Han goes to Bethel

Han copy
(thank you, Shainey Coleman, for this dreamy Boone mountain pic)

 

Unexpected, unanticipated, not even on the radar.

Living in Redding (California) and attending BSSM (Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry) was one of those “wouldn’t that be awesome” kind of dreams. You know, just like the “wouldn’t it be great to live on this remote beach instead of just vacation here” kind of dreams.. not the ones you take seriously, but the ones you pull off the shelf, admire for awhile, and then forget about in the day-in, day-out.

I’ve heard about life in Redding for years now – best friends have been to school there, transformed by the culture forever.
I was able to visit in January of this year in the middle of #rigginandtaycrosstheusa (the cross country trip that I took with Kelly Taylor and also Instagrammed like a champ). A friend showed Kelly and I around Redding and we ended up at a worship night facilitated by his community.

There are moments in our lives when we encounter people who are walking in a freedom that we haven’t yet known.
It happened that night. There was a breathing room, a living hope, a deep rooted joy in every face that I saw – a freedom that I, at the very least, had lost sight of or forgotten about altogether..

You know how one white shirt, when by itself, looks as white as white can be? It’s only when the shirt is compared to another brand new linen that its dinginess is revealed.
It happened that night. Comparison in a healthy, “remember what is possible!” kind of way.

Long story short, through little heart tugs and conversation with a friend, I decided to apply — SUPER last minute, assuming that if I was accepted, it would have to be God (because who in their right mind applies to school for the Fall at the end of June?) Honestly, more of me believed that I would not be accepted, but that I could finally put the “What would happen if I tried?” question to rest in my mind.

Well guys, I got in.

I’m learning in this season that the heart tugs – the purest, deepest, fingers-crossed hopes of our hearts should often be listened to, instead of buried in fear of them never coming to pass.

I have so many of those dreams – dreams of running after-school programs for inner-city kids and watching those children beat the odds, break the curse, and pursue their dreams – of having a freaking incredible marriage and raising a family full of compassionate hearts – of giving people TOOLS to navigate this life and to listen to their hearts; not getting swallowed by life, but overcoming by the blood of the Lamb, the word of their testimony, and maybe a little Talenti gelato – of knowing the heart and the intentions of God deep and wide, and proclaiming those truths to a world full of weary hearts that are only hoping He’s good.

…but I know that it starts with me. It starts with me getting the tools and the healing – it starts with me encountering before becoming the encounter. It starts with me deeply knowing the heart and intentions of God so that in every season, I can stand with others and say “No matter how it looks, He is still faithful.”

I’m not discounting my seasons or my story leading up this point. I’m not saying that I don’t already know some of what I’ve mentioned, or that I’m not already pursuing some of those heart dreams – but there are times when we are called deeper, when we are called to more, and I believe that for me, this is one of those times.

I thought that I would live and die in Winston-Salem.
I love this city – the way that it’s not too big, and not too small. The way that it carries inspiration in the air and breathes wind into the sails of creatives. I have unspeakable gratitude for every gift of friendship that I have with SO many people. I don’t feel worthy of 1/10th of the love that has been poured into me through the friends that I have. I belong to the best church in the world full of beautiful, loving, gifted people. I have nothing but thankfulness in my heart when I look at all that has been built and all that was in store for me when I moved here 3 1/2 years ago. I will forever call this home and plan on returning during the school breaks and beyond — but for a season, I am laying down and giving all that I’ve got to this invitation of BSSM.

 

I am sharing this via blog on the world wide web for a few reasons:
1. I have every intention of blogging more regularly throughout this journey, because I’m coming to find that story is powerful and one of the tools God uses most to encounter other people. Let’s call this the prelude to all of the blogging entries to come.

2. PRAYER. Y’all, this ISFJ, green-blue on the DISC test girl HATES CHANGE and LOVES SECURITY. I hate change even when it’s awesome, just because it’s different than what I’m used to. There is nothing familiar in this guaranteed to be spectacular season change. (There are many other areas to be covered in prayer, I am sure, it’s just the quirkiest, yet also realest thing I’m facing right now).

