2017, Uncategorized

Isolated inclusion.

 

The wilderness is not a place of fear or a place of failure. The wilderness is a place where you see trees that have been uprooted by the wind because their roots weren’t deep enough and where you see other trees standing the test of time. The wilderness is a place of finding your “enough”, your happiness and enjoying the journey of discovery in the maze you find yourself in.

 

I found myself at a crossroad. The one road led to a place that made complete sense to me. A place where I could logically make sense of where to go to next. The other was the wilderness. Where I did not know that if I took the next step would it be safe or would I be falling into a hole and twisting my ankle? Constant anxiety and fear because none of it made sense to me and I could not explain it to anybody else. I have answers for days. If I don’t have an answer I could make you think I had the answer. When I found myself at the crossroad- I went the logical paved out road. Went to University and did a degree I was passionate about. Met incredible people but something within me did not feel right and half way into my first year I came towards an off ramp that led to the wilderness I did not want to go on at the beginning of the year. I stepped into possibly one of my scariest decisions. I put my studies on pause and stepped into working at a church I have been attending and serving at for the past 10 years. Nothing made sense, I was filled with anxiety and needed to know what the next step was at all times.

I promise this blog post has a point to it.

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I have never felt so much isolation from people I stood with firmly until I made this decision. The wilderness, unfortunately, has narrow paths and involves a lot of walking and not being sure. I personally am not a fan of hiking in nature so I cannot blame people who did not want to hike this new journey with me. I looked at all this isolation from people who did not understand why I made this decision and felt as if their rejection meant that I made the wrong choice. I felt like I should go back to the logical because did I really know if this was what I was called to? But if I took my eyes off of the isolation. I felt so much inclusion at the same time. Love, support, and hard work. God puts you in a place that does not make any sense but in that place, you find so much love. you love yourself differently and you love others more. Hiking is not a thing you should really do alone and when I began inviting people onto my walk instead of shutting them out- when I tripped there was someone to help me up. Tripping still hurts even if someone helps you up but having someone there in the journey makes the journey so much more rewarding. The best conversations probably happen in the wilderness and you hear things so much clearer. I am not saying God is screaming into my ears “go hear next” but you know He is there. Every step and He sees.

 

I am not saying drop out of varsity and start working at your church. I am saying that you should find the happiness in yourself. Things that sit right with your soul and forge towards that with everything you have. You know what you are supposed to be doing- You know the wilderness you ran away from but walking by sight will make logical sense but walking by faith helps your soul see things so much clearer. Believe me, if you told me that I would be working with kids even just one year ago I probably would have laughed and brushed you off but now that I work with kids every single Sunday I have become a gentler me.

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We so often disregard what God can do in our life simply because what God often wants to do with us makes us feel uncomfortable and doesn’t really suit our schedule. The wilderness is where there is limited communication but clear communication at the same time.

 

“It had nothing to do with gear or footwear or the backpacking fads or philosophies of any particular era or even with getting from point A to point B.
It had to do with how it felt to be in the wild. With what it was like to walk for miles with no reason other than to witness the accumulation of trees and meadows, mountains and deserts, streams and rocks, rivers and grasses, sunrises and sunsets. The experience was powerful and fundamental. It seemed to me that it had always felt like this to be a human in the wild, and as long as the wild existed it would always feel this way.”
Cheryl Strayed, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

 

He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber…. The LORD watches over you—the LORD is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. (Psalm 121:3, 5-8)

The wilderness looks different to everyone and if you did the brave step of just jumping and trusting that the plan unravels on the way down- You are not crazy. You need to stop listening to the doubters and listen to a different voice.

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So embrace your wilderness experience as it is part of your growth.

“God knows things we don’t. We can trust His perspective instead of our own understanding.- Lysa TerKeurst

 

 

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2017, Uncategorized

I think my head might explode.

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“but there was nothing I could do to dim the supernovae exploding inside my brain, an endless chain of intra cranial firecrackers”
John Green

Hi my name is Katelyn and I am an overthinker.

Hi Katelyn”

 John Green described it best and maybe that is why I didn’t write for a while… because there is a supernovae exploding inside my brain. Overwhelmed, anxious, scared. I don’t know.

Have you ever been at a point where there is so much happening in your life that you actually cannot keep up so you just sit and absorb it all and feel permanently tired. I am understanding that feeling a bit more lately. Friends leave- I know that Life gets busy- I know that. Disappointments happen- I know that. So why am I allowing myself to be defeated by all that is happening instead of confronting it?

“I had some terrific experiences in the wilderness since I wrote you last – overpowering, overwhelming,” he gushed to his friend Cornel Tengel. “But since then I am always being overwhelmed. I require it to sustain life.

