Today I wanted to share a freeform poem I wrote based off of a person I met at church. I always enjoy hearing people’s stories, and this person had an interesting tattoo to go with their story. It was one of those things that are just begging to be written.
Something I’ve been thinking about lately is a personal battle of mine. I’m sure that many of you feel this struggle I’m about to describe, but even if you don’t, it still can be applicable.
I’m good at borrowing guilt, or “borrowing depravity”. I will feel guilty about things I have never done (and things I would never want to do) simply because I feel the need to wallow. Simply because I think if I’m not reminded of my own depravity, I might get an ego. Because I feel the need to wallow in my own sinfulness instead of His righteousness. If you’re nodding your head right now in understanding, let me tell you something.
That’s the Devil talking. Not God.
I like to remind myself that I’m not enough (more on this concept in a bit). Maybe I think that’s humility. Beating yourself up is humility, right?
So what, if I’m not enough? So what, if I fail expectations and fall on my face now and again? Reminding myself of that does not make me humble. It might not even be fully true.
Humility is defined as follows:
a modest or low view of one’s own importance; humbleness.
A modest view of my own importance is not focusing on what a horrible person I could potentially be. In fact, that’s the opposite of humility; what I’m doing in focusing on my errors and shortcomings and potential for wickedness is focusing again, upon myself. That’s not a modest view of how important I am, now is it? The world doesn’t revolve around us, it doesn’t revolve around me.
I know this, but it always manages to give me a shock when I’m reminded of it.
Going back to the “I’m not enough” statement now. Which is absurd. I’m not enough for God, most definitely. But when has he ever required me to be enough? This is the God that loved me when I was drowning in my own sin. This is the God who did not just drag me out of that hell, but the God who died the most excruciating death just so I would never have to feel my own sin coating my throat ever again.
So yea, I’m not enough.
Yea, I’m human. Yea, I mess up. I’m not ever going to be enough, I’m not ever going to succeed at everything, I’m not ever going to be right all the time. And I’ll be honest, that thought scares me, when I really let it sink in.
But here’s the flip side of that.
Jesus is/was/will be enough. Jesus already succeeded at everything; even defeating death, which strikes fear into all that meet it. Jesus will always be right.
So yea, I write to you now as a messy teenager, confused by the struggles in her head and knowing without a doubt that I’m not enough. I worry too much, I don’t know all the answers but I act like I know them and I get too heated about little things. I’m not enough.
And that’s more than ok.
Actually, that’s the greatest thing ever. I’m not enough, so He became enough. I wasn’t enough, so instead of leaving me there, in my not enough state, He hugged me close and informed me that the burden was no longer mine to bear.
So if you find yourself being reminded that you’re not enough, look that straight in the face and tell it yes with a smirk. You aren’t enough. But you aren’t meant to stay there, staring into the mirror and crying.
That has no power over you anymore.
Jesus doesn’t want you to stay there, looking at your hands and seeing how small and frail they are; too fragile to hold the weight they should be carrying.
He wants you to look at his hands, scarred and calloused. He wants you to see his wrists, where your burden found its final rest.
My friends, we are not meant to stay staring our depravity in the face. We were meant to defeat it. We were meant, you were meant to move past it, to refuse it any ground.
So if you find yourself trying to borrow guilt or depravity because you feel the need to remind yourself of your depravity, remember that Jesus is enough.
He doesn’t want you walking around with your head down and shoulders hunched, so why are you doing it, my friend?
Walk with your head high. Keep walking. Don’t look back to see if the shadows still look the same.
Keep on walking in the sun.
You are loved, no matter who you are, where you’re at in life, if you’re a church kid or want nothing to do with God, doesn’t matter where you call your home or who you call your family.
What matters is that you’re not enough, but He is.
I know I’ve been completely absent kind of quiet this past month. I’ve just been adjusting to my new home and doing a decent amount of school. Camp NaNoWriMo is coming up next month and I am extremely excited to write a completely new novel for it.
I really like Mushu gifs, alright? Give a girl a break.
Anyway, Mushu gifs aside, this has been an interesting month for me. I moved across the ocean, have lived and am currently living in a hotel for a little over three weeks now, been to a mall with a ski slope and penguins in it (no, I am not joking, that is a legit thing), and met a lot (and I mean a lot) of new people.
