{DangerDoes} November 8th & Love

This political season has been unpleasant and that is an understatement. As I have taken my first opportunity to vote, I am thinking about how this election cycle has affected me. It has been outright shocking to see what has been said. Not only to me, but as I talk with friends, I’ve heard more and more about those who have been yelled at, cursed at, bullied, and belittled by those who they would have never expected to be hurt by. I am sad to say that because of one particularly harsh interaction, I was in tears on the phone with my mom. That is not fun to admit or something I would ever normally share, but this 2016 election has just been surprisingly emotional in ways I did not expect. I have been unfriended on social media by friends and family. I’ve been pretty quiet since that bad experience at the very beginning of the year. I’ve taken that time of “social media silence” to read and listen and not participate in the internet arguments and in the end I do not regret that. And I am not here today to change that. I am not here to talk who to vote for or to try to change opinions. But, I am here looking toward November 8th and looking to the after of it all. I am looking toward love. How I will still love the people that took out their frustrations and political rage on me. I’ve been hard pressed to love people during this election season. Especially those who I did not agree with. I have done my fair share of thinking about how anyone could support that person or think this or defend that. But almost every day I have had to think about the impact of my words. I have had to fight with myself to know the facts, to speak when there was genuine interest in differing opinions, and to know when to remain silent. I’ve had to think about the impact of words tossed out from behind a computer screen and what it did to me and what it has done divisively to us all.
If I had to generalize, I would say we have all probably been in a social media argument this year that related to politics and it probably was not pleasant.
I have been hard pressed to love and to see others as people who long to be heard, valued, and loved just like I long to be heard, valued, and loved. I hope that as we head toward November 8th, that whoever wins, we love each other. I don’t say that tritely. I think that we, myself included, have tossed aside loving our family and friends in favor of trying to be heard loudest over any and everyone else. But I hope that by the time I see those who used social media to hurt me, that I have the grace (and lots of duct tape covering my mouth) to keep me forgiving and forgiving, even when forgiveness wasn’t asked for.
Man, this election has really not been a good time. It been some of the worst interactions I’ve ever experienced with people I love and trust. It’s hard to be hurt by people you love. But the point is:
As we head into the election, remember that as important as politics feels (and as someone studying political science/history, believe me, it feels important) and as badly as you’d like to scream at someone who doesn’t hold your same opinion, consider that they are a human being. Consider that your words can hurt and bring pain. Remember that what you say in the heat of an argument can’t so easily be taken back. Remember, whoever wins, that the words you say on social media are being read and felt by real people that you have a relationship with. Be kind and caring to those you love. Be kind and gracious to those you don’t know. Speak truth with love. Remember how we are all created in the image of God and how Christ points us to love. Remember that sometimes silence is wise. Remind yourself to love other people, even when you’ve got to fight the urge to prove your point. Please be kind, because no matter the politics, the words you say have power and they can either give life or take it.
Speak with love and let your actions on and outside of social media speak to that love.
{DD}

{DangerDoes} Octobers

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” – Lucy Maud Montgomery 

L.M. Montgomery said many wonderful things through her character Anne Shirley, but this one has been a sentiment I have felt throughout my life. I love Octobers. I know it might seem strange to write about just one month of the year but something about the crisp autumnal season & the reminiscing of what October means to me is just what I need right now.

I love Octobers for many reasons & one would be Anne, the one from Green Gables. Her author, I would say, was the one who first inspired my admiration. I love it too because of the memories of watching the VHS box set of Anne of Green Gables movies with my grandparents as a young girl. In some respects it is also just the way that Octobers just seem to embrace me when they come around. I guess most see the loss of beach vacations & lazy days, but the busyness & coolness of fall put me in my element. You see, what is more grand than green leaves turning all different hues & gently falling down to the earth? What’s better than a cool morning drinking tea? What’s more beloved than memories of family & youth? What’s more splendid than the end of hot weather and the beginning of a new season? Maybe it is not just fall, but the ideas of fall that I love. Maybe it is just that I have a lot of memories stored up in the autumn time.

You have probably noticed, but fall ushers in a lot of death. The death of warm summer nights, the death of most leaves & foliage that are not evergreen. Fall is also a season that I can relate to. It almost helps explain things for me sometimes. The idea that there is a place for death in life. That there is life in death & the end of something is not always permanent or bad. That no matter what I can know with certainty that from this autumn season, though it is taking something, it will give back & bloom again in another season. Octobers remind me that even when it looks hopeless & gray that it is not. Something better is coming with the cold & the rain & there will again be good things, but I must wait.

