Adulting in my parent’s basement

It has taken me a while to gather my thoughts. I find that whenever I attempt to do so, my mind wanders from one thing to the next making it very difficult to keep up with. Mainly my mind wanders to the overwhelming fact that college is over. The craziest, most life-changing four years of my life have all of a sudden flashed before my eyes. It’s like I blinked and now they’re over. Now, looking at where I stand now, it feels almost as if it were a wild dream.

For those of you wondering about where exactly I stand in life, here is a quick update of the past month and a half:

  • I graduated college with a four-year degree in Communication & Journalism
  • I went back to Costa Rica for a month
  • My sister got engaged the day I got back to the States
  • I will be her maid of honor this upcoming December
  • I am signed up to run the Color Run this upcoming weekend
  • I’m about to start my full time career at Target Corp
  • I am over $60,000 in debt (which leads me to my last point)
  • I am currently living in my parent’s basement

That’s right. I’ve found myself exactly where no twenty-two year old wants to be: living in my parents basement.

Obviously, it’s not where I dreamed I would be. If I had it my way, I would have my own studio apartment just outside the city with just me and a little pet yorkie who likes to join me for long bike rides and runs, just like this:

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Sometimes, however, we need to be humbled and that’s exactly what I need right now. I recently have been reminded on how much I’ve been self-reliant. I easily let my goals, positions of leadership, performance in school and sports, friendships, relationships, and even spiritual disciplines define who I am and what I’m worth.

Regardless of it all, the fact of the matter is I cannot claim to have accomplished anything on my own. The Good Lord is the one who has blessed me with the opportunities placed before me. He is the one who has placed people in my life to support me when times get difficult – like right now with my $60,000 debt. Sure, if I wanted to live on my own and struggle with debt for the next ten or twenty years, there is definitely that option. But, my parent’s have graciously offered their basement up for me to stay and get back on my feet again.

SO, here I am living in my parents basement. I swallowed my pride and took them up on the offer. It’s not a shameful thing like people make it out to be. Instead it’s an incredible opportunity- something to be grateful for. I hear of all sorts of people who don’t have the blessing of a great home life to go back to or parents willing to help them get back on their feet until they can tackle their debt.

Sure, it’s hard to tell people that I’m living in my parent’s basement. However, that is my pride and I need to change my attitude to a humble and grateful one because God has been SO good to me. My goal is to pay off all my school loans within the next two years! Ambitious, I know- but I’m excited to work towards financial freedom and one day adopting a cute little yorkie 🙂 Meanwhile, I’ll continue to dream big and be thankful!

 

 

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Live Fast, Die Young

I remember having to stop to catch my breath. I pulled my Honda Accord over to the side of the snow-dusted road and sat in disbelief.

On the other side of the phone was my friend Katelyn. Together we were planning a reunion with some old co-workers from the local grocery store. We went through a list of the names of those whom we would invite. Knowing that some would come and others would blow us off, we still wanted to include them all. I remember thinking of Erich and thinking about how it’s been awhile since I’ve seen him, so I told Katelyn we needed to invite him.

Katelyn got silent. A long pause lingered and she finally responded.

“Halle, did you not know? …. Erich died last summer.”

I had no idea.

Although we weren’t that close, his death hit me hard. The reason I didn’t know was because I was up north working at a summer camp and spent no time on Facebook. I later had deactivated my account and never got caught up on the endless updates. What’s crazy is the fact that by not keeping up with social media, I missed the death of a friend. The last time I had talked with him was on the phone – updating each other on life and his recent commitment to the army.

Although it was a few months too late, I’m glad I received the news from Katelyn. I’d rather find out the way I did than by simply seeing it as one of the many stories mixed in with the newsfeed. Hearing from a close friend kept the news from being desensitized. It was very real and heavy as the news of a death should be.

It happened in the summer of 2013. Erich was riding on his motorcycle late one night with his girlfriend following him in her car. His speed got the best him. His girlfriend couldn’t keep up and when she turned one corner, she found him crashed in the ditch. And just like that, in a brief moment, his life was taken.

I always viewed Erich as a light-hearted man. I never knew his full story, but there was something about him that intrigued me. His sense of humor brought joy to many customers. He was childish in a way and I’ll always recall how he was oddly passionate about birthday-cake Oreos.

That man loved his car more than a fat kid loves cake. Passionate about his BMW, he spent much of his paychecks investing in his baby. I remember fearing for my life while flying over 100 mph in the passenger seat of his car. That was during our trip to Valleyfair and let me just say it was the first and last time I rode with him.

