The Hammer and the Wall

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Sometimes, I'm brave enough to write in this sweet little space. 
More recently I haven't been. I've taken note of the fact that I haven't written anything since the first week of this month. I can put it on being too busy. I could go on and on to say that I just have so much happening in my life that I've put off writing. 

But the reality is this...I've been keeping my heart locked up very, very tight. 

God has been working on me this month. 
He's been prompting at me to start chiseling away at the awfully high, incredibly thick walls I've built up inside myself. 

I've been learning about "listening prayers". Learning that prayer is a dialogue. That you can ask God very specific questions, and allow him to bring very specific thoughts or visions to mind. 
It can be really uncomfortable. And I still haven't been able to figure out which "answers" are from God, or if they are just my own thoughts. And sometimes I get nothing at all. And that's the worst feeling. The desire to hear from Him is there. Oh, I want so much for Him to completely invade every hidden space in my heart! But for Him to do that, the wall has to come down. As in...all the way down. 

The image in my mind lately has been God taking a small hammer that pretty much looks like this...

...and tap, tap, tapping gently on an ugly looking grey brick wall. 
And that's when I cry and say, "No! Stop! Please! Even cracking it open a little is too much! It's painful...and I can't do painful." The hammer keeps tapping, and I keep screaming. And finally, I see myself pulling the hammer away. And then the whole image disappears. Because I stopped it. 
That is, until it starts over again later. 

Knowing how much just a little "tap" can hurt, I can't imagine being able to withstand a complete and total shatter.'s a decision...a decision to trust God to shatter me, but then not leave me alone there. It's a decision to believe that unblocking my hidden heart is not going to be the end of me, but the beginning of a new life! It's choosing to remember that no matter how inevitably painful the process is, the freedom that comes with it will be worth it. 

If it changes my whole life forever, and I find myself in a mess of a million pieces, only God can piece it all together, in beautiful and brand new way!

Trust, Trust, Trust...
Believe, Believe, Believe...
Those words again. The kind of choice where you're either all in, or your not. 

Even in the midst of writing this post, I can see the hammer tapping away again. 

Maybe someday I'll be brave enough to not pull it away anymore. 

Letters to my Past Self

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

I got the idea for this post from Tabitha over at Arbitrary Scrawling...and thought it would be perfect for my Day 2 of #NationalLetterWritingMonth. 
{I could spend HOURS on this girl's blog!! She writes so beautifully and eloquently about so many things that I identify so well with! She is my inspiration for a lot of things, and I hope someday we can be friends for real!}

I have never done anything like this before. I kind of wish I could go back and read these letters to my past self. It would have been so great if someone could have told me these things at all of these ages! And if I ever have a daughter {and I really hope I do someday!} I am going to MAKE SURE she knows all of this, right from the start!

To Emily at Age 4

You are on your way to such a fun life on the stage! You have every single word of "The Wizard of Oz" and "Beauty and the Beast" memorized! Along with all of the songs from every Disney movie ever! {Thank you Disney Sing-A-Long videos!} This talent is really going to come in handy when you get bigger and start doing theatre and singing! Memorizing lines and music is going to be a snap for you!  

You are such a lovey-dovey little girl! Everyone at church loves you! You are the Pastor's Little Girl, and all of the grown-ups think you are the cutest thing...and of course you love that! Because all you ever want is to wear dresses that twirl, bows in your hair, and for everyone to tell you how pretty you look!

But your also a very safe and cautious child. Mom is going to try and put you in gymnastics, but you're only going to like the parts where you get to stay safe on the floor. Your teacher is going to put you up on the balance beam and tell you to put your arms out to the side. She'll say, "It's okay, I've got you!" But still you won't do it because you don't really trust that she is going to keep holding you. You'll keep your hands on hers just to be sure. Oh, Emily, trust your teachers! They are not going to let you fall! They are there to help you learn. Little do you know, you are going to struggle with trust your whole life...and you are always going to be afraid of falling. Overcome your fear NOW!

Future Emily

To Emily at Age 10

Grown-ups still love you. Your teachers over the past few years have loved you. You love learning, and you do so well in school! But other have had a very hard time connecting with them, haven't you? You've spent a lot of time playing by yourself.

See, you are a "self-sabotager". You won't understand this until many years later, but the reason you keep making, and then losing, friends is because you don't really feel that you are worthy of having a friend. You can really become bossy and controlling with the other girls because, even at your young age, you are afraid of losing control. You are already so sure that other people aren't going to like you, so you give them a REASON to not like you. I know. It doesn't make much sense does it?

