just looking for the sun, even in the rain

too close to the forest to see the trees; too deep in the ocean to feel the freedom

I always say I’m going to write more… but I never really do. I have to be inspired to write, and I’m just not inspired to write on a weekly basis. Maybe I just want to write when I realize something. Sometimes I write when a friend is going through something. But instead of being able to talk to them, I just write. This way I can mess up, fix, and perfect what I need to tell them. Mostly I just want you to feel like you’re not alone. I want you to know other people feel what you do.

I have spent a good majority of the last 9 months in a haze. I have been confused, sad, sick, tired, in pain, anxiety ridden, broken in every way. But I’ve gotten really good at smiling when I’m hurting. I’ve spent the last 2 years too close to the forest to see the trees; too deep in the ocean to feel the freedom.

I’ve been so deep in the forest I can’t see the beautiful green leaves or the way each vine has a place it needs to be. I don’t see how the flowers are growing in the places the trees protect them from too much water, but allow just enough to sustain them. I don’t see the way the sun hits the rustling leaves and it makes the canopy look like green glittering lights. Instead of seeing all of that I see my dirty face. I see my shaking hands. I feel my heart beating uncontrollably. My brain is racing. Instead of seeing all of the beauty my brain sees no way out. My brain says it is ugly. My brain says to close my eyes and not open them ever again.

Just like I am so far out in the ocean I cannot feel the freedom of the open waters. I cannot feel the pure salt water on my skin. I cannot see the beauty in the ocean life below me. I cannot take in that there is nothing holding me down. I feel the panic. I feel like I cannot get a grip on anything. I feel like the beautiful ocean is going to swallow me. The pure salt water is going to flood my barely working lungs. And my brain is telling me to let the ocean swallow me whole.

I’m a visual person, so work with me. The world is a forest, an ocean. It’s big, it’s vast, it’s impossible to know everything about it. The world is beautiful. Except if you have a brain like me. The world isn’t beautiful then. But I my heart tells me it is. That’s where things get messy. The heart and head disagree. Your heart wants to feel one way, but your head doesn’t agree. So what do you do? Well, I’ll tell you. You will feel like the weirdest and stupidest human ever. But you are not. You will tell yourself that you are a messed up product. But you are not. You will feel like you don’t function right. That’s true. But that doesn’t mean that you are a broken vessel to be thrown away.

I have spent 22 years not being normal. I came into the world to situations some adults never had to navigate through. I’ve had some of the meanest things spoken over my young and impressionable mind. I’ve acquired the beautiful family heirloom of mental illnesses. I’ve had the worst things done to my body. I’ve been the worst to myself. My inner voice yells constantly of how worthless I am. I see the bottom regularly.

One thing I have going for me is my savior, really though. There is a whole book telling me how beautiful I am. How much purpose my life has. There is a man that took my burdens on His shoulders. (sorry to my readers who don’t believe in God. I’m sorry, but I can only give honesty. This is how I get through these moments.) The amazing thing is that when this man died, hope became a very real thing. A better place became a realistic thought.

Listen guys, we all have glasses we see the world through. Jesus can change my glasses for me. When I am lost in the forest, or drowning out at sea; He wants to change my glasses. He wants me to see I am adventuring through a forest seeing all of the beautiful butterflies. Or maybe I am scuba diving under the waters seeing the amazing creations and colors of the sea floor. The thing is I have to want Him to change my glasses. I’ve spent the last 2 years continually taking off what He has given me and putting on my own. I have spent the last two years saying my own glasses are broken. All the while, He is literally begging me to take His. It’s all in how we see things.

Bad things will always happen, and typically they happen to good people just as much as bad people. Life will kick you, spit on you, tell you that you have no worth. But the thing is that we do have worth. Even those of us like me. With more than one diagnosis. With brains that don’t see the world like others. Those of use with the broken lives. Every. Single. One. Of. Us. Has. Worth. We all have a plan. We all have a purpose for being here.

