Showing posts with label God. Show all posts
Showing posts with label God. Show all posts

Thursday, June 8, 2017

chasing pink sky

today I am so cranky.
I've been a jerk and fought with my mom.
I've snapped and cracked.
errrr.
I just feel gross,
you know?

I'm tired.
Physically and mentally.

I've danced for what feels like fifty days in a row.
I've bottled bottled bottled emotion.
I'm bracing myself to say goodbye to dear friends and
I just.
don't.
want.
to.
I feel poor and I need to buy: makeup, a planner, sunglasses, and a phone case.
I thought I would be done with school today and I'm not.


It rained all day today,
which felt like a constant reminder of my inside state.
When I was driving home tonight after ballet,
it was still wet.
But it was also lighter than usual for 9pm.
To the left, it was dark and stormy and grey.
The right, however, was pink and yellow and blue.

I would glance through the empty streets of our little town, and see pink sky.
warm, saturated, sky.

You know, we serve a God of reckless grace.
Big, bright, beautiful grace that showers us when we humble ourselves before our God.

today, I'm thankful for grace.
I'm thankful for doughnuts and coffee.
I'm thankful for tears, however embarrassing or inconvenient they may be.
today, I'm choosing to chase the God who paints the sky pink.


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

his supercalifragilisticexpialidocious vision

what do you think the vision is for your life?

sure, make it through high school.
collage, jobs, kids, marriages.

but beyond that...
what do you think God's vision for your life is?


I know what my vision for my life is.
I graduate high school with perfect grades, before heading off to a conservatory to study dance performance.
I'll live in a perfectly, Pinterest-y dorm room and have lots of friends.
While I'm there, some visiting important-person will say I'm amazingly talented and ask me to come dance on Broadway.
I'll move and dance in lots of Broadway shows, while getting married to my incredibly hot husband.
We'll have a few Jesus-loving kids and live happily ever after.

but God's vision?
err, not really sure on that one.

right now I'm struggling with some hard people that love malice and gossip.
they deliberately hurt in order to deal with their own hurt.
they seek conflict instead of peace and humility, simply because it's easier.
and.
it's.
so.
painfully hard.

because where is God in this?
where is justice?
what's the next right thing?

the prophet Habakkuk asked God the same thing.
in chapter one, Habakkuk is complaining to God about the evilness of the world. 
he asks, "How long, Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen?" [Habakkuk 1:2]

and God answers him saying, 

"Look at the nations and watch-
    and be utterly amazed.
For I am going to do something in your days
    that you would not believe
    even if you were told."

Habakkuk responds with a second complaint;

"Your eyes are too pure to look on evil;
    you cannot tolerate wrongdoing.
Why then do you tolerate the treacherous?
    Why are you silent while the wicked
    swallow up those more righteous than themselves?"


and agian, God answers saying;

“Write down the vision I am giving you.
    Write it clearly on the tablets you use.
Then a messenger can read it
    and run to announce it.
The vision I give you
    waits for the time I have appointed.
It speaks about what is going to happen.
    And all of it will come true.
It might take a while.
    But wait for it.
You can be sure it will come.
    It will happen when I want it to. 

whhhhaaaaaaaaaatttttttttt?!?!?!?

friends, His vision for your life is more amazing than you could ever imagine!
it's bigger than high school and Broadway and hot husbands.
it's SO SO SO SO AMAZING!

and all he asks of us is to wait.
to listen.
to write and read about his goodness.

today, I challenge you to stop.
to look through your journals,
read your old blog posts
think through your life.
see God's faithfulness.
see the beginning of his vision.

and know.
know that it's just that;
the beginning of an utterly amazing vision.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

one day [thoughts on the now & then]



one day a light will click,
and all this waiting will make sense.
all your prayers and cries that you spoke
will finally have resolution.
you'll come to see that the pleas tangled in worries
were actually wrapped tightly in Gods grace.

one day you will wake up
and the fog will be lifted.
you'll look back and see that the valley was much bigger
and the hills much taller.

one day you'll remember the time when you thought everything was over.
even though you were certain,
you were actually, well...okay.
and although it was awful and confusing and the waitttinngggg,
this place you are
just happens to be right where you are suppose to be.

Friday, April 14, 2017

take heart, dear ones

See, darkness covers the earth
and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the Lord rises upon you
    and his glory appears over you. 

take heart dear ones,
for the Son of God has come.

worry not dear ones,
for he was betrayed in your place.

feel much dear ones,
for the lamb drank the sin of the world.

read much dear ones,
about the moment darkness was defeated.


so take heart dear ones,
because Friday is not the end:
Sunday is coming.




