We cannot stay here any longer.


I hold a dream job that I’ve never told a soul about.

It’s a completely, separate full-time job that (in a pretty & perfect world) would involve just me, a bucket, and Maya Angelou.

I harbor an adoration that is heavy and thick for this woman. She is, quite simply, a soul sister who hasn’t met me yet. But I love her. And I value her. And I would take every turn and twist possible if it meant I could follow her around with an upside down umbrella and a bucket to catch all her words of wisdom in one swift, scoop and keep them for myself.

It could work, really it could. I’d follow her to interviews and press conferences and poetry readings and she’d say to the people at the door, “Oh, her? She’s the one who recycles all my wisdom. Don’t mind her… or her bucket… or her umbrella…”

If this were my job, my most perfect job, then I would have been sitting beside her as her fingers got wrapped in the cords of the telephone as she talked with a reporter at the Daily Beast . I would have been with her instead of sitting here, in the middle of a Starbucks, tracing her wisdom off the screen.

Interviewer: What is something you always carry with you?
Maya: I’m a child of God. I carry that with me.

I stop. I pause. I put the bucket down. I search my pockets. I wonder, when did I stop carrying that? When did I forget that I was a child of God? And when did I forget to remember to tell you that, too? That you, yes, you are a child of God. And that makes you more special than any amount of syllables I could think to place beside your name.

I’m sitting here in the middle of a Starbucks and I am crying. I am vividly crying and I won’t apologize to anyone who wants me to clean up my tears with a napkin and a latte. I don’t really care if I ugly cry all over their Starbucks experience. Welcome to the real world, babycakes!  Youz about to get some titanical tears with your grande machiblahblahblah.

Yes, I’m crying. Right now. Writing to you weeping. Because maybe I’ve wronged you… I’ve wronged you when I didn’t tell you the truth. When I didn’t use every ounce of my energy and my syllables to tell you that you’ve never needed to match someone’s standards. I’ve wronged you when I thought you didn’t need that message more than anything else in the world… more than business advice or organizational skills. You’ve just needed to know what a worthy, worthy thing you are, no matter how ugly this world gets.

And regardless of if you believe it or not, I. Think. You’re. Freaking. Perfect.

Quite simply: I think you put the dang stars to shame. And you give the oceans a ripple & a wave for their money. And you need not change a stitch of you because I have always, always, always loved you this way.

And you think a stranger can’t love you? Baby, I can cry for you. And I can decide not sleep at night because of you. Because all I’ve ever needed to say, over & over & over again, is that I wish you knew how very lovely you are. It’ll break my heart the longer I go without telling you that. I wish you knew how very lovely you are.

And despite what you believe, I am not afraid to sit in my corner of the internet and tell you that I think you are a child of God. And please don’t get offended by me because there is nothing offensive about the idea of someone making us perfectly. And there is nothing offensive about the idea of someone stitching up the skyline for us. And there is nothing offensive about believing, if only for a half second, that we were made for victory and better things before we learned to give our little lives away to weaknesses and lies.

I believe in that.

I believe in love. I believe in a religion that never sat pretty in the church the way it raged beautifully when it was out on the sidewalks. In the hands of people who knew how to love on others right. I believe in people who use every shred of their composure to go out of their way to tell someone else how very wonderful they are. No matter where you’ve been or what you’ve done, someone should have told you that before. And if you’ve never heard that… well. let. me. be. the. first.

I don’t care that I don’t know you. I don’t care that I cannot list off all your bruises and battles like the backs of my own hands. Because if it took me knowing all of that about you then we would never get to the point where I apologize to you…

And say that I am sorry that others have judged you.

Or misread you. Or hurt you. Or screwed you over.

I am sorry for all of that and I beg you accept my apology for all the harm of humanity if it means you’ll think about moving forward today… because you have bigger work to do than feel the bitterness. You have much bigger work to do. That work is so big, so wide, so far, that it laughs at all those weaknesses that tried to hold you back.

We cannot stay here any longer.

Do you hear me? Do you hear me? We cannot sit here and wait for the hurt to pass, we must get stronger. It’s our only hope. We cannot sit here and wait to love ourselves a little more, or find worthiness in the mirror tonight. There is work to be done, there is work to be done.

We will know all those other things in time. But our lives are short & our time is fleeting & our limbs were made for a love that howls at the moon. So are you ready to go? Are you ready to go?

Take my hand. Don’t even turn your head to look back. We’re gonna try forward and I promise, I promise, you’ll weep for joy when you find it fits you like an old lover’s sweatshirt in the night winds of April. You were made for more than this. You were made to carry bigger things than your victim stories. Say it as we go, say it as we go.

You, my love, are a child of God. & you’ve always been perfect to me.

55 thoughts on “We cannot stay here any longer.

  1. Hannah,
    I am at the very intersection of “Strength” and “Stay in Bed For Eternity”.
    The heartache is consuming my bones, and my eating habits, and I’m not breathing like a human being.

    Thank you, as always, for your beautiful words. They’re giving me the boost I need to get up and go to work today. And hopefully I can say goodbye to the heartache and the “victim stories” so I can pick up something bigger.
    Thank you infinitely.

  2. Hannah,
    Thank you for this wonderful post. After years of playing that victim card, I have realized that we can not let those tragedies of our past define us. There is so much else that’s worth it to be grateful for, which includes the chance to learn from the mistakes that made us a victim and go after a life that we truely deserve. No one was put on this earth to play a victim the entire time, we were all meant for something truely amazing and your post signifies that very message.

    Awesome awesome awesome. I hope I am not the first to reciprocate your message to you. You are awesome and deserve all the awesomeness that comes your way.