3. SUPPORT. This is the hardest for me for a million reasons – my “no that’s okay I’ve got it” independence, and the fact that as humans, we love to point to something and say “this measurable proof shows that this is worth investing in” .. but those voices fade in the face of last-minute transitions and no-other-choice.
Tuition for the school year is $4,550. In addition to this cost, I have to cover living expenses and continue to cover all of my adult bills. I will be working part-time throughout the school year to supplement, of course, but it is very scary going from full-time job money to part-time, the cost of living staying the same but the income being cut in half. Because the school is not accredited, student loans are not an option.
Talk about a faith walk — one of those moments where the rubber hits the road, and the theology that is much easier to quote is actually put to the test.
If you would like to give toward this adventure, donations can be made via Paypal
1. http://www.paypal.me/hannahriggin

THANK YOU so much for reading, praying, and supporting! I look forward to sharing tons of moments with all of you: whether they be the life-changing jaw dropping ones, or the “this-is-funny-now-but-it-sure-wasn’t-when-it-happened” ones, and all the others in between.

 

 

Permission to process

I have learned two things this week.
1. I don’t know nearly as much as I think that I do.
2. I started believing a long time ago that my learning season had expired.

Is anyone subscribed to Bethel’s WorshipU? (Well, if not, shameless plug — GO GET YOURSELF A SUBSCRIPTION CUZ HOLY COW ALL THE GLORY)

I’ve played a lot of teaching in the background since subscribing, and in particular, it seemed like every teaching I clicked on today included someone sharing about a process they were currently/recently in.
“Here is how I walked out restoration after having an affair.”
“The best thing that I ever did was sign up for counseling. I’M IN COUNSELING RIGHT NOW.”
“I wrote this song in the midst of a mental breakdown I was having. You know, this new song — the one we just released.”
“I will answer your questions to the best of my ability, but honestly, most of you only see the highlight reel. We’re still learning just as much as the rest of the Church.”

One of the best ones, though, was —
“I bought into the lie that because I was in full time ministry, I didn’t need help anymore.”

Nailed it. I’ve bought into the same lie for a million different reasons:
“I’m a church administrator.”
“I’m a real adult in my real 20s now.”
“This is common knowledge to someone else so obviously it should be common knowledge to me.”
I have compared my insides to everyone else’s outsides, and decided “Everyone else is doing just fine so I must be failing miserably somehow.”

Doesn’t it seem like the world sets us up for this?
Pressure to be polished, to already be an expert, to be good at it from the moment you start. It seems as if we’re given very temporary permission to grieve, to struggle, to fall apart, or simply to NOT BE GOOD at something for awhile — but the clock is ticking, and there isn’t much time left.

So what does all of this pressure cause? For me, I can see it effecting two areas of my life very strongly.
I am pretty self aware and have absolutely no problem with emotion. I know when I’m discouraged and when something touches my heart – but being aware of your emotions isn’t so fun when the lie is loud that everyone else is fine, much more steady, much more thick skinned, or not phased in the slightest by the things that seem to tear me apart. I haven’t been believing that I’m allowed to struggle.

Last week, I heard the Lord say gently “Han, when you experience an emotion, I just want you to have it. Don’t offer a single reason for why you shouldn’t feel that way, and don’t use what you’re feeling to label yourself as insecure or wounded. If you feel left out, tell me you feel left out. You don’t have to tell me why you shouldn’t feel that way.”

STILL LEARNING because #oldhabitsdiehard, BUT I will tell you what’s happened when I stop invalidating myself — He comes. He comes with truth and empathy and understanding. When Lazarus died, it says that Jesus wept with Mary. He wept with her, even though he, in the very near future, was going to bring a solution for the problem she was grieving over. How much healing comes from the simple knowing that we are not alone in what we feel? That there is compassion and understanding and validation for our hearts?

