when people ask me how i am now, i don’t know how to answer. i usually try to deflect. how are you? i say. i don’t know how i am, please stop asking.

but i don’t want you to not ask about me. it’s just that i feel like i’ve been talking and talking for so long. (why do you suddenly care?) (was that rude? i’m sorry.) i made the decision sometime in 2021 that i wasn’t going to chase people anymore. i decided to back up from every “friendship”, every relationship, everyone. i wanted to see who would come to me. who would initiate first. who would check on me.

i realized i was settling. a lot. i wasn’t being treated the way i wanted to be treated, by many people. and i had foolishly convinced myself they cared. i kept spinning my wheels in a vicious cycle of feeling empty and unwanted. but i realized then it was myself keeping me there. i kept expecting people to love me the way i wanted to be loved instead of accepting it for what it was. instead of adjusting my standards. who i allow to access me, and who i spend my time on and invest in. it was a lesson i learned the hardest way possible lol.

i’ve never been much for wanting to be included in events (i’m introverted and awkward, i’d only feel weird at your party), but i do enjoy friendship, i enjoy having someone to talk to, especially about topics i enjoy. i realize now, i’m probably on the autism spectrum, which accounts for a lot of my…difficulties, socially. to me, a healthy friendship is randomly sharing songs or memes with each other. want to talk about your deepest darkest secrets? sure, i’m here for you. i’ll listen. want to make small talk? to me, that’s awkward, boring, and i’ll only end up filling the silences with weird stuff i don’t truly believe, because i’m feeling panicked and awkward and don’t want to disappoint you.

i realized i spent years of my life, all of them maybe, saying and doing things i don’t truly feel represent me as a person. i get in a social situation, and i friggin’ panic. i have always been able to express myself more authentically via written word. i also found out that i often come out on the wrong end of things, simply because people misunderstand me, or don’t ‘get’ my neurodivergence. (no, i was not being disrespectful. sorry you thought that.) especially in online interactions (okay, but yeah, in person, too), i found i get ganged up on by neurotypical people who twist and misconstrue my words.

i found myself apologizing to people even when i wasn’t wrong, both in person and online. because of guilt; because I so readily believed i was always the one in error. that i was always the one who sinned. i bought so wholeheartedly the lies that my trauma sold me. to where i was willing and ready to accept the bare minimum, or even below the bare minimum, from everyone i encountered…especially men. this, of course, the result of lingering co-dependence, cripplingly low self-worth. feeling like i had to earn love. to scrape and fight and bend and die and prove that i was worth loving for any scrap of positive attention. when it really didn’t fulfill me anyway…but it was like an addict chasing a high…that is not how God desires for any of us to live. if it didn’t hurt, if it didn’t require work on my part, it didn’t feel like it was “real love” — with men, anyway. again, that’s not how God wants us to live. what was i saying? oh yeah.

it got to the point earlier this year that even seeing my phone notifications light up gave me intense anxiety. so i ditched social media last month (or maybe the month before?) it’s something i’d been thinking about for a year or so, but i finally decided to give it up for good.

i was worried for a long while about giving up socials because i thought…how will people find me? but i believe God is still able to connect people to who they need to be connected with, the same way he was able before technology.

i still go on occasionally to check things, or screenshot stuff i need for work or whatever, but 98% of the time, i’m not active. it’s done wonders for my mental health, although i do feel a bit isolated and lacking in social stimulation. the internet is the primary way i’ve always found friends, so without social media, i feel really alone. i also gave up the news. it’s done wonders for me as well.

i have this thing, this wiring in my brain and spirit, i guess, that compels me to want to right all the wrongs in the world. i feel very deeply, or sometimes not at all. i am sometimes blank, and other times charged with empathy for the suffering of others. it is a tormenting back and forth, to feel for the pain others are going through but be largely powerless to correct anything. it was sucking away my attention and focus. it was sucking away my life. i got rid of these things. now i try to focus my time on prayer, scripture, work, my creative projects.