And you're still afraid of falling. You won't try anything new. You won't jump on the trampoline or a bouncy house if someone else is on it. You won't climb anything that's too high off the ground. You won't go tubing on the lake with your cousins. Even while watching everyone else have so much fun doing these things, it doesn't matter to you. Because you're so sure it'll be too scary and you'll fall and get hurt. And as a result, other kids are going to think you aren't any fun.

You have bad anxiety, you will always have it, and it's okay! It's not your fault. People aren't going to understand why you do the things you do, and it's always going to seem like everyone just leaves you, but it's going to be okay! The people who matter will understand and help you through everything that feels too hard or too scary for you. And after a long while, you'll have real and genuine people in your life, that are truly going to stick around for the long haul, and see you through a lot of stuff!

Future Emily

To Emily at age 16

You know what makes you come alive. You know that dancing, singing, musical theatre, and show choir makes your world go round...but it's all so temporary. After the performances end, you feel like life is over for awhile, until the next thing starts.

School seems so pointless to you most of the time, and things are very, very hard for you there. Your brain doesn't function the same way as the other students, so you can't learn the way everyone expects you to. The problem is, your anxiety is so bad that you convince yourself that you won't be able to do it anyways, so why even try? Then you get angry with yourself, and you feel worse. Oh it's a viscious cycle that you'll be stuck in for a long time.

You like {most of} your teachers, and they seem to like you...although I think some of them think you can be kind of dramatic and needy. Which is certainly true to an DO need reaffirmation right now. Your worth comes from being accepted by those around you...but especially adults. The fact is you ARE more mature than other people your age, but you need the adults in your life to know that. And it's because you can't connect with people your age. But it's okay...because you're on a higher emotional plane than they are, and they can't stand it.

And this year, you are going to have major surgery that is going to change your life forever. It's going to take away any possibility of having a career in ballet. But you're going to look back and see that God had a bigger plan for you! You are going to instill the love of dance into your OWN students, and watch THEM excel! And teaching them is going to make you come alive more than anything else ever did! Now I know you're afraid you'll come through the surgery, but never be able to dance again AT ALL...but let me assure you that's a fear you don't need to have! You are going to find the world's greatest adult ballet class, with the world's greatest teacher, and make new friends that are going to enhance your life more than you could even imagine!

You're 16. You're so insecure. You question every little thing. But God's GOT YOU!

Future Emily

This was a really fun process!
I highly suggest trying this yourself at some point! It is surprisingly therapeutic!

A Letter to My Readers || #NationalLetterWritingMonth

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

My dear readers,

This is a letter to say, first of all, thank you for reading my blog.

I all too often question if I am a good writer, or if what I have to share is really worth sharing at all. It's a confidence issue, I know, and confidence is something that I sorely lack in so many areas of my life. But I always appreciate it so much when people tell me how much they enjoy reading my posts. It gives me a BOOST of confidence...and I am grateful for YOU!

I have to confess, I will spend a good chunk of time working on a new post...but then sometimes I will hover my mouse over the publish button, uncertain of whether or not I am brave enough to actually share. I think, This is stupid. No one is going to read this. Not worth it.

And then, yes, I proceed to delete my entire post.

But I have been learning and discovering lately that my heart MATTERS! What I have to say is from the Lord, and it MATTERS!  Choosing to share pieces of my heart, my life experience, my opinions and values, my interests...none of it is is BEAUTIFUL!!

Now I can't say that this truth has penetrated quite yet. But God is working on me. I've had some high, thick walls up for quite some time, and I'm praying that God will give me the desire to break. them. down. It's been a difficult process, but I have taken a step by making the choice to no longer fear hitting the publish button.

And now, I want to encourage you...

I want to tell you that YOUR heart matters too!!

Please, don't ever be afraid to share who you are. God created you as YOU, and wired you in a certain way ON PURPOSE! And it truly is beautiful! Shake off the fear. Pursue your passions. Let your voice be heard! And above all, make the conscious decision to TRUST GOD to guide you. Let Him invade every space in your heart that you hide from the world...because, let's face it, you really can't hide anything from Him. Allow Him to heal your brokenness. Because apart from Him, you can do nothing.

It's such a scary thing to do! I can attest to that right now! It's been hard for me to even say, "Lord, just crack my heart open a little bit more. That's all." I can't even tell you how many things are going to come spilling out if I do! And you might feel the same way. But I'd like to think that it will be worth it. That God has a lot more to offer than anything we are afraid of!

Join me, and let's run to God together!

Again, thank you for reading my blog! And I hope you'll keep coming back!