Six Words: Revised

Those of you that have followed this blog for any length of time, may recall a blog that I wrote last summer called Six Words about my last suicide attempt and the subsequent conversation that I would later have with Murr in the days following. That attempt was one year ago today and it’s hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that I was so close to ending my life. Looking back on this past year and the incredible people that have become such a big part of my life, I am constantly amazed at God’s faithfulness.

So today I wanted to revise my blog from last year and share the six words that are now my daily reminder.

He’s not finished with me yet.

Those six words sit in my chest in the same way my heart does; beating rhythmically. Slow and steady at times. Pounding at others. But essential to my very being.

I remember everything about that night. Every detail and every tear that I cried.
I didn’t want to do it. God knows I didn’t want to do it.
But it had become impossible for me to see anything else.
So God made sure that others knew, whether I wanted them to or not.

I am not alone in this.

Those words were spoken over me last summer and it took so long for me to take ownership of them.
It was easy to hear people speak them to me, but something else entirely to own them.

Most of the time I wouldn’t open up to someone unless they asked me first.
Now the moment I feel uneasy or feel those thoughts and struggles coming back to me, I pick up the phone and text those closest to me.
The ones that I know can handle these moments and are willing to handle those moments with me.
The ones that have willingly come alongside me and made my journey a part of theirs.
The ones that have seen the really ugly and really broken parts of me and have held me and helped put me back together.

Those are the people that have become family to me. And my chosen family is one that I will eternally cherish.

My story is far from finished.

Last summer I could barely even speak those words, let alone own them.

But every broken piece, every scar, and every tear that I have cried have not only been picked up by my Creator, but picked up by myself.
I have allowed myself to grieve over the losses I have experienced.
I have allowed myself to become transparent and vulnerable.
I have allowed myself to feel these things and to pick them back up and willingly hand them over to my Father.

This is a story that at one point I didn’t know if there would be future chapters written for. A story that I thought I so desperately wanted to end last summer. But this is also a story that I learned to fight for and it’s a story that I am still fighting for.

To every person that has helped write this story on the days that I couldn’t, I don’t think you will ever know how much you mean to me and how much it has meant to me that you have taken the time to be such an important part of my life.

This story is still being written, but the words have gotten lighter. There are still days that they are heavy. But there is a beautiful balance between heavy and light. And those are the days I’m most thankful for.

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Summer Breeze.

One of my favorite things about summer is that the evenings are so beautiful. That small moment right before dusk. Where the fireflies start to glitter against the deep purple sky and the breeze begins to softly make it’s way through the trees.

So much beauty.
So much simplicity.
And in those moments come a subtle newness.

Change can come in full force, guns blazing, and catch you completely off guard. But sometimes it comes in the smaller moments and build.
I think in those moments we find out just how willing we are to go with the flow.

It’s in these moments that I’ve had to see how willing I was to go with the flow.

Change isn’t always easy. But it’s necessary.

And in this season of change for me, I couldn’t be more excited. Stepping out of one area and into a new one is something that I think I’ve needed for awhile. And while there will surely be some bumps along the way, I know that the things to come are far better than the things that were.

Subtle changes I think are the easiest ones around. Where you gradually step back from one and into another, preparing those along the way. Knowing that they are just as ready as I am and knowing that they will shine so bright in this next chapter.

Summer is full of beauty, even in the smallest things.
Change is also full of beauty, even in the little things.

May we all take the time to be refined this summer and ready to sparkle in the newness we’ve found come fall.

Pandora’s Box

Today’s post is full of all sorts of things.

Camp reviews
Camp previews
New Youth Pastor
And recovery celebrations.

Week one of Sparks was absolutely phenomenal!

Taking 30 students to camp without a youth pastor with us is a huge undertaking, but it’s one that I was so glad to have taken on. I’m so proud of our students and the way that they ran after Jesus all week. Seeing them run to the altars night after night is such a beautiful sight to see.

I had the wonderful opportunity to pray with our students as they laid some heavy things down. They walked in bound by their struggles and walked out in freedom. They ran so passionately after Him. They interceded so passionately on behalf of their communities.

I am so proud to play a part in their stories. Get ready world, because these guys are world changers.

I also have the wonderful opportunity to go back to Sparks next week with Sallisaw. I’m so thankful for the friendships that I’ve built with these incredible people and even more thankful for the opportunity to pour into the lives of those students that I care so much about, even though I have to sleep on the top bunk, hah.

I’m also incredibly excited about our new youth pastor TJ and his wife Cameron. I can’t wait to do ministry and life with these two. They have already spoken such encouraging words over me and for that, I am incredibly thankful for.

I’ve always held firm to the idea that change isn’t always a bad thing. And I still hold to that. There are such exciting things in store for Refuge and I can’t wait to be a part of it.

I am also so incredibly proud of my little peach, Sarina, who is celebrating six months of recovery. I know first hand how hard this journey can be and I know the road she has walked, and I am so infinitely proud of her.

She is my mini me in every way. Her victories mean more to me than my own. I’m so proud of the young woman she has become and can’t wait to see how God continues to use her.

These past few weeks have been insane. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m thankful for each and every one of you and the impact you’ve made on my life.

I look forward to sharing with you all about my second week at Sparks.

Much love to you all.