when this is a thought about marriage

Preston starts his posts with that word, “when” – an invitation, I think, to realize the passing of time and the not-passing-of-time, the way when you sit to read his words you remember that you are exactly where you are, reading, in your kitchen or on your iPad. It’s funny how the vocabulary of the one you love begins to seep into your own, their words swirled next to yours, the way tea steeps in a mug on an early morning.

I’ve been thinking about marriage – maybe that’s not so surprising – and when I think about it, inevitably, I start thinking about the ways we talk about marriage. I think about the advice blogs, the story-becoming-advice blogs, the blogs that remind us that this a great big work, different from anything we’ve tried before, blogs that remind us that this is also the most normal unfolding of life, the most apparently inevitable thing, the way that they hold your hand or kiss you good morning is the only thing that could be.

And my head fills with other people’s thoughts faster than its own sometimes, trying to think my way into wisdom about marriage, sewing a patchwork quilt of what other people have done and thought and tweeted and posted and shared. But my stitches fumble, and when I look over at him in the quiet of the morning, the pieces slip to the floor. I can’t read my way into being good at marriage. I can’t repost or borrow or sew together thoughts to cover us in the moments when we don’t understand each other, or those moments, even more surprising, when we understand better than anyone else ever has.

And maybe, before journeying down the road of what someone here and there says will make this work, I must close my eyes, lean into what is right in front of me. The way he says hi on Skype, ties his tie when we are going out to dinner, the way we laugh or curl up to watch Game of Thrones together or the way that we  both know when it’s a night to stay in, instead of go out, a night to pray, a drive where we will talk about deep things in the church or a drive where we will ask about our favorite praise songs growing up.

Once, before Preston and I got together, before the full unfolding that would be this love story, I went for a walk with a friend. It was warm, the end of May in New England, when the world bursts green and the sun plays with the trees, throwing its light on everyone who passes by. We walked, talking about marriage, talking about love, and I remember so desperately wanting to store up everything she said, learn and memorize her words until they sang out from me as if they were mine. But as she talked, and we wandered out of the woods, back into a small cluster of houses around a pond, the afternoon stretched long and we leaned into it.

She didn’t want me to memorize her stories. She was telling me as a way to push me towards discovering my own. She was sharing about her life, her marriage, not as blueprint but as beautiful, as the wonder of how God led her and her husband into and out of each thing. She was telling me, not because she knew best, but because she knew how much of the story we must write on our own.

I don’t know if I believed her at the time. But I do believe her, now, in the months that still stretch out before our wedding, in the nights in and out, the jeans and sweatshirts and the salsa dancing club and all the wonder of the in-between every day learning each other.

It isn’t a blueprint. It’s just all, always, beautiful.

Love,
hilary

dear brothers

Dear brothers,

You’re each in your own worlds a bit these days, high school and college, relationships and summertime, work and landscaping and extra physics prep and climbing trees. You’re together in some of those worlds, when you disappear into the cave of the living room to play video games or watch Duck Dynasty or the Sox game.

I don’t think I tell you often enough how much you have been teaching me.

Take that drive home for instance, the other night, when you were willing to listen to me while we played Eric Church off my iPod, how you told me about your excitement for our someday-families being close to each other, about the cousins we haven’t ever had before, about the wonder, about the time. You and I don’t always talk about the future, and we’re in a forever competition about who knows more Harry Potter trivia (you do, but I will never give up the fight on it), but when you said that I could feel that future smile at us from wherever it lives right now. I could imagine it, all the siblings drawn closer together, children and spouses and laughter, more food than we could possibly eat, the sun lingering on the horizon line just for us, just for those summers.

You heard me, and I heard that you have a bigger heart and a braver one and that man, I have so much to learn from you about the kind of love that really forgives and forgets and chooses joy even when we’re pissed off. Do you know that? That those years of Calvin and Hobbes at the kitchen table, the years of us eating with paper napkins and a simply set table and not having the cable or the new computers – that all of that, it has made you a tremendous man? This past winter, when I realized I was homesick for you even though we live in the same house, I tramped out through the snow to where you were creating a different world, your imagination still wilder and wider than most, and you taught me how to climb the tree and look out over the back yard, even though I’m scared of heights? Do you remember that? And how you taught me about building your own forge from the bits of old metal we don’t need anymore laying around behind the shed and even though we didn’t say much afterwards, that afternoon I sat on my bed and cried and laughed with God that you, my youngest brother, are who you are.

