At Last I See the Light

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I’ve always felt there must be more than this provincial life but I’ve always wondered how I am to find it. How am I to find more? How am I to find who I want to be? How am I to fulfill my dreams?

I have always dreamed of being a Disney princess. I don’t know who WOULDN’T want to be a Disney princess! Perfect hair, big castles, adventures, and of course meeting the prince (unless that prince is Flynn Rider, then he’s only brought to you by a horse).

At last, my dream came true. Santa made his arrival at Richland Mall in Waco and I got to join him in his entrance, letting go of everything else along the way. I was finally a shooting star and I can no longer go back to where I used to be.

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Initially the night started out slow and I was cold. I was standing outside the entrance of the mall getting funny stares and wondering why I agreed to participate in this event. Yet I was continually reminding myself I was finally fulfilling my dream of being in a princess and it was pure perfection. I was more popular than Santa himself! All the little girls wanted pictures with Elsa, all the little boys wanted to hug Elsa, and all the parents wanted Elsa to hold their twin babies. I’ve never felt more like a politician in my life. But the whole experience was worth it.

I didn’t know how big of a deal this Santa parade at the mall was every year, but apparently it’s as popular as your Texas high school homecoming parade. In comparison, it might has well have been the Main Street Electrical Parade at Magic Kingdom. Everyone in the Waco area showed up, and I mean everyone. Riesel, West, Lorena, Midway, Axtell, Gholson, literally every small town surrounding the Waco area was there. There was a drum line, the Chick-fil-a cow, an elementary school choir, and of course Fiats. All the strings were pulled and nothing was held back for Santa. At the end of the day, I truly was living the dream.

However, I cannot take all the credit. Along with Elsa, Allen Samuels Fiat Alfa Romeo also had appearances from Spider-Man, Woody and Jesse, and a couple of elves. While we all cracked jokes about how we got suckered into dressing up in these ridiculous costumes, I think I can speak for everyone when I say the night became incredibly rewarding. I got to see kids truly happy that Elsa showed up, even if they constantly asked me where Anna was and how Sven was doing.

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I may not have been a Disney princess at Walt Disney World, and I did try to make a break for it at one point (I’m sorry but I can only hold so many babies plus I was hungry for some La Fiesta) but at the end of the day I was FINALLY a princess. I had a blast and personally, I think could I give the Elsa at Disney World in Florida a run for her money. Although, I do now have mad respect for the real Disney princess because I can’t imagine having to be bombarded every day for pictures. And keeping a smile plastered on my face quickly made my jaw hurt. However, while there are many things I could “complain” about, as a young girl my heart a made a wish and I got to live my dream.

I would also like to point out that I had previously made friends with a plethora of animals including squirrels, birds, goats, and a donkey.

I learned the most fantastic, magical things can happen, and it all starts with a wish. I kept dreaming my dreams and constantly reminding myself even miracles take a little time.

So go to wonderland, live an awfully big adventure, and always remember the right pair of shoes can change your life. Just don’t dishonor your cow in the process, you don’t want to end up as a poor unfortunate soul.

Once a Disney princess, always a Disney princess.

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Gobble, Wobble and Football

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Ah, Thanksgiving. The one day a year where it is considered acceptable to have a food coma (because who doesn’t enjoy that?) Turkey, giblet gravy, cornbread dressing, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, and the list goes on.

Unlike the annual Gossip Girl episode, Thanksgiving remains pretty low-key at my house. We cook, we eat, we sleep, and we watch Cowboys football. I wouldn’t have the traditions any other way. Plus, win or lose, Cowboys football just makes for a good time. Unless the Cowboys defense decides to give me a heart attack, then it’s slightly difficult to have a good time.

Like most years, Thanksgiving was small in my house this year. Myself, my parents, and my grandmother. We had a brined turkey along with many delicious sides. The best (or worst) part of Thanksgiving, however, was what has come to be known as #KnifeRestFail.

You see, my mom has this thing for knife rests. They are exactly what the name says they are – a little balance bar to place your knife on so it does not have to sit on your plate or get the table dirty.

In the status of “low-key” my mom decided not to use knife rests UNTIL my knife fell off my plate and hit the turkey plate. I mean my gosh, none of this would have happened if I would have only had my knife rest. Thanksgiving was ruined. (Not really, my dad and I just like to give my mom a hard time)

We have become spoiled. Even during a low-key Thanksgiving dinner of yummy food and the Detroit/Philly game, we still need our knife rests!

