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climbed this touristy peak today
went alone, but left with old friends
I feel like I learned the meaning of soul friends
even though we were strangers before I sat next to you on that tram
we connected, we shared, we laughed, we prayed
like we were real friends
which got me thinking
that I’m so busy trying to fit in with my group of friends
that I never check to see if they are true friends
and don’t get me wrong I have great friends
I just never realized how much I compromise to be friends
because when your friends drink and you don’t
but then you start because they do
because when your friends are totally comfortable with sex
and you’re kinda curious, lonely, and confused
but also sure you don’t want to hook up with some rando
you end up with things you’re proud to tell but ashamed to admit
and when you go to church and invite them along
it’s awkward, it seems you are pretending to belong
because your friend has seen your absolute worst
but now you’re lifting hands while singing some Christian song
why should they pretend to be a goodie like you
at least their honest and proud of what they do
there’s so much compromise there
like I’m jumping fences between who I am and what I believe
because my friends have very different values from me
but today these people I met and traveled with
God fill my life with more people like these
who remind me of your glory
of your presence
of peace

5/25/2016

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im afraid i might love you
or maybe not
maybe im afraid that you love me
or that you never did
or that you chose not to
so let me choose for both of us
let me say no first
before your rejection crushes
something i didn’t know i wanted
all i know is
when everyone’s in the room
i want to sit next to you and
feel the light touch of your warmth against my arm
all i know is
you make me laugh constantly
you say things i never thought of before
im never not smiling
when im with you
all i know is
we speak the same language
and when i talk
your eyes are listening
searching for what im really saying
responding with your heart
all i know is
right now we are apart
and besides that
im not sure what we are
so all i really know
during those pauses in our face time is
im scared to ask
can you take me there baby
when maybe our best is right where we are

©Kira Shymn

it’s always hard to start writing. especially when you haven’t in a while.

my lack of posting from this blog has mostly been because my heart has been singing. and i’ve discovered that i’m much better at writing about pain than joy.

from my journal, 6.28.18:

“i feel happiness
i feel it permeating
i feel it solidifying
i feel it latching
it’s stemming from thankfulness
a recognition that i have so much to be thankful for
that there is so much to be thankful for
and it’s even coloring the old times a different shade
one with roots connecting to a source
lighter. brighter.
it quiets my soul
and i don’t want to move
because this is exactly where i’ve always wanted to be
and where i was last happy and free”

“here there is an openness
a willingness
to go where i am led
to detach from hopelessness
a desire to reform
in fact
transform
a desire to go deeper
because as happy as
freedom eyes feel
with them i see and
with them i realize
i can’t stay
it’s not a greed for more of the same
but an unveiling of redemptive triumph
but right now in this moment
i sit here and revel and breathe and soak
in pure joy
thankfulness
worry-less
carefree
grace”

“jesus,
i have dreams
did you know
i had dreams
a lot of them died
disappeared
melted away
or beaten down
my foggy future
sometimes feels
impossible
because i don’t have the
piercing light
of a dream
a goal
a vision
a place to be
a thing to do
accomplish
become
i say you are enough
but do you know what i mean
when i say
that i need
a dream
i just want to know
have a sense
have a feeling
of what i’m fighting towards
besides your glory
or specifically
for your glory”

from 6.30.18:

“healing, healing
i had cuts i didn’t know
bloods been leaking out
my smile never changed
but it also never grew
into a jumping joy
the kind i have now
as my feet leave the ground”

“you see the hurts i am trying to cover up
you see the joy
you see it all
God, you see right through me
you pierce through this facade i have been creating
the super suit i put on
the image i bolster
and you said
no, not that one
that’s not my daughter
that’s not the one chosen to be anointed
it’s that one
the girl who stole
the girl who bullied
and even you, writer, who holds this girl to her past pains with the words you ink
she is beyond those
but also
broken still
inside breathes a you that will be
is being
used
that’s my daughter
and with her I am well pleased
I am forming her
you, God, you’re not done with me yet
you God want more from me
because i have more to give
i have questions
i have angers
i have annoyances
i have sadness
i have mistakes
do none of those matter
do those really go away”

Here is what I wrote down when i felt like God was speaking to me:

“Home. you want to go home. you want to die to go home. your home is in your heart. your home is in your body. your home is in ME and I am HERE. Be where I am. I will always be with you and I AM your home.

