She Fought the Good Fight

It’s been roughly 24 hours since I found out that my dear friend, my mentor, a visionary to this world, lost her battle with depression. I’ve tried to make sense of it. I’ve read over our last conversation that took place just a few days before she died a hundred times trying to find something, some clue, anything that would help me make sense of this. And each time I’m left with more questions than answers.

I’ve searched for words for myself and for the people who have reached out to me. I’ve searched for words that I could say to Amy, for the words I wished I would have said sooner. But y’all, I’ll be honest, this is hard. And it hurts like hell.

I’ve said goodbye to two beautiful souls that this ugly illness has consumed in the past two months. And both of these have impacted me on such a deep level.

I get those ugly thoughts. How intrusive they are, how much they can suck the life out of you. I also know what it’s like to have an incredible support system that I know I could call on in a moments notice and they would be there for me. I know this because they’ve done it.

I wish that Amy knew how many people were there for her. That would have fought through hell for her. 

Amy, I could never fully express how much you impacted my life. The laughs that we were able to share, the adventures in Chicago, the honest and transparent conversations we had meant more to me than you will ever know. I’m thankful that God brought us together when he did. You took a chance on a girl who only wrote as a hobby and as an outlet. And before I knew it, people from all over the world were reading the words that God had laid on my heart.

You were a fierce dreamer. You believed in people who had stopped believing in themselves. You believed in a world where suicide would no longer be an option for people. You fought for a world where suicide would no longer be an option for people. And it breaks my heart that you were unable to believe those same words for yourself.

You can rest easy now though. Those of us that are still here will continue to fight for the stories of those around us. We will be bold and walk into the most broken places with people who are hurting and need the love of Jesus. 

You taught me so much in the short time we had together. And on the days that seem impossible, I’ll keep your words near my heart. I love you so much my dear friend. And I will see you again one day. 


Four Year(s) Strong.

​Today I’m celebrating four years of recovery. And being that it’s Sunday, I get to be surrounded by the best people in my life, my church family.
I remember when I started this journey at the end of 2012. It was full of empty promises, mainly to myself and it was far from intentional. And then I was challenged by one of the greatest influences in my life to be intentional by just taking it one day at a time.

So I did. And quickly that one day became 30 and soon it hit the hundreds. But even in those moments of small victories, there were plenty of challenges. And if I’m being honest, even in the moments of big victories, there have been plenty of challenges.

But one thing has remained the same throughout it all and that’s the reality that none of this would be possible without the incredible people God has placed in my life over these four years. And while some of the ones that started this journey with me are no longer a part of it, I’m still so thankful for them. And even though I miss them dearly, there are still so many beautiful souls in my life today.

These following words are to them.

I could never thank you enough. In the middle of my brokenness, and sometimes in spite of it, you have loved me. You have walked through some hard battles with me. I have hurt some of you along the way and to my surprise, you stayed. You fought through it with me.

Every tear. Every broken moment. Every raw and vulnerable moment that some of you witnessed. The scary moments. You have walked through them all. Those are days that I look back on and thank God for because if it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t still be here. There are days that some of you literally saved me, oftentimes from myself.

There have been a lot of days in these four years that I’ve literally had to pick myself up off the floor and choose to keep living when all I wanted was the complete opposite. There were days where I flirted with the line between recovery and relapse. There were days when I wanted nothing to do with recovery.

But time and time again, I chose it. Even when I didn’t want it, I chose it.

Most scars have faded over the years, but a few remain. The ones that do used to bother me. They used to remind me of the painful moments of my life. But now I see them and I’m reminded of what I’ve walked through and ultimately come out victorious.

Life has been a beautiful balance of heavy and light. And each morning that I wake up, I’m reminded of the beauty that still exists within all of us. I have the most beautiful and incredible people in my life. They are my tribe. Through the good, the bad, and the ugly, these are the people I want by my side. Doing life and ministry with them is so fun and such an honor. I could never thank them enough for their sacrifices over the years that have saved me and made me who I am.

This is just the beginning. And I’m hopeful. These four years have gone by so fast. And I’m looking forward to what’s next.

So from the bottom of my heart, thank you. For loving me and for making a day like this possible. There aren’t enough words to express  the love that I have for each of you.

Here’s to the next adventure.

After Midnight.

The ball has dropped.
Confetti has settled.
Fireworks shot off.

The old is gone and the new is here. Will you allow 2017 to be the year you want it to be? The year you need it to be? Will you leave behind the things and the people that brought you down last year? Will you allow God to create in you the future he’s always seen for you?

