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Mi$$y America

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(no subject) [Jul. 12th, 2011|01:46 am]
Mi$$y America
On Marriage.
In one week, I will celebrate my third wedding anniversary, and to say it is a miracle is a dramatic understatement.

For nearly three years, the course of my life has shifted frantically, recklessly, and blindly further and further from the path in which God desires. I have given myself over to selfish desires, anger, malice, greed, gluttony, and overall apathy. I have neglected my husband and my God. I ran, in every which direction, to anywhere to hide. Anywhere deep enough and dark enough to remain unscathed by the light of my wrong doings. The amount of times "I hate you" and "I'm leaving" or "divorce" were spout from my lips are shaming.
Incredibly embarrassing.
And heart breaking.
And utterly humbling.

My husband never left. Never took his chance. Never abandon or forsake. He took his beatings; and dealt some out (never literally); but always remained steadfast that there was a purpose for us, and we were able to overcome, and that God would rescue.

And he's doing it.
I feel it happening.
We can talk and not yell.
We can disagree without throwing down.
We can hurt and be vulnerable.
And slowly, our walls are crumbling.
And something better is being rebuilt.

I doubt I would've learned otherwise.
Where else would I experience this much intimacy, transparency, and vulnerability?
Where else can someone tell you that all the hurt feelings melt away with just one glimpse of a smile?
Where else could I know a love so deep and true that no amount of pushing and fighting could keep it from me?

I would not know God as well if not for Eric. Those are some seriously mind crushing words to admit. I want to believe I am an island; and I hate the constitution of marriage. I like to think I am above some chovanistic thought that being married brought me to completion. I'd love to be strong enough to make it through on my own.
But that isn't my case. Maybe for others it is different. But I NEEDED him to know God more fully. Grace could not be real in the heavenly capacity if I could not feel it on earth. Forgiveness would just be empty words if I did not look in my husband's eyes each day and know he has truly forgiven me for the pain I've caused. Compassion would not be felt as deeply if I did not have someone so close in my world who truly aches for others.

God is God whether Eric walks another day of this life with me or not. But, I am so thoroughly grateful He has given me someone to mirror His image so well; because I am too dense and hardheaded to really comprehend it otherwise.

And not that I ever deserve another blessing, but if he could give me another fifty or so years on top of this three, I think that'd be so swell.
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(no subject) [May. 16th, 2011|11:30 pm]
Mi$$y America
Love it will not betray you, dismay or enslave you,
It will set you free
Be more like the man you were made to be.
There is a design,
An alignment to cry,
Of my heart to see,
The beauty of love as it was made to be

Maybe I'm totally late to the party here, but in the past month I have discovered Mumford and Sons and haven't stopped listening since. I have not felt this deeply connected to lyrics since Anathallo about four years ago. It just makes sense to my heart.

The other night my husband and I bought sat in our bedroom and cried. Maybe I shouldn't tell the internet that, but really I think I have only Serenity and Bianca who read this, and you guys should know, my husband cries sometimes. It's okay to cry. Especially because though we were crying over different things, it was ultimately the brokenness of the world that had left us feeling so wounded. So much that there were not words, only tears. And then the song above popped in my mind. And then the scripture:

"You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. "-Matthew 24:6


Amen? Amen. Amen?

Sometimes that reality fills me with such great hope and others, such great despair.

And when the despair is all but taking me under I wish it were as easy for me to remember this scripture:
"But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep.For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead."-1 COR 15:20-21

and a little bit of Psalm 30, 31, and 32.

and maybe finish it off with a little more of Mumford; remembering that after I get over my hill, I'll find grace in my heart and flowers in my hair. And it will be more than I will ever be able to fathom here, in the brokeness, and that is OK. It will all be OK because brokeness doesn't win.
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Surprising [Mar. 4th, 2011|12:11 pm]
Mi$$y America
Things in my life are typically (always) never what I expect, anticipate, desire. Except when I expect the worst. So; if this holds true. . . why am I still surprised when my entire life seems to crumble before my eyes?

