From My Journal

I’m reading Positive: A Memoir by Paige Rawl (Read it. That’s all I can say. Read it.), a girl born with HIV virus and who was bullied for it by her best friend in middle school. Her story is inspiring–it made me cry–it’s gut-wrenching, it’s heart-breaking and heart-warming and hope-lifting. But that’s not the reason it’s on my mind tonight. There’s a question it stirs in me, an uncomfortable one: What about me?

It sounds selfish, put like that. And maybe it is. In fact, it’s surprisingly close to a feeling of envy, as I read about her rollercoaster experience, because, because of it, she’s been able to, in a way, change the world.

And I mean, I can relate to the feelings she describes. Yeah, I don’t know exactly what it was like for her, and I’m not meaning to downplay her experiences. It took incredible strength to go through what she did and come out of it on the other side. But, I’ve had my battles too. In a way, I’ve been there, that same dark pit of hopelessness and aloneness. But even while I’ve been in these dark places, I haven’t had the same external, circumstantial manifestation of it that she had. I don’t have the same surprising, unique story she does.

It makes me wonder hopelessly: What story do I have to tell?

I feel like I’m wasting my time here. High school. Mundane teenage years when I could be doing something amazing. The years speed by in a blur. Time passes, and I go with it.

The days are long gone when I believed I had the power to change the world.

I wish I could.

I want to so desperately I can taste it. I want to be like Paige. I want to make a difference.

Paul’s words come to mind:

Three times I prayed…But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.”

Oh, God. I am so weak. I know that. And oh, God. Your grace is sufficient. It’s so sweet, so poignant, so beautiful, washing over me like the sweetest rain and sweeping me away. You have a path for me, and it’s specifically mine, no one else’s. God, I will go, I will go where you lead. I am yours, use me, in my weakness.

Remind me of what’s really important. Help me not to seek to be great by the world’s standards, but by yours. Show me what that really looks like. Stay by my side.

Love you,


Published by

Breanna Joy

Once upon a time, in a far-away land, there was born one chill wintry day a lass who would come to be called Bre. She grew up whiling away the time upon myriad pursuits that would one day shift from pursuits to passions; creative, curious, and mischievous, she loved to read whatever she could manage to get her hands on (in particular novels, those of plot complex, world intriguing, and characters remarkable) — and read she did! She devoured words with so fierce a joy that she grew skillful in wielding such words as her own — story, journal, article, post and poem alike. For other arts, she also nurtured admiration. She loved in her heart the beauteous sound of music and the power it held over emotion and spirit. And she would work with her own hands to sketch and to paint and to correct and to create. One of her deepest passions was the stage, where she would take on a character as if an article of clothing, and live and breathe in another’s skin. In addition, the stories of times past and cultures distant enraptured her fascination, and she dreamed of one day venturing to explore these unknown lands. But these, these were nothing to the true heart of her soul. She found for herself a motley band of what can only be called friends–though some of whom were, truth be told, far more than that to her. They changed her being and resided in her heart. And so she lived, and loved, and dreamt. She dreamt of adventure and beauty and song and story and love and laughter. But far beyond anything else, did she strive with love toward her God. For this was her own great quest, or, if you will, her part in His own great story: to love those in the world, as He had loved her, when she had not loved Him–indeed, when she had turned from Him, hid from Him, rejected Him and ignored Him–He loved her enough to die for her. And so, because of this great love that now burned like a fire inside of her, a blazing beacon, she strove for a life lived in a beautiful harmony to Him who gave her a second chance. As she grew, she became confused, and doubting, and weak, and afraid, and unclean, and she would forget, and go to the world that was pressing at her to give in, in an attempt to satisfy her emptiness, though it would always leave her wanting. But always she would return, and be whole and filled again, made complete and beautiful in her soul. Storms would come and battles would rise; she would be tried and tested in many ways, and even so the story continues, but know ye this–He held her and led her all her days, and in the end, He would bring her to His own happily ever after.

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