with terminal hearts

something bittersweet in this longing.
something that runs past surface deep.
to the soul and belonging.

and you’re both wrecked and made whole in one night.
the symphony of melody reliving the tension and fight.
then rearranging within until you view.
the perspective of wonder and hope.

I dare you to move.
to keep living alive every 24 hr day.
when you struggle to find the good, I dare you to stay.


there was a moment last summer. standing under the skies of the local city that holds so many important memories, covered by the city dark and the buildings escalating in size and brightness. sandwiched between hopes + dreams and the realities of what you’ve been living.

your heart feels caught up in mid air, the tension a thick blanket of both comfort and source of shaky intake of oxygen. the melodies pierce with further clarity the haze around you, each lyric penetrating the walls of protection around your soul. for the first time, you truly relate with the way death is present in every song, reminders to live while you have this gift of a life.

because in order to actually know the magnitude and gravity of death, you have to actually have viewed it up close with your own disbelieving eyes. walked through it in the strain of feeling twenty thousand emotions in the space of one short hour. instantaneously everything and nothing at all. you have to believe that it is real because every sensation you possess has told your resistant heart it is.


it’s no secret that I R E A L L Y love Switchfoot. like a crazy strong amount. the day I met them briefly still ranks at the top of my highlight reel.

maybe it’s because I discovered their sounds and songs that effectively merge the longings for hope and the struggle of doubts right when I was the most desperate to process through the changes. after all, senior year of high school presented the greatest unknowns of my life.

the band was unafraid to live with freedom, singing from the kind of place your soul only knows when it has seen the light, while simultaneously asking the biggest questions in the most beautifully honest and poetic lyrically phrased ways, reminiscent of the Psalms.

but I never realized that after the intense period of life where I watched my mom actually fade from my grasp into the world where we belong, the one I so consistently sang about, put my hope in, the lyrics would take on a dimension I couldn’t even comprehend.

some things are almost impossible to put into words. the sudden wave of joy and pain that almost knocked me over during Switchfoot’s set falls into this category. it was one of the most beautifully moving concert experiences yet, which is saying a lot, because every concert is a special gem to me.

but this one stands out. as the day healing began, piece by piece, line by line. last summer was a fight to breathe again, to learn how to live again, and this moment in time contributed to that.


concerts. they are a favorite space, where the soul finds release in a way that’s impossible to convey, and I’m convinced a love of them runs deeper than is normal in my veins. there is something magical about how they both magically tear into the most broken parts yet bring the most profound healing. it seems impossible that they’re capable of both. time stops. the wound and the cure. 

the words play on your emotions, the chords penetrate to the soul. making sensations overload until you begin to embrace both the weight and lightness of it all. the dreams and the shadows that live in tension. you will leave changed. you will leave knowing that in order for light + hope + all that is good to get through, everything has to surrender, to fade and die, to crack open. 

it is only by release that the symphony of it all truly takes hold. eyes open to the complexity, the wonder, the sound. these songs are important, these stories are important, what you do with them is important. you will find and lose yourself in these songs. you will leave wrecked deeper than you thought and you will leave healed greater than you thought. so let them infiltrate your heart.

a tangible reminder of the strength in people being there for other people. there is no feeling like being moved by the rhythms and singing every single lyric with countless others who have found these songs hit home in various aspects of the struggles they have endured. for we all have walked through the darkest seasons, and we all are in search of hope. 


this past year, I have learned far more than I could have ever dreamed from first hand perspective. I have learned what it truly means that we are miracles, living on the edge of eternity. I have seen the tension between living and dying and the preciousness of time in ways my heart can’t even begin to explain. so let us sing before our time runs out, let us dare to move, let us raise the flag of where we belong.

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the songs progress. life is short, live it well. where I belong, which is basically your theme song for life, rings out with a new intro of hope is the anthem of my soul, and everything collides. Jon Foreman, one of the most genuine humans and musicians, comes out front for the after show, and instantly staying becomes the best decision of your life.

a party outside the venue, with a small group of individuals, gathered to chase the melody, to continue the questions & conversation through song, to settle into the hope just a little bit more.

and the tears refuse to stop all night, as you sing about eternity wrapped up in the present, hope in the tension, and are aware of the miracle of living in a much deeper way.


one year later, I am still finding out that we are the living souls with terminal hearts. fatally flawed in the image of God. I am still learning what that means. that some experiences will heal you more than you ever truly are aware.

I am still learning how to return to the mindset under the magical city skies, where the stars shone ever faithful and it all became about community + music + the magic of the present, the verge of eternity we are chasing, the edge of hope that is always there. here’s to last July and the ways it brought hope to this terminal, hurting heart.

here’s to continuing to show up and be surprised by the sheer impact of being present in each experience. here’s to refusing to hide the emotions and instead allow yourself to let go, to heal. here’s to learning how to dance in the tension of death & life & eternity with hope ever present.

here’s to our terminal hearts + the hope that is the anthem,

Hannah-Grace

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