The Odds Do Not Define Me

10D55C40-46AA-4499-9A34-56C37D892E85If I said I have never wanted to quit, I’d be lying.

I’ve wanted to throw the book. Rip the pages. Delete every document. Erase every drawing. I’ve wanted to give up more times than I can count.

When I lay awake at night with all the thoughts and voices circling my brain until I feel dizzy and disoriented? I don’t want to think anymore.

When I stare at a page and can see the characters in front of me, characters of my own making, kids that are MINE, and I see them slowly fade? I sit and I cry and I don’t want to write the story anymore.

When I see my book not living up to my expectations, and it’s not reaching far enough, and I’m not where I want to be in this life? I get discouraged and I just want to quit altogether.

Sometimes I feel like it’s not worth it.

But then I meet little girls that were like me.

Little girls that aren’t interested in dolls and dress up. Little girls that are interested in adventures. Little girls that would rather paint a picture than their nails. Little girls that see a challenge and say “You think I can’t overcome it? Watch me.” instead of caving to the odds that are not in their favor.

Odds are a funny thing.

They go up, they go down, and they change every second of every day.

And despite all that changing, they have never been in my favor.

And that’s discouraging. It’s upsetting. To realize that my book may never make it, that I may never be recognized as a real author, and that I will probably never get to release all my stories, that’s… sickening. Disheartening.

And boy, does it ever make me want to quit.

But on those bad days, I think about one little girl specifically.

A little girl who HATES sitting down. Who HATES slowing down. And who REALLY HATES writing for school. One day she ran up to to me and grabs my hand and looks into my eyes and says “I want to be like you someday.” When those big eyes light up as she grins and tells me “I want to tell my stories. I’ve already started writing them. Wanna see?”

I think about when her mother walked over to me with tears in her eyes, hugged me tightly, and thanked me for being a role model and an inspiration for her young daughter. She thanked me for being a hero.

In my eyes, I am none of those things.

I’m not even a small percentage of the odds!

But then I remember.

Neither is she.

Her odds are even smaller than mine. She is seven years old. She tells stories, and writes little stories.

But there is a possibility she may never publish that story. She might never even FINISH that story.

The odds are not in her favor.

But she is not a matter of the odds.

I am not a matter of the odds.

Giving up has always been in the back of my mind. Just forgetting it, and moving on to something new that I can actually succeed in. Something that could help sustain me. Something that could help people.

But that is already what I do.

If my writing has changed the life of ONE person, it’s worth it.

If my writing has raised awareness for mental health and true American history, it’s worth it.

If my writing has inspired a child to shoot for the stars, it’s worth it.

If my writing has ever even crossed the path of a single person… It. Was. Worth. It.

I am already helping people.

My voice is a drop in an ocean. A small star in a galaxy of billions, all burning brighter than I.

But my voice is NOT insignificant.

It is NOT impossible to be heard and seen.

A small voice is NOT an excuse to go silent.

The odds for giving up are huge. The odds for making it are tiny. But I choose to defy the odds, and not be defined by them.

Giving up has never been an option.

I write, I stand, and I fight. I continue. My story is not over. My words will be shared. My voice will be heard. My small star will burn brightly for all the boys and girls, men and women, children and adults. My small star will burn to encourage those who, like me, never have had the odds in their favor.

Because we can make it.

We can defy the odds.

Sailing off on another adventure 😉

-Lorryn Holt

Stories From An Eye

976D3815-E9CB-4275-9C77-960C46FCF127My smile will give you examples of love, and parables of adventure.
But My eyes shall tell you the stories My lips never dared utter.

The crown of thorns once upon My brow told of a kingdom low, vile, and broken.
But the crown My Father gives speaks of a  blessed kingdom with streets golden.

My body bares the marks of humanity, in a manger among animals I began My life.
Yet My eyes mourn not for Myself, but for the souls lost to the war of sin and strife.

My blood flowed red, and the sins of men filled My lungs and becomes My breath.
I died as a gift of mercy of all that are and all to be, even those who give Me death.

The scars upon My hands will tell you how I lived, died, struggled.
But My eyes share the eternal love and bring light to the dark internal rubble.

The strength of a body is a strength you can only see.
But your eyes show the true you, the one I see hiding far beneath.

With every struggle, every battle, there is a strength I gain and give in love.
It is a strength in heart, it is a strength given from our Father in heaven above.

I am called by many names. The Son of God, and The Son of Man.
But when my eyes tell you stories, you will understand who I Am.

Living Messily.

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Life isn’t easy. Anyone who tells you otherwise, is lying. Life is hard. Life is complicated. Life is messy.

From the time I was a little kid, I’ve walked into my house with bruises, with skinned knees and elbows, tear stains on my cheeks, and more than once, I’m covered from head to toe in mud. Or snow, or grass, or I have sticks in my hair. (It varies but it’s always something.)

My mom looks at me, sighs and puts down whatever she’s doing, and asks “Okay. What happened this time?”

And when I think about this, I laugh. I can’t help it!

Despite being messy, despite leaving me bruised, scratched up, and tear stained, life is beautiful. Its memories. It’s a learning process. It’s growing.

