true | not-five minutes on a not-friday

what a beautiful mess this is 

Lately, everything has been feeling like a mess.

And then Lisa-Jo goes and asks for our true stories.

Do you want my true story?

My true story is yesterday involved me lying on the carpet crying. Multiple times.

It’s been a week, y’all.

My true story is I just wanted to bake cookies for my bible study, and when I discovered that I had baking soda but no baking powder, I put on real pants and jumped in my car and drove to Harris Teeter to buy cardamom and baking powder and then freaked out because goodness cardamom is expensive and do you want my firstborn for that? and then I got back and discovered that I bought not baking powder, but baking soda, and now I had two containers of baking soda and no baking powder and all I wanted to do was just bake some stinking cookies.

And, like every normal person, my response to that was to curl up in a ball on the ground and cry a little bit.

True life.

And then I proceeded to eat a lot (like a lot) of the dough. and eight cookies. And then four today. This is a judgement-free zone, right?

My true story is that three weeks ago, I dropped one of my majors. And that was exciting and terrifying and good and scary and there were a lot of tears involved. But it felt right, and it felt like freedom, when I realized that I was brave enough to walk away from something that wasn’t making me happy to pursue instead what I loved and what I wanted to do with my life.

And then I realized that I don’t really know what I love. I mean, peanut butter and puppies and Jesus and words, but somehow those don’t all combine to make a job description that would fit me like my favorite pair of jeans.

(which, by the way, don’t fit me anymore. eating your way through europe will do that to you. and so my true story also involves a lot of love and hate and maybe more hate and than love with my body right now.)

So I’m a senior in college, and I just walked away from three years of investment in a major, and now I don’t know what I want to do and if I’m going to add another major and when I’m going to graduate and for someone who has a past history with anxiety and trust issues and color-codes her agenda like it’s her job and likes plans… this. is. terrifying.

And I’m only 21 and I know, I know that’s young and I’ve got time and all that stuff but y’all, all my friends are looking forward to graduation and life plans and I have nothing figured out. and sometimes, that makes me feel like a failure. sometimes, that makes me feel like I can’t do anything right. I mean, heck, I can’t even manage to buy baking powder. and sometimes, it feels like every. stinking. thing. is falling down around me and I’m left trying to keep a brick wall together with tape when really I need a bag of cement. and some industrial-size construction equipment. and I’m pretty sure I’m not qualified to drive any of it.

My true story involved me frustrated, and upset, and mad at God, and angry-journaling at 11:45 pm and I kinda don’t want to open my journal tonight and have to look at that page cause it ain’t gonna be pretty. Because there are a lot of things I don’t understand, and in case you don’t know by now, I have this thing where I like to be in control. Just a bit.

and I don’t understand. I don’t understand why I have no idea what I want to do, and why He couldn’t have pointed me towards a different major three years ago, and why I’m still single while it feels like everyone I know is getting married, and why I feel like a huge failure half the time, and why I can’t just learn how to love my body already, and can someone please just tell me what the heck is up with predestination because I don’t really know what’s going on with that whole concept and why can’t everything just make sense already?

why won’t God just tell me what’s up?

there were some more tears. do you see a trend here?

So the real talk is this: I have no idea what I’m doing. None. Whatsoever.

I don’t know where I’m going. What’s happening. Who I’m going to be in twenty years, or ten, or two weeks.

but there’s a song by Jason Mraz that goes something like this:

what a beautiful mess this is // it’s like picking up trash in dresses 

and that’s the truth. it’s a mess, all of it, but it’s a beautiful mess. because I believe – I have to believe – that He makes beautiful things out of us, out of our mess.

and there’s a lot of trash to pick up.

so I might as well wear a dress while I’m doing it. it’s just a beautiful mess.


Five Minute Friday looks a little different this week, obviously. It was not five minutes. Check out Lisa-Jo’s post over here and maybe the massive amount of nonsense above will make more sense. And tell me your true stories. It’s all a beautiful mess, so put on your dress and take my hand and we’ll dance in the middle of it together.



12 thoughts on “true | not-five minutes on a not-friday

  1. Oh Hannah – I like your “real”. And like our favorite pair of jeans, we just have to bend down a time or twenty and walk around and stretch those suckers out until they fit. just. right. Sometimes our direction in life is kinda like that. Pass the cookies!

