09 August 2016

Happy Anniversary

Two years. It's hard for me to wrap my mind around that. Some days, it feels like I've lived here two decades. Surely this is from the mind-boggling amount of things I've had to walk through and overcome. If I had to sum up this year in one word, it would probably be lesson. It feels like all I've done this year is learn lessons. Most of them the hard way. But all of them necessary. The main lesson I learned, or rather, what I was reminded of, is that God truly does call us from glory to glory. This time last year, when I wrote about my first year in Nashville, I was a completely different person. What's terrifying and thrilling, is that I will probably be saying that for the rest of my life. 
Last August I had just moved into my house (which I am now in the process of moving out of) and I was blindly optimistic and content with where my life was. I had zero cares, aside from my friends and my relationship with God. Which is fine, but like everything else, that couldn't last forever. God always finds the exactly right way to wake us up, to make us aware, to draw us closer to Him. 

The truth will inevitably, inescapably, always reveal itself. This year for me, that meant finding out that people don't always turn out to be who you thought they were. Sometimes, they turn out to be the opposite. It meant finding out that people you thought were your best friends, would rather abandon you than fight for your friendship. Meant finding out that people will go to extreme lengths to tear down your identity by taking the dreams you used to share with them and essentially, tell you that they'll never happen, or tell you you're crazy for believing they ever could. 

Without going further into the detail of anything (because it's exhausting) I'll say once again, glory to glory. Had I never been forced to take a step back and recognize the manipulation and the hurt that went on in one of my friendships, disguised as comfort and love, I wouldn't be where I am today. When that friendship exploded then disappeared, I was able to breathe. I was able to find out who I really am. Able to discover who my true friends were all along. And I have the BEST, most incredible, most talented, most beautiful friends! Sometimes it's overwhelming to think that I wouldn't know them the way I know them now, had I not lost who I thought was my best friend. 
I did walk through a season of loneliness. It wasn't horrible, though. I spent my time in my secret place with the Father. He revealed the heart of himself in ways He never had before. A few days after I lost my friend, I was in my shower, crying out to Him, because it felt like something in me was missing, felt like I wasn't whole anymore. I begged Him to send someone I could trust to be my friend. Someone to ask me how I'm doing throughout the day. Someone kind. Ask and you shall receive. 
Three days later, I met someone who changed my life. He (and everyone else) knows exactly who he is. We met when he was visiting Nashville, waiting to get accepted into a school in California, hung out for maybe 5 hours, and then he left town. I was pretty sure I would never see him again, but I was wrong. A few days after he left town, I got home from church late on a Tuesday night, and I was watching tv and eating dinner when he messaged me on Facebook (LOL). My heart was beating out of my chest, y'all. He was so cool and so cute. We talked for the next three months until he eventually ended up backing out of going to school in California, and moving to Nashville instead. 

Without going further into the detail of everything (because it's exhausting), I'll say once again, glory to glory. It's so funny how we will ask God for something and when He gives us exactly that, we decide to take it and turn it into something else. I see now that I asked for a friend, and that's exactly what I got. Someone I can trust. Someone to ask me how I'm doing throughout the day. Someone kind. Even though my feelings for him grew much deeper than friendship, and even when those feelings made me go all sorts of haywire, he remained my friend. He's still my friend. He's the exact opposite of the friend I lost before I met him, because he doesn't call me crazy and then leave. In spite of all that he and I went through because of how strong my feelings were for him, I'm amazed that I didn't lose him. But it just shows the character of who he is. What's crazier to me is how much more God revealed of Himself and of me in all the time my focus was on this man (which it is not anymore, just to be clear). 
A few months after he moved here, this thing started happening, where strangers, people I knew semi-well, people I had known for years, etc, would all go out of their way to tell me that I am beautiful. And in a way that was so intentional and so genuine, I honestly didn't know what to do when anyone would tell me this. At one point, it was happening at least six times a day; this lasted for weeks. It was overwhelming and I couldn't figure out why. I didn't know if it was because I didn't believe that I was beautiful or what, but God was clearly trying to tell me that I was. That I am. 
I lost my make-up bag shortly after. I don't care if I sound out of my mind; I am 110% confident that God stole it. Or at least that He’s hiding it. The day after it went missing, I was on my knees at the alter of my church during worship, in my secret place with God, and I asked Him what He was trying to tell me by sending all these people my way to tell me I'm beautiful. I heard Him, clear as day, tell me, "you know your worth, but you don't see your worth." I lost it, y'all. Because it was so true. I thought about what that meant for days that followed, and I came to revelation; it parallels the Israelites and the promise land. They knew that the promise land was there all along, but because they stayed in their own way of thinking and were unwilling to change from the way things had always been, they never got to see it. I was sort of panic stricken. I remember begging God to please not let me get to the end of my life, still knowing my worth but never seeing it. Because if you ask me, there's no point in having one without the other. What's the point of knowing something is there if you never get to see it? I have been asking God to show me what "seeing" my worth looks like ever since, and He's still revealing it to me now. 