Everett Ruess”
Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

The controlling bit of me cannot understand why I am allowing myself to spiral. Not spiral as in I am having a meltdown and shaving my head and doing things I would not normally do. Spiralling to the point where I feel I have no voice. If you know me personally you would be shocked because if there is anything I use a lot it is my voice and my opinions. I think that me being overwhelmed is a sign that I am not looking to the Author and Perfector of  my faith. We are told to cast all our anxieties unto Him and to speak to our soul but honestly do we even do that? Prayer starts to become a habit and reading our Bible gets brushed off. We become overwhelmed when we internalise the world and not His Word. I am guilty of being so busy that I am all about me. You did that to ME. You hurt ME. This is hurting ME. Blaming and finger pointing is just like unforgiveness. A bitter pill that we choke on.

“If you are too busy to pray, you are busier than God wants you to be.”
Wanda E. Brunstetter, Wanda E. Brunstetter’s Amish Friends Cookbook: Desserts

Before you shut down and stop reading my blog I want you to know that this is not a blog post to bring pity or for me to sit here and ask for loving and kind messages. This is a blog post about seeking The One who calms the storms and to speak to your innermost self. I have been obsessed with the song “It is well”- By Bethel Music for the longest time and I did not realise why it was so intune with my soul until I started writing this blog post again. We are not supposed to internalise the pain but to speak about it and understand it. Stress causes many health issues because we keep it inside and make dramatic grunts instead of figuring out a way to minimise our stress and prioritise what really matters.

“Worry is the darkroom in which negatives can develop.”
Wanda E. Brunstetter, Love Finds a Home: 3 Historical Romances Make Falling in Love Simple and Sweet

You can either decide to let life happen to you and sit back and feel overwhelmed or you can let life come with all its might but you are ready for the fight that is about to come. Rest in knowing that God is still in control and that you have a lot more within you that you do not realise. Grow through what you go through. Writing this blogpost did not immediately stop me from overthinking and bring a sense of calmness to my soul. You need to realise that peace is something we have to work on daily. We need to stop the seeds of thought  before it  grows into a tree and has a lot of ripe fruits of negativity. It is a daily process. A work out regime and diet for your soul if you wish.

These thoughts and feelings of isolation came make us feel rejected but I found this amazing quote that brought some comfort to me.

“Rejection is an opportunity for your selection.”
Bernard Branson

“The Christian life is not a constant high. I have my moments of deep discouragement. I have to go to God in prayer with tears in my eyes, and say, ‘O God, forgive me,’ or ‘Help me.’” –Billy Graham

“Endure. In enduring, grow strong.”

Chris Avellone

The walk is not easy but it is filled with rewards in forms our mind cannot comprehend. Trusting that things will get better and allowing yourself to be vulnerable is a daily walk.

Through it all, through it all. My eyes are on You.

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2017, Uncategorized

I should be there.

“Personality begins where comparison leaves off. Be unique. Be memorable. Be confident. Be proud.”
Shannon L. Alder

The comparison game is a nasty game but a game so many of us play. It starts off with an innocent joke like “Oh I wish I had your hair” and deepens to a “let me destroy her image so I appear better”. I used to be a pro at playing this game. I was the girl you would compliment and I would immediately say no I am not pretty, no that is not true or no you are much better than I am. I did not want to say those things about myself but I unfortunately just began picking up this bad habit which took years to shake off.

What you allow is what will continue. I allowed myself to be treated badly (I am not saying that being bullied was my fault- I am saying that I could have put an end to it sooner). I had words thrown at me that apparently described me and I took these words to heart and basically repeated it to myself day in and day out. My primary love language is Words Of Affirmation. Meaning that to me – actions don’t always speak louder than words. Compliments mean a lot to me and criticism- when said harshly – can hurt me a lot. Unaware of “love languages” when I was much younger I did not understand why the words I heard hurt me so badly and why I took it to heart.  (http://www.5lovelanguages.com )

It took years for me to overcome these hurts and struggles in my life ( this is to come in a later blog post when I can properly retell the story) but insecurities do not just go away. Insecurity is like an addiction if you do not guard against it, it can come back and take control when you least expect it. The words you say to yourself sit deeper than words others tell you and fortunately I caught this addiction of mine early enough. I was sitting next to my mom the other day trying to take a selfie with my epic rainbow under lights hair and when I took the selfie I looked at it and immediately told myself, oh my word look how chubby my face looks, my eyes look funny… my smile doesn’t even look genuine. Sure the selfie would not have been put in a collection of my greatest selfies of 2017 book but it really wasn’t terrible.