I get frustrated when I can’t fix things. I get frustrated something is out of my control. I get frustrated when I can’t do something right. I get frustrated when I see something in my head but my fingers just WON’T cooperate to write it down or draw it.

Let’s face it, life is really frustrating!

I’m not a clean freak, I’m not obsessive about things being in of order, but when life gets out of order, yeah that freaks me out. When things are out of line, DUH I try to put it back. But life is stubborn, and sometimes it doesn’t wanna go back.

And THAT ladies and gentlemen, is when life turns chaotic.

I’m gonna let you in on a little secret.

Control is a myth.

As much as we try, life will go it’s own way, we can’t change anything, we can’t put things back in order, and we can never have control over anything-

Or. . . is THAT the myth?

It’s true that life goes it’s own way, and we can never plan anything perfectly. Well, we can try, but that doesn’t mean it’ll go that way. Because that’s not how we were designed. We have free will, and as humans, we can never create anything perfectly, even plans. We aren’t God, and we can’t even try to fill those shoes.

Life changes, it stretches us, it pushes us down, and it gets really frustrating because we can’t control it. But. We do have control over one thing, and one thing alone.

Our responses.

Life is frustrating, and it doesn’t matter what we do, it always will be. But it makes things worse when you try to force it back into order. We can’t live perfect lives. We can’t even live easy lives. And it can be maddening. . . If you begin to obsess about it. And sometimes it’s just the overthinking factor.

Are my grades good enough? Did I do this right? Am I a good mom? Am I around enough? Am I making my family proud? Am I making God proud?

These thoughts can hurt us, because they become our lives. We are constantly worried about doing enough, and it becomes dead weight. A burden on our shoulders, dragging us down, and we can’t shake it off. So now, not only is life messy, but we are trying to take things on alone. And alone, we can’t pull ourselves out of the mud we are sinking in because the burden is too heavy.

Don’t try to take it on alone. Don’t let that burden tie you down. And it’s not just a matter of acceptance that, “okay, I’m stuck. Okay, I can’t be perfect. Okay, I need help.” 

We don’t just have to accept the chaos in our lives. We can’t pray for it to just go away. We can’t just pray ourselves out of the mud. We can’t pray that life gets easier. Because that’s not the design. That’s not the Plan.

That is setting yourself up for more pain, when the answer to your prayer was “I have more planned for you than you would ever face in an easy life.”

So instead, we embrace it.

We pray for love, we pray for peace, we pray for help.

We have to live it. 

It’s okay to live messily. It’s okay to go have mud fights, or go 4 wheeling, or play barefoot with your dogs. So laugh as ice cream drips down your shirt. Jump fully dressed into a pond with your best friend. Splash in creeks and wiggle your toes in sand. Dive for that volleyball.

It’s okay to cry when your heart breaks. It’s okay to cry out to God when you feel helpless and stuck. It’s okay to snort when you laugh. It’s okay to make stupid faces to make a baby giggle, and let that baby’s giggle carry you through your hard days. It’s okay to enjoy life. Life is not always kind, and sometimes it’s messy. But embrace it.

Because at the end of the day, all that dirt, the pain, the life struggles. . . It all washes off. It might leave marks. It might leave scars that fade, and it might leave scars that don’t. But it is proof of growth. It is proof of living to the maximum capacity.

It is memories. It is the life lessons, little adventures and big ones, and friends that become family. And theseThey stay forever.

Off on a messy adventure,

Lorryn Holt

Adventure In Your Very Hands

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A book is an adventure in your very hands.

Stories of love, of valor, and of tears.

A new friend through a window,

Courage in a world not her even own.

A young hero dives into the depths,

Fulfilling a promise she swore to keep.

Tears drip slowly down a broken one’s cheek,

As she finds her friend as helpless as she.

These stories live on, for years past our fate.

Planted in hearts, passed down from age to age.

Some will be untouched, the tale stands too tall.

Some will live it, believe, and become strong.

Books are our escape from this broken world.

It saves the pure dreams in black precious ink.

A drug of our own, in endless supply.

A temptation of the unread pages.

The idea of a brand new journey

Read beside a crackling fireplace.

An adventure takes place every time,

But to join the story is up to you.

The swing of a sword, the dash between words-

This, a decision only you can make.

***

Hey guys! Sorry it’s been awhile, but I have begun a new job, and we have been working on something BIG that I will hopefully be announcing soon.

In this blank verse poem, I have placed clues to what this announcement may be.

Any ideas?

Allegory is not usually my thing, but lately I’ve been feeling a little extra… mysterious 😉

Off on an adventure!

Lorryn Holt

My Journey to Hope

FullSizeRenderHelp me up

Taking pictures, laughing, joy filling me up,

As the music rushes over me in the form of a rap.

But it’s getting late
I need to get ready for bed.
Then- the world fades to black
As I lift up my head.

The pain in my shoulder blades feels like blades of its own.
The hot fiery burn makes me wish I was instead going to drown.

I’m stuck in bed, I can’t get help.
Tried to roll but was stuck in a vice.
I’ve tried to yell but to no avail.
Tears of anguish are filling my eyes.

