Wednesday, January 20, 2016

ya'll. i'm not in acres of hope yet. incase you were wondering. i feel like i keep asking Are we there yet? are we there yet? and it has yet to happen. (if you're confused as to what this place is that i'm referring to please scroll to the post below) 

go listen to this song- or just turn it on while you read this. ya'll its so good.

 When the Saints- Sara Groves

this past weekend i went to a women's conference called un/defined put on by my church here in richmond. i haven't been to a womens conference since colorado and that was such a weird time in my life i think i felt a little weird again. but i sat with 4 ladies i have sat on floors with every wednesday for the past year and a half and it was good. and we sang. and some cried. and i prayed fiercely for them. and for myself. 

we sang the song You Make Me Brave by Bethel and it struck me how incredible it was to be with 900 women singing these words. women who are older, younger, have traversed way more miles and heartbreak valley's and acres of hope than i have in 25 years and they were all still asking to be made brave. 

sometimes i think i'm really brave. i think i've done brave things. i think i do brave things. this past wednesday i told those above mentioned 4 ladies that in the past six weeks i've probably gone on like 15ish first dates and they were all like Wow you're inspirational and you're brave. i was like ya'll are straight crazy i'm a dope who is STILL not choosing things that give me life. first dates are so goofy and I'm over them. 

this weekend at the conference Nicole talked about trying to fill the gaps in our lives versus choosing to root ourselves in the truth and in jesus. (there was a vase with flowers and water involved...you can imagine it i bet) and that got me. i've just been filling the gaps. filling the sorrow and the holes in my hearts with more and more swiping and laughing at things that aren't funny and joining more and more sites hoping that THIS one will lead me to happiness. 

so as i sat on the floor at old navy yesterday cleaning the girls clearance section wishing i had someone to text (yes everyone who is reading this is probably a friend of mine who i could have been texting i get it) i thought to myself, hannah, you're just trying to fill the gap more and more. why? 

then it hit me. what i'm doing is not brave. trying to satisfy myself in my own flesh and going on a bajillion terrible dates is not brave. it'll be a lot more brave to delete all these apps and rely on the Lord. i texted Mary and said "I went to a women's conference last night and today and I'm at work crying and feeling very weary. I don't know if my heart is hardened towards the lord or if I just don't want to abide in him and am resisting. I don't know. I'm not okay" and as we do with each other, she did in fact reassure me that i was okay. she's nice like that. 

why is being brave so scary? why is it such a hot topic? because we aren't brave? like i said, i think i do brave things (actual brave things like chase the Lord all the way to Brazil and fight for justice and love and joy and gratitude) but man, sometimes being brave is hard. so I've been praying. Lord make me brave. I mean it could be super tangible and deciding to stop trying to date, maybe it'll look different than that. I honestly have no idea. but i am grateful for a God who allows me try and seek and knock. so here's to being brave friends. whatever that may look like. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

i've started and deleted this blog several times. it could be the most honest thing i've ever written. when i talked to mary about it on sunday night it took me several times to even get the words out for how bad i felt about them. for how honest and raw they were. and how shitty they made me seem. but, ever since chelsea taught me about honesty six years ago i have to be honest, because that is the only way things make sense to me.

“And now, here’s what I’m going to do:
    I’m going to start all over again.
I’m taking her back out into the wilderness
    where we had our first date, and I’ll court her.
I’ll give her bouquets of roses.
    I’ll turn Heartbreak Valley into Acres of Hope.
She’ll respond like she did as a young girl,
    those days when she was fresh out of Egypt. 

hosea 2:14-15 message 

so i decided sometime last week that i was tired of doing everything wrong. of seeking attention in wrong things and spending my time unwisely. i wasn't making bad decisions, i wasn't setting myself up for harm, i didn't even feel like i was emotionally hurting myself because i felt pretty numb. then on Sunday I decided to read hosea again. because the book of hosea is all about doing things wrong and being called back to the Lord and back to truth. so i figured it was a good place to start. and chelsea and i love the verse hosea 2:14 in the NIV version that says 

Therefore I am now going to allure her;
    I will lead her into the wilderness
    and speak tenderly to her.


so i figured i could use some tender speaking. 

then i read it in the message version (above) and i was blown away. I'll turn heartbreak valley into acres of hope.  

I'll turn heartbreak valley into acres of hope.  
I'll turn heartbreak valley into acres of hope.  
I'll turn heartbreak valley into acres of hope.  
I'll turn heartbreak valley into acres of hope.  

y'all. that is so good. i wrote it in my journal. i drew a map from my own heartbreak valley with arrows pointing me to acres of hope. and that is what i want for 2016. i want to reside in acres of hope again. 

but how? how do i travel from heartbreak valley to acres of hope. this is where the honesty comes in and the shit hits the fan. because, i think it takes work to travel there. and i wasn't/am not certain i want to put in the work. 

because, ya'll...i forgot what a real relationship with God was like. I forgot that it was worth it. I forgot that it is the best thing i could ever pursue. it seemed so much easier to pursue everything else in front of me. i don't know when i entered into heartbreak valley, or when i forgot that there was only one thing in life that was worth any of my time or effort or love. but i did. so sunday night when i was  face timing Mary i confessed all this to her. i asked her if it was worth it. if it was worth letting go of all this other shit. "so what, i stop pursuing or being pursued by lame guys and spend all my time reading the bible and what...i'm still single? so is it even worth putting the effort in???"

"yes, hannah. it is. you get hope. you get forgiveness. you get grace. you get to live the good life. you get to live the life your soul was created to live."

praise the Lord that i have a best friend who will speak these truths into my life at midnight on a Sunday night after i confess these really scary messy things. She met me with grace. I had already asked God all these questions and I knew the answers but i needed someone else who knows me well and knows my heart to tell me to my face. yes. it is worth it. 

one of my favorite songs is the cost by rend collective experiment and it says

I've counted up the cost
Oh, I've counted up the cost
Yes, I've counted up the cost
And You are worth it

yes. you are worth it. so, here's to trying. here's to coming back to the Lord. it's not a crappy new years resolution. it's a soul resolution. i need this. i know i won't be disappointed. but it'll be hard. 

i am 12 days into being a married woman and i am finding more joy and more mourning than i expected. i changed my name last week and cri...