Thanksgiving is a day to be thankful, and as thankful I am for my mom’s knife rests keeping my knife from falling everywhere, I’m more thankful to simply be home with my family. (Plus, leftovers. I am a college student after all)

So happy Thanksgiving everyone! Whether you are at home or off abroad somewhere, I hope you enjoy this day and eat as much food as y’all’s hearts desire. And remember, a turkey sandwich is a great use of leftovers.

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El Pais de la Eterna Primavera

I have been very nostalgic lately. I am sure it is because I am in a period of transition in my life, all I know is I have constantly found myself going through old pictures on my computer.

Tonight I went through pictures of my many different trips. The album that stuck out to me the most was Guatemala. As I said in a previous post, my last trip to Guatemala was hard. I was tired, heartbroken, and I got sick while I was there. However, while I reminisced from my time in Central America I noticed a theme in my pictures – the happiness in the children.

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The more pictures of kids I saw, the more I saw how truly happy they were. Their happiness made me happy. The happiness of the children reminded me why I packed up and went to Guatemala in the first place. The circumstances of my personal life and any hard memories I faced at the time were no longer important; the happiness of these kids is first and foremost of the most importance.

I have not been on a mission trip since Guatemala, but I pray that will change soon. I pray I can meet more kids and bring more kids happiness.

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It’s funny – as I continue to look at these pictures I hear Third Day playing through my mind.
“Children of God, sing your song and rejoice for the love that He has given us all. Children of God, by the blood of His son we have been redeemed and we can be called Children of God.”

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Myself, Brittany, and Pablo
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This little girl became very special to me while in Guatemala. She spent the entire afternoon attached at my hip. I never learned her name but we bonded watching the rain together. 

How beautiful it is to be called the sons and daughters of God. How even more beautiful it is (and comforting) to be able to call God our Father.

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Obviously, we should not live in the past, yet sometimes I think nostalgia is good for us. We can be reminded of the good in our lives. We are shown where we have been and where we are headed. In the case of Guatemala, not only was I reminded of how far I’ve come, I was also reminded of my love for international travel, and most importantly I was reminded of my love for other people. We live in a truly beautiful world created by our God and I am thankful for the small opportunities I have been given to experience it.

 

Side note – In DFW Airport there was also a place called the “Wall of Thanks” where people could sign notes for our nation’s military. Obviously I had to make my mark. I could not have done it without a little inspiration from Ryan Job. IMG_3151.jpg

 

Sitting Front Row Seat

On November 6th, Josh Abbott Band released their first album since Small Town Family Dream in 2012. Front Row Seat. A concept album designed by Abbott that gave a very real look into his life and struggles he had endured the past few years – mainly, his divorce with his wife.

I waited ever-so patiently for this album. Abbott was constantly tweeting lyrics and explaining to his fans how this album would be different than anything the band had ever done. Different was certainly the way to describe this album, however, different works.

In comparison to other JAB albums, I can see how much the band has grown over the years. I loved Small Town Family Dream so I was curious to see how Abbott planned to top songs like She Will Be Free, but he made it possible.

As the title of the album suggests, Front Row Seat is a show about Abbott’s life split into five acts. Exposition, Incitation, Intimacy, Dissolution, and Denouement. Each act tells a story and Abbott moves his audience through the story, his story. It’s as if you are apart of his life, experiencing his joy and his pain with him.

Pitching this concept album had to have been risky for Abbott. After all, once the circumstances surrounding his divorce were released he likely lost many of his fans. Who wants to hear the story of a man who cheated on his wife? Yet despite the circumstances of Abbott’s personal life, I knew I appreciated the music he produced. I also choose to see the best in people, and I believe Abbott’s willingness to tell his story meant he truly learned something from his experience.

As the album release came closer, I was ecstatic to hear this new music Abbott had been talking about for what felt like forever.

With all this being said, I have now listened to the album start to finish too many times to count. I tip my hat to Abbott. The album is truly incredible and one-of-a-kind. I honestly can’t get enough of it. I feel like I have been on a journey with him, and at the same time his music reminds of my own journey.

This has been a hard conclusion to come to, but I’ve decided to list my top five favorite songs of this album. They are all so great, but as with most music, there are some songs that simply resonate with me more than others.

