Wednesday, December 31, 2014


   I used to be afraid of the new year. A new year meant change. And change was something I just didn't do. It would only remind me that "life was passing by" and "I was growing up." But I think it was last year where I decided I wasn't going to do that anymore. Instead, I developed a new perspective. I began to think of how incredible it was that God had granted me another year of life. I don't deserve to live this amazing life, but God blessed me with it, and for that I am eternally grateful.

   Now, I hadn't even planned on doing a new years post but last night I was thinking about all the things I did in 2014 and I realized that this was a great year for me. I have grown so much; more than I have in a long, long time. So I wanted to share with you all the things that happened or things I did in 2014; both good and bad. Now without further ado, here is my list.

   -Dyed my whole head of hair purple/black
   -Shaved my head
   -Got diagnosed with lupus
   -Reached my goal of reading 50 books. (I actually read 57.)
   -Completed my second year of NaNoWriMo
   -Felt like I belonged at camp for the first time
   -Went on a life changing missions trip
   -Went to Warped Tour for the first time
   -Lived 7 months without my best friend (although she gets back in 10 days so I haven't actually done that yet.)
   -Overcame my shyness
   -Turned 18
   -Met 2 internet friends
   -Sold 30 RAIM shirts
   -Found joy
   -Started eating better
   -Dyed my whole head of hair pink

   This year started off really rough for me honestly. I was re-reading my journal of this year and I remember how sucky it was at the beginning. But things started to turn around after I shaved my head. I think that was when I had my Shift. That was the day I became myself. I look back on that and I see why God wanted me to do it. Its so weird how doing something like changing your hair can make such a difference. For me, it really did change everything. One thing I've been doing recently is editing pictures of myself where I put two of them side by side to compare them. Well, I found pictures of me from last year and me from this year, and me in 2013 vs. me in 2014. And its interesting how I associate the long blonde hair with sadness and no hair/short hair with joy. Because me at the beginning of the year I was insecure about how I looked, struggling with shyness, and trying to deal with the fact that this guy who I had considered one of my closest friends wasn't talking to me anymore. I was dealing with nightmares more than I ever had my entire life, as well as intense fear issues. Me now? Now I have found healing and joy and happiness. I love myself and I respect that boy enough to know it wasn't God's plan for us. I have moments of fear, but I can fight it. I now know that if I need to leave a room because its become too triggering, its not a sign of weakness. It's a sign that I respect myself enough to know I shouldn't put myself through agony like I used to.

   I did so much this year and I'm looking forward to 2015. I'm not big on resolutions really, but I do like to remind myself of my life goals. I always take time to re-evaluate and see if I'm where God wants me to be. I am still growing and working on becoming a stronger woman of God; and I know that's not something I can do in a year. But I'm looking forward to it nonetheless.

   Thank you guys for sticking with me after all this time. When I started this blog, I wasn't intending on it becoming such a big part of me or even having any followers. You guys have blown me away and make me feel so loved. Thank you for being a part of my story. I struggled a bit with feeling like I shouldn't blog anymore, but I always remembered you guys and well.I'm still on here because of it. I want to do something for you guys when I reach 100 followers....just a heads up. But yeah, THANK YOU! Here is to another insane year of learning and growing and writing and living. In the coming year I'm looking forward to hugging my best friend (which I haven't done since June,) getting a DSLR and growing in my photography, re-writing my NaNoWriMo, going to college (also petrified for that...) and simply enjoying all that God has to offer. I would encourage you to do the same. Life is so freaking beautiful you guys. Soak it up.

   Happy New Year!

   What are your new years resolutions? How have you grown in the last year and how are you looking forward to growing further?

(My year in a song.)

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Confessions Of A Teenage, Part Time Mom

   I can't think of a clever way to start this post seeing as I haven't finished my coffee yet and its still early in the morning, so I suppose I should just jump right into it and explain the title. No, I don't actually have any kids, but I do babysit my 7 younger siblings 75% of the time. See, my mom is a single mom. She's got 9 kids (one who's away at college most of the time.) and she works at Pier 1 Imports; not the best job in the world but she gets nice discounts to fuel her candle obsession, so at least the house smells nice. Today she has orientation for a second job, and she's also thinking of going back to school. That's right, she's also a web designer and HTML expert. (You would think my blog would look nicer. Nope.) So it's not ideal; since my mom never wanted a job, but when my dad left in 2012, she had no choice. Now, this isn't supposed to be a sob story. I'm just simply stating the facts. My family got placed in a weird situation. Even with my mom working 20 something hours a week, its not even enough to pay bills and make ends meet. Hence, the second job.

   With that being said, watching that amount of kids so often is hard work. I have to take over for my mom when she's gone. This means staying on top of house work, making sure the kids don't kill each other, disciplining them, helping them with homework, clean up Ryne's pee when he goes on the floor because he isn't fully potty trained yet, make all the food, and the list goes on and on and on. And that's not even the stuff on my to do list. Because after all that I need to do my school, send packages for a woman at my church who runs an Ebay/Amazon shop, clean my room, have bible time, and read whatever book I've currently got my hands on. So if I hear one more person say "you're homeschooled! You're not that busy!" I will flip.

   So being a part time mom at my age is pretty difficult, especially when my siblings still see me as Faith Their Older Sister and not Faith The One Who Will Ground You If You Disobey. They have a habit of not taking my authority seriously. There are times when I just want to make them stay in their beds all day so I can sleep or scream at them because they just can't get the concept of "we don't hit" through their heads. I almost lose it when Izzy's diaper has exploded or Lois is demanding that someone play Barbie's with her or when the front room still isn't clean after I told Anakin to do it a million and one times or when Gordon gives me his sass and can't seem to stay focused on school. There are times my veins bulge out of my neck and my already scratchy voice rides on the edge of disappearing altogether.

   But there are good days as well. Like when Noah makes a bottle for Izzy or Gordon asks if I need help or Anakin gets his school work done before I'm even awake or Lois and Ryne get along perfectly. There are nights like last night. Nights where no one yells and we all eat together and everyone actually eats the dinner I made and then I attempt to make popcorn over the stovetop but burn it so we end up making a few bags of it in the microwave and sit on the mattress we have in our living room because we don't own a couch and just watch Star Wars. Those are good days. I try to make every day like that. It takes a lot of effort to stay calm when your house look like a tornado shot through it and you can't clean it alone because while yes, you live here, you don't know where the kids toys belong. I find myself wanting to hide in my room and forget my responsibilities or get really angry at my dad who put me in this next to impossible situation. But we always make it through.

