Hello, This is Me

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Hello
this is me
today i am
tired
a tired that is in my bones
and my soul
a tired
that
makes it hard to smile
hard to walk
to think
to write
to read
to want.

Hello
this is me
I love God
I love Jesus
but I am tired
I have no desire for life
not to say I will stop it
just to say
that I do not want to do
anything
not because i am lazy
not because i do not care
but that i am tired.

My chest is heavy
as if my heart were stone
I feel far from light
even as I sit in the sun
far from people
even as I force myself to be out
to shop
and to do.
I feel alone
but know that I am not.

I know that my Lord
Creator and Lover of my soul
is here
with me
right now.
Loving me.
And I bask in that.
I tip my heart to Him
and let Him love me
as I am
tired and heavy.

I have hope that this will pass.
These feelings are not me
but they are a facet
just as a diamond has many facets
so does this person
and I am His
His jewel.

So I do my best today
do my best
to live
constantly talking to my Lord
because He gets me
He knows me
He loves me
and He doesn’t judge me.
He is my biggest fan,
doting Father
valiant warrior
loving protector
keeping the lies at bay.

hello
this is me
and I am His
not matter what.

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Sunday, Hulk Smash!

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There is nothing like a Sunday morning
for the Christian family.
Bible Study nights may come to a close second.
It is when legends of werewolves come to a reality.
When man or woman suddenly turns to beast.
No doubt there is a spiritual war going on.
Invisible to us, light and dark always fighting.
One to protect.
The other to destroy.
Add our own weaknesses to the mix
and we may be in for a dynamite morning
of hulk vs werewolf.
Add anxiety to the mix and nasty fireworks come flaming down
stinging everyone in the process.

This morning was such a morning.
The promise of a wonderful meal after church
will encourage attendance and a joy of upcoming fellowship for many
but for the person with anxiety
it becomes a cloud of doom and gloom hanging over every thought
that is linked to church for the entire week prior.
Meeting with people equals talking with people.
These are wonderful people.
Wonderful people I am admiring more every week.
People I want to know.
I want to know their stories,
their heart’s passions and their struggles.
And yet I am isolated by distance
and by anxiety.
As much as I want to know them,
as much as I want to be free of these chains
like in the songs we sing,
here they are…
linking my mind
tugging me back
binding me
tightening around my every thought.

So when my dear son comes to me with a question
of wanting his allowance I supposedly owe him,
I blow up.
I accuse him of being greedy.
After all it is Sunday,
what would he want to do with his money on a Sunday?
I do calm down
and tell him that I too struggle with such greed.
I tell him I see that he can be very generous
but he often wants more and more for himself as well.
I tell him that he may think we have tons of money
but in fact we do not.
I tell him many more things I do not remember,
gentling my voice
but feeling the anger build inside of me.

I finally walk away
grabbing my bible
which feels heavy and condemning in my hands
and stuff it in my bag.
I look at the clock and see that it is past the time we need to leave.
We will be late.
Again.
Even though we were up early.
Even though everything was ready.

I snap again.
Huffing and puffing.
Knocking things over,
slamming things down,
stomping my way through the house.
Tears blinding me.
Rage building inside me.
I stomp out to the van.
Slam the door.
and sit quietly
clenching teeth and fists.
I turn on the audio book we are listening to
just so no one will be tempted to speak.

My husband pulls out of the driveway
and I am seriously considering jumping out
and running back home.
I take out my van journal
and write to Jesus.
I write his name over and over again.
Seeking calmness.
I write and I pray.
I realize I blew up not because of my son
but again
because of this blasted anxiety.
The fear and tension I hold in every week.
Every social situation.
I was a smoldering wick alright!
And anxiety was gasoline.
All these raw emotions crackling through me
finally found vent and exploded.
Not for the first time.
Probably not the last.
But hopefully they will get fewer.

Because I am still fighting.
I want to be like Jacob
and grapple with God until I am blessed by him.
Because I am tired of this being my story.
I am tired of anxiety being my chains.