This hell lives inside of me
Preying on the best days.
Turning the time of my life
Into but a dark misty haze.

There are times they laugh about
That I don’t even remember.
Too busy staring through the spots,
Uttering a pleading prayer.

God why would you give me something like this?
Something I can’t even understand, much less fix?

Over time I’ve become twisted, curved, and pleading.
The bones of my body begging for mercy, my muscles grieving.

They can fix my bones, fuse my spine with metal sheathing.
But what about my soul that is still aching and screaming?

God, I can’t even begin to explain.
All the frustration, anger, and pain.
It’s become so much a part of me,
That it may as well be my name.

Why would You give me an unsolvable puzzle like this?
Why would You show me something that makes no sense?

You show me things that make my world so much brighter,
Then I have days that make all else crumble and shatter.

Why would You give me this?
Why am I here?
I don’t understand it.
Absent is Your voice I still strain to hear.

Now I’m on the floor.
I tried to move but fell to my knees.
My tears are on the wood,
And the walls echo my screams.

But You still can’t hear me?
I’m begging, I’m pleading.
I’m stuck in this position,
Frozen in place, my heart weeping.

My father walks past my door, deaf to my pleading.
My mom doesn’t hear her phone, already sleeping.

My brother sees my texts, but his girl is on the phone…
So I’m still on the floor. Stuck, crying, and alone.

Out of all the people that have left me behind,
I knew God would never leave me in the darkness of my mind.

But with these demons, shadows,
And anxiety surrounding me…
I feel abandoned and helpless.
All alone, I have stopped believing.
***
This was written on October 7th. 15 short days before my surgery. At this point, I had three curves in my spine. The worst was mid 70 degrees. The damage and pain it was doing to my muscles is indescribable. I had already had my preoperative appointment a few days back, and the x-rays were horrifying to say the least. Surgery had been scheduled for a couple months. I was excited, and terrified. I had no idea what was going to happen. My life was about to be turned upside down. But this night is what sealed the deal for me to be ready for whatever was thrown my way.

It had been a good day, not a lot of pain (one of very few days like this), and that night I was laying on my back on my bed texting my friend. We were having fun, but it was getting late. As I tried to get up, my vision blacked out because of pain between my shoulder blades. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t breathe, it just covered me. I called my mom for help getting up, like I had done before. I heard her phone ringing in the living room. But she was already in bed and already asleep. I texted my brother, knowing he was awake, but he was on the phone with his girlfriend and never saw or read the message until later. I tried to roll out of bed, but fell to my hands and knees instead. I screamed when I landed. I knew I was in trouble. I couldn’t get up. I was stuck on the floor. My phone was on my bed, and I was just barely able to reach it. I called my mom 6 times, hoping to either get my brother’: attention or hers. My dad actually got up, but my door was closed and he couldn’t hear me scream for help. I was still texting my friend, freaking out and asking what to do. He almost called 911. But I was lucky, and my dad had woken my mom up when he got up. I called my mom one more time, and she went to go get it. I screamed “mom!” As loud as I could when she was passing my door. She came in my room, and yelled for my dad to come help. They helped get me up, and I was safe and I was okay, but I continued to cry for over an hour.

I felt so lost, abandoned, and I had made myself sick from screaming so much. And that night, at 12:30 in the morning, is when I wrote this poem. The only person who I ever let read it was the friend I had been texting that night. But last Thursday, I was reading my mom some of the other poems I wrote. I read her this one. Her jaw was dropped, and I thought she was upset because of how depressing and gut wrenching it was. My poems are pure raw emotions and thoughts I have, and most of them are very dark, since I turn to poetry usually when I’m in a dark place. But she wasn’t upset at all. She told me that I needed to share this poem, because of the thousands of kids and scoliosis patients like me who felt like this and couldn’t describe it. Who never had a voice. She told me that my poem could be their voice.

Scoliosis is everywhere. Their are infants, kids, and adults with this problem. I was lucky, and I had spinal fusion (I got titanium in me now!), but the three years I had to deal with this before surgery was horrible. The days leading up to surgery was the worst. And there are people in this world, silent, but have these feelings and this pain. It’s real.

I am real.

I am a voice.

I am a hope.

 

***

 

I got up.

I can walk, I can run,
I can dance, I can sing.
But only a few months ago,
I couldn’t do any of these things.

A few months ago,
I was stuck on the floor.
Pleading and screaming,
Hiding behind a closed door.

The worst nights of my life were spent.
My muscles tensed and seizing.
Choking and crying tears of pain,
And that pain wasn’t leaving.

My spine was twisted,
This pain became my life.
But I put in a smile for them,
And my tears, I would hide.

Then my help arrived,
My knights in shining blue scrubs.
My therapists, nurses, and doctors,
My angels sent from God above.

They helped me through my hardest of hard days.
They understood the words I couldn’t bear to say.

The most scared I’d ever been.
The most terrifying day.
But the nurses held my hand,
And I knew it’d be okay.

One nurse sang me to sleep,
Another asked about my year.
One doctor made me laugh.
Talking about memories I hold dear.

Drifting down into a deep sleep,
Then I was with Him and kind boy I once knew.
They held me in my dreams,
They were the ones who carried me through.