And then there are the coffee mornings, older younger brother, and how we slip into a routine without realizing it, our hearts beating out on our sleeves, in the quiet space we draw between eggs and toast and unlimited refills. There are those mornings when I confess my jealousy to you, where you teach me how to ask forgiveness, really ask for it, where I tell you that I am afraid I might never find what I’m looking for and you so gently remind me how much of it has already found me.

You and I drying the dishes while the kids we love refuse to fall asleep and their parents will be home soon? You and I watching Raylan (me terrified), the house gone to bed? You teach me to love the every day and to be watchful over the people I love. You teach me to care more about the condition of my kindness than my clothes and to treat others with more respect than I would probably offer on my own. I run upstairs to you in the midst of the visit that is changing my life and you’re awake, and we lie on our mattresses and talk into the night about how this is becoming real, and you’re there with wisdom and patience and you remind me that God is good. And on the drive home from church and lunch I caught my breath again because I saw a truck that looked like yours and I remembered that in our family you are always the first to offer peace to our hearts and slowest to anger and in this, God shows me what it means to love as He loves. I saw a truck that looked like yours, and I just had to smile. What a gift you are.

So brothers, who are so different and yet of one mind, all I wanted to ramble about in this blog post, which has gone on a long while now, is that you teach me, and you remind me, between Duck Dynasty and the grill and the summertime, that there is not one thing in this world quite like having brothers – and not one thing in this world like you.

Love,
your sister

this is where I learn something

A day is not a long time. 24 hours, minutes ticked by in neat regular fashion, so many of them already dressed in the colors of what we must do – emails that need writing, conferences that need planning, phone calls and food and sleep and sweating to Zumba routines in your brother’s bedroom so you don’t break the 200 year old floorboards of your upstairs hideaway. Not every minute is extraordinary. But sometimes a stretch of unextraordinary ones, sleek and swift, upend you.

I am driving back to Berlin to fly home. I start thinking about my blog. The rows of trees along the autobahn are neater than the ones at home; the fields are bright yellow with an unidentified crop. The cars blur past our windows, a sky still swollen with rain that hasn’t started falling. I’ve been in another country; it feels like going home is to travel somewhere unfamiliar again.

I’m thinking some unpretty thoughts about my blog along the German highway. I’m defensive against this nagging worry about me and writing, and something someone who really matters said to me before I left, “Are you their Holy Spirit?” And he was right – that’s the question to stop me short.

But the defensive thoughts have lingered across the ocean and some days of separation from the online world, my lungs full of self-righteous air, so justified in what I think I do when I write about perfectionism and being “enough” and grace.

And in the way of it, as it always is when you travel, you catch the eye of the land spread out before you and something looks back at you. Maybe it is just the gentleness of the horses in their pasture, but the one who makes eye contact with me has a fierceness about her that makes me momentarily afraid. She isyoung, stamping her foot impatiently at the green earth, and she tosses her mane just as we flyby. We stare at each other a while after.

God tells me often that I ought not to imagine myself so wise and knowing. But I’m 22, and I assume that I can learn it on my own and teach it twice before my time.  I place my words around me like fenceposts and bricks, laying my comfort and security in them, but the true things I say, o dear foolish heart of mine?

God gives them because I need saving.

Maybe the mare who looked at me could see that I confuse the two, the why I write and the who I want to be and the real way of grace.

Maybe she shook her mane at me because of that.

Or maybe God has been speaking to me about this for weeks and it was only her look that stopped me in my brick piling fence laying defensiveness. God has been speaking.

I don’t have wisdom about being a perfectionist. I write about it, here and here and all over my heart, but I don’t have it. What I bring is just this: that God sometimes lets us write out what we do not really know in order for us to learn it. What I bring is me, bricks and fence posts abandoned as I walk curious toward the truth that God saves me, and the most surprising thing is that is forever a one-way street. We set tables, that person with the right questions tells me.

And we bring our words not as bricks but as bread, here for the breaking open and sharing, here because we are all hungry.

Back on the road in Berlin, I am now thinking about the mare in the field. About the sleek and swift moments that upend us. About how traveling, however long and far, brings us home again.

