The Outrageous Child

God has invited me on a different adventure than the American Dream.  His hand is warm around mine, tugging me free from the Games of life. I get to follow Him into unfathomable uncharted waters, unprotected by the structure of college or even a career, I am free, I am young, I am an eternal soul cherished by my Creator. Success glitters like forbidden fruit among the trees, as sweet as apricots, as heady as wine, but success is worthless. All the Great Things in the world are useless without my beautiful wild fearsome compassionate Jesus.

I am willing to be His fool. To do the most useless, career-wreaking, silly things just to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. To be the nutcase dancing to music no one else can hear.

Today a friend was trying to remember a word for “one that doesn’t match” (english is his second language), and he stumbled upon the phrase, “the outrageous child.” In lemons, apples, and moonlight, moonlight is the outrageous child.

Maybe I was called to be an outrageous child.

And maybe that is beautiful.

Don’t fool yourself. Don’t think that you can be wise merely by being up-to-date with the times. Be God’s fool—that’s the path to true wisdom. What the world calls smart, God calls stupid.

– 1 Cor. 3:18-20

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Aloneness (Response to a Video)

This is a beautiful video. I love how she treasures solitude and embraces silence. The practice of aloneness is easily crowded out by lists and assignments and the feeling of unwantedness that often comes attached to aloneness.  But if I release fear and allow myself to be alone, I make space to not just act, but to listen.

Often being alone means I’m free to binge/purge/cut/otherwise engage in stupid behaviors. But do I use bulimia to hide me from the intimacy of solitude? Am I afraid of being alone because I’m afraid of facing myself in all my messiness, and worse, being naked under the piercing Light of my Creator?

In the Bible, worship practiced in solitude is contrasted with religious pomp, which today could look like running VBS, singing on the worship team, leading a bible study, going on mission trips, and joining all the camps and conferences and retreats that come your way (Matthew 6:1-34). But when you close your door and strip away all performance, you are able to be humble and still. 

I have begun to walk alone in the mornings, and I have been called to be single for this time in my life, and I have not yet found my “group” at college, and I am glad in all of this. Not because I’m “happy in my head,” but because I’m joyful in my soul, for my stillness has become an openness to Jesus, and my solitude has become a quiet sanctuary for worship.

I want to continue to practice being alone with my God, my holy sweetness. To stop barricading my heart with noise and fall still and open.

How do you feel about being alone? Answer in the comments!

Gumption and Fingernail Clippers

Approaching the end of my comfort zone is like approaching a 10-foot, prison-grade barbed wire fence with fingernail clippers. Not toenail clippers, fingernail clippers. Run a 5k? Teach a creative writing class? Teach an art class? Get a job? Go to a rigorous liberal arts school? Sell a short story? Ha. I’ll just go trim my nails, thanks.

When I first began recovery, my comfort zone was as spacious as a hamster cage. Walking downstairs was a challenge. Just eating dinner with my family every night exhausted me to the point of isolation. I was scared of everything. And I was so, so tired, both physically and emotionally.

I remember when an adventure was a choice to go to the store. Smells, people, food, I braved them all. I was proud, and I deserved it. I remember when wearing shorts was a magnificent joust with bulimia. When writing a short story left me trembling and pale. When calling a friend left my heart pounding and my emotions reeling. But clip by clip through the barbed wire, I reclaimed my gumption.

This summer I accomplished all of that scary list, from the 5k to putting down my deposit at New Saint Andrews College. I am no longer exhausted, my body and soul are healing. Curiosity sweetens my lips. I am filled with joyfear for the future.

Clip by clip by clip, I’ve sprung the fence of my comfort zone. Now I’m walking into the open field, vulnerable and irrepressible. I kick off my shoes, breathe the perfume of dandelions, and blow a thousand terrifying wishes.