Honest, hope is a verb

a late april easter

My faith has been elastic the last few years.
It has stretched out to fit big truths that need to be held and it has been scrunched down to fend off words that don’t need to be kept.
I believe that there has been times where it has broken and torn and then stitched back together to try again.
My faith has for all purposes, changed and I’ve been given a fresh perspective on what it looks like.
I know it seems incredibly stereotypical of me to write about Jesus on Easter but, the Jesus I’m going to talk about is one I’ve found never in a place Jesus “should” be.

I’ve been finding Jesus at bars or parties, I’ve been finding Jesus in my anger and confusion and loneliness.
I’ve been finding Jesus in my mess, my literal mess in my room.
I’ve been finding Jesus in moments eating taquitos and in text conversations with my roommate.
I’ve been finding Jesus in people who would never deem themselves people with Jesus.

A little over a year ago I wrote a blog at a bar entitled “In the midst of it all” where I talked about being unsure in my faith. And in this last year I have gone to church less than I ever have and I think in doing so I’ve made space to find Jesus in places I didn’t think I could or ever would.
I’ve always been an advocate for choosing to see the good in everything everywhere. Of choosing to see the holy, the lovely and the Christ in everyone and everything.
Sometimes, that’s easier to me without the lenses of the church. I’ve always gone to church out of habit, out of requirement- not that anyone ever told me I had too, but I just thought I was supposed too.
And this year I felt the freedom to step back when I needed too and to take a breath when I needed too and to step back in when I needed too. And to choose to go when I didn’t want to but truly felt I should.

And it changed something inside of me.

I believe I changed in a way where I became capable of loving more, and loving with less borders and also giving more boundaries to my love out of protection of my own self.
I think of this on Easter for many reasons.
To me, this year, Easter is a reminder to keep going. To keep moving forward.
To keep living.
To keep choosing to see love in people and don’t be held up by walls.
To see people who they are.
To see people with eyes that aren’t full of hate but of hope.
To me Easter is a reminder to keep seeing people.
I have a bracelet on my wrist that I bought for my baeby sharks. The inside of it has in scripted “keep fucking going”.
I know that seems aggressive for words on Easter.
But, shouldn’t we all be doing just that?
I don’t know what you believe or don’t believe. I don’t know what you’ve been hurt by or who you’ve been hurt by. I don’t know if you feel like you belong or feel like you’re just out of the frame of the picture.

But, what I want you to know today is this:

Easter is a lot of things. It’s a day where dead things came to life. It’s a day where it was declared the last word has not been spoken.
It’s a day that’s signed with love.
BUT it’s also a day of newness and day to remind ourselves that we can stand up and keep moving forward.
Today, on this day, in this moment, you can keep moving forward. You can take a breath and choose to see what is lovely and good and hopeful around you.
It might be Jesus to you and it might not.
Find the good, the moments, find the hope in what isn’t hopeful and keep moving forward.
I think I’m still in the midst of it all. I think that I still have places where I’m coming from the middle and looking down into to it to see what’s happening but that’s ok. That’s more than ok.

It’s good.

With love,

Meg

Honest

it’s not about the breakthrough

I’m starting therapy again this week.

Well, actually I am going to therapy consult, but I’ve filled out the longest intake form of my life and made an appointment and it’s on my calendar.

And I keep forgetting and then I remember and my whole body tenses and I get anxious and I already feel one hundred percent exposed even though I’m not even in the therapist office yet.

I went to therapy from the beginning of 2009 to when I moved away from Orange County before the world race. I went to therapy when I was at my most exhausted, most depressed and with the least ability to take care of myself. I was on antidepressants and had moments of suicidal thoughts and didn’t want to sleep because I didn’t want to wake up and have to do it again.

I would walk into my therapist small windowless office and sit on the corner of the couch and put a pillow in my lap and be anxious for the first 15 minutes out of our 50 minute session.

That was the same for every single session that I saw him. Sitting in the small windowless room I was safe, but the prospect of combing through the areas of my life that were dark and hard and sad stressed me out.

I’m starting therapy again this week but I am so different from the first time I went to therapy 10 years ago. I’ve discovered so much more about myself and how I work and what I need and I’ve gone places and had hard conversation and sat in rooms filled with anxiety but still manage to function through it.

Therapy did wonders for me ten years ago. It allowed me to open my eyes to myself and see what I needed to do and allowed me to learn how to SIT in my anxiety and feel it.

But, I’m not looking for breakthrough.

I had this realization today that my actual breakthrough is for everyone around me to physically see it on my face and in my decisions but the breakthrough isn’t as important to me. What is important is the novel of experiences and stories and decisions that gets me to the point of outward breakthrough. What is important to me is the heartache and the fear and the ability to knock down walls inside and unpack boxes and throw them in the cardboard crusher.

I decided today that I’m not going to place my hope in the fact that I can get to the next, and that something is coming.

I am going to place my hope in my ability to figure it out.

I’m going to place my hope in my ability to sit with anxiety and fear until it all untangles.
I know it’s all in verbiage. I know that you may hope for breakthrough and to you that means every little thing along the way.

But, I say all this so you remember that when someone HAS a “breakthrough” and it feels like its out of left field, or they make a decision or are suddenly in a relationship that there is more than just the breakthrough.

There’s the anxiety and the fear and all the other damn things that lead to the fireworks.

So, maybe stop praying for breakthrough.
Stop speaking breakthrough into others lives.
Start speaking the untangle.
Start speaking the very next step instead of the horizon.
Offer a shoulder so someone can climb over their walls.
Give a cozy chair to sit in discomfort.

And (pardon the following expletive)
Remind them to keep fucking going.

Because whatever word you wanted to use for it: you can’t have breakthrough or untangling if you don’t keep moving down a path.