When I saw my parents again,
I felt so happy and safe.
I texted my friend that I was awake,
And in all caps he texted back “HEY!”

It couldn’t have gone better.
The first day wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t bad either.
Because of the people by my side, Things were a thousand times easier.

I was texting and drawing,
Calling my people immediately.
I talked to my best friend,
Who burst into tears when she heard me.

Playing four-in-a-row,
They all made sure to keep me occupied.
Keeping my mind off the pain,
Until I drifted asleep before even saying goodbye.

In the night, every two hours they woke me up.
But it wasn’t a bad thing.
I got to spend time with my favorite night nurse,
So I didn’t mind not sleeping.

The second day I got to put on pajamas,
And even walk out to see my excited family.
Sitting in a wheelchair with my guitar in hand,
I made a waiting brother a bit more encouraged and happy.

That was the day I made my decision.
This was home, the place to which I was called.
To make this long journey a little easier
For the families upon which hard times had fallen.

I was the luckiest kid on my floor
My nurses’ “miracle child”.
But for that I will give credit to God
And best people ever by my side.

That night I got to shoot pool
And walk around with my mom.
Being chased by nurses,
Laughter ringing through the halls.

Day three and I was leaving
With a happy and heavy heart.
We actually had a good time,
And I didn’t like having to part.

But I had a warm welcome coming home.
My brothers stood by my side.
The people who I missed the most,
I was so happy I almost cried.

Two weeks later,
Beginning to dance again!
Smiling comes more easily,
And I have far less pain.

My scar is silent and small.
My fear of being marred is gone.
My mark is to show my strength,
My prize of war to show I’ve overcome.

I begin to push the limits.
A month later and I’ve got the all clear.
Now I remember the life I had before.
No more restrictions, and no more fear.

A few months ago I couldn’t get up.
Stuck on the floor in fear, tears, and pain.
But now I rise, despite the odds,
And above this weakness and fear, I will remain.

 

***

 

At this point, about three years after being diagnosed with scoliosis, I felt hopeless. I never had a day without pain. And I thought it would always be this way. That was a very depressing and harmful thought to be reminded of every day.

But then I was sent to Shriners Hospital for Children in Greensville, South Carolina. And that was the best decision we could have ever made. They are absolutely incredible people, outstanding doctors and fantastic nurses. They helped me every step of the way, and for the first time in a very long time, I had hope. After surgery, they made it so easy to take those steps. And since then, I am now dancing, playing the violin and guitar, singing, working out, and moving, without pain, and that is something I couldn’t do before. It sounds really dramatic, but its true. The difference it has made in my life is indescribable. The difference they have made in my life is indescribable. I’m happy. And before this surgery, that is something that I couldn’t say from day to day. It was effecting my emotional health as well, and I was sunk in a deep depressed, helpless, abandoned, and hopeless cocktail of feelings that wasn’t being taken away. It couldn’t be taken away. Not while I was still living in that pain. 

But now I am happy. I’m changed. I’m inspired, creativity spurred into hyper drive, and I have hope.

Sometimes… It isn’t a physical pain that can effect us like that. Life is hard, and anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. We all go through things that are painful. Things that we don’t understand. We can feel lost, abandoned, and hopeless. And these feelings are invalidated far too much. But just know that you aren’t alone, you are not abandoned, and whatever situation you are in is never hopeless. There are many poems and drawings I have, that were my way of coping with the pain until I found healing in Christ, the people around me, and in my art and writing. But before that, I was stuck facing things I didn’t know how to overcome. The anxiety monster that no one wants to talk about. The dark feelings and thoughts we just shove farther back into our mind. But to heal, to grow, to have hope… We have to face these things. If we had let the scoliosis sit, it would worsen and create more pain. But once I got help, and we were able to find a solution to the problem, I began to heal. I began to grow. And hope and happiness began to bloom. Its not an easy road. I won’t lie to you and tell you it is. It takes strength. Sometimes it takes strength you didn’t even know you had. Sometimes it takes weakness, and vulnerability, and a willingness to allow people to stand by you, even when you don’t want to, so they can support you on your search for what will help you heal.

Know that you aren’t alone. You’re never alone. You are not abandoned. And whatever situation you are in, it is never hopeless.

My journey is not over. Its not gonna get easier. I’m going to continue to struggle. I’m going to have things thrown in my way. Things I won’t understand. Things I’m going to hate facing. But through all of that, I know I’m not alone. I know that with the bad, there is also good. With the pain, small blessings and wisdom will follow.

I will grow in blood, sweat, and tears.

I will grow in pain, sadness, and loss.

I will grow in laughter, joy, and victories.

I will grow.

My journey is just beginning.

And that, my readers, is my hope.

Off on an adventure,

Lorryn Holt

 

A Beautiful Darkness

image1
Peaceful silence.

Not even a insect to be heard,

As the light fades to darkness

And the stars begin to stir.

 

Wake up, white moon,

It’s your time to shine.

Come light my hidden path

To our holy Love Divine.

 

Everyone loves the light and sun.

But if you saw things the way I do,

Then maybe you could understand why

Gravity draws me to the darker one.

