1/15/18

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Day 50

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Father, 

You have searched me

& found I love giving from 

a heart becoming full (never

let me get my fill-let me always 

hunger) of You. Pride and bitterness want 

me to exclaim,

I’m fine. I don’t need you. 

That is why I laughed when 

she wrapped her arms around me

in a long hug before she left. 

I could feel the I’m sorry. The

gentle strength pleading, forgive me.

 You can rest and cry. 

It broke some of my defense, some of my 

numbness away. But I didn’t break fully. I 

didn’t cry. I laughed the nervousness

away. I couldn’t let her into the 

brokenness – the pain of loving her. How 

I never gave (or want to give up) on her. 

How I long to live in unity – with/for, 

never at, against her. How I keep giving 

and giving little pieces of encouragement, 

my heart, memories & in that moment, 

Lord, nothing else matters. 

In the moments after, still I linger. 

And then I wonder as I do now:

Why do I want nothing back?

Why does my heart feel so content, 

compelled to keep loving even if the 

response is small or nothing at all? Why

does it leave me aching at a 

response or nothing, like it was 

a dismissal of my heart? Why do I want to 

see if you can restore trust? I know what 

You say, a friend loves at all times. 

You work all things for good. 

Show me, Lord. Bring my heart 

awake to the pain that is still hiding & 

give it a burial place. Show me Your 

redeeming grace. 

Love,

Your tender haired girl

Ps. I don’t want revenge – but more presence & laughter. A safe place to cry. 

Previous letter.

12/4/17

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Day 26

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God,

How do I thank You for the fear inside my heart? How do I tell You I know it is my need for You? My need to be shown I’m not always in the wrong. I feel in the wrong, condemnation if I say goodbye because that means I didn’t stay faithful. I didn’t stay a friend when it isn’t about if I see, hear, or know that I am valued but that I love You. And that love, Your love for me, the love You give first should flow out like a river to refresh them again. And again.

But how can I do that when I struggle to receive the grace You offer me? Your favor, if You will. It is like the unopened package I left on my bed most of the day yesterday, when another friend asked me if I was okay. I said no. There was a pause, an I’m sorry, and a question about if I had received a package. Yes, I hadn’t opened it but I would.

Why haven’t you opened it?

Because I don’t know how to receive.

I don’t think I deserve it.

The next thing shook me with fear.

Then send it back.

It sounded like anger in my head reading it, but I know it was hurt

Hurt because I rejected her, her heart, instead of opening the package, immediately with joy and flooding her with gratitude.

I sat there immobilized for a while. I welled up telling You, I really do believe I have to earn love.

And I opened the package, telling You things can’t make me feel better. But it isn’t about that. It’s about receiving Your love for me. You. Making myself at home in Your love.

Letting myself delight in Your arms. Your smile on me. Your laughter. Your eyes which hold deep love and forgiveness so deep I don’t know how to grasp.

I don’t want to deny You, Your love, Your heart for me. This friend who sent the package really opened me to even if I hurt You, You’re still like, look at the kitty! Now the kittie(s)! And this hat!

It’s like I’m waiting for You to leave me, but You keep on showing Your heart to me. Mercy. Grace. Forgiveness. I know I keep asking, but keep showing me Your favor. Your kindness more than normal. Thank You for teaching me how to receive the good things even if it is like pulling teeth. For me. But You still stand here, I love you. Receive it, will you please?

Thank you for Teri, for her gentle but firm love, refusing to give up on me. And the book where I can experience Jesus everyday for a year. I can start now. And for the corn/peanut butter banana sandwich, Katherine wanting to send a Christmas card. This is how I #beatdepression today.

I don’t know why this verse: ‘ The blessing of the Lord brings [true] riches, And He adds no sorrow to it [for it comes as a blessing from God.) Proverbs 10:22 came in my head a bit while writing this, but okay. I know I’ve written about it before. Hm.

Love,
Your tender haired girl

Ps. I am undeserving, but You are so good to me. Thank You.

previous letter of letters from a tender haired girl found here.

 

11/4/17

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Day 3

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God, 
This song is playing about your love being right on time. I want to believe it. I’ve been walking this valley for years. I’ve blamed myself for coming out of fear because I know no else. It’s easy to walk a path familiar. 

I don’t want to believe that’s who you are. The one who tries to scare me into love. That’s trippy. The one always angry or sad. Ready to condemn for doing nothing. Being still. 

But you are patient and kind. You had to have known that as soon as I read something she wrote in the group, I’d want to talk to her. It was Facebook messenger for months. And then texting. And now Voxer. 15 mins never seems enough. I didn’t really know I could talk that long. Or laugh so hard and feel she is sitting by my side. Or find myself crying and trying to hold it, but feeling safe. 

