Falling apart.

“It takes ten times as long to put yourself back together as it does to fall apart.” ― Suzanne Collins

Sometimes the moments that break us can be pinpointed on a map, sometimes they are moments strung together to create one giant spiral downwards.

With me, it’s similar to a string of fires that eventually explode. Fire in the living room? We’ll put it out. Fire in the bathroom? We’ll put it out.

Then the house explodes. And everything comes crashing down. The lies I’ve been telling myself become clear and everything I thought I knew, was wrong.

I trusted him. I told him everything. He knew me.

We laughed. OH MY GOSH, did we laugh. All the time. Hours on the phone, waiting by the phone, or staring at the phone.

I just wanted him to know me. To care about me. To validate me.

And he did. He knew about my family, my past, my interest, my work. He knew it all.

He called me pretty and funny and wonderful and all of the things that I’ve always wanted to feel, I felt with him.

I trusted him.

And I knew him. His family, his past, his future, I knew it all.

And he made me laugh. All the time.

If I wasn’t talking to him, I was thinking about him. Checking all of his social media, you know just to see if he posted or if he was doing something.

I was addicted to this person. That I had never met. Social media apps are all the rage for meeting people these days.

It didn’t start out like that, though. He just followed me back and then messaged me and we were friends for a long time. Then the word date got thrown out there and I was hooked. Like a fish on a line. I took the bait.

And he made me laugh. All the time.

After a couple months of talking everyday, I decided that I had to meet this man. This man that knew a side of me that not many people knew. I just had to know if he was as wonderful in person.

And he was.

And he made me laugh. All the time.

That first night with him was a little nerve wracking and funny and awkward and wonderful. And his friends were wonderful. It was all wonderful.

When he called to hang out the next day, I leaped. Heart eyes emoji, for sure.

I spent the whole day with him and his friends. Drowning in laughter, whiskey, and board games. The afternoon turned to evening and I knew I wasn’t leaving until the sun came up. But everything would be okay because I trusted him.

And he made me laugh. All the time.

I was always the smart girl. I never dated. I never wasted time on guys that didn’t matter. I was the girl who everyone looked up to for staying so pure and being so good. But I wasn’t good or pure…it was just that no one ever wanted me. I never had the opportunity to say no. I always wanted it, but no man ever showed interest.

But he did. And he knew me. He knew my heart, my dreams, my worries, my fears…He knew all of it.

I just knew that he cared about me. Circumstance has our lives thousands of miles apart but I thought surely…all of this effort cannot be without waste, right? Who would call and text everyday if they didn’t want something more. He knew my heart. He wouldn’t hurt a girl like me.

And he made me laugh. All the time.

But he didn’t want anything more.

He said the words that I knew were there but I chose not to think.

“You are incredible. You are smart, funny, and so gorgeous but I don’t want a girlfriend right now.”

And in the pitch black while I stared at him and he was staring at the ceiling, I sheepishly responded, “Oh, I know!”

Brushing it off as if I too only wanted a warm body and not a warm soul.

I spent the whole next day with him and his friends. Pretending that everything was fine and that we would still be friends and nothing would change.

Once home, I learned that it was in fact, all a trick. The texts slowed down and the phone calls never came. He got what he wanted (or part of it, I guess) and he would go on to the next body.

Cause that’s all I was to him, a body, not a human.

He was so wonderful in so many ways that I chose to not see the parts of him that I knew would never work with us.

And he made me laugh. All the time.

I was so blinded by his words that I didn’t see his true character.

I gave him something that I’ll never get back.

My trust.

I trusted him. I trusted who he was and I trusted his words. Every single syllable he ever spoke to me sticks to my memory like honey. I trusted that he wouldn’t hurt me because he knew me.

I thought if he knew who I was, he wouldn’t treat me like all the other girls that had come before me. I thought if he knew that I was different, that I would be worth more to him.

I trusted him so much.

I have so many questions but honestly he’s answered all of them in his actions. My phone doesn’t light up with his name anymore. I probably won’t ever his voice again.

His silence speaks louder than any answer ever could.

I trusted him.

I trusted people. I trusted men. I trusted words.

He broke me. He made me want him and hate him all at the same time. He turned me into one of those stupid, idiotic girls that you see in movies.

He made me believe he cared. I trusted him.

I can’t ever imagine letting someone in again. That feels so foreign. The thought of butterflies and excitement and laughing. Laughing feels so foreign. Because now all I do is question. How could someone want my soul? How could someone want me for more than a warm body? How will I ever know if someone is being genuine again?

I hate that he’s made me question everything I ever knew about relationships.

I hate him.

The reason I hate him the most is that I gave him power over me. If he called me right now, I would answer. If he came to see me, I would open the door. I hate that I gave him power over my validation. I hate the person he made me.

And most of all, I hate myself for letting him do it. I knew what I was doing and I was okay with all of it because I trusted him.

And he made me laugh. All the time.

He made me so damn happy. And I hate him for it.

I’m writing this so fresh that I don’t know if I’ll ever post it. If I’ll ever be whole enough to tell the world that I’m not the girl I used to be. That I fell and I fell hard. That I’m falling apart.

I hope that one day, a new Crissy will exist. A stronger one. And that she will post this and she will be free.

And I hope that maybe the tears will have stopped.

For now though, this wound is still fresh. No new skin has formed and the blood has just barely clotted.