I don't learn quick.

As of Monday; I will be technically jobless. No job, no nest egg, and no sugar daddy. Gulp. The past two days have been rampant with emotions. Fear, fear, terror, depression, excitement, depression, rejection, h.o.p.e, anger.

God, oh my God, why have You forsaken me?! Jesus, I love you, but seriously, your dad sucks.

These are no good Christian thoughts, because I am no good Christian. I wish I knew how to praise Him in the hardest parts, but sometimes, I really do think he's a douche and my whole purpose on earth is to be pooped on.

And then I remember I'm actually the poop and the pooper-oner, and I deserve absolutely n o t h i n g. And then I feel ravished with guilt, more depression, and dismay.

I should read my Bible more, sure, but I don't usually believe those encouraging passages are written to me. They are. They are they are they are. Bind them to your forehead, MELISSA.

Tangent just to say there's two types of people in this world. One who gets fired from a job 2 days before they're supposed to start and think of it as great opportunity to seize their passions in life. Two, the kind who has no freaking idea how to turn any remote passion into something that provides some monetary compensation and freaks the hell out.

I would so rather be a One. duh.
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For By Grace [Feb. 27th, 2011|10:03 pm]
Mi$$y America
I thought about writing this post from our bathroom while sitting in the tub. Fully clothed. I thought, maybe, it being really random and absurd would allow my thoughts to flow freely. It seems like there is a block; and not just of the writers persuasion, but an overall life-mental-block. I can't seem to process feelings, thoughts, dreams, beliefs, etc. It's all the strength I can muster to get through the day-by-day, in and out of routine, keepin' on to keep on.

It.is.exhausting. I want to have musings of life and God and all its inner workings. I want to be inspired to create. I want to believe--because it is so vividly evident--that there is truly beauty from the ashes; and glory to behold. And it just.doesn't.come. And I can't force it. But I can't ignore it. I can't fake it, or become complacent. It's the awful grey area; where there is all too much doubt and uncertainty. Where my thoughts have their way with my heart and cause the deep pain in me that begs for peace and so fears to be sucked into its abyss without rest.

And then, there's grace. Grace grace grace. It's all I can muster to read about it, meditate on, and trust in, but it is the one thing that will probably save me from self-destruction. I am filthy rotten and without Jesus that would be the end of the sentence. Some days I think it is. Others it is easier to believe. The sooner I can accept this is who I am and Jesus loves me and saved me in spite of myself, the better off I'll be. It's just getting my whole self on board with this rationale that seems to be the bugger.

But in moments of clarity; few and far between, I can treasure words of encouragement that come from something so big and wide that my mind cannot help but be blown.

Matthew 9:9-13

"The Kingdom is not an exclusive, well-trimmed suburb with snobbish rules about who can live there. No it is for a larger, homelier, less self-conscious caste of people who understand they are sinners because they have experienced the yaw and pitch of moral struggle."- Ragamuffin Gospel
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(no subject) [Dec. 31st, 2010|01:14 am]
Mi$$y America

Missy's 2010 from melissa herendeen on Vimeo.

This series of pictures makes my heart so warm. This entire year seems too good to be true. It was hard. We were dirt poor, without jobs, had others pay our bills, without a church, had to go to marriage counseling, and at one point, I thought our marriage was really and truly over.

But grace abounds.

We are being built up more each day. We are seeing light at the end of a very dark tunnel. We are surrounded with love. I am, for the first time in my 24 years of existence, seeing that life can be better than I dream it to be. I am satisfied, and my thirst is quenched. I am, dare I be so bold to say, inconsolably content.
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(no subject) [Nov. 11th, 2010|08:28 pm]
Mi$$y America
"She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who hold her fast. The Lord by wisdom founded the earth, by understanding established the heavens. By His knowledge the deeps were broken up and the skies drip with dew. Let them not vanish from your sight; keep sound wisdom and discretion, so they will be life to your soul."