Sunday, April 9, 2017

remember to feel the sun

There is something healing about the sunshine.
It peaks out, chasing away the clouds.
It shines bright and warm, illuminating through the grey blanket that has blurred reality for so long.

The sun comes and reminds me that bones do thaw.
It paints to sky blue and lures people outside,
our lungs craving to be filled with oxygen.



I've been sad lately.
The sad that seemingly comes from nowhere, yet looms and cripples me.
I miss my dear friend who died six months ago.
My heart aches from the pain and loss and trauma that is all so very fresh.

It's seemed impossible to leave my house, much less plan the next five years of my life.

But the sun pokes out,
and shines high and bright.
It evaporates rain,
burns out darkness,
reminding me that
flowers can still bloom.
the sun still rises
and God doesn't keep us in the rain forever. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

hey God, it's me, elissa.


Why can't I just learn all the life lessons already?
Like, seriously God.
All this waiting and unknown is getting kinda old; can't you just tell me what you're thinking?

I know dependence on you is a good lesson and all, but I was kind of hoping to be done with it by now.

Maybe we could move on to joy?
Or, say, faithfulness?
I could settle for a real good conviction on teaching Sunday school twice a month, as opposed to once a month.

God, I'd appreciate some clear "how to" manuals, if that isn't too much to ask.
Yeah, the Bible is awesome and all...
but I'm not exactly finding the answers I was looking for.

You see, I was looking for closure on some trauma.
I looked and it told me that trauma is part of the broken world,
and you hold me in every situation.

I was hoping you could take my guilt from me,
but the Bible said that I needed to lay it at your feet.

I asked about a situation that I would like to stay silent in
 (hint: I was looking for some backup)
But then the Bible said something about speaking truth loudly, which wasn't exactly the answer I was looking for.

So okay, fine.
 I'll try to learn grace and contentment and peace and self-sacrifice.
I'll remember: your will. not mine. 

But if you happen to change your mind, feel free to drop of that instruction manual.
It's the second mailbox.  

Thursday, February 9, 2017

being raw in a pulled-together world




In all reality, the past few weeks have contained long, hard days.
Teary, emotional, gut wrenching, make you want to hide-in-a-hole-for-no-apparent-reason kinda days.
I sat in my car and screamed between sobs.
I vocalized questions that I will never know the answers to.



And then suddenly the earth is covered in a sparkling white blanket.
Everything was canceled.
People were stuck.
And all I could do was stare out of the snow globe,
sip coco and Facebook stalk.

Sit in the quiet.
Breathe a little.
Put on my smartwool.
And remember that it's necessary to stop and breathe.

Because at some point,
I've got to postpone putting my big-girl pants on.
Stop pulling it together.
Open the bottled emotion. 



I had a meltdown over the phone a few days ago.
And as I hung up, I told myself that the meltdown was over.
get it together Elissa
everything's fine and I'm just being hormonal.

But I think I was wrong.
I'm learning that I have to stop constantly pulling-it-together,
and allow myself to be a little raw.

Friends, this is me being raw.
I usually like to write posts a safe distance away from the uncomfortable, so I can wrap it in a pretty bow for you.
I try to give resolution and show God's hand.

But life doesn't always have immediate resolution.
And I think it's so so so important to remember that God's hand is in both the pretty and the dirty, whether we see it or not.

So I'm gonna try be a little raw for a while.
I'm going to talk about it.
I'm going to remember that
God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; 
God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 
God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, (1 corth. 1:27-28)
I challenge you to do the same.




Saturday, February 4, 2017

tomorrow morning


hey.
tomorrow morning when you brush your teeth,
scrunched over the sink, 
looking like death,
remember that you're beautiful.

don't say no.
don't hide
or cover up
or run away.

remember that you are powerful and brave.
remember that you are flawed yet perfect.
know that you carry light that can brighten the darkest of places.

so you,
you beautiful soul,
stand tall.
take a deep breath.
exhale.
today, remember who you are.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

happenings of late


Heyo!

I'm really sorry for my lack of content lately. December has been filled with non-stop dance, and school, and dance and school and dance and school and school and dance. and school. 
The collage search and SATs are beginning to breathe down my neck and so be honest, it's so overwhelming. I've been asked approximately fifty thousand times about my "after high school plans" during this holiday season and I really have nothing to say. I have so many ideas and interests, but I'm struggling to balance reality and dreams.

