on this side

One day you'll see her and you'll know what I mean.

Take her or leave her she will still be the same.
She'll not try to buy you with her time.
But nothing's the same, as you will see when she's gone.

It's foreign on this side,
And I'll not leave my home again.
There's no place to hide
And I'm nothing but scared.

You dream of colors that have never been made,
You imagine songs that have never been played.
They will try to buy you and your mind.
But only the curious have something to find.

It's foreign on this side,
And the truth is a bitter friend.
But reasons few have I to go back again.

Your first dawn blinded you, left you cursing the day.
Entrance is crucial and it's not without pain.
There's no path to follow, once you're here.
You'll climb up the slide and then you'll slide down the stairs.

It's foreign on this side,
But it feels like I'm home again.
There's no place to hide
But I don't think I'm scared.

- Nickel Creek, "This Side" -
It's been an intense year. 

You know that. 

And I can say with no hesitation that my life would not be what it is right now were it not for the prayers and support of not only my friends "in real life" ((because to dis-count them in any way would break my heart)) but because of you all. The friends who have stood alongside and been there to pray and listen and ache, though no flesh and blood meeting has ever occured.
That is something special. That is a unique breed of friendhsip that time and again is touted throughout the blogging world as something we can't fully wrap our minds around but won't dare question because it is just. that. amazing.
So before I get into it, I want to offer a deep, true and eternal thank you. To you. The incredible and wild gratitiude I have for each and every one of you who have sent little notes of encouragement, sent up prayer and reached out with "I've been there, too... I am STILL there, and now we both know we're not alone"... OK, i could go on but I'll probably start crying.
What I wanted to say here is that even while Oregon is trapped under an all-too-early cloud of rain usually reserved for I don't know, like, January? I can feel my own cloud finally lifting. The storm, dare I say it, dare I even dream it, dare I even begin to believe it, has passed. 

I feel like I made it to the other side and I feel more myself than I ever have.

And this new season is remarkable.
I was so sad, for so long. And while God was forging me in the fire, I fought it. 

I fought it so hard. 

My goodness, how I wasn't sure I'd make it though without melting, being destroyed.
But He made me from far finer material than could be ruined by the flames.
To tell someone who is hurting, who is grieving, who is just plain trapped in a sadness they can't get out from under is damn near useless. I mean sure, it's a comfort to know that people around you love you and are trying every. last. thing. to try and make you smile again... But at a certain point you don't want to hear it anymore.
"Wait... Be still... TRUST... His timing, not your own..."
I can't tell you how many times I all out SCREAMED at God. I told him I was DONE. I didn't want to feel this way anymore, I didn't want to wait for the storm to pass, I wanted IMMEDIATE rescue, Life Flight, whatever!
I can almost hear the long, deep sighs he must have uttered in response. 

Not out of frustration, but just a simple exhale - probaly more for me than Him, because I was gasping on the inhale but couldn't let anything out. If that makes sense. I know now, and I suppose I knew then though I had a hard time believeing it some days, that He was right there with me. He was feeling the hurt, and wanting to make it all better... But his version of "all better" was different than mine. I wanted immediate satisfaction. I wanted to wake up the very next day and not miss the man I was in love with for so long. I wanted to wake up and not be crippled on the inside with the sadness at knowing he wanted nothing to do with me anymore. I wanted to be happy, genuinely happy again. And I wanted it RIGHT NOW.
And I know God wanted that too. But He wanted to make sure I understood why this was all happening. Why things went down the way they did. Because I've never been one to take on the unknown - in this case, the unknown being a life without the person who at one time was everything to me - without some serious bucking and incredible fear of what I didn't know how to do.
Or what I thought I didn't know how to do.
Because as it turns out, I was much better at life than I gave myself credit for. I absolutely still miss my friend, but it took all of that to show me that I am incredibly capable of living an absoltuely amazing life no matter what. That life was beautiful without him.
And what's amazing now is that here, walking in the light at the end of the tunnel, I can see how things had to happen the way they did because I fought every other method He tried to use to keep me from the kind of hurt I landed myself in.
And I have to tell you... 

When I let my heart be open again for the first time in two years, incredible things started to happen.
A new season is not just a physical change in the weather, or colors in the trees. The seasons that change in our souls are infinitely more dynamic and altering. They are a different kind of visible. 

They are that much more magical.
It's competely different on this side than I had imagined. The quick fix I had so prayed for, and eventually reliquished to "Your will not mine" in the last couple months has given way to the most phenomal things, I can't believe it.
Somewhere between embarking on a wonderful new adventure with my career ((more on that soon)) and meeting an incredible man ((also more on that soon... maybe... this is where I'd probably issue a coy wink if I was the coy winking type)) I can only see this light getting brighter and brighter.
And I'm not so scared anymore.

I've always loved autumn and this year, I think I love it more. Because it's my own autumn. Because even when one season ends, and it looks like something is dying, it's not...

It's making way for something new.

So I watched the leaves fall
All of the way to the ground
And I knew that that was what love was
To die so that it could be found

- Ben Rector, "Autumn" -


  1. Oh friend, I am SO happy for you. This new season is going to be wonderful and I can't wait to hear about the amazing things that are happening in your life. :) Your bit on God telling you to be still and trust in his timing is so relevant in my life right now (and always, let's be real that's why I got my tattoo) but it's always such a perfect reminder that we are not in control. I'll be praying for you!!

  2. Love you, friend!! So glad you're on the other side of that trying time, and you have come out stronger, happier, and more "Lauren" than ever!

  3. This is so raw and heartfelt. Thanks for charing.