i often feel disconnected from the world around me; i always have. nature helps. i have always been weird. different. i love my son, i love my family (which includes two dogs), but it’s as if i could lock myself in a room for days and be totally fine in my own world.

i’ve felt massive confusion and pain over my relationship with church — my relationship to Christ’s body in general…i can see so many things we’re doing wrong. i can see some solutions, too. but i see lack of regard to fix things. this is also frustrating. being homeless and on the road, my eyes have been opened to so many things, and now i can’t shut them. i am slowly being convinced now more than ever that God is capable of doing exactly what he has done throughout scripture.

i am convinced the church has gotten a lot wrong. i’m hurt. i know others are as well. we aren’t being as effective as we could be. we’re so focused on being relevant, we’ve forgotten the very basics of our faith. God is still well able. he is still powerful. our hearts are drawn away by so many things. have we handled the people who need Jesus the most properly? likely not.

my heart grieves and weeps for women who have had their rights stripped away; my heart weeps for the LGBTQ+ community, people of color, indigenous people, the impoverished, the homeless, those living with disabilities. Autistic folks and neurodiverse people everywhere. my heart breaks for those sitting in churches today, righteous in their indignation, not realizing they are spiritually corrupt. and those sitting in churches feeling like they’re not allowed to be themselves. (that means being honest about sin, yes, but also being honest about their personalities, too.)

i have done so much soul searching, so much examination and reflection. i earnestly desire for God to change me. i have seen the surface of my heart; i have seen the black and burned bruises that lie there, stitched together with bright threads. i have learned about emotional regulation, trauma, family enmeshment, co-dependence…I have learned how these things color my life, the way i see the world, the way that i love others, my relationships, and more.

i have put in work, so much work, to be better. to get better. and still i fall short. but i am learning that is okay. because it isn’t up to me. it’s up to Jesus. back to my point. i decided to go “all in” on God’s will for my life. i asked him to show me himself, to show me him working the way His Word says he can work. and he has been doing that, i think. he’s been doing it while we’ve been homeless. he’s been doing it on the days i act like a brat, and on the days i act like a saint. he is showing me incredible patience and mercy and grace. i am seeing fatherhood like never before. i am seeing love like never before.

i’d be lying if i didn’t say i still hope for a husband someday who will choose me and show me love unconditional. but if that never happens, i am still singing the song of my Father. earthly fathers disappoint, you know. they also die. fyi. sorry, back to my point. so i made the decision to take God at his word. to radically pursue him at the expense of my comfort. (and this is coming from a person with social anxiety and a whole slew of other issues, mkay).

i have practiced being authentic. i have put all my cards on the table. i’m not holding anything back now. i stopped chasing people and begging them and living like that interaction was the only interaction i’ll ever have. i realized recently my whole life i have looked for someone to tell me which way to go. now i am leaning on Christ as my only GPS. (i still use regular GPS, too, tho, cause i get lost a lot.)

i can’t express the pain i’ve felt these past few years, or over the course of my life in general. i fell in love for the first time, which led to my first real heartbreak. we’ve faced homelessness, i’m learning to be a mother to a child who will never call me “mom”. i was separated from my church and everyone i called “Friend” for essentially two years. it shook my core identity. it revealed to me how unhappy i’d become, how unfulfilled i was, how deep in denial i was. how i’d shut out God’s direction in favor of a life i chose for myself. my vision, not his. not the one he showed me.

i am re-parenting myself. i am growing. i am still a mess. i am trying to figure out how to treat others well. i have always loved people very deeply, sacrificially. but something happened; the light went out of my heart. it’s difficult for me to connect with people now. maybe it’s because i was so used to putting on a show. don’t get me wrong, i was being me this whole time…i was just being a version of me i thought you’d like.

when i try to explain this, people usually see it as hurtful…a form of disrespect. but i am not accusing anyone. oh, right, back to my point. so i stopped messaging people first. i stopped initiating. i sat back. and i waited. to see who would care. who would show up. i gotta tell you, really nobody did. i have been on the brink of suicide many times on this path (and as a kid, truthfully); thankfully, the Lord has pulled me out every time. (as my friend once said, “you don’t really want to die, or else you wouldn’t be telling me.” truth be told i’ve never really wanted to die, i’ve just always kind of wanted to not exist.) you know what they say, the most joyful looking people are often the most depressed. (check on people you care about – ask them directly if they’ve ever considered suicide. it won’t drive them to it. it will probably set them free. trust me.)

