Tag Archives: love

love behind the wheel

And then comes the moment when you realize that you’ve been fighting tooth and nail for something you already have. That for all the moments you’re desperate to be seen and known, somehow you already are.

…who you are is someone with more love than you know how to handle, and I will always be welcome in your heart. And I will always be your people.

Oh, man.

I have so much more love than I know how to handle.

There’s this thing that we’ve always said, me and my best girls, at the end of lingering phone conversation and wandering words woven together into long letters.

I love you more than I know how to.

The thing rooted deepest into my fibers, engraved on my soul, is wild and untamed. It is lovely, but terrifying. I think in some ways, it’s the thing I’m most afraid of. Because when love is behind the wheel, all bets are off. For so many years, I worked hard to build a fairly predictable life, to be a fairly predictable person. I wasn’t always very good at it, probably because I was always going against the grain of my own spirit. But God, I tried hard.

But to say it out loud, to acknowledge and give power to all the ways that I am ever expanding with the swelling of an uncontrollable love for the world, for the people who surround me, for the Creation of my Creator.

To say out loud that love is what gives me my life and my breath and my motivation.

That changes everything. There is no more predictable. There is no more safe.

There’s just me, and the God who made me, and the wild love He wrote into my DNA.

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to be your girl

Dear my love,

It’s in my chest on all of the days, but I am so beautifully aware of it on this one. And on the days when it’s so close to the surface that it threatens to break my heart wide open, I realize that I don’t tell you enough. That in some inconceivable way, my heart knew yours from the beginning, knew that you were the one I wanted to belong to, that you were the person I would always want to follow anywhere.

I knew it small in the beginning, and today I know it in a way that has depth and breadth, but not as much depth and breadth as in another five years, and five after that.

I am so very proud to be your girl. And I am so very humbled to be your girl.

I spent the first twenty-three years of my life surrounded by an army of people praying that I would find a good man, a spiritual leader, a man who would lead me and our family toward God in all the seasons of life. And I thought for so many years that I had a solid grasp on what that would look like. It would look like initiating family devotions and holding my hand every night to pray together and making sure we were in church every Sunday. It would look like Christian music on road trips, like small group Bible studies in our home. It would look loud and public and like leadership.

And it’s not that. It’s not any of that.

But all those people who spent all that time praying? God knows they got far more than they bargained for.

Because you, my love, practice love in the most unexpected places.

You practice love that is quiet and genuine and selfless. You practice love in no particular spotlight. You practice love when it costs you your pride and all the things you’d silently hoped for. You practice love when it is beyond reason. You practice love when it is not in your best interest.

I can think of no better spiritual leadership than that of a man who quietly goes about the work of practicing love everywhere he goes.

I sit back and watch it every single day.

Watching you love recklessly and without regard to yourself–it opens up the wild place God put in my chest on purpose, the wild place from which I live fully alive. The wild place from which I love all the wrong people, or all the right people, depending on how you look at it. The wild place that feels the most like Jesus in me.

You give that wild place wings by being exactly who you are. You remind me who I am with your quiet ways of doing Love. You remind me of my Creator, my purpose, my place in the Kingdom-come-and-Kingdom-coming-ness of life.

It isn’t Chris Tomlin and Max Lucado, that’s for sure. Bless it. But I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it with the last breath in my lungs.

I can think of no better spiritual leadership than that of a man who quietly goes about the work of practicing love everywhere he goes.

Thank you, today and all of the days, for being the kind of man I would fearlessly follow anywhere.

Always, Audie

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breathe and steady and stay

He smirks at me and I feel fire blaze through my veins, and it leaves me shaking cold.

An hour later, I am still shaking, sitting in my office and sobbing like a child, trying to soothe my fight or flight instinct. Because I am fully and completely human, and all I want to do right now is get the hell out of here. Walk away from education without even considering a backward glance and find myself a job that is a whole lot less like sandpaper on my bloody, battered soul than this one is today. Maybe it will pay less. Truth be told, I don’t care. I just don’t care in this moment.

He smirks at me and I feel the full weight of it. I flash back to phone calls and funerals and blood-chilling sobs from a mother who has seen the bullet wounds on her dead teenage baby, inflicted simply because no one ever gave him reason to believe that life is not a war. That he doesn’t have to win, that sometimes winning is just knowing when to close your eyes against offense, close your mouth against all the angry responses lashing out at the flesh inside your mouth, and turn the other cheek.

He smirks at me, and I feel myself recoil. Because I know this pattern. I’ve worked with inner city kids for five years now, so I’ve seen a lot of it. I know that unless something changes, unless someone refuses to give up on him, unless someone teaches him not to give up on himself, he will be one of three places by the age of 21: on the streets, in prison, or in the ground.

And eyeliner-laced tears drip down a clenched jawline in my office because today, I do not want to be the person who refuses to give up on him. I don’t want to be. I am tired, and raw, and wounded, and sometimes people can make you feel so very foolish for bothering to give a shit. I don’t want to be a fool, because I’m human. I want to give up, walk away, wash my hands of it and do something that doesn’t cost this much.

And I can’t. Because even when he smirks and it sets my eyes seeing red, my heart has an irrevocable love for all the dirty, gritty, messy, raw, broken. I shake my head at that love sometimes, and in my weaker moments I shake my fists at the God who wove it into me.

But I breathe, and I steady myself, and I stay. And my heart bleeds sometimes, and anyone who ever uses the phrase “bleeding heart” as a flippant insult doesn’t know how much a truly bleeding heart can cost you, how it’s almost never the easy route.

But I breathe. And steady. And stay.

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