 

The Stars begin their dance

As the moon yawns sleepily and smiles in the sky.

But me, I simply begin my applause,

Lying on the damp earth, wonder filling my gray eyes.

 

So peaceful and happy,

The dark abyss I will no longer fear.

Because in the darkest times,

I draw close to my Father dear.

 

Holy peace fills my heart happily,

Much like the stars up above.

From tips of my fingers to the end of my nose,

All I feel is an overwhelming Love.

 

The night isn’t loneliness,

The stars’ light shines just as bright.

People just see things differently,

And some eyes aren’t as fond of certain sights.

 

But the night I welcome,

Just like a dear old friend.

The moon and I smile and tell jokes,

As constellations paint the blue glass from end to end.

 

The mountains’ silhouette,

Even that darkness I admire.

The trees around me darken

But the light inside me burns as fire.

 

A overwhelming joy so strange,

A feeling I’m not very used to.

But in the beauty of this night,

I feel so loved, even in dark solemn hue.

 

My numb fingers sunk into the earth,

My hair threaded with grass,

My clothes dampened from the dew,

I wish this night, forever, would last.

 

But so rises the sun,

As comes the light of dawn.

Shades of yellow, pink, and blue spread fast,

And the birds begin their song.

 

I brush off my clothes

And shake away the grass,

Whispering “pure moon, my dear friend,

This night together will not be our last.”

Plans are made to be changed

IMG_3877Plans are only made to be changed.

I had some huge plans for last year, and this year. I think God just looked at me, read my plans, laughed, and said “Hey, watch this!”

One of the things I struggle most with in my life, in many different ways, is change. A lot of people struggle with change. But for the last few months… I didn’t really know how to respond.

Last year, my entire life was flipped upside down. In two months, both of my older brothers got married and left home. I am the only kid still at home.

I had spinal surgery, and even though I am now fully recovered and doing awesome, I am still learning my new limits.

School is, well, school! I am enjoying some of my subjects, but there is so much to learn and things begin to pile up. Assignments to be written every week, books to constantly be reading, experiments to be performed… studying has become the majority of my day.

My mom and I babysit, so I have an almost one year old walking around my house four days a week, talking and giggling, knocking on my door, yelling for me, and knocking spoons full of peas across the room.

I just turned sixteen a few weeks back, and I’m now driving, turning in several applications to begin a part time job, and sleeping when I get five minutes to crash.

The prayer journaling I’ve talked about previously is continuing, but now more in the form of drawings – one of my favorite ways to express myself.

Blogging has unfortunately been placed on the back burner, but I’m anxious to return to it.

All the things I’ve listed seem like they would be tough, but lately I’ve realized it’s not the changes that’s the problem. It’s me not knowing how to deal with it.

I have been writing and continuing my music, but the things I’m writing and playing are not things I’m used to expressing or experiencing.

Poems about the late night darkness… a story of a girl whose dream decides whether she will be written as the hero or villain of her very own story… a mystery of a clock that times everyone’s lifespan, and a game that decides when the clock shall chime… dialogue prompts and one-shots of a sassy preteen with an annoyed angel and cheeky devil on her shoulder… the list goes on and on.

I’ve began playing new songs, and writing themes for some of my characters. It’s inspiring. Creativity flows, even when it is unplanned – picking up my guitar, fiddle, or even sitting down to play on the piano at random times in the day can lift my spirits and boost ideas.

Things are different.

That’s really all I can say.

Do I like it? Uhhh… yes and no.

I like the comfort of knowing that there are some things will always be the same. And I love the idea of adventure… but there are some adventures I would prefer to only write about. Yet, it seems God has designed me to live them. I wasn’t sure how to adapt. Then I started looking at the things surrounding me as my own story being written.

One brother marrying after waiting five years, loving this girl more than anything… that’s romantic to say the least. The other brother eloping with a bridesmaid two months after… and comedic drama ensues.

Playing guitar in a wheelchair for patients’ families, learning how to walk all over again, and shooting pool in a hospital waiting room the day after getting titanium in my spine doesn’t exactly sound like the most adventurous tale, I’ll give you that.

But when you think of two parents chasing after their fifteen year old daughter who is speed walking around a hospital floor on a mission to get her own tea at eleven thirty at night (in Harry Potter pajamas and teddy bear slippers, nonetheless), all of the sudden the story becomes a comedy.

The changes we encounter in our life can be crazy, they can be sad, and sometimes they can be scary.

I’ve missed writing so much, and I’m really sad that it has taken me almost three months before I began really writing on my stories again. But I didn’t think I was ready. I didn’t think I could create anything good because life was so crazy. How could I have time to think about anything worth writing, much less reading? I could never get myself to do it. I was cranking out drawings and paintings like crazy, trying to express all my pent up emotions, but I was slowly going insane without writing the many stories building in my brain. I was waiting for a slow time, a peaceful time, to sit down and just write.

I never should have waited.

It’s not always peace that brings out creativity. Sometimes, we need a little crazy adventure in our lives to shake things up, inspire us in new ways, and bring out new things that we are to write about. I was waiting for peace, but God was throwing me idea after idea, challenge after challenge, saying “I know you can do it, just open your eyes and mind, and see that the adventure is right in front of you!”