I just want to echo that truth for anyone else who needs it —
You are allowed to struggle.
You are allowed to actually admit when things hurt and when things are difficult.
You are allowed to feel without offering a reason to invalidate those feelings.
You are allowed to need help.

The blinding perfection of everyone else is just an illusion.
No one was born with inherent, perfect mothering skills.
Everyone’s asked God hard questions and wrestled with doubt.
The most secure person in the world feels inadequate about something.

We are allowed to need help because no one handed us a step-by-step guide on how to slay this whole life thing. We are all allowed to be in process because no one is delivered from it until we leave this Earth.
THAT IS JUST THE GREATEST NEWS TO ME, because it means that I never have to ‘master’ anything. It also means that WE ARE ALL IN THE SAME BOAT and no one has one up on you. We all need help, we all get hurt by people and circumstances and hard things, and we have permission to process through that pain.
In fact, I think we can feel found and helped by the Lord much more quickly if we’re honest about where we are; when we admit our need, confess our sin, and are open about the struggle.

The other way it effects me, you ask? (or maybe you didn’t..)
In pursuing my dreams, particularly the creative ones.

I broke up with the dream of dancing at 19 because didn’t you know that the only way you can be a dancer is if you’ve been doing it since you were three?

I fight long, hard battles with music because I don’t have a Kim Walker voice and darnit anyway, why didn’t I stick with violin and piano lessons, and everyone else is so much further along and it’s too late.

I blog 4 times a year because I may know the proper times to use ‘good’ and ‘well,’ but beyond that, all your friends are writers and your Ohio origin really shows when you can’t help but end sentences in prepositions. 

And other things? You haven’t even tried it yet and there are people your age that will be light years ahead of you forever.

So what if they will be? I’d argue that even if we ate, slept, and breathed that thing we feel unqualified to do since the day we left the womb, we’d still feel inadequate somehow. And isn’t the whole point for your heart to come alive and , and not to be deemed the best anyway?

And what if they won’t be? What if you started painting today and became a world renowned painter at the age of 65? What if your first book tour began 15 years from now? What if you kept on dancing through your adult life and started a form of movement that gave young girls something to look forward to when they’ve ‘aged out’ of their career.

 

I want to be a person that isn’t afraid to admit I’m in process. I never want anyone to be intimidated by a glossy, picture perfect image I’m projecting because I’m too afraid to admit that I don’t know everything.

There is so much heart space in knowing that the learning never ends, and we never age out of needing help. learn.jpg

On longing, pain, honesty, and singleness blogs.

 To the single girl who cried alone in her car on the way home after another wedding;

To the girl who dreams about the layout of her one-day home with Anthropologie mugs and friends at coffee tables, candles and week-night dinners, kids storming through the house and sink loads of dishes, bedding and towels and couch pillows that comfort down deep;

To the girl who swallows hard each time hope deferred hits as another person asks if you’re seeing anyone;

To the anxious heart who feels that they will never be picked or find compatibility;

To the girl who has fled from Instagram a half gazillion times just to pretend, for a short while, like wedding hashtags don’t exist;

To the girl who has been overtaken multiple times by the fear hurricane that comes each time another friend pairs off and your circle of company dwindles even more;

To the girl who has wondered just how many roommates you will have to learn to live with and adjust to, and how many houses you will have to move into before you get to settle for good;

To any girl who has felt unwanted, unloveable, third wheeled, pitied, or overlooked.

I see you, I know you, and I am you.
I am not going to tell you that you should be letting God fill you completely. I’m not going to shame you for longing and ask you why Jesus isn’t enough —
I’m not going to pull the “why aren’t you feeling complete” card because somewhere in that message, it is communicated that there are certain kinds of girls that don’t have to learn that hard lesson, and certain kind of girls that do. Somewhere in that message, striving kicks in, and at best you’re putting on a great, “look at how satisfied I am in the Lord” face — but I know that the pain is still there.
I applaud you for making the most out of your life right now. I applaud you for being independent and taking your freedoms and embracing the ‘little obligations to other people’ season you’re in.
–But I also know those nights when unintentional comments are made that tear you apart, when loneliness creeps in and seems to be claiming a bedroom of its own in the home of your heart. I know too, too well how many ugly, deep, painful cries you’ve had when no one is around. I know what it feels like to be ‘running out of time’ — to wonder if you missed something, did something wrong, or just weren’t provided for.