Ironically, Erich was living out his life motto: “live fast, die young” Up until the day of his death. Unfortunately, at the age of nineteen, his life went faster than anyone anticipated and this motto became a literal experience for my friend.

Two years after receiving the news of his death, I still think about Erich, the life he lived and how unfortunate it is that it ended so fast. His story continues to inspire not only me, but also those in his community.

Although his experience was literal, I think in a lot of ways we are all living fast. For some, that might not be a bad thing, but at the same time there is value in taking a break from the fast-paced rhythm of life. We don’t want to rush through the precious moments in order to meet the end.

Therefore, I encourage you this holiday season take time to slow down. Take in your surroundings. Life as we know it is so very valuable, much more than the vibrant packages under the starlit trees.

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This post is in memory of Erich Kanne

1994 – 2013

Complacent Confession

I have a confession. It’s something I’m not proud of. I haven’t failed to be critical of others, but I have come to the conclusion that I’m the one with the problem. I have all these frustrations with our culture. I want to change the world. But, I’m not willing to change myself. I am complacent.

Complacency is defined as “a feeling of calm satisfaction with your own abilities or situation that prevents you from trying harder.” I’ve found that I’ve settled into the cycle of complacency and it’s something that has snuck up on me. I didn’t realize it’s a problem in my own life until just recently, when I was willing to admit it to myself through self-reflection. It’s something I easily point out in others, but this time I’ve realized that the only direction my finger can point right now is in my direction. It starts with me. So often I think, “Man. I just want people to get this,” or, “Wow, wouldn’t our world be better if everyone did that?” I see all these things I want to change in this world, yet find that I’m unwilling to change myself.

I find that as I sit in church on Sunday mornings, listening to the sermons and thinking to myself, “Okay, this is the week that things will change.” Yet, another week goes by and by the time Sunday comes around again, I realize I didn’t make the changes I was hoping I would. I hadn’t spent more time in prayer, I didn’t read my bible more and I didn’t have many meaningful conversations. I haven’t been willing to put in the work.

So often, I allow excuses override my desire to commit.

I recently read a book by Eugene Cho called Overrated. The main question on the cover asks; Are we more in love with the idea of changing the world than actually changing the world? I had to sit with this question. It’s challenged me to stop and think about what I’m actually doing. Eugene points out that our generation, according to statistics, shows more desire to make a difference than any other generation. Are we going to be the generation to reach this potential? Or are we an overrated one that is all talk and little to no action?

Through social media and the ability to connect with hundreds and thousands of people, we often think that we are making a larger impact than we actually are. We may retweet an article about injustice or post a Facebook status about how we volunteered at Feed My Starving Children. We do these things thinking it will make a difference. We do these things and feel like we did something good for the world. But is it truly requiring much sacrifice from us? Is it enough to make a difference? Or should we be doing more?

Now, I’m not saying that posting articles about social issues or going out into the community and volunteering is bad. In fact, I encourage those things. However, I believe it’s dangerous to just stop there and accept that as your one and only contribution. When Jesus calls us to follow him, he’s not asking for just something, he’s asking for everything. I’m preaching to myself here too because I’m realizing that there are areas in my life where I need to be sacrificing more. I need to be willing to commit more to God; to purse the passions and gifts that he has given me. I keep claiming the things I need to be doing more of, but then fail to follow through with doing them.

So, here is my confession to settling into this complacent culture. Feel free to hold me accountable to never settling and to pray for me to be motivated to work towards my calling.

Last year, someone prophesied that I was called to be the change this culture needs. God is calling me to step up and that I have a voice. It’s a long story that I will tell another time, but notice the words carefully. I’m called to be the change. Not promote the change, not talk about or write about the change. I need to be the change. It starts with the willingness and commitment to changing myself. So here’s my confession to being complacent and a public commitment to begin changing that.

Running Away

I remember the first time I tried running away.

I was just a kid and my sisters and I were messing around in the car ride back from dinner. Our parents got annoyed with us for not listening to them so they dropped us off about a quarter mile from our house and told us to walk back. I was so mad I didn’t want to go home. I told my sisters I wasn’t going home with them and that I was going to live with my neighbors down the street. Obviously that wasn’t going to happen, but I truly did want to run away at the the time. I didn’t want to have to talk with my parents when we got back and so I tried to run. My sisters ran after me and literally picked me up and carried me home.