Love,
hilary

dear hilary: the bass notes

Dear Hilary,

I know that my life is littered with problems only a privileged few could complain about. I know that I’m not really complaining about what is worth complaining – and I tell myself as I peel the parsnips and chop onions for some vegetarian thing I am convinced I should eat because it would be good for me, that I shouldn’t be feeling so confused and lonely and irritated as I do. But I want to know – I’m hungry to know – what is the point of the sadness? Is it okay to feel sad, even if there isn’t a good reason?

Love,
Peeling the parsnips

Dear Peeling,

Hey there, hon. Before we go any further down this road, I need to tell you first just a yes. A yes as you chop and peel and worry and scream to loud or soft music or kiss random strangers in a subway car or wish you were kissing them or eat vegetarian or Five Guys burgers. Yes. It is okay to feel what you feel.

Permission is not a thing we should seek for our emotions. That’s a lie that we’ve been taught – that we need to ask first before we allow our hearts to keel over with the things they’re already carrying. They are what they carry; permission is irrelevant. So you, rich in love or money or college degrees, poor in clarity or money or college degrees, mixed up between them all, you must give yourself more breathing room. Chuck permission – the question of “is it okay to feel…” right out the window.

Let’s start where you are: you feel sad.

You peel the parsnips – a beautiful sounding phrase, love – and you are lonely. And it simply does not matter one bit if I tell you that I am peeling potatoes, another person is chopping lettuce, and three other people are eating ice cream straight from the carton – and that we are all, in our own ways, feeling the pull and dip and gravity of sadness. That we, too, wonder about what is ahead, or what we have just emerged from, or what we are sitting in right now. When you feel loneliness, I do not think that you can comfort yourself out of it. No amount of “solidarity!” or “we’re in it with you!” or “buck up it’s not that bad!” will help.

What will help is to keep peeling the parsnips.

What will help is to ask your lonely, your confusion, your unidentified emotions, to pull up a chair as you work. Don’t ask them to say everything – just allow them to accompany you in the midst of your daily life. Invite them to sit with you in a coffee shop or gaze at a sunset on your drive home. Ask them to play Switchfoot’s “Where I Belong” on repeat. Wander up and down the grocery store aisles with them. They are not against you.

They are, instead, the bass notes. 

In good music, we listen first for the melody – for the soaring notes, for the lingering treble. We pick out the main theme and wait for it as it darts between other notes. We think of the song, and we hum that line.

But in most music, love, there are the bass notes. These are sometimes sweet and soft, sometimes insistent, sometimes fiery, sometimes desperate, sometimes lonely. The bass notes hold the melody. They deepen it and give it a new shape.

I think that this is what your sadness, the things that you complain about but wish you didn’t – is, at its root. It is the bass line of your song. It is deepening work, these nights of peeling parsnips and sitting with loneliness. It makes your melody a fuller story, in a way that nothing else could.

That is the miracle of the bass notes: though they go often unnoticed, they do remarkable things. 

So I urge you – wherever your days take you, remind yourself: some days I will sing the bass notes. Some days I will build the song of my life in the deep and difficult things. Peel the parsnips, and love the bass notes.

The song could not be so good without them. 

Love,
hilary

when you catch a glimpse

It’s late on a Thursday – the ordinary, almost-but-n0t-quite-the-weekend day – and I’m lying diagonally on my bed, thinking about working out. I don’t really want to, if I am honest. I’d much rather lie there, in my outdoor coat and my favorite brown boots, the ones from the store that closed in Union Station two years ago. I don’t want to jump around at 10pm to music that I feel like I know too well. I don’t want to run on a treadmill going nowhere.

I’m moping, and I’m tired, and the lonely hits me deep after the long week. I remember that once I whispered to a dear friend, almost a year ago now, over cocktails at a jazz bar near campus – that I was tired of learning about myself alone. I want to do all that good work of figuring out who we are, who we want to be, together. I don’t want to do it alone anymore. 

And those thoughts dont’ seem to be banished by the lump in my throat. They don’t disappear by crying – or by yelling, or by praying the same question, of how long, how long, how long O Lord.

So I pull on shorts and a ratty T-shirt. I pull on socks. I find the Zumba YouTube video (yes, I am that girl). I click play. I halfheartedly jump up and down to the first song. I stuff my hair into an elastic and hope for the best. My bangs, which are outgrown by at least three months, flop helplessly around until I force them into bobby pinned submission. I’m still half-hearted, still unwilling to say that okay, fine, it’s fine to be me, to be in this skin, to be bouncing around with insecurities at 10pm.

