we’ve all been given a battle

 

we all just want to know we’re not the only ones who feel like professionals at being messy human beings.

XI.XVI.MMXVI. 2:25 pm.

Today in class I had to stand up and speak. I didn’t know it and it was unexpected. my hands were shaking, guys. They were shaking. I had no time to prepare for this. I felt like the whole world was watching me say my few words about two advertisements in front of 25 people. I felt like everyone could see my intense level of nervousness and fear and that the other person in my group who stood up there with me probably was like “what the heck” at my hands shaking as I held our little paper with observations. Plus my hair was probably messy and why in the world did I wear this sweater?

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But that’s just what fear does.

In reality-in the big picture of life-it’s a silly little irrational fear. To my mind, though, it feels enormously big and consuming. It’s a fear I’m slowly learning to dance with. A fear I’m slowly learning to push through because I don’t think fearlessness is the absence of fear, but the courage to live in spite of the fear. It exists though, and it’s the battle I’ve been given to fight right now. I think it’s a little strange and yet a little beautiful that we’re all given battles to fight. It’s almost as if God says, “I just want them to know how weak they really are without Me.”

I don’t think our battles are anything to be ashamed of and I think our enemy is pretty happy when we convince ourselves we’re the only one in the world facing this battle.

It takes a lot out of me-this worry that I’m too much and yet not enough. This overthinking of everything I do. There are days when I am just physically tired from it. Sometimes it keeps me from what I really want to do, and in my heart I know that it always keeps me from living my life to the fullest.

I’ve gotten a few messages lately from people who have told me they wish their faith was as big as mine–as bold and as brave. But honestly? Girl, I hope it’s not. I hope it’s so much deeper. I hope you don’t struggle with the crippling fear of merely living life that traps my words in my throat sometimes. I hope you don’t get anxious about meeting new people and I hope you have a faith so free that any concerns about what people think of you just fall away. I hope you don’t think everyone’s eyes are on you in a crowd. I hope your hands don’t shake when you stand up in front of them. I hope you embrace your introverted awkward self and don’t hate it. I hope you are free.

My heart knows that one day I’m gonna have victory over this, because I believe my God wins. There have been baby steps. He’s slowly showing me that there’s a better way. But for now it’s a fight. I wish somehow I could fear the God that made me instead of the people He made. I’m working on that. I’m pressing into grace. I believe that one day, I’ll be able to stand in front of a crowd without a trace of fear, and that in my mind God will become greater and people small. I really do believe that. But today, it’s not that way. I have been given a battle. And in the messiest and most imperfect way, I’m facing the fear, and I finding courage to do life anyway.

So know that no matter how someone appears to you-they have been given a battle too.
No matter how many friends she has? She has a battle. No matter how many followers she’s attracted? She has a battle. No matter her relationship status and no matter her social life? She has a battle. No matter what her page online says? She has a battle. And if we’re being honest–real and raw–we can own the battles we have been given and fight together.

xo,
madyson grace

ps. own your battle below in the comments! I want to hear your heart. & I want to fight it with you.

 

 

a word to the broken

Dear broken heart; broken by the words someone said. Broken by someone’s opinion. Broken because someone who was close isn’t close anymore.

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Broken because that loved one who in your mind had 50 years left to live–

broken cause they’re gone.

Broken because turning on the news today can break you down like that.

Broken for the families who won’t see their brothers or sisters or sons or daughters again because they were in Orlando that day.

Broken because you were betrayed by a friend.

Broken because someone was chosen over you.

Broken because no matter how hard you try, you never measure up.

so. many. broken. people.

& we are broken for so many reasons.

But broken heart, you are welcomed here.

Hurting soul who has lost hope, you are welcomed here.

I don’t think it’s ok to pretend we’re ok and whole and strong when we aren’t. In fact, I think the most courageous thing we can do in a world of people trying hard to be “the strongest” is to own our brokenness and bring it to the Healer.

Because your broken heart might just be the means through which God brings about His purpose in the world.Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

I’ve struggled these past two years. There have been a lot of mornings I didn’t want to get out of bed. A lot of depression I’ve tried to fight off. A lot of brokenness I’ve tried to hide because I thought it would make me look weak. There have been a lot of days I’ve lived completely bound by insecurity and afraid that if people saw who I really was, they’d see that I wasn’t enough. I’ve felt like I shouldn’t share it because I’ve convinced myself that it’s really not that big of a deal, and that people are going through harder trials than mine.

I know there are hearts reading this who have been through a lot more than what I’ve been through–or will ever experience. But I am convinced that it is a bad idea to minimize our pain and tell ourselves we’re silly for feeling a certain way about something that is “so small.” I’m convinced it’s a bad idea to beat ourselves up for the way we feel instead of casting all of our emotions and feelings and pain at the feet of our King.

