How to Live.

I've been watching you lately, creeping on old photos and videos.  

I had forgotten what you looked like and I didn't want to forget, so I started looking.  I remember the smile you used to wear, how it would make your face glow like you were the friendliest person on the planet.  I remember the easy confidence you used to have.  Your eyes didn't stick to the floor, avoiding the gazes of those around you, hiding in yourself.  

You weren't fearless by any means.  Courage didn't seep into your bones and urge you forward.  You were just fresh, untainted, innocent.  

You embraced your faith with such strength and fervor.  You loved and it was messy and you were brave enough to do it anyway, despite the mess and the fear and the million and one ways it could go wrong.

I miss you.

I want you back.

And I know you won't be completely the same, that time and age and life will have shifted some of that innocence, but I think the core of that person remains.  And I know, although I've prayed for it a million times, that I can't go back.

I'm coming out of hiding and living in the deep end and I think I desperately need to remember that I am capable, through Christ, of surviving both.  I need to remember that I haven't always been living in the shadow of guilt and pain.

That's where you come in.

Because if I'm going to remember how to live without hiding, I need to go back to the last time I existed outside of the shell that I turned into.  Which is why I've been looking for you lately.  I'm trying to recognize where you and I met; you, the younger and braver version of me.

I look at the pictures of you and I want that young girl to drink it in, to keep it close and safe, so that when she gets older and becomes me, she can stare at my reflection and I can will that goodness, that courage, that faith to rise again.  

I don't want to be you.  Not completely.  I've endured heartaches and experienced great joys to become this woman.  I wouldn't wish the wisdom and maturity I've gained over the years away.  I just want to remember how to love fearlessly and recklessly and to my fullest capacity again.  Because if I'm only allowing myself to love after my fears have been fed and satisfied, am I really loving at all?

No, I don't want to be you.  Not again.  Not entirely.  I just want to remember how to live.

I just want to remember how to live.

Dear Younger Me, it's not your fault.  You were never meant to carry this beyond the cross. - MercyMe.

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