   I need to remember that I can't expect myself to be a perfect mom or perfect babysitter or perfect big sister. I'm only human and heck, I'm only a teenager. It's a learning process. Experienced mom's have trouble with this sort of thing; I shouldn't expect to have a perfect day every day. If there is one thing I've learned through this, its that sometimes we get huge burdens; sometimes its unfair that they were given to us, but that doesn't mean we should give up. The world might think us too weak to carry it, but God knows we can do it. He would never give us something we weren't strong enough to deal with. And while we may be too weak in of ourselves, He is stronger and He is in us. And the best part of this is, at the end of the day I get to go back to being just regular Big Sister Faith. Plus at this rate, by the time I'm a mom for real, I'll already be a pro. You're welcome Future Husband.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Things I Learned From NaNoWrMo

   Hello people of the bloggersphere! I have returned from my month long adventure that was NaNoWriMo. I have been tweeting my journey (@geek4God66) so those of you that follow me there know that I did indeed win this year. Yay! It was so different from my first time. I wasn't able to write at the same time as my sister this go round due to our second laptop breaking a week before November 1st. That lead to some serious complications that almost made Dayle unable to win. Luckily, she worked hard and was able to pull it off. It was a hard journey; one that also seemed to go by really fast actually. I learned a lot from this month and doing this writing challenge. I'm not as pleased with my novel as I would have liked, but that is my own fault; see, I hadn't seriously written like that since the beginning of summer, and it showed. The last story I worked on was my NaNoWriMo from 2013. Needless to say, my writing sucked. 

   But I didn't let my sucky writing stop me. I persevered and it seemed to pay off. Although technically, I'm not done with my novel yet. I learned a lot this year about myself and writing in a general, and I wanted to share a couple of those things with you. So without further ado, the things I learned from NaNoWriMo.

   1. To write is to be vulnerable. 
   This lesson became very apparent to me early on in the month. There would be times I wasn't sure if I could write a particular scene because it made me feel I felt like I was open for all to see, and that scared me. It's weird because I've always encouraged others to be honest and to not hide, and to be especially bold in sharing your story; but in writing Forlorn Hope, I realized how hard that actually was. To write is to open up your heart and soul; to pour your thoughts and feelings into writing that another human can read, inviting them to share experiences with you. There's something profound about that; something beautiful.

   2. To write is to be brave.
   The second thing I learned is much like the first. I had too quotes that really helped me through this month. One was by Ernest Hemmingway; he said "write hard and clear about what hurts." And the second, by Joss Whedon; "I write to give myself strength. I write to be the characters I am not. I write to explore all the things that I'm afraid of."
This year, I wrote about a lot of scary things. There were times I wanted to shy away from the things that scared me or might scare others; but those quotes reminded me that when I wrote, I had a chance to be brave and stand up to my fears. There were things that hurt and scared me, and a way I could get rid of them was to write them out. I was able to do that this year. 

   3. I love to write
   Sadly, I had forgotten how much I love writing. I love telling stories via paper and pen. (figuratively I suppose...) I really suck at speaking, and writing has always seemed to give me a voice that I never had before. I have missed that.

   4. Writing was my calling
   People write for any number of reasons; but I feel like there are writers whom God has called to write. Maybe you're one of them. I know I am. I didn't know God was telling me to tell this story until November started. I don't know if God ever intends for me to be published or to be a "real author." But I know He told me to get this story out of my head and into real words. Maybe He wants others to read it. I don't know. My point is, maybe He's told you to do the same. Each of us knows things that someone else is oblivious to. We've had experiences or thoughts that differentiate us from one another; so our mind and way we perceive things is unique. We shouldn't be ashamed to speak of our experiences. Maybe you know something that God wants to tell someone else. You words could make all the difference in someone else's life. 
Either way, I felt like God wanted me to share that story, whatever that may take me. 

   I meant for this post to be longer but I'm exhausted and its late. I really should be in bed. So I'll leave it at that. How was NaNoWriMo for all you readers who took on the challenge? What did you learn from it? 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

NaNoWriMo And Other Nonsense

   The last time I blogged was October 16th.

   I keep meaning to but then my mind gets caught in all this overthinking with thoughts that range from "No one cares that you're writing a novel in a month" and "blogging is selfish and you should just delete yours." This is the first time I've ever gotten such thoughts and they're a bit...overwhelming, to say the least. However, it's almost midnight and I can't sleep and I already reached my word count for the day so I supposed I should give some sort of update or whatever.

   Well, let's see; I've had a lot on my plate since I last blogged. I've had a lot of questions and inspiration and realizations that I will save for a later time. For now, just know that I've had a lot swirling around in my little head.

   But the biggest thing has been NaNoWriMo! I had been super stoked for months before November and I think I started prepping in September, unlike last year where two weeks before the first of November I decided to do it. I've had this little plot bunny bugging me for months. I think it started at the end of summer. I have never felt this way about a story before and I want to talk a bit about that and share things involving this aspect of my life.

   See, I had almost forgotten how much I love writing and how much writing means to me. I love telling stories, and I almost forgot how. This was proven when I started writing this years novel and it was just total crap. I literally had forgotten how to write due to lack of consistency. The last time I wrote a story was in July, I think. Really, that's just sad. But being back at it again feels wonderful!

   I'm going to try not to give away anything and leave room for personal interpretation, since its always a temptation of mine to fully explain myself, as you must know, but I do want to say that this years novel is one that is very dear to me. As I'm 11 days into NaNo I realized that I've never been so vulnerable in my writing before. I have never felt like I had a real story to tell until this one came around. Everything about it's beautiful. I keep praying that God would be glorified; that in some way He would use my silly little self to speak truth and reveal things to others. That's all I've ever wanted to do and for the first time I feel particularly drawn to let this story out. God must have something interesting in mind for this novel. What that means, I have no idea.

   I meant to write more than this but now that I've started I realize that's all I really have to say. Drop me a comment and let me know how you're doing! I love hearing from you. Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? How are you doing and what's your story about? (Also, add me on the NNWM site! My name is Faitherz!)

   In closing, I hope you enjoyed my tiny update, and I'll leave you with the opening prologue of my novel, Forlorn Hope. Let me know what you think. If you want to read the synopsis, it's on my NaNoWriMo page.