There’s a particular voice of shame that comes in when you’re trying, with all of your might, to celebrate with the friends who are being handed the very thing that you asked for. The voice that says that you’re selfish, needy, and broken by your own choice.
I want to tell you today that shame is a liar. Thank you so much for the broken congratulations and the ‘give it all you’ve got’ celebrations that you’ve given despite the pain.

Here’s the problem with singleness blogs —
We all want an answer. We all want a once-and-for-all solution to the mountain of anxiety, fear, and loneliness that rears its head at the most inconvenient times.
And a lot of times, we try to offer one to those that are hurting, but I don’t really think there is one.

It’s like trying to come up with a once and for all answer to the “Why do bad things happen to good people?” question — or the “Why did my loved one die even after I prayed for them?” mystery.

Some things aren’t black and white. Some things can’t be solved with a few sentences strung together on the internet or a few faith concepts you ‘should be’ putting into practice. Maybe we don’t need an answer that will fix us, but a journey with the One who is healing, who is peace, and who is the one that will stand with us forever despite the time or season.

Here’s what I know – I have lost count of the days that I have found myself a broken mess. I have become well acquainted with the belly of anxiety that swallows me when I’m just not strong enough to fight it off.

I also have a record of all of the times that Jesus comes in and calms the storm. I have promises and truths about his nature that are laid like planks of wood in the foundations of my heart because I’ve been willing to be honest. The storms keep coming, but He’s faithful to keep on coming.
I have a record of all of the people who have let me borrow buckets of faith when my barrels had run dry — of all of the friends who have prayed and continually fought for God given dreams, and those who have sung my own song back to me.
And just because you’ve found yourself in another storm doesn’t mean that you’re failing. You have Jesus in your boat, and when you don’t have enough faith to speak to the waves, you can wake him up.

It’s true that a man won’t complete you and that you’re already a whole person.
It’s true that there are beautiful gifts in this season of your life that you’ll never get back, and they deserve to be savored.
It’s true that there will ALWAYS be something that we’re longing for that threatens to drain us of our peace — longings for direction, connection, new jobs, children, whatever.

But you are not being shamed for the longing, and the Lord knows what to do with your brokenness. He is faithful to heal you and speak to the places of pain that reach far deeper than whether or not you have a spouse. From the beginning He has always been loving you into wholeness, one step at a time — never fixing you so that you can perform and produce and become all of the things you’ve been told you should be by now.
Please don’t feel that you have to hide in shame or fix yourself or conquer this thing on your own – He is a present help that sees, understands, empathizes, and wants to give you truths that will last for all eternity.

May we fall more and more in love with the One who loves us perfectly — the God of the journey and the process, who sees the whole picture, knows and cares for our desires, and has our best interest in mind.

Why I’m writing

My heart has been burning lately.
Confession – I’ve been reading through my own blogs. Yep. It’s sort of like when you stalk yourself on Facebook or Instagram, curious to see what the rest of the world sees when they come across your profile.. only more, because it’s your guts on a page and your process.

I’ve come to realize lately not only the need to keep writing, but also the need to be more intentional about what I’m writing.

I am choosing to write because I spend a lot of time reading what others have to say. I anxiously scan the page, fingers crossed that they will say what my heart is screaming.
I think we all do that to some degree. If someone else says what’s deeply resonating in us, it somehow validates our process and makes us more real. When someone says what we’re feeling, an alarm is sounded, we lay our weapons down, and realize that the place we’re in is so much safer than we believed, and who we are, deep deep down, is what’s been needed all along.

But the thing is that someone has to say it first.
And I can wait the rest of my life to be validated, or I can start speaking.
I can tiptoe in environments until I sense the safety, or I can carry safety with me everywhere I go.