I cry everyday. Everyday I’m reminded that I chose to share myself with someone who saw me as a paper towel. Someone who used me once and threw me away. I’m reminded that I believed him and his lies and I REALLY thought that he was a nice guy.

I so wanted a relationship and to be validated that I traded myself in for a cheaper model. A cheaper version of myself that would put up with someone who would treat them like that. I cheated myself. He cheated me.

His words, His voice, His warmth, it was all a counterfeit trade in for what I deserve.

I hope that when I post this I know that. I hope that the Crissy who posts this essay never forgets what she’s worth. I hope that she’s never talked to him again and I really hope that she’s stopped checking his social media profiles.

I’m not there yet. I stalk and I cry and I wallow. I’m a mess. I’m a shell of a person I once was. I’m so numb and empty. I used to be so different. I used to be so strong.

I don’t know if I’ll ever post this but for now it feels good to write it out.

________________________________________________________________

A very long time ago I wrote this. I wrote this fresh in my pain because I was so hurt and I didn’t know any other way to heal but I wanted to remember this pain. I wanted to remember what it felt like to be broken after I had become whole.

I’m posting this today because I’m so proud and happy to say that the Crissy who wrote this is no more. The broken, sad, and empty Crissy that wrote this is a girl that I remember but not a girl that I know anymore. I am so happy to tell her that I don’t check his profiles, I’ve never spoken to him again, and I’ve remembered my worth.

I’m also posting this today for those of you that are fresh in your pain. Maybe you feel like you won’t be whole again or maybe you feel like you’ve never stop crying or maybe you just feel empty, I want you to know that a day will come that you will be strong again.

And not only will you be over this but you will be BETTER than you ever thought you could be.

You will wake up one day and all of the sudden you won’t cry that day, you won’t even feel the urge to talk to them that day, and most of all – you will feel whole all on your own one day. You will truly understand what it means to stand on your own two feet and not feel like you’re going to fall over.

The shell of the girl I was has cracked open and fallen off. I am free of her. While I remember that girl, I am not her anymore. I needed her though. I needed that pain to exist in my life to push me to who I could be now. So in these moments of weakness, welcome that pain into your life. Let yourself feel it. Pain is okay. It’s necessary.

You need to face that pain head on so you can figure out to heal from it. You can do this. It’s possible.

It might take a couple months, it might take a year, whatever, but it will happen. You got this.

I’m so happy to say that a new Crissy does exist, she is posting this because she is strong and she is free.

Thanks,

Crissy

On having it all together.

bloomingflowers

“Sometimes people that are not okay look a lot like people that are.”

Glennon Melton (told ya’ll I was obsessed)

I’m starting to get this weird feeling.

This feeling that nobody really knows me.

I feel like such a fraud.

BECAUSE I AM A FRAUD.

I love writing through my pain and connecting with people but I very methodically dance around my actual life in order to not freak people out.

Like I can tell people what I’m feeling and how I’m coping without actually sharing the dirty details of my sorted adventures. Sometimes this is important. Sometimes I need to heal and work through my bad decisions and that does not mean telling you about them.

But sometimes it feels a little fake.

Because you guys see this girl who runs a non profit and goes to Kenya and loves little chocolate babies.

Or you see this girl who does makeup and must know everything about beauty.

Or you see this loud confident girl who just LOVES life and thinks of hilarious instagram captions (okay maybe only I think they are funny).

Or whatever you see I’m afraid that none of it is true.

I am supposed to be this girl and I should have it all together.

I mean my life IS AWESOME. Just not because of me.

I do run a non-profit (with like a billion other volunteers/board members/incredible humans) and I am recklessly in love with my Kenyan family. They love people better than anyone I’ve ever met and they understand faith in a way I’ve never seen before. THEY are the reason that anything we do works. 

While I don’t know everything about beauty, I do enjoy learning. I love to learn about different types of beauty, color theory, and make up – it’s not vain to me. It’s just fun. I didn’t make these things up – you know how I learned all I know about makeup? Freaking Youtube. You could be just as good as me if you have an internet connection.

And if you think I have it all together, you haven’t read one word I’ve ever written. I am a sobbing, neurotic, dramatic mess.

I have a lot of things to be proud of and thankful for.

And yet, I still fell. Everything around me still came crumbling down. I’m not sure how and I’m not even sure when it happened but it did. My whole entire faith fell apart.

Everything I believed in just fell. Nothing made sense and all of it hurt. The verses, the songs, the religion I had known for so long – it all felt numb to me. And no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t make myself believe it anymore.

For me, it was my faith that fell apart. Maybe for you it’s something else – your job, your relationship, whatever. Sometimes we are so tied up in what we are trying to make our lives look like that we forget what they actually are.

So I did what any normal and slightly addict prone person would do – I tried to find validation and worth in literally any other source. Alcohol, men, whatever. Pretty much anything because feeling this weight of guilt & shame from leaving my faith was too much. It hurt too bad.

I was not the same girl I used to be. I was different. I couldn’t unfeel and unsee all the injustice that I was witnessing. And I couldn’t make a case for the church – they were the ones causing the pain and my heart hurt too bad.

I had to become numb. Alcohol numbs your inhibitions. The attention of men numbs your loneliness. Anything to make those large, loud feelings of mine shut up and go away.

