Last night, I wore black socks with black leggings and a black shirt. Black eyeliner, tastefully.

Brown boots and blonde hair. Beautiful? Boring? I’m uncertain.

And today I’m wearing a green flannel with black leggings with a sweatshirt underneath. Ten year old brown Uggs with a hole in the right big toe, enough for snow and wind to creep through, typing in a coffee shop with a peppermint mocha milkshake and my best friend across the table.

There’s soft music playing in the background, a peculiar mix of piano and electronic thumping; or maybe that’s the guy behind me with headphones. I’m uncertain.

But at the same time, a new courage has risen in me greater than ever before. The setbacks are hidden by the victories.

A seven-minute mile today, the fastest I’ve been in seven years. Six miles on the bike. A twenty-minute ab workout. Three episodes of House, M.D. watched in the past four days. I plugged my headphones into my keyboard and pounded out a poor version of A Thousand Miles by Vanessa Carlton. Tapped my box drum for a bit and it actually sounded like a song. Sang a Sunday School version of “Shout to the Lord” off-key into my hairbrush while dancing in front of a foggy mirror in my pajamas.

These are things I’ve waited for. Not the Netflix, per say, but the running. The piano, the drums, and the singing. It was almost on-key.

I wish my blog post documented the backspaces in the text I write. There are too many to count.

I cannot explain to you where I have been, but I can tell you. I’ll skip to the good part, because the long story would only be good on a rainy day.

As my feet hit the ground when I run, when my fingers bounce along the black and white and when the palms of my hands hit the light side of the wooden box, I know. This is freedom. This is what I’ve waited for.

Over the past two years I have watched God hand my life back to me piece by piece. I’ve also seen it burst apart at the seams, but that was never from Him. That was me.

I’ve said I’m sorry a thousand times back to Jesus and to people and to myself. At a luncheon I went to yesterday, they said, “You can’t talk your way out of something you behaved your way into.” And I thought about that for a long time.

I remember a time when the greatest truth in my life was that there was nothing waiting for me. There was no future. Health was a twisted perspective of pain mixed with loneliness. I close my eyes and I remember the high school nights of sitting on my floor in a ball, crying myself to sleep and waking up in the middle of the night to crawl back into bed. The days of crawling up and sliding down the stairs. Scotch taping bags of ice to my shins and the endless days of couch sitting. I still praise God for good metabolism.

I cannot explain to you where I’ve been, but I can tell you.

And I can tell you only by God’s grace, because He’s the one who taught me my story.

There’s a thing– I don’t know if its psychology or communication or simply based in nothing, but it’s called the Johari window. I’ve studied it on my own a hundred times, but I learned about it once in a class, too. And it’s a box broken into four “windows,” and each signify as follows:

  1. what you know about you
  2. what you and others know about you
  3. what others know about you
  4. what is unknown to you and others (aka known to God)

I don’t really know where I was going with that, I just wanted to tell you about it.

I think my window is changing. I’m watching as God reveals things to me that in turn are revealed to other people. I’m watching my pain go from things only I knew to become a way to heal others. We don’t go through the same circumstances, but God’s grace carries us out the same. And in that moment, when we recognize His goodness, we no longer need people to understand. We are instead given an open pathway of pavement to pull others onto.

As it turns out, the music I thought was playing in this coffee shop is the olive green thermal man behind me singing along to his beats.

I have three mottos, presently, and I’m certain they will change shortly, minus the first one. And they read as follows:

  1. If you want to be free, be free.
  2. You can’t build other people’s journeys, but you can join them. And you can love them.
  3. There is no such thing as stationary (meaning that things are moving– people, situations, the earth itself. Not to be confused with note-writing, which is something I personally admire.)

I can’t find the words to wrap this up, so I’m assuming it’s still the beginning. And that’s beautiful, to watch everything changing all over again for the hundredth time this year.

Boldy I Approach by Rend Collective:





One thought on “reinvent.

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