On top of revealing what real beauty is, God is revealing what real love is. Back in May, it hit me that I had no idea what love is. So many of us don't. We look for love to fill this emptiness inside of us, but we're actually the ones fueling the emptiness. We're the ones making the emptiness grow deeper and deeper, because we look for anything that can fill it. Anything that might make us forget that they emptiness is there, in all the wrong places. And because it's not real love, we end up feeling more empty than we did before. We fill the void with infatuation, with lust, with desire, with comfort, with daydreams, even with relationships with people we don't actually love, but we're so convinced that those things are love, and so convinced that the emptiness is no longer there. But it keeps growing deeper and deeper because we never let God come and fill that emptiness. I know this isn’t anything we haven’t heard before, but I’m telling you, when God reveals His truth to you in your time alone with Him, it impacts you so much more than hearing secondhand revelation from someone else. 

After I realized this, I saw how much of my time I’ve wasted, by always looking for love in every single place but the arms of the Father. He’s reaching out in front of us, begging to heal our brokenness, begging to be desired in the way we desire (what we think is) love. Wasted might not be the right word, but had I realized that I’m only defeating myself by wanting this kind of love that I haven’t really ever experienced, when all along God has been right in front of me, laying down His life just to be able to hold my heart. 
When He holds my heart, I overflow. I’m never empty. He shows me how much I am capable of, how much I am worth. He’s a gentlemen. He never says ‘I told you so.’ I remember crying, thinking, “how could I have let all this time pass when what I’ve been searching for has been right in front of me, there whenever I wanted it, all along?” And sweet Jesus kept saying, “sweet heart, it’s all right. Why are you being so hard on yourself?” This is the kind of God we serve. He is love. 

This year, I traveled to Chicago, Rosemary Beach, the Smokey Mountains, Portland, Seattle, Gulf Shores, California, Kansas City and of course back to Wichita. I watched an unholy amount of shows on Netflix (Grey’s Anatomy, Parks + Rec, Friends, two seasons of the Bachelor.. I’m unashamed.) I got re-baptized and my life was changed.

I’ve learned the power of prophesying the goodness of God. The power of declaring that Heaven come to earth. I’ve learned how quick the enemy is to attack us by making us second guess our authority, as soon as we understand that we have it. I’ve learned that God’s favorite thing about me is that I’m beloved, even though I have no idea how beloved I am. I’ve learned how important it is to me that whoever I end up with notices me, long before I ever notice him. I’ve learned the power of forgiveness.

I’ve also been reminded that my dreams are more important to God than they are to me. I’ve been reminded of the dreams that I’ve let slip away. In high school, my focus was only ever on music and Nashville. I was constantly daydreaming of living in Nashville half of the time and on a tour bus the other. I had nothing distracting me. No desire but to play music forever. I miss that girl. The girl who didn’t need anything else. I miss when music was enough. 
As I begin year 3 (WHAT?) of living in Nash, I plan to focus on music again. I’ve spent so much time dreaming of things that I have no control over, but I have control over this. I have a lot to say, in lyrics. I’m ready to take chances again. I’m ready to be doing something different. 

I think so often we let the unknown and the unseen be something that’s scary. But I am choosing to be excited above anything else, about the fact that God holds my future. And I know that it gets better. He is a good father.

He really does call us from glory to glory. I can’t wait to find out who I become during year 3. 
- p.s. one of my best friends, Annalise, took these photos of me shortly after my make-up bag went missing. I adore her. 



2 comments :

  1. You beautiful, wonderful girl. This spoke to my heart, Falecia. Love you.

    ReplyDelete

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