But a few more songs in, and I can start to catch a rhythm. I can even (barely) see something like flexibility or strength in my muscles. I can feel my body cherish the work – it is something to do, anything, and it is something more concrete than lying on a bed feeling all over the “how long how long how long” question.

By the time the video finished, I was ready:

this is the moment I play, “22” and “Kiss You” on repeat at 10:40pm and dance around in gym shorts. This is the moment when I choose to laugh with my body. This is the moment when, looking at myself, I catch a glimpse.

It’s not a perfect picture, oh, but can I tell you what I saw?

I saw a heart filled with stories to be poured out on the people who wander across my path.

I saw my laughter – how it can fill a room and go before me down a hallway at work.

I saw lonely that became lovely, loveable, even something that I cherish.

I saw me, ten years from now, remembering “22” and “Kiss You” and chopping red onion and pregnant or not or in Italy or not or married or not or with a PhD or not, still promising God that I wouldn’t forget how much He loves the things He made.

I saw a glimpse of me, radiant.

And I saw us – fierce, independent and free, each following the wild call of love.

Because though these weeks are filled with that, “how long, O Lord?” and that, “why not me, Lord?” and that, “but what about, Lord?” – though we might know so little, though we might doubt ourselves, though we might be disappointed and angry and overjoyed and tired and anxious and gracious -

I can see our wild love. I can see it in you. I can catch a glimpse of it, gym shorts and all.

a love so wild, so fierce, so free – I almost can’t bear it. how radiant we are. how transformed. how lovely. 

Love,
hilary

dear hilary: homeward bound

Dear Hilary,

I was listening to a Sarah McLachlan song the other day – “World on Fire.” Do you know it? Do you know that line, “Hearts break, hearts bend, love still hurts”? I’m wondering about this as it applies to my decision to stay home after graduation. I moved back, back to familiar people and places, back to what feels like an older self. I feel out of place, bent out of shape. And I look at the people who traveled, who journeyed across oceans or continents, who sit in university classes and write theses, who work in labs or in non-profits on K St or who teach for America… and I stayed here. Why does it hurt?

Love,
Homeward Bound

Dear Homeward Bound,

Isn’t it funny how easily envious we are? If we are dating, we are jealous for unattached freedom. If we are single, we pine over red wine for a relationship. When we are in school all we think is, “get me OUT” and when we are at work all we think is, “Remember that awesome paper I got to write about hermeneutics?” (Okay, not everyone says that).

And when we return home, to our old rooms, our rickety bookcases, our messy kitchens, all the things we already know, we can think of nothing else but moving away. We plan elaborate apartments furnished by Anthropologie. We imagine long walks through Lincoln Park, along the Seine with fresh bread, in London, in Portugal. We tell ourselves there we’d find the self we’re longing to be: fun and outgoing, breezy and yet thoughtful, maybe with a cool but understated piercing to differentiate the new season of our life and almost certainly with a whole new outlook on life.

Ironic, love, isn’t it, that the people who moved far away feel almost the same way. We imagine getting a Starbucks in the neighborhood we know, high-fiving the barista. We imagine using our native currency/language/music tastes. We imagine walking through the city knowing exactly where the used poetry bookshop is. We imagine ourselves, confident in the familiarity of things, on a long run around the pond that looks impossibly effortless. We’re probably wearing the cutest possible running outfit in said effortless run.

We are easily jealous of the lives and gifts we don’t have. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: these things can always be your becoming. It matters tremendously that you are, as you say, “homeward bound” – part of your becoming gets to be grappling with the older self, the one you think you’ve left behind. Your becoming doesn’t involve a new presentation or a new start in a strange place. Your becoming involves a mud pit wrestling match with the expectations of who you are and what you do. Most of these are your expectations, sweet heart – and it’ll be a tough fight. But your becoming involves this tough fight.

You’ve got a lovely, pining letter here. Hearts do break and bend, love does hurt. It will do that next door to you and 10,000 miles away and inside you. You know what that song is really about, though, right?

World’s on fire, it’s more than I can handle, tap into the water, try to bring my share. I try to bring more, more than I can handle, bring it to the table, bring what I am able…

Bring more than you can handle. Bring your share. Bring what you are able. The point of singing this isn’t to throw a pity party that you’re back in your old neighborhood and others are somewhere else. The point of singing this isn’t to collapse because sometimes we suck and are beautiful and stupid and other people are so very mysterious and we want things we can’t have and we’re restless and… and… and…

Give to the table in front of you more than you are able. This is nothing less than your great task. You are homeward bound. Bound there, giving your whole heart, I think, you will be amazed at what you become.