"Yes, I am a Christian.
I’m sure you’ve already made a bunch of preconceptions about me. I’m sure it goes something like this: She’s got long blonde hair, only wears skirts, carries a bible around like it’s an IPhone, and thinks the word “sex” in of itself is one of the seven deadly sins. But I’m here to tell you that’s all false. First of all, I’m a ginger. Second of all, the only time I wear skirts is with my ripped jeans. Thirdly, okay, I love my bible but I mostly keep it in my messenger bag so I suppose that one’s partly true. But lastly, God created sex for crying out loud.
Other than that, yeah I suppose you could say my life was pretty stereotypical. I grew up in a family that was at church so much we should have had a drawer there, I got saved at four years old at VBS, and I memorize chapters of Scripture at a time. My family is actively involved in the youth ministry and my brother goes to seminary. The fact of Jesus was pretty normal for me.
I know you probably think that the Christian life is an easy one. In church it’s made out to be all happy-go-lucky all the time and they talk about God like He’s a genie who can magically take away all your problems. I know this is the case because this was the idea I had about God. From the get-go I thought that once you “got saved” (that’s Christian slang for believe in Jesus.) then your life would be perfect. After all, I had nothing in my life that would have told me otherwise. Sure we would talk about struggles and trials, but the biggest thing I ever dealt with was a math test.
But that’s not what the Christian life is. In fact, that’s the opposite of what it is. To be a Christian is to live a hard life. When we think of hard we think some-girl-gossiped-about-me hard. When in reality…it’s beyond all our wildest nightmare could concoct. Right now, I want you to throw all your ideas and bias’ about Christianity out the window because everything you think you know is a lie. Sorry to burst your bubble, but God isn’t a God of comfort. 
Now, I like to think that if I had known beforehand the turn my life was going to take when I was a senior in high school, that I would have accepted my burden and said “For Christ, I will do anything!” But looking back on all the horror I dealt with and all the sacrifices and pain, I know I wouldn’t have said that. If I’m totally honest with myself, had I know about all this stuff I’m about to tell you,  I would have looked at God straight on, then run as fast I could in the opposite direction."

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Search

   I once knew someone who would get very unnerved about nothing in particular. She had odd quirks and strange habits, and no one quite knew why. She was incredibly spontaneous and I often feared that one day she would leave and never come back without as much as a farewell. She would walk around as if she had lost something; her eyes ever shifting from one place to another.

   Every day she would leave her house and just walk. Her favorite destination was the library. She would go there and browse through the books with her glasses on and eyes squinted. She searched with purpose, like she was trying to find a specific book without knowing its call number. Each day she tackled a different section of the library. She would spend hours a day opening and closing books, taking books off shelves and putting them back on; pouring over the contents of her choice of works.

   I often speculated about what she could be looking for, but in reality, I don't think she knew herself. She knew, however, that once she found it, she would know it.

   She didn't just search the library. No. This was a daily endeavor. Everywhere she went, she searched for this thing of hers that was missing. She never seemed fully present, because her mind was far off, lost in thought. What thoughts consumed her mind, I couldn't tell you. One can only guess the workings of my dear friend's mind. Maybe she was thinking over evidence that she had acquired or musing about new places to explore. Whatever she was thinking of, she never stopped. I wondered if she even slept at night with all the thinking she did. How could one driven by such purpose, put it all on hold and merely sleep? I do not know.

   But she would walk. And think. And search.

   Some days she would walk alone in the city, staring at buildings and watching cars drive by. Sometimes it would look as if she had found this thing she was looking for. She would stop everything she was doing when something would catch her eye and she would just stare. In those moments, I wondered what she was seeing. Because to me, it would look like she was staring at an every day object, but I knew that couldn't be what she saw, because her eyes would get wide and her pulse would quicken and her face shown with a sense of awe. And then just like that the moment would be over, and she would continue whatever it was she had been doing prior.

   Another favorite place of hers was the old steeple on the corner of the street. They always left their doors open, maybe for wanderers like her. She would go there and just look. She would examine the wooden cross in the sanctuary and the bibles in each pew. She would rummage through their supplies and storage and book selections. She went into that old church so often you would have thought she had seen every last inch of it. But she never ceased to look.

   I asked her once what it was she was searching ever so vigorously for, and she merely smiled at me and said "If only I knew."

   It's been three months since my friend passed away. I was angry over the situation for a while. It wasn't fair that she had searched her whole life, day and night, for something she wasn't destined to find. I felt angry for her that she had gone through life so unaware, like she had somehow been cheated. But looking back on her life I realized for the first time that she had lived a fuller life than anyone else I knew. She searched in wonder and amazement. Her eyes lit up at every sight like she was starstruck. Because of her wanderings, she was keen to understand things; she studied things in life most people take for granted. In those moments where her eyes got filled with wonder, I realized, were times she found traces of what she was looking for. Those moments brought her a happiness no one around her could comprehend.

   Yet in her dying days, laying in a hospital bed, body plagued with cancer, was when I saw her the happiest. I decided to ask her one last question. In the past, I knew, she had never answered any one before, but I might never get another chance.

   "Why now, are you happier than all other times I have ever seen you?" I asked, hardly expecting an answer from my odd, dying friend.

   Her lips curled into a familiar smile and her eyes lit up one last time with the childlike bewilderment that I admired so much in her. "Soon," she said. "I will find what I had been looking for."

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

To The Wallflowers

(Image from Google)

   You're my favorite kind of person.


   You think no one notices you when you stand off to the side, or how you don't speak often, or how you don't come to every social gathering. You're shy. Introverted. Maybe even a little bit afraid. 

   You've heard it all before. You know exactly what I'm talking about. 
   "Why don't you talk more?"
   "Why do you sit alone?"
   "Are you depressed?"
   "Talking isn't that hard."
   And I won't even start on the countless jokes and snarky comments people probably make about you. You've heard every single one. People think they're being funny or original, but they aren't. They're being insensitive and being a copy.  I'm so sorry for those people. I'm sorry that they don't understand.

   I know how they all see you. They think of some sad person who hates humanity and is utterly heartless and just would rather be alone; and maybe there are times you start to believe those things for yourself. But I see you as so much more. You're so beautiful. You have such a big heart and you feel everything so deeply. You understand things that not many others do. You might think there's something wrong with you, but its not wrong; it's right.

   You sit alone because the crowd has neglected you. You're different, and thus, you've been outcast. You sit on the sidelines of every activity or gathering, oftentimes staring longingly at the people who seem to be getting along just fine without you. You never think to join them because, well, what's the point? They don't notice you anyway. 