Jesus knows this is a fight for us.
It can be messy and painful.
Invisible to others but real to us.
A fight against brain chemicals,
habits, sin, past hurts,
and invisible demons.
A fight NOT to give in to anxiety.
A fight to say yes to God
and no to fear.
A fight to say NO to me
and yes to Him.
A fight to hear His voice
and know when to rest.
I want his peace.
He says it is here for me.
But I am struggling to understand it,
struggling to claim it,
struggling to live it.
But I can’t give up.
So I am hanging on to God.
Hanging onto Jesus.

As for my son…
when we got to the church parking lot.
I knew what I had to do.
I asked my family, especially my son,
to forgive my outburst.
I admitted something underneath my emotions
caused my outburst.
He quickly forgave me with a dimpled grin.
And as he walked me to the church door
he said “I wanted my allowance so I could give it to the church.”

Way to go Hulk Mama Werewolf.
Way to go.

Maybe next time,
I will bring it all to Jesus before turning green and seeing red.

 

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Defined

Anxiety and Depression
oh words that I hate
I do not want them to define me
And yet
they define so many of my actions
so many of my chains
my lack of action.

I want to help and be of use
I want to be free to understand
and use my gifts
when there is a need
I want to fill it
when my heart, mind and soul are feeling light
I am ready to shout YES to any request
[except cooking…]
But there are mornings, days or nights
hours, days, weeks or months
when the light goes out.
I am a wick flickering
a reed bending in the wind.

My head becomes full and heavy
my heart a stone in my chest
my soul dry.
I lay my head upon the Bible
I lay my head on the Word of God
and I rest in His lap.
He strokes my hair
and loves me.
He doesn’t forsake me.
He whispers truth into my ear.

I will not leave you.
You just have to wait.
You don’t even have to stand,
just stay here.
Wait in me.
Trust in me.
Rest in me.
I will give you strength again.
But it is ok right now
to be small.
Remember all I ask of you is that you believe
in the One I have sent.
And you are believing
and loving
when you lay your head right here.

The darkness comes
and words
even from the Bible
become like little daggers to my heart
showing me what I am not.
The wind howls and my light flickers
I am breaking
I can not stand
I can not see
I can not hear
truth or light.
Just dark and condemnation.
I assume everyone thinks the worst.

Oh but then comes that relief
sweet relief when
I once again see that I am not alone
but am at His feet
my head on His word,
His hand on my head.
His words covering me
protecting me
loving me.

I have not left.
I am right here.
Do not fret.
My will shall still be done
through you
because of Me,
just believe,
just love
just stay here.
With Me.

Oh Jesus,
My Jesus,
Oh God
My God,
In You is only where
I ever want to be.
In You
I am defined.

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***this writing is brought about by heart wrenching news of a suicide. I am not feeling this right now but can remember the feeling well, and for anyone reading this who may be feeling it, please please know you are not alone in it. Please please hang on. Think of what you would say to me or a friend desiring such release and turn those words of love and truth to yourself. Because you are loved.***

Walking down to the dark river
a cloud over my head
no joy no hope
all of me feeling dead
even the faces of those I love
are not enough to make me turn around
because
they are better without me
they will be able to live without my darkness
to laugh and love
and not feel so down
they will not be pulled under by my frown
I do them a favour as I walk to the river
I will just slip away
away from them forever
we can meet again
in a happier place
a happier day
they will not feel my burdens anymore.
I feel weak
and have no strength left.
there is nothing to give
just darkness
no matter what i do
i can not change myself
let alone bring light to others
so what is the point
the darkness beckons
and I walk to it
it offers escape
it offers peace
so I go because I can not fight anymore.
i am nothing
going into nothing
hoping in the end He will catch me
because I am done.
***Oh Lord, in the past few days a news article about a pastor committing suicide has been circulating. Today I read the letter his wife wrote him. It broke my heart Lord. I just know that feeling of nothingness. Where the brain knows there is still hope. But the connection is somehow broken. The body is tired of anxiety. Depression is a physical weight holding me down. And I imagine myself in such throws walking to a river and letting it take me. It beckons and seems right and peaceful in those moments. Oh how a moment in time can break us. How we can bend in that second. How we can break and condemn ourselves to death, in our desire to have freedom and to free others of us.