I am right with you in the forest, I am swimming in the sea with you. You are not alone, you are not weird.

I know I spent a good portion of this blog describing bad things. Maybe that was a bad choice… I just want you to know that you are not alone. I wanted to say exactly how it is because I have spent 20 years thinking nobody was like me.


I am praying for you. I’m praying the chains of your childhood are broken. I’m praying the bondage of words spoken over you (by someone else or yourself). I’m praying for those of you that have had mental illness diagnoses. Life is beautiful. I pray you can see that. I pray you pick up the glasses that make things easier to see. I pray you love yourself a little more every day. I pray the bad days start to last less longer and less longer as the years go by. I pray the good days are magical, life changing. I am praying the forest becomes a playground and the ocean becomes an adventure.



I’m pretty honest, I’m basically an open book. I like to be open with my struggles because the devil loves to play with them in the dark. There’s a few things I don’t broadcast, but generally, I’m pretty open. One thing that I’ve just recently become open about is my fear. To be honest, I didn’t even know I was so scared until a few months ago. But here I am, almost drowning in fear. Suffocating not only my dreams, but my faith too. It’s a scary thing, and it is one of the enemies best tactics in my life. But I’m taking a stand. I am God’s child, and He thinks highly of me, and is always faithful.


Google tells me fear is an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous. Guys, that is how I think of my future. That it’s dangerous. That it is full of brokenness and crushed dreams. (NOT speaking this into existence, just letting ya know how it is) I was gifted the book “Crashing the Chatterbox” by Pastor Steven Furtick recently. It is a really great book. A lot of my revelations are based on prayers after reading this book. I kinda wish I could take credit for the revelations, because they are genius. But I cannot. *SHOUT OUT TO PASTOR STEVEN* Anyways, if you’re still reading, I’m assuming you have some fears yourself? Listen, if the worst “what if” happens, it will probably suck really bad, I know from experience, but God has made many promises to get us through those “what if times”. The book, basically, says “what if..” “it would…” “God will..”.

All of my scariest “what if” moments have come to pass. Losing my parents, losing my husband, losing my twin, a HUGE, life altering car accident, my brother dying, I watched my dream of having a child slide out from under me(just for this season though)… The list goes on and on. But through all of that, I made it. and the “what if’s” turned into reality, and that turned into a crappy situation. But God continually has gotten my through them all. In the book, he relates this to Elijah, and it made perfect sense. Elijah was tired of fighting. After he just owned Jezebel’s false God and prophets, he ran and cried out to God to take his life. (you can read this for yourself around 1 Kings 19). That didn’t make any sense to me… He has been kicking butt and taking names for quite some time now. What if Elijah’s fear wasn’t dying at the hand of Jezebel, but he didn’t want to endure another battle. Let me tell you, I can relate to that. I know I have made it, I know I can over come. But I don’t want to fight another battle. And that’s where my fear comes from.

You see, I am not scared that I’m not going to make it. I know I will. I’m scared of another broken heart. I’m scared of another lost dream. I’m scared of another stolen hope. I’m scared that all I am going to do is fight, and fight, and fight. I’m scared I am not good enough for God’s promises.

But no more.  I cannot forget all of my fears. But I can hold onto God’s promises. Because in Christ I have become good enough for those very promises. I have started to declare the truth’s over my life: “God says I am loved” “He says I am whole” “He says He will make this for good”. I am taking ownership. In Hebrews it says that hope anchors the soul, and I am keeping my hope anchored deep in my heart. My faith is the only tool that is the same yesterday, today, and forever more. Well, maybe not my faith, but the God that my faith is in.

Being scared is human, guys. But we can trump that lying voice. WE have the power. In Crashing the Chatterbox it says “And because the same Spirit who raised Jesus form the dead lives within you and me, we must refuse to bury our hope in a shallow grave of fear. We stand firm-even at the bottom- in our belief: God says He will. And since He already has… I know he Always will.”

Speak life over yourself, speak death over your fears. Know what God has to say about you, and don’t regard what the devil is whispering.

