greetings 2018 by Kailey Jackson

a new year has nudged its way to the surface of today and i am alive with the knowledge that we have made a full circle, a new circle. exhilarated in the fact that a year changes everything over and over again. each season, brings a new harvest. a harvest of good, bad, beautiful, and ugly, altogether worthy of praise. 

this year was good. a time of molding, improving, finding. opposite from the last, but beautiful and new. 

it is easy to feel taken by rough water. submerged, twisted, and thrown in the undercurrent of a vicious cycle. a cycle that makes a full circle that is repetitive and unfair. over and over, we are beaten, broken, and wounded by the strength that these brutal waves have on us. we squirm our way to the surface and gasp for air, fill our lungs, see the sun. for a moment, we bask in a dappled sunlight that peeks through clouds. we see a flicker of hope, but soon, these clouds bring rain. a heavy, rough, windy rain. just when we feel life bring us blessings, we are yanked back down by the anchor that holds us captive beneath the waves. this becomes normalcy. goodness, sweetness, and peace becomes a rarity. 

stagnant water. muddy, foggy, dirty, sluggish water. we can’t see below us, we cant see in front of us. we sit in it. we sit still in a comfortable position because we are petrified of the unknown that besieges us. our feet seep into a murk and we slowly merge deeper. before we know it, we are integrated into a life of gray. this is what i call the gray zone. a place where we just dont know. and parts of us just dont want to know. we are terrified, paralyzed, and timid. of the past, of the present, AND of the future. of vulnerability and of honesty. we sit in the dirt of the past, enable it to stick to our skin in the present, and hook us back from the future. not only is the outside muck, but our inside is dirty too. human nature and the world cast this on us. our hearts rot with deep cuts and our bones hold secrets. 

how familiar these are to me.

last year, i dove into a new water. this water is the best. this one is clean, sparkling, and pure. this water is alive, soothing, and perfect. it quenches my thirst, leads my feet, step by step. it wrung out my pains and embraced me gently. He embraced me gently. He washed my feet with his hands. not only did he wash my feet, he washed me from the inside out and submerged me fully and wholly in his forgiveness. newness and reconciliation was handed to me. this water runs in my heart and has consumed me. this water runs wild and safe, deep and hopeful. wild in compassion, safe in understanding. deep in love, hopeful in life. 

palms up, i praise my Creator because he made this immaculate life that i just so happen to be a part of. he has given me the choice to live in his grace. and he has given me the choice to choose. to choose which water i dive into. 

a big mess and a special thank you by Kailey Jackson

some days i feel pounded by imperfections. i try to cover my flaws, but i remember, there is no hiding. pure transparency with my Father, who has the perfect aerial view of each thing i’ve broken, bumped into, stumbled over, and the messes i’ve left for someone else to clean up. he picks each mess up and cleanses and chooses them as special chapters in the book he’s writing for me. a book that’s unswerving in love, security, and his presence. an immaculately written book that exceeds dreams and protects me.

i am left in awe, and at this moment, all i can say is thank you. 

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we are by Kailey Jackson

we are a human race soul-battling for freedom, fulfillment, & justification of love. we are searchers in the thick of a night so dark, we stumble into endeavors that test us and throw our hearts and emotions in circles. we wear distorted, crooked glasses that twist our vision looking outward AND looking inward. we are deceitful artists who present our lives as imperfectious, pure, and whole. we are shaky-handed seamstresses who sew sentences together that can be flawlessly stitched or painfully broken, but can never be unthreaded. we are hand-crafted by a father who wins the award for being the most creative. we are sinners who are loved unconditionally by a sinless creator. we are called to walk in freedom, yet we become crippled by baggage that carries sin, struggle, scars, and tears. 

in Luke 5:36-39 Jesus says “no one tears a piece from a new garment and puts it on an old garment. if he does, he will tear the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old. and no one puts new wine into old wineskins. if he does, the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed. but new wine must be put into fresh wineskins.

we carry a bag of broken histories on our backs. we are master collectors who pick up previous pieces rather than new ones. we live an open-wounded life looking in the rearview mirror, anticipating a glimmer of something that brought temporary joy, to come back in and be the savior that fills a piece of our heart that the thing itself left us empty. how can we move forward if we won't even hit the gas? how can we drive if we are constantly looking behind us?

don't miss letting Jesus be the driver. let him drive you through the hills, the valleys, all the seasons, and keep you steady and accompanied, rather than alone. he is here and waiting with open arms to lead you.