I still cling to your words that nothing separates ourselves from you (Romans 8:38,39). Not death. Not suicide. Because we are just so broken. Because we are in such need for you. Such a gaping need for you Lord.

But I hate this word suicide. It is heart breaking. It is taunting. I hate it. I fear it. Because I know I am weak. I know that when I am in that darkness the river is seductive. It offers release.

Lord. We need your river of life. And we need a river of understanding. We need healing for our broken minds and broken hearts and bruised spirits. We need to learn the basics of community living. Brother and sister hood.

After writing this and sharing it, I may be in the throws of anxiety again. Because sharing is so hard.

Lord I just pray, pray for this man’s beautiful and heartbroken family. Hold them fast. I thank you for his wife’s words as they urge me on to fight this brokenness and to share.

Because in that darkness as we feel called to be released, we walk in lies. All lies. Light is blotted out and it is a blindness that is physical, mental and spiritual. The truth is there, the light is there. You are there. But oh…how in a moment we can just stop and lose the fight.

This man’s life was filled with purpose. And it still is. Grow the seeds he planted. Take his wife through each day. Cover and protect, lead and teach his children. Bless them through this most heart wrenching loss. And continue the work you started in him.

Lord, please bring light right now to anyone’s eyes, if anyone is walking toward that dark river right now, thinking only of release, take your staff and rod and lead them to your river.

River of life and light.

Beginnings

I never felt like I belonged anywhere.
I am not sure when the feeling began.
But school was where it grew.
I was a shadow just trying to hide further
and yet wanting to be seen
for something bigger
something better.

I began like so many young kids,
to cut my flesh in high school,
hiding knives from my parents
and bringing them to my room
to inflict myself with pain.
Physical plain was a way to release the heart pain.

Surviving high school,
University scared me to my bones.
First year being especially difficult.
I was so lonely and so used to not being seen
that I found it hard to reach out
and hard to accept friendship.

I found a friend in my new roommate
after a room switch.
We were both awkward and quiet at first.
But in time we began to talk
and open up.
She told me about Jesus.
I kind of knew who she talked about.
The Bible guy.
The baby in the manger.
Didn’t he die on the cross?
But was undead?
I grew frustrated when she would talk about him
being the only way to heaven.

surely there isn’t one way.

She gave me a bible.
I even went to her home church a few times.
But I wasn’t sure of anything.

I struggled with depression.
Struggled with wanting to be thin.
To be seen and yet unseen.
I dived into work.
Into books.

Even with my friend.
I felt alone.
Always alone.
She had a boyfriend.
She had her home town friends.
They invited me along to places
but I guess it is just hard to trust love sometimes.

One night they went out,
they invited me but I said no.

I stayed in the dorm room.
I turned off the lights.
I sat by my bed
and I cried.
I pulled my hair,
I banged my head against the bed boards.
I hated myself with all the rage and hurt inside me.

And then I felt it.
A presence.
A hand touching my head.
A light.
A peace.
A Love.

I was terrified to open my eyes.
I was afraid I would not see anything.
I was afraid of what I would see.
It was real.
I finally opened my eyes.
Nothing was there.
But I was not the same.

I stood on shaky legs.
I turned the light on.
I went to my bed
and sat down.
I grabbed the black bible from a shelf
and opened it.

I know God had met me.
And that He sent Jesus.
I told him I wanted to know more.
I started to read
not understanding anything.
Then I told him
I would not stop reading
but he would have to teach me.

Because I wanted that love.
I wanted that peace
and light
and assurance
that I am seen.
I am seen.
I am beloved.
By God.
Who is real.

I hold a candle in the darkness
and its name is Jesus.

************************************
I did not become a follower of Christ that night.
It took time.
I continued going to church.
Continued to read the Bible which was like a foreign language.
I went to church with my friend
and felt each message
of love
so deeply…
I wanted more.

One day
I listened to a sermon
my friend had brought in from her church.
not something she ever did before.
She left the room.
And I still listened.
And it was about making a choice to follow Jesus.

