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

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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

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

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

Tomatoes are gross. People are not.

Most people I know have an opinion that reigns over all their other opinions.

The one they’ll fight the hardest for, you know?

I personally hate lying. I value honesty above all other virtues.

Wait. Jesus is the most important part of my life, I’m talking about after Jesus. Okay cool.

Anyways. Don’t lie to me. You’re doing heroine? Okay we’ll work it out but if you lie to me…like my trust is automatically dissapated and you & I working things is out will probably not happen. I mean I’ll forgive and give you grace and love you but I will probably not trust you again.

I didn’t say I was perfect, OKAY. That’s who I am. Can we accept that?

Anyways. Another virtue of my soul is that I hate tomatoes.

Is this going somewhere? I think it is…oh yes, I remember!

Okay well pretty much everyday some organization, business, celebrity, or christian leader does something wrong and the whole world explodes with opinions about it. Facebook is annoying for about 3 days and then it calms down until someone else does something controversial.

Enter topics like – gay marriage, abortion, chick fil a, wendy davis, and most recently world vision and (again) gay marriage.

And EVERY time, Christians react the loudest. Because that’s what Jesus would do, right? He would scream and yell and talk badly about other people in order to get His point across…am I right? LET’S BE WITH JESUS AND HATE ALL OTHER HUMANS WHO DON’T AGREE WITH US, THAT WILL MAKE THEM CHANGE THEIR MIND.

Unfortunately for you boo boo, that is not the way the world works. That is not the way Jesus works.

I’m not here to tell you my opinion on any of those topics because in the end, you don’t really care, right? You only care about shouting yours so loudly that people have to listen. Except the opposite happens. The really really bad happens.

Not only do people turn away from you, they turn away from Jesus. They think, so this person represents Christ? I want nothing to do with Christ.

Think of it this way. I hate tomatoes. I mean I think they’re gross and slimy and ew. But what if another person in my life likes tomatoes? Even though I do not understand HOW in the world they could like tomatoes or think that it’s okay to put tomatoes on a sandwich/salad/nachos – I will still engage in life with them. I will love them, hang out with them, and even eat with them…and sit in awe because I don’t understand why they could like tomatoes.

I think that’s what everyone should start doing with people that have lives they don’t agree with. Hang out with them, get to know with them, share meals with them. Because one characteristic of a person is not what defines the entire person.

Regardless of your opinion on all the controversial topics out there, disagreeing with someone doesn’t mean you should hate them. It doesn’t give you the right to write blog posts about how much gay people/feminists/democrats/abortion people/wendy davis/etc suck and should go to hell. Like all those people are real, you know that right? You know that they have feelings and hearts and get sad just like you, right? What gives you the right to define the trajectory of their entire life?

I’m not saying that you need to agree with them. I’m not saying that you need to like tomatoes and start eating them. But what I am saying is that just because you necessarily understand or agree with someone’s point of view, that does not give you an excuse to not shower them in love and grace.

And in case you’re confused on what Jesus says of this…I will refer you to John 8.

“At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

“No one, sir,” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” – John 8:2-11

Still confused?

“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.” 1st Corinthians 13:1-3

Love is the only thing that will bring people to Jesus, friends.

Don’t let one of those topic be the ones that you fight the hardest against. If you want to fight for something, fight the gospel to be spread among the nations, fight for justice, for love to reign, for peace, for world hunger, for freedom…for something that deserves to be fought for, not against.

I would also like to note that while I hate tomatoes,I love ketchup. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Over and out,

Crissy

Special shoutout to Jen Hatmaker for inspiring this post and always being a beautiful reminder of what Jesus is truly about. You rock so hard, sister.