Lighting impacts many things and when the source of the light is not from within the spotlight can taint your view.

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This picture may not show my face but it was taken the same day I felt very down and angry. Posting this picture was me taking a stand against all those negative words and this post is not just about me and me patting myself on the back. It is me showing you that bad days will come, you might have a sad day, sad month but do not tell yourself you are not worth it. Do not enter into the pit of overthinking. Treat yourself the way you would treat someone you really love and respect.

I should be further in my life, I should be married, I should be in university, I should be able to drive, I should be there… The reason those words are the title of my blog is simple. You should be where you are right now. You should be focusing on growth and happiness. Shower yourself with love and compliments without being filled with pride. You should not be where she is and you should not look like him.

…Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?… – Esther 4:14

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2016, Uncategorized

The drought of 2016

“So comes snow after fire, and even dragons have their endings.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

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I would like to think of myself as a fierce  woman and this could be true but I have one huge flaw- when the going gets tough I pack up my bags and seek a new adventure. I lack the endurance to go through with things. If I see that there is a chance that I could fail – I won’t bother with the thing for too long. I have avoided opportunities, friendships and many things simply because I feared disappointment – I do not fear hard work but I fear failure.

“We have been living through a time of sorrow. Our seed remains seed. Our nostrils are dusty.”
Warren Eyster, The Goblins of Eros

I am the kind of person who would not plant a seed if I did not know for sure that within a certain time frame that this seed would blossom into the most extravagant tree- actually I would not care whether it blossoms as long as there is some sign of life. 2016 has been a year I would describe as a drought. Whatever I planted simply would not grow. Perhaps I did not take into account that some things take a bit longer to grow or maybe that there is a lesson in the drought? I did not realise that there were different kinds of droughts:

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  1. Meteorological droughts: Basically when a land goes without rain for a certain period of time.

Now you are probably wondering what point am I trying to make? Well it is quite simple. You cannot expect to grow if you do not stand in the rain or find a way to get some sort of moisture. I discovered that during a drought a cactus reduces the amount of leaves it produces in order to remain alive and to fight through the drought and I think that sometimes we need to do that. We cannot keep stretching ourselves to reach a target or to force things when our spiritual and mental health has a chance of deteriorating. Some days I would get so busy that I would not have time to read my Bible or sit and listen to a word of encouragement and then wonder why am I remaining a seed? Well it is actually quite simple… When it rained with encouragement I took it for granted and complained that it is going to ruin my perfectly blow dried hair.  Now what? The drought came and there is not an influx of people pouring encouragement over every little thing you do?  The seed remained a seed because the encouragement given before fell into overgrazed soil. You cannot rely on others to keep giving you encouragement and to keep you keeping on. There will be a season where there is no rain coming but that does not mean the seed cannot grow.

2. Agricultural droughts.  This is when there is a lack of moisture in the soil where the crop grows.

We take for granted the encouragement we receive. I cannot remember who said this but the quote went something like this ” You need to prepare for the season in which you are not yet in” We do not think of storing up for when there is a season of lack until the season of lack comes.

“Only miss the sun when it starts to snow”- Passenger

That song by Passenger represents the point I am trying to make. We do not appreciate the  moment we are in, the people we have, the food we eating or even the show we are watching until it is gone. We need to accept the season we in and that the rain is not currently falling but that does not mean we are going to sit and cry and wonder when the rain will come and when will people encourage us again. There is a method to growing plants in the middle of a drought and it is called companion planting- this is basically when you plant plants together that can reap different benefits from each other. You see the point I am trying to make? You do not need to be alone in order to survive a drought… Alone might actually be the biggest hindrance to you. Surround yourself with people of different qualities and nutrients and help each other survive the drought.

       3. Hydrological drought. This happens when reservoirs and lakes dry up.

As the year is coming to an end you possibly feel like this is the drought you are in. There is no energy left, how are you even going to make it to next week? Your leave seems so far away but the rain will come again.

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Expect to have hope rekindled. Expect your prayers to be answered in wondrous ways. The dry seasons in life do not last. The spring rains will come again.- Sarah Ban Breathnach

Endurance and I do not go together. I would love to say that I am patient and that when the going gets tough that I do not get going but unfortunately that is not the case. I get frustrated and I get fed up but that is why I am glad the drought of 2016 came because I got to see how far I could go without having rainfall, how far I could go without having a growth that is open to the whole world. The seed still has small victories that the world does not know about. The seed is gaining strong roots and I hope you realise that you are too.

“At the end of the day it’s about how much you can bear, how much you can endure. Being together, we harm nobody; being apart, we extinguish ourselves.”
Tabitha Suzuma, Forbidden

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.- Galatians 6:9

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