Love you more

  

“it’s okay. Breathe. It’s okay. Just breathe.” He whispers it in my ear. 

He knows when it’s happening. When my breathing gets heavy and I become almost frozen. When my eyes glaze over and I sigh. When it gets dark around me and my mind flashes. 

Breathe.”

I love him, more with each passing moment. But our love is so much more now because of what we went through. What we’re still going through. I have the scar to prove it. 

“It’s going to be okay.”

He’s become a comforter-not that he wasn’t before now-but an even greater one. 

He’s a vessel through which Christ works wonders. 

He is the vessel for God’s comfort- telling me it’s okay. He reminds me to breathe. He holds me. He lets me cry. He allows me to progress in baby steps. He has patience. He prays for me. He doesn’t have to tell me he prays for me, I feel it in my heart. He reminds me that God saved me that day. He is comfort. 

He is the vessel for God’s strength- when I feel weak- when my eyes glaze over and I fall into the replays and the darkness- He becomes strong for me. He looks me in the eyes and tells me I’m doing a great job. He holds my hand as I tremble in fear. He kisses my head when my eyes well up. He is strong. 

He is the vessel for God’s rejoicing- when I take a new step, he rejoices for me. When I drove, he smiled. When I went only a mile on the interstate and got scared, but made it, he rejoiced. Because I’m pushing through, keeping faith. So God rejoices through him. 

He is the vessel for God’s peace- my anxieties rise- it’s raining- he says “look down at what you’re typing.” He distracts me, he reminds me that God’s love carries me. That God overcame the world and He will overcome these anxieties. He tells me that I lived through my biggest fear and God will continue to protect me. God brings me peace through his words and through his actions. 

He is the vessel for God’s healing- when the accident happened, he immediately took off his shirts in the rain and wrapped one over my wound, putting pressure upon the place where it was bleeding. He cleaned my wound as needed. He washed it and put alcohol on it despite my angry faces. Despite the tears, he helped it heal. God did that through him. 

He is the vessel for God’s servant heart- oh how he served me. He would wrap the trash bag around my arm for me to shower. He would tie my shoes, open jars, apply my deodorant, help with my contacts. He became my second hand. He slept on the couch that night to make sure I would be okay. He drove me, he still does. Everywhere. 

He was the vessel for God’s love- he loves me. He loves me in sickness and health. He loves me to the moon and back. He loves me with his whole heart. He loves me beyond measure and without limitation. He loves me unconditionally and gives me his heart day in and day out. 

But I love you more,Jess. 

Thank you for being God’s vessel. For holding me and pulling me through this battle. For becoming my husband before we are even engaged. For loving me the way I love you. Thank you for comforting me and reminding me daily that God is good and He will cast out fear. You are incredible, and I love you deeply, through Christ. 

May our love get stronger every day and our blessings never be taken for granted. May God always protect us, and as the days pass on and as our relationship deepens, may the scar on my left hand be a constant reminder of the bond that we share. 

To God be the glory forever and ever. 

Glass

“We may shine, we may shatter,
We may be picking up the pieces here on after,
We are fragile, we are human,
We are shaped by the light we let through us,
We break fast, cause we are glass.
Cause we are glass.”

It was one month ago to this day. Everything kind of shattered around me, like glass. No literally, the glass in my driver’s side window shattered as I hydroplaned into an 18 wheeler with my boyfriend, Jesse in the car on the way to celebrate my Grandfather’s 90th birthday.

I’ve been planning this blog for a while now, I’ve had a lot to say about it, but you see, my left hand was damaged in the wreck, so I haven’t been able to type until now.

