Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Yesterday I wrote about when I was thirteen and concerned about what people thought about me...especially those older teenagers passing by as I was barefoot in my front yard rolling in the garbage cans.

Just because years have gone by doesn’t mean that I have gotten over my fear of what people think of me…..or my embarrassment of people seeing me walk around in my bare feet.

Ok, ok. No, I don’t normally have an issue with people seeing me barefoot. It was just a good lead-in for my story. However, I definitely still do have an issue with caring about other people’s opinions of me.

Fast forward from being thirteen to being a twenty-year-old college sophomore walking back to the dorms from class. I wasn’t a freshman, I wasn’t figuring out my way around, and I wasn’t insecure about walking that familiar, often-crowded path back to the dorm buildings.

Backpack slung on one shoulder, phone in hand, I was rather comfortably going through the motions of pretending to recognize those people that gave me polite smiles as they passed me, and giving courtesy smiles of recognition when I would catch the eye of someone looking at me as I passed them. It was the awkward, “I can’t just look at the ground and pretend I don’t see anyone, but do I really have to smile and say hello to EVERY person I pass?” sort of walk.

But really, nothing major was going on in my head.

And THEN, my sandal broke.

I couldn’t fix it. And I couldn’t wear just one sandal so I had to take my sandals off and walk the rest of the way back to the dorms barefoot. All of a sudden, because of that small, little mishap, the walk seemed three times as long as it used to seem. And all of a sudden, I felt the horrible awkwardness of walking in this crowd alone.

If I had just had a friend walking with me. Someone who knew what had happened with my shoe and someone to laugh about the fact that I had to walk shoeless to my dorm it would have been fine. Just one person who knew the truth of what was going on. Someone to understand why.

Because I did NOT have that person, I did the only thing I could think of doing to get rid of my feelings of extreme awkwardness. I flipped out my phone and talked to a friend of mine. Only, there was actually no one else on the other end of the line.

I couldn’t get a hold of anyone, so I pretended to have a phone conversation.

Why the switch? Why did I go from being totally fine and “in my groove” to totally awkward and insecure about myself?

Something small happened that made me look different from the rest of the people walking around with shoes. In an instant, I felt out of place. My mind immediately went to what others would think of me.

So, I reached for my “fake friend” who wasn’t on the other side of the line.

Silly maybe.

But true. And real.

What about you? Is there anyone willing to admit the silly things they’ve done in order to feel less awkward in an uncomfortable situation?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I would tell my thirteen-year-old self....

....That you don’t have to be afraid to walk outside and bring in the garbage cans simply because older teenagers are walking by on their way to the school bus.

They probably don’t even notice you as they are laughing with their friends. No, Heidi. No, their laughing just as they passed by you was about what happened during their third period class at school yesterday; it’s not about how you have to drag up your trash bins into your side yard or about what you are wearing or about the fact that you aren’t wearing shoes.

Even if they DO see you and actually notice you taking in your trash cans, they probably don’t think you are weird. Even the teenagers with the chains swinging from their belts or the ones with their pants halfway down their behind have to take the trash cans in and out at their house too.

AND, even if they DO think you are weird, they will only think about it for one minute and then they will pass by and their minds will move on to the next thing that grabs their attention.

Because, little thirteen-year-old, although you think about yourself and what everyone else might think about you almost every second of your day, you are the only one that does. You see, most people (especially those scary teenagers) are doing the same thing you are doing. They, too, are thinking about themselves and it leaves very little room for them to be ultra-concerned about you and your trash can duties.

I hope I don’t sound too harsh, dear Heidi-at-thirteen. It is just that I deeply wish you could experience the freedom to walk outside and smile freely. To walk outside and enjoy feeling the warm morning breeze playing with your blond hair. To simply enjoy the feel of the warm concrete on your bare, calloused feet as you roll those trash cans into the side yard. To enjoy sitting on top of the wooden fence-entrance to the side yard for a few minutes and dream and take in the morning. I wish you could enjoy all this as a couple of teenagers walk past on the other side of the street as much as you enjoy these things when no one is in sight.

I wish your mind felt free to thank Jesus for the beautiful day He has made instead of repeating the phrase, “God, get me through this. God, get me through this. God, get me through this. God, get me through this…” over and over in your head.

It’s ok, dear Heidi-at-thirteen. I understand. I truly do. Remember, I was there. And even if you don’t believe me now, trust me that someday you will be able to walk past a group of teenagers, without even wearing make-up, and give them a genuine smile and tell them to have a great day.

I know that sounds really scary.

Maybe even impossible.

But it will happen.

I promise.

Do you have any fears, small that they may be, that you don't think you could possibly get over? What are some fears you have found victory in?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Why the Blog Title?

"It is Happy to Love."

This statement comes from the book Hinds' Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard.

This book, as stated on the back cover, is "a beautiful allegory dramatizing the yearning of God's children to be led to new heights of love, joy, and victory."
In the beginning of the book, the main character, Much-Afraid, is having a conversation with the Shepherd. They are talking about how love and pain are very much intertwined.

It goes like this

Much-Afraid shrank back. "I am afraid," she said. "I have been told that if you really love someone you give that loved one the power to hurt and pain you in a way nothing else can."
"That is true," agreed the Shepherd. "To love does mean to put yourself into the power of the loved one and to become very vulnerable to pain, and you are very Much-Afraid of pain, are you not?"
She nodded miserably and then said shamefacedly, "Yes, very much afraid of it."
"But it is so happy to love," said the Shepherd quietly. "It is happy to love even if you are not loved in return. There is pain too, certainly, but Love does not think that very significant."

This excerpt is where I found my blog title.

I have a heart that loves deeply. And because of it, I have known the deep pain associated with Love. But as the Shepherd says, it is so happy to Love and it is worth the pain. I am willing to try to get past my fear of pain and to continue to pursue the Joy that comes with freely-given Love.

And if I lose sight in this journey, I pray that when I stumble my eyes will be returned to look upon my Role Model.

A Man with two openly outstretched arms nailed willing to each side of a cross.

What about you? Can you think of a time that you felt more pain because of the degree that you chose to love? Do you ever find yourself avoiding depth of love in order to avoid pain?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Why the Blog?

I've been thinking about blogging for a long time now. I have been reading blogs on a daily basis for a solid year.

And, on the privacy of my laptop where no one can see, I have been writing blog posts. I think about things and I want to process those things. So I write. and I show my writings to a couple of close friends. and maybe my sister and my mom. (who also happen to be close friends)

So I guess the first answer to Why the Blog? is that I would like a place to share. To share my thoughts, my heart, my struggles, and my questions. Maybe especially my questions. Because if there is anything I have learned in the past few years, it's that I don't have anything figured out.

That takes me to my second reason of Why the Blog? which is, I believe blogging will be a part of my journey. I am on a journey of dropping fear in pursuit of Love.

Starting this blog today is a step of dropping fear. Because the main reason I haven't started a blog until now is fear.

Fear of what people will think of my writing.
Fear of what people I know in real life will think of my public admittance of my faults.
Fear of what people will think of what I have to say.
Fear of looking, or sounding, stupid.
Fear of lack of interest.
Fear of failure.

So, although I am not somehow magically released from these fears by simply posting my first blog post, I am choosing to step out in a small act of courage and not allow fear to dictate my behavior.

And I'm Excited!

My goal on this blog is not to collect comments, or gain a high opinion from people, or be told how great I am. I actually don't expect that to happen at all!

Rather, my goal is to learn to share from a genuine heart, to share from a state of humility, and to process my pursuit of Love through the act of writing.

I'd Love to have you on the Journey!