Love.

What a burden it is to act sane.

I am Pagliacci.

A co-worker closed the door to the staff room behind him.
It locked automatically and I started planning what I could use as a weapon: smash the glass beside the fridge into his eye, pick up the fork next to me and sink it into his leg, claw him across the face if I couldn’t get to anything in time. As I calculated how hard it would be to shove his body weight off of me, he finished making his lunch, said, “Sup,” and left, the door automatically locking behind him. I expect if I told him I was prepared to stab him with the corner of my staff ID if I had to, he would say what I’ve heard too often, the one we all know but are getting wearily suspicious of: Not all men are like That.

When I was eleven, all the girls in my class got sent to self-defense because they assumed we’d need it one day.
When I was twelve, there was a prostitute’s body dumped in the river next to my house because someone thought she was disposable.
When I was thirteen, it happened again and this time the man went to jailand people stood outside the courtroom and held up signs that he did the right thing.
When I was fourteen, my friend showed up to a sleepover late, chest heaving from sobbing and from running four blocks after getting chased by a man that followed her off the bus.
When I was fifteen, my mother accused me of being a Man Hater and I said, “No, but god, would you blame me if I was?”

I got catcalled and then got laughed at when I flipped them off. They pulled up beside me and I clutched my bag tighter, my hand going in for my keys and my mind going over how their noses would look if I smashed them in with my elbow. “What’s the big deal,” the guy at the steering wheel asked. “We’re just complimenting you. We’re not like That.”

Sorry, but I’m not going to trust you in case I end up on a poster labelled ‘MISSING.’ Even if you seem like the nicest guy, I’ll still have one hand holding my keys as the only knife I’m allowed, because I don’t know how far you’re going to take it: if you won’t back off when I tell you I don’t want to date you if you’ll shout BITCH at me when I don’t respond well to your catcall if you’ll expect my body as a reward for treating me like a human being if you’ll try to take what you think you’re owed by being a man if you’ll turn me into another statistic that people shudder away from.

I have been trained to assume that it’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing or face the consequences. I don’t know if you’ll nod when I reject you or pump me full of bullets.

Every single woman I’ve talked to has a story where they haven’t felt safe in their own body because of what a man said or did.

Not all men are like That, but god, it’s enough.

'Welcome to Girlhood: None Of Us Are Safe,

True (via plainandsimplejeanine)

very real (via living-captivated)

"Every single woman I’ve talked to has a story where they haven’t felt safe in their own body because of what a man said or did." One is enough to validate this, but I’m sure most of us have more like ten stories. I know I do.

(via yesdarlingido)

Being around people who share the same vision as you is refreshing, convicting, and fulfilling.
Being around people who don’t is not.

"I’m more than what these ashes say
They will fade away when He comes for me
By grace, through faith in Christ I’m saved
I am not the same when He looks at me

I am the rose, the joy for which You died
And this I know, I move You with delight
And when my heart condemns on every side
I take refuge in the truth: I am the rose to You

My life is more than meets the eye
I’m hidden now in Christ and I’m one with Him
My love is real before His eyes
He’s ravished by the sight of one glance from me

I am the rose, I am the lily
I am Yours, I’m Your beauty

There’s gonna be a wedding,
It’s the reason that I’m living,
To marry the Lamb”

More Than Ashes - Tim Reimherr

A song with words I hold dear to my heart wherever I go.
My favorite as of now.
I get cut off at the end, but maybe that’s good because my voice starts cracking and going all crazy. YEAH, IT’S MESSY AND STUFF. But God accepts my messy praise.

Please turn an ear to the words.
They are truths.

If you are not a fool for the Lord, you are a fool for someone or something else.
Pastor Eury Cho

Jesus brought a word to people to stop being prideful and to love each other.
Still, he was hated by so many.
He flipped the societal ideals upside down and brought hope to souls who were condemned by hopelessness.
Still, he had people wanting to kill him.
People judged him and acted out of jealousy and rage because they could not understand his words and actions.
So unreasonable.
People’s hearts can be so dark.
Expect it, Dan.
Expect it.

In the end, it really is just You and me God.

I want to fall deeper in love with the One who has been for me through it all.

The anger that comes from my heart in different circumstances is not a spontaneous overflowing of unprecedented emotion - it has always been there.
I must learn to come to a resting peace and a genuine forgiveness.
Without either, my heart will always be harboring.
Break these chains.
Jesus.
Jesus.

I don’t feel like talking to people tonight.
Don’t feel like opening up my bible, praying.
Sorry everybody who wanted to talk or sent me a message..
Yeah.. sorry.
Good night.

Look Deeper

I think it’s so important to see past people’s exteriors.

When I was battling depression heavily, I wanted nothing more than to be alone, far away from anything. 
I wanted people to stop asking me what was wrong, I wanted them to let me be, to let me wallow and drown in my hopelessness. I didn’t appreciate the prayers being prayed over me, the lackluster attempts at reaching out to me, and the special recognition I got for being “sad” all the time. It all made me bitter. So, so bitter. I labeled the people as fake and, as a result, wanted to be alone even more. I stopped going out of my way to meet up with friends, I brushed off people who came to me for guidance, I never looked genuinely happy. I was no longer myself.

It wasn’t until my battle with depression had subsided when I finally heard love knocking on the door of my heart, quietly at first and then louder and harder until I could no longer stop it from rushing in.
I began to see the previously infuriating actions of the people around me as glimpses of Jesus.
The conflicted look my roommate, Isaac, would give me when he saw me lying on my bed, missing classes, not talking to anyone. He wanted to help, but I wouldn’t let him and so all he could do was pray for me and try to cheer me up, day by day.
The messages on Tumblr I received from many people, telling me it would be okay and that God has a plan for my life. “I don’t want to live right now, so thanks but no thanks. Stop messaging me” would be my initial thoughts.
The advice from people who would probably never understand my circumstance, the sermons I heard every week, the prayer nights I kept going to for some reason — all of it.
All of these things cracked away at my shell of utter hopelessness towards life and bitterness towards everyone. Slowly but surely. 
I was being freed from the chains from which my mind had convinced itself that I would never and should never be freed.

And so my brothers and sisters, I encourage you to look deeper into every single human being who walks this Earth.
There are people out there who are drowning and cannot even see it for themselves. I was one of those people, but there were God-sends in my life who saw me not for who I showed them, but for who I actually was. They saw things in me that I could not see myself. 
They saw love past the bitterness, they saw a testimony to bring multitudes to Christ through my depression.

Everybody has the potential to be a greater person than they could have ever imagined.
Everybody has the potential to do something extraordinary.

Some people just need to be believed in so much so that they start believing in themselves.
Don’t count anyone out.