Love Goes Deep

A lot of Christians out there say they have given up on the concept of the church. But what does that mean? They haven’t given up on the building and chairs. They are saying they have given up on people. People are flawed, and they will disappoint you. No matter what your personality type is, you have been created to be in community. You can’t be a follower of Jesus and not believe in the church that He gave His life for. He didn’t give up on us, therefore, we shouldn’t give up on each other.

Some people withdraw from others because they feel they have been rejected by the world, and they want to reject it back, to avoid the pain. But we are called to come together (as imperfect as we all may be) and to love. A man who has multiple women, one after the other, calls himself a good lover. But he is wrong. I have been married for 30 years to the same woman. I am a good lover. You see, love stays. Love goes deep.

Paraphrase from Erwin McManus, Message: Staying Power

Show up. Stay. Go deep.

Advertisements

On Hold

By: Gabriela Yareliz

I just walked by a hot, steamy pile of trash this morning. If there is a perfect way to start a New York Monday, that’s it. On the bright side, I barely missed a pigeon dropping, right in front of me, and the train pulled right into the station, when I walked down the stairs.

New York. I have had a lot on my mind, lately. Just like this city, my mind doesn’t sleep. But this time, I have been thinking a lot about how many times we live life “on hold.”

You know, on hold, like when you are on the phone and that little music starts playing.

We think, “I won’t do X or use X until ____________” (fill in blank here; common answers include: until I move, until I get that job, until I get married, until X comes, until I have more money, until I graduate, etc.)

What is worse is some of these catalysts for action are completely out of our control and in the hands of others. You can’t control whether you will get that job, whether so-and-so will move in or out, whether he will ask you to marry him or whether she will say yes. I mean, all of that is in the hands of others.

Living your life on hold is a terrible thing, take it from someone who has fallen into that in the last couple of months. I get that some of it is circunstancial, or may come eventually (that famous phrase of “only time will tell”). But here is the thing, life doesn’t come with hold music. It’s a silent road. Putting life on hold doesn’t exist, which means we are left with nothing.

I don’t think we should live life on hold. If we do, we face perhaps never living life, at all. Those of us who are amenable and always trying to be orderly and not asking for too much sometimes fall in this rut of loss of control. And while there are many things in life we do not and should not control, there are still small elements of our lives within that, that we can control.

“I don’t think we should live life on hold. If we do, we face perhaps never living life, at all.”

So, use that blender, decorate that apartment, go on that trip, apply to other jobs, and don’t forget to walk around your block and enjoy the present day within the seasons of waiting.

Your sentence needs to be whole and complete; no blanks. There may be clauses coming, but we all know that clauses are set off by commas, as they enhance the sentence.

Make sure that what you are waiting for is an enhancement and not half of the actual sentence, without which the sentence won’t make sense one bit.

Life was not meant to be lived on hold. That’s why, in these periods of waiting, there is no music.

Yesterday, I decided to buy that produce and make that meal. At first, there was a list of reasons why I didn’t want to make the meal, but I realized none of them were good enough. None of them had music. The essentials of the sentence were there, and that was all that mattered. It was delicious.

Rompiendo Silencio [Breaking Silence]

En el cansancio me encuentro.

Cada transición acompañada de silencio.

La carretera está abierta y es larga. Se que emprenderé camino, mirando el sol y las estrellas que van marcando la ruta.

Este camino no es para los cobardes ni los que temen exponerse. Se trata de quitarse los zapatos, la camisa y todas las expectativas.

Nada garantizado y nada establecido. Esto no es para los lentos. Esto es para los que corren. Esto no es para los que viven en la sombra de sus heridas, pero para los que aguantan más que los demás.

Esto es para los que se paran después de la caída. Esto es para los que se quitan la armadura y corren camino aunque sea sangrando. Pues donde hay heridas, hay sanidad. Donde hay valor, hay oportunidad.

Los pies los tengo sobre tierra. La mirada al cielo. Las manos abiertas y sin nada más. Voy sin cubrirme y con el corazón lleno de esperanza. Siempre lleno de la mejor esperanza. La esperanza que da vida. La esperanza que me sirve de ropa.

En el cansancio me encuentro. Pero aún así, voy corriendo. Nada me puede detener. Llegare como aguacero de verano. Rompiendo silencio.

