THIS SHOW. 

Hello Reader of this post, 

As a follower of my beloved Saviour Jesus Christ, I am called to lay out the things of my heart in hope that I plant the seed of truth, and glorify the gospel of Christ. 

In this post, I hope to contribute to the ongoing conversation regarding mental health and suicide. I will also discuss and compare my faith in Christianity in contrast to the novel-turned Netflix original series, 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher. 

In the short but powerful TV drama 13 Reasons Why, the viewing audience is quickly made aware that Hannah Baker is dead.  A troubled high school student that we come to know through several self-recorded tapes, documenting the people and reasons behind her decision to end her life. 
Apart from the extensive and graphic topics of suicide, the series explores mature themes such as: bullying, alcoholism, drug-use, self-harm, domestic violence, gun violence, and rape. 
By the final episode, I was heartbroken and absolutely gutted. 

To me, this series reaffirms the distance between God and all of us; highlighting the penalty of our sin which has brought trial, pain, and suffering to this world. 

Of course I wouldn’t blame Hannah or anyone for feeling pain towards those who did them wrong. This is expected, and in a way, an inherited human trait; without God, our unfortunate circumstances can define us, but it doesn’t have to.
“We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
 each of us has turned to our own way;
 and the Lord has laid on him
 the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6 NIV) 

But. What I have stated above, is not the entire gospel truth; for Jesus has felt the pain of sin we committed before and forever. Jesus died in our place, and rose again so that we may have LIFE. His blood shed on the cross is the greatest sacrifice for all human brokenness, human pain, human suffering, and human sin. Our life is restored through a perfect saviour.

In 13 Reasons Why I feel the opposite is true. Death is a logical means to a literal end; relief of self, words and feelings are actually heard, and death represents victory from devastation. It pains me that for some, this is truth. 

My faith has inspired me to believe that we are not meant to die in vain. The intention of Christ for us was never to succumb to the paths of mental, emotional, and physical brokenness. 

In conclusion, I pray in all ways we seek a solution bigger than ourselves. May we flee from evil and put on peace. For our Lord is kind, and turns us from being weathered to renewed in spirit. In Christ’s transformative name, 
“May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.”

2 Thessalonians 3:5 | NIV

May life win. 

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Mustard Seeds

He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.  Matthew 13:31-32

I realized today in church that I’ll be doing some major ‘seed planting’ this year, next month, a few years, and preferably, a lifetime from now. 

Today, I was mainly fixed on the idea that next month I’ll have a new birthday. I’m getting baptized!

I turned 22 in June, but as of August I’ll be a bright, glowing, puffy – eyed newborn —- taking my first breathes of God-renewed life as a born-again, Christian. 

I’m thrilled to be taking the plunge (literally) and professing all that I have been given in life, back to the Creator of my life! 

My life-long commitment —- I’m sewing my soul with my greatest discovery, my truest friend, and my only hope. 

I’m not even there yet, and I’m feeling a mountains worth of grace-upon-grace-upon- grace. 

Look out trees…I’m’a comin’ 



truly complete 

Something I’ve learned from the Bible is this: God is the essential to life and love; holding our smallest wants to our grandest purposes between his almighty palms. Evidently we are lost without God; his imprint on our hearts and lives is necessary to fill us completely, otherwise we turn to the world for this ‘fill’ instead.

 


 

Me Before You inspires a tender message of the power of compassion, the complexities of life, love, and also has two really good Ed Sheeran songs.

I was swept up one summer’s eve, when I saw the movie trailer about a physically disabled man and his caregiver falling in deep L-O-V-E, love. Aside from the appropriateness of this relationship, one is quickly clued in as to why this story will indeed, rip. your. heart. out.

The charming but disturbed leading man, Will Traynor, and the adorable but clueless, Louisa Clark, take us on a journey of what it’s about to ‘live bodly,’ while tackling the controversial ideas of choosing to die when the boldness of life seem impossible to attain.

Throughout the story, one naturally sympathizes with Will Traynor; a young man who once lived on the highest levels of success, adventure, and excitement — now after years of little improvement and compromised goals, he is left bitter, depressed, and tormented by the limitations of his life as a quadriplegic man; this which encourages his conclusions of ending his own life after the duration of six months.

Admirably Louisa is set on changing his mind, and takes it upon herself to think up fun/inspiring ideas to help Will realize the value to his life and her love for him despite his focus on his own disabilities. Her professional role as caregiver quickly turns to an urgent personal responsibility of fighting for life, love, and hope.

The final impression from this story was partly inspirational, incredibly sweet, and sad. It goes to show that I’ll always be a sucker for anything lovely-dovey, and anything A Walk to Remember-ish. I loved this book/film, but I’m left with that half-hearted feeling…like something didn’t quite settle properly.