I didn’t know how being vulnerable and needing a friend would make this valley bearable. To know she is a Vox or text away even with the distance and time difference is your grace to me. To be able to pray for her and listen and share, it is your presence coming to meet us. It is a reminder you see. You hear. You care about us so intimately. 

I’ve told her quite a few times how I feel your peace when talking to her. And now about seeing her. It is the exact same thing I felt last year about meeting Trisha. Remember I was all, I have to go to Texas! I have to! This makes no sense. Ugh. I have to! That was in March of last year. And then in November, you moved. And then the invite back. And then the waiting for the conference. For 10 months. Fun times. 

But there was a growing with our friendship before that. A lot of grief. Death of my grandma. Moving. Coming back. Me trying to prove myself as a writer. Me trying to hold myself together. And her sharing the joys and struggles of homeschooling. And lots of other things. But if not for her, I would never know launching books and I wouldn’t know Kallayah. How intentional are you? 

I wasn’t expecting friendships to born this way. Through my writing. Through my lamenting to you. Because come on, there’s been a lot of; JESUS WHERE ARE YOU? Seriously are you there? This is terrifying. And it hurts. Oh how it hurts. The desperation alone must ache your heart. 

But I’ll wait as long as you’d like to see Kallayah. I mean it would be extra delightful this year. Seriously we could (can) eat chocolate and laugh a ton and probably cry some, but it will be so worth it. Just as it has with Trisha. The waiting and peace may drive me nuts and make no sense to my heart, but you really know how to build friendship. A better word would be weave. Because we are on basically opposite sides of the U.S. but our hearts aren’t. It’s as if you’ve bound us up. Not in a way that makes us struggle but unite. We belong to each other. You say that in your Word too. We hurt for each other and are learning how to rejoice even when we can’t see where we are going. 

But we are for each other. We are holding each other up. Broken. Lost. Confused. But loved by you. Our father. 

I can’t thank you enough for the gift of vulnerability. It scares me more than you know. Actually you do. But every time Kallayah tells me thank you for opening up, I smile a little. I smile because healing enters in. A piece of the wall is falling down. I’m feeling more at home. More myself. Not just the girl lost in sorrow. 

There’s more I want to tell you, but I hope you know I love you and you are wonderful (yes, Sara Groves song. So catchy.)

Now, I’m going to listen all the waiting Voxes. And laugh. Maybe grab some chocolate. Maybe. I know I’m treading on crazy with how much chocolate I want to eat this week. You love me still. 

Love, 

Tender-haired 
Ps. Thank you for reminding how deep your love is for me right now. Please don’t stop singing or showing me. 

Day 1 of Letters From A Tender Haired Girl. 

Day 2 here

don’t know what to do.

Now here I sit

under covers &

a lamp light illuminating 

part of the room, with two

lights on the ceiling. God,

I need no help seeing guilt

turned shame in my heart.

How I’ve ran so far from you.

Into the fear and brokenness,

but yet I find I still tremble 

when you wish to look upon

my sorry. I’m sorry will no longer do–

don’t wish to learn 

at a school or get a job when I d

fmf: now

Last five minute friday of the year today. So weird because I could keep going but I think it’s good to take a break and go into the new year refreshed. I’m so thankful for this community. 

I feel like I need some major refreshment in my life. In all areas but majorly in the way I see Jesus and how he sees me. My word for this year has been “receive” and I’m not sure I’ve done so well with that. Or maybe I’ve been looking at it wrong. I think I’ve been looking at it like: Jesus has this huge surprise and it’s going to fix everything, make me feel better. And that is silly. He is the surprise and the comforter. I’m very confused about my life and all these desires that seem light years away. Like launching someone’s book or at the very least, making graphics for them.  Or if my writing is going anywhere – if it has a purpose, direction. If God is really directing my steps and delights in EVERY DETAIL of my life. 

I know he is directing me at a more slow pace than I feel most are moving. And that he delights that I love hours at the kitchen table with him. When I get distracted by Instagram and when I get lost in yet another Sara Groves song for the millionth time. That I want to pray more though at times lately I’m not sure he’s listening and my energy is low. He delights in the friendships he is brought through this blog and launch teams, Instagram and real life that are far but worth it no matter how hard it feels sometimes. He delights in how I want to know who he is more and myself. He delights in that I want to feel the joy of Christmas, his coming to embrace me. My family. My friends. I honestly don’t even see all this til I write it.

He delights in us. May we receive this delight of God with us again this Christmas.

truth: all is well.

At this table

again, I sit. I

look out the window

and catch a glimpse 

of a leaf I mistake for

a bird pass by. My question

rises again: are you personal,

God? How far have I fallen? I can’t feel 

 you holding me still.