That was the first time I tried to run away, and recently I’ve realized that I still struggle with this tendency to run from issues. Instead of physically running away, I’ve built up walls that have allowed me to hide from truly dealing with deeper issues. Similar to the story of when I was a kid, putting in the work to admit you were wrong and actually talking through things is scary. It’s much more appealing to run somewhere you can start over and not have to worry about disappointing people.

If my sisters weren’t there to bring me back, I must say it would have been interesting to see where I would have ended up and how long I would have lasted on my own. It’s funny to think about, but at the same time such a lesson to learn from. My sisters loved and cared about me enough to put in the work to bring me home.

They knew where I needed to go and they put in the work to get me there. That is what accountability is.

I realized that I struggle with accountability. There’s this fear I have when people share things with me. I’ve had all sorts of people open up to me about significant struggles. I feel as though in the past year or so I’ve had friends and people close to me share just about everything; eating disorders, suicide attempts, sexual abuse, rape, alcohol addiction, depression, sex and anxiety. You name it, I’m sure I’ve heard it. I am able to listen, I am able to give advice, however accountability is something I just don’t know how to do. Unlike my sisters, I don’t have the strength to carry people where they need to go. I live with regrets of letting so many people run away, and also myself. So I run.

I have always told myself that I don’t take on the weight that others carry, however I’m realizing I was wrong. I do carry people’s problems, and this has hurt me in the past. Therefore, my solution has been these walls. These walls have been put up so that I won’t have to be there. I listen and give good advice, but I don’t stay long enough to hold people accountable. I have a tendency to withdraw because I know I don’t have the power to fix them and I know I can’t handle the pain. So I run.

I’m realizing that my fear from accountability is wrong. I can’t continue to use the excuse that it’s not important. I can’t let the discouragement of my past prevent me from looking for accountability. If I don’t learn how to look to people for help, as well as being there to support others, I will miss out on what God has.

It’s true, I don’t have the power to fix people. It’s true, people don’t have the power to fix me. However, I am in the wrong to underestimate the power of God to do great things through accountability. It’s time to learn how to tear down walls without fearing what may be behind them. It’s time to be there and ask for God’s strength to help carry people because I know I can’t on my own. It’s time to develop a heart to love. I need to learn how to love how He loves.

Love does not run away.

It’s time to let God truly work in these relationships. It’s time to say no to excuses and yes to the work ahead. No more isolation, no more fear, no more excuses.

Running away is never the answer.

I’m Not Pursuing Happiness

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How do you define what the full life is?

Life is full of so much, yet it is easy to have this false idea of what the full life actually looks like. We are all just bunch of people wandering through life, trying to have it all figured out. We tend to look to the wrong things in our pursuit.

We have this tendency define our future based on what our culture is telling us a full life is – also known known as the American dream. This dream tells us that we need to work harder, be richer, and pursue what makes us happy. Lives are dedicated to education, not to seek truth and knowledge, but in order to move up in the success ladder.  I’m not saying you’re not allowed to work hard and to want to be successful. It is dangerous, though, when we start to pursue temporary things.

We have the right to pursue happiness, but what should we really be pursuing?

What we need to be pursing is joy. Believe it or not, there is a difference between joy and happiness. Happiness is defined as an emotion of contentment and satisfaction that is caused by earthly experiences or material objects and is based on outward circumstances. Joy on the other hand is defined as a stronger, yet less common, feeling of happiness that is based on inward circumstances. It is a spiritual feeling of closeness to God that results from witnessing or achieving selflessness to the point of personal sacrifice. It is an inward peace and contentment that is lasting.

Happiness is self-seeking and temporary and joy is self-less and long-lasting. Happiness is based on outward circumstances and joy is based on inward circumstances. The fruits of the spirit are Love, Joy. Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness and Self-control. The bible says nothing about pursuing happiness. Joy doesn’t come from focusing on the temporary, but rather the eternal.

The American dream tells us to focus on ourselves, yet God tells us to focus on others. How crazy is it to think that when we focus on others, we will actually experience more contentment and satisfaction? Isn’t it ironic how that works out? It’s easy to see now why so many people miss this focus in life.

We need to remind ourselves that we can’t spend our lives focused on pursuing after what the world wants. The American dream is misleading as it lusts after selfish desires and temporary happiness, which aren’t all bad things, however they can take our focus off of what God has planned. He has designed each and every one of us with a purpose, which I know sounds clichĂ© but it’s true! Rather than focusing so broadly on the future and what you want, look at where you are because God is using that.