I just wanted to be numb. I’m a feeler. A big feeler. I am zero or and I am one hundred. Most of the time it’s one hundred. So when everything feels like too much, I have to shut it up. Addicts understand. Our addictions help us not feel.

I want you guys to know that before all of this – I LOOKED REALLY FREAKING OKAY. I went to work, I hung out with my friends, I didn’t do anything out of the ordinary. I’m sure if you looked at my facebook, life seemed wonderful. I made sure that my life seemed wonderful. I made sure that I looked okay.

But I wasn’t. I was desperately lonely, I had painful questions about religion, and I was incredibly low. Just low. Not sure about what or why but I was.

All of these demons came to pass in one fail swoop. A few months ago, everything came crashing down. I realized that everything in my life was what I was DOING but not actually who I was. It took me so long to start to even feel like myself again..but like I said, I’m not the girl I used to be.

And I think that’s okay. I don’t have myself on a pedestal anymore. I thought that I wasn’t allowed to struggle because I ran a non-profit or because I was a Christian or because I did so many okay-persony things. That because I had seen Jesus be so good in my life that I wasn’t allowed to question my faith or my life or anything.

I THOUGHT SO MANY THINGS.

The gospel  cleansed me and healed me and redeemed me AND THEN I THREW IT ALL AWAY.

YOU KNOW WHY?

Because the gospel cleansed me and healed and redeemed me before I even knew how much of I screw up I would become.

A lot of times as Christians we think our lives are whole after we accept Christ. That once we accept Jesus that we won’t ever question or struggle or whatever again.

That’s a load of crap.

WE ARE HUMANS, YOU GUYS. We are literally hard wired to mess ourselves up.

We just have to be human enough to ask for help.

That’s where I failed. Because I thought I was too good to fail. Too good to question Jesus and the bible and God. You guys, God is a pretty awesome guy or gal or whatever (I hate putting gender roles on God, God is too cool for that) and I think that God is big enough to handle our questions.

The church? Yeah I’ve got issues with a lot of the things that religious people do but that’s okay because I’m learning that those people are humans too.

And if I want grace then I have to give grace too.

I just wrote this because I want you to know that sometimes people who are not okay look a lot like people that are. That I hid my addictions, my doubts, and my fears underneath this layer of OKAYNESS and that it was all bullshit.

I wasn’t okay. And I’m still not okay. But I feel free enough to talk about it now.

I want you to know that if you were a Christian and now you are not and now life is weird and you’re not really sure what you are then that’s okay too. That sometimes we think we have to look all perfect and be all great and that’s just a load of crap. You are wonderful and worthy and your reality is YOURS and it’s true. No one can tell that it’s not. If it’s hard, if it’s easy, whatever it is – own it and be honest about it. Don’t be too scared to admit that you’re not okay. 

Cause no one is okay. We’re all working through this messy life together and adding guilt on top of our mess is like way too much work. So stop all that.

I hope you give yourself some grace and know that no one is ever so well off to not fall of the train. We all fall off from time to time. Jesus knew that was gonna happen so He died on a cross for us and promised to unconditionally love us.

That’s pretty neat in my opinion.

Also if you’re reading this and you don’t believe in Jesus – you’re cool and you deserve love and respect because you’re a human being and I love you. We don’t have to share the same faith to recognize that life is hard and we need one another. If you’re struggling through something, that’s just fine and whatever it is, we’re here for you. Just know you don’t have to act like everything is perfect, it’s not and that’s life.

I’ll leave you with my favorite quote as of this week…

“If flowers can teach themselves how to bloom after winter passes, so can you.” — Noor Shirazie

You will bloom again.

Thanks for reading,

Crissy

Why I’m a valley girl.

valley

I have a confession.

I am a stalker.

I do not have a stalker.  I AM a stalker.

To Glennon Doyle Melton aka Momastery

I’ve never met someone who can be so vulnerable, so beautiful, so freeing, and so loving all at the same time. The woman is truly my favorite writer/speaker/person ever. Look her up now and begin your obsession.

I’ve had the insane honor of meeting her twice and getting to hear her speak both times. On life, pain, love, and everything in between.

It seems like our paths always cross when I’m in some deep spiritual turmoil and I don’t think that’s an accident. Not because I need her guidance to go through the turmoil but I need her reminder to TALK about the turmoil.

Without her freeing words, I would probably still be a shell of a human. Too scared to talk about where I fail because I felt like no one was allowed to fail.

She talked in Chicago a couple months ago about valleys and mountains. About how everyone wants to be on the mountain top but that’s not where life really is.

I’m going to expand on this beautiful truth but I just want to be sure that Glennon gets all credit for this thought process.

The peak of the mountain seems so desiring. After hours of work, and oxygen masks, and freeze dried food (I know NOTHING about climbing a mountain, do you eat freeze dried food? I made that up), the peak is where everything comes to a finale. You can see EVERYTHING from the top. You have conquered something that was previously unconquerable, to you at least.

But the peak is cold. The peak is lonely. And you cannot be on the peak forever. The oxygen will run out, there is no food up there, and it’s really freaking cold.

The valleys are the places that we loathe, right? The bottom of the mountain where we can’t see anything and where we are just so low.

But don’t knock the valleys – that’s where life happens. The valleys run right by the river, where the grass is green and the water is sweet. You can survive in the valley just fine. You don’t need an oxygen tank and odds are, a lot more people will be down there with you.

