W-11 // The Story of Living

“I will choose to die to self instead of die to pain.”

For you my loved one, and for the others.

In honor of National Suicide Prevention Week.

A Spoken Word for you.

Advertisements

The Spirit of Silence

Do you hear that?

Me neither.

Just silence.

False silence.

Because the silence…

It isn’t really there.

It’s actually LOUD.

It’s the secret you’ve been hiding

The pain that you’ve been feeling

The words you want to say

But remain unsaid.

That

Is the spirit of silence you’re clinging to

and

it

hurts.

The secret things

The hidden things

The words that aren’t being said

They hurt.

There is a need.

A need to beat the cultural norm that says SECRETS SAVE PEOPLE

Because they don’t.

In reality they suffocate.

And in the moments when you feel

As if you are drowning

I desire for you the chance

To turn your face in to the wind

Bringing a change of view

And the chance to remember

That you

were made

to breathe.

Today is the start of National Suicide Prevention Week. To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA) has a goal of raising $75,000, all of which will go to treatment and recovery. If you would like to find out how you can be involved go here. The theme for this year’s campaign is “We’ll See You Tomorrow” because we each have a vital role to play in this thing called life. I started writing spoken word last March. In that season, I felt like the Lord was calling me to be a voice for the voiceless, to tell stories that go untold. I love people and I love their stories. If you or someone you know has or is struggling with mental illness I wold love to know your story. But more importantly, know that you are valued. You weren’t put here by chance but for a purpose. And I want to see you tomorrow.

So here is to seeing you tomorrow. And the next day.  And the next day. And the day after that.

B

TWLOHA

Do You Ever Dream

Do you ever dream that people in pictures would come to life in your very presence? That words written would be words spoken in truth, not meant to mask the mysteries of things unseen. Do you ever dream of her smile fading, giving way to honest answers of “How are you, really?” That you would be the one she confides in, instead of confiding in herself giving way to the haunted things. Dreams become realities when actions are taken.

This is my action in love, a declaration to your heart my sweet friend. This day was made for you. Live it, as deeply as you can.

A Story Teller

I was born into a family of story tellers.  At every family gathering my dad joined by his brothers and sister (seven in all) relive events from their childhood. Grandpa laughs. Grandma roles her eyes. But Grandpa, he is the real story teller. From sonnets written to my grandmother to personalized poems in birthday cards. He’s the story teller.

So I thought I’d try my hand at following in my grandfather’s footsteps and become a story teller.

The Lord has given me a strong gift of empathy. This past March I was struggling with how to steward that gift well. I came to the point where I asked the Lord why he gave me this gift because I did not particularly want it. A week later I sat across the table from a friend discussing the topic of spoken word [definition: poetry that is meant to be spoken aloud]. I thought I would enjoy spoken word because 1.) I love writing and 2.) I love public speaking. So it’s kind of perfect. As we talked my friend mentioned that you can’t write spoken word about emotions you’ve never felt before. Easy. I can feel all the feelings all time.

So that day I sat down and started writing. Within 48 hours I had completed writing my first spoken word. But it didn’t just stop there. As I sat in a living room with my new residence life staff, our resident directory described how he sees his job as being a story collector.

That is what I am to be.

My dream is to be a collector and teller of stories, my own and otherwise. With the help of my sister and brother-in-law, I have developed a video of one of the first spoken words I wrote. You can find it here.

Through it all, my overall desire is to glorify the Lord with each word that falls from my lips.

So here is to doing just that.

Until Next Time,

B

Victory

There was one night this semester when I was tired….okay, there we a lot of times this semester when I was tired. It was late and I was already in bed when I heard a knock at my door. The door opened and my friend came in, set her stuff down, and climbed in bed next to me. She began talking about some difficulties and questions she had, and I began to cry. Everyone was hurting. I was hurting. She was hurting. The girl downstairs was hurting. The boy in my class was hurting. Then the word “defeat” ran through my head. That is what I was feeling, the weight of defeat.
I had no revelation that night of the victory I have in Christ. I went to sleep feeling very defeated. Over the next few days the Lord painted a picture in my head that I was able to put into words:

Sometimes I feel the weight of defeat.

