practice rooms could fit more people, so people could just come chill while I messed around on the piano. I don't think I hate playing for people anymore. Probably a good thing, since I'll have to keep doing it for the next for years. It's easier with people I trust though.

It's been a long week. Lots on my mind, starting to weigh me down. Sometimes it feels hopeless, all the backsliding into depression and stress and anxiety each time I resolve to simply live and love and rejoice. But God's been there to pick me up every time I've fallen. So I should probably believe that He'll keep being there. And the cool thing is, people have been too. So I should probably stop doubting that they really love me. To everyone I've been driving crazy this week with my irrational fears, I'm sorry. To everyone I've vented to during the worst possible times, I'm sorry. To God, I'm sorry for failing. Thanks for loving me anyways. And for not making my works a condition of your love. Cause otherwise I'd be screwed.

I'm still sick after three weeks of coughing. Sometimes I think I'm just gonna keep coughing for the rest of my life. Which, other than the fact that everything is just sore now, wouldn't be as bad as a perpetual headache or something. But it just makes everything hurt...shoulders, back, ribs, throat, lungs...yadayadayada and I'm gonna stop complaining now. Cause life is pretty good. When my neck hurts, people give me backrubs. When I'm super tired, people give me awesome hugs. When I'm doubting my friends' love, someone tells me how much I mean to them. When I doubt God's presence, He gives me reminders through people, through music, through His word. When I'm hungry for more than I can find on this earth, God reminds me that there is more than this earth to look forward to. When I try and fill a void with guys, music, keeping busy, distractions, etc., God takes it all away, so He can fill the void.

"Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God, the creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might He increases strength.
Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles;
They shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint"
-Isaiah 40:28-31

Thursday, January 27, 2011


So I've been writing songs again. It's felt good to be back at a piano in a more creationary aspect than I generally do in the conservatory. This doesn't have music yet, but it will.

I think I'll make a sign
Beware this heart of mine
Cause I know that in time
You'll find out all of me

I'll warn you to take care
Red letters say beware
You say that you don't care
But you won't like what you see

This is your only warning till you walk in, eyes open wide
My heart's a danger zone of fears and shame and pride
But if that doesn't scare you, if you don't run away
Then promise me despite my scars that you are here to stay

These signs are warning you
What comes if you break through
The walls up shielding you
From what you shouldn't know

Think you can handle me?
Not scared by what you see?
Hold my heart carefully
Cause I could still explode

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I want to write poetry like T S Eliot, song lyrics like Mumford and Sons, prose like a cross between Charles Williams, G K Chesterton, and Jane Austen, and letters like Paul.

I want to write music like Jonathan Jones, play the piano with the passion of Rachmaninoff and the technique of Bach, understand music like a theory nerd, and love music like a little child.

I want to love eternally like God, unconditionally like my family, generously like my best friends, wisely like John instructs, and with abandon like a girl in love.

I want to dream big, never look back, have no regrets, reach for the stars, fly fearlessly without recoiling from failure, fall down without staying down, trust the trustworthy, love the beautiful, make the ugly into something beautiful, and find something to love in everyone.

I want to fall in love, find my dreams, go where God sends me and stay where He puts me, write what's on my mind, sing what's in my heart, and live with abandon. Love with abandon. Always hope. Always persevere.

I want to be there for my friends, love faithfully and freely, weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice. I want to be a new creation. I want to live like I know I've been forgiven of the greatest sin. I want only to know that I am a great sinner, that Christ is a great savior, and that love can redeem everything.

These are my dreams, my goals, my hopes. This is who, by the grace of God, I hope to someday be.

Monday, January 24, 2011


I hate change. I really do, and I always have. Change is unsettling. When life is good, and things are comfortable and going well, there's no need for change. And when things are bad...they can always get worse. Change, in my mind, is almost always for the worse. And so I fight change and cling to tradition, cling to old friendships and old loves and old habits, grabbing on to weathered and worn weapons to protect me against the terrifying unknown. But sometimes, spring cleaning needs to happen. Sometimes the worn-down habits and strongly-held ideas need to go, need to be cleared away to make room for better beliefs, better friendships, better loves.

So at the beginning of a new semester, because I am a new creation, it's time for some changes. It's time to clear out the cobwebs of my soul and let in a little light.

1) I need to rest. Hectic hustle and bustle is killing me. Stress and anxiety about things I can't control is wearing me down. Rest restores. Rest relieves. But rest is also something I honestly don't know how to practice. So this semester, even with an 18-unit load and on-campus job, I'm going to make it a habit to deliberately and daily rest in the Lord for everything, but also take specific moments in the day to stop. Be still. And rest.