I am praying tonight for anyone who feels like I do. I’m praying against those fears. I’m praying a warrior rises up inside of you and you fight. Even if you’ve been fighting for a long time. I’m going to pray you keep putting on your Armor of God. Be brave. You don’t have to be perfect in 2 Corinthians 12:9 it says “My grace is sufficient for you, My power is made perfect in weakness” Let God be made perfect in you. You are not alone. You can do this. I believe in you.


PS I’m going to attach a link to Steven Furtick’s book if you are interested in reading it.


Living, Loving, Belonging

HEY! Wow, my last blog was my mothers day blog, so it’s been awhile. I didn’t forget you my avid readers, just didn’t have much to say. But one of my closest peeps bugs me daily(the good kind of bug though). So I figured it was time to write a new one. This one is for you, “munchie boo” 🙂


I think living this life is a really hard task, it’s a task we don’t get to choose to do, but we have to. And if you live by what I do, the Bible, you also have to love humans (that’s the second hardest thing to do). And even though we try so hard to live and love the right way, sometimes it still doesn’t work out. Sometimes, you are left with a big heart that doesn’t belong anywhere. That’s me. Well. Kinda me.

I’m the “ugly” sister. I’m the avid church goer in a family that doesn’t believe with intensity. I’m the tattooed, ear stretched, heavy music loving person in my church. None of these circumstances really define my life, but they make up me. Where I come from. Where I do and don’t belong.

I think living is really hard, and I’ve really tried to give up a few times. I love with my whole heart, but I come from a family that hold grudges better than they talk. Mistakes happen, but nobody knows how to forgive. I’ve never felt like I belonged with anyone in my family.  I have lived a long life of not belonging to anyone. Of not fitting in.

But, then I gave my heart to the Lord. I had an adopted family, dysfunctional as heck, but they loved me. One of those crazy people, my aunt, even took me to church. Oh yeah. That was the greatest thing of my life.

In church I found where I belong. Right in my Father’s arms. And God did me one better, He provided me with people I never knew I needed. These people have help mold me into the woman I want to become, they’ve sat by my side in the darkest hours, and they never held my mistakes against me. But always helped me learn a lesson from them.

In Gods eyes I am not the ugly sister, the weird niece, or even Marissa who made a lot of mistakes. I am His daughter who HE has called to something. A daughter He gave His only begotten son for. And He loves me so much, He gave me a family. I don’t think I ever realized how happy I could be just appreciating God’s love for me. But in realizing His love for me, I was blessed with a type of family you couldn’t make up for a movie. People that are by my side after I almost die, people who are by my side when I have to sign scary papers, people who are by my side to push me into my calling.


Since my accident, I have been a one woman epiphany machine. Everything is so much clearer. I belong with God, and God places me with the people I need. I live a life because I have to. And I choose to love because negative feelings take a lot of energy. And they don’t look pretty.

Normally, I say you don’t have to believe in God to read my blog, but I am urging anyone that doesn’t fit in, that feels unwanted, that is in a constant state of longing to look into finding God. He is waiting for you and He wants to give you more than your heart desires. God has turned this lost, weird little girl into a bold, brave, compassionate weird adult.


If you’re searching tonight, I am praying for you. I’m here for you. God is here for you.


❤ be blessed

So what happens when “as long as I’m living” isn’t the case

Holy cow! Mother’s Day was on Sunday! I love any day that celebrates someone. I love showing people I love them. Even on a “Hallmark Holiday”.

I celebrated my adopted mom! But I still felt the hole where my birth mom was missing. I
don’t really look at it like Deborah replaced Sonja. I just have 2 moms. I’m very blessed in that way. But I know that if I was feeling that funky-ness on Sunday, others had to be feeling it too. Maybe you lost a child, or your mom isn’t a part of your life by choice. No matter the case, if you felt icky, even if it was just a little nagging feeling, you’re not alone. And you’re not crazy. You’re missing something. You’re longing for something. And other people are with you. I’m with you; in more ways than just losing a mom. It’s okay to have feelings. But don’t let those feelings make you bitter.