Try your best. you feel like you have been trying your best. you feel like you failed trying your best and you are processing failure, but hey at least you tried your best. but deep down. you know you did not give your best. you did not rebuke sin to the point of shedding your blood (hebrews). you promised me your best. that’s all I ask. you know I am not asking for perfection. we rebuke perfection. but we are asking for your best. and in your best there will be forgiveness for when you don’t try. there will be grace for when even that falls short. but try AND

I will give you the strength to give your best. I will give more patience. more sincerity. but you must try.
recently you have not been trying. for a while you have been trying to get away with less to conserve energy. to be smarter.
give generously
love patiently
don’t give up
I have not given up
I AM not a judge who will reject offering
but you know when you have not given me ALL that you can give
like the monopoly money trick (as a kid i used to hide money when we played monopoly and use it in the end. people didn’t realize i had more money than i was showing)
ask me what more there is and I will tell you
– your work in the mundane assignments
– your living situation
– your friendships … esp those reaching out to you

Give ALL and I will sustain you
Do not be afraid of the world
for I have overcome the world

my perfect love is casting out your fear

not just a mushy love, a challenging love
that pushes for your potential

not a performance
not an evaluation
but a relationship
has give
has sacrifices
I AM God
I commanded for fruit

Great is not mustered by effort alone
but by growth
because growth points to and reflects on the status of the stalk”

what do you guys think? i have a lot of thoughts that i will probably share in future posts. but i’m curious to hear what you guys think.

if you don’t know it’s purpose
does that mean it shouldn’t exist
if you didn’t understand
then shouldn’t words have left your mouth
shouldn’t i have heard what you were confused about
if you aren’t here to support
then why did you come at all
but if you know the meaning of support
is it support to watch me fall
if you don’t want to be here
don’t
point your fingers at me
blame is all in the name
of this one man game
you done played
if you’re asking me to stay
i’m telling you i already left
you just never knew
you never wanted to know
your words want me
but your heart said no

©Kira Shymn

the last few weeks. they’ve been interesting. it’s been a process. here’s my rough idea of a timeline: semester started off well enough. good ski trip, semblances of friendships. honestly i can’t remember that far back to actually know any details. i think i was excited/determined to do class and do it right. the first big bump i can remember is the controversial stuff with the group i wrote about in these controversial days. and i think from there a wound was opened. deep irreconciliation. the weeks that followed … spring break, wisdom teeth, MR. physical pain, emotional pain, personal irreconcilation.

i’ve been in a funk. the funk grows and shrinks. the funk deceives me. because around people i can be totally having so much fun. and then i get caught in some weird heavy molasses of depression. and i can’t get out of my own head.

i’ve been actively telling God no. i’ve been rebelling mentally. forgive her. no. stop eating, you aren’t hungry. no. get up and do what you know you should. no. i don’t want to. i can’t do it. no no no.

today i was upset by my brother. because he puts me in situations where i have to help him in these last minute stressful situations. when deeply seeded within me is the desire to not help. but i have to. and i hope he understands that it’s because i’m in this funk.

so a bunch of negative emotion was boiling, bubbling out of me. my stomach was twisting itself. i wanted to writhe around on the floor or scream or just explain to someone why this was unfair. everything. life. everything. ridiculous and unfair.

i took my walk. it was my favorite kind. when it’s cold outside and it’s slightly raining and very windy. and i just started ranting. God, it’s unfair. why do i have to deal with all these shitty people and these stupid situations. God, i can’t. i can’t.

and on this one road as the wind was blowing me back and forth and the rain was softly falling on my face mixing with my tears. he said he wanted to speak to me. he said he would. he said (through deut 30):

“When all these blessings and curses I have set before you come on you and you take them to heart wherever the Lord your God disperses you among the nations, and when you and your children return to the Lord your God and obey him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today, then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes[a] and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you. Even if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens, from there the Lord your God will gather you and bring you back. He will bring you to the land that belonged to your ancestors, and you will take possession of it. He will make you more prosperous and numerous than your ancestors. The Lord your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live. The Lord your God will put all these curses on your enemies who hate and persecute you. You will again obey the Lord and follow all his commands I am giving you today. Then the Lord your God will make you most prosperous in all the work of your hands and in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your land. The Lord will again delight in you and make you prosperous, just as he delighted in your ancestors, 10 if you obey the Lord your God and keep his commands and decrees that are written in this Book of the Law and turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.”

and i realized. that God was asking me something very specific. something i’d been ignoring for weeks now. God was asking me to obey and not just obey myself. my own desires. the callings and beckonings of my own heart and my own stomach and my own mind. he wasn’t asking me to obey what i wanted. he was asking me to obey his commands. and not just the commands that i liked. not just the things he’s told me in the past. he was asking me to obey all of his commands. and incredibly, he’s not just asking me to obey all of his commands. he even cares about how i obey those commands. he wants me to obey all of his commands with all my heart and all my soul. God doesn’t just want me to mindlessly or forcefully obey his commands. he wants my heart and soul to be behind those decisions. to me, that meant that it matters to God that I am not just doing what he wants because “that’s what i should do.” he wants me to obey him because i want to. because that’s what will delight my heart. that’s what’s written in my heart and the whisper of my soul. and and and. if i do this, i will live and be prosperous. because he is in the work of restoring me.

and it gets better:

11 Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. 12 It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” 14 No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.
15 See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. 16 For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.
17 But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, 18 I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.
19 This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”

do you see? do you see?? this ask is not difficult. it’s incredible. because every time i’m faced with not wanting to do what God wants me to do, there’s this feeling of deeeeeep tension. something insurmountable. something impossible. overwhelming. useless. why try. that’s why i conclude that i can’t. and i don’t want to. but no. this command is not difficult. in fact it’s very near. in fact, it’s already in my heart.

this idea was powerful for me. because i knew it. i could feel God’s commands in my heart. i knew i had been running from that for a while. and honestly, i just didn’t fear the consequences of running. because in the beginning i was afraid of being a Christian, i was afraid of trusting God because of these controversial days, i’d forgotten why i wanted to stand firm and obey.

but no today, today today. God is giving me a choice. either i can choose life and prosperity. or death and destruction. and he asks that i now choose life. for my sake, for the sake of my children. simply, i need to love him, listen to his voice, and hold fast. for,  the lord is your life. God=life. by choosing life, i am choosing God. I am choosing the source of life. i am choosing the one who already chose me. already loved me. already obeyed his father to die for me. because he is in the work of restoring me. of giving me life and prosperity.

Dear God,
thank you. thank you for speaking to me today. thank you for walking with me in the rain today. i remembered again today that my happiest days here at Harvard have always been the ones when i’ve been with you. and that my most precious moments have been with you. and i don’t know why i keep forgetting that.
thank you for challenging me again with the idea that the way i am living, the rebellion that i’m following is the reason for my funk. i am not choosing life. i am deliberately not obeying you. i’m almost subduing myself into a foggy state so that i forget what your commands are. because i don’t want to face things i don’t want to do.
God, i’m sorry. i want to obey all of your commands with all my heart and my soul. i am afraid though that i don’t know all of your commands. that i will be lacking in heart and soul. and that i will ultimately not obey. please show me again what all of these components mean and what they practically look like in my life.
please help me to forgive M. though i feel i already have or have begun to, please give me wisdom in this relationship. in all my relationships really. i have not been consulting you, obeying you in how i treat people. think about people. support people.
please give me wisdom in how i spend my money and my time. i think this is another area that i haven’t been obeying your commands.
God, i love you. i am everything i am because of you. i know you told me that i need to spend time with you every day, especially as college is ending. i pray that i will follow through on that.

don’t leave me
don’t leave me
my insides pulling apart
my disgust of you pushed aside
because in this moment i’d rather be with you
than alone
which i don’t voice
instead my voice
pines for you to stay
as if my tone could stretch out and caress your ear
and whisper dear sweet tingly air
that enlarges into boulders buckling one knee down
until you’re trapped by this sound
of an option besides lonely
of heat from breath
of a small glimpse that maybe this we exists
when will we both realize
the silence of loneliness
is sultry symphony
while the creaking of our lungs
enclosed in the same four walls
is that high pitched screech
of my soul dying
as i continue to slice it up
and serve it to you
now there’s none left for me
and the one who i keep waiting for
to complete this we
and when you eventually do leave
you’re taking that part of me with you
so
don’t leave me
don’t leave me
you’re leaving with parts of me
that i’ll never get back
that’ll never grow back
how much of me is left
when you leave

image by burcumbaygut
©Kira Shymn

back on campus. I had a rough flight coming back to Boston. but the moment I landed, snow started falling on my face. and all i could do was smile. i felt like a gift was falling down on me. reminding me that i can do this. that this semester is going to be all about hope. hope.

the ski trip was fine. a lot more fun than i thought it was going to be. skiing is one of those things that feels like privilege. because really only people with money can ski. and people who are good at skiing are usually good because they’ve gone more than once. and again that costs money.

for myself. i almost died while skiing in 2014. so whenever i start going too fast a terrifying rush enters my body and i just want to get off the freaking mountain and stop moving so fast. and so i basically sliiiiiiiiiide very carefully down every slope. bunny hill, green circle, blue square. and on black diamonds i lay on my back and sliiiiiiiiiide on down.

but this trip. i was able to get better. it felt like a weird metaphor for my life. yes, i’ve had traumatic experiences. and yes, those experiences still trigger fear and extreme caution and sometimes crazy reactions. and yes, there are moments when i want to just get off this ride and i’m ashamed that people can see what a terrible skier i am. but im doing things at my own pace. im getting down this mountain. and when i get to the bottom, i’m full of hope. hope.

relationships are tough. especially friendships. my least favorite feeling is that hot burn in my cheeks fueled from regret of saying something i want to suck back in. words that are flying away from me and causing a chain of reactions i didn’t anticipate. i want to pause those moments. i want to go back in time in those moments. i want time to move faster faster, fast forward to a time when people have completely forgotten what i said. most of the time this happens when i’m trying to be funny or i get too comfortable or i’m trying to portray something im not, make someone feel a certain way, manipulative.

but i proclaim hope. i cling to hope. i will fight to hope. that this semester won’t end like the last. this semester though my last will be as it should be. and at the end i’ll leave here, shedding the me that couldn’t and rising with the one who can.