I’ve been in a valley for a while. For most of the time, I’ve really hated it.

I’ve cried A WHOLE LOT. It’s been a really foggy valley too. Nothing has really made sense and I couldn’t see the end in sight. I couldn’t explain why I was feeling the way I was, I didn’t have answers for anyone (including myself), and it was all just frustrating.

Life was so foggy that I missed all the parts of the valley that are beautiful. I couldn’t see the river, I couldn’t see the grass, I couldn’t see anything. Life was anything but lively. The fog took over. 

I gave in. I decided that if the fog was where I was going to walk that I must be alone and that if I was alone, I could figure out the best life for me.

Well if you’ve ever chosen to do life alone, you probably know where this is going.

Heartbreak. Shame. Isolation.

All of it.

All because the fog blinded my eyes from seeing the river.

I was never alone. Jesus was right there with me the whole time. But I chose to decide that he wasn’t. I chose to want a substitute for the river. For that living water that I needed so badly.

The beautiful thing about that river though is that even though you can’t see it, it’s always there. Water doesn’t stop flowing just because we choose not to acknowledge it’s presence. Eventually the rush of the current will be too loud to ignore.

The love of our Savior does not go quietly. 

His heart for us is just simply too strong. 

A lot of people hear Jesus’ audible voice. That’s not me. So if that’s not you either, I want you to know you’ve got a comrade in that. But I do hear his voice through people. People like Glennon for sure. But especially through my tribe.

Man, my tribe has been stellar during my foggy season. I have never been loved so well in my entire life. I have never seen Jesus more vividly than through the way that these people have held my heart in theirs.

That kind of love reminds you of the river. They are the streams that lead back to the source. I heard them call me home. 

So I found my way back. The future is a little messier now but that’s to be expected. Life is messy, that’s not a surprise to anyone. My little journey off on my own made my life a tad messier but loads more beautiful.

My messy is also my beautiful. They are one in the same. 

So that’s why I’m a valley girl. Even if it means being a foggy, messy, one. I know where I’m at now. And while I don’t know much else, I know I’m by the river and that’s good enough for me.

If you’ve found yourself in a valley, welcome to the club – we are so happy to have you. Someone will get you a pamphlet on the activities down here. Just promise me that you’ll stay close the river, if you’re not sure of much else – be sure of that. Don’t be ashamed of being down here and don’t envy those on the peak. We are all here and we are all welcome.

This place by the way is called love. Love is a party and everyone’s invited. 

Glad you could make it.

xo,

Crissy

More thanks than I could ever voice to Glennon Melton for welcoming me into her life through her words. I’m seriously considering moving to Naples so we can be best friends. But for real, her words through this tough time have been my healing. She has shown me Jesus through her vulnerability. I don’t know if she’ll ever see this but sister if you do, thank you. Thank you for everything you choose to give to the world. You have created a space for all of us to be free, in our mess, in our joy, in all of it. Thank you for making life a little lighter by loving a lot bigger.

Bad Blood and Better Words.

Power of Words

I am officially a Taylor Swift fan.

1989 is an incredible album and you can judge me all you want for loving it, I’m judging myself a little bit. But seriously, she wrote her heart out and I love every single song.

One in particular that I jam out to is called Bad Blood. It’s pretty self explanatory. Someone (maybe a guy, maybe a friend) has betrayed her to an unfix-able point.

We’ve all been there.

She says it quite well when she says “Band aid’s don’t fix bulletholes.”

Damn, Tay.

When I heard that line, it really got me thinking – how powerful of a role the people around us play in our lives.

And even more than who they are in our lives, what they say about us matters even more. We see ourselves through the people around us. If they love things about us, if they hate things about us, whatever they think about us shapes and defines the way we see ourselves.

Their words hold power. A lot of power.

But to go even farther, everyone’s words have power. Celebrities, bloggers, bullies, teachers, that guy on the side of the street, everyone’s words have the power to shape our lives for the good and the bad.

When I was in 7th grade, I was on AIM chatting with my friends. When a little chat bubble popped up from a guy in my grade. This guy was a jerk then and remained one all through high school. I had no interest in keeping conversation with him but for some reason he felt the need to message me this evening.

He said (and I will never forget this), “You could use some butter with those rolls.”

I don’t think I had ever even thought about being fat up until that point. I mean I knew I wasn’t as skinny as the other girls in my class but I wasn’t obese or anything. I remember saying something like “yeah well you’re a butt head and you smell” – probably really hit him in the jugular, you know. I then logged off aim and went upstairs.

I didn’t cry or anything because I really didn’t care about this dude but for the rest of my life I would think about his words. I would think, “well if he thinks I’m fat, who else notices? Is there something wrong with me?”

Heck I’m 25 years old and I still remember a conversation from when I was 13. 

Words have power.

Especially the ones we choose to speak about other people. 

Relationships are repaired and torn apart by words. We’ve all had that one girlfriend who keeps getting back with the jerk guy because of what he says to her. Words matter.

I once worked with an organization that wanted to call their orphanage a village and a family because if a child grows up thinking it’s an orphan, it will believe that but it if believes it’s part of a family, it will be part of a family.

The words that other people use to describe us, to tell us how we matter, to tell us what we can’t see for ourselves…these words change us.

In the same way that words can thrust us into greatness, words can also create wounds that sometimes nothing can heal.