Here are some things I’ve learned or relearned about moving:
It gets easier once you’re actually there.
Emotions don’t make sense, just go into it knowing that. Let yourself feel the emotions, eat a bag of goldfish, and move on. No sense in dwelling on them.
Moving is an adventure, it’s a chance to explore something new. You have a completely blank slate. Nobody knows anything about you. You have so many opportunities to make minions to read your books one day new friends.
Find an anchor and you’ll be fine.
You’ll dream about all the goodbyes you said and wake up disoriented. It’s alright. Relish the feeling of knowing you’re done with goodbyes for a while and rub the sleep from your eyes.
If you want to get to know people, you need to go and make the first step. Prove that you’re going to stick around.
People are much friendlier than you might think.
Moving is scary but it’s not as scary as we make it out to be.
If you eat more ice cream than normal, it is completely fine.
Remember, goodbyes are hard but they are worth the hellos you said.
If you leave, it isn’t the end of the world. Rather, the beginning of a new one.
An end is required for the next chapter. Don’t hang onto the last words, rather, make new ones.
The last whispered words that break us. Miniscule words, not even sad beside themselves but in this small moment they mean everything. They are the pebbles thrown at the nearly shattered glass. They push us over the edge. They are the added almost non existence bit of weight that drowns us in a sea of unknown.
It’s the little things.
The last poked fun at us that makes us rage and throw our fists, unable to contain ourselves. It’s that tiny thorn that breaks our skin, making us feel pain and rage. It’s the last taunt that causes us to lash out, the last barb that sticks too deep.
It’s the little things.
If it’s the little things that drive us to sadness, to anger, to envy, why can’t we let happiness fill us up with the little things. Why must the little things drive us to such taxing and sometimes unhealthy emotions but not to love and happiness? Why must in order to be happy we need some grandiose gesture? Why can we not be satisfied with the little things?
I’ve made it my mission to grab onto happiness when it sparks and let it blossom.
It’s the little things.
Going to the library and finding that one book you’ve been waiting for. Feeling the warmth of good tea. Your favorite song coming on the radio. Sinking into a comfortable bed at the end of a long day. Your favorite TV show’s theme song playing.
It’s the little things.
A conversation with someone you love. A hug when you need it the most. Teasing laughter and sprinkles on cupcakes. Messy watercolor paintings and fumbled piano chords. The sound of your favorite person’s voice and a bowl of warm soup.
Don’t be scared of being happy.
We aren’t scared of being sad or angry or envious or all the other emotions, why are we so scared of being happy?
Because it can be taken away.
So don’t let it be taken away. Feel it, live it. Choose it.
It’s the little things, my friends. The tiny almost miniscule things.
First off, may I say thank you for sticking with me. I have just passed the eighty follower mark! I really appreciate every like, comment, and read. I hope that I will be able to continue to write content that will bless you, make you laugh, and make you think. You all are amazing! 😀
I have made a discovery. We, as humans, are so scared of being forgotten. We’re scared of being left behind, that our names will mean nothing one day. We want to leave a legacy.
(If you can’t tell, I’ve recently been listening to Hamilton.)
Legacy. What is a legacy? It’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see. -The World Was Wide Enough (Hamilton)
It’s an incredibly interesting story, and caused me to examine some things about myself. I am not scared of being forgotten, but I am scared that I will not leave a mark. I am scared that my life will be a waste of time. I am scared that at the end of the day, my life will have not meant something to someone else. I am scared that the stories I carry on my shoulder will die with me. The stories that are not just mine, but the people back and back. I am scared that the important stories of the past will die on my shoulders.
I’m scared of letting the people who made me down.
Because, you see, it’s not so much my name I want to be remembered, as the changes I make. I want to change things. I want to leave an impact.
I love old things, I love antiques, I love old music, I love old books, I love old photo albums.
I think I love them because they’re lasting craters of something someone made. They have left an impact. They have changed things, for better or worse. They have made a difference, they have laid a foundation, dug a hole to plant a seed. I have never lived somewhere long enough to put down roots, to absorb a culture as my own, and these old things ground me to the surface of Earth. These old things that have proven true over time, the ones that have not, ease out of my grasp like rotten wood when I cling to them. I hold them so tightly my knuckles turn white as I cling to the stories I know to be true.