I am choosing to write because I have fought hard to defend what rings true in my heart, and in the times when I was too tired and wanted desperately to give up and pleaseGodmakemesomethingelse, I would feel the faithful pull of an anchor marked with goodness and love.

I am choosing to write because I have spent too many years trying to measure up and perform perfectly and jump just a little higher — I have spent too many years comparing my insides to everyone else’s outsides, and I want to expose performance for the liar that it is.
No one has their stuff together. We are all struggling.
We are all weathering countless storms and internal tornadoes.
We all have something that terrifies us.
And we all have the beautiful opportunity to come out of hiding and embrace an acceptance that has been waiting for us since the beginning.
There is freedom for our hearts through the doorway of vulnerability, and I want to run through it without reservation.
There is wholeness for our soul as we confront the darkness, open up, and let the light in.
I am writing not to lick and compare wounds but to confront them and heal them instead of burying them in guilt, shame, and “I shouldn’t feel this” ways.

Have you ever noticed how truly confident people effect others?
This is how you know.. False confidence screams “HERE I AM! EVERYONE OUT OF THE WAYYYYYY…”, while true confidence says “I am here, I am amazing, and you are too..” True confidence carries the key to unlocking the realest parts of everyone around them — it whispers “It’s safe here! We need who you are.. please don’t keep it from us!”

I want this spot, this little corner of the world wide web, to be that safe haven for you — The place where you can open wide and bloom and find light in rooms of your heart that you didn’t even know existed.

So here’s to vulnerability and freedom, light in the darkness, and truth like refreshing water to our souls that grow weary, or would just like an extra drink from time to time.
May we not be afraid to hope against hope, and repeat the same truths until our hearts know them well.
May we, together, choose to bravely stand and believe in redemption and goodness in every season.

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I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU
Give me feedback. Tell me your stories. Share your victories. Vent to me when you wish you could post things on the internet but they’re not necessarily appropriate for the entire world to see.
hannahwritessometimes@yahoo.com

Snakes

“God’s idea of good and our idea of good can be two completely different things.”

Over and over I’ve heard this statement – even tried to condition my heart to believe it at times.

I understand the concept – sometimes the things that we think are good for us in the moment are actually not good for us at all.
“No, you can’t have ice cream for breakfast,” is the goodness and love of parents not wanting their children to waltz into childhood obesity. Kids might think their parents are cruel fun suckers in the moment, but in time they will see that by being fed nutritious, not-so-desirable breakfasts, they were actually being cared for by the ones in charge of their well-being.

…there’s a balance to everything though…

There’s truth and thankfulness in the fact that there have been prayers sent up for things I thought I desperately needed, and the Lord didn’t grant my wish in his kindness – open doors, changes in scenery, relationships.
In his kindness, the Lord didn’t ‘make things work’ with my longterm high school boyfriend who I swore could never be detached from my life. In his kindness, the Lord didn’t make a way for me to be shipped to another city for the college experience I thought that I was missing out on.

But a lot of times we miss it – I miss it.

We tell the brokenhearted high school girl that “God is loving her” by taking her boyfriend away, and she hears “God wants me to be alone. God doesn’t love what I love. The things that I care about are wrong,” instead of “God has something SO much better for me down the road and he couldn’t let me settle for this. God sees my future and knows what I need.”

We tell the stuck-in-hometown girl that God is being good to her by keeping her home for college and she hears “God doesn’t want to provide for me. God came through for everyone else and must have forgotten,” when God was totally saying “Hey girl, you’re going to hate college and quit anyway. I have the best adventure planned for us – please trust me!”

 

With the particular situations I mentioned, I started associating complete surrender with being stripped to the bone with nothing left but God.

God’s idea of good – loneliness, losing things I loved, betrayal from friends, lack of provision.

Jesus promises that he will not give us a stone when we ask for bread, or a snake when we ask for fish. I was asking for more of Jesus – a deeper relationship, more knowledge of who he was – GOOD THINGS – and it seemed like I was handed the flounder I was praying for, coupled with 4 hefty snakes for good measure.