I have met some really cool people — some of those friendships run deeper and some run shorter. i’m realizing people will disappoint you, but that doesn’t mean they don’t care. shoot, they can love you, and sometimes say and do things they don’t mean. (or maybe they do mean them in the moment, idk, it’s all very complicated.)

i realized i can love someone with my whole heart and still hurt them. that i must take responsibility for my wrongs because i’m not always right. i kept saying “if someone checks on me, i’ll tell them we’re homeless”, but nobody did. lol. i finally told strangers, people on LinkedIn, a platform i was new to and didn’t expect any special treatment from. i found more kindness there than i ever could’ve dreamed. when i left the platform, for my social break, i expected those relationships to continue. most of them haven’t, and that’s sad. but i get it.

my whole life, i’ve felt more connected to others than they feel to me. it’s hurtful, honestly, to feel that you’ve tethered yourself to someone or something, and that it could so quickly move on without you. or that they feel you aren’t really connected to them. really? how much more open do i need to be? or maybe i need to be honest in my openness instead of showing you what i hope you’ll like. right. i’m so mad at myself every time i said something i didn’t mean or believe, because i panicked and wanted to impress you. i promise, that’s not me.

this is kinda creepy, but when i was a teenager i used to wish people would watch me — not like. idk. not like stalking. but i wanted people to see the me i was when i was by myself. because i think who you are when you’re alone is the truest version of yourself. but i’ve realized, i don’t think anyone can know that version of you. of me. it’s to sacred. God knows it; God knows it better than we do. but it’s nice for someone to notice those things about you you don’t notice about yourself.

so, y’know. even if you’ve known me for years, you probably don’t really know me. you knew a version of me, one that was as truthful as it could be given everything going on in my life and inside my head. but anyway. allow me to re-introduce myself.

i’m jeryn. i can be really selfish, but i have difficulty knowing when i’m actually being selfish, or when i’m just looking out for myself… i doubt myself a lot. i’m indecisive. i question everything, including myself. but i never seem to question myself when i’m accepting less than the bear minimum from others. fundamentally, i don’t feel worthy of love…or good things… (i’m working on that). i used to not question myself when i’d beg for crumbs off of someone’s table. right, back to what i was saying. so i decided not to chase people anymore. i wanted to see who would come to me. and who would stay in my life. who would make an effort. and, not very many people did. okay, well, maybe like 2 people did lol.

and i realized the other day that maybe that’s because i isolated myself for so long, people got sick of trying. or maybe they just communicate love differently than i do. not in the way i prefer or need right now. maybe it was what i needed in that season, but that season is over, and i want to be embraced differently. i am sorry if that upsets you. but i did realize, several months ago, that i want to be loved differently.

i deeply want a community of accountability, honesty, and love. i desire a spiritual community. i am struggling with this; after this bitterness and hurt, i have become a bit critical. how do i still engage even when i don’t agree on every single thing? how do i not hold faults against others? i hold them against myself’ although i am learning to forgive myself more now than ever before. i just hope i also develop the quality of forgiving others as easily. it took me years to train myself to forgive myself as God has forgiven me. i realized the other day i am probably more mad at myself for accepting the guy’s poor treatment of me than i am at him.

