Change

It’s strange when you can feel a change. A shift in the wind, a breeze coming in after a silent motionless heat, a glass of cold refreshing water after lying in the desert.

But, what about a different kind of change. Sending you inward to the depths of yourself. Forcing you to become aware of who you are and what you are made of. Placing you in a frightening, uncomfortable and uncertain position.

I have never felt heavier, yet I feel so light. The meaningless things that used to pull me down have let go. The things that would set me on fire in all the wrong ways have dwindled and it seems there has been a new flame in its place.

This flame holds a promise of new things to come. Growth. Progress. Moving on and understanding why I was who I was up until now.

But, I am heavy with the burdens of this world. The sadness that comes from watching those you love suffer in what seems like never-ending pain.

The hurt that comes from watching kids your brother’s age getting shot in a place that is meant to help them grow and shape into leaders and change-makers.

It’s the heartache that burns when you’re far from the ones you love. The distance feeling like more than miles.

Watching people you love who deserve more than the pain they have to endure.

These things start this new flame. This burning sensation in my chest that encourages me to change. To not stay the same. To feel these things but eagerly search for solutions and ways to support. To let my heart be broken for these things but not my spirit. Not my will to fight for something better. If not for me, then for those around me.

Change is always occurring whether we notice it or not. Whether we like it or not. But when you can recognize it, it’s a beautiful piece added to the puzzle of your life.

 

 

Las Vegas: “You’re in my prayers”… Are They?

 

Everyone is talking about the Las Vegas shooting and it brings up some hard questions.

It leads me to ask “where is God in the midst of all this pain?”

“What is he planning and why does he allow this to happen?”

“How can I even pray about something I feel I have no power over?”

I believe these questions are necessary, even encouraged. The disciples asked questions such as these and we are free to do the same.

However, asking the questions doesn’t make it any easier. This is still something hard to handle, deal with, and understand.

I, unfortunately, sometimes find myself avoiding the topic altogether. I become overwhelmed or I feel a lack of means or authority to say anything.

One thing I do how to do it pray. But not the typical “you’re in my prayers” or “I’ll pray about that” kind of prayer.

Events such as these, make me realize how little meaning those statements can carry. And I say that because I myself, neglect those words.

A devastating event like this (or hurricane Harvey or Maria)calls for more than just a quick prayer to ease your conscious or to check it off your list. This is something that affects so many people today and will continue to do so.

This is something a new generation will read in their textbooks. This is something that will be remembered annually. Something many will mourn for longer than a minute.

So it deserves more than a couple seconds of prayer.

Let this be a reminder of how we care for people and our broken world. Let it also be a reminder to take into consideration the meaning of “you’re in my prayers.”

While I am aware that there are people out there who are magnificent at this, I know there are people like myself who needed a new perspective and a little tug on the heart from God to recognize this.

So, with all that said, I hope you’ll join me in asking these hard questions. But also, in praying consistently, deeply, and with meaning as our country grieves.

Until next time,

Aubree

(God, I pray for whoever reads this that You use these words for their good and for their needs specifically. And that anything I might have said that does not align with Your Words and beliefs that You change it so that it does.)

Long Distance Can Be Good Distance

For anyone who has ever been in a long distance relationship, kudos to you. It’s a daunting thing honestly. A lot of people may not recommend it. Some will say it never works. But for me, I say everyone should go through it at least once.

What on earth would make me say that? If you had asked me that freshman year of college I would have laughed in your face. However, experience has given me a new perspective on it.

To fill you in, me and my boyfriend (A.K.A best friend) have been doing this long distance thing for almost three years now. He’s kind of my favorite person ever and deciding to be a state away from him for 9 months out of the year was incredibly hard. BUT. Here are a few reasons why it has been so so good for our relationship:

Long distance? How can that be “good”?

1.) You HAVE to meet people:

As an introvert, if I had gone to school with my boyfriend, I would have never met the amazing people I have. I was forced to put myself out there which -while it was painful at first- was one of the greatest things ever.

2.) You grow on your own:

I found that it was hard to watch him doing his own thing in Michigan, but it also has allowed both of us to grow apart… and not in a bad way. Individually, we have learned to rely on ourselves and God, away from each other. A little bit of space can’t hurt.

2.1) You grow together:

Yes, you grow on your own, but you also get to grow together. You have to learn how to continue to involve the other in your life despite the miles in between.

3.) You learn how to communicate… Wait what’s that?

Communication is so hard in general. However, you learn real quick how crucial it is to keep each other sane and honestly, together. At first, it’s so difficult. Texting can only go so far ladies and gents. You have to commit to Skype dates and phone calls, and scheduling time to actually be together. Oh and boys, you better learn girl code real quick.

Example:  “I’m fine”: NOT OKAY. RED FLAG. ( Learn to speak this unspeakable, inconsistent language and you’ll be set!)

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You really have to try. You have to put effort into asking how his or her day was, what his or her classes were like. Are they stressed? What triggers that and what can you do to help since you cannot be there in person.

4.) You learn where your identity comes from:

As a believer, I have found that my identity is not in our relationship or in each other. Yes, it’s a significant part of who I am but it’s not everything. This has been so hard to grasp. But, God definitely finds a way to show both of us who should really be at the center of everything.

Saying you put God first is one thing, doing it is entirely different. And it’s SO difficult. I can admit I’m NOT perfect at it. But, the encouraging part is that He is always willing to help. He’s always full of mercy and grace. He’s always there to nudge and help straighten out priorities to put Him at the top of the list.

This is probably the most challenging lesson to learn, sometimes the most frustrating too. It’s hard to balance the two and sometimes you- I- do a really poor job. But, it’s just like anything else in life; you have to get back up and try again. You have to count on each other to point the relationship and one another to The One who holds it all in His hands.

Many times I get discouraged and wonder what God really wants from me. I think I am doing everything wrong and I don’t deserve this relationship. But he says differently. He continually reminds me He is on my side. He’s on our side, working with us and in us to make this relationship even better.

While it’s a challenge, so much good can come from it. I think I can speak for my boyfriend when I say it has all been worth it. ( I guess I’ll find out real soon if he disagrees…)

 

Until next time,

Aubree

(God, I pray for whoever reads this that You use these words for their good and for their needs specifically. And that anything I might have said that does not align with Your Words and beliefs that You change it so that it does.)