Frankly, the love between two people fell short. All efforts failed. Sad, but true.

( *Hold the phone* )

How possible is it that the underlying innuendo of all this is that, everything falls short without God at the centre? When we depend solely on ourselves or each other, and do not look to God, the perfect author, maker, and teacher of completeness, we are headed for complete despair.

Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.  The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. Romans 8:5-6

God is the only avenue of true love and life. We can rely on ourselves but love from God is the only thing that can truly save us. He is a faithful lover of his creation, and He hopes for us to naturally seek him to find ultimate completeness in Him. He is the only way we can completely love, completely live, and completely change and transform our minds. He is eternal love and eternal life. We die without God, and everything else is an unreliable source.

Ultimately, I think the “tell me something good” message of Me Before You was meant to emphasize that life is meant to be lived, and not lived through. Everyone has the potential to be bold, and become their best self. But, life and love are gifts that don’t have to be accepted —- the choice is ours.

But God outlines a different option that unwraps our despair, and fills us with meaning, life, and love.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

 

 

 

 

The 5 Month Curve

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen but what is unseen for for what is seen is temporary but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18

I had my good cry already.

I cried because I came to the realization that May is not October, it’s a month that only happens in the fall, and it’ll be five months and a country away from another visit.

I’ve stretched my fingers into a large ‘L’ formation across my forehead to emphasize my sad conclusions.

Take that October! You’re an ‘L’ formation!

Rest assured, no matter the time, no matter the distance —- my heart will break from the absence but, the ache and the wait are forces I can withstand.

Take heart, God reminds us to,

“Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually.” 1 Chronicle 16:11

I believe when God asks for us to seek Him he is thrilled by our desire, our intention to draw close, to praise, and to prioritize his truth in life. This is meant to be done always and ‘continually’ as the verse suggests.

I’m definetly a fan of setting new goals, improving my understanding and learn to better equip myself in the Word.

Through willingness and freedom through Christ, I want to take it upon myself as He did for me, and refresh the friendship that I have in Jesus; observe new ideas, places, spaces I have not yet seen. I hope to plant seeds in my spirit, and bloom more and more and more.

What better time than now?

—- Timeline —-

June 2016: Ephesians Devotional Series // Book study
July 2016: Philippians Devotional Series // Book Study
August 2016: Baptism // Colossians Devotional Series
September 2016: The Resurrected Life (14 Day) // Book study
October 2016: Proverbs: The Way of Wisdom (28 Day) // Book study
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Dear Tender Heart

“So, I have a lot of anxiety. I say that all the time and it’s something I hate about myself. My mom always said that if I used the word ‘hate’ it meant that I wished death on whatever I had such feelings about. Well. With all my heart…. I’d love for my anxiety to kick the bucket. The sad thing about that previous statement is that I’ve given my anxiety legs and feet with enough force to kick a bucket. How stupid of me to think that my anxiety should have any power to kick over buckets. I wish it were only that strong. Right now it has a hold on my heart. I feel helpless. Honestly. I don’t know why I let things get this far within myself to the point where I feel helpless. I feel almost inconsolable.”

 

This was how I decided to feel at one point.  I had chased my endless train of thought far too long, and I never did get to the end. I never will, and that’s something very hard for me to accept.  It makes me frustrated that I don’t have the remote control, a crystal ball, or any sort of omniscient power to see all that will be…MY LIFE. *flips table*

I feel a ‘push’. I can feel God working very specifically on areas of myself and my life and something is ‘PUSHING’ me! It feels soul-clenching at times but, I suspect that the ‘soul-clenching’ is God rearing my life in the direction in which he, oh so politely, wants it to go.

I’m always telling myself the same things: I feel out of control, not confident, not ready, and too hysterical for my own good. I’m just too hysterical.

In short, I’m human and I know nothing. It’s like God got the joke, and I’m just sitting here…watching him laugh….still not getting it.

 

Throughout the Bible we read about many chosen individuals that God uses to deliver the truth.  At my church, we are studying the books of 1st and 2nd Peter; in these writings, Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, illustrates the way which Christians should live, the holiness of suffering, and the purpose that God has placed on all of our lives as His people: to live for God, and regard all suffering in the name of Jesus as a blessing; for he suffered for us, and because Jesus Christ is the only ‘living hope’ that we have in this life.

In this study, God chose Peter as his messenger. Peter from a worldly perspective, was unqualified; a misfit that had many limitations weighed against him…I’m sure all of humanity can relate to this. Yet, in spite of this God chose him anyway.