but then i also realize we were both messed up kids with messed up examples playing a messed up game of house, and we took out our toxicity on each other. is that either of our faults? i can’t assign blame to him. i fell for his words instead of looking at his actions; the cardinal sin my mother warned me of. i walk with caution in everything because of her, but not love. never love. i don’t believe that people love me truly, but i beat myself over the head trying to accept it’s true when they don’t even do the bare minimum. i love what hates me, and i reject what loves me. why do i do this to myself? why do you do it to yourself?

anyway, i realized he really tried to love me just as i tried to really love him. we are both incapable of being what the other needs. and perhaps there is one, i hope, i dream of, who is capable of being what i need. but until then, if then, when then, i think i am probably better off by myself. i still have healing to do. i have work to do. i must unwind this puppet string of codependence that controls my mind and emotions. i must learn to be fully dependent upon God, and interdependent with the household of faith.

i want to disrupt what is wrong, but i do not want to disrespect or cause disorder to what is right. i often think about mother Theresa, (not that my works could compare to hers), how she doubted herself and her work and felt she was never doing God justice. i wonder if that’s how it is for all of us? Paul with his thorn, Peter with his betrayal, Thomas with his doubt…i wonder if all of those who earnestly seek to do his will struggle this way. but i find that it is in moments i am not put together or perfect at all that he reveals himself to me all the more.

our “practical” faith. when we were never born of water and fire for “practical”…we were born for power. and how do we obtain power? not by seeking it. by the surrender of the whole self to God and his will. i do not have answers. maybe you shouldn’t listen to me. back to the point of this post.

when people ask me how i am now, i don’t know how to answer it. because i have been speaking this whole time. i have been pouring out my heart this whole time. i know you aren’t a mind reader. (but i am not a mind reader either; why didn’t you ask me before? why now? now that i stand in front of you, you ask. but where were you?)

but i feel as if i’ve been droning on for years. and you just didn’t hear it. even when i spoke it, you didn’t hear it. so why do i owe you an answer now? can’t you just read my blog? lol. i can’t begin to condense 2 years or 10 years of 29 years of my life into one text message or email for you. and honestly, sometimes i get tired of talking about how i feel. because usually how i feel isn’t very positive, and i don’t want to be the person always bringing you down.

the moments of elation i feel, when God is showing me who he is, well, that’s hard to articulate isn’t it? and would you share in my excitement if i showed you? or maybe i am not even worthy or qualified to share anymore. idk. silence can be a virtue, you know. and i dream of being one of those women who doesn’t say much, but when they do, their mouths roar with wisdom and understanding that makes you want to hear more. but they don’t speak unless they have a reason to. and i feel that i talk too much. i have been told i talk too much. which is ironic. maybe i talk so much now, because i spent so many years silent. when a faucet begins to leak, can it stop on its own?

i mean no disrespect to anyone. i have been blunt here, but not as blunt as i could be. (i am working on being tactful…something i used to be very good and controlled about or maybe not, what do i know…)

my words are often misunderstood as hurtful; and if i have hurt you, i am truly, deeply sorry. i am only processing and learning in real time. i have made many mistakes in life, and i am sorry to say i will make many more. but thankfully, God is gracious to me and will help me learn from them. i have tried to make amends with the people i know for sure i’ve done wrong to. if i haven’t gotten in touch with you directly, but you feel i have wronged you, please know that i did not cause you harm intentionally.

i am often sad, i battle confusion, i see a great future and move of God on the horizon. i don’t know how to get there. i see the woman God called me to be, but i don’t know how to get there. i am called to a mountaintop but haven’t the upper body strength to climb it yet. hopefully, before my life is through, i will. (the mountaintop is not symbolic here for position or power, but to hear him clearly.)

i am not perfect. and now, i am not trying to be. i am trying to be me…whatever me, honestly, in Him, looks like. i am figuring it out as i go. i am giving myself permission to make mistakes. i’m not backslidden, i’m not rogue. i am not giving myself a license to sin or live ungodly. i am simply taking the weight off my back and placing it where it belongs…Jesus.

