Today has been a long day. I was intending to write more of my story here, but I think that instead, I am going to recommend some things that have been very helpful for me in the past few years.
- Hinds Feet on High Places. This allegory is one of the most powerful things I have ever read outside of scripture. If you want to talk about a God who meets you, carries you, walks with you, and never leaves you, even amidst the most torturous of journeys, this is where you will find Him leading Much Afraid to the High Places.
- Music. When prayer has felt impossible to reach, and when my Bible has gathered dust on my shelf – when it felt as though my pain was too heavy to reach for either – music, for me, was effortless and worshipful. I could hear the truths of scripture by listening to artists who echoed scripture, and I was encouraged by songs that brought raw, real honesty before God. A list of songs that have ministered to me in more ways than I can articulate are below.
Small Enough – Nichole Nordeman
SMS [Shine] – David Crowder Band
Never Let Me Go – Hillsong United
Hold My Heart – Tenth Avenue North
Even When It Hurts (Praise Song) – Hillsong United
Carry Me Through – Dave Barnes
He’s Always Been Faithful – Sara Groves
Prince of Peace – Hillsong United
Awesome – Charles Jenkins + Fellowship Chicago
Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) – Hillsong United
- Jen Hatmaker. You may not agree with her; you may not actually make any of her recipes; you may not understand her sarcasm or her sayings; but no other person that I don’t know has ministered to me so greatly through her Facebook updates, her blog, her books, and her overall worldview. She is gracious, her heart aches for the things that tear the world apart, and she is the most genuine “celebrity” that has ever existed. She gathers the hurting in and tells them about the love of Jesus and the imperfect church that is still the church and stirs your heart in the most beautiful, guilt-free way to give yourself wholly for the things of God on this Earth. I cannot recommend her enough. Also, if you want a laugh, just go read this Worst End of School Year Mom Ever article. If you want to cry and laugh and feel your heart lean more gracious, go get her book For The Love.
- Kate. I wish everyone had a Kate in their life. I cannot express in words what this woman has done for me, to me, and on my behalf. She has somehow managed to live on literally the other side of the country, be one of my absolute best friends, be one of the – if not the – strongest prayer warriors on my behalf that I have ever known, and be my strongest advocate and supporter even when I felt that God was altogether absent. She never once was accusatory, or judgmental, or condescending, or hurtful, or distant. She didn’t shy away when the pain struck and she didn’t wait for me to “get better.” She wept for me, she prayed for me, she wrote to me, and she took me to the throne of grace for intercession more times than I will ever know. Oh, and have I mentioned we’ve spent about, eh, I don’t know, *maybe* 7 days in total in person with each other?????? For my birthday in 2014, I opened a package from her in the mail, and it was a journal of prayers and encouragement and writing to me. Who does that? Kate does that. She is seriously one of the best friends anyone on the planet could ever have. Also, she’s a vegan (what even?) and does yoga like a boss and coaches gymnastics and walks everywhere and lives in Seattle. If you’re trying to be a Better Adult, watch Kate’s life. For real. And find your Kate. Just, if you try to take my Kate, I will fight for her, because, she is my person. And Jen (see #3) is ~our~ person. There are lots of special bonds here. AND THEY ARE NOT EASILY BROKEN.
I think that’s all for today. I’m super tired. But lest you thought that everything I wrote on here was going to be morose and depressing, I hope there were at least some smiles reading everything above. It’s important that you know here that I, now, in the present time, am more or less okay. Because in the entries to come, you’re going to need to know that I make it out alive. And I do.