I think I feel like a misfit a lot of the time; significantly unqualified and in most moments radically insecure about the blessings, situations, or life that I’ve been given. But, in this I have to remember that God calls us into action differently, and prepares us uniquely for his plan; he chooses us.

It started with Adam and then with Eve, and, Jesus Christ has had a plan from the very beginning. This perfect idea God has for us will come with great reward.

We are his people, and he will continually keep us out of harm… we just have to allow ourselves to trust him.  Trust the call that he has on our lives, and trust that he has overcome all that you will encounter in this life.

Trust God…he gets the joke, and you certainly do not. Don’t try to. Just sit there. One day you’ll get it.

 “Life is amazing. And then it’s awful. And then it’s amazing again. And in between the amazing and awful it’s ordinary and mundane and routine. Breathe in the amazing, hold on through the awful, and relax and exhale during the ordinary. That’s just living heartbreaking, soul-healing, amazing, awful, ordinary life. And it’s breathtakingly beautiful.”
― L.R. Knost

 

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The Incredible Voice of God

“I tried to discover, in the rumor of forests and waves, words that other men could not hear, and I picked up my ears to listen to the revelation of their harmony.” 

          – Gustav Flaubert

Recently, I went to a class about hearing God. Through this class, I was able to learn about the nature and character of God, how we can experience God in different ways, and the revealing truth that God speaks to each and every one of us — equally and gracefully. The kicker is to actually lean in and listen.

After all this I feel like I have been spiritually set on fire; blazing with enlightenment and the gracious truth that God has been speaking to me my entire life.  I’ve been taking credit for the subtle whispers, the ones I knew I heard and blatantly ignored.  The exhilarating feeling of enchantment that I feel through a single sound of music, and the brilliant enthusiasm that I have over the simplest of things; a smile or something ordinary that I found way too funny. I believe, one time or another, I experienced the gentle remarks of the holy spirit.

  Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21

With that being said, I feel it is quite simple to hear anything when you are consciously tuned-in. In my own experience, I believe He can be heard through thoughts, or physically through emotional response.  The ways God speaks to us remains true to the time before and the time today; God spoke directly to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, Joseph, in his dreams, Noah, through nature, angels, the Bible, and miraculously, even a donkey (because humans are too main stream).

This learning experience has been divinely eye-opening.  The richest part is that, as life goes on I’ll become better at noticing the masterful words or feelings that provide such wisdom and the true well-springs of life.

How powerful, how pure, and how incredible it is to experience and hear God.

I’m all ears.

Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:9

Why Love Why?

I wish I could be stronger.  Then I wouldn’t feel the need to cry, or be reminded of all the loveliness that causes so much pain.

Love and pain are almost one in the same.  Love feels like too much desire, and pain is the desire itself. Does that make sense? My own feelings have a way of filling me up right to the top, and spilling all over myself…everything is just mess now.

I’m so happy it’s this way though.  This hardness that no one talks about that you feel when love is so painful, it’s almost delightful.

I read somewhere that first loves can be one of the most devastating means of heartbreak.  What if I’m devastated but not heartbroken.  My heart is actually very much together.  It just falls every now and again.

But this must be Jesus? This must be the way Jesus feels when we turn our hearts from him.  That’s heartbreaking.

This man is always bugging my brain.  His face is always showing up when I’m trying to have a good day; I’ll be going out, or seeing a friend, or just doing every day things.  He ruins what was suppose to be a good day. He wonderfully makes the day bright, yet so very dark.  This is a hard thing to go through.  It’s like a flickering light bulb.  How annoying.

But this is God isn’t it? It’s you right? Who else?

How can I know? It’s the way he makes me feel when he’s not even there. I’ll be looking at him, though that fuzzy screen, and WOW, it’s him! His shirt looks great…what a face, I love his face…and UH how I’ve waited to see him actually looking at me! With the same lovey look that I look at him with.  It really gives me so much life.  His far-a-way presence but also so close.

It’s hard to believe that these feelings have been felt over and over, and there expected but DARN, my senses make it feel like the first time they’ve felt such hurt. My feelings bully me everyday….hitting me at all my weak points.

But someday, I imagine that it won’t be like this at all.

It’s overwhelming to think that I’ll be walking into something new very soon. I never imagined that this is what 21 would be like.  A future that involves a lot of love. A lot of it. With the BEST MAN EVER. He really is THE best. I had to put that out there..way into….the universe.

All I can think about is love, marriage, marriage vows, where and when our personalities WILL clash, cooking an actual meal of some sort, that whole ‘me’ to ‘we’ phenomenon, sharing everything, our possible dog, that whole Canadian to American change-over thing, the across the country (universe) moving part….I’m a wife…well…alright.

Why love why? Because God has been good to me.