Musings On Old Hands, New Hands, And The Hands Of Change

Musings On Old Hands, New Hands, And The Hands Of Change

When doubt clouds your mind and life does not seem as new.

The hands of a newborn have always been a sight that makes a thunderous swell of emotion swirl within the bottom of my stomach. One day, those hands, although remaining miniature and delicate throughout most of their childhood, will be big hands. Strong hands. Capable hands. Those hands will touch other hands—they will hold hands of loved ones, shake hands with intellectuals, and enclose blessings within the hands of those who need.

Change is perhaps the most terrifying occurrence. I am unsure if this is because I fear change itself or because the outcome of change could be a life in which I feel no different. Change is not something that guarantees a positive or negative ending, and to me, that is the characteristic of something that is untrustworthy, suspicious, and to be avoided.

Without the winds of change, however, the hands of a newborn would never grow big, would never grow old.

When I was eleven years old, I was entranced by the concept of being an adult and growing older. Nothing excited me more than to plan what my life would look like in fifteen years: the ruby red Volkswagen beetle, the sweet-tempered dachshund named Lucy, and Sundays after church spent sipping on sweet tea while swinging my legs over clear, blue water. What I thirsted for was change. This change, unlike the change that makes me suspicious and nervous, is the cloud that I float on constantly during my walks to class and while I drift to sleep. As I float airily on my cloud of dreams and wishes, I see a future in which all my days have a golden honey hue and my hands are steady, strong, and kind.

This was change on my terms. Change that I wanted, change that I wholeheartedly thirsted for. The type that is not doled out like flyers for a new club distributed on a crowded street, but that is sparingly sprinkled upon our lives.

And although I am still yet to be twenty years old, I feel as if such sweet change has already been rationed out to me, and the only change left is the change that has rough edges and deep wounds. As of late, all I can feel is this presence looming over my shoulder and whispering into my ear. The longer he whispers, the more I have realized that he was never changed at all, but insecurity. Change is impartial and without feeling. Insecurity, however, is the enemy of good change, the enemy of progress, the enemy of growing hands.

I feel old and weathered, and insecurity has made a home within my prefrontal cortex. Self-doubt and the prospect of true and unfiltered aging have made me weary of change, and I fear that the love I feel when I see the hands of newborns will slowly turn into bitterness, as my hands seem faulty and unaccomplished.

This past Friday, a day that is usually good, bright, and happy, instead crept on sluggishly, the sky a bleak gray, rain starting and stopping, starting and stopping. As I arrived at my violin lesson late and in a huff, I shared with my teacher the news of my uninvited visitor, and my hesitation with inviting the type of change I cannot control into my life. After listening sweetly and providing some pretty words, she began my lesson and music was made. As I was leaving, still dragging my feet and disappointed in my hands, she stepped out into the hallway, and while offering her goodbyes and pleasantries she left me with a smile and the words: “You are still new.”

While her intention may not have been for me to shake and breathe heavily in the stairwell of the music building, I spent several moments staring down at my hands. Slightly red and cramped from my lesson, they still somehow looked beautiful. They looked new. The tumbling awe that arises within my stomach when I gaze upon the tiny hands of newborns was happening as I looked down at my own hands. Solitude overcame me as I felt insecurity leave his hovel within my mind, and I felt the wind touch my hair as I drove my ruby red Volkswagen down the beach with Lucy panting outside the window and sweet tea in the cup holder. My hands were new, and they had the capability to grow steady, strong, and kind.

A deep and sincere thank you to Mrs. Christine Sasse, a beloved mentor and friend that has guided me this year to love deeper and to trust Jesus in all things.

Cover Image Credit: Valeria Boltneva

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When You Give A Girl A Dad

You give her everything

They say that any male can be a father, but it takes a special person to be a dad. That dads are just the people that created the child, so to speak, but rather, dads raise their children to be the best they can be. Further, when you give a little girl a dad, you give her much more than a father; you give her the world in one man.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a rock.

Life is tough, and life is constantly changing directions and route. In a world that's never not moving, a girl needs something stable. She needs something that won't let her be alone; someone that's going to be there when life is going great, and someone who is going to be there for her when life is everything but ideal. Dads don't give up on this daughters, they never will.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a role model.

If we never had someone to look up to, we would never have someone to strive to be. When you give a little girl someone to look up to, you give her someone to be. We copy their mannerisms, we copy their habits, and we copy their work ethic. Little girls need someone to show them the world, so that they can create their own.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her the first boy she will ever love.