i am trying to cultivate joy on the inside of me. it is difficult. i have always been prone to depression, ever since i was a little girl. i was once very happy and sassy. i discovered also some things that stole the light from my heart back then, and my present makes much more sense now. isn’t the memory a funny thing? how it conceals pain in order to protect you…but it causes more pain to not know than it maybe would to know?

i hope to become a more loving person, in the sense of 1 Corinthians 13. i have thrown out the rulebook. what i thought i knew. i am relearning. i want to do things God’s way. it’s funny, because oftentimes God’s way looks strange to Christians lol. maybe i am a heretic. if so, I pray that God reveals my error. i am fully aware i am flawed. i’m not pretending anymore.

although, i’d refuse to call sin nature “human nature”, because humans were not designed for sin. we were designed for holiness, and lost ourselves along the way. have you had enough of my rambling yet?

i am jeryn. i am a girl who loves Jesus and wants to do good to other humans. i am often stubborn and driven by my emotions. (i’m working on that). but i’m quick to admit when i’m wrong (mostly). i make a lot of mistakes. i want to be loved. (gosh, that’s getting easier to say now. it used to be one of the hardest things in the world to admit.)

i love people, but i struggle with what they do. i can be a bit judgmental, but i’m also weirdly open minded? i want a home. i’ve wanted a home more than anything since i was a little girl. but i think what i was really searching for is a family and a community. maybe the love i desire doesn’t exist in a human world. but i’m hoping it does. i’m hoping to do better to those around me. i’m hoping to help make the earth a better place.

i get frustrated easy. i’m a recovering hopeless romantic. i’m trying to adjust my expectations on others as well as myself. does any of this matter? are you still reading? i’m a writer. a designer. i’m surviving right now and hopefully someday ‘ll be thriving and helping others thrive. i often feel empty. i am trying to let go of the sting of rejection and the bitterness it has caused in my heart. i am learning to forgive.

i often feel elated by the creation of God. i am overwhelmed with love and compassion for others at times. i am a mother. i am a generational cycle breaker. i am trusting God for my tomorrow. i am trusting him for my today, my next 10 minutes, my next 3o seconds. it is his breath in my lungs enabling me to write another sentence.

i am a daughter of the Most High God, although most days i struggle to feel i am such. if you need me, if you wonder where i am, if you wonder what i’m up to…i’m sorry, i don’t have simple answers for you. i am here. and considering the alternative, (not being here), “here” is a good thing.

if you want to know how i am…how i am…here i am…by the grace of God…here i am.

i will not lie to you and tell you i am okay. but i will not lie to you and tell you i’m not. i’m here. i’m here. i’m here. i don’t know how i am. but i know i am.

hi, i realize i’ve talked a lot about myself in this post. that’s kinda rude. i’m sorry. i’m still trying to figure out the balance of standing up for myself, being true to myself, not compromising or settling for less, and actually being a decent human being who cares about and hears other people. i struggle with knowing if i’m being self-absorbed or if i’m just being…idk. know what i mean? so i’m sorry. but also kinda not. (do you struggle like this too?) i ask you the question: how are you? if this post resonated with you at all, please reach out to me. i’d love to hear from you.

P.S. The last lines of the prose, I want to clarify, i’m saying i don’t know how i feel, i don’t know how i am, i’m just existing, i know that i’m existing, i know that i am feeling. i know how i’m here. i’m here because of God…the great I AM. You could take a little double meaning there, if you wish. I am fully clear on how i am alive today; it’s nothing but God. I just want to make that plain in case it doesn’t come across toward the end; i don’t know how i am or what i’m feeling, i just know that i’m here and i’m alive and feeling. Thank God. i’ll also add, don’t feel bad for “just existing”. sometimes it’s all we can do. but we must reach a point, eventually, when we live. when we do more than just exist. i am hoping that i am reaching the part of our journey where i will thrive. but i do know that begins within, not necessarily because of what goes on outside of me.