I am a person who struggles with anxiety and depression. My brain doesn’t always treat me nicely. I don’t always treat myself nicely.
And while I do pause to look at the horizon, into the hopes and loveliness of the what’s next. I’m still going to dream and find beauty.

I am going to start facing down more walls and giants and unpacking more boxes than I was before.
So, when I hit that place, when I hit the next, when I make decisions that feel rushed and out of the blue I want you to remember that breakthrough is the end of one story and the beginning of another.

Breakthrough is one moment on the timeline-not THE timeline.
Breakthrough is not the answer.
The answer is in the untangle, and the mess.

Breakthrough is in the keeping fucking going.

hope is a verb, To dream

epiphanies in a mozambique marketplace

One of my favorite things about being in dark, rainy Mozambique last July was days where my ministry was to cook.

I mean that makes sense right? I love to cook. But cooking in Mozambique was no joke. To cook in Mozi meant spending 2 hours at the market haggling, bartering, trying not to smell all the meat, then coming back and chopping vegetables for more hours then I would like to admit. Then cooking for 19 people on a coal fire.

To cook in Mozambique made me feel super accomplished.

mozicook

But that’s not why I loved it.

It was the trekking to the market normally in mud, sometimes in rain and buying from the same women I bought from every 3 or 4 days. It was just a moment to smile with them, talk in broken Portuguese/Spanish and try to find out how their day was going.

It was always a highlight to me. Something that always brought me joy.

And as I look back on my life in missions and of course just life in general it’s the talking to and encouraging of women that has been a streamline in my life. From women’s bible studies in Mexico when I was in high school, to talking to moms daily tn the preschool and church where I worked, to walking alongside my friends each day.

spainblog(four of the women I did life with this year and the ways God rocked and changed them)

There’s something in me that’s always had a heart, even as a high school student for story, for hearing dreams, for seeing what people wanted to do with their lives. When I look at my circle of friends I’m amazed by the strong women that with whom God has surrounded me. My best friend Jess is a nurse and a mom of three. My forever roommate Leah works daily with autistic kids to better their lives. Kaytie and Lisa sit and hear stories of people who are hurting and help them through life as therapists. The list could go on.

I’ve always wondered what my place was within those strong women. What I was meant to do. How I fit. I worked as a preschool teacher for five years so I thought maybe what I was meant to do was enrich the lives of kiddos in that way. But then I realized something:

I wanted more.

This past year I spent time in 11 different countries doing life and doing ministry. But some of my sweetest times were those moments sitting across tables from women on my squad and hearing their story, hearing their life, hearing what God would have for them. I remember sitting across the table from my friend Chelsey at a coffee shop in Brasov, Romania as she told me her dreams and her call to move.

sb2(Jo, Abby Tiff and I. 3 women who move and call me to move)

I want to be apart of that. I want to forever be apart of others call to move.

While in South Africa last year, discussing dreams and heart story my squad coach Betsy asked me a question. Did I want to be in the classroom or build the school and run it.

1003789_10151841959050479_2101645836_n(Fuji, Kacie and Jesse. 3 more women of movement that I team lead with in Swaziland)

There are so many answers to that question. One being YES I love being in the classroom. I love literally being apart of the story that God is writing.

But I want to help YOU be in there. On the ground floor. Realizing what you want to do, where your story is and how you want to move.

We all have things in our stories that need to be heard. We all have hurts and pains and joys and happiness. All of these things combined are what makes us who we are. What leads us to move.

Maybe you are a full time mom who wants to group together other moms and have bible study or do yoga together.

Maybe you are single working female who just needs a community and want to find a way to make it intentional.

Maybe you just need someone to talk too.

That’s what Hope is a Verb is about. Empowering women. Realizing truth in story. A call to movement.

sb3(Emily. A women I sat across many tables from all year)

And that is why I am going to Spain.

To be equipped. To help people to movement.

To help myself to movement.

I may have sat across tables from so many different types of women, with different stories, with different hurts and different dreams. (All of the women pictures have changed my life. And the all have their own call to move)

And I’m finally realizing mine.

75207_10201511441850082_1743706677_n(Cassie and I were together every day last year. She’s going to change Uganda and the world)

But I also know that I have parts of my story, parts of my heart I need to fully realize more. I need to place myself in an environment where that is possible.

And that is where G42 comes in.

A place to heal, to learn, to grow, to be surround by a community of people who are in their stories, with passions and hearts to move in the ways God is calling them.

I’d love for you to join me in this journey.

Here are a few ways:

  1. Subscribe to my blog and follow my heart. I try to post about once a week (hopefully more while I am in Spain). It’s a place where I lay down what I am learning, what I am going through. ( you can find my blog here: https://awindlikethis.wordpress.com )
  2. Join me in prayer. If I’ve learned ANYTHING from time on the mission field and just life in general it’s that we need to support one another in prayer. We need to rally behind one another and lift each other up.
  3. Last year in the midst of rainy Africa as I trailed around our host for the month, walking miles each day to visit widows, God spoke pretty clearly to me again about the fact that I truly needed to trust Him. That I wouldn’t be done raising support. I kind of hated that. But I tried to get out of it. But he didn’t relent. So I bow my head ask if you would consider joining me in the ground level of Hope is A Verb by contributing to my time in Spain. I have to raise 6300 for 6 months at G42 (covers all the things except a plane ticket which is already covered for me). If you have 10 dollars or 100 dollars every bit counts. Click here to donate to my support account.
  4. Ask me any question you want! Contact me below.

Thank you for reading and stopping into to my little space on the Internet. Thank you for blessing me and coming alongside in all of the things God has done, is doing and will continue to do in my life.  Thank you for helping me apart of God’s call on my life to live nothing normal and everything Christ.