When We Brake



"I'm honored to be the one that hurts when they're gone." 

The words came to me from the past. Written in my journal they were now facing me in the present. I remembered the pain so well, that gentle ache hidden deep within while I worked hard at life and smiled brightly at people. I'll never forget the moment when I whispered a prayer on my way to work, "God this hurts SO much. I miss them SO much." Just as soon as I said it I was startled with the thought that I had to miss them this much if I were to have loved them that much. And isn't loving others the point?

"I want to know all my giving makes a difference." 

They were more words from another old journal entry. Maybe I had not realized it then but as I read these words now I smiled to know that difference making is something we cannot measure. Some of us will spend our whole lives planting seeds that other people will reap. We will plant a crop that we will never get to see. We will ache over dry ground hiding life beneath it.

Some of us are called to a life of aching for a broken world. Some of us are called to a season of hurting for others. Some of us will face a moment of pain on behalf of another. Wherever you are, take comfort in the fact that Jesus himself gave his very life because of a brokenness too great to be healed by any other means. If we break even a little bit, we are just beginning to catch a glimpse of the Gospel's glory.
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Tired of "Pretty"



I must have been less than ten years old when it first hurt me - being called pretty. People where always commenting about my eyes and my complexion. To me, they where just the eyes and skin of any other Latin-American girl but then they started feeling like the only good thing I possessed.

I remember crying with hurt and anger. I never let anyone see me cry as a child but my mother saw these tears. "I want people to say something about who I am! I feel like all I am is pretty. I don't want to be pretty!" Did anyone know or appreciate my values? Did anyone care about my sense of humor? Did any of it matter to them or was I simply valued as a nice thing to see as they passed me on the sidewalk? I even remember hiding behind a friend once when a lady made a bold remark about how unique my eyes where. I did not want to be noticed.

I am not writing this post so we can vote on whether or not I was actually worth getting complimented. I am writing this post for every girl who has ever been where I was. I am writing it because I know I am not the only girl who has been terrified that the only thing people will ever see is whether or not she is pretty.

The truth is that you are beautiful but when you are tired of being noticed for your smile, or your hair, or your eyes remember this - man looks on the outward appearance but the Lord looks on the heart. The truth that you are beautiful does not change the truth that you are also funny, smart, kind, and full of passion and conviction. When people take time to express what they appreciate about you (even if it is not what you wanted them to appreciate), be grateful. Be so brave that what they say does not change you. Remember that the One whose opinion does matter absolutely values every aspect of who you are and let that be enough because in the end, it is.

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Photo credit: Stephanie Faith Photography: http://stephaniehanni.wixsite.com/stephaniefaith
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Speak Life



It took two extra seconds for me to say it - something kind. It meant more to her than I could have imagined. Her overwhelming gratitude reminded me of how important it is to speak words of life and kindness.

I forgot how important it was to say thank you for the little things. I forgot how powerful it was to point out the strength of another. I forgot how meaningful it was to cheer one another on in our dreams. I was busy with MY life, chasing MY dreams. I was exhausted from working MY jobs and earning MY degree. I was overwhelmed by MY problems. I had forgotten just how badly that one person I always passed in the hallway of my daily living needed me to speak life into their soul.

Maybe we cannot all be headline heroes
but we can all be foxhole cheerleaders.

We can be the one person who says they can when everyone else says they can't. We can be the one person who sees strength in their weakness and beauty in their mess. I want to be that person - the one who sees what others don't. More importantly, I want to be the person who does something about it. I want to be the one to remind them of who they are in Christ and what that means for them.

To the girl who reminded me how important it was to speak life into one another's souls, thank you. Maybe you needed my appreciation but your gratitude was a wake-up call I did not know I needed.


*photo from the lovely Amy K
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