I’ve spent a lot of time with hands full of snakes the enemy has given me, trying to convince myself that they’re all particularly long, rare species of fish that the Lord will explain and teach me about later.

If we being evil wouldn’t throw our children into a pit with a copperhead and say “After this trip to the hospital, you will learn that I’ll never leave you,” why would the Lord do that to us?

“God’s idea of good and our idea of good can be two completely different things.”
It suggests that our concept of good is actually better, and that the painful, hard things ‘from God’ will just have to be carried and explained at a later date. It suggests that when we anticipate good things, we’ll actually be unpleasantly surprised most of the time, being shaken to the core, but eventually at peace with the season we’re in.

I was recently giving a particular thing back to the Lord (you know, that whole ‘keep your hands open’ concept) – I was literally flinching as I listed all of the things in my hands that I was deeming the Lord’s.
In the middle of my flinch, the Lord tapped me on the shoulder and said “Hey – you’ve given these things to me like a gazillion times – if I was going to give you bad news, don’t you think I would have done it by now?”

Expecting snakes, receiving fish.
Expecting everything to be ripped from my hands as he whispers “Nope, you can keep that one. You carry it so well. I’m going to make it better than you’ve ever hoped.”

When we surrender, it’s not submitting to a violent stripping – it’s giving Jesus permission to bless us beyond our greatest comprehension.
If you’ve walked through seasons of surrender and felt like you’ve lost everything – know that it’s not the end.

My mom would always make us go through our stuff in the designated ‘toy room’ about a month before Christmas. We HATED getting rid of toys, but as we grew older, we understood that we were only getting rid of things we didn’t use anymore to make room for the things we really desired.

He knows what we really desire, and longs for us to have enough room when he brings perfect gifts our way.

 

PS – A picture of anything but snakes because EWWWW they’re those most terrible things in the world.

giftgift

Storyteller

I’m the girl that has to read the last few pages of a book before I’ll commit to reading it at all.
The story has got to end well. I’m not going to invest all of my time, energy, and emotionalness into a journey that fizzles out at the end.

I remember picking up a Karen Kingsbury book my senior year of high school.
Plot line: A picture perfect family from Florida adopts a little boy and gives him an ideal life. The problem? Biological momma forged the father’s signature on the adoption papers. He’s now out of jail after 4 years AND WANTS HIS SON BACK. Oh God.. 3 chapters in, I frantically flipped to the back of the book to ensure all of the emotion and near heart connection made with the characters would be worth it.

It was, and I finished the book. (I also decided I was NOT going to college to be a social worker, like I had planned to do up to that point.)

I’m ALSO the girl that will ask about the ending of a movie before I watch it (and give movies with bad endings very bad reviews).

 

I can’t google and IMDB my life.. it doesn’t contain pages 239, 240, and 241 that I can quickly take a peek at, just to be sure. (That’s pretty difficult for a girl like me, insistent on happy endings)

There are stories in my life that don’t seem to end well – I’ve been betrayed, heartbroken, let down by leaders… I have unanswered questions and gray seasons that I haven’t made sense of yet.
In new, unknown things, I find myself anxious to be further along than I am, crossing my fingers for things to unfold in a particular way. I need to know it will be worth it – hold my breath until the happy ending.

Here’s the issue – I can spend so much time holding my breath that I skim through a lot of the story instead of soaking in every page. I can get through page 134, disappointed because I have no way of knowing the final outcome. Page 134 might be full of beauty and wonder and adventure, but anxiety will dim all of that pretty quickly if it’s allowed. 

Reading life page by page is scary – there are ups, downs, twists, turns, and no guarantees. BUT we have a promise that it will all be worth it. We have a promise that redemption has the final word, and that every twist and turn will be worked together for our good. Jesus is an incredible storyteller who always finishes what he starts – he won’t quit writing, he won’t give up or get bored with your story. Even the bleak moments have a way of making the finale more wonderful – each defeat is only a stepping stone into greater beauty and promise. 