Octobers not only remind me of things like that, but Octobers point out to us in bold & bright ways that there is beauty in newness. There is a beautiful mystery & wonder in chlorophyll disappearing from leaves. Where I live, the mountains explode into color & the changing leaves become a huge attraction to tourists. People flock to the mountains just to take in the astounding metamorphosis & death of leaves. Just a simple change in color brings many out to just bask in the passage of fall to winter. Isn’t that magnificent? That even though we have so many outlets of entertainment, even though we have so much yelling at us trying to grab our attention…that all it takes is leaves. All it takes is nature at work & even if just for a season, the leaves are appreciated beyond normal as their green hues give way to yellows, oranges, & reds.

It is really quite strange that we find such beauty in the passing of leaves, appreciating their waning days, & how in the spring we marvel at new life & blooms. But come the greenness of spring & the days of summer, our obsession with the leaves withers away ’til the next fall. Octobers seem to give us new eyes. Oh, to have new eyes about the seasons & moments of life that seem like death. Octobers tell us many things, like that it is okay to change. Natural to change. That death of parts of you give way for new blooms.

Aren’t we blessed to live in a world where Octobers exist?

–{DD}

{DangerDoes} Don’t Tell Me I’m Pretty

Don’t tell me I’m pretty

Don’t compare my face with the others that you have seen

Tell me I’m otherworldly and ethereal and beyond comprehension 

Tell me that what I think matters and that what I say has merit

Listen

Ask me what my opinion is on the book you just read or why I think Pluto should still be a planet 

Tell me a story that nobody else knows

Let me inside the vault of your mind and your heart that you keep closed

Tell me that the way I use words heals the hurts that run miles deep

Tell me my heart is full of compassion

Tell me that I matter and am brave even when I feel ready to sink

Tell me that my emotions are what make me strong

Tell me the truth when it’s hard, when I’m cruel and shouting and falling apart and blaming you for things that aren’t your fault

Tell me that I’m the one that makes you want to stay at home when the whole world is calling your name 

Don’t call me pretty,

tell me I’m enough and complete without you

but that you’d like to walk with me wherever I’m headed.

Two whole people,

who say so many things but don’t tell each other that they are pretty.

 

{DangerDoes} 4 letters, many words

It is going to get coffee and bringing back two
it’s words, it’s feeling, it’s comfortable silence, it’s loud laughter at midnight
It is commitment for the better, the sick, the haves and the nots.

It’s not just words spoken or things written on paper or empty promises forgotten on the back shelves of our minds
It’s a vow with a purpose, a goal with the end, to better not just yourself but each other in the world that we’re in
Working together, making more problems than solutions not a movie ending with the sunset in the distance.

It’s the keeping of promises, honor, respect, honest, and pure.

It is taking what you could give in pieces to many and refusing to break it up.

More and more, those four letters are strung together and thrown around like confetti. Noticing the mess it makes because it’s beautiful but a pain to pick up yet we keep throwing because it’s a celebration, even after heartbreak we find healing.

Scared of hurt and unsure of ourselves,
sometimes it’s a flower we refuse to pick and just leave growing.

It’s the way we wonder if we’re insane.

It’s the way it hurts to give on hard days. When you don’t want to but the commitment is made
It’s muddy and unclear and an uphill hike both ways, yet we treat it like the resolution to our problems, a magical elixir, a fairytale ending.

But it’s a beginning. The sunset brings a sunrise. The romance brings reality.

If one thing holds clarity it’s this to me that it is a problem maker, a multiplier of frustration and a battle to fight for.
It’s not our solution, it won’t heal our hearts.

All I can say about it is that

well,

l-o-v-e,

Love is a start.