And when I finally started living my own adventures, my characters’ adventures took off too. And I can’t wait to share some of them with you!

I can’t promise a blogging schedule, but I can promise it won’t be another three months before you hear from me again! After all, these adventures involve you too.

Off on an adventure,

                             Lorryn Holt

Live. For Them.

13d94eb16f1a9e3aToday isn’t an easy day.

The past month has been insane. My older brother gets married in four days, and I’ve been constantly buried in school and work as a babysitter. Life is crazy. I feel like I’m sleepwalking through the days. I’ve been in a daze, just doing one thing and another and another, taking every day in stride. 

But last night, I woke up. I sat at the island in my friend’s kitchen, laughing with my mom and friend, and I turned on my phone as I got a message. The date flashed as September 10th, and I just froze.

How do you respond to forgetting something that you spent so much time on and dealing with? I think about it everyday, but somehow it just came out of nowhere. It hit me all at once, and I couldn’t stop the tears that fell. Why was I crying? I’m not even sure. But it all fell on my heart and I broke apart. Not because of the pain, though that was certainly there. But because I thought of how lucky I am.

It was sobering. I went to bed thinking, “18 years ago, 2,997 people went to sleep for the last time.” So many people. So many dreams. So many plans. And then all of those became simply memories by their loved ones. Eventually, all the little quirks, little phrases, little unique things that those people used to do, slowly fade to an old cherished memory that we hold dear to our hearts.

Which brings me to a topic that most people don’t really spend much time on every day. Especially on a day like today that is so painful and hard for thousands, even millions, of people.

Think about this for a second.

How blessed are we?

How blessed to be the ones who get to remember? The ones that get to say “hey, remember when…” or “do you ever think about…”, or even something as simple as “what are you doing tomorrow?”

How blessed are we to be the ones who get to live out those dreams, those plans, to be the ones to create and keep all of these memories that we get to hold dear?

Every single day we live, we are so incredibly blessed.

For the past month (months, really), I’ve just been in such a daze. It’s just “do this, then this, then this…” every single day that I live. Taking one moment at a time. But these moments are fleeting.

No one knows what the next day, the next hour, the next minute, the next second, will bring. It takes one blink of an eye to change everything.

Sometimes it’s not a good change. Sometimes it sucks. Sometimes it changes everything for everyone. People far beyond yourself or your family.

As a person who likes control and likes making sure everything is okay for everyone… you could say that I’m not a fan of change.

It’s hard for me to accept the passing seasons of life.

It’s hard for me to accept it when it is something that has changed life as I know it. It’s worse when it causes pain to not only myself, but the people surrounding me.

When I think about 9/11, it’s a hard day. But… I wasn’t even born yet. I wasn’t even a thought. Yet because of one moment, one dream, one plan to create something bigger than myself to keep the memory of those people alive, it became a part of me. A very big part of me. I carried it with pain for so long. Every dream that I had about it, or time I talked about a specific scene in my book, or even just talked about why Lane is the way she is… it was like tearing open an old wound. It hurt. A lot. And what I feel is nothing compared to the people that were directly affected. 

Everything changed for everyone on that day. And when I became aware of it, I didn’t respond to that change very well.

But now I see it with new eyes. I see it as an opportunity. An opportunity to come before all of you and share my heart in ways that I didn’t think would be possible. I see it as an opportunity for God to work through me and in me. He has opened my eyes and enlightened me to be more empathetic. To be different. To be the person I am today. The person He wanted me to become.

The 2,997 people that were killed on September 11, 2001, impacted all of us. Even the people that didn’t know them. It’s not an easy thing to swallow, even for a girl who wasn’t there and wasn’t even alive on that day. But one thing that we have to remember, is that they lived.

They. Lived.

They aren’t just people in a history book.

They were born of a man and woman. They opened their eyes for the first time to a brand new world. They took their first toddling steps. They learned the alphabet. They went to school. They smiled, and laughed, and loved. They all had stories. They lived life. One moment at a time.

And because they lived, their deaths were not in vain. They have changed all of us. Whether we acknowledge it or not, we would not be the same people if they hadn’t lived or that attack hadn’t happened. It’s changed all of us. They have impacted our lives, because THEY lived.

We can’t forget that these people were real people.

Today is not only a day of remembrance, respect, and honor.

Today is a day to live.

Today is a day we are blessed with. Even the pain we feel is a blessing because it opens our eyes. Without the things that I’ve seen, I’ve read, and I’ve written… without the pain that I’ve felt… I would not be the person I am today. 

I was talking to my mom about history the other day, and it brought me to this conclusion.

I don’t really like history, but I love MY history. No, it’s not all pretty. There are parts that are painful, there are memories that really hurt, and I’ve made countless mistakes that could even be called unforgivable. But. If every mistake I’ve ever made, every scar I’ve ever borne, every tear I’ve ever cried, and every sin I’ve ever committed has been for the sole purpose of just getting me here… to this point in my life, to this very moment, to have these scars that tell this story, to have these people that I love surrounding me… then I’ll accept forgiveness and thank God for every single one.