I crave to be in arms i know where all is 

quiet & I don’t need

the answer but to hear the tr

fmf: crave.

Between yesterday and today, there have been some water works over thinking God is not personal, surrendering what I thought I didn’t really want but actually did. And having to give up control. And sit in the wait and see God is right there. He didn’t leave and he’s not angry about my desire to be helpful and knowing I need him so much. To be wrapped in his love. I just want to soak myself in His word. Sometimes I wish surrender didn’t hurt, that there was such joy. And I seem get stuck in the pain and anger and sorrow, I can’t see how giving it up will help. Or how I can acknowledge them and give them up. Have a long way to go in maturity.

Disappointment hurts especially when you don’t get why, but I’m holding onto this: “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”  ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭41:10‬ ‭NLT‬‬.

And this.

this is not the end

Hello Lord,

maybe it is 

common to cry 

when you are going

home–it is not crying,

welling. Welling, as I listen 

to stare out the window & 

watch sun fall below my view,

as I go back into the dark unknown. 

Listening as You

tell me: I love you. You can be

sad. I’m not letting go, but you 

must know 
Fmf: common

I don’t know how to explain how I’m feeling right now, except I hurt. This is a poem about leaving Texas this week. From walking into Trisha’s house to hummus her niece Claudia made (so good). Being asked by Joshua to play Rummy and instead playing Go Fish, because I have no clue how to play rummy.  To Sam, who took every opportunity to stand or try to stand on my cane because you know, it’s fascinating. And having no power to say no because his eyes and smile are 😍 and that curly hair. And how he held my walker for me when getting out the car. I seemed to leave my phone behind constantly, stayed up late rambling on (because my nerves turned into excitement and pumpkin spice latte was all: Julia, you ready to stay up?!) about life and Jesus.

This trip reminded me a lot about how love is patient & kind. How it will stay up late for/with you, how it will remind you it is okay to ask for help, nothing to be nervous about. How it remembers. How it listens. How it asks for your thoughts. How it laughs. How it yearns to comfort. Help. And you know, give you chocolate chip cookies and  pieces of left over Halloween candy. And popcorn. And kale salad (sooo gooood.)  

And how time slows down when you’re fully present & not panicked this is it, time is running out. It felt like an abundance was given when I stared at the sky or walked or laughed or listened.

It all felt so precious. So different than what I’m used to, which is sobbing because it’s over, this time because I said, I’m getting sad, God seemed to guard my heart and give subtle hints this wasn’t it. Still doesn’t take away that I miss Joshua and Sam playing tag in the morning. Or listening to Claudia break out in song. I never expected to fall in love with someone’s kids. Or for the most part feel more myself than the scared little girl who’s afraid to ask. It felt okay to laugh. It felt like I’ve been there before. Like I’ve been friends with Trisha way longer. And her husband, Michael’s bursts of laughter always took me aback.

I feel like it was a welcome and a linger. A homey feeling that still is lasting coming back into my unknown. But I do know Jesus’ love for me is keeping a firm gentle hold.


I didn’t expect to write all this, but Jesus knew since all my thoughts are 😭😶😞🙈😮🎉🎉 helps me process. There’s more but need to let them simmer. I love Jesus so much for who he’s put in my life.

(d) as You bring the rain 

LORD, your voice 
comes through the

thunder & I tremble–

I look up & see the clouds

have hidden the blue. Is this 

the same as You have hidden

my sorrow? In the blood you shed on the 

cross–I don’t know 

how much longer I can wait, but 

I’m keeping still & knowing You are God. 

The One who calls me by name and 

knows the numbers on my head. Stay 

with me, Lord. Hold my han

fmf: hidden.

I’ve thought this week that God has hidden his face from me; despair has had kind of, okay no, a tight grip on me. But through the times I’ve started crying, became mad at myself because my heart is so twisty, and I want to be better, been afraid of temptation that I’ve given into and one I was able to see how God provided a way out by praying instead of diving into it like I generally would; God has been holding me tighter.

Like with this song repeating in my head each morning it seems.

In the morning, You are faithful!

In the evening, You are faithful!

In the noonday, You are faithful to me!

These lyrics play like a record in my head. I’m so thankful He won’t let me go, hasn’t, and just like the song says, is faithful to the end. 🙂

we halve the burdens 

I come to the door 

of the unknown, un 

lock & open to a friend’s

face–open-mouthed 

smile. How are you?

pulling me into embrace.

Tired, I tell her. I feel more

pulling away. We spend hours

in color: I in blue, her in green 

& brown – roots for a tree planted 

on fabric – laughter erupts lips when she 

pushes the tube of paint turned rubber. I 

listen to the ease at which it comes, my 

heart heavy with tears coming slowly out. 