I felt such an intense fear and longing
it truly seemed as if there was a line before me.
I felt a physical fear and sense that if I stepped over that line
my life would be changed forever.
It scared me to my bones.
But I wanted Jesus.
I wanted this man-God-Spirit
who loves so much
and sees us, knows us,
and still loves us,
I wanted him,
I wanted more of God.
So I said yes.
I stepped over the line
almost feeling a force roar in
angry frustration at my decision.
Fear fell away.
Peace settled in.
I follow Jesus.
Lit from within.
*************************************************

But I am still me.
Yes.
I am still me.
Still struggling even years later
with body image,
temptations
and allowing people to love me.
Learning to love myself.
Learning to love others.
To surrender to God.
To stand for truth as well as love.
Because I believe in the Bible.
There are things I wish it says differently.
But I am all in.
Sometimes it hurts.
But I follow Jesus.
And when I don’t want to.
When I feel too broken.
He comes for me.
My girlhood fantasy of a knight who rescues
is made complete in him.
But He is showing me more now.
It is one thing to be rescued
but it is another to be rescued and trained.
He wants to train me to be strong in Him
to be fierce in love
and firm of faith.
Oh Jesus,
yes your daughter needs much training.
Armour me.
Train me to be a fighter
not a fearer.

A New Heart Indeed

I used to think that accepting Christ
would mean having a new heart.
It would be quick.
I hear stories of people who accept Jesus
and they are healed
either physically or mentally.
Addictions fall away.
Disease is stopped.
While I rejoice for these people,
and realize they usually end up speaking up
very loud about their faith,
helping many to understand God’s love,
inside I am feeling some not so nice christian jealousy.
Why not me Lord?
Yes,
I admit it.
I am a child more than an adult.
How come I can not get a complete spiritual heart transplant?
How come I can not stop my addiction to eating sweets?
How come I can’t control my temper when the children get too loud?
How come I can’t just choose joy and be happy when I am struggling to get through a day?
How come I can’t just stop fearing and start living?

I am thinking these things again tonight as I read Ezekiel 36:26-28
where God says something like this:
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you;
and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statues, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances…you will be my people and I will be your God.”

Why do I feel like I am living in my brokenness more than living in the Spirit?

And then I think of a girl.
A girl I do not know
but have been praying for.
She is in the hospital right now,
has been in there for weeks.
Her heart is failing her.
Doctors do not even understand the depth of the problem.
And I have been thinking “Lord? What is going on with this girl’s heart?
Why can’t it be fixed? Her parents are in agony. She is in agony! Why does it have to be so slow!?

I picture the doctors working in her body,
trying to make things work right again.
It is such a slow process.
An agonizing one.
For her and her family.
I don’t know why God is not healing her.
We are still asking. Still praying. Still hoping.
Still trusting.
But it is painful.
So painful for her,
all that her young body is going through.
Utterly heart wrenching for her parents who are unable to take this suffering from her.

Tonight the two images have come together in my mind.

Broken hearts.

Body and mind.

Oh Jesus…
is that what it is like for you?
Watching us, suffer like that?
Battle with our own hearts?
Struggle with our own selves.

Lord,
I do not want to compare my emotional or spiritual state
with the struggle for life and the ache of this family
It is just the image of the heart,
the heart needing healing.

It is bloody.
It is tedious.
It is complicated.
And sometimes it is so slow.
And painful.

But in it all
you are there,
knowing what we need.
Having a plan we can not see
or understand.
Just hold us firm Lord.

Maybe I am just slow to learn,
to accept teaching and obey.
Lord I am thankful you do not give up on us.
Help me not to give up on myself.

And I continue to pray for this girl
that You would cover her,
stretch yourself out over her
as Elijah did with the boy in 1 Kings 17
and bring her healing and health
your breath in her lungs,
strength in each part of her inner body
that you have created.

Bring renewed life to our own hearts of flesh.
Break down the walls of stone.
Always
Always
Drawing us near to you.

You Are Loved

It has been a difficult week of high anxiety
and a roller-coaster of emotions.
Though I felt a calm this Sunday morning,
even after being woken up early by crashes of thunder
and four children who could not get back to sleep,
I was still not looking forward to going to church.
I did not feel the high anxiety
that I often feel
but I still did not desire to go.

