goodbye

when i last saw her
i didn’t realize
that this
this would be
the last time
that i would
see her
alive
i didn’t realize
that i wouldn’t see her
in just a few days
just like i always did
just like i always had

i was blissfully unaware
that morning
my door burst open
and it would never
be the same
“she’s dead”
the words that came
out of her mouth
made my mind revolt

this wasn’t real
this wasn’t reality!
i couldn’t comprehend
what i was being told
we had known each other
for years
she was one of my first friends
here in this strange
new place

even as i sat there
i couldn’t help but think
“this isn’t real
this isn’t happening”
but it was
it is
this was my reality

no
it wasn’t true
it hadn’t happened
it was someone else!
they were lying!

“i just saw her
the other day”
i whispered
tears of confusion
and anger
and pain
streaming down
my face

“she can’t be dead!
she’s not dead!
it’s not real!
it’s not real!”

i rocked
back and forth
convinced
that i was right -
she was not dead
they were lying
she was there -
somewhere

it was impossible
i had just seen her
she was just there
she could not just be gone
in the blink
of an eye

i knew her so well
and suddenly
when i thought of her name
there was this space
this emptiness
because she was gone

“no!”
but yes
she was
she was gone
“no!
it’s not real!
it’s not real!”

and then there
i was standing
in front of the casket
and i looked
but i couldn’t believe it
no
that couldn’t
be her
she couldn’t
be in there
and it lowered
into the ground
and it was covered
with dirt
no
it couldn’t be real
but it was

and i sobbed
i sobbed
harder and harder
and when i thought
i was done
i kept on sobbing

she was gone

no!
it’s not real!

she was dead

no!
it’s not true!

she had left this world
and gone to another
a much, much better
place

no
no

she’s gone
she’s dead
and yet
she’s more alive
than i am

she’s gone
she’s alive
she has gone
to sit
at the feet of Jesus
and she is perfectly
completely
fulfilled

this is true
this is real
and while i may not
understand now
this is part
of the plan

she doesn’t have to know
the pain
the sorrow
the evilness
of this world
any longer

she is with her Father
she is complete

goodbye
for now

be held

i try to control things in my life. i want to control the outcome of everything - how people see me, how i do in life, and what i'm going to do. i don't like unknown variables. i like everything perfectly in order. because that's when it feels safe. and i can relax. and i don't have to stress. and i don't have to worry that something's going to happen that's going to drastically change my life for the worst.

there's this song that's by casting crowns. it's called "just be held." every time i hear that song, i just find myself relaxing. just the idea of letting go of having to control everything, and just be... held. safe in my Father's arms. i'm the type of person who feels like if something doesn't turn out how i wanted it to, i must've done something wrong. maybe i didn't practice enough, or study enough, or do enough. whatever happens, it's up to me.

but i'm reminded that "...it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast." - ephesians 2:8-9 i can't force God to love me - He already does. and i can't force other people to love me, or like me, or even tolerate me. i can't do everything perfect all the time, or succeed in everything, or do the best in everything. and i don't have to.

i always feel like i have to, though. that i have to be the best in everything.

why?

i don't know. i just have this feeling of having to be perfect. because if i'm not perfect, it's probably something about me that's terrible. and horrible. and stupid. something that i could change, but don't. and every time i fail, it's like i'm reminded - "you're terrible. and horrible. and stupid."

and the thing is, i am terrible. i am a sinner, and i deserve to die. but God offers me grace, and if i receive that grace and repent from my sins and believe in my heart that God raised Jesus from the dead and confess from my thought this truth (romans 10:9), i will be saved. and i am saved.

the reality of it all is... i'm not perfect. i can't get it right all the time. and while i can't do that, it doesn't mean i have the excuse to give up or just be lazy. it makes i work hard, but sometimes i won't get what i want. and i can't control it. and i don't have to.

God has plans for all our lives. sometimes we strive and worry and freak out because we're trying to make things happen in our own power. but it's okay. God's got it under control. you do your best to follow God and do what He's asking you to, you'll get where you're supposed to go. but don't worry or stress about making it onto that team or getting into that group or meeting those people. God's got plans. if you're supposed to be on that team, get in that group, or meet those people, it'll happen. but worrying and trying to control it will just bring pain and misery for yourself. trust me. i've been there. more than i'd like to admit.

sometimes God just wants us to let go. let go of everything - all the stress, all the worry, all of the pain, all of the control. just give them to Him. and let Him handle it. trust Him, follow Him, be seeking Him, but leave all of that other gunk behind. and just let go, and be held.

remember - you're a princess. you're the beloved daughter of THE KING. just let yourself be held.