And I'm not really sure someone will ever be better than him either. He's the first guy to take your heart, and every person you love after him is just a comparison to his endless, unmatchable love. He shows you your worth, and he shows you what your should be treated like: a princess.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her someone to make proud.

After every softball game, soccer tournament, cheerleading competition, etc., you can find every little girl looking up to their dads for their approval. Later in life, they look to their dad with their grades, internships, and little accomplishments. Dads are the reason we try so hard to be the best we can be. Dads raised us to be the very best at whatever we chose to do, and they were there to support you through everything. They are the hardest critics, but they are always your biggest fans.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a credit card.

It's completely true. Dads are the reason we have the things we have, thank the Lord. He's the best to shop with too, since he usually remains outside the store the entire time till he is summoned in to forge the bill. All seriousness, they always give their little girls more than they give themselves, and that's something we love so much about you.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a shoulder to cry on.

When you fell down and cut yourself, your mom looked at you and told you to suck it up. But your dad, on the other hand, got down on the ground with you, and he let you cry. Then later on, when you made a mistake, or broke up with a boy, or just got sad, he was there to dry your tears and tell you everything was going to be okay, especially when you thought the world was crashing down. He will always be there to tell you everything is going to be okay, even when they don't know if everything is going to be okay. That's his job.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a lifelong best friend.

My dad was my first best friend, and he will be my last. He's stood by me when times got tough, he carried me when I just couldn't do it anymore, and he yelled at me when I deserved it; but the one thing he has never done was give up on me. He will always be the first person I tell good news to, and the last person I ever want to disappoint. He's everything I could ever want in a best friend and more.

Dads are something out of a fairytale. They are your prince charming, your knight in shinny amour, and your fairy godfather. Dads are the reasons we are the people we are today; something that a million "thank you"' will never be enough for.

Cover Image Credit: tristen duhon

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College Can Be Difficult, But Trust Yourself, Girl

Life can throw you curveballs sometimes, and times can get tough, but it is SO important to pick yourself up and trust that you can do anything.


I'll be honest, this school year was one of the hardest years of my life. There were lots of moments throughout the year that I just wanted to go home and get away from it all. I had to be reminded that I have been raised to try as hard as you possibly can, and I was doing that. It took some determination and time, but I didn't give up.

No matter how bad I felt, I stayed and persevered.

Now that I am home for the summer, I have been reminiscing on the past two semesters of school. At the beginning of the school year, I had a much different idea of how it would go. It was going to be "my year," but somehow while the year was going on, I felt that I had been completely wrong. It's easy to come to quick conclusions when life doesn't exactly go your way. Conclusions like "this year has been the worst year ever" and "I can never get a break" were often popping up in my head. My grades weren't where I wanted them, and I was surprised by a lot of occurrences that I never expected to happen (imagine a wild ride). I found out who my true friends are and who I could rely on, and luckily, my circle only grew. Being extremely extroverted, it was hard for me to get out and just do something. Being in this "rut" took a toll on me. I had to make those hard decisions about doing what was best for me in the long run instead of doing something just for the moment. Trust me when I say, this was NOT easy at all.

Through all the tears and change all around me, I decided to proceed to the finish line because I am NOT a quitter.

I decided that it was time for me to allow myself to fully, undeniably be me. I wanted to start doing the little things I enjoy again like working out, taking pictures, and simply just going out to do anything. I started forcing myself to take any opportunity that came my way, and it helped. One of the things that brought me so much joy was kickboxing – talk about therapeutic, people! Kickboxing at least three times a week helped my mood shift so much, and it was a start to seeing me again. I am so blessed with friends who would come over at, literally, any time of the day. Spending time with them helped me more than they could ever know. We did anything from just hanging out in my living room to splurging on a fun dinner. Through everything that I was doing daily, I was learning how to rely on myself. Looking back now, I have never really had to know what it felt like to rely mainly on myself. I did get so much help from my family and friends, but what good could their help do if I didn't want to help myself first?

Even though I felt like this was one of the worst years of my life, it taught me so much more than I ever expected. Looking back now, I grew so, so much. I learned how to smile when times get tough. I learned that it really is okay to not be okay sometimes, and it will be okay eventually. I learned that it's okay to ask for help because we weren't made to do life alone. Most importantly, I learned how to trust myself. My hope for anyone reading this, you will learn from my experience that the worst seasons get better. I am in such a good place right now because I never gave up, and I will continue to never give up. In a short amount of time, I am seeing how far I have come and how much I grew.

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