 

{DangerDoes} Dear me, from me

Dear me,

read this, I hope you listen on repeat
to me,
from me,
hear me speak
please be wild and free
don’t say nothing, for to not speak is to speak
stand for what is right, look those things in the face
do not fear death
meet it with fire and grace
grasp that precious life
trust through the doubt, have faith to thrive through uncertainty
cry and grieve when you and others are hurting
mourn
be love and be loved and be okay with letting go when love isn’t the answer
press on
be called
let intentionality drown you and bring you back to life again
Let holy moments convince you of the places where the veil between runs thin
see all of the glory in them, see all the glory within
live fearlessly in His close embrace
live out that grace

from me

signed,

me

-{DD}

{DangerDoes} Blue & the future

I like to dye my hair. It’s been black, purple, blonde, green, & most recently blue. Now you can imagine the reaction that I get to these vast changes in hair color. I mean, abnormally colored hair is usually judged immediately, since it’s a very obvious physical attribute. Everyone sees your hair. Some judge it well & others aren’t a fan. I mean usually people are polite or critical in a polite way, depending on tone, “Oh, wow, you’re hair is blue. How nice.” can mean so many things. But most people I know usually support me in my hair escapades. & of course, I have blue hair, so I don’t necessarily care very much about the opinions thrown at me but I do always appreciate the support when it’s found. People can be the greatest & the worst (a good topic for another day.)

But, to steer the conversation back, I feel like for me, it’s not really about what others think. There will almost always be spectators to the 6 foot tall girl with blue hair. But what scares me is the future. Oh! I get it now…that’s why the title is “Blue & the future.” Foreshadowing. Gosh–Ok, on track again– But see it makes sense…One day, in the near future, I will probably have normal hair that is a natural color. & as petty & unimportant as it sounds, when that day comes I’ll be sad. I don’t look forward to the day when I’m considered a professional. When I’m considered “too old” for “fun hair.” Now, I’m not saying that you can’t rock a sassy hairdo of any color as a professional or as a older person, I just mean for me, in pursuit of some sort of career in Law, it’s probably not going to be an option. I mean, I’ll do my best to be a blue-haired lawyer, but I don’t know how that will work out for me. I will let you know as soon as I figure it out. I’ll get back to you in a few years. But blue hair has taught me that some things are meant for seasons, & that after a while all things dye–er, I mean die.

If you, like me, tend to overthink the little things, like what your hair color will be in the future, then maybe you need this reminder just like I did. Life is meant for new things. New colors. Blue hair. But if I had blue hair forever, it might lose it’s charm. That new normal might become boring. As new & exciting as blue hair is now, maybe future me will look back & laugh at me at 21. But knowing myself, I’ll probably have my awesome professional hair & look back at photos & think about how exciting it was to go out on a whim & buy the wondrously named “Electric Teal” hair die. I’ll remember going home to put it on only to end up going to see the Tarzan movie with my dad. I’ll remember him talking too loudly in the theater during the movie, saying something funny or pointing out a plot error with the books & how I wasn’t embarrassed anymore when he decided to have loud mid-movie conversations with me cause who the heck cares anyways. I’ll remember driving back home & taking our new family dog, Amelia, out to the yard with my dad & laughing at the way she’s not good at fetch yet. I’ll remember cracking the hair dye seal at 11 p.m. & not finishing the dye job ’til 2 in the morning. Blue-haired, blue-handed, & ready to sleep. I’ll remember the days I haven’t lived yet, but I’ll look back to this season of life, to the love I feel for so many, to the songs I liked, the movies I loved, the people I share life with near & far, & I guarantee that somewhat normal colored hair me will say, “I’m glad for the blue hair days. Here’s to the *insert color here* hair days to come.”

 

Life will most definitely be just as exciting in the future, even without the blue hair. I guess blue hair really isn’t the issue. It’s just been the catalyst to teach me that this time in my life won’t necessarily be the place I need to be in in the future & I’m grateful. Things will change, thank God for the promise of newness & the mystery of what life has yet to bring me. I’ll miss blue hair & be sad the day it changes, but life will continue to move on & new things will gain importance & significance to me. I’ll live my edgy blue haired days now, enjoying the things I’m experiencing with it now, learning who I am & doing the most with this one wild & precious life*. I can now look forward, with the lessons life is teaching me now, to the day my hair will be “normal”, without regrets or fear. For whatever color my hair is then, I bet that in the future–life, work, friends, family, love, Jesus, & all the joys along with the sorrows that will be experienced now will be felt just as deeply & beautifully as I experienced them in the blue hair era of my life.

Here’s to all the hair eras I’ve had & have yet to experience–no matter the color–it’s good to learn that things in their season & in their time are meaning full & that there is joy in the beginning, ending, & even in the unknown.

Live like your hair is blue, whatever that means.