To be honest, this semester has been nothing I hoped it would be. I'm taking hard classes, but I micromanaged my schedule in September so that it would be manageable. I'm on a good track and I was trying to hard to be ahead of the game, to be prepared and responsible. But then all of the sudden I'm poking at food, staring at text books without seeing a word, and laying awake at three in the morning. Everyone is done with their shallow, public sobs. And we are left missing.

There have been two adult suicides in our little town within the past two weeks. Two. I fight fear of another phone call. Things bring me back to those horrible moments. But I'm looking for beautiful. I'm searching
searching
searching
for hope and the light of Jesus in this time.

The simple things remind me that I cannot do any of this on my own strength- that I need help constantly. My actions need grace. My studies needs perseverance. My relationships need Jesus. And in all reality, this isn't a bad place to be. Because it's in my complete and utter broken and emptiness that I realize my need for a savior.

So this is where I'm at. Thanks for sticking around with me- I really appreciate you guys:)
Also, check out my updated other good stuff page and my latest post on BURNING YOUTH.

much love//elissa

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

letter to the hurting


Hey you-
you who are brave and strong,
yet also hurting and wondering.

you who is crumbling while the world smiles at you emptily,
acting like you are broken in this season of joy.

hey you-
I know it feels like you're alone and everything is falling apart.
I know it your heart is being stabbed over and over and over.
But I also know that it gets better.

I know you want a magic answer to make it okay in a second;
it sucks, because there isn't.
But all this?
It does get better.

These dark clouds will pass.
The sun will shine.
This is a season, not a life sentence.

So please please please
know you are loved
realize that you have so many plans to accomplish
look for people fighting for you.
Because it does it get better.
It totally gets better.



Monday, December 5, 2016

finding warmth in the darkness


I've built walls.
I've hidden skeletons and covered scars.
my walls are tall and strong;
they're ready to be torn down.

He wispers to me,
elissa, let me tear down your walls

but I am naked.
I am ashamed.

He says,
I have loved you at your darkest

I struggle to hear these words.
for I don't understand this amazing grace.

He calls me perfect,
beautiful child

yet I grip to guilt
and lies

He validates my pain,
and holds me tight.

my heart beats.
walls begin to melt.
a gift was given
 and darkness has no home.

I sit with this wonderful counselor.
the giver of all peace.

and I am held.
I am clothed in grace.
I am safe.
I am warm.
for today, I am held.

so I challenge you;
approach the king,
scared and broken.
for he knows your name,
and is ready to release you from all guilt and shame.
you are loved,
you perfect,
beautiful child.

please sit.
rest.
be covered.

for you are precious and held,
and today,
you will find warmth in your God.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

still good


when the sun starts to rise and I open my eyes
You are good, 
so good

in the heat of the day with each stone that I lay
You are good

with every breath I take in-
I'll tell You I am grateful again

for when the moon climbs high before each kiss goodnight
You are good

when the road starts to turn around each bend I've learned
You are good, 
so good

and when somebody's hand holds me up, helps me stand
You are so good

with every breath I take in
I'll tell You I'm grateful again
'cause it's more than enough just to know I am loved
for I know You are good

so, how can I thank You?
what can I bring?
what can these poor hands lay at the feet of my King?

I'll sing You a love song, 
it's all that I have.
I'll tell you I'm grateful 
for you are holding my life in Your hands

but when it's dark and it's cold,
 and I can't feel my soul
You are so good,
still good.

when the world is gone gray and the rain is here to stay
You are still good

And the storm may swell 
yet even then
It is well and 
You are, 
so good

{paraphrase from the song You Are Good, by Nichole Nordman}

Monday, October 24, 2016

I want a band-aid


My mind is a mess
turning
turning
turning

Swiched on at 3:00am,
yet of at 11:00am.

I want someone to put a band-aid on me.
Fix this mess.
Tape it back together.

But the second someone talks about how
God has a reason for everything
or
Just be thankful for the things you do have
or
Something good is going to happen

I freeze.

Not because I don't know these words to be true,
or because they aren't said sincerely enough.

I know those things are true.

I'm just not ready for them.
I'm not ready for the world to move on,
and act like nothing happened.

I'm trying to function like a normal human being,
but I'm struggling.

