Boundless Beauty. (300 words)

I hate to be the bearer of bad news in my own expectations or the facilitator of less than my absolute best when I am actively pursuing my dreams. I want to grow tired of the lies I sell myself and follow my heart as it leads me to truth. But it takes so much more than hopes and good thoughts to inspire lasting and effectual change.

Sometimes, you have to break down completely before you will ever follow through.

I am not infallible. Every day I wake up just like you with a choice to do better or to stay statically still. I could go on and on about the times I wasted or the balls I let drop while the world around me refused to stop–but none of that will matter unless I choose to make a difference now, for me.

When you are not emotionally connected to your actions, you will continue to fail without any regard to who you are taking down with you. You will emote and feel things deeply but forget that it is not all about your problems. It is about finding a path in the middle towards achieving and maintaining peace. Peace that can not exist if we are constantly fighting.

I do not want to hear “suck it up” when the truth in love inspires us to speak words of healing over people who are truly suffering. There are a thousand ways we can say the same thing without wounding sensitive spirits with our harsh expressions.

Some days this is harder for us to do–but the most beautiful things have a way of happening in spite of you.

beauty, life, expectations, hope, love, blog


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– Jen Cosby

When Home is Not Home. (350 words)

Parents are the first homes for their children. We exist to welcome and nurture them–as the protectors of their souls. This is not a perfect job, nor one where you can take off when you are exhausted. We were chosen. Given an opportunity to pour purpose and breathe life onto their innocent, blank slates.

Slates that are always, always influenced by their surroundings.

Parents/mentors/extended family have an important responsibility to guide children away from hardship–but to stand firmly by their side when pain is inevitable. We are NOT meant to wound these innocent spirits with self-righteous ideas of who we THINK they should be. Especially, when their idea of who they are conflicts with what we were taught to believe.

If home is not SAFE, children will learn to outsource their needs. They will run–into the arms of others who may give them false information and take advantage of their hearts. They will lie and tell you what you want to hear when they think you cannot handle their truths. They will form guards against any connections to you.

I am reminded of children who “come out” to conservative parents. And parents who then attack the very thing they were meant to protect. There are parents who refuse to listen when their child is screaming for their attention. And parents who later blame themselves for the consequences.

I am reminded of myself. When I was younger I did everything I could to get away from home. I felt invalidated and broken. So much so, I delayed my potential for nearly a decade before I discovered that I was worth so much more.

Now I know that I am my home.

Sometimes, parents fail and we are left to keep our home safe. This is okay. Things like this happen to people everyday. We fall off our paths and run in a million different directions. We chase after things we do not need and leave our homes open without any security. We make mistakes then drag ourselves back in the game.

But with or without them you will find your way.

home, worry, hope, blog


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– Jen Cosby

You are Missing from Me.

As I draw further away from the negative reality of my past year–and come closer to the anniversary of our ending–I am hard pressed to examine and emote and release this anxiety that has already served its purpose for me. I suppose I just gave up when faced with the truth of my deception. I did not fight because I had nothing left to lose. Thought I was strong enough and wise enough to push past the initial defeats, but I will never forget you are missing from me.

I still try at times to make peace in my subconscious. My dreams are filled with road blocks and alternate routes that always lead back to you. Except, I spend most of my time jolted awake by the fact that I cannot change what God has told me is not now possible.

The hope is to give up the hurt you experience, and to focus your efforts on healing.

bloom, growth, healing, flowers, relationships, friendships, loss

Bloom with Intention

We all plant seeds that will one day take root and bear fruit. Whether it is good or bad fruit is determined by what we choose to leave. –Jen Cosby

Usually this would not matter to me. What mattered then is how my hurt manifested itself as a quietly ticking time bomb that without warning exploded on everyone I loved. Shrapnel broke down decades old foundations and opened up carefully concealed scars. This makes me human but also magnifies just how weak I really was. And just how weak I continue to be, when I try to forget you are missing from me.

Today, I walk through doors that I did not have to blow up in order to walk through. They open because they are mine and I did not have to convince myself that I was worthy. They open because I accepted my undeniable part in the mess I experienced and gave up praying God would bless the dysfunction.

I realize my pursuit of wellness may not mean restoration. My desire to be better may never be seen. But I promised myself that I would be honest when I am hurting. And the truth of the matter is you are missing from me.

 


P.S. As life continues to evolve I am realizing that I am posting less frequently on this site. My goal is to only provide “good” thought provoking content at all times. With my current schedule in mind, I will begin to follow a bi-monthly posting schedule.

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I look forward to connecting with you guys on these platforms!

-Jen Cosby

For The One Who Birthed Me. (excerpt)

I used to pick fights with
the parts of myself that
seemed to resemble you.

The idea of me that lived up
to your impossible expectations
and the lies I told so often,
they eventually became true.

The difficulty I have now comes
riddled with self doubt because
the one I relied upon did not
know how to meet me half way.