I feel guilty about this as you can tell.
Going to worship God with others
should be a joy, shouldn’t it?
But those with this crazy anxiety
understand my reluctance.
I feel two-faced so often
as I tell people that I will be glad
to do this or that with them
but then live in that agony of anxiety prior,
sometimes during,
and always after,
most social interactions.

I want to desire such companionship.
I suppose it is not that I dislike being with people,
but I do dislike the anxiety induced symptoms
and exhaustion that accompanies it all.
But oh how I want to learn to love deeply
and say with an honest heart
that YES I do want to see you
or do want to get together.
To be free to LOVE completely and fully.
No chains.

That is why this morning
in my reluctance I prayed a simple prayer,
setting my mind to go to Sunday Worship.
“Lord help me to love.
And help me to BE LOVED.”

Because He knows I struggle not just to show my love
but to BE LOVED.
To trust that others want to be around me.
To believe that I have something to offer.
He knows how insecure I am when I am with others,
how I mentally berate myself while speaking,
and after speaking.
He knows that all of my negative thoughts
and fears and anxieties and physical reactions
can become a wall,
a prison.
So I prayed this simple prayer.

And today after the service,
not only did I find I enjoyed,
with more ease than usual,
catching up with a couple of the ladies,
but one in particular came up to me and gave me something.
She had been at a retreat the day before
and made a bracelet.
A bracelet for someone who needed to know they were loved.
And in the moment of prayer
when asking who to give the bracelet to
she saw me.
And so today she gave me this gift.
Not of wire and pretty beads.
But love.

A gift and reminder
that I am loved.
Loved by God.
Seen by God.
Known by God.
Sought after by God.
And yes,
loved by his people.

I know that we are all imperfect.
I wish I could easily lay down my insecurities
and my fears and NEVER pick them up again.
I know that I will make the mistake of misjudging people.
That I will hurt another’s feelings.
I know that I will be mistakenly judged.
And people will hurt my feelings.

But if I can keep this gift in the foremost
of my mind,
see people through this gift.
See myself through this gift.
Then maybe there is hope for me here on earth.
Hope that the chains will indeed loosen.
That anxiety will indeed lift.
And that I will indeed be comfortable with the thought
that I AM LOVED.

Maybe then
I can truly love deeply.

Thank you sweet woman of Christ
who gave me such a gift today.
Thank you Jesus
for teaching me,
with utmost patience,
about this Love
that is so wide and long
and high and deep.
Thank you for meeting me today.

We are Loved.

The Alien Life

Some days I feel like I am from a different planet
an alien in a foreign world
my heart aches as I desire to build bridges to people I love
or people I would like to get to know
but always there is something there
a thick wall
preventing deeper relationship
a wall I can not scale on my own.

Aunts, uncles, siblings, friends,
neighbours
separated.
I want to join them but can not.
we may laugh and talk
but always there is that distance
and I realize I am truly in a foreign land
waiting for home.

I am a follower of Jesus.
I did not just up and choose to love him.
I did not even know him.
He knew me.
He sought me out.
He brought me to him.
And suddenly over time
what I once knew to be normal
was changed forever.

What was good to me became empty.
And I found new excitement and joy in discovering God.
The Creator.
Jesus.
The Way.
The Truth.
The Life.

But this also meant separation.
Me who desires to be liked.
Who already felt separated from others.
Now am separated from those I love.
I know this is not only my story.
This is our story.
And it is the painful part.

We cry out for people to know Him.
To see Him.
To trust Him.
To believe in Him.
Because once He has made himself known to us
He does not leave us.
And we crave Him
even when we are walking in the other direction.

Because He not only gives us purpose.
He is our purpose.
To love.
To be loved.

The joy.
The simplicity.

The pain.
The ache.
When we stand among friends
and family who do not know this relationship.
The ache when they live their lives missing this…
missing God.
A God who loves them with His whole being.

We become doubt filled.
Suddenly wanting scripture to say what everyone else says…
it is ok to do whatever you want to do to make you happy.
We want to fit into this family like we used to.
But we can not.

