i stopped forcing myself to think of thirty things i will miss about texas. i've thought about it every day; it really hasn't been lost because i forgot or was lazy. truthfully, i ran out of "things" and could only think of people. i'll miss people the most. you know who you are, you dallas-dwellers who have made my stay here so unbelievably pleasant. i will miss you. and on the eve of my last day at work, i can't help but sit around and think of that sweet quote from winnie the pooh: "how lucky am i to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard."

{so let me interrupt your regularly scheduled program to use this space to shed some weight during a very heavy week.}

~~~

i go through seasons where i forget who i really am. i forget what it is i stand for, what it is that gives life, where it is i find hope. and i just want to take my face off so i can slap it. i wish, so desperately, that i would just listen for once. CAN I GET AN AMEN.

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i've been dealing with some fear this week. fear of what lies ahead for me, for jared, with jobs and money and friendships and traveling and details. fear that i've been given a gift i do not deserve, and fear that it won't take long before everyone else realizes that, too. fear that i wasted some of my time, that i wandered from all the hopes i had when i moved here just three short years ago. i fear the people that follow me will make people say 'rachel who?' because they're going to do so much better than i ever did. i fear inadequacy will be my legacy. i've been replaying scenes over and over in my mind this week. moments i'll miss, moments i awkwardly made it through, moments i hope to repeat, moments i hope i forget. and of course, that's life, isn't it? tons of moments stacked on top of each other, where we did the best we can with what we had to work with at the time. and i just have to keep repeating that truth to myself; i am doing the best i can, with what i have to work with. 

i have also been dealing with a great deal of insecurity this week for a long while. the scorching heat of Not Good Enough has been burning behind my cheeks for so long, i just want to melt down and start over. and like i always do, i tried to hide that. from my husband, from my closest friends, and even from myself. and that plan works almost never. so of course it comes bubbling out of me in really not adorable ways: long text messages, late night car rides, et al. but it comes out. and i dance around in freedom, wondering why i'd ever convince myself of anything else. but forgiving myself is always the hardest part of the equation; i'd keep myself on the chopping block all day if i could. it's hard to feel forgiven, especially in the midst of insecurity.

i want to be better at practicing what i preach, but i do believe that has to start with recognition of where i am. i'll never be someone who pretends to be perfect; that's much too crazy for me. i've messed up a lot lately, but i want to learn to be more selfless, more loving, more gentle and kind. as i close this chapter and move toward the next, i just have to keep reminding myself: i did the best i could with what i had to work with at the time. and i'm forgiven, which means i have to forgive myself as well.

so i'm just going to keep working on all of this, and i'll continue to keep you posted along the way. but let the record show that i love vulnerability more than anything, and i think being honest and open about the gross in our lives is the only way we'll ever see it become good -- by God's grace i hope we see it all become good.

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[epilogue] if you haven't heard the amy grant song 'come on out', you should go listen to it right. this. minute. if you haven't heard of amy grant, i really feel bad for you. she taught me how to harmonize, how to play guitar, how to own mistakes and sing about them. and how to have awesome wavy hair.

but I will be a witness  that there's nothing in me dark enough  the power of forgiveness  cannot resuce from the deep