Lord I believe, help my unbelief.

"Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him! O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you. Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it."

Isaiah 30:18-21

Sunday, June 17, 2012

keep your head up, keep your heart strong

One day, I will have written books and I will give them to you, and maybe you'll place them on your nightstand or in your study or maybe you'll give them to someone you know, who went through what I did and maybe that person will want to talk to me and maybe through that conversation they will heal. And I will heal with them all over again, because when we share our stories and someone stands there and says "me too", we heal, it's not even our choice, God is beautiful that way. And I'll walk with them as they learn to laugh again, because as often as you have heard this, it remains remarkably authentic, "laughter really is the best medicine". And there is no greater embrace than telling someone, it will be okay, because you honestly know it will be. You know it will hurt, but you know it will heal. And you will walk with them as they discover both of those things, and that will be beautiful as well. I've been writing off and on during my time here in Minnesota. Poetry, chapters of books, blog posts, journal entries, notes, on pages of books, everywhere. None of which will be shared for quite a while. I've sketched quite a bit too, but thrown every piece away, because sometimes, art is made to live for only a brief moment. Catering explicitly to the complexities of your heart and allowing you to breathe with greater ease as soon as it is far from your sight. However, in coming home I feel that I should give some sort of synopsis. So, in short, here are some share-able things that have wound themselves into my heart: 1. I am older. I am older in my face-in my hands, I am older. In my heart-in the way I make choices for my future. I am older. This last year has aged me and in a little while, I will look back and say that it made me wiser/stronger/more well rounded/(insert word that explains how God makes beauty from ashes here) too. After a running injury, I also now have to wear supportive shoes... I have zero choice in this matter and in this way, I am older too. And it makes me laugh and mourn my cute flats. 2. I am overly empathetic to anyone who is hurting. I am shockingly underly empathetic to anyone who is blandly sub-par all the time (to that person who constantly is just doing, "ok"). I'm not sure why I feel this way, and I'm trying to sort it out. But to anyone who is hurting, I am so sorry. I will hug you soon and let you cry, as long as you need to and I will not say, "shhhhh, don't cry". Because often what we really do need is a good cry and to not care about stopping. And I will make you a nice meal and we will just sit together, because just sitting together with a friend is something that I took for granted until I moved here and had no one to sit with. And to the person who is just "ok" all the time, Dude, you gotta make some different choices here. Cause pretty soon, that Eeyore cloud will swallow you whole and I'm tired of hearing you say, you're just doing ok and I will not be asking you how you are doing from now on. Instead, I will be constantly pushing you into puddles when you're wearing a nice outfit and bring you flowers and a chocolate espresso brownie (with blackberry filling and cream cheese frosting) out of the blue . I will do this so that you feel something more than just "ok". It is a sad thing to just feel "ok" all of the time, and I am sorry for that. But it is an even sadder thing to always have your nice outfits ruined by dirty rainwater. 3. I love Oregon. I love it with all my heart, and Lord willing, will die there. I have come to appreciate every aspect of nature God so carefully designed in that multifaceted state. I love that I can walk among waterfalls, cliffs, rivers, lakes and swim in their clarity. I did not know that I loved it this much, but now I do, and I am thankful for that. Also the water in general, tastes THE BEST in Oregon. Here... It tastes like licking an elderly person's face. 4. I guess I'm mostly a hippie and mostly a vegetarian. I have gone from being raised by hippies, to sort of pretending to be a hippie/everything else that my friends were in high school, to just straight up nature lover. I think more people knew that I was a hippie than I was. As quoted by my friend Crystal in describing me to someone, "she's like the biggest hippie I know". But it's funny because, I did not know this, until I lived in a town that considered Hummus, or salad with copious amounts of vegetables on it, an "exotic" food. (actual quote, from Craig, former video store co-worker). 5. I am so very small without community standing beside me. Interpret that however you want, whatever comes to your mind, is most likely true. More to come (hopefully!). In two weeks time, I'll begin to travel and travel and eventually, Lord willing make it back to Portland..... A big thank you to Ben Howard for encapsulating my Oregon arrival in song... keep your head up, keep your heart strong It's what I feel like when I see the faces of all the people that I love. Because friends I have been away, and most of you know the depth of what I am meaning. But it truly feels so good to see your faces and absorb the comfort that has been invested in my soul and the warmth of yours smiles, when you say, "I'm happy to have you home". Looking forward to the embrace. I am happy to be coming home.


joann renee said...

Nico! Loved reading your update - I hope this means I'll get to see you this time. Please please please send me a text or message when you arrive in Portland - I'd so love to see you. Miss you, friend!

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