Joy, joy, joy & multiple forms of Hallelujah.

Screen Shot 2014-01-07 at 12.56.06 PM

Dear you,

I haven’t been around these parts of town much and this place feels sort of barren.

I’ve been in other places. In grocery lines. And homemade bunkers to shield myself from the New England snow. And shrouded in blankets. And running and dancing in Central Park. But I haven’t been here.

I thought I would come to you with handfuls of apologies but then I stopped, and I breathed, and I said to myself, “There is no reason to apologize. You’re growing up and you’re learning to be committed. And you can’t really apologize for growing up.”

I am committed to you. And I am committed to this blog. And I’ve wanted to write more throughout this season but I am doubly committed to a book that this blog made possible. I’m three weeks away from the deadline. I’ve been writing, writing, writing until my little fingers turn blue and I am just crazy about making these pages perfect for you. Maybe that sounds strange, but I think about you every time I sit down and try to lace another chapter through my bones. And keeping you in mind helps this whole process seem worth it. Gritty, but so worth it.

And this is what commitment looks like and I could have never imagined it would be this way 5 months ago when this whirlwind started. I didn’t know I would cry so much. Care so much. Learn so much. Heal so much. I didn’t know I would forget to eat. I’d forget to walk outside. I’d get so hung up on one single sentence that it was all I could say over and over again. I didn’t know this book would latch to my heart like a sloth, that it would grow me in the strange way that symbiosis works for other organisms. I didn’t know commitment looked this way. Void of fireworks. Void of pretty filters. Void of coffee always overflowing and laughter rolling upward to the ceilings. But joy, joy, joy and multiple forms of Hallelujah when you finally swing to the other side.

The skins of that word used to scare me.

On the surface, she seems fine. But commitment is the farthest thing from beautiful when you feel stuck in the mud, and the wheels ain’t turning, and you’ve got no choice but to keep going, and keep going, and keep going until you can make something move.

I guess I’m now starting to understand why commitment seems a little jacked up and flimsy in the world today. Because real commitment– hands all in with no hope of turning outward– is not always the picture-perfect, edited thing you’d thought it would be. A lot of times it’s tears. And it’s telling yourself you will get through something, even when you aren’t so sure that you will. And it’s lacing up your boots to get through these battlefields that seek to own you with doubt and insecurity and hopelessness.

And through all of this I’m learning that distractions are real. And distractions sounds like too helpless of a word that, at the root of it, means “an escape from what you are called to do”. The Facebook streams. The Twitter conversations. The filtered little things we peer through the lens of Instagram to find. The magazines. The Netflix. All of it could start as a simple distraction to you but grow bigger and bigger until you are stealthy in escaping through those channels everyday.

There’s thinking you will do something and then actually doing it. The two are completely, completely different and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. And when you start doing it– be it putting your whole heart into a relationship or all of your lungs into this lifetime– you will want to turn back. You will want to run, run, run away to a time when it was easier and it was comfortable and nothing made you fearful or made you feel like something was crawling beneath your skin.


Please stay. Stay until the words come. Stay until you know what you feel. Stay until after you figure out what it is that you feel and you decide that that feeling scares you half to death. Stay when it’s hard. Stay when something inside of you thinks it might just be getting to the good part.

Don’t just stay when it’s blissful. Blissful ain’t never built a life in the way the bricks of struggle & challenge & strife build out a character inside of you.

You might want to leave but maybe that is all the more reason to stay.

Even when the world doesn’t get it and they shut out the lights and they all go home. Are you following them? Are you following them home?

Stay. And be committed.

Only then, only then, will the breakthrough come.


All this to say, I’ll be back soon. I’ll write soon. I’ll swing to the other side soon, soon, soon. Until then– I am waiting on joy, joy, joy and multiple forms of Hallelujah.

27 thoughts on “Joy, joy, joy & multiple forms of Hallelujah.

  1. Keep at it, Babycakes. We’re all looking forward to holding that glittering stack of pages bound containing your sing-song thoughts and straggled, bedraggled ideas. All of it will be beautiful.

  2. Thanks Hannah! And keep on seeing the JOY and the Hallelujah in the process. Looking forward to soaking up all you release on those pages. Big HUG. and also thanks for reminding us to STAY to be Committed to our own work too, I needed that this week! HUG!

  3. WOW! Thanks Hannah for such a profoundly moving post. This is one of the best takes on “consider it all pure joy” I’ve read. Staying is worth it. But encouragement like this gives people the courage and inspiration to stick it out. Kudos!

  4. This resonates so strongly with me, Hannah. I needed to read this today; it seems I always happen on your writing just when I need to hear it. I went to as-needed basis with my therapist yesterday, after meeting with him for 10 months – sometimes twice a month, sometimes once a month. Even though I didn’t seem him weekly, he was a huge part of my life and gave me something really precious. But I knew it was time. I feel stable now. Infi tiely more stable than I did back in March. And it’s time fo rme to stretch out a little. I’m terrified. But I’m committed, to learning what it means to be there for myself… even at times where I don’t know what to give myself. Committed to bringing up my therapist’s words in my heart and using them to remind me of what’s true, instead of hanging on to something that isn’t needed right now. So I’m scared. I depended on him a lot. But I’m staying… I’m staying with me. Bless you for posting this.

  5. For the first time in my life…I am staying. A very long and winding road but I found my footing so I relate to you dear Hannah as I sing my song and hear the sweet sounds of JOY finally allowing miracles to enter my life and a man who invites them be part of our lives everyday. God Bless You dear Hannah. I look forward to reading your words.