Then I remember that Victory is embedded in my DNA.

Because I was born into Royalty.

And the KING says, “My children will not lose.”

In Erwin Raphael McManus’ book The Barbarian Way, he tells the tale of James Douglas, a Scottish Knight. Douglas was a close friend of Robert the Bruce, a Scottish noble. Before Robert the Bruce died he asked to have his heart removed and carried on the crusades by a knight worthy of such esteem; the task fell to Douglas and he carried the heart of his friend and king around his neck in every battle. In 1330 Douglas was campaigning against the Moors in Granada, Spain and was losing the fight. He took the heart of the king, tossed it into enemy lines and cried, “Fight for the heart of your king!”

There were times this semester when I would repeat to myself, out loud, over and over “My children will not lose.” Because we won’t. The battle has already been won, we just have to weather the storm and fight with CONFIDENCE. People say, “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” FALSE. I believe the Lord gives us more than we can handle so that his glory and might may be displayed among the nations.

I know there are times when we want to give up. Maybe you want to give up on seeking the Lord’s direction for your life. May you want to give up praying for the heart of a family member or friend who does not know the love of the Father. Maybe you want to give up on a marriage or friendship. Just know that the Lord is declaring victory over those situations and those people’s hearts. It may not come to pass in the way which you desire but either way: WE WILL NOT LOSE.

Romans 8:31 reads, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”

A wise man in my life once [by once I mean he says it over and over] said: We need to live from a place of victory instead of living towards one. And just as James Douglas was given the task of carrying the heart of his king, The Lord bestows upon us the honor of carrying his heart into every battle of everyday.

So here is to claiming the Victory that is only found in the heart of our King.

Until Next Time,

B

047

It’s Okay to NOT be Okay.

If there is one thing that I learned this past fall semester [Lord, I hope I learned more than one thing] it is this: it’s okay to not be okay. Some people would describe life like a roller coaster. I would describe this past season of life as a broken roller coaster, with the car at the lowest point on the ride, and me [having fallen out] on the ground. That is how much I was winning at life. There were multiple times this semester when I would be hurting and people, some friends, would say, “It will be okay!” or the classic “God has a plan.” True, God does have a plan but sometimes people just need to admit and accept that fact that there are times when life sucks.

As a resident assistant at my university it is easy to desire there to be a facade between how your residents view you and how you really are. One friend reminded me: leaders are allowed to be broken. Even Jesus wept [John 11:35]. I like to have it all together but let’s be real: that rarely happens. Someone else empowered me by saying, “This world needs more than the Bethany who smiles all the time. You have far more to offer than that.” Easy for them to say, more difficult for me to admit and implement but true nonetheless.

Crouching — full of lies you [the enemy] spin an unrelenting web

In the darkness of my mind and in the darkness of the night

But I hold the LIGHT to illuminate that which you seek to do

“Worthy!” He will shout. “She is Mine!” Cries the King.

I found that this quote by Tony Athos accurately described my feelings. He said, “The caterpillar doesn’t know that it’ll come out as a butterfly. All it know is that it’s alone, it’s dark and it’s a little scary.” For those of us who have personal relationships with the Lord, we know his plans are good. However for some of us there is a strong reality that life can feel dark, scary, and a little lonely. We may just need a friend to sit and not say anything. Sometimes we may need to take it [life] one step at a time. Other times, we may need to just sit down and not move for a little while. It is in the darkness, in the pain, in the hard emotions that we can be transformed into something beautiful. .

So here is to being okay with not being okay and allowing others to not be okay too.
Until Next Time,

B

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/16d/69820287/files/2014/12/img_0256.jpg