I also share this because God has brought me an incredible freedom in the past two months as He’s made my soul come alive to its purpose. To His purpose in me. You see, we can worry about how people perceive our brokenness and try to please everyone, or we can be raw and honest. God has called us to honesty, even when it’s not glamorous. Even when others see us as being too much to handle. He never sees us as too much to handle, and He always sees us as enough.

Please be honest with your brokenness. Don’t try to hide it. After all, you can’t hide it from the One who sees and knows all things.

Maybe you’re broken heart is what will one day heal another person’s brokenness.

We have to look beyond what we see today. How we feel today. What we think. We have to look to the hope of the beautiful things God does with broken people.

When you uncover your purpose, you can own your brokenness, because you are given eyes to see that your broken heart today is part of His story for your tomorrow. We can’t listen to the lies that tell us our brokenness defines us. We have to own it-and bring all of that cutting pain and deep weakness to our Savior. We have to trust, and to wait.

Because when we pour out our weakness at His feet it becomes a catalyst for the river of His strength to flow through us and consume all that we are in His love. Processed with VSCO with a9 preset

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& we can do this.

We can lay down our inadequacies, our depression, our pain, our weakness, our addictions, our sins, our struggles, our failures, our mistakes, and our regrets.

There is an abundance of room at the feet of Jesus for your mess. But there is an even greater abundance of grace to turn that mess into a miracle.

& after all, maybe we should praise Him for the fact that we are even broken–because when we experience brokenness, we know the beauty of being made whole by a Savior who holds this world. Let His love pour through you today.

Dear broken heart, entrust all that you are to your Savior. Only He can bind up your brokenness and make you whole.

& watch as He makes a beautiful story of your brokenness.

the beautiful is coming

Maybe you’re in the ugly today.

An ugly situation that you wish you could change. A heart you want God to revive. You just want flowers and spring but your heart is caught in the dead of winter.

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Deuteronomy 8 doesn’t just promise that God has a purpose in the unexpected, it promises even more. { read part one here }

This has unexpectedly become one of my favorite chapters in Scripture. Let me tell you, that once you begin to study God’s Word, once the Holy Spirit begins to speak to you and come alive through the pages of The Word, you get hooked. It’s become this way with the chapter I’m reading, I can’t put it down. I can’t rush through it because I don’t want to. I think there is enough truth and promises in this chapter to read it every day and never get tired of it.

So here’s part two.

For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing out in the valleys and hills, a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper. And you shall eat and be full, and you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land he has given you.

Take care lest you forget the LORD your God by not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes, which I command you today, lest, when you have eaten and are full and have built good houses and live in them, and when your herds and flocks multiply and your silver and gold is multiplied and all that you have is multiplied, then your heart be lifted up, and you forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. -Deuteronomy 8:7-14

After the promise of holy in the hard at the beginning of the chapter, God promises to bring His people to a beautiful season.

If I had to guess I would imagine that you’re either walking through a season that is difficult, or have at some point in your life.

The beautiful thing about our God is that He promises redemption for every season. Although your heart has been bowed low in this valley, God is redeeming that unexpected challenge, and bringing you up to a good place. A full place. A satisfying place.

This land he is bringing you into-it is not mediocre. It is no less than the most glorious season you could imagine. Because in your darkness He is bringing the incredible light of His goodness. A rich land. Where your soul’s joy will abound. A land where you will be given diamonds-the good things you longed for and thought you could manufacture up on your own.

The rubble will be exchanged for rubies.

The dirty pebbles you held onto and thought so beautiful-the ones who didn’t want to let go-they’ll fall from your hands as Jesus places in your palms the most beautiful pearls. This place and this new season of beauty will still hold hard days and confusing emotions, but you will be satisfied.

Trust that Jesus is bringing a beautiful season in your life, even if you are in the dark today. Trust that His light will come bursting forth. Trust that He hasn’t given up on you, even if you feel like giving up, or even if you have. You may be finished, you may be tired, you may be bored of who you are and where you are but He is not.

You will come to be satisfied because of where you have been, and where you have walked. Because you will have learned that any hint of goodness is from the Lord, and is a gift. You will have learned that apart from His strength you can’t put your feet on the floor and get out of bed each morning.

 

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Because of where you have been, you will bless the Lord for where He is bringing you.

You shall eat and be full because you have been brought to the place where you know who gives the food and His face is the only face you see.

This doesn’t promise that you will be brought by the Lord to the scenario in your life you’ve always wanted. Often King Jesus loves us far too much to give us what we want. He gives us what He wants and slowly tunes our hearts until His will is our fullest, most vibrant desire.

When you have been brought to this season of joy, don’t make the mistake of thinking once again that you can do it on your own. Don’t look back constantly, but when you do, do it to remember how faithful God has been. Do it to surrender the future because you know God has brought you this far.