When you feel those icky things, acknowledge them. But find something to soothe your soul, and do it.

God doesn’t want you to live there, and He wants you to be happy. He wants to bless you. LET Him. Don’t block the blessing by being stuck in the dark. Be thankful for what you have, not what you’re missing.

My message to anyone missing someone this mother’s day is to not live in the past, and not stress about the future. You can still love your mom, celebrate your day, even if your baby isn’t there to do it with you.

So, this is what happens when you can no longer say nor hear “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always. As long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.”

  1. You cry. Because it  feels great.
  2. You stand up.
  3. Wipe your tears.
  4. Do something that brings you joy.
  5. Honor your mother or yourself with happy thought. Good things. and a thankful heart.


I know this is all over the place. Just needed to share my heart.

be blessed<3

Stay Positive. No Really, Stay Positive

Hey guys! Life is crazy isn’t it? My favorite saying is “Jesus take the wheel”. In the last year and a half I have lost everything that I held dear to me. Then I got in a car accident and lost some more things, along with temporary loss  to my right leg (my driving leg) and had to be in the hospital for a month.

Let me tell you, my name isn’t Grace for a reason. I don’t do life gracefully… Okay, shake your head now, that was lame. But in all seriousness, I don’t. I completely fell apart two different times between 2014 and 2015. I could not handle the loss that I was going through, or the life changes those brought. I know I’m not alone here. Millions of people, maybe even billions, have gone through things in their life… and they don’t handle it the best way. Well, hello, I’m Marissa Hall-Burkhart, and I do not handle life well. Correction, did not, learning how to. And I want to share with you. Because overcoming anything is 90% attitude.

I have very few people I consider family, and my pastors and their family is part of that. I’ve spent lots of time talking with them and seeking their council. One thing I would ask Pastor Dave always “How do you stay so positive when things get messy and out of control” and his answer never changed, it just took my mind wanting to hear it. He told me that he controlled what he could, and he left the rest to God. He said that stressing is pointless, it doesn’t change anything. And it takes a lot more energy to be negative than to just BE POSTIVE.

So….. fast forward to Marissa in the hospital. I was miserable. I wouldn’t work with therapy, and I just wanted to sleep. Then one day I tried and it wasn’t so bad. I tried because a physical therapist walked in my room and told me “you cannot say ‘no’ only that you will try”. So naturally, sassy me said “I probably can’t do this but ‘I will try'” with the nasty facial expressions and everything. (I’m a hot mess some days) But I actually tried. It was victorious to move my leg for the first time in two weeks. From that moment on I decided that I was going to try, and I was going to be more positive. It didn’t mean I was going to be happy about my bad situations; it meant that I was going to find joy in the pain. It meant that I was going to hold God on his promise of making all things for the good for those that love Him (Romans 8:28).

Guys, I’m not saying life is going to be exponentially perfect with a better attitude, I’m saying you will be exponentially better with a good attitude. Life is so beautiful even in the mess. Sometimes you just have to laugh. Sometimes you’ll need to cry. But either way, there is going to be a way to get through the season you’re in.

I’m praying for you today. I’m praying for those battling things. Joy comes in the morning.

<3be blessed

“Sometimes even the mightiest of us need help”

Hey guys! Wow, it has been some time since I have blogged. I got in a car accident a month ago, and I’ve been in the hospital ever since. I’m doing well though! I have had surgery to correct everything that was broken, I’m healing great from that, and kicking butt in therapy. I’ve been off of work for the month that I’ve been injured and I’ll be off until I get cleared to work again.

Through this whole month, I’ve been watching ‘Grey’s Anatomy” and I can really relate to that show (minus the part of being a kick butt surgeon.) Meredith always has her own plans. And in the beginning she is dead set on not being married, just being a surgeon. But what she realizes slowly, is that people need other people. And even the people who may be the mightiest, they need help. And it’s okay to need help. It really got me thinking….