We are marked.
As Jesus is marked.
Our names are graven on his hands
written on his heart
as the old hymn says.
With this mark
comes joy
and pain.
Joined to God
separated from people.
people who do not yet know him.

We are aliens
in a strange land
living in an invisible kingdom
that will one day be brought forth
in fearsome awesomeness.

And it is ok to cry out for those we love
cry out
and plead with God
to bring healing
and brilliant love
to those He has placed near us.

But our strength is not in others.
It is in Jesus.
Son of God.
The God who loves us
and calls us His own.

We are living in His kingdom now.
And in better and in worst
in sickness and in health
we are in His family.
Aliens together
until
the kingdom is seen by all.

Fallible

I do not know where that line is
between self sacrifice
and self preservation.
When to say yes
and when to say no.
Is NO a selfish word?
Is YES a selfless word?
We are urged from the word of God
to pour out our lives for others.
To give generously, from the heart.
To love through action,
thus showing our faith
as well as showing the love that God has for others.

So when opportunities arise as they always do
in churches, big or small,
but anxiety is a factor
what is one to do?

In the past I have been part of Sunday schools,
vacation bible schools, bible studies and more
but often in a quiet agony
only those closest to me ever see.
Sometimes I feel the spirit of God in me
nudge me to do something
and even though I fear it
I am able to do it
while trembling, while shaking,
while doubting myself,
and yet there is a peace and steadfast
at odds against my mind and body’s anxious reaction,
so I go and I do it.

Then there are the times
which are more frequent
when a need arises
such as doing sunday school in the summer
to give our wonderful, dedicated full time volunteers
a much needed break.
So I sign up.
Three times.
Do I want to do it?

No.
I have no desire to do it.
Either than to do my part and serve.
There is also the fact that at least half of the class
are my own children.
So I figure I owe those who have been loving my kids,
and serving with their whole hearts and mind, a break.

Unfortunately,
even adding one or two children who are not mine
has my anxiety spiking.
I know logically there is no reason for this response.
These kids are great kids.
And yet deep down I am somehow terrified of them.
I do not understand it.

I am able to write a sunday school plan.
Actually enjoy it.
But thinking about doing this little hour of service
throughout the whole week
has an undercurrent of anxiety running through me 24 hours a day,
7 days a week.
Just picture having yourself hooked up to a machine
and being slightly shocked every time you have a slightly stressful thought
or are in a stressful moment, or when you sit or rise,
walk, or plan.
It is always there,
connected to you,
sending waves of electric current through your body.

It is draining.
Leaving me not only tired
but flayed.
Eventually there comes a point
when I am unable to cope with the normal
stress level life brings.
You know…happy kids, grumpy kids, appointments, messes, etc etc…
Noise, life.
It all becomes too much strain and pressure.

All because I said yes.

Jesus says that those who want to save their life
will lose it and those who lose their life for Him will save it,
in Matthew 16:25.
Is this literal,
or does it translate into service?
If I try to protect my mind from this extreme stress
am I dishonoring Him?

I ask this with sincerity,
quite often.
And even now I am hearing a resounding NO in my heart and mind.

No I AM NOT!
I am not dishonoring Him by being fallible.
Being Weak.
Broken.
I am clinging to Him in the midst of it.
Loving Him.
Cherishing Him.

The enemy of our souls
uses scripture as a sword against us at times,
just as he tried with our Lord.
But we have to know the fullness of scripture.
We need to know the full love that God has.
His full love.
His full mercy.
His full grace.