Don’t let a day go to waste. If you learn about God and how He has designed you, you will thrive no matter where you are. As you apply your passions to invest in others and serve, you will begin to experience the fullness of life that God has created for you.

So often people commit to the wrong things, like the American dream- the patterns of this world. You are called to do the things that God has called you to do. He will line what you are passionate about up with His plan for your life because it’s all part of his perfect design. Take time to reflect and think about what your are passionate about. If you don’t know what that is, ask God to reveal that to you.

As you start to figure out what some of the things you are passionate about are, start committing to them. Let God renew your mind, pray for a clear mindset for him to reveal great things. Figure out what your passionate is and commit to it.

As you live in accordance to Gods will, you will experience more joy as you allow God to lead you and place you where He wants you.

Don’t pursue happiness.

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” –Romans 12:2

How Are You, Really?

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How are you? Let me guess. “Good?

Well, what if you’re not good? Are you going to say it?

When we ask people how they’re doing, are we prepared for them to say something other than good?

Lately I’ve been bothered by how we don’t even take the time to really answer this question. Part of me wonders if we even know how to answer it. Do we take the time to stop and think about how we are actually doing throughout our day? I find myself so busy that I get caught off guard when someone asks me how I’m doing. I honestly don’t even know how to respond most of the time. My first thought is, do they actually want to know how I’m doing? Because if I’m going to be honest, I don’t want to be judged for it. My second thought is, do I even know how I’m doing? If I truthfully answer this question, it’ll take a moment for me to know how to respond. Maybe it’s that moment of our time that not many of us are willing to give.

I wouldn’t say that we don’t want to be real. I think that we have forgotten how to be real. We may have even forgotten what is real. I know I find myself struggling with all this and I sometimes wonder if it bothers others as much as it bothers me.

Maybe we’re trying to keep up with what our profiles are saying. Our Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat stories are painting a portrait of a perfectly happy self. I think there’s this idea in our heads that everything has to be good, or better than it is. It seems like we live in a comparative culture and everyone is working to highlight their lives, not showing what’s really going on.

Maybe we don’t want to be known as a negative person. We don’t want to burden others with what we are actually struggling with. Crazy thoughts in our heads may be saying, “I’m feeling depressed or I’m having a bad day, but everyone else around me seems fine so maybe theres something wrong with just me. It’s not worth sharing.” We believe these lies that we aren’t allowed to say what’s really going on.

Maybe we just don’t take the time to do so. I’m especially guilty of this one. People will ask me how I’m doing in passing and all I have time to say is “good” and by the time I get the words out, they’re half way down the hall. It frustrates me because I feel like if you don’t care, then don’t ask. It goes both ways though. Sometimes when I ask people how they are doing, I don’t even give them enough time to think about it and respond. I’m realizing it’s time to change this habit because who am I to get upset about something I catch myself doing too?

I’m not buying into this whole “everyone is always good” phenomenon.

I’m sick of this fake “good” and I want to start thinking intentionally about how to be more real. It’s time to learn what is real and how to be that. If you’re actually good, say what is good! If you’re not doing well, say what’s really going on with you! Let’s encourage one another to take off our masks, stop trying to put on a face and lets talk about what really matters.

We need to be freed from living a surface-level life. The only way we can overcome the darkness in our lives is if we bring it to the light. What is kept in the dark will continue to have power over us. If you’ve got a lot to praise about, don’t hold back. Share what God is doing in your life! By holding things in, we are feeding into this fake culture. We can’t just continue to hide behind shallow responses. We need to start caring. We need to start loving. We need to give people the time of day.

How great would it be if, when we asked how people are, we actually cared about the responses?

It starts with you.

How are you, really?

Living In The Grey

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Life is full of overwhelming decisions and feelings of little to no direction. Opportunities are endless, dreams are big, but what are we supposed to do? Sometimes, it seems like life gets stuck in the grey.

I’ve spent much time wishing that everything in my life was more black and white. I just want to know what God wants for me. Where am I’m going to live? What job am I going to have and what should I do? Part of me just wants to know all the things that God has planned!

Any area of uncertainty can have the power to create this world of discomfort in my mind. It drives me crazy and my mind ends up up running around in circles, never sure if all this running is ever going to take me anywhere.