Will you let go of past hurts?
Will you forgive?
Will you let yourself be forgiven?

We hype up NYE so much that it’s almost like we forget that it’s an ending, rather than a beginning.

It’s never too late to start over.

Will you fight for yourself?
For recovery?
For sobriety?
For healing?
For freedom?

These are all things that you can have. If you want them. 2017 has never happened before. What will you do with it? Will this be a year of beauty and light? I pray that it is.

There’s an entire year of memories to be made. So go make them. May this be the year you’ve always needed.

Happy New Year friends. Much love to you.

Welcome to Midnight.

What a year it’s been y’all. 2016 has been an interesting but equally incredible year. There have been countless tears shed but also countless laughs. I’ve hit rock bottom but I’ve also found redemption. I have learned that the people God has placed in my life are the most beautiful and genuine people in the world.

Like most years, 2016 started out on such a positive note. I walked into the new year with some new friends and the possibilities were endless. Doing life and ministry with the people you love is such an incredible thing. But life quickly took a turn in the opposite direction when I could no longer ignore my depression or anxiety and they both began to get the best of me and almost cost me the very people I love.

And when I was certain that I had lost those people for good, to my surprise they stuck around. They got in the trenches and walked through hell and back with me. It was a hard road. But somehow, we made it.

I rediscovered my heart this year and the song that lives inside it. I have laughed and cried and everything in between. I have lost some people but have gained so much more than I lost.

I’ve learned that there is always beauty to be found in life and it’s usually in people. And I’m so thankful for the people I get to do life with.

In 2016 I will leave behind the mistakes that I made and realize that I’ve been made new in the eyes of the Father. In 2017 I will walk in the freedom that I have and in the hope that this will be an incredible year.

What will you leave behind in 2016 and what do you hope to find in this new year?

The ball will drop in a few hours and with it comes endless possibilities. There will be fireworks and confetti. What will you celebrate? What will you let go of? What will you welcome in?

Heavy and light. It’s a fine line. But one cannot exist without the other.

Welcome to midnight my friends. May you find the beauty that already lives inside you. May you fill the empty pages of this coming year with love and laughter. May you realize that those things have always been there.

Much love to you.

Dear Dad – Happy Birthday.

It’s been a long almost fifteen years since you were last on this earth. Fifteen years of trying to figure out what a life without you looks like. And I’ll be honest, at 28 years old, I still haven’t figured it out. What should have been nothing more than a routine hospital stay, turned into the last place you would ever be. And what would have been a lifetime of plans to share with you, became dreams that would never quite come true – at least not in this world.

But I know that where you are now is so much better than where you were. Dancing on those streets of gold with Jesus. How could I even remotely be upset that you are continuously surrounded by his glory?

But I’ll be honest, birthdays and holidays just aren’t the same for me anymore. Yes, I have the absolute best people in my life, most of whom you would probably like more than me, hah, but it’s just not the same. Holiday traditions just aren’t the same anymore and being the last person in our family with our last name is bittersweet at best.

I will always be thankful for that time that we shared. I’m so glad that God chose you to be my dad. You taught me so much and I’ll keep those things with me for always. I hope that you’re proud of who I am and who I’m still becoming. I know that when we meet again, it will be better than anything.

So happy birthday Dad. I know that this will be the best one yet, because how could it not be when you spend it with Jesus! I’ll miss you forever and love you for always.

When You Love Recklessly

I think that when you experience grief at pivotal point in your life, it changes you. Now I also think that experiencing grief at any point changes you, but hear me out. I think that in those pivotal moments, it changes how you love. I know that this is completely true for me.

When I lost my dad at 13, I was still figuring out who I was and all the typical early teen angst you expect to go through. It wouldn’t be until four years later that I would fully begin to understand how that changed me. Despite the fact that I began to take my inward pain out on myself, I loved others fiercely and recklessly. I never wanted anyone to feel the emptiness that I felt. So I loved with everything I had to give.

Over the years, the emptiness has ebbed and flowed, but the inward pain is no longer turned on myself. But the degree to which I love hasn’t changed. I still love recklessly. And the more I’ve gone along in life, the more I realize that sometimes loving recklessly allows for situations that you didn’t ask for. And sometimes it leads you to believing that it could all be gone in the blink of an eye.

I think that’s where the grief comes back into play.

You love recklessly because of the grief that has changed you. But because you love so recklessly, you will hold on to those people at any cost, and at the slightest hint that it could all be slipping away, you do a complete 180 and push away and build walls.