-{DD}

 

*Mary Oliver, “The Summer Day”

{DangerDoes} Cymbals & Restrooms

Ever feel like you’re making a lot of noise, but you aren’t making music? That’s where I am. It’s like this:

Are my actions ringing louder than my words? I’ve been extremely guilty of saying & not doing. Where do my words meet my walk? Where does my love become evident?

I say this all because, recently, I’ve realized the enormous following that bitterness & hate have in the world we live in. See presidential candidates, hate rhetoric, boycotts of stores over acceptance of people, hate over mixed couples in ads, kids shot in the streets, & the way people talk about people who sin differently than they do.

Doesn’t that put it in perspective?

But my disconnect happens because I see in His word where God has called us to love Him & love others like He loves us. Forgiveness. Mercy. Grace. Love. In the verse about love, 1 Corinthians 13 says:

 “If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. 

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”

Is that me? Am I speaking yet shouting out something that can’t be heard? Am I getting so lost in the idea of who to love, when to love, how to love. In this world…exactly who do I choose to love?

In a recent conversation with a friend, I was talking about mercy & grace & was continually reminded by him that my mercy & grace isn’t what God’s is. In many stories, over & over again, I see Jesus not only loving people, but understanding their need to be loved. The woman about to be stoned, the woman at the well, Zacchaeus, Saul turned Paul, the thief on the cross. God did things that made other people uncomfortable. He accepted people. He loved the Gentiles. He healed the lepers. He forgave prostitutes. He saved adulterous women. He died for me. God’s sweet love story isn’t about telling others they are wrong. It’s about realizing our wrong & righting it & then loving other broken people into His arms. Why do we try to fix people when we are the broken too? Why are we not letting God work by continually trying to use our own human ways to fix what we cannot fix? All the great things we try to do, if not done in love, only hinder the love story of God. It sounds like the loud banging, chaotic noise of crashing cymbals that convince people that the story of love we are shouting at them isn’t one that convinces them that God died for them too. Because we build ourselves up. We say our sin isn’t as bad. We say what we think under the guise that it’s ok for truth to be offensive & to hurt because it’s facts so just deal with it. That’s abrasive, manipulative, angry, aggressive, & wrong. Truth is truth because it’s facts, & saying it in love makes it a much more convincing argument. That’s why grace & mercy are so important. Because God’s message is that what we say matters. How we say it matters. How we love others matters. When we stop trying to make our way the only way, we give God room to show up & prove that His way, that love is, the only way.

When we choose to say that someone else’s sin is worse than ours, when we try to dictate what God says–we start making noise that to hurting people sounds like clanging cymbals. It sounds like hypocrisy. It sounds like anger, bitterness, & rejection.

Make love your highest goal. Not because it makes sense. Not because you choose to. But because love, love is what God gives us abundantly, without limit, without expectation. Because His action–it speaks louder than our chaotic noise. It speaks louder than our attempts to sort out who we should accept or not accept.

In the end, don’t you think it’s better to love like Christ loved us, than to turn our backs on the people standing right beside us that are hurting & dying to be loved?

If you try to tell me that I’m the only sinner that Jesus died for then I can’t believe that. If someone hurts you, love them like Jesus. Do we really get that? Do we understand the magnitude of what that command means? Love others like I love you. Jesus loved us so much, so greatly, that His love manifested itself & led Him to death on a cross. That’s love. Dying for people that hate you, work against you, shouted for your death, are different from you, that sin against you, & those that want to kill you.

Yet we struggle to love those we see at different. Well, I don’t want that to be me. I don’t want to look at others and forget that the first person I’m responsible for is me. I see the way that I break every single one of God’s commandments. I think bad thoughts. I murder people with my looks. I lie. I break God’s heart, & just because my wrong is different, does not make Jesus any less capable.

Jesus loved. It was crazy. He loved His betrayer Judas & He loved His beloved John. He loved & He didn’t stop because it wasn’t convenient for Him. He didn’t think about it & then come down off the cross. So how about we follow suit. How about instead of wild statements about who is going to hell or who God doesn’t love or accept, how about we make a wild statement through our actions by loving people the way God said to. Why try to enforce our own take on Christ’s word & why not actually try being the hands & feet of Christ. Because the Christ I read about, the one I sing to, the one I worship, didn’t die for only my sin. But for it all. Find me a verse that says He didn’t die for it all, & I’ll be convinced. Show me the way Jesus’ example said to stop loving when it’s not convenient & I’ll stop. But until then, I’m gonna believe what God said. At that’s that He came for it all & He died for it all & He rose again for it all.

