Saturday, October 26, 2013

A Wordless Post.

I didn't know, words could be so heavy.

Heavy like a first snow on a broken tree branch.

Heavy like one hundred pound weights on my chest.

Heavy like a tension headache in the back of my brain.

They're burning and building and sinking and swimming around up there and I've been struggling to let them go. To lift the weight of thought from this brain of mine and just let it all go, let the worries go, let the struggle go, let the pain go, let the loneliness go. Just let the words go.

To find the synonym, the antonym, to dig through a dictionary, encyclopedia, thesaurus, to find the one thing to describe it all. To be able to cut open my heart and let the feelings bleed out. For the word, the phrase, the single sentence to explain to someone, anyone what is going on inside me.

But rarely do we ever tell people about the true depths of our struggles and our loneliness. About how with each passing day we feel more lost than the day before, more alienated from those around us and we're not sure how to fix it or where to start.

And as I sit here drinking my cup of tea, letting the heat scorch the back of my throat and letting the warm liquid drain into my stomach. Feeling it's warmth splash into my stomach and into my soul I can't help but compare my tea to the feeling Jesus gives me, even in this moment of wordless struggle. Even when words cannot find their way out of my head and onto my tongue. Jesus finds His way through my mess and into my heart.

I cried at a gum commercial today.

And at first I thought I was going crazy as I felt the stupid tears on my cheeks and then I realized I've been bottling up so much stress and anxiety and I've been miserable for so long that it was bound to leak it's way out over my eyelids. It just hit me at a strange time, sitting on a chair in my living room watching a Extra gum commercial.

It seems to me that the years between eighteen and twenty-something are the hardest, psychologically. It's here that we realize this is make or break, we no longer have the excuse of youth, and it's time to become and adult- but we are not ready. I am not ready. I don't know if I will ever be ready.

Lately I'm just heavier than usual… I fell more broken than usual. I don't feel like Cami. I feel like a shell of Cami. I feel like I'm going through the motions of my life. That I am spending so much time trying to find the words instead of just letting the words find me. That I let the misery of my job seep into my soul and destroy my spirit. It drains me, wrecks me, causes me to weep and stumble and wrack my brain over what I should do.

But I know what I should do. I know what I need to do and I know what I have to do. And it's hard. And it's caused me to curl into a ball into myself and really pray, really discern, really focus on Him and trust that He has it all under control. To know that right now I am hurting and that's okay. That right now there are many hardships. But that they are preparing me for something better. They are teaching me a greater lesson.

That right now I have to choose what to keep and what to leave behind.

And as I sit here staring at my empty cup of tea I have decided to choose to make room for all things beautiful, lovely, peaceful, admirable, lovely, and wonderful in my life and in my heart. To choose the things that bring me closer to Jesus.

To let go of the words I cannot find. To let go of the mess and the misery and just let Him work and know that He will provide no matter the situation I am finding myself in.

To find Him every day, in every thing.

To not try to make every one else happy, to remember that He is the author and perfecter of my life. To not be afraid of my truths and my life anymore. To not omit pieces of myself to make others feel comfortable. To stretch out my hand in faith and touch His robes.

He is with me, even through the tears over a gum commercial and the wordless description of what is going on. Because He knows me and the depths of my heart and I find peace in that.

Letting God Move,

HIS and yours,


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Life at 23...

On a day like today, most girls my age would want to be waking up to an array of colorful balloons and flowers and presents overflowing, to a pile of new clothes and shoes and gadgets galore.

But if I am going to be real I am most certainly, without a doubt not like most girls... and if one were to take a peak into my room they would not see gadgets and shoes and piles of clothes, but paintings and pictures of another country, of little ebony faces that are engraved on my heart, of sandals that have walked miles and congas that hold stories. And instead of colorful balloons and presents, I wake up longing for little dirty hands on my face, and dusty feet in my sandals, wishing to smell trash burning in the distance and the loudness of the roosters crowing through my window. Aching to hear the laughter of my Tanzanian sisters, echoed by words in Swahili I don't understand. To not have my feet tangled in a bed sheet, but rather a mosquito net full of holes.