It’s as if I didn’t have my heritage, my stories of the people that came before me, I would simply float off the face of the earth. I would drift, I would be just another voice yelling to hear the sound of myself. But because of these old stories, I can dig my fingers into this time proven soil, bracing myself against the wind that batters against me every day. I have a story to tell, a purpose as I talk out into the void. But I have enemies there too. The voices that come with the wind, yelling against me, my convictions, my beliefs.
Do you not see why history is so important? We have no roots without them. Even if you stayed in the same place your whole life, digging your fingers into the soil, eyes shut tight, you would still be blown off. The winds would claim you.
We just can’t live long enough to dig deep enough.
So listen to your stories, and add to the roots, add your stories, throw your words back at the voices in the wind. Don’t let them batter you down. Dig deep with dirt under your fingernails and hold on as tight as you can.
Every once in a while, I’ll get an idea for a random scene or a random story beginning, so I thought I’d write a couple of them down and show you.
The first time I saw fireworks, I was six years old. It seemed as if we were at war with the night, sending bursts of raging swirls to combat the icy blackness that threatened to swallow us. I watched the war that raged between man and nature.
The colors bloomed across my vision, sending bright spots dancing across my eyes like wayward fireflies. I heard cheering but it sounded muted, having become white noise to the explosions that littered the sky like confetti on a dirty street.
I think it was those bursts of color, streaming fearlessly to combat the inky dark that I was told was where the monsters and bogeyman lived that first inspired me to be great.
Other people have heroes, but I just had fireworks.
Cold snow fell, dewy on her black hair as she stood and laughed at the world that had scorned her for so long. It was not a bitter angry laugh but a laugh of pure joy, of knowing what and who she was. She was not afraid anymore. What was there to be afraid of?
I’m sorry for the long hiatus, and I wish I had a good reason for it. I simply couldn’t think of what to write.
I don’t know how to write what I am feeling because I do not understand it completely myself. And if you can’t understand it, how do you explain it to other people? How do you explain things that you don’t know?
I’m scared. I’m happy. I’m excited. I’m nervous. I feel like a walking contradiction.
I’m moving, as some of you know, and I know it’s time to go. But the thing is, knowing it’s time to go doesn’t mean I don’t feel sad.
Lots of people think that kids like me, moving around a lot, don’t really care when it’s time to pack up and move because we can feel the sea calling. But we do.
I miss things, I’ve missed things my whole life, and that’s fine. It’s the way it goes, and for everything I miss there is something different to discover. Something new, something exciting, maybe something better.
It’s always scary walking out into the unknown, leaving what you do understand behind. You don’t know if this new world will accept you, or if you will accept it. But I have learned that there is always beauty to be found, always wonderful people to meet, and that everywhere you go there is God.
It all happens so fast. You talk and talk about moving, and you know it will happen, and then one day you wake up and somebody is moving your couch out, you’re taking down posters, and then you know. And it’s not a bad thing, knowing it’s time. It just shocks you for a bit and then you realize that you get to go out into the world again. You get to meet new people, make a difference in a different way.
I believe moving is a good thing. I know this next move will be good for my family. And I know it’s time to go, because I can feel it.
Missing things is like listening to the sea. It’s there and you know it, and sometimes you can sit there and listen to it, but other times, you have to move beyond the warm beach and dive into the freezing water. There are things that must be done and you can not listen to the water forever. You have to get out there.
I am excited for a new opportunity, I am excited for a new house, a new schedule, a new way of doing things.
Disclaimer: I do not know my superheroes extremely well, but I consider myself an interested party. I apologize if I get any facts wrong.
Most of you, at at least some point in your life, have looked up to or admired a superhero. (Yes, Sam, even you, with your whole “I don’t like superhero movies” thing.)
Now, superheroes have been around for a long time, but I personally think it all started with the creation of one alien.
Superman was… for lack of a better word, ‘perfect’. He had all the powers, he was the best good guy ever, and we loved it when he was first made. We wanted a god, so we got one. We got an unattainable alien with super strength, laser vision, and he never made a mistake.