   You think thoughts like these.
   They don't need me.
   They're happy now, I would just ruin things.
   I wish I wasn't so awkward

   Loneliness is a constant state, but deep inside, you want to be loved. You want someone to notice you and make you feel important. You long for someone to care for you and listen to your soft voice. Because prior to contrary belief, you have a voice, and more importantly, you have things to say. Your mind is full of unexplored galaxies; endless space filled with thoughts and concepts and visions. You think, because there's no one else to talk to. You're an observer, and your mind is a constant clutter of past experiences and future hopes. But no one would ever know, because they always shut you out. 

   But I want you to know something.

   You are so much more than the jokes people make about you. You're beautiful. You are perfect just as you are. You don't need to speak loudly; simply speak as you feel the need to. Be patient with yourself. But please, dear Wallflower, don't sit back and watch life go by. Go be in the moment. Don't worry about who's watching you or saying whatever about you. Be yourself and don't try to be someone you're not, but let the world experience you. The world needs you. Don't deprive it of its chance. It's only chance. There is only one you and if you spend your whole life sitting on the sidelines, they'll never know how amazing you are.

   Never doubt yourself. You have a unique gift that no one else has. No one can love like you do, no one sees the world the way you do, no one is you except you. I know you sell yourself short; you think you're annoying or ugly or that your opinions aren't valid but I am here to say that they are. Never second guess yourself. 

   You are so very special. Don't fear rejection or criticism. Don't you worry about what people think of you.

   And most of all, thank you for existing. I see you standing alone and I smile with sympathy. I understand.

   I'm a wallflower too.

   I write this because no one ever told me it was okay. I always thought something was wrong with me because I felt things so deep and I hurt when other people hurt and I seemed to be the only one. No one told me it was okay to be shy or okay to feel alone sometimes or okay to listen to sad songs or take black and white photographs. In fact, they made me think those things were wrong. But they're not. They're human. They're okay.

   I want you to know that its okay to feel a lot. It's okay to be sad and sit by yourself and sing sad songs when you're alone and stay in your pajamas all day. Crying is not weakness and to be introverted is not a sickness. You are valid as a human even though you don't speak as much as the others. Please, accept yourself just as you are. Flaws and all. 

   Thank you for being a wallflower. The world needs more people who understand. 

Saturday, September 6, 2014


   This week was my first week of school. It was good. I only had one breakdown, and that was on Friday so I think I did pretty good. Although, I haven't started math yet so we'll see how that goes come Monday. I really do enjoy learning, as long as it doesn't involve numbers. Anyhow, I felt like writing today, since I need to get more practice in before November when I do NaNoWriMo again. Plus all I seem to blog about are heavy topics, so I figured y'all could use a break.

   So here are some things I've been loving/doing this week.

   Restless: This movie was so cute! I squealed way too much while watching it. It's very much like The Fault In Our Stars except....morbid. So basically, I loved it. If you're a fan of really sick love stories, this one is for you.
   Restless is about a guy named Enoch, he crashes funerals for fun and his best friend is the ghost of a kamikaze pilot from Japan.  Then he crashes a memorial and meets a girl named Annabelle who changes everything.

   Some Kind Of Wonderful: Watch.This.Movie. Seriously, I am in love. I just watched it last night and I already want to watch it again. Watts is my spirit animal. While I was in the hospital my nurse saw me watching Pretty In Pink and recommended
this to me, and I need to thank her because this movie was perfection.
   John Hughes does it again with an adorable story about friendship and romance. Keith is an average guy; his best friend's name is Watts; a tomboy who seemingly doesn't care about anything except for her drums, but she secretly harbors feeling for Keith. So when he falls for Amanda, the beautiful, rich girl, it turns into a love triangle that can only end in disaster.

   God's Not Dead: Technically I only watched half of this one, and I liked what I did see. I must admit, it was cheesy as frick. The only parts I really liked were Josh's speeches.
   Josh is a college freshman. In his philosophy class, his professor forces the kids to check off a box on their paper that says "God's dead." However, Josh will have none of that, and instead, he stands up for his beliefs. I didn't see this part of the movie but he gets issued a challenge; he has 3 chances to speak in front of the class to prove God's existence.


   Frankenstein - Mary Shelley: I haven't finished it yet but its so, so good! It was nothing liked I thought it would be like, but its dark and deep and insightful. I can't wait to finish it and maybe write more about it.

   The Great Ones And The General - Ely B. One of the coolest people I know on the internet is writing a book and I got to read what's been written so far and it's golden. I cried actually. It isn't yet finished so if you want to read some snippets of it, check out her blog 'What Can I Say?' or also just send her some encouragement to motivate her to keep going because, trust me, you want this thing published.


   Gone, Gone, Gone - Phillip Phillips
   Best Day Of My Life - American Authors
   Smarter - Eisley
   Everything Has Changed - Taylor Swift ft. Ed Sheeran
   (Look at my sister she's so cute.)
   That's my life right now. Also, Doctor Who. I really love Doctor Who. I've got my first night of youth group tomorrow night and I am a bit nervous. Also, I'm planning to do an event with a bunch of people for Rise Above It Missions next week and I'm nervous and overwhelmed with trying to figure that out.

   And I'm really excited for my NaNoWriMo this year. I actually like the characters. there's going to be real action, and I'm just really excited for it. I'm trying to work out a solid plot which is harder than you might think, but at least I decided on a title. Forlorn Hope. Thoughts? I designed a mediocre book cover so I'll post it closer to November along with a bit about the book. I can't wait to write this! Get ready for a wild book about the supernatural. It will be dark, with plot twists (and probably a lot of plot holes.) and whatever else I decide to throw in there. It's gonna be deep yo.

   Oh, one more thing.

125 days until my best friend returns!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

To The Guy That Broke My Heart

   These past few years have been crazy, right? We've both been through so much. Together, and as individuals. You know as well as anyone that I have never been one for speaking, and that I do better talking in writing. I just wanted to write you one more letter as a letter of closure. I want it to be public, because I want people to learn from it. Because if someone can learn from my pain, it would have all been worth it.

   Its so complicated really; I feel like if you were to tell our story, it would be a lot different than mine. Maybe because you never cared about me the way I cared about you. There were times I would venture to think that I might even love you. But the feeling wasn't mutual. You broke my heart; you led me on, flirted, talked to me every day, earned my trust and affection, and then left me for another girl. In my experience, that's how it always goes. I mean, just a year prior to that my dad had left my mom for another girl. The pain I went through wasn't all attributed to you. But your actions did reopen old wounds.

