A Love Story.


What is a love story?

Two people, slowly or even swiftly find themselves being consumed with thoughts and actions of another. In a world full of billions, there are those few who begin to stand out. Who aren’t the other thousands that won’t get the early morning phone calls or the tears that come in the moments of loss. They’re the ones that hear the giggles and they’re the ones that feel right to be shared with. They should be there all the time. But they don’t have to be, to be found of the same character. Every moment seems a dream for they allow the first character to realize there’s more happening in this Divine conspiracy than they know. Every moment, begs to be told again to these ears that listen, begging them to be forever.

They hurt. They love. They hurt. They love. They live. They die. They live. They die. They live. They hurt and love and live and love and die and live and love; together.

People used to tell me I needed some sort of prince to walk up and take my hand and then I would know love as the story that everyone wants to tell. I’m not so sure that’s the truth, because every moment of this that I live seems to be wrapped in something I cannot explain with the simplicity of words. Every tail gate in Best Buy, every late night Dennys trip. The sparkle in eyes and the ache when we walk away. And, the realization that we have forever together. You weren’t put here because you would be here just for a moment to remind me of something. You weren’t put here just because I needed to tell a story as Forrest did. You are more than that. I can’t say why, but I know I feel it in every thought of us. Every single moment.

Moments with you sparkle before me, and replay within me, and you, dear friend, have been and will always be a lead role in my love story. And the world wonders how it works while we’re swept away in a dream that will always be a story worth telling.

So a a love story? Well, that’s us.

Thank you for being a perfect piece of this beautiful mess of love.

…because love wins.

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Again To The Plane.


It’s quiet in this house for the first time in days. Clothes are ironed. The phone finally back on the hook. Lists are printed. What do do. Where to call. What to pack. Airline tickets are ready to be printed. Cash is in hand, and it’s all happening.

My mind settles back on the sixteen year old me. Three years ago. I know. Really, three years ago? I was a little more wild, but a lot less able to understand. I was learning to drive, and wondering with that, how long I’d hold my daddy’s hand. I had friends I thought would be forever, and dreams that sometimes scared me to the bone. I was learning the definition of “cancer”, and had to learn to let go. I opened the Bible only when I had to, and really didn’t know much of love. Thought a lot, but didn’t let my heart just explode. I made a lot of choices, that at the time I thought were huge, and I thought I’d take on the world, with everything that I knew. I had just gained a new brother and they got not long after, their first home. I was a terrible employee, and still liked to spend a lot of time in mom and dad’s abode. I wanted that car, and thought it could be mine. I had the world at my fingertips, and yet, still wanted to be inside the lines. There was a depth about me that gave me hope, and even when I convinced myself, I really didn’t know.

I got on a plane then too, for something I was told had been a big deal. I found passion in my heart there, and let go of so many fears. I watched speakers and evaluated, and couldn’t help but give my life away. I cried and cried and cried, well, because I needed things to go another way. I came home 5 days later and wanted to explain. I knew though, that I wouldn’t, I’d just give my life away.

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” -1 Peter 2:9

I remember the chants and the explaining, and all the nights that I sat in awe. I remember those words of Jesus, because for that week, they were my all.

I saw things change in me those days. In a way that still cannot explain. That depth became my heart, and the hope was no longer just in my mind. I listened to Him speak, and I became every day, more alive. The world I live in now probably can’t believe, but there was once a day, that I was far from who they know as me. I still have friends I want forever, and know Jesus will be the best. I’m still one who loves to be home, and I’ll always hold my daddy’s hand. I love to drive the car, but my freedom there doesn’t lie in. We laugh about how I know to work, but probably would never choose so to do. I fear less by not holding things in my hands, but never forget that I am only human too. I open the Bible a lot more, and always because I have to, eat the Word of life, and there’s life wrapped in the one I got there still. I still generally live between the lines, but there’s a freedom to them now, I didn’t lay them down; no, that was the higher Power. I don’t always care to figure it out, and I don’t want a thing to do with concern, and the hope that lives inside me has become my entire world.

So I get on a plane again, and this time on the wings of answered prayer. I’m a little deeper, a little wiser, but always just a little child, being made aware. I don’t know what the days will do, but I’m sure there are things that will change. I know that my voice won’t be my own, and every whisper I beg one of praise. Maybe I’ll cry, and I’m sure I’ll laugh to tears, just as it was, even back three years.

“So take a step little one, and forget not that it’s about Me. You have the time of your life, and I’ll set the captives free.”

Then I learned I was chosen. And here, I’ll proclaim I believe.

I love you Jesus.

Come, be with me.

…because love wins.

Something.


You probably don’t know, but I wrote about you at the start of this. Together. There was something that facinated me about it. Something more like a research projec than anything. When He told me we’d be like this, well, how could I ever understand what He meant? How? I didn’t know. And yet, we became, and about you, I still write. That place became a home in those days, because of you. And this beauty still astounds me. You still make it home here, the same. But that year, with every night, I would bottle and put in a trophy, and keep it to adore forever, if the moments could only be held and shown to feel what the air was there in 208. It would. It would be something to make me remember, always.

Only to remember, that we lived, and we still live.

I love you.

…because love wins.

That Was Me?


The journeys that we walk are not ones that were created without the most perfect of Divine brush strokes.