    – Arti

  3. you have me looking like a crazy person. parked in the starbucks parking lot under my shade tree on my lunch break with tears. streaming down my face. THIS. this is what love is. this is what my heart needed so very badly today, especially, but every day too. i struggle with feeling worthy. feeling adequate. feeling worthy of love. and i didn’t realize that simply being a child of God means i am worthy. that is means i am adequate. and that i am loved. thank you so much for this.

    thank you for bringing me to tears.
    oh, happy tears.
    thank you.

  4. My favorite quote is: I want my light to shine so brightly that others are attracted to it and feel compelled to shine as bright. ~O.W.

    You are one of those strong, beautiful, powerful, beckoning lights in this world, Hannah. Thank you for the boost in wattage! Shine Baby, SHINE!

  5. Thank you for being so brave to call us all children of God, & for knowing the nature of God well enough to show us how that title isn’t a judgment or a criticism or a way to make people small and unhappy, but that it’s a reminder of how infinitely wonderful He made us & how loved we are by the Someone who knew how to string the stars in the sky & to make the color yellow & to put the E-flat major eleven chord together.

    Thanks for being the God-lover who doesn’t forget to love people in the process. & for saying what I wish I remembered to say more often.

    -a sister

  6. What beautiful words. Gave me the strength to do something others think small, but was very big for me today. So thank you. As always, I look forward to hearing what you have to say.

  7. Hannah,

    I read your post at a little cafe in Santa Fe, New Mexico and your words touched me and I found tears of my own that I had to wipe away.

    Thank you for your beautiful words and the love you bring to a world that so needs them and needs you.

  8. Thank you so much for every post you write. I feel bless and grateful for just being here. Your love emanates through miles and I pray thst you continue giving us hope and loving us. Thank you for your loving words.

  9. Printing this one, hanging it on my mirror. Love you so much Hannah, thank you for expressing what my heart feels 24/7 about Every Person on this planet; I offer a HUG from the depths of my heart to Every One. Hugging YOU right now > ((((((Hannah)))))

  10. not only did this post touch my heart…it really reminded me that no matter what,i am loved and appreciated,if not by people around me,then surely at least in the beautiful musings of beautiful souls who have taken it upon them to remind the world just that:)
    take a bow,hannah
    oh and p.s. i love you:*

  11. Thank you, thank you, thank you, dear Hannah. Your words are healing. I’m so glad to have found your blog.
    P.S. When you’re carrying your bucket and umbrella, look behind you. That’s me! : )

  12. My dear child of God, I love you so much, for your inspiring thoughts and letters. We are all God, and connected to everyone and everything. Peace, Love, Light to you my friend.

  13. Hannah –
    Your bravery in speaking the Truth took my breath away. You are so inspiring and courageous in love – may I follow you around with a bucket to catch your words of wisdom???

  14. What a beautiful post! We all have failed to tell the masses that they are loved the way they are at one moment or the other. But the good news is…you realized it and made it a point to get the message out there! Wonderful! I am sure He is well pleased!

  15. I’m sitting in shock and awe right now. One of my fellow bloggers shared this post on facebook and WOW.

    the line “I believe in a religion that never sat pretty in the church the way it raged beautifully when it was out on the sidewalks.” woah.

    and “We’re gonna try forward and I promise, I promise, you’ll weep for joy when you find it fits you like an old lover’s sweatshirt in the night winds of April.”

    I think this may have just changed my life. Thank you. Thank you for being the person to say the things so many other people should… it wasn’t your responsibility and yet you took it up anyway…and that is beautiful, that is noble, that’s incredible.

    you are phenomenal.

  16. This post brought me to tears. Thank you for not being ashamed of who you are, and for having the courage to share it with others. It’s a beautiful freedom to be able to rest at God’s feet and know that simply being His is more than enough. We need not continue to drive ourselves crazy working to be what other people want us to be… even what unrealistic things we sometimes want ourselves to be.. we just need to rest in His presence and simply BE. As a woman who has also struggled with self-worth, I desire to spread this truth to every person I come into contact with, but as you said in your post, for some reason I don’t. Thank you for taking up that voice. Thank you for honoring the beautiful truth of God’s love and sharing it in such a beautiful and moving way.

  17. Wow. This is such a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing and reminding me that I am worthy no matter how challenging life has been….. I’m still worthy.

    You have a truly magical way with words. 🙂

  18. Wow. This is awesome. Thank you for your honesty and earnestness. I can feel the urgency flying off the page. “Say it as we go, say it as we go.” I needed this tonight.

  19. I needed this today Hannah. I have been so lost for so long now and I’m waiting for someone to give me back all I give away. I want someone to tell me all these things instead of me telling them to everyone else. This has been my year of hell, but I also was the most happy I have ever been. As someone that has a happy go lucky personality this year hit me like a bus. I know I need to stop placing my happiness in people and in God, but I don’t even know where to start with that. I know people will fail me in every way possible, but I will continue to love and rely on them no matter how bad I am hurt. I put people up on a pedestal and they fail me, as all humans do but I still love and adore them. The pedestal I place them on, the utmost faith I have in them, it places me in a state of vulnerability where I can get hurt easily. I don’t know how to stop doing that. This year the book of everything I thought I knew got thrown out the window and I don’t know how to make sense of my world anymore. I don’t know what God is trying to tell me. Is this not the college I belong at? Is all this meant to lead me back to him? It’s like I’m fighting him every step of the way and I don’t know how to stop fighting. This place is full of so many bad memories and so many good ones. And recently the bad has outweighed the good. How do you stand when everything around you is crumbling in ways that you could never imagine? How do I stop relying on people and rely on God more?
    Please write back to me Hannah. I just need some guidance and I know our heavenly father holds all the answers but I’m scared of what those answers are.

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