The Beautiful Tension in the Highs & Lows

The Beautiful Tension in the Highs & Lows

Last week I got to go to a really cool party. Like, really cool. It was at a trendy venue downtown complete with the largest disco ball I have ever laid eyes on and music so loud the only way to have a decent conversation was to shout.

And it wasn’t just your “average” party, it was D Magazine’s party of the year where they celebrate the best of Dallas with good food, drinks, and entertainment. I got to go for free because I am a D Magazine Partners intern and, if you know me, the only parties I really go to are the birthday kind so…it was an exciting experience for me!

I definitely felt like I was in a movie the entire time and I definitely dusted off my Instagram to capture and broadcast the whole evening. I mean, why wouldn’t I?

I posted aesthetically pleasing boomerangs with the food and glamorous shots of the big party to my Instagram story. It was great and I felt the rush of being able to show off that I was actually doing something “cool” with my life.

But, as I drove home and continued on with my week, I felt a heaviness in my heart to show the whole picture. If you have had a conversation with me at all this summer you probably know this internship has not just been tall skyscraper office buildings and shiny disco balls.

It’s actually been one of the hardest challenges of my life.*

On one hand, my internship got me into one of the coolest parties in Dallas. But on the other hand, it’s the reason my summer has been full of Dallas traffic jams, expense reports, harsh criticism, parking issues, flat tires, and so many other realities of growing up.

There is more to the story God has been writing than one night of “fun” and I can’t help but feel like I’m not showing the bigger picture. And that is not my heart, ever. I never want to hide the hard, gritty work God is doing because life is not just made up of highlights (although social media says otherwise…) it’s also made up of hardships.

Talking about both sides of the experience, the highs and lows feels like something I need to share. I think it’s because I find myself believing I am the only one struggling (thanks to the overwhelming highlight real that is social media).

Of course, I am not trying to make anyone feel guilty for celebrating their highs on social media, that is honestly a big part of its purpose. It’s just the fact that I have really only shown the fun parts of my internship when in reality it has been so much more.

It’s been a beautiful city view from the 22nd floor of the D Magazine building but it’s also been busting my tire on the way home after working all day.

It’s been writing stories for a D Magazine publication but also dealing with the insecurities that come with learning how to communicate with a new manager in a new work environment.

It’s been going to a cool party but also crying in the bathroom the first day back from my beach trip because post-vacation blues are very real.

It’s been good but it’s also been hard. 

At first, that really bummed me out. I had this expectation that I would love every moment of my internship and it would be everything I imagined. But what God has been teaching me is the broken beauty of life is truly experienced in the tension between celebrating highs and feeling lows.

God created both and it’s okay to not be okay. In fact, He never called you and me to just be “okay.” He calls us to lean into the hard moments of weakness so that He can draw us closer to rest in His strength.

This is one of those hard-to-swallow, necessary revelations He has been pouring over my heart all summer long. There have even been times I have genuinely asked God why this was His plan for this summer because there were moments it felt too difficult to handle.

The struggle is real, seriously. He sees how deep the lows of our lives go in our hearts. And He cares deeply.

He doesn’t want you to get up and act like everything is fine, He just wants you to see you are not alone and He is with you in the hard place. He wants to give you what your heart needs to see that place as a good part of His story for you.

Yes, it’s been a tough summer but, because of that, it’s been so good. And there have been really wonderful moments too. I have made so many new friends through this experience, have had multiple stories published and have gotten to interview some extremely interesting innovators in Dallas.

That’s the thing, this summer has been full of both the highs and the lows. They go hand-in-hand and their importance goes beyond a couple Instagram stories of a fun night. The lows are just as important as the highs and I am learning that when God is in it, which I believe He always is, there is always a greater purpose in the trial.

So, if you are in a low season just remember that God is the perfect storyteller. Every high and low is interwoven into the narrative of your life on purpose and for a purpose.  And He is writing the best story of all time.

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” -Romans 8:28

“Highs and lows
Lord, You’re with me either way it goes
Should I rise or should I fall?
Even so
Lord, Your mercy is an even flow
You’re too good to let me go.” -Highs & Lows // Hillsong Young & Free
*I just want to say that I know so many people have experienced hardships much harder than my internship struggles. I don’t want to come across as unaware to the levels of hardships that exist, this has just been a particularly challenging summer for me personally and I felt like I needed to share it.
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Here Comes The Sun

Here Comes The Sun

Bright. 

Gloomy. 

Joyful. 

Numb. 

Refreshing. 

Beautiful.

Our lives and memories are overflowing with these tangible feelings. They make us who we have been, who we are and who we will be.

I am generally a very outgoing and joyful person. I believe in optimism and in loving and encouraging those around me. But- every now and then- I am overcome by a storm which clouds my heart and head, making it difficult to see the sun that shines so brightly in my life. I am not given a warning or time to prepare- the dark clouds just come.

And it may not be a fun and cheerful topic, but it is reality: we all experience these stormy seasons at some point during our lives. I want to remind anyone out there who may be weathering through a storm that every person has had a few gloomy clouds. Because we are exactly that: people. 

We are human. 

Life is messy. 

The weather changes, but the sun does not. 

See, that’s the thing about gray skies: they only stay around for a little while. And even though we can’t always see the sun, it never truly leaves our atmosphere.

You are not a person without sunshine. Actually, you are the sunshine. 

We carry the bright warmth of the sun with us wherever we go- with or without the dark clouds. 

It’s in your genuine smile as you walk down the street and wave to a perfect stranger. 

It’s in your uncontrollably contagious laughter. 

It’s in the light-hearted conversations you have with your friends and family. 

It’s in the moments you forget the world is watching and you get lost in the beauty of life.

I could go on and on- because your radiance is everywhereBeing the light in someone else’s day does not have to be a big gesture, but it does involve you to beBy being who you are and sharing your joy with another person, you get the opportunity to break through those few gloomy clouds hovering over them for a moment. You get to remind them what sunshine looks like because your light brings out the light in others.

So. If you are walking through a season of gloominess and gray skies, I want you to know: you are not alone & that everyday you are being used to help brighten someone else’s life (whether you realize it or not). I challenge you to embrace this season. I challenge you to find a way to get some sunshine to break through your clouds. I challenge you to realize that experiencing light again is possible.

Gloomy days come and go but the sun is always there. Waiting. Hoping. Being bright and bold for you when you need it most.

Do not lose hope. Here comes the sun.