I’m very independent. But this year I NEEDED my friends, my pastors, my mentors, my family to help me carry on. Since I’ve been injured I’ve needed help doing the most basic of self care.  They both have made me humble. And through both of these seasons I have realized I can make all the plans I want, but if it’s not God’s plan, it won’t be working. And even though I’m very strong and independent, I have to rely and trust in God, or else I will get confused and depressed.

Proverbs 19:21 really spoke to me. Basically, it says you can make the plans you want to, but God’s will is always going to prevail. I was making all of these plans, but it wasn’t what God wanted. I’m determined to hear Him and figure out what He wants for my life.


Putting my faith aside, you don’t have to believe in God to understand my post. You can not know God, and understand you can’t do this life on your own. You need your friends and family.

I have become extremely humbled. And I appreciate who I have now. I don’t want to direct God on my life, because He has more for me than I could ever ask for..


Before I got hurt, I was going to write about how YOU decide what your life is like by your attitude, but this hit me more. I’ll go back to that topic a different time.


If you feel alone, or you don’t think you need other people, or you’re down; I am praying for you. Your story can continue. You can start a new chapter.


<3be blessed

“You’re off to great places, You’re off and away”

Welcome to 2016!!! Sorry, I know I’m a little late. But let me tell you, it feels great to say I made it to 2016…

I  have seen so many people being negative towards the “New Year mentality” and I have some things to say about that.

First off, shame on you! Some people have absolutely no hope right now, and they are literally clinging to that idea of a fresh year. How dare you be so cynical that you steal their hope.

Regardless if someone goes through with their “new years resolutions” it doesn’t concern you, or even the day itself. New Year gives you a fresh page, a new number. That’s how I saw it.

After all of the crap from the past year, I embraced New Years with open arms. It wasn’t just a day to me. It’s my first year being Marissa Hall-Burkhart again. It’s my first year not being married. I can go onto 2016 and make myself new again(which I am doing). 2016 is a beautiful, blossoming year for me.

Second, why  do you feel the need to rain on someones life? People see that and get discouraged. The world would be a little better place with a little more compassion.



Welcome to 2016, friends. I pray it’s a year of blessings, lessons, love, and compassion!


❤ be blessed


Hey guys! I am so excited to write tonight! Life has been crazy lately. I started a new job, full time. It has been great. I’ve been at church a lot lately for the Christmas play, along with leadership and regular service. So I’ve been busy, but God has downloaded so much on me tonight, and I cannot wait to share… SO. Here goes 🙂


It has been crazy foggy in the Mitten lately. Even in the day time. Tonight, I could barely see with my brights on :O I was getting so nervous in the desolate areas of my route home. Then, cars finally started coming, and they helped light my way.


In a way, it was almost prophetic to me. This life has been crazy, and scary, and FOGGY. On my way home, it gets dark. I’m not sure if I’m on the right road or not. Then God will light my way. Giving me the peace that I’m in the lines, or the warning that I’m a little close to that light pole.

Sometimes, before another car comes along, I freak out. Like full on anxiety that I’m driving right off a cliff(even thought I know I logically don’t live near any. Nor is there any on the way to most of the places I go). But I don’t have a reason for the fear. I’ve never hit anything or anyone in fog. I’ve never been hit in fog. But I get scared. That’s how I feel in life sometimes too. So much has happened to me, and I have lived through everything I’ve ever been through. But sometimes, I get anxiety I won’t. Then God shows His grace and mercy over me.

Tonight, I was reading in Matthew. I specifically read Matthew 8 through Matthew 10. All through that Jesus talks about FAITH. People were healed, got their families heal not because Jesus laid His hand on them(although He did do that, but in some of these testimonies, He didn’t) but because they had FAITH in Him and God.