I'm struggling because I want tape and glue.
I want someone to say something that fixes me.
I want God to make my world perfect and happy and unicorns and rainbows.
I want the band-aid.

But you know what?
I don't get the tape and glue.
I don't get an easy out.

We get feelings that demand to be felt.
We get people that love us, and are willing to listen.
We get support groups.
We get the dirty and the messy.
The ugly and the broken.

I'm humbled in my need for Jesus.
Because oh, how I need him.
I need him to hold me and protect my fragile heart.
I need him to give me words.
I need his grace and forgiveness.
I need him to be a rock that is higher than I.


Because someday, he will make all things new.

We aren't going to be broken fragments, glued back together.
There will be no more pain and sadness.

For the God of all heaven and earth will wipe away every tear from every eye.
And all things will be made new.

So today, I get the broken.
But I know that someday I will get the beautiful.

Monday, October 17, 2016

blur


A very close friend committed suicide two weeks ago.
Two weeks that contained years, yet I still have to remind myself of the horror that took place.

You guys, I am completely shattered.
My heart is broken, and I'm semi-numb to reality.

This is a mess.
A tragic, dark mess.

I'm struggling to form words, much less coherent thoughts.
I have a pile of school work glaring at me.
I keep waking up throughout the night.
I keep glancing and thinking I see her.

Her dutch braids.
Plaid shirt.
Kaiki pants.
Eyelashes that make you rethink your life.
Smile that lets up the room.

But then I remember her perfect body laying in the casket.

And the reality punches all over again.

You guys, we are shadows here on earth.
Your life contains infinite value.
So.
Much.
Value.

You are precious.
Important.

And there are far
far
far
better things ahead.

xoxoxo

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

big thoughts


why am I scared of what God will take away if I daily lay myself down?
what's it that I'm gripping, 
hording for myself? 
what do I want control over? 
selfishly planning according to my ideas and agendas. 



honestly, these questions go deep. 
so deep that I want to push away, 
fearful and un-trusting, 
avoiding eye-contact. 

they humble me from pride. 
 strip me of my exterior. 

and yet I still push. 

I still think God might rob me of joy and goodness. 

I think he will convict me of sin I'm comfortable with. 

I think I just might have a better idea for my life then him.

^^that?

it's all stupid. 

our Daddy isn't a thief of joy.
he hates what separates us from him. 
and with him, we can completely fulfill the life we were designed to live. 

Sunday, August 28, 2016

i am a gossip


it started out as a harmless, giggly conversation.
A silly moment. 
And then all of the sudden my friend looked at me and said,
"Elissa, you do gossip a lot." 

I choked.
I was the only Christian in that room
The only one with the responsibllity to be a bright light in a darkened world.

"It's not nessicarly a bad thing..." She went on.
But the words cut down through all the layers and hit my core.

I am a gossip.

These words taste like vinegar comming out of my mouth.
They rock around in my brain,
Tumbling into every thought.

They cut through my crap and cockiness in which I stood before God last night.

For I am a gossip.

And I hate it.
I hate this ugliness inside of me,
This sword I have deeply misused.

I hate that I'm seen as a gossip to some non-Christian friends.
I hate that I bring shame to the name of Jesus on this earth.
I hate it.

For I am ashamed of this sin.
I am naked in my inadequacies.
And aware of my failure.

And Jesus knows.
He knows me as I sit with my two little gossip buddies,
Yet he loves me fully.
He knows me as I keep record of wrong,
Yet he loves me endlessly.
He hears me tarnish his gift,
Yet he still loves me.
Perfecly.
Completely.
More then I could ever ask or imagine.

For our God loves us so greatly that he will never change the depth of his love.
In any moment.
In any action.
In any situation.

For we, my brothers and sisters, are loved by a very big God.
Bigger then any shame.



Thursday, August 25, 2016

i serve one master


When I wake-up tomorrow morning, I will remember I serve one master.

I do not serve my image
make-up 
clothes
trends
brands

I do not serve the expectations of others
teachers
parents
friends 
siblings
peers

I do not serve my feelings
fear 
loneliness
stress
doubt


For I choose to serve one God.

I will strive to align myself with the person and character of Jesus. 
I will fight to know my true image found in grace
I will work diligently in what I have been called to
I will cling to truth and fight darkness.

Because I serve one master. 

Saturday, August 6, 2016

the girl in the screen


I walk up to my room, empty of laughter and whispers, yet so full of things that call out their last use.

