Sticks and Stones

Hi, blogging is a weird thing, I don’t know if this is a one-time deal or if it may turn into something else, but here are some thoughts, because the Lord has given us passions, and He’s given us words to express them and speak truths into one another. In this little corner of the Internet I’ve got some things to say that have really been hitting my heart and mind and they need to get out. Hopefully my words can resonate – so here goes me being vulnerable and sharing words from my head.

I’ve been thinking a lot about words. Just words themselves. A few weeks ago I was doing my homework during the night shift of work when one of the professors came to talk to me, and told me about how important speaking truth is to him. He told me we must speak about good things and aim to live out these realities. Sounds kinda silly when life is busy and midterms happen and people crap out on you. ‘Speaking positively out loud isn’t going to change anything about the way things are’ is an easy inclination. But wow is that a dangerous thought.

We must speak truth into others lives. Take the extra two minutes to tell your roommates that they’re going to be ok today, and really mean it. Look yourself in the mirror and in the least cheesy way possible tell yourself that you’re a freaking babe and you can do today. Don’t say it as to lie to yourself, but to speak the words into reality. You are truly going to make it! I challenge you to stop answering “how are you” with “busy”. Speak over your day that you kick freaking butt and promise yourself that you will find joy in the day. The more I say that my day is busy the busier it feels and the grumpier I am. Negative words perpetuate negative realities. You live into what you tell yourself, so tell yourself positive truths.

The Lord trusts us with words and they have so much power to encourage and discourage and I plead with you to think. What you have to say is significant simply because you’re thinking it. Your thoughts are valid. Whisper them. Scream them. Weep them. Write them down if you need to. What you have to say today is beautiful and important!

So I call you also to be there for someone. Create that space for them to speak important words. Be the arms they cry into, hold their hand as they squeeze tightly and talk about how they hate today. Be there in those moments to say nothing, or to encourage, and say you believe in who they are. Stop being too busy to be there for people that need you. There has been too many times the past six months that I haven’t asked hard and important questions that people are dying to be asked and I’ve justified it with being too busy. Use your words to speak truth into the lives of others. Or don’t say anything at all because your ability to hold back words can be powerful in a whole different way.

You’re not too busy to feel. Stop making yourself numb, and stop overworking yourself to the point of mental breakdowns—you’re not doing yourself any favors. Make time to cry with someone when things are joyful or to cry with them when things are sad. Say how you feel, and let someone else say how they feel. Sing if that’s what the situation calls for!

My only charge to you is to be mindful. ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me’ is a nursery rhyme that we need to stop telling our kids now. Words are incredibly powerful, and because of that they can hurt. Words are a device we use to tell other humans how we see them and feel about them, and that is huge. Words can be both beautifully inclusive and painfully ostracizing, so choose wisely. The same letters that compose a beautiful love poem also compose all those sad Bon Iver songs. By denying the negative power of words, we’re denying the power of words to heal and be positive reinforces as well.

Life is beautiful, and you are lovely simply for the fact that you are made lovely. Encourage someone today. Tell someone they are rockin their shoes. Slip a letter into the mailbox of a cutie. Stare at your face in a mirror and tell yourself that you are handcrafted by the same God who made stars and waterfalls. And then go hold the hand of someone who needs you to just show up for them to tell them they are made lovely as well.

Use your words or don’t use your words—but for the love be careful to speak things that are loving and beautiful because your words are powerful and important!