There is peace in my soul, and I ought to write/blog more often in the good moments of life, so when I'm in the depths I can remember all the easier. I went to Costa Rica and it was refreshing to my mind and before all the refreshment is bogged down I want to be in some discipline, some routine, something that serves as an outlet to express my need for creation and creativity to keep me focused on whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable.

Life is a lot of black, white, and gray. But sometimes, life is a lot of red, blue, shining yellows, punching greens, brilliant purples, and of course pink. Much more pink than I give life credit for- so I'm trying to use the entire color pallet in my day to day and embrace the colors of the sunset, and let the gray not overwhelm it all.
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(no subject) [Oct. 4th, 2010|09:26 am]
Mi$$y America
mundane. ordinary. plain.

exceptional. fantastical. exquisite.

what it's been.

what i desire.

where i'm stuck.

where i'm striving.

i dream of greatness. i long for extraordinary. i seek adventure.

i want to leave a legacy, but in a less cliche way of saying so.

i want purpose and meaning and sacrifice and to bleed to die to live.

there are books to read, orphans to hug, bikes to ride, food to feed, laughs to bellow, love to give, love to take, forgiveness to marvel, truth to share.

i am in a constant state of overwhelmed. whether be by the amount of pain, despair, and sorrow. or by the beauty to behold and moments to grab hold of.

and i'm pretty sure i do a lousy job of making something out of either state and that the days are surely be wasted by. and i do not know how to combat such emotions than to

"cease striving" and know that God is God despite my mental health. despite my lack of adventure. despite my extreme highs and lows. despite by worry and fear. despite my desire to be god.

He is good. He is above all. He will satisfy the desires of my heart. and maybe remember here and there, that it isn't all about me. ever.
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Beauty. [Jun. 11th, 2010|01:10 am]
Mi$$y America
I sort of love shopping. A lot. Most women do, some women don't. I love the thrill of finding new items, and then wearing them, and then being complimented! What a bonus when it was a real steal and I get to brag, "I got it for only ___ dollars!!!". . . What is it about women and doing that? Every girl I know does it. Anyway. I have always craved clothes, I don't like wearing anything twice, except for the exceptionally beautiful pieces.

I am inspired by beauty. I want to have a beautiful home, with beautiful photo graphs and art work and unique trinkets. I want it to be a cross of a Real Simple and Etsy and Anthropologie rolled into one cozy, beautiful, warm space. I love nature- the mountains, the beach, sunset, and sunrise, trees in every season, flowers, weeds, grass, billowy rain clouds, fluffy white clouds under open meadow spaces.

Even in food, I want creations to be as appetizing to the eye as to the mouth. Perfectly garnished, swirled, and plated.

People, places and things. . . discovering the beauty of it all is my deepest longing and joy. And yet, no matter how many new dresses I buy, or how many perfect sunsets I see, un-cracked cheesecakes I bake, or places I explore, the desire to seek more beauty only grows. I do not feel quenched after my pursuits, but exceedingly parched. I am always left feeling ugly myself, inadequate to capture any of the beauty I experience. And I think this is where I most closely connect to Christ and God the Father. He is maker of all things Beautiful, and Christ's sacrifice encompasses the most extreme beautiful act, and when my hunt for beauty leaves me unfulfilled, it is just further confirmation that my focus is not where it isn't where it ought to be, and that by keeping my mind centered on Him, I might potentially experience beauty like never before.
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(no subject) [Jun. 3rd, 2010|01:27 pm]
Mi$$y America
For anyone who reads this blog who may not know me very well, I am a little bit rash of a person. I am extremely driven by emotions, and in turn can act very hasty in them. Sometimes it is good (no examples come to mind) and other times it hurts people. I suck and am still trying to learn how not to.

I'm also a dreamer. Like, ridiculous amount of fantasies prancing around my noggin' at any given moment. Sometimes it is bad (no examples come to mind) and other times it is what keeps me going.

I am also a more negative/pessimistic person by nature, and so when the tough gets going, I just quit. Fortunately (maybe?) when one dream doesn't pan out, there is without shortage, seventeen lined up ready to go.