The paint brushes we used until 3:30am making water-color hand-lettering.
The chocolate cookies we ate compulsively.
Her cup of water.
A beautiful card that I still haven't actually read because I could only get two sentences in.
Two black flip-flops, one with a redneck contraption resulting from: first night of mission trip/long walk/broken shoe/hairband/a future engineer.
A pink notebook.

It's all petty and little and stupid.
She's moved before.
I've visited before.
We've done this.

In fact, we're almost pros at long distance friendship.
Our fb messaging game is beyond stellar.
Facetime is a regular occurrence and rarely lasts under an hour.
She knows what's happening.
I know what's happening.
We talk, and cry, and laugh together across a giant ocean.

Yes, it's hard not zipping to her house that's no longer 7 minutes away.
It's sad to miss each others races, concerts, recitals, shows, time after time after time. 
I hate not having sleepovers.
I hate not being able to have her meet the people I talk about.
It sucks.

Yet at the same time, I know how to sit with the sucky-ness when it comes.
Throughout my journal, you'll see me talking to God about whatever, and see a totally random, "I miss Jayna" thrown in.
Because there are days when I feel whats missing.
But not everyday.

There was something about this last visit that made it harder to swallow.
Maybe it's because she used to live here. 
We have memories in my house.
My town.
She got to see some of my friends.
Meet up with some of her friends.

And then we hugged and said goodbye.
Goodbye with the knowledge that Korea is a lot farther the Hawaii.
Knowing that we might not see each other for a long time. 
Knowing that this-
these giggles
hugging during the tears
sharing make-up
sleeping in the same bed when we had two
singing
painting
feeling completely and perfectly at home
no need to entertain
nothing to hide or pretend
true and authentically being

is what I'm missing.
Now I go back to being friends to the girl in the screen, knowing she's so much more.

This is a kinda sad post.
And it's okay, because I'm kinda sad.

But you wanna know something?
Being sad really is okay.

And in this little grey cloud, I'm confident in my need for Jesus.
I need his love to continually pour over me.
I'm reminded of my infinite value because of his infinite grace.

This emptiness?
It's a side effect of our world.
These skin and bones are not my own.
This place?
It's not where I belong.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

sitting in this weird thing called silence

Silence breathes on my tired face.
My head hurts from the previous days of sleep deprivation due to early mornings and little quiet.

The mission trip was amazing and powerful, yet I'm not ready to form words. 
Jayna's visit was a total blast, but far to short. 
It's scary that I might not see her until we're both in collage. 
I'm not ready for our friendship to go back into a screen. 

I lay in the quiet, not sure where to begin.
So I ask God to gently unpack me. 
Unpack my emotion,
My memories,
My guilt. 
To sort through this with Him, that it may bring Him glory. 

I don't know what to think or feel or do or say. 
Yet in this quiet, I know to listen.
Listen to His whisper saying, "Rest in me. Feel with me. And do not fear; for you can do all things through me, who strengthens you."


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

big eyes


Slamming out of the empty dressing room, late for tap because chemistry went late agian, I crashed into our executive directer.

"Elissa, you are such a celebrity," she said with a smile.
                                       "Oh?"
"All the little girls are so star struck by you. Ruby (her seven-year-old) is all 'I know her. She babysits for me.' You are so popular."

 I replied and rushed into tap, but her words ran over and over in my head.
when are they watching me
those little girls think you hung the moon
"...you're a celebrity..."
"...i know her.."

I remember being those girls so clearly. 
Watching and thinking about how big and cool the 'big girls' were.
Scared to death of them, but in absolute awe. 
And someday, I would be a big girl. 

i am the top level
i am dorothy, traveling to Oz
i carry the show
My whole dance life I've felt a certain degree of invisibility. 
Never quite good enough to leave the corpe. 
Not the most flexible, nor the owner of beautiful arches. 
I've worked and worked and worked, but never front and center. 
Always the corpe. 

A few trios and duets. 
Many times an understudy. 
But never the star.
Never the 'celebrity.' 


I'm a big girl. 
Am I someone they can see Jesus in?
Am I kind? 
Do I work hard?
Am I inclusive?
Do I treat all equally?
Have they heard me talk crap?
Have they watched me roll my eyes behind a classmates back?


Those little ones have big eyes. 
Big, big eyes. 
What are they seeing? 




Thanks for visiting Letters to Jayna! Please take a moment to leave a comment to let me know you dropped by. Have a wonderful day! 
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