Stop not loving people because it’s not convenient for you. Because Jesus died on the cross for you & for the transgender person using the Target bathroom. & if you think Jesus stops loving & stops forgiving, then I hope you stay out of Target, because I’m trying to love God & find a cute craft to do without being told that someone doesn’t deserve the love that by that standard I don’t deserve either.

Keep your words & your loud noisy cymbals away from the everliving, powerful truth of God. Because the cymbals of your actions & the cymbals of your words are distracting from the life changing, life giving words & love of God.

Unconditional, no exceptions Love.

God calls us to that kind of love. So forgive. Pray. Be used to love others.

Are you going to? Or is this generation’s legacy going to be that we couldn’t love like Jesus because we were too busy making our own judgements about Christ’s words?

If we don’t love one another the word of God will never be truly heard. Love has the power to change people’s lives. As a Christian, you experience that grace & love everyday. If we really want Him to be great, if we want to be known as Christians then please,

let go of your cymbals & start letting God’s love be louder than you.

 

-{DD}

{DangerDoes} song;dance

I’ll faintly hear it and suddenly ache
my tshirt accented in tears over what was imagined with you
It’s broken and my heart lies cold
in an out of body experience where the feeling that I can’t ever be enough
is continually pumping and pushing blood through my veins.
I’ll never be ideal
The one you want The one you need The one you’d choose
I think of the maybes then the needle drops and the record plays and it reminds me that notes and beats and poetic Shakespearean words turned lies that led me astray,

looking into your eyes as you were already looking away

Distracted and disappointed by time and freedom and unaware of the muchness of feeling and the mountain of my fear
You walked away before the start.
You missed our song, you missed the dance,
you missed our chance.
no song ; no dance.

-{DD}

{DangerDoes} “So, what do you want to do after college?”

For the first time, I think I kinda honestly answered the dreaded question, “So, what do you want to do after college?”

THE question that lurches me into think about the future & past & present & all things at once & it’s terrifying, but I think I answered it.

Now this answer sprang from my mind in kind of an uncontrolled & unthoughtout manner. So, bear with me as I analyze & try to think about how what I have heard recently has influenced what I believe I wanna do after college. It came from other’s words spoken this past week & the desire to truly tell someone I respected what was on my heart for my right now & my future. As you can tell, it’s been an incredible couple of weeks of listening to Godly people speaking some good things about their own lives & hearing what God had to say about my life in those words.

Over a week ago a beautiful lover of Christ, a friend, & recent graduate of my university came back & did chapel Monday morning & I heard about wild obedience. “You’re a bondservant to Christ”, the radical idea that my freedom purchased by Christ also binds me to Him, & how that gloriously means that the steps I’m taking & will be taking are wrapped up in His wonderful grace, love, & good intent for my life. With God, I can confidently, with an uncertain & human heart, walk forth in faith, knowing that if I’m recklessly abandoned in following what Jesus loves, that that will put me in the center of where He wants me, today & in the future. I also heard a MUCH needed truth about being intentional & present in the right now instead of always thinking about where my future is. My heart heard, “Be so sure of Jesus that fill in the blank doesn’t scare you.” Not the future, not tomorrow, not politics, not other people. & I soaked in the fact that God was calling me. Not “future” me, but me. Today, right now. On the daily, I am called to wake up & say, “What is Your calling for today God” YES. Today. Not in 2017 when I graduate. Not when I get a job. Not when I start a family. But right now, student, unemployed, & single as a pringle me. I’m gonna think about the future, it’s not about abandoning thinking ahead, but it’s about abandoning the idea of the supremacy of “what will future you do” & making “what is right now me doing & am I following Jesus’ call on my life daily” more of a priority. I needed to think & hear about these things & realize & be intentional about being daily called by Jesus, so that where I’m going is where He’s leading, not where I or anyone else is pushing or pulling me to.