-Gabriela Yareliz

***

In exhaustion I find myself.

Each transition accompanied by silence.

The road is open and long. I know I will start the path, looking at the sun and stars that go marking my route.

This road is not for cowards or those who fear exposing themselves. It’s about taking off the shoes, the shirt and all expectations.

Nothing guaranteed and nothing set. This is not for the slow. This is for those who run. This is not for those who live in the shadow of their wounds, but for those who endure more than others.

This is for the ones who stand up after the fall. This is for the ones who take off their armor, and they run the path, even if they are bleeding. Because where there are wounds, there is healing. Where there is courage, there is opportunity.

I have my feet on the ground. My gaze to the sky. My hands open and nothing else. I go without covering myself and with my heart full of hope. Always filled with the best hope. The hope that gives life. The hope that I can use as clothing.

In exhaustion I find myself. But even so, I go running. Nothing can stop me. I will arrive like a summer downpour. Breaking the silence.

Acknowledging The Blanks

By: Gabriela Yareliz

It was a dark week on the news. I am not here to talk about suicide or anxiety and depression. (While these are important discussions). I am not here to talk about the talented people we lost this week. I am not here to talk about any of that. I am here to acknowledge.

When sad or bad things happen, in general, we seek answers, and as logical beings, we try to reason, categorize and judge (not necessarily in the negative sense of the word). As I was listening to Erwin McManus, I was reminded of this thought. I wanted to share, and I want us to remember this:

Religion pretends to have all the answers. Religion is not the same thing as faith. Religion is afraid of the blanks. Faith is not. If we are going to be sincere, faith doesn’t have the answers that fill in all the blanks. There are blanks in our lives that won’t be filled.

“Faith is not connected to what God does. Your faith has to be connected to who God is.” (Erwin McManus)

It’s not about having answers or solutions to everything. It’s about knowing the One who does– a Being that is beyond our comprehension. A God who is ever strong and loves you more than anything. Faith rests in knowing who God is.

May you reach out to Him in the blanks of life, and trust Him. Know that while you may not have all the answers, He is the answer to our pain; the hope in our circumstances (no matter how dark); the redemption.

Weighing for Change

By: Gabriela Yareliz

I am sitting in the basement of TJ Maxx on a chair that is for sale. I am not kidding. I am sitting here with no makeup on, with my New Yorker grocery cart beside me. I am writing this blog on a chair that isn’t mine.

All morning, I have been trying to sort my feelings out about big possible transitions coming my way. Here I am trying to worry about everything but maybe the most important thing.

Is it possible that sometimes people give us space to figure out our stuff when they seem to see us more clearly than we see ourselves? They see our potential, our ambition, our hopes.

Maybe, in my own hopes to stop the indecision and deafening silence that has plagued for so long, I have been trying to find my answers from external sources. But that may not be possible.

If what I seek is growth, challenge and no boredom, then the weights are stacked up, and I must weigh carefully. Isn’t that what I have been working toward my whole life? Nothing about this journey has been comfortable or easy. So what is it exactly that scares me?

When we are seeking to go to the next chapter in life, there is nothing external that can help us decide. Contrary to what we try. But instead, we have to pray and pay attention to the sentiments that linger. There was a prospect for change that was placed in front of me recently, and I felt disappointed. I literally felt just that. I couldn’t understand why until this morning. And I haven’t been able to shake the feeling, even if I can reason it away with logic. So, perhaps, that feeling is not meant to be ignored or reasoned away, but it’s exactly what I should be holding on to.

If change will happen, it has to be for something better. There is too much at stake. Maybe, we are too accustomed in life to making decisions and just making them work. Surviving. But now, I believe we reach a certain point where our choices shouldn’t just be things we survive and make work, but something we really want. Something that will elevate, because if it won’t, then maybe the trade off isn’t as worth it as it seems.

Life comes and asks you the question: What do you prioritize? Who are you? Who do you want to be? And there are things we erroneously see as mutually exclusive– but they aren’t. Instead of letting false sense of hopelessness drain us, we should use the energy to make work what it is we want. There are ways. There are ways.

This is just a shoutout to the girl inside who loves a good challenge, and wants to go to bed knowing she tried her best to disturb the worlds status quo as it stands. I always wanted to run into the darkness with a torch, and I have realized I can do nothing less.