5. Front Row Seat. The title track had to make this list. Honestly, this is a purely sweet song and it makes me happy every time I hear it. In all seriousness, I’ve always wanted the first dance at my wedding to be Forever and Ever, Amen by Randy Travis but it looks like Josh is giving him a run for his money.

4. Wasn’t That Drunk (with Carly Pearce). Despite what the title may lead you to believe, the song is about falling in love, and believe me I fell in love with the song. Also, where has Carly Pearce been all my life?? This girl is AMAZING. She sent me to flashbacks of when I first heard Kacey Musgraves in Oh, Tonight back in June of 2010. I could listen to her sing all day.

3. Anonymity. The final song on the album and kind of a sad song. It reminds me a lot of Electric Skies (a song Abbott wrote years ago and my all-time favorite JAB song). The chords of the song are beautiful. I believe the song really gives the listener a glimpse into Abbott’s heart.

2. Intro: A Loss of Memory/Amnesia. Technically these are two tracks on the album, but they coincide with each other. If A Loss of Memory leading into Amnesia doesn’t give you chills then do you have a soul? It’s incredible. When I first heard Amnesia I called it an anthem for my life. I considered it the best song Abbott had written to date. The music of this song is so different than anything Abbott had ever done. The darkness was beautiful and he pulled it off beyond well. Seriously, great song.

1. Ghosts. Wow, I thought Amnesia was the best song Abbott had ever written, and then I heard Ghosts. This song cut me like a knife. It is dark, it is raw, and it is real (and that’s without considering Abbott cries during the last chorus). There’s just something about this song and it’s hard to explain it, but the audience undoubtedly feels what Abbott feels. This song is the epitome of #AllTheFeels. Electric Skies will always be my favorite Abbott song, but Ghosts is a ridiculously close second. It’s hard to rival the emotions felt in Ghosts.

As I said, picking these songs were difficult. I also love This Isn’t Easy (Her Song), Autumn, Kisses We Steal, Born to Break Your Heart, and let’s face it every other song on the album.

So props to Abbott for creating such an incredible album and getting me all in my feels every time I listen to it. Basically whenever Act 4 roles around the tears start streaming. I highly recommend this album to anyone whether you love country music or not, I promise there is a song on it for everyone.

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An accurate depiction of me as I listen to Act 4 of Front Row Seat

Sic ’em JAB and thanks for letting me sit front row to such a great experience.

*Even if you do not wish to purchase the album, it is available on Spotify and Apple Music. Y’all go listen!!!

Mountains, and Valleys, and Bears, Oh My!

“Remember how far you’ve come, not just how far you have to go. You are not where you want to be, but neither are you where you used to be.”
-Rick Warren

30 days. Assuming everything goes right and God-willing, I will graduate from college in exactly 30 days. The feeling is surreal. Seeing where I stand now cannot compare to the 18-year-old I was in August of 2012, pulling up to South Russell Hall on move-in day. I thought I knew what would happen in my college experience. I thought I  knew where I would end up after graduation. I never realized how necessary the next seven semesters would be in transforming my life completely.

Throughout my college experience, I have seen joy and I have seen pain. I have been through utter darkness but I have also seen the faint flicker of the stars at night light up my entire world. I reached the lowest point I had ever been in my life, but I’ve also stood on the highest mountains of my life (literally). Most importantly, throughout college I have experienced God in ways I had yet felt him in my life. I have felt God’s overwhelming peace and presence. I have heard his voice unlike any other moments in my life. A fire awoke so deeply within my soul that no circumstance has yet been able to extinguish. I became filled with life.

In honor of this crazy yet beautiful journey coming to an end in 30 days, I have decided to list 30 experiences that I feel defined my time at Baylor. Some are funny, some are painful, but all are real.