See that dark spot over there? That’s as it should be, for that time, you learned what light was.
See that wrinkle? That’s right. You’re only human.
See that burn? That’s only because you tried to take control and iron it out yourself. My peace is ointment. You have that too.
That fear? It’s just because your jealousy is a lack of trust. I have faith for you.
That shredded piece? That means you lived. I find it beautiful. It doesn’t have to go away for Me to be true.
That blotch of pain that shows up every once and a while? Ah, it’s ok. I know about that too. No more hiding. You’re free.
That confusion in red? Oh, little one, that’s nothing more than why you need to keep learning of Me. Heaven, dear.

That white, over there? That’s what I see. That’s what you are. And, that’s why you can hold up the other painting, and say joyfully, “This was me!”. You are not as you once were. You are made anew and forgive to be. Tell them, and speak honestly, there’s nothing to fear for the peace is already given, by Me.

Tonight, I read old journals. Oh, Jesus, You are so beyond me.

Two days until a speech at the National Youth Gathering.

And who I was 3 years ago? That was me?

I’ll tell them.

To Your glory, Jesus. Only to you.

Every part of me.

I have so much more to learn.

…because love wins.

Live.


I have hope in you. I still do. I know it’s been years. I know I watched you do that. I know. I know. I know. But I know the heart in there. I know who it is that you’re supposed to be. I know. I know those secrets. What you dream of and want, and fear. And it’s interesting, that after all these years, I still know. And I still know you can be free. The ache isn’t the same in me as it was then, but oh, how I loved you. How it seems, I still do. Eternally. His love. So I can’t be there, and I rejoice in the the will of our Jesus in that, but I’ll pray, for watching death in your life is not something that I can ever just sit and accept kindly.

You still shape me today, because you remind me of just a glimpse of what I’ve been saved from. From how you hurt me, I’m healed. From how you left me, I’ve forgiven. For who I know you are, I’ll still pray.

It really hurt. Oh, it did. But without it, I wouldn’t know my Jesus.

You break my heart as Jesus’ does.

And He loves you.

Believe it.

I’ll tell hundreds about the hope that is Jesus a week from now and you’re to thank for that in some ways.

Everything is perfectly placed as it should be.

Thank You, Jesus.

…because love wins.

Mommy and Daddy.


You sat in your chair; the one that you’ve loved to sit in for years, in front of the windows, with that tree that’s been there since my sister’s birth twenty five years in the past, rustling right behind you. Life seemed to flash within me.

You’re everywhere in this place. It seems to be your pride, for you’ve built it from the bottom up. It’s been new windows and kitchens and carpet and TVs. It’s been tears at the top of stairs, meal after meal after meal in right off the deck. It’s been your anxiety attacks, and watching you become more like Jesus. It’s been your dreams for us, and fashion shows and vomit clean up and washing walls. It’s been movie nights and hugs on evenings of wonder. It’s been rainbow watching, and fishing line untangling, and the looking at of photos. It’s been nights of laptops and Hallmark movies. It’s been your always kisses goodnight, and your always rampant joyous good mornings. It’s been listening in on phone calls, and not taking some. It’s even been the chicken pox and chemo fever nights and the family meetings to discuss all things life. It’s been firing, and hiring, and apologizing, and becoming. We’ve laughed until we’ve cried. We’ve cried until we laughed. And even today, you want for me nothing but the best.

Your eyes sparkled as I remembered you sending me off to college. I wasn’t like most people. Didn’t need to run far from home, and didn’t need to say goodbye. Wanted home to be where I was, and made phone calls every night. You emailed me every other moment, and we grew closer as you told me how proud you were to watch me live. I was getting wings, but it’s your roots that made me fly. Two years later, I still never want to say goodbye.

You decided it was time to tell me about where your money and life insurance is dealt with. How to sell the business, and tell me that you’ll kill me if my sister and I argue over lamps. You tell me to go here and there and talk to these people, and I listen with intent. But, there’s something in me that wouldn’t believe it. There’s no way that some day I’ll be here without you, is there? Without my cheer team, and my crying shoulder? And without my answered phone calls and always someone pushing me to be bolder? There’s no way that there’ll be a time in which we’re not always just a car ride away? How could that be? You built the house that built me.

We don’t know when you’ll leave, and that’s so much more than ok. But, it’s incredible to look back, and realize that someday, it’ll all change. I know God will provide, but for as long as you can, stay with me and hold me. I don’t want to live life without these two best friends.

Thank you for teaching me to live in a way that makes you proud.
Thank you for telling me there’s nothing I can’t become.
Thank you for knowing my heart and telling me to get rid of my terrible habits.
Thank you for knowing that I get grumpy when tired, and need nothing but ten hours of sleep to beat it.
Thank you for the work ethic, and the way that I can’t explain why you’re a part of me.
Thank you for holding my vomit bucket, and petting me when my hair again you could finally see.
Thank you for calling too much. Nagging too much. Always making me dinner.
Thank you for being my employer, then teaching me that I am always a winner.
Thank you for pushing me, then holding tightly with a hand.
Thank you for driving too much, and for being everything in the silent spans.
Thank you for the car rides, the acceptance, and the dreams.
Thank you for always being sheer and real with me.
Thank you for holding my bike when the little wheels came off, and thank you for telling me at the stop sign means stop.
Thank you for holding my heart, and reminding me that Jesus always will.
Thank you for believing, and always chasing His will.

But above all else, thank you for being a part of me. I know beyond all things, together we’ll always be.

I love you, Mommy and Daddy, and will always be your baby girl.

…because love wins.