In about 15 seconds, at 4:15 pm on a rainy, rainy Monday, my life began to look a little different. I moved over into the right lane because there was an 18 wheeler following me a little too close for my own comfort. A couple of feet later, we hit the patch of water. From there, I remember every second. I remember Jesse grabbing the wheel trying to hold it steady with me. I remember the realization that we couldn't control the car anymore. Control. We'll get to that. I remember him telling me what to do. Every second it was happening, I remember him directing me. But I don't remember my body moving. I remember feeling paralyzed, being afraid. I remember looking to my left to see a giant white truck coming closer. I remember closing my eyes on impact, and after countless flashbacks, I now remember the sounds of the crash, the sounds of the shattering glass, and the silence after that. I remember, most distinctly, the only thought in my head during the collision. "I love you, Jesus." I remember Jesse telling me to slowly apply the break and meander off of the road into the ditch, and I remember getting to the ditch and coming out of the state of frozenness to see my surroundings, to look at him and realize I was still alive.

He told me to stay calm, so I was…at first.

But then, I saw the blood..everywhere.

I saw blood falling from what I thought was my head. It was actually from my face.

He told me “I need you to be calm, Kathryn.”

But then I looked to my hand on the wheel, the one that was causing me pain.

And I saw the inside of it, flesh missing, and a LOT of blood.

I started to panic.

I asked if I was dying. He said no.

He told me to stay calm and to walk out of his side of the car, so I did.

I stayed as calm as I could.

Three people stopped to help me.

None of them were the driver of the 18-wheeler.

Three is my number. I've talked about it before. Three is like the Trinity. Father, Spirit, and Son. They were all there with me.

To the young man who stopped: Thank you for stopping. You knew there was nothing you could do. Nothing at all, but you got out of your car in the pouring rain to make sure we were alive, to make sure we were okay, and to call an ambulance. I couldn’t thank you then, and I will probably never see you again, but thank you for stopping. For caring. For loving a stranger enough to show the image of Jesus.

To the man who was a doctor that stopped: Thank you. Thank you so much. You called the paramedics. You described everything you saw. I can’t even thank you enough for that, you know? You did so much and you used your calling to do it. We needed you in that moment. We needed you to take that control and help us out, and you did. I am so gracious for that and for you.

To the woman who stopped: Thank you for watching what the doctors do at UAB. You told me you work there and you told me you aren’t a doctor, but that you observe what they do daily. I needed that confidence because you were the one who stood above me. You were the one who told me to lie down as I felt light headed. Who stood over me with an umbrella to keep me as much out of the rain as you could. You are the one who let me be in shock, as the only words I could say were “I’m so scared, am I dying? I am so, so scared.” You told me a story. You distracted me until the paramedics got there. Thank you, so very much.

The rest of that night was pretty much a blur. I was taken to the hospital in an ambulance, terrified to be on the road. I had an x-ray of my hand and chest. I had CT scans on my head, neck, and face. Then I was hooked up to some morphine, got stitches and Jesse and my family were there. I was covered in glass and soaking wet so they changed me to a gown. I heard that I might have to have surgery on my hand because my tendon was so cut up, but I didn’t really know much. Except for that I was okay. 

Everyone was wondering why I was smiling.

It’s because we were alive. We had survived. 

Have you ever faced your biggest fear?

I now have.

When I think back to the wreck and I remember that giant white thing I saw I was about to crash into, I now see angel wings. Because Jesus was protecting us. Oh, how he was protecting us.

You want to know how cool God is?
Ten minutes before the wreck I hit a patch of water and the wheel felt a little shaky. It was then that I asked Jess what to do if I hydroplaned. God was preparing me. Then we went through the accident, Jesse walked out with a tiny scratch on his knuckle. I walked out with a cut up hand and face. He protected us through that. If I had been any bigger, I would have been pinned inside the car.

I hate the what-ifs, though. They just make things bad.

God was ever present that day. He is every day. 

I had three pieces of glass inside my hand, I found out. There’s that number again, Father, Spirit, Son. One piece to remind me that each of them was present. They always are.

My tendon was actually completely cut in half (they found this out when I went into surgery a week and a half or so later). They couldn’t find the end of it, so they didn’t fix it. They didn’t need to though, because the tendon that was severed is the one that has a sister tendon. Because God made two of them. How cool is that? My orthopedic has told me a lot about my injury. He said God made the hand so very forgiving. That’s some cool grace right there.