I’ve realized there’s this place of fear in me that tries to run away from the unknown, but you can’t. I’d let fear of the unknown prevent me from taking risks. I’d settle for good when God might have something great– I just can’t see it. Rather than trusting, I find myself trying to gain control by creating my own certainty in a bubble of comfort. I’ve come to recognize these walls I’ve built to protect myself. Within the past year, I’ve also come to experience the freedom of knocking some of them down. There are areas in my life where I’d been settling for what I know I can effortlessly achieve, even if it’s not my greatest desire.

Most of us could probably agree that living in uncertainty can be annoying, but in order to have faith it’s necessary. Think about it. Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we cannot see (Hebrews 11:1). God wants us to give Him our hearts and trust His great plan, even when we have no idea what that is. Fear will get in the way of you fulfilling your purpose, for fear is the opposite of faith.

We will always face grey areas in life. In fact, we need the grey. If we knew everything, how often would we pray? Probably not very. We need to be in prayer in order to be in relationship with God. We need to be asking Him and involving Him in the process of making decisions.

When we try to know everything we are trying to be our own God. We are trying to say we have the answers, or that we know what we’re doing, when we don’t. We rule God out of the process. We need to turn to Him when things are in the grey.

As badly as I want clarity all the time, I want God more. If it means my relationship with Him will be greater, I’ll choose to live in the grey where faith and trust must exist.

Alone with God

Our generation has forgotten the value of being alone. Do we even know what solitude is? Think about it.

We are a generation that is constantly connected, just a Tweet, Snapchat or Facebook message away.  As someone who has always thought of herself as an extrovert, I never thought I would ever desire to be alone.

Last week I reached a breaking point. As a college student with an overloaded schedule, I’ve reached a point of extreme burnout in my life. I realized I just couldn’t be alone. People are everywhere, constantly bombarding me with texts asking me when I’m free to grab a meal or get some coffee -which makes me feel popular, but really I’m not, I’m just a freshmen RA. Or maybe I am popular… who knows. Anyway, there is a limited amount of white space on my calendar and as it gets filled with more and more people, the less time I have for God and myself.

So, while I was on the verge of a breakdown from being so burnt out, all I wanted to do was run away for a week or something. Realistically, I can’t do that, so I decided to unplug for two hours. I started my stopwatch, turned off my phone, and went for a drive. I realized how much I needed this time alone with God as soon as I left campus. I was driving and talking to God like a crazy lady. There are a million things on my mind right now and no time to process. My sanity had just about gone out the window. I’m realizing I need to be giving God the firsts in my life, including my time.

For too long I have neglected to make God a priority in my life, especially when it comes to my time. Everything we have comes from Him, yet I have not even given Him the time of day. Literally.

Even Jesus had to go spend time in solitude. He would even go up to the top of a mountain by himself and just spend time in prayer (which I really wish I could do right now). If even Jesus needed to spend time with God, think about how badly we need it.

It’s time to stop making excuses and start making changes.

I’m learning the importance of taking a step back in the midst of a busy schedule. I haven’t unplugged for a while and it was refreshing, even though it was only for two hours. It felt like I could breathe again. I was able to process some of my thoughts and not worry about the fast pace of life.

I have this fear that I’m going to let life go by without really taking it in.

God gave me life and I plan on living that out until the day I die. If I don’t start slowing down more often, I’m going to miss it. When you take a step back from the business of life and just listen, the world becomes a little more clear. It’s easy to miss God if you aren’t giving Him the time He deserves. Maybe I sound crazy, but God can speak to you in unique ways.

All you have to do is listen.

You, My Friend, Are Blessed

As I’m sitting here and seeing the anxiety of finals fill the atmosphere, I can’t help but think back this broken community I visited in Costa Rica. My experience continues to put things in perspective. We are blessed.

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Sometimes I question if it’s possible for us to understand how blessed we are.

I really don’t think I have the capacity to count all of the things that I take for granted on a daily basis. The list is endless. Picture this:

You’re a 16-year-old boy living in one of the most dangerous communities imaginable. You live in small house made of scrap tin barely held together with a few nails and boards. There’s no air-conditioning even though the average temperature is 90 degrees and humid. Not only do you live in this nice little shack, but your family doesn’t own it. It’s actually rented out and it costs your family about $200 to live there each month. How can your family afford to live in such an expensive house? Well, selling her body as a prostitute is one of your mom’s few options for paying this expensive bill…

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The Day I Died

Last week I had a friend ask me a random question out of the blue. She asked me why I seem to always be doing so well and why I was always in a good mood. I was caught off guard and really couldn’t answer her at that moment. I said something along the lines of, “I gave up control and have allowed God to lead my life and now I am experiencing a crazy amount of freedom and Joy.”