be a hero,
anna

the past

i stand here
and i realize
it’s over
it’ll never be back
what’s done is done
it can’t be changed

the shock
it overwhelms me
takes over my body
and i sit
on the cold, hard ground
it can’t
it can’t be
i’m not done
i’m not ready to be done
i’m not willing for it to be done
but it is
and i can’t control it

the tears
they’re there
but i force them back
push them down
because if i start?
i might never stop
i can’t think about all of this
all of the implications
i’ll never see them again
they won’t be here again
this moment will never happen again
these memories will fade
and be nothing but whispers
of the wind on a cold night
whistling through the mountaintops
brushing past the leaves of the trees
and skimming across the waters of the seas

i’m not ready
not ready to face reality
not ready to face the world
and yet that’s what’s here
right here
in my face
pulling me forward
pushing me off the cliff
but will i fly?
or will i fall?

i grasp beyond me
i grasp at the past
but it slips through my fingers
like the sifting sands
it runs through my hands
like the rushing rivers
and i cry out
but it doesn’t stop
i can’t stop it
i can’t control it
and i fear

i can’t control everything
i can’t stop everything
i can’t bring people back
or make my memories my true reality
but what i can do?
is stop
is look up
is trust
is say,
“God, i know You’re there
i know You’re watching
and i know You have plans
i don’t know what they are
i don’t know when they will happen
but i know they’re there
so i’m going to trust
even when i’m crying
even when i can’t understand
even when i’m in denial
for i know that You love me
i love you, too”

things happen
people come
people go
things change
but God is always there
and He always loves you.

//

learning to trust,
anna

two negatives make a positive

Hey, guys. I know I haven't been on here in a long time. Life's been absolutely crazy. It's like every time I stop doing something, my brain's just racing with - okay, so what are you supposed to be doing? It always seems like I finish one thing, and then I'm off to the next thing. Sometimes the speed of life almost seems suffocating.

And in the midst of everything that I have to get done, I find myself feeling like I have time for nothing. And suddenly everything in my life isn't what it used to be - you know, reading, writing stories, blogging. Also, part of the reason I haven't blogged lately, is that I feel I have nothing to say. And I hate writing when I know that I have nothing that I'm actually trying to say. But, I guess, now I do.

I'm going to switch a little bit from everything that's going on in my life and discuss something that's kind of personal to me. I find in my life that I'm really swayed by everything out there. Not just the movies and the books and websites and whatever, but by the people that I find in my life all the time. I see these people, every day, and after awhile, they start to rub off on me. I've always kind of noticed that if I spend a lot of time around a person, I start talking like them. But what about when my attitude becomes like them?


We live in a rather negative society. We complain about school, about our lots in life, about our family, about our friends, and, let's be honest, about the kind of cereal we eat in the morning and how we don't have enough clothes. To keep it simple, we complain about just about everything. We're always looking to blame somebody for anything that happens to us.

I started realizing in my own life just how much all of this negative behavior was affecting my life, and I didn't like it. This wasn't how I wanted to be. This wasn't caring for people, doing something to brighten their day. Instead, I was taking away the light from other peoples' day. And I wanted to stop it.

The reality is, we all have sin natures. We can't totally take all things negative out of our lives. But we can work our hardest to have positive attitudes, no matter what.

So how did I decide to just magically become positive? Well, I didn't magically decide to do so. It first starts with a conscious effort. When you start to think of something that's complaining, you just have to bite your tongue. If somebody says something negative, instead of joining in the negativity by agreeing, you can come back with some positive. And I've always found that one of the best ways to stay positive is.... dun dun dun! Compliment somebody. You like their shirt? Let them know. They look nice today? Say so. You have no idea how much just simply complimenting somebody makes their day. I know it makes mine every time. And you'll be surprised about how much more positive you yourself feel when you give positivity to others.

But other than combating negativity, making a conscious effort, and complimenting people, even just smiling at others can make their - and your - day more positive. And if somebody looks bothered, ask them how their doing. By caring for others and focusing on helping them, you'll find that both of your days are more positive.

Okay, so, two negatives don't really seem to make a positive in the real world - not that math isn't a in the real world, just... never mind... - but two positives definitely does.

So when you feel that complaint ready to roll off your tongue, or chime in with agreement at someone's griping, stop yourself and instead say, "I'm glad there's science, because we can use it to understand the world." (Or...you know, something positive - and relevant - about whatever negative thing they were talking about.)

And trust me, it's not easy. I'm definitely not positive all the time. But I want to try and be more positive. It makes a difference, and people will be able to tell that there's something different about you. I want to glorify God and care for other people. And having a positive attitude helps me to do that.

God bless!

Be positive,
Anna

P.S. What's something positive about your day?