Another thing that hit me was Matthew 8:23-27. Basically, Jesus commanded them to get on the boat, and He fell asleep. A terrible storm fell over the sea, and they started tripping out. “Jesus! Wake up! We are going to drown!!!” And Jesus wakes up, and calms the storm. Sometimes, we have to go through that storm. Jesus maybe asleep, but God’s timing was and always will be perfect. He will calm your storm, light your road, give you what He has for you, in His time.

Sometimes, the fog is needed. It’s only when light banishes the darkness that you truly appreciate the light.


Thank you, God for my fog. Thank you, God for my storm. Thank you, God for the light. Thank you, God for the peace.


If your road is currently dark, I’m praying for a light for you. Don’t shut off your car now, you’ve made it so far!

❤ be blessed

lose another day here

I have been wrestling with this since December 14th, 2014 (that is the day I realized that everything was all wrong). And I think I’m finally ready to talk about it. and “it” is standards and what you’re allowed to expect from the person you are with.

Okay, so let me be honest, there was warning signs well before my marriage… Like when Ron’s mom called me a slut (hello, I was a virgin.. in a serious committed relationship, but okay) or when his dad got right in my face and screamed at me telling me his son deserved better than me, prettier than me. And you wanna know what Ron did? Nothing. When I asked him why he didn’t say anything he  told me he figured I was strong enough and I didn’t need him to defend me…

So, I’m going to start there. No matter how strong I am, I deserve to have my honor defended, my character. No, I don’t need it, I’ve been defending my own self for my whole life, but dang it, I want that. And that’s not to much to ask. And I told him that, but Ron never did get that. Or rather, he did in fact get it, but he didn’t respect me enough in the beginning to act on it.

As a human, I think there tends to be this fear of being alone forever, or not being good enough. I know I have that. But our fears are putting us in the worst situations… They are forcing us to settle. We are losing our worth, our desires, our rights to fear.

My biggest fear is that nobody will love me and I’ll never get the family I’ve always wanted… But by settling, I became miserable (okay, before you freak out and screenshot this and send it to him, I do not regret my marriage. I would have continued until my last breath fighting for my covenant. But I realize now that I’m out of the situation that I let so many things go. and I am passionate about humans knowing how beautiful they are. So I am sharing.) I didn’t have man that wanted to pray with me, or read the bible with me. I didn’t have a seatmate at church on Sundays, or a partner in crime on Wednesdays. I couldn’t sing crazy with him anymore. I wasn’t being told that I was pretty, and I wasn’t being honored. I was being lied to, manipulated, cheated on, pushed around, and stolen from. And I allowed that because of my fears.

But the thing is… Ron didn’t give me worth. He literally was someone I loved with my whole heart, that didn’t love me the same back. But I wasn’t alone. and I had a chance at a family. Crazy how we rationalize things in our darkest times, huh?

After my divorce, I learned a million things about myself. I learned I enjoyed staying up late and watching 90s reruns. I loved eating Coney Island with my best friends at 3 am. I learned I am a big kid at heart.  I learned that I enjoyed wine and crying(it’s good for the soul). I like driving my loud car around with all the windows down singing emo music with people. I enjoy alter calls at church. I love working with teenagers. I learned I wanted to become a children’s pastor. But, most importantly, I learned that it’s okay for me to expect in my future relationships. It’s okay to have goals, and it’s okay to turn people down because they aren’t where I am or they have no intentions of being there. And I learned that no man is going to make me any more beautiful than I already am.

So, I encourage you if you’re in a relationship that isn’t helping you become all God has called you to be, leave*unless you’re married. Talk to a trusted person of God*. If you are in a relationship where you’re not being honored, leave. HAVE EXPECTATIONS. and DO NOT SETTLE. Don’t let your fears win. Don’t let the devil steal your destiny. Make a list of all the qualities that are important to you. And stick to it! And most importantly, when you wake up in the morning tell yourself how wonderful you are. Because you are wonderful and you are beautiful. Even in all of our flaws, God made us in His image. That means everyone.


I’m praying for anyone that is walking through this right now.


be blessed<3

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