It sprang from my summer trip to Africa & my desire to go back, as I watch my beloved Uganda go through political upheaval as they have elections. I think of those I met & I think of my desire to drop everything & leave it all, knowing that I need to be here at school doing this, because God has led me here. I’ve found so much good here & have grown to listen closer & have many that mentor me to listen to God better & to follow His calling on my life & I know leaving it all behind is more of a “I don’t want to be stressed out anymore, or responsible anymore, or take Anatomy & Physiology anymore, & I’m done with tests, quizzes, & education” than it is about doing what Jesus says. The good thing though about realizing I’m in the right place is that I firmly believe God took me from high school & picked me up & put me here for right now where I am. I’m not throwing away my Africa desire & dreams, I’m finishing what God said first. I’m making ready for whatever this place He brought me to is preparing me for. I pray & long to see Africa again, & my desire to go back is becoming an ever echoing call in my heart. It’s not forgotten. It’s not for right now though, & coming to terms with that is a fight, but walking in Jesus’ will daily dictates that I have to listen & have wild obedience to Him. It’s not easy, it takes patience. Sometimes tears of sorrow & heartache pour out of me for the friends I left in Africa. But right here, I’m learning that what I do now is God-filled & purposeful & when I’m back in Africa,  if I’m back in Africa, it’ll be when God says, “It’s time, go back.” Then all bets are off & I’m going.

The answer came from listening about parables tonight. If you’re like me, you’ve heard them for your whole life, but tonight I heard them in a different way & from a different perspective. Parables are for adults, not just fun & comforting stories for children. The facts suggest that actually, unlike the way I was taught & thought about it before, parables are supposed to move us to action & move us to not only listen to what God says, but do it & be active about being the child of God that we should be. I want to be an active voice for myself & others. I want to listen to people & stories from the Bible & be able to see the many different ways that Jesus is speaking to me, even if it makes me uncomfortable. I wanna see the direction, the humor, & the divine love that God pours out in His word. & that’s not always comfortable. The prophet Nathan didn’t tell King David a parable about two shepherds & their sheep to comfort him, but to tell him that he, like a greedy & dishonest shepherd, was wrong for having taken Bathsheba & for having killed her husband. I’m positive David wasn’t feeling too comfortable when he realized the “shepherd” that deserved to die for taking what wasn’t his wasn’t just a fanciful story, but a word from God about David killing another man after sleeping with his wife. & I’m sure King David was also broken by the grace that God heaped upon him. No, he wasn’t exempt from sorrow or consequences, but God calling out David & Bathsheba wasn’t a place of comfort. It wasn’t PG rated. It wasn’t a story just for children. It was, like so many other parables, a lesson that isn’t a complete story. Details are left out. We are left with pieces of stories, like the parables of the Good Samaritan & the Prodigal Son. We have the opportunity to read, listen, hear, think, & digest the story, hearing what God is saying to us in our circumstance. The lecturer I was listening to, Amy Jill Levine, a phenomenal professor from the Vanderbilt Divinity School and College of Arts and Sciences, changed my whole perspective by introducing new ones & saying so very many life changing things for me, but one  specifically that stuck out to me was the idea that confirmed the previous idea of being free in Christ & bound to obedience in what I did, read, thought, & said. How I need to listen instead of taking control. How sometimes what is making me uncomfortable is a bold flashing sign that means stop doing that & start listening. The idea that being in a place of hearing something or hearing God that doesn’t make me wanna be better, do better, & step out in faith is the place I should be afraid of becoming complacent in. As Amy Jill Levine said so perfectly & succinctly, God’s parables & words aren’t all about one interpretation or one idea. They aren’t just nice little stories. They’re told with many purposes & namely to call us out of our position of apathy & into a position where we think & say, what am I doing, how am I thinking of this, what is the history, what made this this way, & how do I be the child of God that I was made to be?

Oh, you wanna know the answer? I guess that’s fair. I said, “I don’t know. I think I want to pursue law & help people. At least that’s what I’m pursuing for right now. I have a passion to help people. I want to help those I would call my own as well as strangers & the world. I wanna be a voice. I wanna be an active part of change. I wanna stand up for men, women, any race, any creed, any religion. I want to be a voice of grace, love, generosity, & support. I want to help broken people. Maybe as a lawyer, I don’t know, but I feel called to a vocation that lets me grasp & use a broken system/systems to help people that feel like they don’t count & are broken themselves.” & I really meant that & I meant more & there are things I feel that I can’t even voice yet. The answer rushed forth in a moment & maybe that’s why I am labeling it like this. I wasn’t trying to convince my professor or myself. I have a passion to help broken people because God changed me & what He’s done in my life has taken me from a purposeless, broken person to a intentional, loved, and purpose-filled woman who wants to heal up other’s hurts, physical & emotional, mental & spiritual by using the voice God gave her to FIGHT for others. & being born into the opportunities I have, I don’t want to waste my love of people & my love of God chasing only financial gain. I don’t want or desire destitution, but I don’t desire something as temporary as dust gathering wealth. I want to provide for myself by providing something better for others & simultaneously share that the God of infinite love & care, even in whatever has happened, in pain & brokenness & uncertainty, lifts us up out of what we are in or where we are & provides for us.