And today is a day just like any other. Of longing for the place I unknowingly left my heart behind in. and a year ago I was flying on a jet plane to this place. a year ago today I turned 22.

But today I'm 23.

And I'm not flying across the ocean.

Today I am 23.

But I still feel 22.

My thoughts are still 22.

My heart still feels 22.

and yet here I sit... now at 23.

I just don't know... I guess I've always thought that something magical should happen when we have a birthday. Like all the questions we've found ourselves asking are finally answered on the day your age number changes. Or like the way the beast is transformed into a man at the end of the magical movie. But my life is not a Disney movie, and there really is no way of knowing if that man is still the beast in his heart. Just like I'm still struggling to find out if I'm really 23 or still 22.

And I think what the problem is, well it's that I just grasped onto the fact that I was 22. I felt like I knew what 22 was and understood it and now I'm 23 and just as confused as I was that day one year ago, when I turned 22.

Truth is we are all the ages we've been. Somedays I'm five, somedays I'm thirteen and somedays I'm 22... or is it 23?!?! And there all complied underneath to make the person I am today, and I'm still trying to grasp a hold of that. Still trying to unravel the mysteries with every year that goes by.

As I sit here and reminisce over this past year of my life. Peering about the long journey I've taken to get to where I am right now, I'm seeing that I've changed. A LOT! That I am not the same person I was last October. And that maybe, just maybe I'm more of 23 than I'll let myself believe.

Okay no, no matter how much I wish I was, I'm not boarding a plane bound for Africa this year. But that doesn't mean God isn't sending me places. He has definitely shown me what growing really means, temporarily surrendering my security in my comfortable places to see His greater picture and His greater glory for my life. It means that somedays... most days are going to be excruciatingly difficult. But I'm finding that as I take one step to the next, Life isn't exactly what I expected.

It's greater and bigger than anything I could ever imagine. It's harder and fuller and challenging, yet beautiful and full of joy and so much love!

Granted I am much heavier than I was a year ago. My heart, my mind, my shoulders weighted down with burdens and desires I never knew I had. And this past year there have been many moments I have struggled with what God expects of me. He has changed my perspective on life and what is important. I'm seeing that the things I used to love and thought I found joy in are nothing compared to the things and the people He has now placed on my heart.

That I tend to spend less time with my books and my television and more time with people, talking and praying and thinking about people. I find that my bed has lost it's comfort, knowing that there is a child 8000 miles away sleeping on a dirt floor. I am seeing that what my face looks like and the way my clothes sit aren't nearly as important as the words I am saying and the actions I am taking against the injustices of the world. And I'm finding that the petty, stupid things I used to make such a big deal out of, are really just petty, insignificant things when I realize that the widow I fell in love with months ago could no longer be living and I have no way of ever knowing.

A year ago today on my plane to Tanzania I wrote in my journal...  And I think there is pain in being a disciple. Pain that becomes joy in the end, but pain that no one seems to ever talk about. The pain of leaving the ones you love behind. Peter must have felt it, and James and John. Paul must have felt it, and Jesus most definitely felt it. But I think that is part of suffering for the gospel. Leaving. Always leaving and moving on, never ever forgetting, but continuing on the path. But to show the love of Christ, to sacrifice my life. To be burdened by the lives of other who do not know HIS glorious love. That is worth the pain.

And 23 year old me would have to agree with 22 year old me. There is pain... so much pain. And the pain I felt that day is similar yet so much different than the the pain I feel now. The burdens are the same, but the people and the actions are so much different.

Today I celebrate another year of life and God has blessed me beyond measure! But my heart is with those who don't get that chance. Who are dying right now. You see my heart has changed. And as I get older I am seeing there is less and less time for the people around me to see Jesus. And I'm wondering why in the heck it took me so many years of hatred and selfishness to see this. Why it took me long fights with roommates and friends that I could have easily solved with selfless love. Why did it take me so long with focusing all on myself and not on the people around me to see that my life is worth far more than me.