I wasn’t satisfied with how I responded to that question. I remember walking away frustrated because I had just given her the typical Christian clichĂ© answer. No depth, just a very surface-level response with no depth or explanation behind it. This is the type of Christian lingo I’ve been annoyed with for a long time and I was frustrated with myself for falling into that. There is truth to what I told her, but at the same time this girl deserves to know the full story. She deserves to know my vulnerabilities and struggles, I shouldn’t just glaze over the struggles I’ve battled. I’ve struggled with some serious issues and as hard as it is to talk about it, I know that the only way I can let God use my experiences is if I take opportunities like this to share them.

After thinking about it for a while, I decided to tell her about the day I died. Not literally, but in a sense I was close.

I have struggled with an extreme amount of anxiety. So much that I couldn’t wake up in the morning without feeling the weight of depression on my shoulders. It was a physical feeling and honestly I believe it was a form of spiritual warfare. It was eating me and making me feel literally sick. The enemy was attacking me and I was in a spiritual battle. Through it all, the only hope I had was that God would use this for good. With that I had to let go and I knew what that required of me. He wanted me to leave everything and trust Him. Finally I accepted the call I was feeling and I let Him send me to the last place I would have chosen: Costa Rica.

When I was in Costa Rica, one way God was challenging me was He was making me face all my fears. I faced my fears of being alone, misunderstood, airports (especially the Denver one) and most importantly the unknown. All of this combines to one large challenge and that was giving up control and trusting Him. I was a control freak, and in some ways I know I still need work. But now I would say there was a moment when I decided to let God have control and I decided to trust Him.

Like I wrote about earlier, I was struggling with anxiety, depression, and also to love myself and couldn’t accept the fact that I am loved. I was also trying to figure out my relationship with God and what loving him looks like. I also had a ton of trust issues with myself, with relationships and even wether or not I trusted God. I was working through it and I remember getting to a point where I was ready to give up. I was ready to give up on myself and my life. I just felt like all the questions I was struggling with weren’t being answered.

I remember feeling the need to do something reckless.

I honestly will tell you that I decided to do something crazy, something no one would have ever expected me to do. I had honest thoughts that I would probably die, and secretly I hoped I would. I came to terms with my death. I made a deal with God and told Him that if I make it out alive, then He can do whatever the heck He wants with me and my life. I was done being in control.

So, the next week I jumped.

It was the most thrilling experience of my life. Bungee jumping was something I never would have done. Ever. I absolutely hated heights. Heck, elevators freaked me out so bad my palms would sweat whenever I rode them. (If I’m being honest, elevators still freak me out. I just pretend to be brave). Anyway, my point is that my experience in Costa Rica with bungee jumping reflected my spiritual life and the need to give up. It was more than just a jump, it was a leap of faith. I had to give up control and actually trust enough to put my life at risk. No one understands the point I was at when I did the jump. No one knew that for me, I was ready to die and it was in a sense a spiritual suicide.

So what’s different now? I came away from that experience shocked. I couldn’t believe I had just jumped and did so willing to die. I sound dramatic, I know, but if you need proof I can show you my journal from that day. I was ready to die and be remembered. I even messaged my family and told them I loved them. That’s how you know I was serious about dying. After I had come out of it alive, I remember just sitting there thinking about the life that flashed before my eyes and how my last words before I jumped were, “I have a lot of questions about my life right now.”

That I did. Not all of them were all of a sudden answered that day, but I know that I was questioning myself and I was questioning God and wether or not he loved me enough to do something with me. While I was dangling there from the cart, hundreds of feet in the air, I realized and said out loud, “God loves me enough to save me from death.” Why did he save me from death? I wasn’t sure, but I knew he was calling me to give up everything and just trust Him. It was time to give Him the control and actually trust.

Today, my life is different because I gave up control. I allowed God to lead my life and was willing to die to my old self, literally. I’ve been living in freedom because I’ve realized I am not in control, He is and his plans don’t fail. Knowing that there’s nothing I can ever do to earn the love that God has for me is crazy. To think that He thought I was worth creating and He has chosen to keep me here still blows my mind. It should blow yours too because look at yourself, you are a living and breathing being! You are someone that God thought was worth creating! He does have a plan for you and it’s up to you to give up yours and follow His. I can tell you right now that freedom is waiting on the other side once you give it up.

God has freed me from depression and anxiety. I am now able to appreciate and experience this crazy amount of joy.

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