Also, let’s talk about the phrase “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” – UHM I CALL SERIOUS BS. 

I would rather be punched in the gut than have someone I love hurt me with their words. Psychological wounds, in comparison to physical wounds, take much longer to heal (if they ever even do).

Like TSwift says, “band aid’s don’t fix bulletholes.”

We as humans, have the power to shape people’s lives. As my life guru and (hopefully one day) friend Bob Goff says, “maybe we should start being pickier about what we say.”

Maybe we don’t always need to say exactly what we are thinking. Maybe we don’t need to tell every person what’s wrong with them and where they fail.

Maybe we just need to tell people how wonderful they are, how great they look today, or how much we love that smile of theirs.

Maybe instead of talking about people, we talk with people. 

Maybe instead of discussing other’s life choices, we make choices on how we can change the world.

Maybe we start using our words to heal the world, instead of hurting it.

Often times, choosing to speak love instead of hate happens in a milisecond. Your mouth begins to speak before your brain even knows what’s happening.

Your words hold more weight than you realize.

Stop holding back the love that you can give to the world. Use up all the love you’ve got today, you will get more tomorrow.

xo,

Crissy

Doubt and Freedom.

This weekend I spent two days at a conference called Storyline. Storyline is about helping people find their story and reminding them that their story is already beautiful. It is a reminder of not only how to find what your story looks like but how to help you tell that story to everyone you know.

They asked this question multiple times, “What will people miss if you don’t tell the world your story?”

This struck me the first time I heard it on Thursday and it strikes me again today.

I’ve been walking through an interesting time in my life. I’ve been doubting.

Doubting anything and everything. I’ve never doubted that Jesus was good or that He even existed but I’ve been doubting pretty much everything else.

And in the midst of all that doubt, I felt fear. I was scared. I was scared of what other people might say, I was scared of what people might think of me, and I was scared of people leaving.

And to be honest, people have thought things, said things, and left.

This time of doubt isn’t over but my fear is.

I’m done being scared of people. I’m done being scared of what people think. I’m done being scared of people leaving.

You know why? Because the people who stick around when your life gets muddy are the only ones who deserve to be around when your life (seems because it never is) clean and clear.

This time of doubt has been frustrating for me. I haven’t figured out the origin of the doubt, the purpose of the doubt, or the destination of it.

I’ve been all, “GOD WHERE IS THIS GOING AND WHY?”

Doubt is like that. It really pushes you to your limits. And unfortunately only people who have trudged through this mud can relate.

I’ve finally decided to embrace the doubt. To not only recognize it but work through it.

I’M NOT AFRAID ANYMORE.

Blind faith is not faith. I’m sorry if that offends you. But I don’t want to follow Jesus because I’ve been brainwashed to follow Jesus or because my friends follow Jesus.

I want to follow him because I love him and I trust His commands. There are a lot of people who are intimidated by this thinking. They think how can you question any of this? How dare you not think exactly like us and do things exactly the way we do?

And you know what, those people are scared too. They are scared of the unknown. They are scared of a faith that might look different from theirs.

In this season of doubting, I’ve felt intense shame and isolation. I’ve felt like I wasn’t allowed to feel anymore. I wasn’t allowed to work through anything anymore. That I was supposed to become some robot that does what people say even if I don’t agree with them.

But after this weekend, I AM FREE.

I am free to walk through this without condemnation because Jesus wasn’t about that life. He didn’t judge people based on their questions, He loved them with His answers.

You know what Jesus did? He broke bread with them, He talked to them, and He loved them.

HE LOVED THEM.

What a concept. That we can be a part of someone’s life without telling them how they should live but just by loving them.

Bob Goff said something that will resonate with me forever. He said “people don’t want to be told what to do, people want to be told who they are.”

I finally know who I am. Because I just spent 2 days with 2,000 other people who were reminded who they are.

This doesn’t mean I have all the answers but this does mean that I have a plan.

I want to love people fearlessly and recklessly.

I want people to look at me and only see grace, hope, and love.

I want people to reminded of who they are when they are with me and I want them to know that who they are is beautiful. No adding or subtracting, they are beautiful.

I want people to feel like they are enough every time we have a conversation. I want them to never feel less when they are around me.

I want to be the kind of person that always makes room for other people to feel free.

If you are doubting anything in your life – your faith, your job, your relationship, your purpose – THAT’S OKAY. Never accept the status quo as the norm. Always question. Always ask for more out of life.

You know why?

Because YOUR STORY MATTERS. You matter. You deserve to have an incredible life and sometimes that means questioning the norm and embracing the tension.

Just imagine this scenario today. What if all birds didn’t fly? What if they could but they didn’t? What if one bird wanted to fly but all of the others thought of this concept as stupid and then shamed the bird in question? What if the bird let other bird’s standard for life define theirs?

This bird, who was created to FLY, didn’t fly because of the other birds following the status quo.

We were created to fly. Go and fly, friend.

stock-footage-shadow-of-an-birds-flying-to-the-sun-by-red-sunset-over-the-ocean

And if you need some encouragement and some hugs, I will be glad to meet you for coffee and squeeze that gorgeous neck of yours.

Be loved and free today,

Crissy

You’re worth it.

kidpresident

My roommate and I were talking the other day. Talking about the way that the people we like have so much control over our worth.