Today is a day to remember, and to thank God for the days you’ve been blessed with. So that’s what I’m going to do.

Today, I’m going to live. I’m going to walk with the memories of the people I love in my mind, and the thoughts and prayers for the hurting families on my heart.

Today, I’m going to thank Him for all the blessings in disguise. To thank Him for the memories.

Don’t take this life for granted.

Live for them.

-Lorryn Holt

Praying for Courage

4ra3iurycuHow can something so terrifying, so gut-wrenching, so sickening… be turned into such a beautiful blessing?

My last blog, which was a huge testament of my faith, was absolutely terrifying to share. I’ve always found it kind of hard to stand confidently in sharing my faith, because I’m just not very confident of a person (despite being a very outgoing person). But for some reason, on Monday, July 29th, 2019, God gave me just enough courage to post share my faith with not only my followers but with the world. It felt amazing. Freeing. And then terrifying.

After I posted A Tired Girl’s Prayer, that courage kinda evaporated and I called some of my best friends (and my youth pastor, God bless him for being so patient and understanding) and I was freaking out saying “Oh my gosh! What did I just do?!”

I had no idea what possessed me to share it. But like I said in the previous post, God works in amazing ways. Sometimes we just have to take a leap of faith, hand it over to Him, and stand boldly and bravely in who we are and who we belong to. Not saying I’m brave, because I’m clearly a scaredy-cat, but now I can trust that God is my security and my strength even when I’m terrified. And when I give myself up to Him, and He fills me… well, I can stand brave. I can inspire others. And I can praise Him the way I was made to. On the bad days, the hard days, and the good days.

When you pray for patience, God will give you opportunities to be patient.

When you pray for strength, God will give you opportunities to be strong.

My prayer was for courage.

And here we are.

Thursday was a really good day. Waking up early didn’t feel so good, but it was a good day. My dad was off work, my mom was in a pretty good mood, fiddle lessons went incredible (for those of you who don’t know, I’m also a musician…) and it was just an overall good day. 

 

Thursday morning, I start to text with my friend, and we talked about what had happened the night before. We go to the same youth group, and had been there the previous night. The best part was, we had decided to start using our music (he also is a musician) and voices for worshipping together at youth. So we got to our youth pastors’ house early on Wednesday night, pulled out our guitars, and started singing and playing music to prepare for worship before the devotional.

We talked, we laughed, we sang, and had a great time. And right then, I just started praying internally and thanking God for all He’s given me. After we finished worship, I began writing the next prayer. The last prayer was a pleading for peace and hope. But this one… this was a prayer of praise. A prayer of thankfulness, of grace, and of blessing.

The biggest blessing on Wednesday and Thursday was that my tired prayer that hurt so much to post that came out of absolutely nowhere, had reached a hundred people across the world, was being shared repeatedly, and was inspiring and bringing people closer to God. And that number has almost doubled since then.

That was my blessing.

God took my fear and turned it into something beautiful that could touch others all around me and all around the world. He used my voice, as small as it may be. He gave me courage.

I always tell people to “take courage”. If you have a book signed by me, I promise you’ll see that inscribed inside in some messy teenage girl handwriting. Taking courage isn’t easy. In fact, it’s almost impossible.

But nothing is impossible with God. And when He gives you courage, whether it is to walk through a bad day or even a good one, or to make that bold step, or just the courage to tackle whatever is being thrown in front of you… it’s a gift. Accept that gift. And use it as an opportunity to praise, to worship, and to use it for his glory.

***

August 1, 2019

Psalms 119:114

“You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in Your word.”

God, with every waking moment, I praise you. You are beautiful, glorious, the name above all names. You show me your glory in the small moments, those little “I love you”s throughout my day, and also in the things that are life changing and it’s overwhelming. You are the peace in the chaos, my shield in the battle, the light that guides my way through the darkness. When I’m scared, hopeless, alone, unloved, and insecure… You stand as my courage. My hope. Because of You, I know I’m never alone. I am never unloved or unlovable, because despite my broken parts, my scars, and my mistakes, You still love me and You will never stop loving me. You are my security. You stand at my side always. Whom shall I fear?

Lord, give me the strength, wisdom, and courage to continue showing Your glory. Help me lead others closer to you with my voice; whether I use my voice to sing, to speak, or even to write, help me use it for Your glory and not my own. Give me wisdom to follow what you ask and command of me, the strength to break the mold society has made for me, and the courage to stand boldly in Your name and show others the real me. The one who has been made new in Your love. Thank you, God. For Your love, Your healing power, and Your grace. For who You are.

-LH

***

Take courage.

-Lorryn Holt

A Tired Girl’s Prayer

1564435530573_image1Have you ever wanted to have a conversation with your character? Slip into your fantasy? Some actually can. I can. And before you leave and start thinking “Okay, this girl is NUTS!” (which I kinda am, but that’s just me), let me explain. No, I don’t see people in my rooms or talk to the shadows on my wall. But I do have an imagination. A very powerful one. And once I sink into it… yeah, all sense of reality is gone. So I get to live in a fantasy. Even for a few minutes. I’ve talked to many of my characters in the very dreams from which they were borne. I’ve sunk into daydreams where I can see and talk to them. I’ve fallen asleep where I am transported into another world with them and we go on crazy adventures. But sometimes… all I want with them is a conversation. Because to me, it’s like a bonding experience with a person who was made by my very own creative design to be absolutely, incredibly, and perfectly imperfect.