2) Spaces. Because not everything in life is a life-or-death situation, and little things matter. One space between sentences. Because I don't have to be right about everything.

3) Love. I don't get it. But I need to accept it without trying to be worthy of it. I need to give it without wondering how and if it will be accepted. God loves me. And I tend to forget that. But that's where everything starts. If I don't know that He loves me, if I don't remember that His love is unearned and constant, then there's no possibility that I can either give or accept that love. This semester, I want to love God, and remember that I am loved by God, so that I can love the people God has given me to love, and not doubt their love for me.

4) Humility. I may not act like it, but I am a ridiculously prideful person. I don't accept help easily. I don't change easily. With this pride comes a great deal of stubbornness and refusal to change, simply because I have to do things my own way, for myself. And this has hurt not only me, but a lot of other people. To everyone who's been hurt by my stubbornness and refusal to listen, I'm sorry. To everyone who's dealt with the consequences of my refusal to change, I'm sorry. To everyone who's borne with me throughout this past semester and interterm, thank you. The only reason I am a new creation is because Christ has made me so. The only way I can change is because God has given me the desire to change, and because He is making a beautiful thing out of me. This semester, I want to submit. Submit to God's plans for me. Submit to my professors' and mentor's corrections. Submit to my friends' wise insights into my flaws and failings, and then change.

Change is hard. But good. And it never stops, but I am confident of this: that He who began a good work in me will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

one step forward, half a mile back

Worn out, falling over, grasping at the last straw
hoping it'll hold me up for just a moment longer
hoping with each step I take I'll somehow come out stronger
breaking down, giving up, heart cracked in two through a fatal flaw.

each step forward feels like another mile run
on shattered legs, with rasping lungs
death of everything i thought was given back to me
losing sight of everything I thought I'd finally learned to see

a whirlwind spinning out of control, sweeping away the pieces of my life
dust and debris and dirty broken secrets
regret for all the words I couldn't hold back
feeble apologies, bandaids to hide the knifes I twisted in their hearts
why am i so tired?

stop. peace, be still. rest in the center of the storm,
the still center of the whirling world. do not lose heart
let the wind batter, the world rage, the weight of glory fall
heavy on tired shoulders. He gives me strength to bear it.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Hindsight is 20/20

2010 was a weird year. Less of an emotional roller coaster than the previous few years, it was nonetheless a year of change and confrontation, two things which I avoid at all costs. A year of transition, of endings and beginnings, of old relationships fading and new relationships springing up in their stead. A year of changing from a child to an adult, from a high schooler with classes planned for her and easily accomplished workloads to a college student with decisions to make and her own schedule to balance. A year of changing dynamics in relationships with both family and friends, and a year of confrontation over the difficulties in many of those relationships.

Far more important and far more lasting than any of these small tweaks and turns in my life are the lessons I've finally begun to learn. Each year, different issues have begun to surface in my life, and each year, I've tried again and again to perfect myself, to conquer my vices, to overcome my struggles by my own strength. 2010 has been a year where God has complete stripped away everything that is not of Him; my pride and insecurities and the lesser goods I've refused to loosen my grip on. (Yes, I ended a sentence with a preposition. Deal with it.) The various issues I've dealt with all throughout high school finally came together at the end of this year, crashing over me in such an unavoidable manner, like a tsunami raging through a defenseless village, that I could do nothing but surrender completely and give up everything. You won't relent until You have it all, will you God? He wants everything I am and everything I have to be wholly devoted to Him. And this year, He finally broke through to me.

2010 began uneventful but with promise. A relatively smooth senior year, acceptance into both schools of choice, a newly forming band, and a return trip to the DR (Dominican Republic for those who haven't been) gave me something to look back on and something to look forward to. But between the beginning of January with its new beginnings and February with the promised return to a place where for once in my life everything felt right, something snapped. A relationship gone sour, an involuntary relinquishment of the peace and stability I had only held for a few short weeks, and I was back where I had been at the end of 2009: anxious, constantly tense, and emotionally exhausted.