I was going through the guys that I’ve liked and I realized I would think the same about every single one. I would say “THIS guy has everything I want in a guy.”

Like THIS guy has to be it. If he doesn’t like me, no one else will come my way that is like him ever again.

Clearly that’s not true. There are 7 billion people in the world, odds are a few of them are going to be similar.

I digress.

Anyways we were talking about that period of time when you’re trying to figure out if a guy likes you or not. Crushes…you know how they go.

They have two outcomes. One of which will send you into a debilitating spiral of depression and ben & jerry’s ice cream.

Because a guy you like doesn’t like you back.

It’s pretty silly when you step away from it.

Why does that make us so crazy? Wanting to know if another human finds us suitable for a relationship?

One word: validation.

Everyday we are searching for validation. And in most cases we are in control of that.

We can make our boss happy by working hard, we can make our body pump instructor (that we love to hate) happy by lifting a higher weight, and we can make our friends happy by being a good friend.

But we cannot control whether or not someone will have romantic feelings for us.

AND WE NEED THEM TO HAVE ROMANTIC FEELINGS FOR US BECAUSE THERE IS NO ONE ELSE LEFT, OKAY?

We need someone else to tell us that we are enough.

WHY?

Because we don’t believe that we are.

We don’t believe that we’re worth it.

We see ourselves as empty unless someone else tells us to be whole.

It’s a pretty vicious cycle. Finding our meaning through what other people think about us. When in reality, we weren’t even trying to be ourselves but we were trying to please those people.

We wanted to be pretty because they said so, we wanted to be fit because they said so, we wanted to be funny because they said so.

So we are actually trying to make other people love a person we’ve made up, they’re not even seeing who we really are – so then what does their validation mean?

Nothing.

If someone likes you for someone you’ve made up, you have become an author and this person is a character.

They don’t actually love you at all.

Being real, being vulnerable, and being honest, is freaking scary.

WHAT IF PEOPLE DON’T LIKE ME?

Tell them to suck it.

I’m serious.

There are 7 billion people in the world. If one or even one thousand of them don’t like you, there are literally 6,999,999,000 people left to be friends with.

The only person who can define you is YOU. You are the only standard on which to base your worth. 

You are the only person who is going to be with yourself for every moment of your entire life. So you might as well start coming to terms with who you are. 

You are awesome by the way. You’re beautiful. You’re funny. You have a cute butt. You rock.

Stop seeking out validation through friends, bosses, or people you like. Because none of their opinions can actually define who you are, even if you try your hardest to make that happen…it never will.

A romantic interest is always fun but if your crush doesn’t like you, that’s okay. You’ll be fine.

It’s much more important that you like yourself, focus on that. You’re worth getting to know. And all parts of you are okay. You are really great.

Okay that’s my random rant for the day.

Peace out homies,

Crissy

I am not a tree.

treeI am feely.

I am emotional.

I cry. A lot.

If you take me to see a movie where someone dies, I WILL ALWAYS CRY. I cannot separate fiction from reality. If someone is suffering, I automatically insert myself into the situation and cry my eyes out.

My feelings are up and down. I “go with my gut” more than other people.

I decide a lot of things on my feelings and that’s fine with me.

Many times I’ve heard well “feelings aren’t facts” and “emotions aren’t truth” – which is technically true.

The analytical part of me would tell you that for a fact to be a fact, it would have to hold true for EVERYONE and my feelings, of course, do not hold true for everyone.

But they are facts to me. They are real to me. 

But sometimes my feelings get me in trouble. I have a bleeding heart. For the broken, for the marginalized, for the mistreated. I can’t always explain why I feel the way I do and sometimes that makes people mad.

The cool thing about being emotional is that you don’t have to have a reason for it, you just know you are and that’s fine. A lot of people don’t like that.

A lot of people need hard evidence and say things like “you AREN’T ALLOWED to feel that way.”

I just tell those people to suck it.

Kidding.

Anyways. So my feelings get me in trouble and it can be really frustrating because I can’t make other people feel the same way that I do. I can’t make them understand the way my heart is feeling and that that feeling can’t be just turned off.

So I was talking this over with my friend, Heather. I call her my best friend but she also falls under therapist, personal Ghandi/Mother Theresa, wisdom giver, etc.

We were talking about how emotional we are and how it was annoying. And she goes “sometimes I wish Jesus would have just made a me a tree, then I wouldn’t have all of these dang feelings all the time.”

And to that I said, “SERIOUSLY, DUDE!”

And then she goes, “BUT JESUS DIDN’T MAKE US TREES! He made us with emotions. He wasn’t choosing between making us trees or making us people. He knew from the beginning who we were going to be and He made us. He chose to make us full of emotions and full of feelings and that’s awesome. I am not a tree and that’s awesome.”

I am not a tree, ya’ll.

Jesus could have made a tree, or a rock, or a dolphin (wishful thinking), but He didn’t. He knew exactly what He was doing when He formed me in my mama’s tummy.

Sometimes our emotions get the best of us and that can be tough but my emotions and feelings are not bad.

They are not these things to be angry with. Or to hate.

I’ve been learning just how uniquely Jesus formed me lately. And it’s been interesting. I’ve felt ALONE through a lot of it but after talking with Heather, I feel so much better. 

I feel full of truth and hope and of course LOVE. I feel that my heart is not wrong, that regardless of what people think of me, my Savior is my KING. He is the captor of my heart and the lover of my soul. He knows me, deeply and intimately because He created me.

