Look At What You’ve Done

More than two months have passed since I’ve logged on the blog.

-I lost my grandmother. That was hard. But now she’s dancing again with Papa in Heaven.

-I ran my first marathon. That was hard. But I didn’t die. 

-I went back to Haiti and left with all of my bags in tow. That was weird, but I finally don’t wake up feeling like I am supposed to be somewhere else. 

-I spent my first holiday with my love in a new city. That was amazing. And so are new beginnings.

-We found out that my dad’s cancer scans were CLEAR. And that was a miracle.

And that’s just to name a few.

The other night I was writing in my spiral notebook trying to search my heart of what I’ve learned through it all, trying to wrap my lil pea-brain around it all. There is something about seeing your words hit paper that helps it all make sense. Maybe you’re a list maker like myself and a task isn’t actually completed until you cross it off the list… it just helps. I left my previous post with a cliff-hanger and if I’m being honest with myself, it was left hanging because I would rather just not go there. Mostly because ain’t nobody got time for that, and because I doubted the importance of sharing it.

After my last post and all of the supportive affirmation, the first nay-sayer slid in my DM’s and tried to ruin my day. Somebody who didn’t know me nor has ever talked to me had her mind made up about who I was. A hypocrite. And that was hurtful, so I went back into my shell and thought to myself- why am I even doing this? I wanted to block the whole world, because I’m quick to go all ‘Bye Felicia’ when I’m hurt. But today I’m standing firm in truth: our stories are our greatest resource of hope– our stories of sorrow being traded again and again for joy. Our stories are OURS. If we all weren’t so hesitant to share them out of fear of being judged or talked about, instead choosing to encourage one another… and taking the time to listen… maybe this world would be a little easier to bare. I hope my story to be marked by wonder and light. And if that is hypocritical, I want to hear you out!

Back to the notebook. I wrote down five words. And underlined them.


5 words that I’ve dreaded for as long as I can remember. 5 words I always try to avoid. Look at what you’ve done. I don’t know why I fear these words so much, maybe because you really- like really- have to mess up to hear those words. Break something. Ruin something special. You did something so bad that you have to look at it yourself.

Look at what you’ve done.

Tonight is the first night I’ve ever really thought about these words. A year ago, I was in the worst place I’ve ever been. I thought that my life was ruined. I put myself in a dark hole, telling myself to look at what I had done. You got yourself here. You made the decisions. You said yes when your gut told you no. Look at what you’ve done. I can almost still hear myself. But here I am. Tonight those dreaded words have taken a shift- and have a brand new meaning- look at what You’ve done. LOOK AT WHAT YOU’VE DONE! 

Such a random sentence that made all of the wheels start to spin. I had a little heart to heart with God in my notebook that night. I was reminded of all the ways this year that He’s shown His faithfulness to me. 12 months of the joy/sorrow/joy ride. Here’s the funny thing. Last January, I was in Haiti with a large group, and I was faced with my greatest fear: public speaking. In front of a bunch of christians. Talking about my story. NOPE. I’ll pass, thank you v much.

Well you know how that goes. FACE YOUR FEAR! YOU WERE MADE FOR THIS! And there I was, shaking microphone in hand, talking about Chic-fil-A. Pretty sure I blacked out for a minute or two. Any who, I went on talking about faithfulness. That’s safe right? I’m not sure anything is safe when given a microphone and a translator. I realize now that God had me preaching to myself. Preaching about jumps and scratches, the painful journey but oh how worthy it is.

He was prepping me for what I thought to be finished. I had gone through a pretty heavy breakup. I was breaking through a bunch of hovering lies about who I was. And for what it’s worth, I was finding my self worth again. Who would ever want to be with a girl who has already been engaged? The whispers. Even though I never tried on a wedding dress or even cared to, I had a hard time accepting that special moment being taken from me. But there I was, public speaking in Haiti. Happier than ever. More free than ever before. Rambling about Jesus on a hill, shouting for us to follow him so that He can reveal His faithfulness.

And here I am again, almost a year later. Rambling about His faithfulness. Look at what You’ve done. I like to call it the year of the full circle… a crazy year for sure, and I can promise you I was not feeling the faithfulness through it all. Probably the opposite, as this year threw me for a loop in more ways than one. Facing death in our family for the first time. Jumping. Falling in love. Always taking the road less traveled. Fear. Loss + gain. Trading my sorrows for joy again and again and again.

So, I will end in my lessons from 2016:

Make the trade. Choose joy. And walk in the freedom of knowing that it’s all going to be okay. Trust. Trust in miracles. Trust your gut. And actually listen to it. Don’t settle. Make room for a new thing and be amazed. Take the plunge. Take the road less travelled. Your story has significance. Stand firm. Look ahead. Live knowing that you are super loved. There are slivers of light to be found everywhere- even if you (I) have to remind yourself (myself) on the daily to seek them in their fun/never-ending game of hide + seek.


With Love,



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Life + FaithMadison Nelson