Love,
Hilary

on dustin o’halloran (and growing wings)

I can’t sleep.

I have picked almost all the “fearless” nail polish off the edges of my fingertips, stared out into the familiar shadows of my room, heard the rain and its ceasing. I have gotten up for water, decided against it, taken a sip straight from the faucet. I’ve heard my floorboards creak as I pace, catch my toe against the edge of my bed, felt the sharp sting, yelped.

I can’t sleep because there is a ghost in my room.

She sits down at the edge of my bed, takes in my twisted sleep positions, nudges me awake. I look at her, this ghost of all the things I should have been. She is the anxious ghost, who at 3am has kept me awake wondering if, in fact, I sent that grant in the right way. Wondering if, in fact, five or six months ago I should have played a different game, read a different set of signals, cared less and calculated more. Wondering if, in fact…

all of it might have been meant to be otherwise.

She is a Hilary I keep banishing. For how can any of us know what might have been? Wasn’t that the first lesson Aslan taught those children in Narnia? “To know what would have happened, child? No. Nobody is ever told that.” We are never told the stories that are not spun, the ghost ships that never sailed, the result of the left turn when we took the right.

She is the ghost of control: the ghost who imagines she knows better. The ghost of if only I had thought before… The ghost of 3am and rain.

So I sit up in bed, scattering a warm grey cat and a few pillows in my haste. I fumble with the passcode, fingers touching the screen in search of Dustin, click play, close my eyes.

He tells me “We Move Lightly.”

He plays the repetition back to the ghost on the edge of my bed. The humble kind of piano: gentle and sure, questioning and yet steady. My best friend can always predict the parts of music I love best – the ones that sneak up to the very highest notes, played gently. The moment when strings enter, playing that long note, trembling and vulnerable. He plays, and I listen.

Because our stories are thousands of threads woven and frayed, beginning and ending outside of us, and the ghosts that worry at 3am fall silent in the face of what is truly beautiful.

Because we are never told what might have been, would have been. In this music, we grow the wings to carry us into what will happen. We become free: lost in something bigger than ourselves, found in the thousand threads.

He plays the seventh time, and I fall asleep, winged.

Love,
hilary

come to me (on being confirmed)

The morning bursts into my bedroom too soon, and I feel my muscles groan and burrow under the comforter. I’m getting up early to help in the Atrium, the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd space at my church. I hide, just for a few extra moments, store the vivid dream away for pondering, and sit up. I pull on corduroys and wriggle my toes in their silver Toms. I close my eyes and wing a prayer out for the children I’m going to meet, and the hearts they have and their arms rushing towards God.

They won’t sit still, I whisper to myself as we wrangle six boys between 3 and 6 onto a small red fleece blanket. They escape our soft voices and our laughter, and our repeated requests to, “Come watch Miss Hilary show you how to do this.” They laugh and squeal.

But then one boy, bright blond and curious, stomps across the blanket and puts his warm small self next to me, and declares, “I want to do that.” And I lean in and tell him, and the two girls in their bright pinks and purples, that if they watch close, they can learn how to do this, too. And their eyes grow round and they hold their breath as I carefully scoop a small pile of white beans from one jar to another.

We walk slowly into the room, measuring our steps. We trade our shoes for fuzzy socks, speak in sweeter whispers, and even the squealing boys find themselves tracing candles and crosses, sweeping and pouring, setting a prayer table and folding their hands together to talk to God.

I shiver, look down at my bare feet and chipping teal nail polish, and I wonder – when was the last time I ran to God like those hurricane boys and threw myself onto the floor and scrunched my eyes shut and burst with things to tell him – bee stings and scraped elbows and pulled hair?

Friends – can I ask us a hard question? Are we too proud to get that close to Him? 

Are we pleased that we can be so composed in church, so calm and elegant, so lovely and presentable? Are we glad for our semblances of patience and performance, of how we do each step right? Whether we be Anglicans or Presbyterians or Evangelical Free, whether ours is a house church or a great cathedral, whether it’s French or Portuguese or English, have we become so concerned to approach in just this way, with just these words, these gestures, this pretty prayer, that we can’t look foolish throwing leaves in the air and holding up our scraped selves for healing?

