doorframe

so this is going to be one of my longest posts in a while. I have been focusing a lot more heavily on posting my photography than posting my thoughts. Most of that is just because it is a lot easier to get photography posts scheduled when I have limited time. It takes a lot longer for me to write detailed, deep posts- and I just don’t usually have the time.

but I do have a little time today. so here we are!

so you are probably wondering “who names a post ‘doorframe’? what kind of significance does that have?”. Well, a couple of months ago, I came to a certain realization.

I had hit a wall, mentally, physically, and emotionally. I was tired, I was trying to find a car to buy, I missed my sister- who was coming home in four days- and I was anxious about school. My mom and I had been talking for a long time about my next steps- with school, with work, with a car, and with life in general. But I had hit a breaking point. I felt as if I was standing still while the rest of the world was moving on around me. I knew exactly what I was supposed to do, and when I was supposed to do it, but I had no idea how to do it.

i literally bought a cactus to take my mind off of how stressed i was

After another talk with my mom, I went up to my room, and just sat on the bottom bunk of my bunkbed- and yes, as an 18 year old, I sleep in the top of a bunkbed, with no one on the bottom. I started scrolling mindlessly through Instagram because- even though I should be reading my Bible- when I feel lost, that is where I turn. I had work to do, and cars to look at, and textbooks to buy, but I was doing what is possibly the least productive “activity” on the planet.

When I realized what I was doing, I sat there for a moment. Why had I immediately turned to Instagram to distract me? Instagram was really exactly what was “stopping” me from doing what I wanted. I wanted to be productive. I wanted to be going places. I wanted to be bold. I wanted to be reading my Bible. I wanted to be with my friends. I wanted to be writing. I wanted to be reading. I wanted to do so so so many things- and yet, I was scrolling through Instagram?

Now, contrary to how this seems to be starting, no, this did not start me on an immediate social media fast. While I do think that those can be really really amazing, that wasn’t what was on my mind. I did decide that when school started, I was going to be on my phone less (something that I hope I’ve accomplished, at least a little bit).

But even though I didn’t immediately decide to do a social media fast, I did put my phone down. I began writing in my journal. Journal writing has always been my “safe place” because it feels like a way to tell God what is going on and how I am feeling, while also thinking through my feelings. I am able to process things a lot better if I can either say them out loud or write them down- I’m able to think things through more because I’m having to express myself. And plus, you know, words are just kinda my thing.

As I was journaling, I just kept thinking, “I don’t want to keep standing here and letting life pass me by. I don’t want to keep going places and just watching from the outside. I want to do things. I want to be adventurous- and maybe a little reckless- and have fun. I want to do what God put me here to do, instead of living in fear forever.” For so long, I was letting life happen to me. If an opportunity came my way, I thought about it, and if it seemed like a good idea, I did it. I didn’t seek out opportunities. I didn’t try to do things or try to see people. And to a degree, that was okay. But I felt alone. I had spent the entire summer working really hard and doing school. I barely got to see my friends. And that was mostly because even when I wasn’t working, I didn’t try to see them. I didn’t try to plan things. I didn’t try to get together with people. I let life happen to me- and I felt so completely alone because of it. Even super duper introverted me couldn’t handle it anymore.

I needed a “clean slate” so to speak, because I needed to change my thinking. I needed to start trusting God to shut the doors sometimes, rather than always “waiting” for Him to open them. I needed to rest in that God had my life under control, and if I stopped being so afraid of something happening, God could actually use me for something great.

I knew that God had been pushing me towards this for a long time. He had been shoving me out the doorway as I desperately clawed at the doorframe and tried to pull myself back in. He had opened the door to trusting Him and having peace in Him, but I was afraid. I was bracing myself in the doorway, unable to let myself go through.

I let go of the doorframe, as I was writing it in my journal. I gave it to God. I let it go. And I felt so at peace. That day did not get much better- hard things still happened. But I kept trusting God. I kept walking through the doorway and letting God close it behind me.

I had been having a lot of funny little God moments around then- those moments where you just look up at the sky and go “you really do know what you are doing, don’t you?”. I posted the first one on my Instagram at the time- I had been listening to a song from the Sight and Sound show David, where he quotes Psalm 23:4- “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me”. And as I was listening to it, I was going to post the verse of the day on my Instagram, as I had started doing around that time. As I opened the Bible app, and those lyrics of the song began to play, I scrolled down to the verse of the day. Psalm 23:4. A small thing, to be sure. A “coincidence” most would call it. But God doesn’t do coincidences. I had been having a difficult day that day, and just seeing that. Just reading those words, almost in synchrony with the lyrics, I felt better. I felt at peace, even if just for a little bit.

The second God moment happened when I was journaling about the doorframe. I once again went to post the verse of the day on Instagram, and found that it was John 16:33, “I have said these things to you that in me, you may have peace. In this world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” As I was journaling about what a hard time I was having, and needing to find peace in Jesus, God gave me that verse. Just as that tiny little reminder.

I’m still letting go of the doorframe everyday. I’m still having to work to trust God everyday. But everyday, it gets a little easier. I have seen the wondrous ways that my God works in my life. And I have hope that He will do it again.

I began wearing these two bracelets several months ago as a reminder- though I don’t think I need much reminding that I am a sister ;). I am a naturally pessimistic person. I don’t look at the positive side of things usually- unless someone else is looking at the negative and I feel like I need to balance it out. I needed to be reminded daily that I have hope in Jesus, and what He is going to do in my life. That bracelet is still reminding me just how important it is to hope and trust in God.

And me being me, obviously, once I had the realization of the metaphor in the doorframe, I instantly wrote it on my arm as a temporary reminder. I also had “let go”, “tribulation”, and “take heart” written on my wrist and ankles, just as further reminders.

I’m going through my doorframe- and I encourage you to go through yours.

I won’t lie and say that it is easy. I have a really hard time with change, and in that summer, I had a lot of change happen. My youth pastor and his wife- who are two of the most important and influential people in my life- left my church abruptly and moved to a different state. My sister was working at a camp on Kelley’s Island all summer. One of my close friends moved away. I graduated. I started college. I started a couple new jobs. People in my class that I had known for the past four years moved away to go to college. A lot of things just changed. And I do not do well with change at all. I mean, no one really does well with change. But it is probably one of the things that I struggle with the most in life. So letting go of that doorframe is one of the hardest things for me to do.

And even just a few days after I had this entire realization- not even a week later- I was struggling again. I was crying in my mom’s room because I was having such a hard time with accepting that I was just going to have to let go and let the change happen.

So I am not saying that it is going to be easy. I’m not saying that it is all going to be sunshine and rainbows. But if we trust in the God who is over all, we can handle it. We can get through it. And we can let go of the doorframe and step out in faith.

If there is any way that I can be praying for you specifically, please feel free to comment on my Instagram post announcing this post, or DM me privately! I love to hear from you guys, and interact with people!

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