  1. Move-in day. I arrived at South Russell Hall and began the next chapter of my life. I said “goodbye” to my parents and my at-the-time boyfriend, even though I still went home every weekend. I was off for this new chapter in my life.
  2. I was the weirdo that decided to take Latin, four semesters of it too. The stress was unreal. I now have a love/hate relationship with Caesar, Cicero, and Cato. Carthago defenda est, always.
  3.  Baylor Baseball Diamond Girls. As a baseball lover, there was nothing I wanted more during my time at Baylor than to be a Diamond Girl. My two years on the team definitely had their ups and downs, but it was still a dream come true.
  4. South Russell vs. the lobby microwave. I will never forget the night I had to evacuate my dorm at 1:30 a.m. because someone set their popcorn on fire. Who knew 245 college girls would need guidelines on how to use a microwave.
  5. My grandmother being diagnosed with breast cancer. This shook me so much harder than I ever wished to admit. But as she got her treatment I was constantly reminded how strong my grandma is. She truly does fight like a girl.
  6. While watching Pitch Perfect with my at-the-time boyfriend on a February night, I learned of the death of CPO Chris Kyle. Kyle, being his hero, had impacted both of our lives. This day was sad and the death was on hard on him, yet this was also a strong bonding time for the two of us.
  7. The ladies of SoRo making a birthday video for our dorm hall director. I crawled in a dryer and we all danced through the halls displaying our obvious lack of rhythm. She loved it.
  8. The birth of my niece. This adorable little girl has brought so much joy to my life. I cannot imagine there was a time in my life I wasn’t Aunt Abby.
  9. The West explosion. Undoubtedly, this would reshape our community tremendously. The night was terrible for me. I wanted nothing more to help. West rebuilt. West became stronger. And it has been incredible to watch.
  10. Meeting Taya Kyle. This was an experience I will never forget. I’d read her story in American Sniper, but meeting her person and feeling her strength was indescribable. I felt truly honored.
  11. Moving apartments. After enough roommate drama to last a lifetime (and then some), one month into my sophomore year, Baylor and I both agreed my living situation needed to change. I’m forever thankful that it did.
  12. The Baylor vs. OU game and the first blackout game. Even though we lost the game this year, winning two years ago was huge. Baylor proved we are a team to watch. I’ll never forget leaving the game with 1% battery on my phone and tweeting “It’s 11:15 and OU still sucks.”
  13. Having the Texas Rangers follow me on Twitter. While this might seem minuscule to most people, getting that follow notification in class made my day (more like my life). I was officially noticed by my favorite baseball team.
  14. Hawaii. The perfect vacation. The vacation I had been dreaming about since I started college. Although there would be a few things I would do differently (like not having such high winds at Pearl Harbor so I can go to the USS Arizona) I would give anything to go back.
  15. My breakup. There is no denying this became the pinnacle of change in my college career. I could write a book about this journey this took me on. The pain experienced this night can still haunt me. Sometimes I still find myself wondering why everything fell apart. My whole world was transformed. BUT the outcome has been nothing but positive. The change was necessary and even though I may not always understand, I think that’s the beauty of God’s plan. I’ve walked forward in faith, and only faith, because I’ve had to and I became a better person because of it.
  16. Working the Crowne Plaza Tournament at Colonial. I love golf and this was such a rewarding experience. This was certainly an event that had it’s ups and downs, but I was right there when Adam Scott won. (Plus I got to see Jordan Spieth, aka my celebrity golf crush)
  17. Roadtripping to Colorado randomly with some friends. I got to get away from Texas for a little bit and hike a 14,000 foot mountain, which became very symbolic of the journey I was on. To quote Third Day – I traveled through the valley to stand upon the mountain of God.
  18. A mission trip to Guatemala. The trip was hard all around. I found difficulty staying focused because I was distracted by own personal issues. However, on the plane ride home I think I met my guardian angel. Everything ounce of support I needed to hear at the time, she provided to me. The experience was overwhelming.
  19. Joining Columbus Avenue Baptist Church. Changing my church membership from my home church with my family was a huge leap of faith. Yet God has truly blessed me with an amazing church family located in Waco.
  20. Baylor beating TCU. 61-58. As a forever Baylor Bear, this will be a game I will never forget. I may have lost some years off my life due to the stress, but the win was worth it. And now there’s a new number one rivalry between Texas schools. See you in Fort Worth on November 27, TCU.
  21. New York. Again, the trip of a lifetime. My dad ran the NYC marathon, I got to go to the Top of the Rock, and of course enjoy some time in Tiffany’s. On a more serious note, I also experienced Ground Zero. Easily the most emotional place I’ve ever been to. As 9/11 was a pinnacle in my life, this was an indescribable experience. Oh and I also went to some place called Broadway and saw a show called Phantom of the Opera? Yeah, I cried. (Phantom is my favorite musical)
  22. Getting my job at the gym. This was a so-so experience, and I was honestly just thankful to be employed. But the job led me to Kaelan and by extension, the best group of friends I could wish for. I am extremely blessed by the crazy yet lovable (in their own way) people I’m surrounded with and I would not trade them for anything.
  23. Running the Bearathon. Running my first half-marathon, dubbed as the toughest half in Texas, was difficult no doubt. I was dying as I crossed the finish line, but the important thing was I finished. Plus I got a nice, big medal to go with the experience.
  24. Getting my internship at Allen Samuels DCJ. This was such an answered prayer. I would not be the employee I am today, I would not have the skills and experience I have today, if it weren’t for the Baylor journalism department and this internship. This job also led me to Haley, my God-given, Gilmore Girls and pizza obsessed best friend.
  25. Roadtripping to San Antonio. For a short, three-day trip, it was awesome and just the getaway I needed. Fedora’s, the Riverwalk, and some Casa Rio were all much needed therapy. Plus, a Texan must always remember the Alamo.
  26. Climbing on top of a roof in Waco. Slightly weird, but I had never done anything like this before and the view was beautiful. If ever there was a moment I fell in love with Waco (which I never thought would happen), this was it.
  27. Getting mono. Unfortunately, I feel like this set the stage for my last semester of college. I was slowed down and thrown off my usual organized self. Everything felt wrong and overcoming mono became more than just overcoming an illness. I had to constantly remind myself to stop being a perfectionist.
  28. Starting this blog. Starting this blog was a huge leap of faith. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was scared to share my thoughts. I was scared to make myself vulnerable. Like most things, however, the experience has been nothing but rewarding.
  29. Staying up until 4 a.m. talking to one of my friends. I cannot remember the last time I did this, but sometimes thunderstorms and heart-to-hearts are so cathartic and absolutely necessary.
  30. The day I realized how truly incredible my college experience has been. I saw how far I had come and all the things I had overcome. I became proud of the person I had become. I realized I was 21, single (I don’t even own a dog), and I literally have the world at my feet when I graduate. All I wanted throughout college was freedom and I felt like I finally had it. I found myself in Christ and I was happy.