That’s not to say he wasn’t good, he was. But his goodness began to wear on people. They wanted someone more human.
Now, there are two superheroes who can be labeled as the one who answered that call.
Spiderman was the most “ordinary” superhero at the time. He struggled with juggling normal life and superhero life, not to mention how much of a shock and change it had been to him in the first place. He messed up, he doubted himself, he didn’t always get the girl. Spiderman was… “normal”. He missed questions on his homework sometimes, he lost to the bad guys.
Spiderman represented our humanity.
But Batman, well, he’s another story (literally. Completely different company.). Batman was dark, he was brooding. Basically the embodiment of “tall, dark and handsome.” Batman was sick of all the crime in his city, so he became the Bat. He took on the villains, but sometimes, it was a little hard to differentiate between the two.
Batman was our darkness that we wanted to make better. And he succeeded, he made himself a better man. I mean, he raised how many kids over the course of his life? The guy eventually mellowed out a bit. (When you’re raising a bunch of orphan sidekicks, you tend to get a little softer).
And now, we still see this pattern.
We want a hero, we always will. We see this pattern over and over, good triumphing over evil.
I don’t count people like Deadpool or Deathstroke heroes.
Because they aren’t in it to save lives. To save human souls.
We started out with a god, but he was too high for us, so we made someone we could relate to. And we continued, every superhero representing something different in us.
But no matter what changed, good always triumphs over evil. Bad news may sell well, but movies with the villains winning? No.
That’s because there is something so human in us, so hoping, that someone will come to save us. That even while the shadows lurk around the corner, there is an angel of light ready to save us from the dark.
Now, this is when most people would say something along the lines of “in the end, really, you’re alone. Nobody will save you.”
But someone will.
His name is Jesus. And I know that we make so many comparisons to him being like Superman, but he’s really not like that. He knows pain, suffering, loneliness. He has been tempted, he has been persecuted. He has humility.
Everything that you’ve felt, that you’ve struggled with, he’s been there. He knows.
And he overcame it.
So I suppose, if we are to look up to anyone, it should be him.
Can’t you see it? Can’t you see?
Everything, everything good points to him. Everythinggood comes from him. Because somewhere in us, we know, we hope, that someone will come to save us.
So, in the end, when the shadows loom and stretch and try to swallow you whole, there’s an angel of light coming.
I’ve been meaning to write this for a couple days, but I just haven’t gotten around to it until now. But recently, a younger friend of mine got baptized, and I wasn’t able to write in her notebook for encouragement that had been set out (I have a forgetful mind), so I wanted to write her a letter here.
To My Newest Sister in Christ,
Based on what I saw and heard a couple weeks ago, you have already grown so much in your faith, and it was an immense pleasure to be a part of you getting baptized.
I was around your age when I got baptized, so I guess we should start a club or something, huh? We could have a secret handshake and everything.
Anyway, I’m getting off track. This is a spiritual letter, not a time to plan what snacks we’ll have at the annual club meeting. Though I do like goldfish, if you were wondering.
All joking and snacks aside, I am very proud of you. You’ve realized what you believed and grabbed on as Jesus grabbed you out of your sin faster than most adults would.
Eventually, when you get older, you’ll maybe worry about if you “were really saved”. You were, you are “really saved”. Don’t ever doubt that. You love Jesus and he loves you even more back. Jesus loves you more than your parents, more than your family, more than anyone could ever love you.
And you know what? He’s not ever going to stop.
When you went into the water and professed your faith, your old sinful self died. Kinda like when you take off your dusty and dirty clothes and take a bath. All that sin washed off, and you put on the new white robes of Jesus.
Do you remember what it was like when your brother was born into your family?
Well guess what, you just got born into an even bigger one.
Which means you’re stuck with me as the annoying older sister who constantly reminds you to clean your room.
Speaking of which, did you clean your room today? I hope you did. Clean rooms are a must.
So this long letter is all just to say welcome. Welcome to your larger family. Most of us are a little crazy, but that’s okay, most families are.
I’m proud of you.
P.S I was thinking that we could have lemonade and goldfish as the club snack, what do you think?