Through a combination of clashing ideals and personalities and multiple misunderstandings and miscommunications, one of the friendships I prized the most was on the edge of a knife, only maintained by my sheer refusal to let go. This affected the missions trip I had looked forward to so much, turning it into a nightmare as I was constantly with one of the people I both respected and hated the most. It also affected the band which was to have been my creative outlet and emotional release during the year, turning it into a battleground for personal problems; a battle which I eventually lost and made a hasty retreat to avoid being unceremoniously booted off the playing field. In less melodramatic terms, I was an emotional wreck during the DR trip, and I left the band I had formed so I couldn't get kicked out. Throughout the tension of this particular relationship, I also had to deal with the decisions regarding college which I had pushed aside until this spring. Being accepted into the Torrey Honors Institute, and later on, the Conservatory of Music as a BA was a strong pull for Biola, yet I could tell that my parents still favored Providence. Wavering back and forth between schools and majors, waiting for a friendship to collapse completely, wondering when I would ever have complete clarity in my life and wishing for that unrememberable time when I was young and free of worry (unrememberable because I'm nearly positive that time never existed, at least not later than elementary school), there was absolutely nothing I could do. And yet I fought.

April, everything finally fell into place. I sent in my deposit for Biola and made the official decision to attend the Torrey Honors Institute as a double major in music with piano emphasis and English with writing emphasis (and no, I don't regret this decision for a moment). I had an amazing senior recital for piano, though I had been dreading it since the project began to take shape. And this relationship, such a subconscious strain in everything I did, was finally reconciled and the healing process began. (We went to Disneyland with a few other friends the next day-one of the best days of the year. Disneyland really is one of the happiest places on earth). With a restored friendship, a new band which I came back to as manager, and graduation just around the corner, I was ready for anything.

Summer 2010 was one of the best times of my life. Decisions regarding college had been made and thus were no longer a stress. High school was done forever, and I had three months to spend with my best friends before going to the school I had dreamed of attending for the past several years. Almost every day was spent with the people I cared about most, relaxing and rejoicing (and plenty of Dr. Who watching). Of course, I knew all that would change when I went to college, but I pushed that inconvenient thought to the back of my mind. One friend in particular tried to get me to accept the inevitable change, and not only accept but welcome it, but it was summer. I still had a month of vacation left. I was happy, and I wasn't going to think about people leaving. I hate it when people leave.

As the time for me to leave for Biola (leaving in the mental/emotional sense, as it was less than 20 minutes from my home), I began to dread the actual leaving. Having deep-rooted issues with abandonment and a resulting inability to let go of people I loved which started with my grandmother's death of cancer when I was 12 and was made more pronounced by a traumatic end to a relationship around the same time as my other grandmother's health issues, I resisted any sort of change and refused to admit that things could change for the better. Going to Biola while my friends went their various ways forced me to confront these issues for the first of many times. Compounding the tension was the knowledge that said traumatic-ending relationship was perhaps not completely over, as the friend involved in this relationship was also attending Biola and Torrey, and with the many mutual friends, we would inevitably be forced to confront, or at least re-connect. Having finally come to terms with the fact that I was over things in this relationship, knowing that this relationship wasn't actually over forced me to rethink things completely. Little could I have known that this relationship, with all its attached strain and stress, would be the basis for both the confrontation and reconciliation of some of the issues I had been dealing with all throughout high school.

Coming to Biola was by far the high point of the year. The people loved and the lessons learned have made this semester a life changing one. Although I was studying what I loved and thriving in Torrey, my stress levels increased as my sleep decreased, and with sleep's decrease, so did general levels of sanity and well-being. Considering how good my life was, it was rather odd that my emotional life should have been so traumatic, but then again, re-opening old wounds tends to do that. Seeing this friend again after two years to wonder, wish, and finally attempt to move on brought back a lot of issues I had never intended to confront. As we became closer and old feelings re-surfaced, so did the old fears of abandonment due to my own failures. Over and over again, in various ways and with various people, I loved and was loved in return, panicked that they would leave me and that I couldn't be good enough for them, and was finally reassured by them and God that I was safe. Over and over again, God tried to get me to let go of my fears and failures, bringing me again and again to a point of brokenness, and again and again, I tried to pull myself back together and be good enough for God.

Finally, He won. After a mild panic attack near the end of the semester, I realized how much my stress and strain was killing my joy and love. Physically and emotionally, I was spent. I had nothing left and I knew it. The only option was to die or be reborn. Having to let go of friends, of my own pride and neurotic need for perfection, of everything that was not God, I have gained so much more. Giving up, I have been given the greatest gift of grace and the perfect promise of hope. Seeking and striving for love and acceptance, I wore myself down. Seeking to see God, the only thing that will bring true happiness, I see the face of Love. God is Love, and I will abide in Love, and Love overflows from me.