trembling but roaring


february 01 / on the corner of twenty one and hope

i've sat down to write about mental health and my brain and life and whatnot countless times the last few months, but i haven't been able to manage words worth sharing. they'd always turn out sounding like grainy, complacent white noise, or they'd just form a ridiculous, overgrown flower garden crosshatched with bunny trails. it's ironic, that the thing i wanted to write most about was the very same thing making it so. horribly. difficult. to. write.
but, the other night, at an ungodly hour - somewhere around 2:00 in the morning - i was sitting on my bedroom floor because i couldn't sleep and also because my puppy was knocked out and taking up my whole bed and also because i like sitting on the floor sometimes, and i looked over at my desk chair - it's this old chair that i think was my grandmother's or something at some point, we've had it for forever; it's plain, and simple, and made of wood. anyway, i was looking at it, and i noticed something i had forgotten about: knife marks on the edge of the seat, on the back of the chair.
i counted them.
twenty one.
there are twenty one marks.
i had forgotten about them.
they made their home there a long time ago, early last year, if i remember correctly. so, roughly a year ago. there are twenty one scars on the back of that chair; twenty one times where i took a blade to wood instead of skin.

and so i sat there, feeling the carved wood, feeling each slash carefully, reverently - remembering who and where and what i was when i put those marks there. and recognizing who and where and what i am now, a year later. the two images are, well... they're different. so different. i sat there and contrasted the two versions of self and all i could think of was hope.

hope. life. recovery. those words were so impossible, so big, to me a year ago. they felt foreign and unattainable. i had been suspended in a pit surrounded by darkness and loneliness, trapped in the deep end, suffocating, drowning, for so long. i didn't know anything else. and yet, somehow, i got out of it. i escaped the forest, covered in ashes and a little burned, but i got out. i still trip over some stray roots, i still get scratched and bruised by the Things inside my head, and sometimes the voices of Fear are louder than Truth's, but Hope doesn't leave me so often anymore. and Life likes to visit more frequently. Recovery's honesty isn't as scary and impossible and hard to swallow.

today, i slept in really late. like, "i got out of bed at 1:00 in the afternoon and had no idea where i was and mom is gonna kill me," late. unfortunately, Sleep still doesn't like me. but, i woke up to clear skies, to a perfect, gentle breeze, to sunshine, to a high of 71°. it was beautiful. i opened my windows up wide and washed the dishes and watered my plants (i have eight plant babies now, they're my loves) and wrote a love letter to a friend and read about the Blood of Christ and worked on a talk on Perfect Love i'm going to give later this month and i felt at peace. just honest, simple, peace. i'm graduating high school in seventeen weeks. i'm looking at jobs and college and apartments and traveling. i'm planning coffee dates and concert dates with new friends and old ones. i felt the wind dance through my window screen and blow my hair about and i thought about those marks on the back of the chair i was sitting in, and how different this self is, how far i've come. i didn't plan on making it this far; i didn't plan on graduating or calling some of the most incredible human beings my friends or experiencing true Love or feeling happy or knowing what really living is like. i honestly didn't think i'd make it this far.
i did make it. my lungs are still filled with His breath and my heart still dances to His song and i'm thankful. simply, genuinely, thankful. and happy.

and all of that to say,
there is hope.
always always always.
there is hope.
it gets better. i swear to God, it gets better.

don't give up yet, baby.
there is hope.


  1. This is indescribably beautiful and inspiring. Thank you so much for sharing. I pray that His breath and song continue to fill you, and that you remain simply, genuinely, thankful and happy.

    Hope is the thing with feathers...

  2. oh, grace. this is beautiful; aching with tender sweetness and pain and growth and simplicity. words, my dear, have always been strung about you like a garment that simply is; as if it belongs there because it has found a home in your grasp. you inspire me so much... to write more, to breathe more, to be more. thank you for sharing this. thank you for being vulnerable and brave and reminding all of us that giving up is never the answer, because things do get better, eventually; we just have to stick around long enough to see it. <3

    xoxo, m