So I’m gonna go cry in a corner because Jesus is so good.

And he didn’t make me (or you) a tree and that’s pretty awesome.

Love,

Crissy

More, more, more.

I was eating a chocolate milkshake today. Yes I’m supposed to be on a diet, CALL THE POLICE!! And it was a baby size anyways. Like super baby size.

But, I digress. As I was eating my tiny shake, I couldn’t stop drinking it. Like I think most people take a sip and then do something and then so on and so forth. But anyways I drank that whole thing (again, it was tiny) in 5 minutes. 

Pretty much with shakes, I can’t stop drinking them. I just love them. But due to my slow metabolism and my slight lactose-interolance, I drink shakes very seldomly. Oh they’re also basically fat cells in a cup but whatever. 

So drinking mine today, I had a thought. That could have been a giant shake or a miniature one and I would have pretty much felt the same afterward. The taste is the same regardless of the size, it’s a just a matter of how much I think I need.

Side note: this is for pretty much any food ever. You don’t need the whole piece of cake, one bite will be just as good.

But it’s the possibility of more, the getting AS MUCH AS WE WANT, that makes us humans super size and go for the large.

No one needs a large fry. Literally NONE OF YOU NEED THAT. 

The funniest thing about these foods, that come with a value size option – is that these are the very foods that will leave us STARVING later. They are literally made to trick our brains into thinking we’re full of crap and then we’ll be hungry again in 2 hours.

But this isn’t a post about food.

This is about running to things we think we need to make us feel better. We make justifications for JUST A LITTLE BIT of the milkshake instead of the whole thing. We get our fix and we’ll come back for more when the time comes.

But the problem is that we will never have enough. Our fix will never hold us over and that little chocolate shake will turn into a chocolate shake swimming pool (let me have my dreams, people).

The bad parts of life trick us this way too.

Just a little bit of alcohol, just a little bit of porn, just a little bit of something to make us feel better. 

But none of them ever will.

If you are an addict you know this. A relapse is the same whether you have one drink or you get blasted drunk. Responding to that tiny little voice in your head that’s saying “just this once” will open a door to a full on flood of addiction all over again.

The roller coaster will begin again. Because one drink will never be enough. 

Whatever you think can sustain you, will not. Food will eventually lose it’s taste, there will never be enough alcohol to numb the pain, and porn will never be the real thing.

No addiction will ever sustain you. It’s very chemistry is meant to destroy. Addictive qualities target the neurons in your brain. They get you so hooked on this thing that your brain creates more brains cells that will need this thing. And when they don’t get what they want, you will be in real, physical pain.

And after our brains go through it, our heart goes through withdrawal. Our hearts cannot be silenced by drugs or therapy. Sometimes our hearts are just…broken. 

Beneath all of the alcohol, drugs, porn, lies, gambling, whatever – is this need. This need to feel important, to feel worthy, and this need to feel loved.

We as humans need it so badly. Our addictions help us mask them but once they’re gone, once we’re fully exposed, we have got some crap to deal with. 

I’m in this phase. I’m coming clean with my very, very, broken heart. I thought the hard part would be coming clean with my addiction but learning that I’m a hurting human being has been gut wrenching.

Because I fail, I give in, I forget who I am. I forget what I have in my life and instead I dwell on what I don’t have, what I’m missing out on. 

It sucks knowing that nothing will ever be enough. Wherever you run when your broken, if it’s not Jesus, it will never fill you up. It will never heal that heart of yours. I know it sucks, I wish we could fix ourselves but at the same time, I’M SO GLAD WE CAN’T.

Can you imagine? A world where we are responsible for our own fixing, we would fail miserably. We would fall so far below what is even acceptable. 

Another picture of God’s grace. He helps break the bonds of addiction because we will never be able to.

And if you don’t think you’re an addict, you’re wrong. An addict can spot an addict and I’m looking at you. It may not be something obvious, maybe your comforts are hidden. Maybe you’re a slave to technology – getting love from the others on the internet. Maybe you’re a slave to that relationship – getting love from someone who actually makes you feel insecure. Maybe you’re a slave to something less obvious like work/laziness/clothes/starbucks(me)/whatever – getting love from something that can never love you back because you’re too scared to actually be loved. 

I’ll leave you with a quote from one of my favorite people, Meredith Grey.

“I have an aunt who whenever she poured anything for you she would say ‘Say when.’ My aunt would say ‘say when,” and of course, we never did. We don’t say when because there’s something about the possibility, of more. More tequila, more love. More anything. More is better. There’s something to be said about a glass half full, about knowing when to say when. I think it’s more of a floating line, a barometer of need. Of desire. It’s entirely up to the individual, and it depends what’s being poured. Sometimes all we want is a taste. Other times there’s no such thing as enough, the glass is bottomless… all we want is more.” 

We’re gonna always want more, people. Jesus is the only thing that will satisfy. So you might as well just go to him. 

Love,

Crissy

Nothing I hold on to.

Tomorrow we go to Kenya.

I made a mistake in our planning process and I’m honestly freaking out a little it about it. I’m choosing to write this before the situation is resolved. I’m choosing to write in the moment, not after God has taken care of it. Because by the way, I know God is going to take care of it. He has worked out raising over $56,000 for this trip, not including getting passports, shots, & paperwork taken care of. He is going to work out this one detail.