That my life was made to be a carrier of the gospel, and living out my faith privately and for myself was never an option.

That 23 is for Christ, just as 22 was and the years to come are. That there are no ifs or maybes when it comes to Jesus and loving His people. There is only Yes and Send ME. That in my heart there should be no room for me. And as my heart gets crowded with Jesus I will invite people into the party. People that the world may hate and despise, but who I will love, because He loves them. That they will come into the room and see that this love, His love is what they were created for.

That my life would be an outpouring sacrifice. That my life would be one full of love and selflessness. My life would become God's... His hands, His feet, His heart, His strength.

That my love for Jesus and my love for others would be what stands out about me and nothing else.

No matter where He takes me or who He places in my path, starting now, at 23 I will follow unashamed, unabashedly forever and ever hard after Him. To love recklessly, to living radically, to spill my life out for the gospel, which is Jesus Christ.

Feeling 23,

 HIS and yours,


Thursday, October 3, 2013


My once clean floor has now become a pile of haphazardly tossed clothes. My bed hasn't been made in weeks and I can't remember the last time I actually saw the top of my dresser.

   My memories from Africa are fading.

And I'm looking at pictures and reading through my journals.

   My heart is heavy. Weighted down by the inability to recall a child's face or voice. Weighted down by the burden of so much love. Weighted down by the life around me that has seemingly returned to normal and I'm still reaching back trying to hold onto something that I am still struggling to unravel, still struggling to understand.

  And my mind has been plagued with those faces across the ocean, burden by their hurts and pains and the things I can only imagine they are going through, and also filled with faces from home, new faces of kids and people I have began to fall in love with. Worried and burdened by their struggles of home life and school and bullying and unknown issues.

 I feel so heavy. My mind, my eyes, my heart. Heavy.

   Lately I've lacked the motivation to even brush my hair, or pick my clothes up off the floor, or even pick myself up off the floor.

  I spend most of my days at work and when I'm not there I spend most of my time face down on the floor of my messy room, thinking, and praying, and crying. Heavy. Burdened.

  And I forget I asked for this. I prayed for this. To be burden with love. It's a beautiful thing. It's a hard thing. But most things worth living for, most things worth fighting for are beautiful and hard. But the longer I'm away from Africa, the heavier I get.

It's hard to explain. That my heart is here and there. Two places, two homes. My heart is in the hands of those ebony faces, and my family I lived with, and the sick and dying, and orphaned and widowed. But my heart is also here, in the hands of my sisters and brothers and parents. In the hands of him. in the hands of friends, and in the hands of these beautiful new kids that I've come to know and grown to love.

And the burdens are there. In both places. Deep in my heart.

If I'm honest right now I'm weary with life and not sure what to do with myself.

Memories are fading and I just want to hold onto them tight.

And I'm looking at God asking Him what He wants with my life? Whatever it is I want Him to take it. These burdens I have asked for and received and now I am trying to figure out what to do with them. And I'm realizing I'm not alone in this. That there are others with burdens just like mine, who are in my life to talk through things with me, and love me even when my eyes are puffy red from crying and rambling through prayers. I'm seeing that God is ever-so close to me as I continue to draw nearer to Him.

Realizing that what I've asked for I must also continually give right back up to Him in faith and in trust. Knowing that I can do nothing for these kids, for these burdens on my own, without Him. And I'm seeing that even though the memories fade, my love and my passion will not.

That even thought right now I feel like my heart is all the way at my feet, weighted down, that He is lifting me up, He is showing me that I need to stop over-thinking and just start praying more. To continue to seek Him and His will for my life. To stop trying to second guess my path, because He is leading me.

  To find Joy.

   Even in the most unlikely places.

 And I think I will start with picking the clothes up off my floor.

  HIS and yours,