Becoming Who We Are

Today on my commute into the city, I rode the metro and walked the streets of DC, dodging pedestrians on the crosswalks and soaking in the morning light as I sip on my Starbucks iced mocha, things I do almost every day. But it would be a lie to say the past few haven’t been overly stressful or that it has no impact on how I live my life. It does. Especially when a group of Metro police congregate near metro turnstiles, checking bags, passing out fliers with a big caricature of a suspicious package on them. All the while I tell myself that it’s just another day, that this happens all the time and that they’re being extra cautious. The truth is, the world I live in is way more dangerous than the one my parents lived in thirty years ago.

Some days its easier numbing out the pain and chaos. I  sift through Pinterest, read a novel on my Kindle, take pictures on Insta and mindlessly like my friends’ Facebook pictures. But then I walk through DC and pass by people with hollow eyes and slumped shoulders. Old men with furrowed brows, young men in suits and ties, women in heels or slacks, all searching, hoping, aching. They’re all making decisions today that impact the rest of their lives and I act like they’re not my responsibility. I act like I have so much time to waste making myself happy. I’ve been so convicted lately about this. I’ve tried to spend so much time making myself happy when the Lord wants to use me in a big way for His glory but instead of letting Him work, I run for comfort instead of Him. I chase down joy and hope in clothes and guys and friendships and then I come running back to him with a broken, messy heart and He’s there the whole time with compassion and mercy and love filling His heart and His eyes, His arms open wide saying, “Come to me all who are thirsty.”

So now instead of running from this next season of life  – I want to face it. I want to stop living in fear of how wicked the world has become and start walking out my faith. And I feel God pulling me in the direction of His will even now, even when I’ve felt so far from Him, I know that it’s always been Him tugging me closer, urging for me to go deeper, reminding me of His great love and how he hasn’t given up on me yet and how He has always believed in me and how He has great plans to use me to make Him known.

And so I hope that if anything you’d realize you’re not alone in this crazy old world, trying to find enough courage to take the next step to accomplish your goal. Stop feeling paralyzed and go. Seek out where the Lord is calling you. Go and don’t be afraid. Trust Him. Live a fearless, messy life.Because comfortable is always safe but never leads us closer to Him. And maybe it’s time to stop letting fear be our god and start taking steps of faith. Loving the homeless, the poor, the needy. Actually stopping to tell someone about Jesus. Not being afraid to stand up for the girl everyone laughs at. Hugging someone who is hurting. Praying for someone who is struggling. Listening when you’d rather run. Surrendering when you’d rather stress and worry and freak out.

Let’s let this season be one of becoming. Becoming more like Him, the lover of our souls.

More soon!

 

A.

 

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Growing up & Moving on

Today the metro was nearly unbearable. When you live in the DC Metro area, well, lets just say things are always unpredictable. I guess I’m getting used to it, but still, when you’re crammed against all of these random strangers you don’t know after a really long day of work where half of what you do partly makes you want to sleep or cry, well, being on the metro just adds to the frustration.

Anyways, lately I’ve been praying a lot about moving on. The past year I’ve been through so much. I worked on a campaign for a few weeks last summer, then in retail for another few weeks, and then I interned for eight months on Capitol Hill. Just recently, about a month ago, I started working at a nonprofit in DC. While it sounds cool, I’m exhausted from the commute each day and honestly there’s really nothing glamorous about living in DC. It might seem awesome on the outside looking in and yes, meeting all of the internationals and suburban transplants is exciting and exhilarating and yet lately I’ve felt so drained from it all.

I wonder if it’s city burnout, sort of like burning out from a high pressure job where you work long hours only with city life, it’s not just the long hours that burn you out – it’s the constant meeting people, getting together with friends, the flood of new faces, the laughter and food and fun that mingles but sometimes wears on me. Is it just summer that’s getting to me or my looming birthday or…I’m not really sure why I feel this way, but I’m learning so much about my character that I never would have learned if I had never moved here.
I’ve learned how spoiled I am. Case in point: paying bills was so stressful to me at first but now I’m getting used to it, except for the fact that I’m still stressed about missing the deadlines, but I never seem to, so that’s good for now. Also, I’ve realized that I have to pay for not just my loans, but EVERYTHING ELSE: food, metro fare, rent, and utilities. Thank Heaven I don’t have to pay for my cell phone or my car insurance yet, but I’m sure that once I’m more settled here and get hired full time, this will happen.

I’ve also learned that I gravitate towards wanting genuine friends over wanting just acquaintances. And it shocks and perturbs me when others don’t reciprocate this. I made a friend a few months ago, where we met up a few times and then all of a sudden we completely stopped acting like friends. I guess that only happens in places like DC where you’re so inundated with new people that the new is replaced by the newer, shinier, prettier..However, this is the very same person I’ve been trying to completely forget that I even was friends with because it was slightly more complicated and confusing. It taught me a lot of eye opening lessons about boys and myself that I never would have known if I wouldn’t have befriended this unnamed individual. And goodbyes – especially emotional ones – are sometimes the healthiest ways to heal. Even if it means accepting that that person might think you’re avoiding them because you’re cruel or awful. But it’s funny how your twenties can teach you so much about yourself. Like how you’re drawn to people sometimes just because they’re interested in you and because if for only a little while you’re interested in them and how much your emotions can get invested in them.

More later,

A.