   I like to think that if we had met at a different time in my life, things would have worked out. When we became friends, I hadn't quite recovered from my dad and his affair yet. I was struggling with my fear problems like never before, I had a ton of insecurities, and that just scratches the surface. Then when you left, everything got worse. I cried so many nights. I only listened to sad songs. I would walk around like I had been broken. Because really, I had been. You made me feel worthless. You made me feel like I wasn't good enough. You made me compare myself to everyone. You made me feel low. But maybe the worst feeling I felt during that time was anger. Not at you, but at God. I felt betrayed by Him because He had told me this was His will and then went back on His word. And if He couldn't be trusted, then I was doomed.

  They say that time heals all wounds, and I can attest to that fact. When you broke my heart, it felt like something I could never recover from. You had been more than a crush to me, you had been my best friend. For a while I even thought I might love you. I didn't know how I could ever love again. I began to fear love. All my life I had only ever experienced heartbreak. It was all I ever thought I would experience. But over time I realized that wasn't true. 

   These past few weeks I've been thinking over one question. 

   Do I still like you?

   That's the question of the hour. See, I've wanted to say no. Someone told me you were on a date the other day, and when they asked how I felt about it, I was shocked when I was able to say I was happy. It was weird. But it made sense. You were happy because you were with someone you care about, she was happy because she got the guy, and I'm happy because you're happy and because I realized that my happiness has nothing to do with you. It took a long time to be able to say that, but I can now. So no. I don't think I like you anymore.

   I had been so afraid to say that for so long. Because what was the point of liking you for so long, just to throw it away? But today, looking back on it all, it was so worth it.

   I wanted to write you this letter to say thank you. We went through a lot together. Thank you for showing me how brave I was, because I wouldn't have known it without you. You saw more in me than I saw in myself. As a friend, you were dedicated. You were always there for me, loyal, and wise. Even when I hurt you, you never ceased to be there for me. You helped me through so much and you taught me more about God than you'll ever know. I find myself quoting you often; word for word or simply lessons you taught me. I have never found someone quite like you, and I doubt that I ever will. It breaks my heart to know how little you see in yourself. But you looked at me, a shy, scared girl, and you told her she was brave and strong and that she was a leader.

   But perhaps the most important lesson I learned came from you leaving. So thank you for breaking my heart. I wouldn't be the young woman I am now had I not gone through that. I had to be broken in order to understand healing. Thank you for the months you never spoke to me; it was during those times that I grew as an individual. I learned a lot about myself. I learned that I don't need another human in order to be happy. I found that I used to be very self conscious of what other people thought of me, but it was after you left that I realized I don't need to be. See, in our friendship you showed me I was beautiful and courageous and had potential; and in your absence you showed me that even when I was alone, those traits remained true.

   I know you didn't really "leave." You simply found someone else. I wanted to tell you that I sincerely hope the best for you. When I said I would pray for you two, I meant it. I also realized that I do love you. But not in the stupid pop culture/romance novel kind of way. But in the 1 Corinthians 13 kind of way. All throughout the past year, God has been showing me how to love. Love is patient. Kind. It isn't arrogant. It doesn't envy. Isn't jealous. It keeps no record of wrongs. It doesn't delight in evil, but delights in truth. There's more, but one last thing I learned about love, is that "love is wanting the best for someone, even if you end up left out." A lot of people would disagree about many of these things, but I know these to be true, because they are things God revealed to me, through scripture as well as among other things. 

   So there it is. How weird would it be if somehow you end up actually reading this? To be honest that would be awkward. But now, I don't worry so much about how others view me. You love who you love, you tell them, and you don't worry about their response. 

   I'm glad you're back to simply being my friend. I hope you enjoy your life and that you fall in love and that she loves you right back. Don't you worry about me. I'm the happiest I've ever been. Somewhere in the world, my future husband is breathing, his heart is beating, and our future is waiting. I don't have to wonder anymore about him, because I trust God's got that all sorted out. I'm just going to keep living and cherishing every moment. You do the same. Life is too short to spend it worrying. 

   One last thing. Remember how I said I felt like God had betrayed me? That He had gone back on His word? That bothered me for a long time. And I finally figured it out. I know why He did it.

   Because God can do whatever the frick He wants. "The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord." (Job 1:21) 

   Thank you for everything. Although our time together was short, and heck, we were never even "together," I am so thankful for our little infinity. I love you.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Missions Trip 2014-Return To Memphis

   This missions trip was so freaking amazing.

   Brace yourselves folks, this is gonna be a long post.

   On Saturday I got back from a week long missions trip to Memphis, Tennessee. Honestly, it was probably my favorite trip so far. We worked with a local church in the "ghetto" and helped them clean up the place, and then later in the week we worked in the community. From day one I knew it was going to be a great week; we only did a small devotional since it was a twelve hour car ride and we were all exhausted. But we talked about prayer. Its funny because God had been teaching me about prayer and fellowship for two weeks prior to that. So I got really excited and I shared that with the group. I got a little bit incredibly excited when I shared and apparently my enthusiasm was noted by the group.

   The next day we did work around the camp we were staying at. We were split into teams to do various tasks; some did gardening, others did cleaning, and then some did timber. Naturally, I went with the timber group. Our job was to cut down tress, clean out brush, and pull weeds. We just called it extreme gardening. Then we got to ride a trailer full of cut down trees to help unload it into their garbage pile. Of course, halfway through the work day, I was helping unload a rather large tree from the trailer, and I held it over my head and threw it. Well, something fell off the tree and landed in my eye. I tried crying it out, but it didn't work. I was taken to the cafeteria where my eye was washed with special liquid. But nothing helped. Something had apparently cut my eye; so it would have to heal over time. I got to go back to the house and shower and rest, but I couldn't sit around for long. Even though my eye was still hurting, I tried to work. It didn't go so well; I was able to work for an hour or so before my eye started hurting to the point where I couldn't keep it open. I gave in and just went back to the house to nap.

   That night my friend gave me a bandanna to put over my eyes to keep it shut. Because I had tried to function with it open, but the pain was just too much. So I got to be blind for the night! It was actually really cool. My friends all made jokes about but I knew they were only kidding and was able to laugh along with them. I think the coolest part came when I was able to worship that night. The worship the night before had been mediocre. If anyone had wanted to get really into it, they didn't for fear of what other people would think. I didn't know how into they were this night, although they all sounded pretty into it; but I got to worship with my whole heart. I got to raise my hands and not do it because other people were or weren't; I got to dance like no one was watching, and I just imagined it was me and God.