Captured by your adverse opinion,
when all feelings are fleeting.

I will miss you, yes–but I know now that
I am not responsible for your unhappiness.

I will not cut myself open
because you refuse to let me grow.

Open Invitation.

I get so sick of brokenness and the repercussions of mistakes that separate me from the one who first loved me. At first, it feels like I am in charge of this rebellion–like I intentionally chose to run against His grace. I realize I am not that powerful, but the results are still the same. When I am outside of God’s will it is only a matter of time before I run smack into a wall of dead ends.

But if He works all things for my good, then even detours will lead me back to where I am meant to be. I find this encouraging in the midst of missing people who are no longer a part of my life. I stand confident in the fact that there is a greater purpose in spite of my mistakes.

It is so easy to sit in your faults and to believe that you do not deserve happiness. I tend to isolate myself in a bubble away from people who want to help. The greatest tragedy is trying to ignore the voice of God, himself. But when I am quiet, when the world slows down around me–He reaches through my crowded thoughts and pulls at my heart strings.

He asked, Why won’t you talk to me?”

Immediately my eyes began to water and my vision grew blurry as I answered, “I don’t know.” I used to turn off the music during my morning commutes and just talk to God. I would pour out my thoughts and feelings and ask for His divine guidance. I would pray for my friends and family. Yesterday, He used a traffic jam to get my attention–and not just one accident, but two. He decided that enough was enough.

Enough running and hiding and casually living for Him. Enough with carrying shame and holding onto the past I cannot change. He gave me an open invitation to come. He asked me to drop all those heavy memories and regrets. He chose me. He wanted me.

And He will set me exactly where I am supposed to be.

God, faith, quotes, bible, life

The Coincidence of Obedience.

Words will always pour out of a writer’s heart as long as the right door is opened.

I went back to my home church in the month of April.  After many excuses and in spite of my infamous stubbornness, there were multiple occurrences that led me to believe that now was the right time. For one, I ran into a church member and friend at the city-wide Spelling Bee in which our children were participating. The day of the 1st test, I was stuck in what seemed like an unnatural amount of traffic and I thought to myself, “There’s a reason this is happening right now.” We finally make it to the library where the Spelling Bee is held and right after we check in a little girl runs up screaming my daughter’s name. I turn around to see four faces I have not seen in over a year.

spellingbee_friends_life.jpg

It is important to note: I do not believe in coincidence. Every moment in life we have the opportunity to make decisions, but each cross road we ultimately come to is intentional. At times, I did not like where I was headed and made the choice to correct my course. Sometimes, I would choose to keep going on a path I hated, towards a sad and lonely ending. Still, in either direction there was a voice–one that rang louder or quieter depending on my choice. The 2nd occurrence happened on my way back home from visiting my family in Virginia. I could hear a thought in my mind saying, “It’s time to go back to your church.” Not only did I hear this thought, but I also knew and felt the exact time to go. It was also around this time that one of my pastors reached out and asked me directly when I would be coming to see my family.

The answer was very soon.

Regardless of how I left or the emptiness I once felt, it was time to return to the place I knew I belonged. Ironically, walking into those doors again felt familiar and comforting rather than intimidating or wrong. I was reminded of the kindness of these people whom I had known for a number of years. Now, I could see with clear eyes how I should have stayed and asked for help. Help, that I did not feel I deserved at the time. I also remembered the hurt that burned in my chest when I left and no one seemed to notice. I realize now just how hard it is to reach someone who does not want to be reached.

Especially since the person who needed to be reached, was me.

It is my hope that my future decisions will bring me closer to rather than pushing others away. Life is already difficult enough without me being the perpetrator in my own narrative. I choose to be brave and strong–to allow people to love me through my mess and to see me fully. I choose to speak my truth and walk forward knowing that I am doing my best. And the best, is yet to come. authentic_life_lessons_truth

Call of Destiny.

Sometimes we grow apart from people we plan to know forever. We age, mature and take on new adventures that the ones we love can not explore with us. Sometimes, people are ripped from our grasp without notice. Like a midday summer storm they are torn from our presence and we can only watch helplessly as they go. And still, after this, some connections are broken down slowly over years. People we chose and who chose us seem to fade from our consciousness as we gradually consider them less and less in some unguided quest towards our happiness.

If I knew then what I know now there are a heap of things I would have done differently. 

For instance, I would have done a better job of protecting myself and been a bigger supporter of actively pursuing my own destiny. Instead, I have given up time and energy running backwards without acknowledging the truth. I have quietly whispered bits and pieces of my story to people who could not care less about me. Building dreams I did not believe in for the sake of people who were never coming with me. I have no real excuse. Only a feeling that I knew but did not do, better. 

Today, I acknowledge this extraordinary call on my life, in my heart, for my family. Not just in the dark spaces where the mind travels when you do not want to be fully seen. No, I run with a confident sense of urgency–to answer the call of destiny. Even if this means leaving some of the people I love, behind me.

–Jen.Cosby