Oct 25, 2015


it is one thing to be the girl on fire, but it is entirely another thing to be the girl who manages to set the world on fire with all the quiet and beautiful things she does. 
>> hannah brencher << 
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it was learning. 
it was learning that EVERYTHING couldn’t always be explained in words. 

that some things like // 
learning to let go of glances that made hearts start and shatter all at once on the brick pavements,
four in the afternoon conversations on my best friend’s bed while exhaustion collapsed in my lungs and home settled in the bones, 
sitting on mum's bedroom floor in tears at the realization of how loved one could be, 
or philosophizing with dad as he tenderly watered the plants — these moments could never ever be explained in a million and one years. 
18 was learning to live. really live. dirt under finger nails. ink smudged elbows. it was learning that honest connections are missing in this world. to listen to souls and to purposely feel the weight of words. to be brave enough to swallow the word "goodbye," risking the change that would happen in between homecomings.
18 was learning that, though we humans could all be starkly different, we were all craving the same things: to be wanted. to have purpose. to never feel alone.
18 was the year i picked up hannah brencher's book if you find this letter {a book which by the way made me laugh out loud and cry and ache and applaud and squeal all in one reading} that basically shook my world. it's people like her who open your eyes to the fact that small things can become something bigger than you.  

18 was learning that it didn’t matter how many reblogs, or likes, or comments that reflected how my words were affecting the world, but that they were getting out there. they served as small “i love you’s” in world that was very fake and that was hurting under the weight of the facades. 
18 was staying up until 1 o’ clock in the morning, with the windows open, and a thumb nail digging into my index finger until it bled because i was overflowing with incoherent stories and prayers that i hoped one day would make a difference to someone. 
18 was realizing how to not be afraid. not be afraid of the ambiguity of love and life and laughter. 
18 was learning to be honest. 18 was deciding TO STAY. 
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19 scares me. can i say that? is that even allowed to be said in a society demanding that this is the age to be bold and loud and self-assured? I am afraid not at the thought that I might not find love but that love might not find me. I run too often than not and am more restless than I care to admit. I am afraid that I will be too much for someone, or not enough. and I so desperately want to be enough. I am afraid that my talents only go so far and that I will eventually look back and see that I did nothing noteworthy.  I don’t want the next succeeding years to carve me without my carving something out of them too. it doesn't matter if there's a trophy in the collegian hall with my name on it, or a story in the school's publication with the words, "grace shaffer" in roman type. 

I just want to leave behind something of grace. I want to stop being an apology note and be a love letter instead.  

I want to learn to be comfortable being uncomfortable — allowing the learning curves to fill me up with grace and honesty. I'm not always going to have the right words at the right times, but I don't want the fear of awkwardness to stop me from showing up for people. to be there. no matter what. I want people to see a girl who was half-way out of her mind for dodging those daunting terminals and crossing 3000 miles across the states back and forth for school, because maybe just maybe they might be inspired enough to put their comfort zones to rest and rise up to the challenge of showing up for a life that the Lord had mapped out for them with all the pretty mountain vistas and roads by the ocean. 

I want these years to be embedded in me, etch me into someone 
more confident, more willing, more open, more loving, more kind.

I want to make a difference - little ones that people don’t realize are there until they look back in their yearbooks, big ones that are too loud to be ignored, ones that suck the air out of your lungs and you can point to saying "now, that THAT could never have happened without a big powerful God routing you on."

the more i grow up, the more i realize this world is hurting. grace is everywhere.
pay attention. show up for others. be there. be present. be whole. be deeply rooted. be honest. 

19, in my mind, has always been an awkward, in-between year.
and no wonder, since this birthday falls directly on the busiest, most stressful weekend in between midterms. 
but i believe that the in-between years can sometimes bring the best yet. 
second still by the lovely miss hannah


  1. so so so beautiful love xxx
    thank you for this

  2. This whole thing just blew my mind. And can i say it; a lot like reading Hannah's book? Where you just read in awe, hungry for the next word, yet chewing slowly and thoughtfully on the current and past sentences, physically nodding your head and tearing up and laughing at the same time.
    You get it, girl
    Happy 19.