   By day two my eye was feeling better. We worked at a church and again, we split into different teams. My team got to clean the sanctuary and an old closet. I talked to the pastor for a bit with my group while we waited for cleaning supplies. I asked him to share his testimony and he did. It was really cool. Later that night I was feeling a bit triggered, so I had a friend pray for me. I just felt God saying that I should. After I did, I felt so much better. She had prayed all the right things; and that was God setting up to teach me more about prayer.

   Day three we worked at a different church. Me and two other girls sealed a floor there. And that took us the entire duration of our time. But that was the day we had a half day. For the second half of the day we had lunch at the Mississippi river and then went to the Memphis zoo! Our group kinda got split up, so it was me and like, five other kids, and we had a blast! We saw a panda! Also, some of us fed giraffes and got to take selfies with said giraffes! It was very memorable.

Later in the day we went to have dinner at a missionary's house whom my church supports. They gave us a tour of the neighborhood. It broke my heart. They live in a neighborhood of poverty, drugs, gang violence, and abuse. We followed them through as they told us about everything they had experienced here. They told us there were at least four gangs in the neighborhood, but they had befriended one of the leaders. Once they had their house broken into and their TV stolen, then a couple days later the TV was returned. It was probably the help of one of the gang leaders, who protected them. Walking around that place was so saddening; me and a few others almost cried. That was the moment I realized I didn't want to leave. How I wanted to just stay with these missionaries and help the people here to come to salvation and freedom. The part that made me smile and almost cry at the same time was a little girl on the balcony of one of the buildings. She saw us and a giant smile spread across her face as she ran to the edge and began waving at us. She said "Look! Look at all the white folk!" That was when Shaken by Hawk Nelson began playing in my mind. After that we got to go to Graceland again, but this time we actually got to go onto the property and see his backyard. It was kinda creepy, but still.

   Day four was easily my favorite. We went back to the first church we worked on and my group had to task of going door to door and offering to mow people's lawns and pray for them. We asked where we should start and the pastor said not to worry, that the Lord would guide us. Slightly unsure of what that meant, we set off. Our team had five people, and since we only had three tools for mowing, we decided that Megan and I would just sit and talk to people and pray with them. (Megan is the redhead in the picture above.) We offered to pray with the woman who lived there who asked us to pray for health issues, and after we did we noticed she looked like she might cry. She said how a few days ago she had prayed and told God that she really needed her lawn mowed, but she couldn't afford to pay someone. She said it was God who had sent angels to take care of it for her, and he had sent them all the way from another city.

   As we were working, someone approached us. She had been told we were mowing lawns for free, and although she lived a half a mile away, she asked if we would do hers as well. So after we finished there, we headed out once again. But before we left, the owner of the first house pulled me aside and asked if I would pray with her once more. I did. And then we left.

   Again, at the second house, Megan and I prayed with the woman who lived there. She was having financial struggles. We prayed, and when we were finished, we noticed she was crying. She said that a couple days ago she had prayed and told God she really needed her lawn mowed, but didn't have a lawn mower and couldn't afford to pay someone. My eyes got wide and I glanced over at Megan who's jaw had dropped. God was doing freaking cool things.

   We got to one more house that day, and we prayed with a woman and her mother. Their names were Yolanda and Faye. Faye told us her life story. She grew up in the church but she drifted for a while. She became a dj at a night club and was there every night. She had her appendix rupture, she had a stroke, and she was held at gun point once. She had also been in a very bad car accident; her car had gotten destroyed, but she drove away without a scratch. That's right, she was able to drive the car all the way to the other side of the town after the accident. When she got to a mechanic, he was perplexed at how she had gotten there. He examined it and said the car was completely undriveable. She praised God for it. Talking to Faye was seriously amazing. She said she never got to tell her story, but I promised I would tell it to everyone back in my city.

   Day five we started the day off praying for the fireman at the station across the street. They told us about a man called Gator who we had to meet. He was supposedly a legend. So while half the group did a car wash and prayer thing, my group mowed Gators lawn. He was quite the interesting fellow and had plenty of stories to share. He had lived in a tent outside of a small store for four years and almost drowned in the river near by so many times he was nicknamed Alligator by the fireman who continuously pulled him out of the water.

   After doing his yard, me and a few others just went door to door praying for people. I only got to pray with two people that day, but my sisters team was incredibly blessed to pray with a ton of them. We had done one other house before Gators, and my friend, Marina, and I got to pray with a man and his wife who were believers and asked us to pray for their grandkids. The wife also has lupus, so I was able to talk with her for a bit about that which was cool. When we got back to the church I got to talk to the pastor who was crazy wise and so full of amazing things to say. He said a lot of what I needed to hear and it was awesome.

   Really, the whole week was such a blessing. I loved the fellowship among my brothers and sisters in Christ. Several times throughout the week, someone who have a random prayer request, and the group would gather and pray for them. Two of my friends came to me on the first day after I had hurt my eye and said "You got us so excited about prayer, so we thought it would only be fitting for us to pray for you." I cried after that. Then I was able to pray for a friend, totally out of the blue, but I felt God telling me to. She said it was the best prayer without a prayer request she had ever heard, which really shocked me. But I knew it was God. It was estimated that we prayed for over 200 people in that single week. That blew my mind.

   I love Memphis. You could feel God everywhere. Honestly, I've never been to a place that was so ready for the gospel. You could tell that God had prepared the way for us and gotten hearts ready. Because they were so willing to accept us and the message we brought. I could talk for days, but I'm going to wrap it up now. I'm so excited about sharing the gospel. I'm so excited about bringing change to our church. We've been content for too long. I watched as these teens got fired up about God and prayer. I noticed in myself how at ease I was with prayer for people and how God just brought words to my mouth. I wasn't afraid or timid. And that was all the Holy Spirit. I know what God wants me to do now, and I can't wait. I want to ignite a passion in my church and youth group. Or more, I want God to do that. I have seen what He can do with a group of silly teenagers who aren't afraid to pray big. Its incredible. Also, I had no problems with my lupus the entire trip! Save for a bit of fatigue on Friday and minimal issues on the car ride back. So praise God for that.

   So I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone. God is waiting to use you. Let Him. 