It’s my left hand, which means I will always have a giant scar on it. Which means when Jesse proposes to me, my ring pictures will look a little different. The hand won’t be so pretty, but that doesn’t matter, because we went through it together. 

“our scars make us know that our past was for real”- Pride and Prejudice

Speaking of Jesse..

Thank you, Jesse, for holding me through this. For pulling me through this. I seriously wouldn't have made it through without you. I love you, I love you so so much. There are so many things that I could say to you about this, but that should be a whole different blog. So it will be. You have done so much for me, and I'm so blessed by you. You are such a light and vessel in my life for Jesus. Thank you for being with me through every second of this. For cleaning my hand, for literally being my second hand. Thank you for holding me as I cry, as I have anxiety, and as I take tiny baby steps to get through this. You are everything to me. You stepped into what I like to call "husband mode" in an instant, and you've had a lot of strength and patience with me. That's all I'm going to say for now, but stay tuned for a whole blog post on it! 

anxiety is going to have it’s own post too, but let me tell you, that has been the hardest battle of them all. It’s taking a lot of courage, trust, and patience to get through it. There are flashbacks at a steady rate, driving in the rain is terrifying, and it took me a month to even be able to drive again. It’s been interesting, but God is good and He’s been pulling me through it.

I realized during that wreck that God's control is the perfect control. In those 15 seconds of total loss of control, I found out how beautiful it is to not have any ounce of control. I couldn't even try to have control, but God pulled us through, you know? There was so much peace and joy in that crash that I can't even begin to explain. God's control gave me so much grace (which is the name of my car that my parent's got for me, which will also be a whole blog in itself- the story of grace and the thankfulness I have for my parents).

The point of all of this, is that God is good. He is so good.

I look back at the wreck and see Jesus. I look at the scar on my left hand and see a story to use to spread God’s love, grace and mercy. I see a way to evangelize. I look at the only thought I had during the wreck and am joyful to know that in that moment, all I could think of was how much I love Jesus.

“Well you’ve come to bring life, to be light to shine brighter in us. Oh Emmanuel. God with us.”

wreckwreck2  wreck3

Beyond Bliss

Do you know that feeling of life being so busy and so crazy that you just get lost in all of the moments and it feels like a blur and kind of like you’re drowning?

Yeah. That’s been me for a while now. 

But you see, I’ve started to realize that joy and bliss are things that can be so easily covered up but not so easily lost, so as I told people of my struggle- the struggle of losing my joy, I began to realize I hadn’t actually lost it, I just wasn’t focusing on it anymore.

Because life gives me a lot of things to focus on and take up my entire life…like school.

& I get lost in those things-
In holding myself to standards of perfection 
I can't even begin to reach.

But life is starting to look a lot more like it used to, now.

It’s looking a lot more bright & a lot more sunny.

Now, I’m not saying my life was bad before- don’t misunderstand me here-

It’s been PERFECT.

Life has been nothing short of beautiful.

I’ve learned a lot about loving deeply, having patience, working hard, challenging myself, diving deeper into my faith, loving God and glorifying Him with all I do. See, life honestly doesn’t seem like it could be better. 

Life has just been in a different season. I get way less time with Jesse than I used to and physical touch and quality time are definitely my love languages, so I’ve had to learn to transform my life a little bit and be content with that. School has been draining- I’m in class all of the time. I mean, most of my classes are awesome and I’m learning a lot, but it’s still hours of sitting in a room learning things when I am so determined to be in the real world putting into action the things I have learned and continue to learn. My faith has matured so it feels a little bit different than it used to, but a good different, but it’s still a change and I have to transform my entire body and soul into understanding the change and understanding how I work. Tests are hard for me, so I have to put a lot of work into school, so you see, I’ve just had a lot going on.

 A lot to focus on that has distracted me from seeking 
joy and seeking bliss.

But I’ve been praying lately. Praying a whole lot about my joy. Someone gave me a book called “The Happiness Project” and I write down one single sentence every day about what made me happy. And suddenly,

I’m seeing it again- the light on my face.

I’m feeling it again- that joy in my heart.

