No, I am not afraid to die
It’s every breath that comes before
Heartache, I’ve heard, is part of life
And I have broken more and more

“This Will End” by The Oh Hellos

This year, I have been coming to terms with pain. I’m well aware of my privileged life compared to so many others, but 2015 still hit me hard in its own way. How do I, a hopelessly naïve 22-year-old with grand aspirations, brace myself for a life where the only guarantee is suffering? As this year draws to a close, the feeling isn’t so much sadness as exhaustion. At times, it takes a tremendous amount of effort to go on living.

Hope is hard to muster, but I’m lucky that hope has found me. I sink to the darkest places, but my toes always find solid ground to push against, shooting upward, lungs burning, until I break the surface once again. I find my hope in the uncomfortable love of a God who sees my ugliness and surveys the festering wounds of this craggy planet and promises to make everything whole again. He hasn’t given up on us, so how can I? I will smile through these tears, confident in a transcendent joy that sounds crazy but turns out to be the realest thing there is. 

“What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?” Romans 8:31

“Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshipping him with holy fear and awe. For our God is a devouring fire.” Hebrews 11:28-29