   Now I'll just leave you with a song we overplayed this week. Have a great day and God bless!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Insert Artsy Title Here

In 3 days I'll be leaving for Memphis, Tennessee for my fourth missions trip. Basically, I'm really excited. This will be my third time in Tennessee. I'm going with 19 kids/leaders from my youth group. Although, I am super excited, I also have a few concerns. Mostly health related. I've had a really stressful past two weeks and stress can trigger a lupus flare. I've already been feeling the symptoms of an approaching flare. I think this week working might finally trigger it. However, I plan to make the most of this trip. God has been working in my life a ton. I am really praying I'll be able to share all of these things with the kids on my trip. I want them to experience God the way I have; and not just on the trip, but to carry this stuff out every day of their lives. Because, lets get real, my youth group needs a lot of work. That's something that the Holy Spirit has been convicting me of a lot. I am a part of the youth group, so really, I'm to blame. (See last post for full rant on that.) Hopefully, I'm not the only one feeling this. So this next week be praying for all of us kids; that God will work in us and through us.

   I really hadn't planned on writing about my trip today. Whoops! I had wanted to do less words and more pictures but we all know I can't do that. I love talking. Anyhow, I've been wanting to share my photography more with you guys. I post them a lot on my personal Facebook, and a few on my blogs Facbook page, but not too much on here. I tend to only share the ones I really like. But I want to share these pictures with you. If you guys are interested, I might take some time every now and then to talk about a specific picture more in depth. So let me know; what do you want to see on my blog?

   Now, just because, here are some things I've been up to as of late.

   -Finishing up the New Jedi Order series that's taking my soul along with it. I'm currently on Destiny's Way. 3 more books left.
   -Trying to develop a plot for my upcoming NaNoWriMo novel.
   -Going for a lot of walks with my family.
   -Fangirling over Dane Dehaan.
   -Watching too much TV. (e.g. Chronicle, 500 Days Of Summer, The Wolverine, Divergent, Doctor Who.)
   -Stressing about school/college.

   So that's my life.

   Before I share my photography, there are some quotes I want you to keep in mind. I'll also put the titles of each photo below them. 

   "I have tried to depict the true and not the ideal."-Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

   "I am not trying to be aesthetically pleasing, I'm trying to be relevant."-Faith Ringgold.


And here are some pictures from a while ago.

*Faith's Playlist For The Week*

Awakening - Switchfoot
Trees - Twenty One Pilots
Isle Of Flightless Birds - Twenty One Pilots
Good Riddance - Green Day
Take Me As I Am - FM Static
Don't You Dare Forget The Sun - Get Scared
Youth Of The Nation - POD
Keep On Wanting - The Fay
Voices - Crown The Empire
Perfect - Pink
Teenagers - My Chemical Romance
New Perspective - Panic! At The Disco

"I'm here to tell you that we do matter. And that despair is an illusion that the dark casts before our eyes."-Luke Skywalker

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Church Rant

   I'm really mad at the church right now.

   I figured I'd just get to the point quickly instead of making a fancy introduction. So here is another one of my lovely rants.

(This is my new "Warning: Rant Ahead" picture. Plus I've been told that I look like Jeremiah. Awkward.)

   Now, why, Princess Faith, are you mad at the church?

   That is the question. I've always had a love/hate relationship with "the church." (AKA, Christians/believers/church attendees and people of the like.) Why? I don't know exactly. Maybe because the church, or at least my church, has always been hecka cliquey. I get the feeling its not just my church, but that its a wide spread problem among Christians. 

   It can't be a coincidence that most people feel more accepted at a bar or a concert than at church. The most common place to feel judged is at church. Its the truth that most people feel uncomfortable at church. 

   At my church, a lot of people say that they feel instantly welcomed when they walk in. Everyone is super friendly and smiling. My best friend came back to our church because she instantly felt like she belonged. But I noticed something.

   How it may be that way for some people, if they don't fit a certain mold, they're rejected. They pick and chose who they'll accept into their group and who won't. So if you're one of those lucky people, you get a great church experience. But if you're not, than sorry you have no friends here. I was lucky enough to be someone who had friends, although I'll admit, I didn't always feel like I did. Heck, I was a part of a clique and still felt rejected. 

   It wasn't just my church, because my brother shared similar thoughts when he came home from college for the summer. He goes to a Christian college and he noticed that the Christians there looked down others, particularly those on the baseball team, who were immediately thought to be the druggies of the school. Now, my brother was on the baseball team; he's a great kid. But because of his membership to a particular group of people, he got judged. 

   I have countless friends who have said they didn't feel like they belonged at church. Not to mention all the drama, gossip, slandering, judging, and rejection that goes on in that "holy" building. But the best part is, we do all of this and worship God! We give great talks, participate in bible studies, list our hands during worship, volunteer at AWANA clubs; we do it all. Yet my freaking gosh are we horrible. We're nasty to each other. What ever happened to "they'll know we are Christians by our love?" 

   We read the bible, and when it says "Love one another" we just skip over that. Or we turn it into "love your friends." But want to know what the bible really says?

   "Let love be without hypocrisy; Abhor what is evil, cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor."-Romans 12:9-10

   "Little children, let is not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth."-1 John 3:18

   "The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love."-1 John 4:4

   "But I tell you, love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you."-Matthew 5:44

   There are 19 other instances in the New Testament that say "love one another." Clearly this is a big deal. But one verse really stuck out to me. 1 John 5:3 says "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments..." 

   The Holy Spirit really spoke to me this week. It brought me to one conclusion about this verse. 

   If we don't obey God, we cannot claim to love Him.

   We can't say we love God and then hate someone. We can't say we love God and then gossip. Because now we're being liars. There. I said it. You don't love God if you reject His children. Its impossible. 

   But do you know the worst part of it all? The part about all of this that makes my stomach turn from sickness, that makes me want to throw up in utter disgust is that...I am the church.

   I reject people. I treat people like crap. I gossip. I ignore that one kid at youth group along with everyone else. 

   And its disgusting and I hate myself for it. 

   Guys, church, listen up, we're awful. I've been reading through the book of Acts, about the early church and let me tell you, they had it going on. It says that they worshipped together, they prayed over one another constantly, they shared everything, they loved; and you know what? Their numbers were growing by the thousands daily. My youth group is always at a steady pace of, wait for it....25-30 students. My church on Sunday morning has about 200 I'd say. But the church in Acts had thousands! Not to bash small churches, I love them, but if there is no fruit to your labors then really...what's the point?

