Sunday, July 28, 2013

Light it up, So they can't put it out

      I don't really know how to describe you.

      I can use words like passionate, loyal, fierce, beautiful, tender.... but really, they are just words, and I am not sure if they will do you justice.

      Really, for someone like you, words don't really seem to work all that well.

      So, I will try to do everything I can to honor you on your day, but I am sure the words will still come up painfully short.

       When I was in Miss Bonifay, I was asked to give the person I most admire. The person who came to my mind was not Gandhi or Mother Theresa or even a celebrity like Beyonce. No, the person who immediately came to my mind was you.

        Really, I have always admired you, and really, I have always wished I could be a little more like you.

        Passionate... you have this fire inside you.  Sometimes it scares me just a little, but you exude this contagious fire that warms everyone else around you, and it's beautiful. Whatever makes you excited, you can't help but share. Conversations with you are never merely surface level. They have to be deep, and as a result, I always walk away challenged.

         People like you change the world because they just can't help themselves. They see needs and those needs must be fixed. As I walked with you through my slums, I wondered about how your heart and mind would process the brokenness around you. You didn't weep for the pain you witnessed. Instead, you questioned and began thinking of solutions. Your heart never could settle for grief... you have to do something. And you will.

         You are never afraid to ask questions, hard questions. And it's okay to ask questions... because once you find your answers, you hold fast to your beliefs with all of your heart. When you truly believe something, there is no turning back.

         Loyalty... you don't give up on people. You love until it hurts, and you have been hurt. However, your hurts have not hardened you to the world. Instead, you love smarter. And that's what I love about you... you still choose to love.

        Fierce... I mean, work it girl, because you can. I wish I could saunter in heels like you do.

        Beautiful... What do you see when you look in the mirror? Do you understand how truly beautiful you are? Do you see the inner beauty that reflects to the outside? You have these breathtaking blue eyes and those freckles I have always wanted that just add to your charm. But your smile is my favorite. Because when you smile, your whole face lights up. And your smile is contagious. It gives. It invites.

        That is your beauty... the kind of beauty that invites others closer.

         Tender... That may not be a word you are used to hearing, but really, there are moments when all I want is just to be closer to you. You tell the truth (and sometimes it stings), but there is compassion in your words. Your tenderness is a gift, especially to those who really need someone to just be there. It helps me trust you more, knowing that whatever you speak will be spoken with wisdom and love.

          It's rare to be able to say that someone is every inch their name.

          But really, when He inspired your name, He knew that it would personify who you are.

          You are Joy: a source or cause of keen pleasure or delight; something or someone greatly valued or appreciated.

           You are greatly valued for who you are, for who you are to others, and for who you are to me... my little sister, my dear friend, someone I can't imagine my life without.

           I hope that this year, you draw closer to His heart. Go to Him with your questions, your doubts, your fears, and let Him amaze you.

           I hope this is the year that you are genuinely amazed. I hope this is the year that you find joy in the little things, that you discover how to use your gifts more and more for others.

           My prayer is that this is the year you fall deeper into Him, and you discover more of who you were created to be.

           Because people like you were meant to change the world.

When the lights turned down, they don't know what they heard. Strike the match, play it loud, giving love to the world. We'll be raising our hands, shining up to the sky. Cause we got the fire, and we gonna let it burn....
                                                                                    ~Burn, Ellie Goulding