  2. I still have the jar of cardamom that I bought in college (probably about the time you were born). I keep it in the freezer. I love the way it smells when I bake with it, but… because of the whole eat-too-much-cookie-dough thing I avoid baking these days.

    Go listen to Gungor’s Beautiful Things – about 10 times. It’s what has gotten me through the last several messy days in a row.

    Hugging you through 5MF – hoping tomorrow is less messy.

  3. Oh, Hannah! *jumps on the couch next to you and hugs you long and hard*
    Hannah, you are beautifully made with a God given purpose, a joy and grace fills your life with abundance. You’re life doesn’t fit the mold of this world, and it SHOULDNT! You, RIGHT NOW, are beautiful, in all your teary, freaked out mess.
    No amount of diplomas or titles or this or that will ever truly be where YOUR WORTH is found.

    Oh my dear one..I wanna hug you, and squeeeeeeeze you and make you laugh!


  4. Oh girl. The next time I’m in Greensboro? I’m hugging your neck, daggum it.

    Thanks for sharing reality. Grace to you. God’s madly in love with you, committed to you, and utterly trustworthy. Praying you can rest in Him in the midst of all the unknowns.

    Love your heart.

  5. Do you know how much I wish I could hug you right now? Over tea and cupcakes, I would tell you that you are beautiful and that’s it’s ok to cry over baking powder. I’d tell you that it doesn’t matter what degrees you hold, because you are already amazing. You were fearfully and wonderfully made by the God of the Universe and He knew each one of your days before even one of them ever came to be. He loves you. He desires you. And He has a plan for you. You may not know it today or tomorrow. You may feel like you’re living life searching, but if you listen to Him and follow the Spirit, you will always be right where you’re supposed to be. I’d tell you these things, and I’d go back for another cupcake, because that’s my style. Your mess is beautiful, and so are you.

  6. I went yard-saling last Saturday – and ended up in tears because I couldn’t find a good deal and a lady looked at me sideways because I had trouble parking my husband’s car. I totally get crying over baking soda.
    On the flipside, I’m so grateful God made us with build in pressure release valves in the form of tear ducts.
    Thank you for sharing your true.

  7. Ha! While all these women want to hug you I want to say Ha! Guess what? He’s got you right where He wants you because He’s got you on His trajectory now and you are on a collision course with big and wonderful and scary and amazing things. This is right where we have all found ourselves at some point and now the choice is up to you – do you trust Him with your truth? Do you believe that He makes all things wonderful and new? Do you believe that He can take your mess and make it a masterpiece? He can and He will. Keep doing what you are doing. It only looks like a mess to the untrained eye. To those of us who have seen it before, it looks like a one-of-a-kind creation in the works. And that, my friend, is AWESOME! Thank you for sharing your mess and your heart with us today. ROCK on!!

  8. I know when you are right in the middle of it you really do not want to hear what I am going to say but as the mom of a 21 yo daughter that has had to take some time off from college due to anxiety issues I have to say it anyway. Just take a deep breathe. Look to Him to guide you and then follow Him. Stop over thinking it. Stop worrying about what you think other think you should be doing. We all quote Jer 29:11 but look at it close “I know the plans I have for you” He is very specific about the plans that He has for each of us and they are all different. I love that you shared your mess with us and I pray that He never really stops messing with you. 🙂

  9. Praying for you… loving that even in the midst of the chaos and mystery and not being able to control All The Things – you can see that the mess is beautiful. Well – maybe not SEE it… but you know it! And He really does make beautiful things out of us! Praying He will lead and guide you… and give you peace… and show you how to give yourself a bit more grace!

  10. Dearest dancing, writing, amazing college girl: your messy true story is lovely in His eyes and close to my heart (and all ours if these comments are telling). I think you are living real and brave, and can I just say – better to discover what you don’t love three years into the making of it rather than thirty? Just a thought. You are asking all the right questions while clinging fiercely to a God who is large enough for your frustration, anxiety, and aggravation. Praying that you will continue to hold fast as you seek His face. His timing is not ours, and as someone who wandered through a desert land for three years before coming out, I can tell you that while the going-through can be so achingly hard, the coming through the other side is most amazing. And for what it’s worth, it took me ten years to get around to finishing my BA, and I’ve been none the worse for taking me sweet time. I don’t know if that will be horrifying or encouraging – lol. But you matter, and I’m praying, and sending you love.

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