Unless you are continually fighting to find your joy in Jesus Christ alone, you will always be pulled back to wandering in the wilderness, no matter what season God brings you to.

So when this season comes and the blessings come, don’t set your heart on the given, but on the Giver. The beautiful is coming-even if you don’t see it today. The greatest thing about our Jesus is the hope that He gives us, that even if the beautiful never comes in this life, it will be full and complete when we are with our Savior together.

falling from what we want

It’s these stones of expectations.

Expectations we lay on ourselves. Expectations the world piles on us, and they grow, they accumulate to the height of a great cliff.

We’re scared of falling from the top of that cliff

It’s like this:

The whole world is built up on a mountain, it’s actually a dangerous cliff, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

unnamed-43Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset You can be a comfortable Christian there-it’s excitement.

It’s pleasure & ease.

& so our flesh wants to be there. The top of the cliff is one place where you’re soul can live in the world. Heightened on entertainment and high on yourself. The top of the cliff is home to the lukewarm who want just enough of Jesus to escape hell.

Even though the cliff is high, the souls of those who live there are always trying to build it higher for themselves, trying to outdo the next girl, each working hard on her own ambitions and pride and dreams and plans for her life,

hoping no one misses out or doesn’t see how great she is. Unless she builds herself higher and outdoes the rest, she’s convinced she won’t be seen.

The cliff is built up with layers of self. Things we want. Approval we crave. It’s where we feel safe. It’s built up with our perfect scenarios and our expectations of ourselves. It’s where we want to be, high, lofty, exalted, applauded.

We’re trapped at the top of that cliff, even though we may not know it.

We need a move of grace to come crashing down.

We can’t jump down, those waters at the bottom haunt us. Because if we don’t live up up to the life we’re supposed to, the life the world and our own hearts have led us astray to believe, we’re going to fall from that high cliff into those waters.

There’s something in that water, on the shores of those depths that we can’t quite see. We don’t want to come crashing down. We’re afraid of how that might look to others and how that might interfere with our plans. So we keep building our own selves and dreams and reputations higher. 

Until He interrupts us. Isn’t it true that His interruptions hurt the most, but they always bring us back to our purpose? 

Sometimes it takes the likes of something we may not understand, for God to get us from dancing with the danger of selfish ambition.

Sometimes it takes something we don’t understand for him to bring us from waltzing to our own melody on the top of that cliff of comfort, to wading on the shores of that beautiful river down below, in His presence.

Mining for that thing we couldn’t see from the top-

that is, the gold.

cliffsProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetgraduation6Sometimes it takes Him crashing all our plans when we’re high on ourselves on the top of that cliff,

to bring us down to the place of sweetest fulfillment. Walking on the shores of His love and then wading further out as we learn to trust Him.

And then swimming were we can still touch as we know more of Him, and then one day-in over our heads, fully lost, only him.

When we’re in over our heads in this river we’ll wonder why we ever wanted to be high and exalted in our own strength on the top of that mountain where we thought we were secure, but were really just tinkering with danger. The mountain we thought stood so tall, but in reality was a crumbling cliff we would fall from to our destruction if His grace didn’t carry us down. It was an illusion of comfort, maybe everything we think is secure is actually an ilusioneverything but Him that is.

And that affliction-that tribulation that slammed us into the rocks on the shore-

that fall of grace

-it was a good slam, a grace slam.

One day when our arms have been strengthened from swimming so long in the ocean of His grace we’ll raise them and praise him for smashing our plans against that rock and bringing us to complete and utter fulfillment in the center of His will.

Mining for gold along the coast of pain.

Finding beauty in the moments we may never understand.

Because no day is wasted when we live with Jesus.

Sinking our feet down into that sand and rooting our hearts forever in His promises that are “yes and amen.”

The beauty of being brought low is that He is so much more than we could ever see from the top.

His economy is one of smallness.

Of falling from that cliff, into His arms, into those waters.

& so wherever we are right now in this moment, we’ll stand strong in our struggles because there’s beauty when we fall. We won’t compare our journey to the girl next to us.

and when it feels like we’re cascading down a cliff of failure it’s really because He’s bringing us down. He’ll teach us to mine for gold in the river where we land at the bottom of that cliff.

When the pain and hurt is all spent and the joy comes,

When we’ve tasted that river of grace-

our hearts will explode with a love. A love we will want to be to a hurting world. It’s a love that extends far beyond the reaches of this world.

And a fall of failure from a cliff of expectations can’t contain that eternal, crazy, winsome love. The fall only magnifies it. Until it’s an exploding array of His grace and our lives can’t contain His joy. Embrace the fall from what you want,

you’ll find more of Jesus at the bottom than you could have ever imagined.