We listen to a song about chemicals –

the man sings along with melody,

his voice flutters as a bird & she mimics. I 

listen as we crack up,

heaven coming in gasps. I tell her 

she made me cry & we laugh more. I do 

not tell her how this

feels like grief, heartbreak. Not 

because I fear the loss, but I do not feel all 

here. Present. I stare at the patch of blue, 

the way the sun 

comes & goes. A sun painted on

a paper towel while I must’ve been away. 

Or head down in words. In between 

yawns. I want to give more of myself, 

hearing my words echo lies: I hope I’m 

not boring you. No, she says. We sit in 

silence before a parting soon unfolds. I 

leave her with a book, smaller than 

what you gift me with, Abba–friendship, 

our hands- paddles we row together 

regardless of soul’s temperature.

So today, I was going to sit here and read and sleep. God had other plans–like a spur of the moment visit from Megan. I was in total shock really and the minute I said yes, lies immediately starting swirling. You shouldn’t be doing this. You’re not feeling good. Blah blah blah.

I kept telling God, this is going to be turn out bad. Messy. I should be more put together. Look at my hair. I’m in my pajamas. I kept wanting to get mad, but I couldn’t. 

She rings the doorbell. I think I need to rush but we both know that isn’t going to be happening. Her smiling face is all I see and I’m so tired, I kinda want to keep staring, but I’m too busy letting her hug me. And grab paints. And take my sketchbook and pens so we can sit outside.

And for the 3 hours I fight off the lies I’m not doing enough. Not enough. You can’t be a mess like all these paints or words you’re writing. They suck. That’s not good. They’re fine. No, they are not. Why are you talking so much about God? Must love you a whole lot if your energy is sapped sitting down. She’s over there laughing while you are weak. No one understands. Guess it’s you and God, huh? You’re crazy.

I kept staring in space or at Megan with a blank stare, because I wanted to dismiss all this crap in my head. And then I’m watching her paint and laugh/mimic this song and I’m thanking God she’s making me laugh even if it hurts. I’m thankful we can sit and do art things. And be together. I’m thankful she pulls me slightly out of myself, my over analytic nature. My wanting to give so much more than I can or sometimes want.

My word this year is receive. And I think a lot of that has to be in surrender. And if today showed anything, I still struggle majorly. Maybe not as much in my heart, but my head is nuts. I get something and immediately want to give something back. I immediately dismiss the gift and then beat myself to a pulp.

Like last night I saw this verse in proverbs 18:  A gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great.

And I’ve asked God, does this mean I’m (or whoever gives a gift) is ushered into Your presence? Did I miss it today? How many times have I missed it? I can’t give back what you give, so why do I try so hard? 

Ugh.

Oh, and now this song plays.

“There ain’t no limitations to your amazing grace..” hmm.

Thank you for being my friend, Megan. And making me laugh. And taking in what I think is crazy but probably normal. Human. 

this receiving reach 

morning comes-

a bird draws near 

my window with chipper

song: wake up, child. wake!

I listen, but the sky is dark & I 

am tired, cold bones, churning 

stomach. her song holds me, a 

sign of hope, word of your unfailing love-

-God, I want to 

stay in 

fmf: morning. Sickness is interesting in the way it makes cry out to God in a way I wouldn’t if I was fully better. There has been so many days over the last few weeks where I’ve been like: I can’t do this! I need so much help! Need to journal! Bible.. I’ve never been like this and somewhat distracted with the thoughts that are evil and so not kind about me. But promises keep coming and I like chilling with Jesus and acting crazy. I know he can take it, and I’m more alert to others pain.

It’s all very interesting. And I may be somewhat loopy  so sorry if this makes little sense.

because i can’t stop staring

wake with your words
being sung inside mu mind—
where are your accusers now?

what you told the woman
after hushing crowd placing
her before you, shall we

stone her as instructed
in Moses law? they are
pleading, Jesus: this

adulterer needs to
punished, there must
be justice! you catch

her eyes, others.
only fear speaks
with such haste.

in love, you
exclaim—
let the sinless

here cast
the first stone!
all heads lower,

slipping away
unheard. you
& your beloved

stand together,
maybe tears
hitting ground.

hands held
silently, before
you annonce,

i do not condemn
you, either—go
live unashamed.

was your adoration
alighting her heart,
as is mine?

This song on his on iTunes radio station for days. (there is another he sings after, that sounds like me i can’t get the question out of mind, because i’m pretty sure Jesus has been asking me the same one. except i think i’m waiting for someone to condemn me. but my crowd is all the voices in my head. and Jesus keeps whispering, i love you, keep going. i’ll handle all the fear trying to push you to ground. you are free to love me as I keep loving you.

and i am torn between tears and laughter.