We have to be brave enough to trust the one writing the story – even if things don’t work out like we planned, they will be bigger, better, soaked in redemption, and always worth it. Sometimes things turn out the way we hope – but we are free to enjoy the ride getting to the outcome instead of just hanging on for dear life in the backseat. We are allowed to loosen our white knuckle grip that wants to control and make things happen. I quit needing to make things happen myself when I believe that he’s making them better than I ever could. 

Let our hearts be strengthened in knowing that we are in the middle of the most beautiful story ever written with the happiest of all endings imaginable. Every detail has been established with so much thought and care, and we are safe to trust the author. If you’re in a low or an unexpected twist, it isn’t the end, it will only enhance the climax of the story when everything comes together seamlessly. 

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Gentleness

My name is Hannah Riggin and on this very Sunday, I run the high risk of sounding like a broken record (just needed to prepare you, world wide web). 

Contrary to my ambitious hopes and ridiculously high expectations, I AM IN PROCESS. I persuade my heart quite regularly that there will come a day when I reach a certain level of immunity to life. You know, where you have your stuff together 75% of the time and don’t have those internal tornado freak out moments but once in a blue moon. Oh, what a day that would be.
But you know, I’m starting to believe this magical place doesn’t actually exist.

I am in process and many details of it are not exactly appropriate to blog about. Believe me, it’s made blogging weekly similar to pulling teeth because I think “What’s going on in my heart and mind? A TON. A whole heck of a ton that I have shared with very few people; you know, it would probably not be wise to shout that information from the rooftops via internet. Not wise at all.” So I value you, fellow web surfers, and if anyone loves vulnerability, it’s me – but there’s a fine line between vulnerability and indecent exposure.

Here’s what I’m learning though, that won’t cause damage upon being shared; I am the QUICKEST person in the world to heap condemnation all over myself. I get frustrated with people and then I think “WHAT ARE YOU DOING? The old Hannah would have been patient and assumed the best about everyone.” Shoot. You’re right – how do I get her back? I want to do that, really I do – I want to love deeply and be a safe person and give God my everything and feel connected to him day and night. I want to confidently know who I am and quit trying to prove myself. I want Heaven’s smile to be enough and QUIT FREAKING WORRYING about how people perceive me or what kind of stupid idiot I appear to be in their eyes. I want to trust again and quit anticipating disappointment. I want to be free from burnout and unravel all of the caution tape I have wrapped around places where I’ve had bad experiences. 

And ALL I see is how I don’t measure up – how far I am from being even remotely on top of my game. All I feel is tons of pressure to get better, and get better fast because no one likes a hot mess.
I’m the first born sibling in my family, and according to psychology, I default, by nature, into ‘hero’ mode.
Let me fix everything and have all of the answers and save the day because I’M SO GOOD AT IT, SEE? 
But the stack of ‘To-Dos’ on how not to suck as a human being grows higher by the minute and my ability to ‘to-do’ them diminishes quickly.

 

Guys; JESUS IS SO GENTLE. I took a ton of junk to him on Saturday, very much expecting him to tell me several things I didn’t want to hear. “This is an idol, this is a wrong thinking pattern, here’s where you’re ungrateful, over here is where you just need to spend a hefty amount of time repenting and hope real hard that your heart will feel different afterward.”

He’s always better than we think. He’s always interested in loving and not in the business of fixing us. He sees the brokenness behind our motives and the heart behind our well meaning actions. 

“I’m not worried about you. I cut you so much more slack than you anticipate. There’s so much more grace available than what you see. I know your history – I don’t expect you to be handling things any better than you are right now. It’s brave to believe in my gentleness. You will not be put to shame for believing in my gentleness. I love explaining things to you and watching you understand. The safety net is bigger than you expect – I’m not frustrated or tired of waiting. I’m really good at waiting. It’s not hard to love you.”

“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Matthew 11:29

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