And yet my heart is still freaking out. FREAKING. OUT. And it still took me twenty minutes to pray about it. I spent those twenty minutes trying to figure out how I could fix it on my own. Only until I couldn’t fix it on my own, did I go to Jesus.

I’m so annoying. I always do that.

I think that because I’ve done so much on my own (or well I think it’s on my own) that I should be able to handle everything, fix every situation. Well what happens when I can’t? What happens when I won’t know an answer until tomorrow and I just have to wait?

It means trusting Jesus even when I don’t know the outcome. It means trusting Jesus REGARDLESS of the outcome.

I think trusting Jesus is the hardest when you made the mistake. You don’t feel like He should fix the problem when you were the one to create it.

When in reality, it doesn’t matter who created the problem, Jesus will always be the one to fix it.

One of my (many) prayers for this trip is that there won’t be any expectations, that we would trust God and let him move.

Well little did I know that He was speaking that to me. That I would be okay deviating from the schedule, my plans, and my dreams for this trip. For an OCD over planner, this is hard to do.

I have EVERYTHING planned and I want everything to be okay. It is so hard walking into something knowing that God could change it and to trust that it will be okay no matter what He does. But it’s the creator of the universe that is in charge of this trip, His plans are about a million times better than I could ever think, dream, or imagine.

So therefore my new prayer for this trip is this song.

“Nothing I hold on to” – Will Reagan

I lean not on my own understanding,
My life is in the hands of the maker of heaven

I Give it all to you God,
Trusting that you’ll make something beautiful out of me

I will climb this mountain
With my hands wide open
I will climb this mountain
With my hands wide open

There is nothing I hold on to
There is nothing I hold on to
There is nothing I hold on to
There is nothing I hold on to

I don’t know about y’all but climbing a mountain with my hands wide open sounds stupid.

Guessing that’s why the writer wrote it that way.  That it would seem very illogical and not the best plan of action. Climbing a mountain with hands is hard enough, without them? Impossible.

There is really nothing I hold on to. Not our plans, not our itinerary, and not what I think should happen.

I’m trusting every detail of this trip with our creator and it really is so much easier that way.

Thanks for praying for us and with us. We are honored to serve Jesus in Kenya.

xo,

Crissy

On people so much better than me.

We leave for Kenya in 12 days. Our team going is truly incredible. Pretty much every night I think about them and I think about the way God has already worked in my heart through their encouragement and I’m just floored.

I wanted to talk about two of them today. I wish I could blog about our entire team before we leave but for now I’m gonna share about two of the greatest people I have ever met.

Genna & Casey Schutza.

gennaandcasey

You’d think after knowing people for 10 years that you wouldn’t learn anything new about them, right? You’d think you would just know the way they work and while you are constantly aware of their greatness, you’re not surprised by it.

I am surprised by the Schutzas constantly. They point me to Jesus in every thing they do. I am constantly reminded of the depths of grace by the way the Schutzas love each other and the people around them.

Now don’t get me wrong, they have their flaws. Genna laughs at her own jokes A LOT and Casey judges feet pretty harshly but for the most part, they’re doing it right.

I think from the outside, a lot of people assume that Casey & Genna have the perfect marraige, that they have it together, and that they don’t struggle. Which just isn’t fair. They are humans after all. I think the greatest joy of being friends with them is that they will tell you the opposite of all of those things, they have no problem reminding you that they fail each other & Jesus daily. That they are sinful humans who run after Jesus’ call on their lives with everything that they have.

This is my favorite part. When I come to then in my sin and expect more brokenness, I always get grace. I always get love, joy, and lots of hugs. Some tears. Mostly hugs.

Genna reminds me to be a little tougher, fight a little harder, and push a little farther than I ever have before. Casey reminds me that there is no such thing as being “too much” – usually because people describe us as too much and we just tell them to go away. He shows me that laughing harder and singing louder is always okay.

gennandcasey

Essentially, both of them – they remind me that in all my mess, they love me. And in doing that, so does Jesus.

And then there’s the faith. YOU GUYS, THE FAITH.

A year ago, I returned from Kenya and Genna said “We’re going with you next year.” I shyly said, “okay” because if I’m being honest, I wanted them to come SO BADLY but I didn’t want to get my hopes up. It was a year away after all.

Well then next thing you know, it’s February and the Schutza’s have taken on the task of trusting God to raise $7,000. We all stressed out a little. We all thought the Christian thing “God is bigger and this is His money anyways, He’s got it.” But did we believe it? I don’t know, honestly. I was scared but Genna and Casey? They asked and they knew that God would provide.

Well now we are here. 12 days from the trip and all their money is paid for, passports have come in, and shots are taken care of. The Schutzas, my best friends, are coming with me to Kenya.

They have walked through every part of every season of my life and now they get to see this part. My home, my family, my friends, that are 8,000 miles away. My heart is exploding.

I ask that you pray for Genna & Casey today. Send them some love. Tell them how great they are. Because even after reading this, they won’t believe it. They really do walk so humbly with Jesus and I just cannot even handle how much I love them.

I also ask that you pray for our team, 16 beautiful people will be serving Jesus in a place that most of them have never been. Pray for God’s will to be done and pray against fear, anxiety, and stress (aka for ME).

Have a wonderful Thursday!

xo,

Crissy