Every lament is a love song.

"I close my eyes, and I see your face. If home's where my heart is, then I'm out of place. Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow? I've never been more homesick than now. "

"Memories surround me but sadness has found me, I'd give anything for more time. Never before has someone meant more, and I can't get you out of my mind."

Grief is a funny thing. When we lose a loved one, a family member or a friend or even a beloved pet, it's like a suckerpunch to the stomach. Loss hurts when we expect it, but it also throbs when it blindsides us. It aches deep within when it's a young life, when you're left with the "Why him? He was so young and held so much promise. Why her? She had such a passion for Christ!" It throbs when it's an older person, as you look at all they've accomplished in life and you're left with just your memories, treasuring each one but yet longing for more.

It's funny, because from the moment you get the phone call that they're gone, from the moment you get the email, the text, the Facebook message, your heart stops. Everything, for that moment, end. And you're plagued with regret. For one friendship you regret falling out of touch even though many times you felt the tug to get back in contact. For another one, you're plagued by the text message and Facebook argument that was never resolved and you completely fell out. It doesn't change the pain and anger from a life loss, and the flood of memories from the good times.

The different types of grief are difficult. The fresh, raw grief that is like a sudden sharp knife, and the dull, aching grief that remains once the initial wave has worn off. No matter how you slice it, it sucks and it hurts.


hold on, it gets better than you know

Hold on. To the ones weeping in the night. To the one clutching a knife. To one the ones starving themselves. To the ones not sure how it will work out. To the ones who don't know why they get up each morning.

To the ones who have bodies that are raging medical warfare. To the ones who look in the mirror and shudder at the reflection. To the ones who fight an inward battle against themselves.

Hold on.

I am now going to pull out a poem from senior year of high school. I don't think it's a groundbreaking or even a good poem, but I think the message fits well with this post.

Pushing the food around your plate,
Trying to make yourself look great
Not realizing the beauty in the mirror,
Blinded by an image that is unclear
Why can’t you see?
You’re worth so much more

Brown eyes, tainted with pain
With a ticket on a runaway train,
Ivory white skin, with crimson impressions
Each a mark of your own imperfections
Why can’t you see?
You’re worth so much more

Putting yourself down at every turn,
Forgetting that life is a lesson learned.
Not seeing the friend that I see,
Battered and tattered by your family
Why can’t you see?
You’re worth so much more

Learning to cope, and learning to breathe
Wishing that all the pain would just leave,
As each day goes on, for you I’ll be strong,
I’ll be the one, with a hand to hang on
Why can’t you see?
You’re worth so much more

I’ll be the one with a smile and a prayer,
The friend who will always say “I care”,
I’ll be the candle, in the midst of the night
The one who saves you from an endless fight
I’ll help you see,
You’re worth so much more.

For I've been there, and I'm there now,
I know together we'll make it somehow,
We'll make it together, day-by-day
Take my hand, and I'll show the way
And we'll let the world see,
We're worth so much more

Hold on, my friends.
Take the hands outstretched to you.
Listen to the people who want to help - allow them in.
There are better days.


Reach out and touch faith

I hate how I feel my faith is pulling me every which way. Part of me longs to return to my Nazarene roots. Being born and raised Nazarene, I want to go back to how I was raised, what was familiar, what I know.

Part of me wants to explore Lutheranism, as my new college is Lutheran.

Another part of me pulls towards borderline agnosticism. And another part of me pulls to not believing in anything. Logically, I know faith should boil down to the old hymn:

"What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Oh precious is the flow, that makes me white as snow.
No other fount I know, nothing but the blood of Jesus."

But the other part of me wants to have a strong assurance. I want to subscribe to a certain set of beliefs. I want to belong to a certain denomination, crazy I know, but still.

But this means exploring theology.
This means exploring dogma and doctrine.
This means figuring out what i believe.
And I don't know how to figure this out.

I have several different study Bibles in various translations, I've read the Bible numerous times. I can argue theology, I can spew out Bible verses at the drop of a hat. I did Bible Trivia as a child (and did rather well in the Southwestern Ohio Nazarene District) and know my Bible well.

I struggle with the concept of love. I don't love simply or often, but when I do love I love deeply and I become fierce with my love. My love protects, calms, comforts, teases, enjoys, hangs out... it's a special relationship and bond and I love it. But I am afraid of receiving the love I so rarely give out. And I think that is part of why I struggle with a faith and religion currently - all my book knowledge tells me that there is a God who loves me that deeply and more, and the scared, abused part of me cowers in fear of that love. But yet at the same time I long and crave for that love. The love that I never really felt as a child. The love that I want so badly, but I fear.

At times I want nothing to do with Christianity. I see a religion that spews out hate in the alleged name of Jesus. I see a religion of people who walk the talk, but don't talk the talk or walk the walk. I look at my own life and want to yell at this alleged faith. I look at one of my favorite worship songs from high school:

In the long hour of my sorrow,
through the darkest night of my soul
You surround me, and sustain me
My defender forever more

When hope is lost, I'll call you Saviour.
When pain surrounds, I'll call you Healer.
When silence falls, You'll be the song in my heart

Part of my issues with Christianity were the way I was treated at old school. Please note that I know people who have gone to Old School, and are still there and loved it. I do not intend to bash the place that is, for them, wonderful and healing and a good fit. However, for me, it did a great amount of damage to my faith and even my mental health. Please know that just because Old School wasn't the right fit for me, doesn't mean that it isn't a good school. However, because it was damaging to me means that I will often talk of it. It is not an attempt in libel or slander at the school.

