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One morning, I woke up with this awareness: For some time, I had legitimately swayed myself to believe that everything about it was right and that was where I was destined to be. Perhaps for a little while, it rang true and I was to be deliberately present there. But I had long overstayed my visit because my heart was too afraid of the unknowns that would come next.


I probably wanted out more than I was willing to admit.


Because in retrospect, I always felt somewhat limited. Like, I had put myself on the back burner and there was something in me I was holding back. But once I had actually made the decision to be invested and delved into it, there was nothing else I wanted to change. I stuck around because I was comfortable and I felt safe. So I just let it happen, which is probably why it played out the way that it did. I must have known subconsciously though, from the very beginning, that this whole thing was flammable. But I ignored it because there were no real red flags. The honest truth was that, at any given moment with any wrong moves, it would all potentially catch on fire and everything would go up in flames—Bright orange raging flares that would require all the hard emotions, self-awareness, and rediscovery in order to contain it, served with a side bucket of tears to put the blazes out.


I would later find that I was right about it all because my throwback journal entries confirm these early predictions. Apparently, the people in my life had psychic powers too because someone said to me over lattes as we chit-chatted on a red little couch several weeks back, “Juliann, I knew years ago that if you guys made any wrong moves, that he was going to hurt you so hard, and he wouldn’t even begin to understand why. I don’t think he’ll ever understand why.” Yes, I knew the situation was fragile and yes, I knew I was playing with fire. Ultimately, it was a choice and I jumped at it despite the risks that were involved. I took the leap, and then I burned. Yet at the same time, there was absolutely no mistake about it at all, and for countless reasons. (Perhaps, I’ll save that explanation for another day of word vomit)


Sometimes though, it’s necessary for you to walk yourself into the furnace so that God can refine you with fire just to produce gold—Sparkling, pure, precious GOLD.


It might not be the best way and it might not be the right way, but recently I am learning that at the end of the day with details set aside, God is just trying to mold you into a better human being. He wants you to see your maximum potential. He wants you to live in a way that is full. And, He wants you to live out the person He has crafted you to be.


He is just trying to get you to see yourself the way that He sees you—YOU’RE ADEQUATE.


You really don’t need anyone or any relationship to validate your adequacy. You’re adequate in every way possible. While singing Katy Perry anthems off key at the top of your lungs. While perfecting pirouettes and split jumps with your ballet shoes on. While sitting in bed binge watching episodes of Nashville because you’ve already finished every season of Glee and Parenthood. While ugly crying. While belching and farting. While driving hours upon hours with the wind blowing through the sunroof into your hair. You are adequate, capable, and so much more than you probably give yourself credit for. Don’t let the world un-convince you otherwise.


Trust in the words already written and etched in you, and then proceed to be courageous enough to break your own heart.


For the longest time, I was thoroughly persuaded that I had my heart broken by someone else. I can’t deny that it’s still a possible contender. But the more I ruminate, the more I realize I also had to be willing to break myself. While the rest of the world was shouting at me to be strong and resilient, I silently prayed for God to break my heart. And so He did. He pushed me in uncomfortable directions I never would have gone by my lonesome self. I had to muster up the courage as much as I internally kicked and screamed and didn’t want to, as much as I didn’t think I had it in me. But then I reached a point where I had to be brave enough to break my own heart. Because the thing is, I didn’t want another year or two to pass and never know the weight of my own worth. I wanted to step more into the person I was created to be, and press more into developing the person I’ve always wanted to be. I needed to. I needed to do this for myself. I needed to move away and disconnect my entire being and existence in order to see that, I too, was also a light. And if the other side of the relationship didn’t allow me to shine the way that I was meant to, then it was time to move forward.


I’m not just giving myself a pep talk. This is for you, too. You are the only person holding you back from being the light that you were intended to be.


I don’t claim to be a relationship expert of any kind, and I can’t deem who or what should be around in your company. But realize that there is someone who believes in you. They see who you are, and they need your living and breathing self to be present in their life. On the contrary, there is also someone who doesn’t see who and what you are. They won’t ever, and the sad reality is that they’ll never understand you entirely. It’s not in my place to tell you what to do or who to cut out and burn bridges with, but I can’t help but wonder why you would let anyone douse that brightness in you.


Lights are meant to shine; they belong in places where they are visible.


Read carefully. The truth about lights is this: Lights don’t remain quiet and hide behind mountains and hills; they belong on top of them. Lights are not to be dulled. They’re purposed to creep into the darkest and tiniest of places, where people can see them and know there is that little bit of a shimmer of hope. Lights don’t belong under tables; they belong on top of them. Lights are meant to shine. They belong in places where they are visible.


Let me repeat that: LIGHTS ARE MEANT TO SHINE. They belong in places where they are visible.



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