But sometimes you get lucky. The very people that you tried to push away, to your surprise, stay. But it’s never quite the same. No matter how hard you try to convince yourself it is. Because pain changes people. It changes how they love.

“We’ve all done things we weren’t proud of. I understand that. I know nobody’s perfect, but how do you live with it? How do you get up every morning knowing you could have done better, that you should have done better? Is being sorry enough? Can an apology actually heal our wounds? Ease our pain? Can it undo the hurt that we’ve caused?”

I love that quote. Those are tough words to swallow. But I think there comes a point where you have to allow the apology to be enough, regardless of if the other parties agree. Apologies can’t undo the hurt that we’ve caused, but it can bridge the gap that was left in place of the hurt.

I will never regret loving recklessly. It’s just who I am. I will regret the pain that it’s caused to other people, but surprisingly don’t regret the pain it’s caused me. It’s just part of loving like I do. I’ve loved recklessly for the past 14 years. It’s just part of who I am now. And while it’s caused a lot of heartache, it’s also brought a lot of love.

It’s all about a balance. And sometimes I fail to find that balance. I often love more than what is returned, but not for a moment have I regretted it. When I love someone, I will love with everything I am and through every difficult moment.

I will continue to love and I will continue to try and find that balance. I will probably fail, a lot. But that’s okay. Because love is worth the risk.

Even When it Hurts

It should come as no surprise that Hillsong United is probably my favorite worship group these days. I mean, they have some phenomenal and powerful songs that they have shared with this world, and you can find one that resonates with just about any season in life. And their new album does just that. From the highs to the lows and everything in between. But today, and in light of everything that has happened in our world as of late, I wanted to focus on the song in the title of this post.

I decided weeks ago that I wanted to do a blog about what this song has meant to me during this most recent season of life that I’ve found myself in. But life always seemed to get in the way of me actually sitting down and writing it. And then yet another act of violence took the lives of innocent and beautiful people and I felt like what a better time than this to write this post.

Have you ever noticed that when things are going well in your life, it’s really easy to sing our praises to the Father? I mean after all, He has blessed us with those things, so it’s only fitting that we give the glory to Him in those moments. But will those same words carry over in the face of adversity or tragedy? Will we still praise Him?

I mean when life is going grand, we can’t shut up about how great it is and about how great God is. But when we find ourselves in time of struggle, we oftentimes forget, or rather choose to forget, that He is still sovereign through it all.

When we have no song to sing, will we sing anyways?

Surely the people of Orlando and the LGBT community have nothing to sing about, right? After all, their lives were turned upside down in an instant. Loved ones gone. Families grieving. A nation in shock that things like this keep happening. Surely they have no song to sing, right?


I have seen video after video of communities all over the world coming together to honor those that were taken so violently from us in song. Standing in solidarity in song. That even when it hurts, they still have a song to sing. And maybe it’s not the song that you think they should be singing. Maybe it’s not the song that you would sing. But I believe that there is something so powerful in music. That there is great healing found through a song. And that God isn’t confined to moving through only a contemporary Christian song or old fashioned hymn.

When we feel like we are walking through hell, will we still praise Him?

If what these people are going through isn’t hell, then I’d love to hear what it is. Our valleys and the things that grieve us to the very depths of our being is different for everyone. No tragedy is worse than another. No one’s grief is more important than someone else’s. But what these precious people are going through, no one should have to.

But they have refused to stay silent. They have refused to lay down and surrender. It may hurt like hell right now for them to walk forward. Their biggest accomplishment of the day may simply be getting out of bed to face the day. But they are moving. They are breathing. They are fighting. They are singing.

Will you sing until the morning comes? Will you hold out for the miracle? Will you trust that even though what you may be walking through is difficult to face, that He is still good?

It’s really easy to praise Him when we find ourselves on the mountaintop. And those moments are important. Because He deserves our praise. But I think that we find out more about ourselves and who we are in the Father when we are able to praise Him in the valleys.

This is something that has taken me awhile to learn, and if I’m honest, I’m still learning. No one wants to walk through the storms and struggles of life, but it’s how we make it out of those that speaks volumes. Struggle produces growth. But only if you allow it to.

As for me, I will continue to sing. Regardless of if other people think I should be. Regardless of if they approve of the song I’m singing. Regardless of if I meet their standards. My life and every breath I take does not exist for them or because of them. But for the One that put that very breath in my lungs and song in my heart.

Even when it hurts, the light is still winning. Rest in that friends.