I want to do what God purposes me for, & He’s given me a love for history, politics, loud arguing, & people. His people. All people.

I want to USE all that. I wanna be me. I want to go back to Africa & help people. I wanna go outside my dorm, in my own town, in my own nation & help people. I want to be present for my friends & family. I want to always be becoming a better person & running after God & find the person that is also pursuing God with as much uncertainty & faith as I am. I want to be intentional about my todays so that I am secure in the fact that Jesus is leading & because I don’t have control, I can step forward & say “right now, I’m following Jesus & He’s got me where I am. & tomorrow I’m following Jesus, & He’ll get me there. & forever & in the future days that keep beginning & ending, I’m following Jesus, because being His is my only certainty, & I’ve come this far with Him & you better believe that wild obedience to Him is the best freedom I’ve found.”

I am grace covered & I want to show others the One who gave grace to me. I want to chase God, find my vocation, & live a life where I love Jesus & do whatever I want, knowing that from listening & doing what Jesus has been saying that doing “whatever I want” means going where He says to go. & in that place I’ll know I’m going the right way with what I’m choosing because I chose to stop, listen, & follow Jesus first. It’s all about this giving up of control of MY life & MY ways, knowing I don’t know better than the One that created me. Because I want others to see beyond whatever I am, whatever that is, & see that I’d be wrong, lost, & broken if I stopped listening & pursuing what God has for me. All in all, I’m saying that stories from the Bible, the idea of being free but wildly obedient, & the faith that I can’t explain led me to say, “I don’t know” but that sure as heck doesn’t mean I have to worry. Because guess what? I’ve decided that intentionally choosing Jesus daily is what is going to lead me to pursuing a vocation where I am exactly where God wants me, doing exactly what He wants me doing.

& that might not be exact or cement or even stable in the eyes of many, but seriously, what is there in life that can be 100% certain anyways?
If I can say anything with certainty, it’s that I’d rather be reckless in the eyes of many by putting my todays & tomorrow’s in the hands of Jesus, who is far more than just capable. & I want to trust His plan for me rather than my narrow-minded & often selfish plans for myself. Because it’s not about me being in control, in the end, it’s about being obedient to the call that says, “are you willing to believe that giving up your plans means that you give in to Mine?” I’m ready for wild obedience because I’m ready to live my day to day out in full freedom to & in Christ. I know, it might not seem to make sense, but what kind of faith is faith that makes total & utter sense?

I’m just so glad to be safe in the arms of the One who’s goal is to love me in the direction of loving others–no matter where that kind of future leads me or what I’m doing or who I’m with, I’m ready for the future because my future is with Jesus. No matter what or where that leads me to, I’m gonna leave it up to someone who actually knows. That’s what I’m gonna do in college, after college, & for the rest of my days.

-{DD}

 

{DangerDoes} 27th

I almost went the whole day, I didnt even notice. & then I did.
It wouldve been four years today
spent with you
The 27th will never be an important day, it cant be/
I still (& I guess Ill always) remember the first moment
front of a store, I smiled because your shirt had a pun
& now I sit here tears falling
& think that way back then if I knew what I did now
I wouldve stopped at appreciating at your corny teeshirt
& let you go on//
whats worst is that while I sit here & cry you probably havent even thought about it. Not at all.
How do sweet moments turn into memories that are becoming grey & fading fast?
& not to be mean & not to be cruel but in retrospect I know Im happier sitting here crying than I would have been if I had stayed with you.
It doesnt make it easier & it doesnt mean I regret that time with you. It just means our time was over. It’s past tense.
This 27th was four, not anymore, but it would’ve been. But,
I am where I am & I am where I’m meant to be.

I’m happy–I’m me, & even with subsiding tears I truly believe, right here right now with every tear gone,

I’m moving on.