And truly, I tell you,

I have been re-awakened to the importance of focusing 
my attention on the good and perfect things 
that come my way on a daily basis rather than 
the things that drain me.
Life looks a lot more blissful when you see the beautiful things, you know?

God is a good, good God, and all of the glory goes to Him.

“It’s your breath in our lungs”

Here is the play by play of the occurrences of the past hour:

Be cautious, this is raw and this is real.

“You give life, You are love, You bring light to the darkness. You give hope, You restore every heart that is broken. Great are You Lord.”

Filled with the words I write and the lyrics I hear as I breathe from writing.

“Well you’ve come to bring peace, to be love, to be nearer to us. Well you’ve come to bring life, to be light, to shine brighter in us.”

Tonight I sat down to read the Bible- to rest in His word- when suddenly this unexplainable feeling came over me.

This feeling so dark that a panic attack set in.

Looking at me from the outside no one would have even known.

They wouldn’t have seen the fear that I was feeling.

It was like this attack. 

This attack at my soul.

Something telling me not to believe. Not to love abundantly.

But rest assured,

nothing will keep me from believing. Nothing will stop me from loving abundantly.

That’s iridescent bliss.

Not the awful feeling that washed over me,

but the grace that pours over me. 

Seven minutes.

Seven minutes I spent in prayer. 

"God give me peace. I do not know what is happening. God take this battle and fight it. 
Deliver me, oh Lord, from whatever is going on. 
Please, Jesus, I need you. I NEED YOU."

Seven minutes.

“Our deliverer, You are Savior, in Your presence we find our strength.” 
and then two conversations. 

Both conversations led me to proclaiming the goodness of God.

“So we shout for joy to the Lord. All the Earth will adore….Now we lift up our praise, God whose marvelous name is high above it all. Victory is Yours oh Lord.”

He uses things like this, you know?

To grow us. To mature our relationships with Him.

I asked Him to take me deeper. I asked Him to bring me closer.

I’ve asked Him to send me out.

Maybe this is just the start. The start of something big. Something big to bring Him the glory.

“I bring my every need, confessing everything, Lord I’m desperate for your healing. I’m broken, every part. My unbelieving heart. I need the faith to even ask you….recklessly I run, I run to You. So whether suffering or free from laboring it’s for Your glory and for my good. “
Because how am I supposed to be a strong servant if I don’t know how to fight the hardest battle there is?

The fight against myself?

The fight against flesh.

So here is me physically letting go of all control. 

Here I am saying Jesus, take me.

Take all of me.

Every ounce. 

“You restore my soul, I’m Yours, Oh Lord, Oh King of Glory.”

timeless bliss


pallet1

Well here I am.
It's been quite a while.
But for the first day in the long while, I found a few moments to spare; to write.

I’ve been gone for quite some time, but the bliss in my life hasn’t been.
Things haven’t necessarily been the easiest- school has been pretty tough and I was sick for some time.

But still, life has been iridescently blissful.

I wish I could tell you everything that has been blissful since the last post I wrote- approximately forever ago. But that could take a while.

So let me tell you, within this break of posting I have learned one thing.
One thing that is so so simple yet so deep.

Bliss is timeless.
It does not disappear.
It is constantly there.
Even when you don’t write on it or distinctly search for it, it’s there.

How beautiful it is to know that something 
like iridescent bliss (shining joy)
doesn't go away.

We may believe it goes away sometimes.

I’ll be honest, during this break from blogging I haven’t seen bliss as much.

But that was not because bliss is a conditional thing.

It’s because I stopped trying to see it.

It was there but I wasn’t spending time looking at it, appreciating it.

I took all I have been blessed with for granted at points 
& THAT- 
That's what makes it seem to be distant.

But here I am, writing again.
This makes my soul happy.

Because now I remember why I wrote in the first place.

Bliss is timeless.

“I once was blind, but now I see.” 