All that stated, I came out of that school damaged. I came out the school a wounded spirit. And I don't know what my faith is. I don't know what I believe. I don't know how to explore it without reopening wounds that I'm not ready to heal. I hate this turmoil that's taken over my soul, and I don't even know how to begin repairing it.


and her dreams give her wings

I dream big. I'm a daydreamer by nature, but I also dream big for my future. I have big dreams, big hopes, big PLANS. I have goals, desires, dreams, hopes, wants, plans! I have a life ahead of me, I'm only 24 years old! But at the same time, I have so much fighting against my and I don't know if I'll ever amount.

Will my chronic pain take over my life?
Will I ever find a guy who will accept my disabilities?
Will I ever graduate college?
Will I ever recover from depression?
Will I ever amount to anything?

There are no words for how much it sucks to be my age, and have your medical future up in the air. I find out much of my fate on the 27th and as much as I want that day to come, in the same way I don't.

I want a child. I want to raise a little child, into being a functioning member of society. Sometimes I feel like I don't want kids, sometimes I do. I waver. But I'll never medically be able to have my own. I know, I know, there's adoption, but it's not the same. It's not. But knowing that number 1, pregenacy would take a toll on my body an number 2, I'd pass on my illness to a child I'd never forgive myself for giving a child this pain.

Will I ever be able to get a job? Will I be healthy enough for a job?

Why am I, at 24, having to make these decisions and fight these battles?
It's not fair.


she still sleeps with the light on

"She fools all of her friends into thinking she's so strong,
but she still sleeps with the light on,
and she acts like it's alright on,
as she smiles again...

and he cries but you rarely see him do it
and he loves but he's scared to use it
and he hides behind the music
'cause he likes it that way."

I sometimes wonder about myself. I've gotten so good at putting up walls (I'm reminded of the song "some walls" here.. "But if there's any hope for love at all, some walls must fall).

I've perfected the act of putting up walls. I've perfected the act of acting like I'm fine - smile on face, while inside my heart is breaking. True, the one closest to me generally see through it, but it scares me how GOOD I am at it. I've fooled therapists, doctors, friends, all into thinking I'm fine, even myself at times.

Why do I do this?
It doesn't help anyone.
Not me, not them, not you, not me.

But yet, it's what's comfortable. It's what's safe. It's what I've done for years. It's where I fit - safe inside walls that keep the real me hidden. For I'm afraid if I'm open about my past, people will judge me. Logical Psychology Major Nora says "You stupidface, you'd never tell a client that stuff is their fault. How are you any different?"

But Hurting, Scared Nora says "Of course it's different for you. You were there. You know what happened. You know if you acted different, this wouldn't have happened."

Logical Psychology Nora says "You had no control. People want to know what your childhood was like, not just the glorified version, not just the good parts you tell."
Hurting, Scared Nora cowers at the thought.

And yet, if I had a client who was like me, I'd urge them to be open with their friends, their therapist, the ones they are close to. But since it's myself I'm dealing with... everything is totally different. It doesn't matter, because Hurting, Scared Nora always wins over Psychology Nora.

Really need to work on changing that... but how do you tear down walls that took all those years to build up?


and I can't make it on my own, because my heart is in ohio

Sometimes I get homesick for Ohio. I suppose it's natural to get homesick for a place I haven't been to since 2008, but really?

Sometimes I want to eat dinner at Bob Evans, Steak N Shake, or Big Boy.
Sometimes I want to go to Giant Eagle or Kroger.
Sometimes I want Mike Sells Potato Chips.
Sometimes I want to go to Ceaser's Creek.
Sometimes I want to go to MY library, the one a block away from my house.
Sometimes I want my doctors in the OhioHealth system back.
Sometimes I want to call it a parking garage instead of a parking ramp.
Sometimes I want to be able to say "I'm from Washington Court House" instead of "Near Columbus." Of course, WCH is a good hour away from C-bus, but if I say court house up here I get clear WTH looks.
Sometimes I want to go to the Columbus Zoo.
Sometimes I want to go to COSI (which I can't afford, but that's moot).
But most of all, I want to see my grandmother's grave. I was in Minnesota, and I couldn't go to her funeral. I once promised myself I'd bring maple leafs from Canada to sprinkle on my grandfather's grave. Now I want something from Minnesota to sprinkle on both their graves.

I don't think i've fully processed that my grandmother is dead. I mean yes, I know it logically, yes, I know it in theory. But I watched my grandfather die just mere weeks before I left for my first (failed) college. I didn't watch G-ma die. I missed the service. And so, I don't know that I've fully processed that she's gone. And that's what I'm the most homesick for that I can't get back. Partially because both my grandparents are dead, partially because of my food intolerances. But there will be no more deviled eggs, fresh cooked ham, soft rolls, unsweetened tea (I'll put sugar in mine, kthanxbai), baked beans (although I always turned my nose at them), and the relish tray which I always ate a good half of.

There will be no more grandpa teasing me. There won't be grandma giving me a hard time (one of my last memories of her is when I fell on the way into her house. Her response? "Walk on your feet, not your seat." Thanks, g-ma. Thanks.

I still plan on visiting my cousins when I make The Great Ohio Trip, but it's still difficult. And I'm still wrestling with myself. I just don't know anymore.

i'm homesick and it sucks.