Dear Sarah.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.  By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”-John 13:34-35

sarah

Dear Sarah,

When teenage suicide gets brought up you always pop into my head.

Because at the young age of 13 you chose to take your life in order to escape the incredible pain you had carried with you for so many years.

But the thing is, I do not only think about you when this devastating topic comes up.

I think of you at every graduation that you will never be able to be a part of.

I think of you at every wedding I attend that you will never get to have.

I think of you at every life milestone that you will never get to experience for yourself.

I think of you every time I see a giddy teen getting their braces off.

I think of you every single time I see teen girls laughing and smiling with their friends.

I think about the person you would have been today.

I wish you were here. I wish you did not have to go to Heaven so early. I wish you could have seen the light at the end of the dark tunnel. I wish I had known.

After 25 years on this earth, I have experienced that same edge of the world feeling. That end of the rope feeling.

I have been at the line you crossed.

& I thank God that I never crossed it, because I would have also missed out on all the pain, beauty, and joys that life has to offer.

Sarah, my beautiful friend, you are so missed.

You are so loved, and I am sorry we all did not tell you that before you decided to go.

I pray that your memory serves as a reminder to others that life is worth it even in our deepest, darkest moments.

I will forever fight for life in honor of you.

-Kristin

 

I’m Movin’ On.

“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”-Proverbs 17:22

beck

I’ve finally moved into my home.

The girl who has felt kind of homeless since college (going back and forth between apartment life and living back at moms) has finally found a place that is her own and it is an amazing feeling.

I have got the best housewarming present ever coming to me in a week and a half…

A sweet 8 week old black Labrador Retriever!

I have been wanting my own dog for a long time, but I never felt like it was the right time until now.

I’ve got a huge backyard, I’ll be getting him in the summer so I will have time to train him and spend time with him, and I feel I’m finally mature enough to raise a puppy the right way!

Though, I can’t help but think of my pup, Beck.

I am even giving my puppy the name “Beck” for a middle name as a nod to my German Shepherd who passed away suddenly last year.

He was the dog I remember the most and felt the most connected with. He was weird and cool and one I could never forget.

I sometimes almost feel a little guilty getting another dog, because I don’t want to replace Beck. I don’t want to be the one to have him be forgotten about because there’s a new pup in the picture.

This whole experience has reminded me of how sometimes God is pushing us to move on from things that are no longer meant for us.

He does not want us to forget the memories created during that time or the individuals included during that time but He does not want us to live in the past.

Using the example above, if I was so focused on the guilt of “replacing” Beck, I could never truly enjoy my new puppy and make amazing memories with him, too.

God is calling us to live. He is calling us to live in the present. To only look to the past for fond memories and for what can help us to learn from bad experiences.

Are you living in the past?

What is holding your joy captive?

Are you ready to set your fears free and accept the joy God is giving us?

I know I sure am.

I will always love my Beck.

But I cannot wait to meet my sweet Maverick Beck, too.

-Kristin

Leading the Pack.

“Even there, Your hand will lead me, And Your Right hand will lay hold of me.”-Psalm 139:10

copper

I always convinced myself that I could never be a leader, especially a leader for Christ’s cause.

Where were my credentials? How would I know what to say and do? Why would anyone ever look up to me for advice about this?

When asked to lead a women’s Bible study for the first time I was really nervous.

What if I said something wrong?

What if I did something someone did not like?

What if I offended someone so much they never wanted to come back?

Those “what ifs” held me back from so much.  They made me feel uncomfortable and like I could not ever be a successful leader.

But…

I decided to jump in finally to the role of being a Bible study leader one semester, and it was absolutely life changing.

I am pretty new into this Jesus loving stuff, but He led me to that point to be a vessel for Him. In order to show others about His incredible, total love for all of us.

That He could love ME.

The Glutton. The Coveter. The Envier. The Fornicator. The Prideful one. The Idolater.  The Liar.

God does not called the qualified.  He qualifies the called.

He showed others, through using as a leader, that he does not see me as any of the things named above.

He calls me:

The Beloved. The Beautiful. The Forgiven. The Worthy. The Deeply Loved. The Wanted.  His Child.

What can He use you for if you allow yourself to be a leader for Him? If you served others, or led a Bible study, or openly shared your faith, or just stepped out of your comfort zone for Him?

What could He show the world, through YOU?

-Kristin-

 

The Constant.

“Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.”-Psalm 46:10


God is the only thing in my life that has ever been a constant.

My world could be in shambles or I could be having the best time of my life, and yet God remains.

An ever present, invisible promise that He is there for me in the greatest peaks of my time here on Earth and in the lowest of valleys. 

My deepest fears and moments of greatest anxiety are squashed with waves of peace and words of “Be still and know.”

Life may not be perfect, but it’s so chaotically beautiful with Him by my side.

-Kristin-

Tick Tock.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.”-John 13:34

picsss

I was the child who lived, breathed, and ate soccer. My parents started me out at a young age and I played competitively all the way up through high school. It was my life entirely.

I wonder if that is why I tend to be so “score oriented” now about the silliest of things even into my twenties.

I think my biggest flaw is that I keep score of the people in my life and what they do to me.

I mentally tick off the things that happen in my head until one day I decide I don’t want those people in my life anymore. You never realize how cruel you can be sometimes until you really think about it, right?

A friend blew off our lunch date. Check.

A coworker sent me a passive aggressive email. Check.

A family member didn’t pay me back. Check.

I check these things off a list in my head and its pretty much three strikes you are out. I pull away and begin to distance myself entirely. Often without asking questions or showing empathy toward them, I’d just cut them off.

I don’t reach out to ask about how the friend is doing enough to realize that she blew me off because she just found out her mom has cancer.

I don’t let my coworker know that I am sorry for his loss because his dog just died because I am too upset with his behavior to talk to him.

I don’t let my family member know that I love them even though they don’t make the best financial decisions and they start to think no one loves them at all.

Why do I do this? Because it’s freaking hard for us as human beings to admit to ourselves that we are not the center of the universe and that people have lives we cannot imagine ever having to go through.

What if going at each of these situations with empathy instead of anger could flip our relationships upside down in the best way possible? Instead of anger and frustration, we come at them with love. Ya know, like Jesus would. 😉

My goal for the month of May is to learn to show Grace instead of anger even when it is the hardest thing to do.

If you could make just ONE goal for yourself this month, what would it be? What could change the way you live and how you treat others?

-Kristin-