And so, with those attributes in mind. . .I am almost 24, and have decided to really quit college with just 18 credits to go. Some people think that's really dumb. Maybe I'll eventually agree, but it isn't my dream. It's my "supposed to". . .I am not one who likes to do just because I'm supposed to. Obviously, this creates some deep, spiritual division within myself and with those matters I ought to learn humility and submissiveness. College is not the same.

And with that out of the picture, it leaves me sitting on dreams, figuring out how to make one of them happen for real. I think marriage was the first real adult thing I ever did and this is the second.

I'm going to try my hand at baking as a profession. Just a little on the side, so if anyone reads this and can think of a good sort of baking/business name to go on business cards, I'll give you some kickbacks of the profits for your creative input.
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Depression: Enemy or Tool? [May. 10th, 2010|12:04 am]
Mi$$y America
Romans 8:28, "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."

I have heard and read this verse so many times. Mostly at times where I have felt it terribly inappropriate. Like, at a funeral of a loved one. . .no one wants to hear this verse. Or, through a tragic divorce or break-up. . .no one wants to hear this verse. Or, when you know you're sinning beyond belief and feel like you're drowning in the filth of your own demise. . .no one wants to hear this verse.

For months now I have felt totally blocked and cut off from cogent thought. It has been an extremely challenging time in my life with one blow following the next and I felt as if there was no where to turn. Everything was upside down. Good was bad, right was wrong, love was hate and light was dark. In my utter despair I felt myself crying out the Lord, pleading and reaching with Him to bring me out. I didn't believe He could. I didn't trust He would. Then I believed He wasn't even something real to cry out to. The foundation on which I had built the past six years of my life was crumbling down to a degree that left me utterly hopeless, praying out to the Universe/God/gods/air to let my current breath be my last. I did not want to live if that future did not include God in it, and not a God-crutch, but the True-Living-Breathing-Saving-Protecting-Allknowing-Allpowerful-Over everything in the World, God.

I've been going to counseling now, since moving to Charlotte to deal with my depression. It's an issue larger than my mind can really comprehend, but it seems to make everything backwards in my head. My husband says he loves me, and that REALLY means he wants to leave. God says He loves me, forgives me, and wants a relationship with me. . .obviously that cannot be true. I fought depression. I believed I could pray it out, read it out, ignore it out, counsel it out, sleep it out, cry it out. It's been a life-long battle and that has not yet worked, and so, if my God can do all things can indeed do all things, surely I could be healed from this. And if He isn't, then he couldn't. Right?

Or, maybe. . . since my brain is so good at manipulating truth. And since deceit is the greatest craftsmanship of the devil. . .MAYBE I could recognize that since I normally would believe it, I should just choose not to. And so I started trying that. And, it has been working. I don't know if I am meant to be healed, or if this was just the most effective way for God to speak truth into me, or if there's some lesson I won't ever know until after this all passes away, but I'm trying something different and it all doesn't seem so bleak anymore.

This life is not right. Nothing in life makes sense to me. Everything is in a constant struggle of pain and sorrow. Just because that is what it is right now, does not mean it is a reflection of what God created. And that unsettling longing in my core is evidence of that being true.

And this isn't profound, original, or anything but as Eric and I drove through West Virgina today, over the rolling mountains and down the low valleys this very common every day metaphor dawned on me: when we were in the pit it felt like it was so late in the day, like the sun had set because it was dark. . .then we came to an incline and I was surprised to see how bright it was that it burned my eyes. The sun had not gone anywhere just because in those few miles we were lower than it was. It wasn't any less real, bright, or powerful. The same goes with God. I cannot base my belief in Him on my mood of the day. If I have an imbalance in my mind, that makes things harder for me to see right side up, I cannot be so wavering in my trust that He is still God even when I have a bad few weeks/months/years.

In that epiphany, it is good to hear the verse, "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." And I will praise Him through the valleys and the high places, looking to Heaven for He is good.
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