Gail Rhymes With Sail

Research papers are stressful. Beyond stressful. As a history major, I have written my fair share of research papers, however, that does not keep my mind from becoming complete mush during paper time.

A week of all-nighters, forgetting to eat, and endless amounts of coffee lead me to interesting Twitter rambles around 3 a.m. By the time the madness is over, I am completely delirious.

Yesterday, I worked for 20 hours straight on my last research paper for undergrad. Believe me, the feeling of being finished is wonderful, yet the process of reaching this moment was certainly a journey.

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The usual layout of my kitchen table during research paper times

This week, instead of taking to Twitter as my primary form of procrastination to discuss Russian nationalist composers with myself, I remembered a video Haley showed me on YouTube. A 30-second video of a cat that I watched on repeat for countless hours. Yes, I became the person to watch cat videos.

However, there is a story behind the cat video. Almost a year ago when Kaelan and I met working at a gym, I remained a quiet and reserved person. Kaelan, being an extremely extroverted and entertaining person, did everything possible to break me out of my shell. One day when I was very focused on a project and not responding to him, he started calling out random nicknames to me in efforts to get my attention. Out of all the nicknames he came up with that day, the one that stuck was Gail (the runner-up was G-Money). I can easily say this is the day he became my best friend.

As I said, Gail stuck. Gail stuck because I hated being called Gail. I have no fear admitting how much I love it now (although I still prefer it when my friends call me Abs). So how does the cat video relate to Gail? Much to my distress one day, Haley told Kaelan and I we needed to go on YouTube to watch the cat sail video. Why? Because Gail rhymes with sail.

We watched the video and as if Gail was not already my nickname, there was no going back after this. The video really is hilarious, and in my delusional state it was exactly the study break I needed. Sometimes I run 300 mph for so long I forget to take a break and do mindless things, like watch cat videos on YouTube.

Research papers are important, but taking mental health breaks to do things like eating, playing on Twitter, and watching YouTube is even more important. I never would have imaged to be so thankful for a cat video to become such an important video in my life, but in a sense of nostalgia, the video will always remind me of these hilarious moments in my life.