   I cannot stress this topic enough. I did the talk at my youth group about this topic and its nice to know that everything I said went completely over everyone's heads. It's also nice to know that I'm a total hypocrite. I know I haven't loved God. I feel sick singing worship songs because I know I can't possibly mean what I sing. I've always had a policy that if I don't mean it, I won't say it or even sing it. But we always sing about how we love God and would do anything for Him...but by anything we mean only things inside our comfort zone. We say we'll love everyone, but we really mean everyone...except the gays and the weird boys and that emo kid. Really, we suck. I'm pissed off right now over the state of our sickness. And I know I'm also to blame. I write all these great blog posts and I yell at my siblings and gossip and snap at people. I'm a pro at telling people how to live and ignoring that same advice I give so freely. 

   So what can be done?

   We can change. See, everyone wants to change the world, but no one wants to put in the work necessary to accomplish the task. Being a Christian is hard as frick. Loving your enemies? Also hard. Following Christ? Ha. So flipping hard. (That's another rant entirely.) But its worth it. Lucky for us, God is so faithful to forgive us. We need God for this. Because we are in way too deep, we can't get out ourselves. I asked God this week to soften my heart...I should have been prepared for what He would do. Because man did He break me. And I love it. I cried myself to sleep several nights and cried in the day and was constantly troubled over things. But I needed it. God is faithful, He will guide us and answer prayers, we need to just ask.

   This cycle needs to end now. We can't keep hating people. Somethings gotta change. I can't change everyone but I know I can start with myself. I don't want to be this anymore. 

   So what about you?

   Are you really ready to love your enemies? Step out of your comfort zone? Admit you've been wrong? 

   Let's start a revolution. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

To Whom It May Concern

   We've only met once.
   It was long ago.
   I was a different person back then.
   And if we were to meet again, really meet again, I don't think you'd recognize me.

   I've seen you around more times than I care to admit. Always at the worst times. The last time being right after Christmas. Right after my dad left. I could have said something. Stopped to say hello. But I didn't care. I knew God had set it up, but I ignored Him because I had too many problems going on, I didn't need yours. I realize now how selfish I had been. I don't know when I stopped loving others, but slowly my intense passion for others turned to apathy. Everything I had that made me different was fading.

   But like each time before that I started to fall into selfishness, you showed up.

   I guess hearing your name is God's subtle reminder that there are more important things in life than my own drama. Because each time you come up, I remember. I remember that I there is a world of hurting people out there. I have a whole world to save, I just get so caught up in myself that I often forget.

   I was so different.

   People think I'm shy now? Ha. No. I was shy back then. I was terrified of everything and everyone. Tall, intimidating, older people especially. 

   I don't know how different you were. 

   I've come to realize that in this life, there are 3 different people that are identified by one body. As for you, there's the you that you pretend to be, there's the you people around me say you are, and then there's the you that I see you as. 

   I think the last one is correct. Although its scary when I seem to be the only person to see some things. 

   You're in a bad place right now. You've always kind of been in a bad place, but during this time especially. So that's why I'm writing this letter. Because I hope that someday these words would drift to the right ears and bring hope.

   Because I was in a bad place once too. 

   Not the same bad place as you. But I used to be in metaphorical chains. I'm not anymore. 

   If this were a movie, I would be able to walk over there and say everything I hadn't all these years. I would speak confidently and your heart would soften and you would accept my words. But this isn't a movie. This is reality; and the reality is, I'm so shy, and I have no idea what I could say, and I don't know how to even go about such a task. Plus you would probably cuss me out or laugh at me. 

   But here is the heart of it all; you're not who you pretend to be or who others say you are. I know because if I had a super power, it would be seeing things from a different perspective. It's something God has graced me with. I used to think it was a curse; that I was doomed to see things wrong, but I found that I'm not seeing things wrong, I'm seeing them from a different stand point. When I look at people, I don't see the mess they've made, I see all that they could be. Maybe that's how we can love people; we see past their faults and into their future.

   I saw a picture of a bunch of people gathered together to pray for a friend. It made me many people would get together to pray on your behalf? Sure if they heard about your story, about where you're at, about your hard life, they might say a quick prayer. But in all honesty, who would go out of their way to pray for you on a regular basis?

   Well, me.

   It's been over 5 years. I don't see you anymore but every night before I go to bed, God says to me "pray." And I do. For you.

   I saw fruit once. That was enough. One time. One sentence. That was all the proof I needed that you could be redeemed. Not that I ever doubted you.

   Call me crazy. Call me a freak. A weirdo. Obsessive. Odd. I don't care.

   I'm a fanatic. For Christ. And I couldn't care less about what other people have to say about me.

   Here's what I want you to know: you are always braver than you think. You're not a lost cause. You have made mistakes, but you don't have to keep making mistakes. Sometimes you just need one person the believe in you, so know that I do. I always have. And I always will.

   Some people look at you and they shake their heads because you're a sinner. You've screwed up. You got into some deep crap. They say its a shame where you are now. They judge you but they won't offer a hand to help you up.

   But I think of you and think of someone who will do anything to be noticed, because you're so scared of being forgotten. You don't care if your reputation is good or bad, as long as everyone knows it. I'm sure you've cried. Many of nights probably. But no one will ever see those tears. I see the hurt you've felt, I know a lot of it is because of your parents who split. I know how that feels. I know you feel deeply. You love even deeper than you hate, but you would never let anyone know that. I've seen you as you've tried to satisfy yourself with anything and everything the world had to offer. And I've watched as it never got you anywhere.

   I don't know if you feel guilt or shame, I don't know if you're grieving your situation or if you think you're cool because of it, but I know that it gets better.

   I know that you have a future. God has a plan for your life. I know because I used to think my world was over, but you showed me that it wasn't.

   I don't know why God decided to put you on my heart, nor do I know why He chose me for the task; because surely there are better equipped people out there. But He doesn't call the equipped, He equips the called. I'm just going to walk out on a limb with this one.

   I know you can be great. I don't know how many people have ever told you that. But I promise, you have a great future ahead of you. Life is more than this moment or these struggles. Our past doesn't have to dictate our future. And most of all, you can be so much more than this. You are loved. You are being prayed for. You can be a world changer.

   I hope that one day I'll be able to see you again. I don't know what's going to happen, but I know something has to. I have asked God to break your heart, to let you feel a holy sorrow, one that leads to redemption. Your story isn't over yet. Because you are amazing, you just need to be reminded.