In November, I attended a retreat- Judy Stakee’s songwriting retreat, in Nashville. It was one of the most enlightening weeks of my life. I not only learned so much about myself in traveling alone, but I learned so much about story telling and the deepest desires of my soul. A question- that continues to resonate with me, was posed-
“What do you hope to get out of this experience?”
As we went around the room, many answers were given as to what they hoped to experience, in their songwriting. When it came around to me, only one statement popped into my head.
“I want to learn how to, simply, be.”
It was one of those defining moments, like one out of a movie. You think that time just stops and everyone takes it in as this profound answer- but in reality, they all moved on as I was caught in my hazy fantasy of a new thought process. This thought process that has now turned out- to shape a major piece of who I am.
Over the past couple of months I have experienced the worst emotional pain of my life. Extreme heart break, anxiety, depression, loneliness, utter despair.
There were points where I literally did not know who I was anymore. My best friend had just ended our friendship, and all of my other friends were off at school for the first time. In two weeks, I got 2 jobs, quit my current one, started apartment searching in Nashville, and then lost both jobs & had to start from scratch. By the grace of God, I work at a church and quickly got my old job back.
But boy, I was lost. For the first time in my life, I was alone. Granted, I had a couple of friends- all of whom I love dearly- but nobody was there like I needed them to be. NOT- that any of them could’ve been. It was one of those times in my life, where I was destined to be alone- emotionally, spiritually, and most days, physically. I am so thankful for those who were there- your support and love and GRACE, means the world to me. God bless your patient souls. ANYWAYS- back to my deep dark hole. I fell in, hard. It was bad. But God showed me an awful lot about what He was like. Who I am in Him. He gave me a glimpse of how Jesus felt. Alone, broken, betrayed. I had made so many mistakes and I didn’t think I could make up for them. In those moments, God crept in and so kindly, but ferociously reminded me that I didn’t need to. Jesus had already made ‘em up. I questioned still- “but I’ve made so many mistakes, in your name. I’ve practically cursed you to your face, I’ve hurt your children with my words and lies, I have committed sins that are so evil- why?”
Wells ladies and gents, I heard one answer.
“I chose you to be.”
Now, most of us know the word, “be”, as a common English term- ya know, “to be, or not to be.” Some profound Shakespeare quote- but It suddenly took on a whole new meaning for me.
Be- exist, occur; take place, quality, identity, nature, role.
It was crazy, because not less than two months before, my heart cried that out in a room full of strangers, and there I was on a hotel balcony in Atlanta, looking down on people who I desperately wanted to love me, who I had chased after, who consistently tore me down, discouraged me, and tore me apart- but trained me to receive love when needed. I chased them, because I needed to feel needed, to feel loved. But God, He swept me off my feet right there. I fell to the floor of that balcony, sobbing as I heard those words so clearly. “ I chose you to be. “ “I CHOSE you to be. “ “I chose YOU to be. “ “I chose you to BE.” Wow, what? Like, the God who created the freaking universe- he CHOSE me, then CREATED ME, into EXISTENCE. Well, question that, peoples! But not only that- He chose me to BE. Be. Only He knew the weight of that word. I could simply sit, and say nothing, and I would still be. I am worth just as much to Him sitting doing nothing as I am attempting to contour my face, prepping for a show. Like, what? God is SO COOL. He chose me, Knowing FULL WELL- how dumb I was gonna be. How many stupid mistakes I was going to make. How many people I was going to hurt. But, yet, he forgave me. He chose to forgive me and create me simultaneously- which is mind blowing to think about. I love the definition of Be, that it includes role. Like, not only did God breathe me into existence, He gave me a Place, he gave me QUALITY- He gave me an identity in Him, He gave me human Nature- but He also gave me a ROLE. Guys, we are all a part of God’s royal army. We are prince’s and princesses’- warriors & explorers. We have a purpose- a ROLE. God gives us an identity in Him, so that we don’t have to find it in our role. But yet, He also gives us a role on top of that, so that we have the ability to live out our gifts and talents that he also gave us. Like literally guys, we didn’t have to do anything. He created us, and provided us with all of the tools, and walks us through it.
Okay, well, my mind is blown. I hope you are starting to get an idea of my life and the vision that God has set forth in front of me. I have tried many different blogs, projects, and random things-but they’ve never worked. Wanna know why? Probs not, but I’m gonna tell you anyways. Because I was trying to create an identity for myself based off of the people I saw around me that looked appealing, that I wanted to be like. Which is soooo dumb- because I am freaking awesome, because the King of the Universe hand-crafted me, so Hallelujah! Cuz ya know what peeps- He made you too! So no more trying to attain perfection, I am here for smudged mascara and heartache and stories and real life. Welcome to my lifestyle blog, I cover real life. Bless your soul for sticking with me this far, if anyone is still reading…. *crickets*
Peace & love and joy- rest in the ability that you can just BE.
red lip xo’s - Ri