Enjoy the video as much as my friends and I do. Remember to always think of me in my crazy, stressed state when you hear “sail.” Believe me, it will be worth it.

P.S. – S/O to Kaelan for cooking me dinner last night. As I said, when I study I tend to forget to eat. I’m not sure I would have survived my last research paper if it weren’t for him. What are best friends for, right?

A Time to Cast Away

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…a time to weep, and a time to laugh, a time to mourn, and a time to dance…a time to seek, and a time to lose, a time to keep and a time to cast away.”
Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4, 6

A time to seek, and a time to lose, a time to keep and a time to cast away. Everything happens in His time.

Letting go, casting away, is hard. Often times, letting go is the hardest thing we face in life. Facing the things we love most in life and having them slip away like grains of sand is inscrutable. How are we to let go? How are we to walk into an unknown future and leave the beauty of our comfort behind? How could something so beautiful come to an end?

During times of letting go and casting away, we may try to ignore the truth. Accepting facts staring us right in the face takes time. We find ourselves wondering how are we to move forward? In the confusion of figuring out this funny thing called time, we face depravation. We hope one day we can wake up and the enigmatic circumstances in our lives will make sense. We may spend days, months, and years trying to find hope that things can change – or go back to normal.

Yet sometimes the things that have changed in our lives are meant to change. Our loss was no coincidence, it was for a reason. Instead of wishing for the return of what was lost, sometimes we have to face we should instead be hoping, and praying, for the strength to cast the loss away. Casting away an incredible world we have made all our own, a world that makes us feel safe and gives us everything we could ever want feels ludicrous. Rationally speaking, letting go of our “perfect world” is ludicrous. We still contemplate why a perfect world we had must come to an end.

Ultimately, we will come to know in our hearts what we possibly knew all along – it is time to cast away. As inscrutable as it may be, we know it is time to cast away these things of precious importance to us. Yet bearing the thought of looking at something we love more than anything and finding the strength to cast it away, yes, that is incomprehensible. Casting away things we find so important often feels like taking pieces of our hearts and souls, cutting them out, and never knowing if they will be replaced. We are to move forward with this gaping feeling, not knowing what will happen next. Casting away things we find important is like losing a best friend.

Casting away these priceless things fills us with sadness. We spend so much time with these things they become the greatest representations for our worlds. They become genuine because they were raw and they were real. When the end comes, whether we wish we could replace these things or simply erase them, no matter how hard we try everything else seems to fail in comparison. Yet we should not make feeble attempts to compare one thing to another. Situations are different for a reason. People are different for a reason. And if these things we love so genuinely can still mean so much to us after they are lost, then the things that can come in as new should give us abundant hope for the future.

Goodbye is the always the hardest part, especially when we thought we would hold these things for what felt like forever. It is simple human nature to struggle losing what we love and having to cast it away. Our perfect world is now gone and we have to build something entirely new. Internally, we know we will be alright and building this new world is possible, but the initial shock of loss comes with a price. The initial shock of loss causes us to hold tight to what was. These things we lost now become ghosts in our lives. No matter where we turn, they are always there lingering. They haunt our dreams and we continue to be convicted we cannot go a day without them.

While we face this loss, we do everything we can to catch these ghosts. We swear things are supposed to be different. We seek answers in every outlet we can find. We think if we wait silently and patiently, somehow we will regain what we have lost. Daily, we will die inside waiting. Then one day we realize things that are lost, are lost for a reason. One day we realize what was once so important to us, is not as important to us anymore. We realize our new worlds can be just as good, if not better, than the worlds we lost. One day we finally realize casting away is not as incomprehensible as we once thought.

Losing something does not mean we failed, and we must overcome that thought. Sometimes our worlds simply needed to change. The things we once loved will remain priceless and irreplaceable because they were true. We will never be able to find another thing like them again. However, none of this means we cannot find new things just as priceless and irreplaceable.

In it’s purest form, the old can remind us of what is still in store for this life. We are able to cast away the old because eventually we see the beauty in the breaking and unmaking of our loss. The strength we once thought we lost is restored. We cry to God and He takes our time to weep and turns it into a time to laugh. Our time we spent in mourning becomes time we spend dancing. The answers we seek after our loss lead us to the moment we are able to cast away. The gap that was once there is filled. We are healed. We are happy.