For the Box

 thebox.jpg
There is this place that I have called a home.
This place is called O’Henry’s, and it is a coffee shop in dear old Homewood.
It became a home in many different ways.
It first began in high school. When AP Bio took over my life. It became my late night home- a place to study with friends (even though we knew we would still fail the test)
Then it became a place to enjoy each other’s company. A place to chat.
Then it became a home to drink coffee on cold days- or maybe even in the heat of the summer.
and then I went off to college and this place became a brand new home.
A place to come home to, a home away from my real home and my college home.
It began to be a home where I realized all of my dreams.
Where I decided I should have a coffee shop one day. One just like this home. 
and then it became a home where a guy from my childhood days would buy me coffee. 
But that didn’t work out.
I wasn’t bitter though, I still had my home to go to with good coffee and time with Jesus.
It then became my social media home. I felt like I worked  there I posted about it so much.
It became my home and my motto: “all I need is a little bit of coffee and a whole lot of Jesus.”
It became the place where I could hear Jesus while sipping on a turtle deluxe.
and then I met Jesse.
and O'Henry's became a new kind of home.
I wouldn’t stop talking about it to this guy. This guy who was actually interested in the things I had to say, you know?
So on January 7, 2014 this guy that I had a giant crush on picked me up (I still had my boot at this point and one crutch) and he drove me to O’Henry’s. Because he decided that what I think is good and important is good and important to him. 
There we sat. There we drank. There we talked about ourselves and Breaking Bad and everything in between. There the owners and their children (who are actually two of my dear friends) walked in and talked to us. It was our first date, and now it is our place. 
It became my home in the newest of ways. It was the place where 
God blessed me greatly. Where it all really started. 
Now it’s my favorite place. 
and in my favorite place, I wonder what adventures will come next. How it will constantly transform and what homes it will become in each day, stage, and season of my life. I wonder what home it is to those who sit for hours, or those who pop in and out.
In this place there is a box. It is a box of writings. Anyone can put things in there. They write their deepest secrets, they write their stories, they write about Jesus. Today, I wrote on a napkin, and on that napkin I wrote to come to this blog and read this post. Because if I wrote for the box this is what I would write. But I also needed to blog, so why not open up the world’s eyes to not only the beauty of this box but the beauty of this place. 
The beauty of one of the places I call home.
If you ever have the chance, please make a trip to this quaint coffee shop. Any of the three that exist. 
Below is a collage of the box, my yummy drink I got, and a few of the things I found in the box that touched my heart.
 
ohenrys.jpg.jpg
 
 

The front row

There is this place where I find a bliss that feels as if I am surrounded by an ocean of grace. But I’m not drowning, because drowning means you can’t breathe. This feeling is of a bliss that fills up my lungs. One that makes me feel new again in each moment..in each verse, in each strum.

I call this place the front row.

“Lord I come, I confess. Bowing here, I find my rest.”

It’s where I can do my deepest thinking, my hardest praying, my most unconditional loving.

It’s where I can look up and see them playing and look down and hear them singing.

“Lord I need you, oh I need you- every hour I need you.”

It’s where I can close my eyes and sing along or stand staring straight ahead- always with a smile on my face- and listen in simple quietness as I feel the spirit move-because it moves.

Oh, how it moves.

The front row.

It’s where I can make eye contact off a quick glance or share a smile that could never seem to fade with the guy who is such a perfect constant blessing in my life.

The front row.

“Oh Christ, the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand ”

It’s where I can go into this state where I forget other people are around. I just sink into the presence of The Lord.

One that pulls me out into the deeper waters.

The front row.

“By your grace you are making us faithful….as we worship you, our worship leads us to communion. We respond to Your invitation.”

But they’re there. On that stage, and I watch them be vessels. Without them even taking pride in it. It could be a Sunday morning in the service, or it could be a Wednesday night at practice and I’m still drawn to go.

The front row.

It’s not just about supporting Jesse. It’s way more than that.

“Great is thy faithfulness.”

How beautifully blissful is it that I can support the guy who continuously changes my life while also being poured into by the worship he is letting flow out.

The front row.

“Oh how could it be that my God would welcome me into this mystery?”

It’s my place.
It’s my bliss.
It found my heart.

“Now the simple made divine for any to receive”