  6. I so love the lyrical rhythm of your words, how deeply it roots and resonates for us who need them most. Happily anticipate the book and all the tears, smiles, and hallelujahs it will bring.

  7. Love your transparency and your way with words. Very unique and refreshing. Thank you for constantly overcoming your fears to share with us and the world your thoughts and growth. Very inspirational. Peace & Love!

  8. Your blog brought tears to my eyes because it reminded me of your love note arriving on the same day when I was submitting my thesis. My whole thesis writing process had been physically and mentally exhausting. Your soft poetic words were like arms that hugged me and filled me with a new found enthusiasm for life. Thank you Hannah!

    Sending you lots of love, love, love and hugs, hugs, hugs. I am cheering and praying for you every step of the way, my dear.

  9. How did you know I wanted to escape Hannah? I was searching for places to go and in this winter, there was no places for me to go and I was afraid to go anyway. Afraid to stay and afraid to go. I used to take off before, but I realized that it is in me the problem. It does not matter where I am or can be, I am still me and me I have to control. To reign in my emotions. To realize here is where I belong with someone who really loves me and cares about me. I also love and care about him. I have a problem and that is I am proud of myself and can’t be humble. I have accomplished so many things others thought I couldn’t do; that having done the best I can and being at the top of what and where I want to be, I feel proud to have done all on my own. And I have said so. So it bothers others I feel superior. I know I do. I am arrogant.
    Anyway, here I am, staying, not es caping anymore, with someone who is humble and successful, trying to learn from him to be humble and how do you learn that when you have never been? I don’t know where or how to start. Please don’t talk to me about god. Talk to me as a scientist. We create our own destiny, not god. I am always running away from all the people who want me to convert me to their religions.

    1. My dear, I was truly touched by the beginning of your response but truly bothered by the end of it. First of all, whether you believe in Him or not, God is capitalized. Not just for reverence but it is grammatically correct. And God is an inspiration to every beautiful word, to ever beautiful life, to ever single person, even if they do not love Him back. He is three. I understand if you feel if He has not listened to you or not been there for you but I promise He has. Just maybe not in the way you wanted. He still loves you and will forever, so please keep your mind open and look around and try and find Him in the little ways. You’ll be surprised in how many places He is. Go through life with an open heart and mind, that is all I ask at this point. I do not believe that this post will change your mind on Him but I hope it shows you that I want the best for you and I want you to give Him a chance, Once you find Him you will never ever want to turn back you will forever be changed. Be open.

  10. Hi Hannah,

    You can only do so much in this world. Right now, you are finishing up the fab book we all look forward to reading! You are almost done. Hooray!

    What I’ve learned is that my attention jumps to different things and that’s fine. I was away from my blog for about 5 months. Needed the REST from that. We are all stampeding ourselves towards the cliff thinking we need to do everything all the time. I’m not doing that anymore. Some weeks I write more essays, others sing songs more, some I stare at the stars more, some I walk more, still others conduct municipal investigations more. But not all at once. And right now, I am turning this off to go have tea with a friend.

    We need more tea and conversation.

    Thanks! Giulietta

  11. I hate admitting this but I cried. I felt the lump in my throat and never looked back. This. I needed this so much right now. “But commitment is the farthest thing from beautiful when you feel stuck in the mud, and the wheels ain’t turning, and you’ve got no choice but to keep going, and keep going, and keep going until you can make something move.” This gave me the energy to continue doing what I know is right. To be committed to doing the good vs the bad, and being a high school girl , that is not always the easiest thing. So thank you for making it possible that I can stay true to myself. You write it pertaining to your life and it touches so many others. You touch all of us, whether we are new readers or old. You touch us and inspire us everyday. You are a beautiful women and little girls need to strive to be like you, not a Victoria’s secret ,model but you. Hb. The most beautiful women I have ever seen, who write the most beautiful words that always seem to touch me. xx- Molly

  12. Definitely needed this today…it’s funny how commitment sometimes means plugging through a dry season or plugging through your pain, just to get through. Staying committed to the hope that God will get you through and things will get better and the pain is for a purpose. Thank you…

  13. Thank you, Hannah! I have been trying to stay, stay and finish my commitment this last month too. I just opened a new music school location, and have been up till late hours nightly trying to figure out the ins and outs of being a good employer, doing payroll and W-2s, registering new students, and trying to find wall studs to hang mirrors 🙂 Stay the course. I’m walking right alongside you, sister! Love you! Karen 🙂

  14. maryandmolly……LOVE your response about God. I AM a believer, but if I weren’t, I think your response to Juliet would be enough for me to reconsider! Beautifully written.

  15. You are a very mature and wise lady, I can’t believe you are as young as you are. The world needs more young women like you! Thanks ever so much I loved reading this, yep commitment looks just like you described.

  16. Hannah, I know you get this all the time, but I don’t care – I’m going to tell you anyway: THANK YOU. My struggle right now has nothing to do with the specific examples you’ve written, yet every word of this post was meant for me. I’ve been fighting so hard tonight to stay committed to what I know I’m called to, and it’s a night when the unexpected popped up to call my name so strongly that to resist its distraction and to remain where I know I’m supposed to be is tearing my heart into little pieces and squishing it inside-out. This was the hand on my shoulder of love & reassurance & encouragement to keep at it in spite of the hard that I was so desperately in need of just now. Thank you for being His pencil, the words of hope wrapped round my soul 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s