“This is a special place where we get to meet with God.” Ms. Allie tells the wide-eyed, upturned faces. One girl picks at her fuzzy socks, a boy rocks back and forth, close to meltdown. They pray for their small wounds, sitting cross legged on wooden mats, a candle lit and an icon of the Good Shepherd watching over us.

Jesus said, “let the little children come to me.” I didn’t realize He meant to teach us through their unbounded, delighted half-skip, half-run, always tumbling race into His arms. I didn’t realize that sometimes their crashing, hurricane love for God is the fastest way to Him.

Love,
hilary

to my mentor

I walked on the waterfront this weekend. My footsteps were slow, measured, taking in the new feeling of clarity, of answers after the long summer of questions and hopes. I walked, and thought of you. I thought about how it has been a while since we sat here, cups of passion tea lemonade all but abandoned at our feet, my hair flying behind me as my hands act like windmills to illustrate my point. It’s been a while since I’ve seen you laugh and tell me to get a grip on reality.

But when I called you on Friday night, curled up in my bed, and heard your, “Hey,” I knew that not much had really changed, even if it’s been months since that encounter with Mary in that church in Mississippi. I knew that nothing important had changed, nothing of who we are, and how we are. Maybe we’re softened a little by life, certainly by grace. Maybe we both grew up a little bit, scrambled over mountains and out onto open plains. I know we had deserts and I know we had hurricanes (we both know if God didn’t send them to me, I was sure as heck going to make some of my own). I also know we had rainfall and manna and provision.

I walked on the boardwalk in complete silence. I went into the Book Rack and browsed for an hour, because I knew I was lonely and needed to be with words. I bought this funny book called, The Lover’s Dictionary, that’s a love story told as entries in a dictionary. Alphabetical and everything. It’s brilliant, and it felt at home with me. I bought two cupcakes – this hazelnut one I’d never seen before, and the raspberry vanilla one that’s always been my favorite. I carried the pink box back to my car like a silent promise that I’d be brave and give my heart back to God, like you told me to.

I don’t know how to say thank you, and these words are reaching out trying to tell a story that is better told through other things – like beaches and waterfronts and cupcakes, like humidity and fear and courage and wine – but you know that sometimes I write to remember, or to say thank you, or just to remind me that I am me. Today is a little bit of all three.

I hope that carpet glue story STILL makes you laugh because it’s so epically Hilary that if it was the only story you heard this year you would know it was me.

I hope you don’t ever forget that hard conversation we had over pad thai my freshman year where you said, “so quit,” and gave me the courage to be truthful. And now God has so covered all of the journey in grace that I’m being confirmed in a few weeks and going to confession for the first time soon. And it’s still all a mystery.

I hope you soak in those highlands and lakes and the rich air of Scotland. I hope you let it feed you. I hope you come back full to overflowing.

I don’t think wisdom is about the things you know anymore. I think wisdom is how you dwell with what you have been given. How you understand it, learn from it, cherish it, release it – how the one life you have becomes the bottomless well from which you give life to others.

You taught me that.

Next time I see you, let’s go for a walk on that boardwalk with those cupcakes. I can’t wait to discover what else you have to teach me.

Love,

hilary

dear hilary: when it isn’t okay, it still is

Dear Hilary,

My question is silly, maybe, but real. I read you and I’m wondering, where does wisdom come from?

Love,

just curious

Dear just curious,

To answer your lovely question:

From God. From the woods after a long day. From aching with laughter and with pain in the same night. From a brother who asked me to bake with him last night and whose sweet smile brought me out of myself. From the moment when you say, “Jesus?” in the trembling voice and He says, “Yes.”

From getting on your knees in the dirt.

From the millionth mistake in the same direction.

From everything you learn you cannot do.

From being forgiven.

From sitting on your bed reading Rilke and then curling up and crying silently because you want to be that wise and you know you aren’t, you want to accept sadness and you keep trying to force it out, you want to begin and be vast and write poetry and love earnestly and all of the rest… but you’re small and still and you spilled carpet glue on yourself and you can’t seem to make heads or tails of this new brave world.

From trusting people when they say they love you.

From waiting.

From unrequited love.

From writing letters to yourself on Wednesdays and more from the wiser people who whisper to you that it’s okay not to know the answer.

Where does wisdom come from, sweetheart? From a heart overwhelmed with love for the One who makes all things new. From asking Him hard questions. From waiting for Him – more than watchmen for the morning. 

Love,

Hilary