Sound familiar at all?… no? Okay, then let’s take a rabbit trail and let’s see if we can understand this from a different point of view.

A lot of people journal or have a diary. Almost all of us have had a journal or a diary at some point in time. I’ve tried many times to start one, but it always kinda fizzled out. I never could figure out what was so special about them or how to keep up with one. A busy lifestyle doesn’t really count in time to sit down and write about your day in a diary.

But recently I’ve discovered something new. Prayer journaling. It has helped me in ways that I never even thought possible. It’s been my way through some of the hardest things I’ve ever had to face.

Most people think that prayer journaling is where you keep a log of your prayers. You set a specific time to pray, then write about what you prayed for, who you prayed for, etc. But I’ve discovered a new meaning to the words “prayer journaling”.

For a girl who is so crazily outgoing and (usually) bold and creative, I find it very hard to pray. Why? Well, to be honest, I’m not really sure. This is not a new occurrence. It’s just always been difficult for me to pray. It’s almost awkward. Maybe it’s because I find myself praying for the same things (even praying the exact same prayer) and it becomes repetitive and boring. Maybe it’s because I don’t know what to say. Maybe it’s because I don’t feel worthy to speak to my Maker, who also happens to have created every single living thing in the universe AND the universe itself.

But then I started realizing that the reason I struggled was; yes, I was insecure; but I was also giving a monologue. I wasn’t open to the idea of having an actual conversation with God because I didn’t think that that kind of connection existed. Until I recently started using writing as a way to talk to God. I’ve started writing my prayers. Instead of saying them aloud, I pick up my sketchbook or notebook and just start writing. Sometimes I don’t know what to write and so I sit and I listen. I listen to the things around me, even if it’s silence. I look around. It only takes a minute or two. And then things start to click. My pencil starts writing, almost by itself.

Yesterday, I had a really tough morning. I felt really stuck, hurt, and lost. I was at church, but felt so disconnected from my family, friends, and God. I just sat in my church’s bathroom in tears because I didn’t know what to do. My mom and friend came and held me for a few minutes, and while that was a big help, I still felt lost. I felt nothing and everything all at once. I needed some time with God.

So I stepped outside of my church, and went walking in the field. Praying. Talking to God. I poured out everything. I pleaded, cried, sang, and even yelled. I felt weak and vulnerable. But I knew that I wouldn’t find strength in yelling in frustration and anger, or in hiding what I was feeling from God. So I stopped. I prayed for wisdom, strength, guidance, patience, and peace. Then when I stopped crying, and let myself be enveloped by God’s love and let myself be held by Him, I went back inside. But God wasn’t done speaking. As soon as I sat down in my chair, I pulled out my sketchbook with intentions of taking notes of the sermon. God had other plans. I wrote down my prayers and poured out everything. My pencil was moving with no effort from me. Some of the things I wrote, I had no idea why I wrote it. But I knew that God was having me write exactly what He wanted me to hear.

After I finished, my parents asked to see my notebook. My dad was sitting beside me in church and could see pieces of what I was writing, but wanted to read it. So I handed my book over. I felt so vulnerable, but by sharing my prayer, I received even more love and support.

My mom greatly encouraged me to share my prayer from yesterday with the rest of you, and some of the other prayers I’ve been writing.

And I’ve been debating and really struggling with the idea of sharing this. I was torn. Torn between wanting to share what’s been happening and drastically changing in my life, and being scared of being vulnerable and losing the writing family I want to build. But now I think it’s time to share my prayer, because I don’t think it was only meant for me.

*****

 

July 28, 2019

Give me faith like Daniel in the lion’s den.
Give me hope like Moses in the wilderness.
Give me a heart like David, Lord be my defense
So I can face my giants with confidence. {Confidence by Sanctus Real}

I’m here to praise. My job on this earth is not to write, or to nurse people back to health, or to draw visually pleasing pictures. My job is to praise. To sing loudly and worship. To show others Your glory through my writing. To show Your healing power through nursing. To paint a picture as close as I can to the things You show me of Your glory and beauty. God, give me the strength to stand against these attacks from the devil. The patience to learn. The hope for another day. The faith of a child who knows as will be taken care of and loved.

Show me Your glory, that I may learn to walk in Your footsteps and show You to others around the world and introduce You as my Holy Father who is offering love, joy, and peace. Anxiety and stress and pain are tiring. God, I’m so tired. But You give us rest and love and healing. Thank you, God. Not just for what You do, but for who You are.
~LH

 

*****
As humans, we are perfectly imperfect. Prayer is not meant to be a monologue. It’s meant to be a dialogue. A conversation between you and God. For God, it’s a bonding experience with a person who was made by His very own creative design to be absolutely, wonderfully, perfectly imperfect. He wants to spend time with you and speak to you. God speaks in many incredible ways. All you have to do is open the conversation.

-Lorryn Holt