goodbye, august.

summer is slipping away. she fell through my fingers quick this year, it seems. i guess it always seems that way.

there seems to be a theme of change echoing around these words of mine, lately. you might have noticed. september has always felt a truer beginning to me than any new year’s resolution could. the seasons change and everything feels a little crisper, a little sharper, a little hint of electricity in the air.

for the past 16 years, my life has been lived to the rhythm of the school year. perhaps that is why september brings with it feelings of fresh starts. sharpened pencils and blank notebooks.

and yet this year, it is different.

and so it has been a summer of adjusting. it’s settled in, now, really, that i am not a college student anymore.

first it was the tweets about packing. and then the instagrams of dorm rooms being decorated. and then, the facebook statuses about the first day of classes.

and it feels all sorts of wrong to not be there, and yet it feels right too. that chapter is closed and gone it’s time to move on but i’ve never really been the best with change.

i’ve been learning, how to sit with change. how to step back and let it all wash over you, how to accept. i’ve been trying to lean in. trying to delight. trying to let it be.

august, you’ve been teaching me.

i’ve been learning that the change does not come easy. and it is good and hard and beautiful and messy. oh, it is so many things. i could dump a dictionary’s worth of adjectives onto this keyboard and still, i do not think i could find the words to describe this summer of change. i can try and list it out, scribble notes and bullet points of things i want to remember.

i’m not so good at the remembering part. i have a tendency to learn my lessons over and over. let’s just say God teaches refresher courses.

but august – and july and june – you’ve been good to me.

and now september is peeking out from just around the corner. things will be changing. and i am longing for the electricity in the air. i will wrap my fingers around the beautiful things that this summer has taught me and i will walk forward with open palms, because there is yet more to learn.

holy and broken.

write it holy and broken, they say.

what if I am scared that it is too broken?

//

I don’t know who I am, really. Things are shifting. Adulthood scrawled a new label across my skin, one that sits uneasily.

And this shift, it is monumental. But also, incremental.

It is terror and confusion and excitement and thrill. It is endings and beginnings and hazy middle ground where the ending and beginning collide and you’re not sure what it is, whether you should be celebrating or mourning.

So, there is celebrating and mourning.

//

I am ready for the change, for the new beginning. I am longing to step into new things, to reshape, restructure. To remake myself. Yearning for new ground beneath my feet.

It feels like something’s in the water, something’s brewing, something’s ready to break free. I feel it burning in my bones but I do not know how to fan the flame to bring it to life. I fear that I might smother the spark instead.

//

I don’t know what I want. Is that part of knowing who I am? They seem entwined, certainly.

This whole question – who are you – oh, it could have a million answers.

I like my chai tea lattes soy, no-water.

I like eating food out of bowls instead of plates.

I like pretty words but sometimes they get a little tangled up in my head.

Does that answer the question?

I don’t think you can sum people up in icebreaker answers, in a list, in a five-minute conversation. But then there are those people that you just get, you know within minutes of meeting them: this one, they’ve got something special. and they glow with it.

I want to know that about myself. I want to sit down and silence all the noise, and find out what is at the root of me.

I am also terrified to find that it might be something I don’t like.

//

I haven’t been writing it holy and broken. I’m not sure I know what’s holy and what’s broken and I still have a hard time believing that the broken can be holy.

But this I know: all things are redeemed.

all things.

//

It’s a life-long journey, it seems.

That is equal parts reassuring and maddening.

(it’s all these contradictions, everywhere. this has been a summer of trying to hold two conflicting things in my hands.)

And so I make my peace one minute and the next I am angry, wanting to throw fists at this journey that is taking too long.

I’ve never really been very patient.

//

holy and broken and messy and jumbled.

I’m tired of trying to act like I’ve got it all together.

because oh, I don’t. I so don’t.

so what if I just write it messy and jumbled?

there is so much to walk through but I have to believe that on the other end, there is beauty. there is hope.

even a holy and broken hope.

a faith that leaves room.

hello, God.

are you still there? are you still listening?

everyone tells me that you are. I guess I forgot, somewhere along the way, that you don’t need me to have it all together before I knock at your door.

forgot that you are a God of messy middles. of doubters + liars + hesitaters. of unkempt curls and crooked smiles. of fog + clouds + rain.

you are not a God of perfect people.

but sometimes it seems like they’ve got a monopoly on you, the perfect ones. the ones with the answers. they know for sure they’ve got it all figured out.

sometimes I am envious of these Christians, these ones with their rock-solid lines between right + wrong.

but then I remember how God meets me in the middle of the doubt, and I think that a faith that does not leave room for doubt might perhaps be a false faith.

or perhaps it is my faith that is false, this faith that I claim to have but in reality I haven’t opened my bible in weeks and prayer happens rarely, and briefly, and shallowly. this faith that I claim is still mine but as I write this I started with hello, God, and here I am now talking about Him instead of You because I can’t even seem to bring myself to address Him head-on.

I want a faith with the answers, because I am a girl that likes lists and things she can hold in her hands. because I try to catch the wind every time I drive, window down and palm pressing against the air.

but my palm remains empty despite feeling full, and my questions lead only to more questions.

and eventually, hollow silence.

there are moments when i’m not even sure what questions to form anymore.

I want a faith that leaves room for that, I think. and I wonder if that’s because I truly believe faith needs room for silences and questions, or because I want to feel as though my own faith is a little less broken.

hello, God.

will you accept a broken faith?

change, long awaited and late in coming.

it feels like limbs,

wrapped tight trapped

longing to break out

of this day

this week

this moment

this skin

this life

this steady everyday

it feels like a fire,

hot enough to burn

but not hot enough

to burn away the old

and bring in the new

it feels like being held back

by circumstances

or fear

or time

or weakness

it feels like an impossible,

all-consuming

need to escape

somehow

someway

need to get out

to set fire

to set free

to do something.

anything.

at all.

somehow someway something

some thing.

it feels like pressing

up against

the skin that separates

today from tomorrow

and finding

that it does not budge

will not move

will not give

will not bend

will not fold around your curves

and welcome them

into newness

it just stands

and resists

and you can

throw yourself at that wall

all you want

but it

will not

move.

——

prompted by a story sessions write-in. if you need community, these ladies are the raddest around.

wildwoman.

she’s done waiting,

done staying

done listening

done stopping.

she’s ready to unfold

unfurl

unleash

become undone

and remade

wildwoman.

she’s tired of the

words on every side

hemming her in

so she opens her hands

and gathers the words

in her arms.

she’ll stitch them

back together

in a way that she likes

she’ll rearrange your fences

she’ll make her own maps.

she’s seeking gold

all around

and finding it

already held in her palms.

she’s deciding she gets to decide

and when tomorrow comes-

or the tomorrow after

or the one after-

and she catches herself

shrinking small again

folding back in

smoothing her rough edges

she’ll find her feet

she’ll stand tall

she’ll stretch her arms

she will decide

over and over and over

she’s done waiting.