When you give hope to others, you find hope for yourself.


This was written over the course of the past few days. I would just jot down my disjointed thoughts, and then I tried to piece them together in a way that would make sense, without losing the overall feel of what I was trying to say, and I didn’t really expand or elaborate on any of my thoughts, so please keep that in mind as you read. If you would like me to elaborate, leaves comment with what you’d like me to elaborate on, and I will.

The phone rings. I take a deep breath, and pick up the phone and smile as I say “Hello, this is Joel. How can I serve you today?”


Working is the hardest thing. I find myself at the front desk a lot these days. A place I need to be cheery, a place I need to smile, answer questions, and give hope. Hope I don’t feel. But behind the perfectly plastered smile on my face, my mind swirls with questions. Why? How? Somehow reaching out for understanding that doesn’t seem to come.

Then I read what others say. What the news says. The picture they paint. And I don’t see it. Instead I see someone broken, hurting, and in need of redemption. I don’t feel what society tells me to feel. Instead of anger, hate, rage, disgust, I feel sad, heartbroken, like someone died. And in a way, someone has.

In a way, a lot of people have.

So many people will never be the same. So many lives have had something ripped away from them. Peace, security, trust.


And when trust is betrayed, we get angry. But when people are hurt, anger will never heal. Healing will only come when we replace anger with love. Redemption can only come from love. So many people are hurting right now. Spreading anger isn’t going to bring a single one of those people healing. We need to instead let our words be of love and support for everyone. And this love needs to come double from those of us who call ourselves the church. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” ~ John 13:34-35

Maybe, if we can inject love into the situation, we can see healing come to each of people involved in and surrounding the situation. Maybe we can stop the cycle. Maybe, just maybe, we can actually change people.


As my mind still swirls, as I find it hard to focus, I find myself asking questions. The worst kind of questions: questions that really have no answer. Questions that can’t be explained. And then the phone starts to ring. Someone comes in needing hope. And so I take all those swirling, twirling, questions and push them down, plaster a smile on my face that I don’t really feel, and answer the phone. And I give hope. Because when you give hope to others, you find hope for yourself.


The most important aspect of any relationship is being open with each other. Whether it’s dating, friends, family, spouses, anyone. The relationship will only survive if you are open about things with that person. Keeping feelings (good or bad) inside and not sharing them is the quickest way to guarantee that your relationship will fall apart. Continue reading

Life and Love and Death

There is a sacredness in tears.
They are not the mark of weakness, but of power.
They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues.
They are messengers of overwhelming grief…
and unspeakable love.
~ Washington Irving

This weekend was a whirlwind of a weekend. A weekend of polar opposites, yet of things so closely linked together.

Saturday I was at a wedding. A celebration of love. It was the wedding of two very unique individuals, and their personalities were reflected in the ceremony. There was this new life beginning in love. A life together, of two becoming one. And then I had plans on Sunday to go meet with two friends who are getting married. I am doing sound for their wedding, so I was meeting with them to talk about music and all that. I began Sunday morning coming out of one celebration of life and love, and preparing for another.

Then, in a split second, it all changed.
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Love and Pain

Sunday was a rough day for me. I was in at church at 5:30 that morning after going to bed at 2:30am. I was there for church until 1:00pm, then I left to take a youth home, went back to the building to get ready for our volunteer meeting, went back to pick up that youth at 3, and was there until almost 8pm with all the volunteer meeting stuff. At the end of the day, all I wanted to do was relax. Play a video game with my best friend and not think.

God had other plans.

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I Hate This Feeling

This is the first post in a while. I wrote this, not because I care if people read it, but because I needed to. Does that make sense?

I hate this feeling I feel growing inside. This feeling that comes in and out like waves on the shore. It rushes in, overwhelming at times, then it pulls away as fast as it came in, but never actually going away… I hate this feeling I feel growing inside. What does it mean? When will it change? Sometimes change is good, and sometimes bad. I wonder what kind of change I want. I hate this feeling I feel growing inside. This feeling that causes tears to well up in my eyes, even as it just crosses my mind. This feeling that, when I begin to think about dealing with it, causes those tears to flow, even as I write this now. I hate this feeling I feel growing inside. I’m finding it hard to believe. Do I really believe what I believe is what I believe? I know these truths, I really do believe them. I’ve told these truths to so many people. It’s not really that I don’t believe, it’s just that I’m having a hard time getting these truths from my head to my heart. I hate this feeling I feel growing inside. I want to talk about it, but what do I say? How do I say it? I hate this feeling I feel growing inside. I want to tell someone about it, but who do I tell? What do I day, “Hi, I’m your rock when your life is unstable, but now my life is unstable”? I hate this feeling I feel growing inside. When will it end? How will it end? Do I really want it to end? It has to end. I can’t keep going on like this. I pray to God everyday to end it, this feeling, but it’s still there. Never ending. But it needs to. I hate this feeling.