And this is what He says:

He will not leave us
or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6)

He desires us to say yes out of a fullness in our hearts (2 Corinthians 9:7 & Matthew 5:37)

His mercies are new every day (Lamentations 3:22-23)

Righteousness is not gained by doing things
but only by the grace of God (Galatians 2:21)
He is not waiting to crush us in our weakness
or put out our light when we screw up(Isaiah 42:3)

He desires us to put our hope in Him, no matter the situation (Psalm 33 only one of many scriptures)

It is through these weaknesses and brokenness that his grace is felt and seen,
His power able to work and be known (2 Corinthians 12:9)
So person writing this!!
Pay attention! Sit up!
Listen to this!
Get it into your head!
You are not letting God down.
He made you.
And He knew what you would struggle with.
When He calls you to something
He sees you through it.
And if you ignore Him anyway,
guess what?
He still loves you!!
AND your action did not take him by surprise.
So you can say NO
as you learn to say YES to HIM.
Because He knows the plans He has for you
plans to prosper you and not to harm you
plans to give you a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).
Trust in His voice.
Trust in His plan.
Let go of the pressures and the fears of letting others down.
And let God speak to you,
let your yes
be from the fullness of your heart, mind and soul
instead of the fumes of exhausted obligation.

Yes..even as I write this I hear that little voice of dark and doom
mocking me and saying “really….is that really how it works? you are kidding yourself,
you are just living in a self absorbed culture and are giving yourself permission to be selfish.”

Sigh…

Go suck a lemon Satan!

Jesus, help me to stand on YOUR word and truth. Help me to stand firm and allow your love
to fall over me,
You do not condemn
or demand.
Give light to my eyes Lord
and help me see your way each day, each decision.
May it be. Amen. Amen.

Jesus, I fear at times writing these things, that people may see that I am accepting my brokenness without fighting. I guess maybe it is satan’s voice as well that gets in there and says that I like being broken. It allows me to say no. Please do Your work in my heart and mind Lord. I do desire to be free from anxiety but I honestly can not imagine it. I can not comprehend what it is like for others to just see what needs to be done and do it without the mental torture of anxiety. Lord…you give to us each many gifts, talents and even struggles all go through your hands. Help me to let go of the imaginary expectations that threaten to crush my mind and soul. Help me to step forward under you each day, for your burden is light.

Fierce Faith

Last night the darkness came
cloaking me with its heavy burden
of stress and an anxiety so deep
that my soul felt trapped and chained

When I lay down in the night
the heaviness squeezed my heart
hope bleeding out
my cry to Jesus was to be covered

Jesus cover me
I prayed
cover me
and give light to my eyes.

After a restless night
I woke with the same heaviness
everything feeling like too much.
Church. Children. The List.

It is not sadness that presses in
it is a thick darkness
that can not see light
that can not feel joy

So I stepped into the sunshine
sat on my porch in the morning light
with my phone and Daily Bread App open
to at least try to taste hope again

I read and I prayed, closing my eyes
and lifting my head into the warmth of the sun
“Lord give light to my eyes.
Change my perspective.”

Back inside the house
I had things to do to get ready
wake the children
get breakfast

My limbs were heavy and slow
my heart tight in my chest
“Lord give light to my eyes.
Lift this heaviness.”

Gradually as I stepped through the morning
something began to happen.
Light began to filter in.
An actual physical feeling.

My mind felt lighter.
My body more energetic.
My anxiety still there
but manageable.

As the heaviness gave way to a lightness
hope began to trickle back into my heart
joy and peace
making my step buoyant.

There was still fear
still anxiety
But I was not alone.
Jesus was with me.

And just like that
my night became day.
As He worked inside me
tweaking my focus.

God work.
Heaven Stuff.
The Miraculous work of the Spirit.
Because we are not alone.

I know that night will come
again and again.
The oppression will strike.
Stress and anxiety will feel like too much.

Some times it lasts a long long time.
But though I feel no hope.
Feel no joy. Feel no light.
I wait upon Him. Fiercely.

And again,
that is faith.
To wait upon Him.
To cling and trust
despite it all.

July 8 2018

 

Flesh, Bones and Little Children

I knew or rather hoped it was coming,
that time when my 8 year olds would look at me
and ask
What happens to our bodies when we die?
Does the skin fall off?
Does it turn into dust?
Important questions most of us would rather never think about
especially considering the heartbreak around it all.
But children,
sweet children,
are not afraid to ask.
They need to ask.
They need to know.
Especially when they have lost someone dear to them.
When they have seen the body of a beloved person
so still,
when they have seen the casket closed
and the sprinkled cross of sand laid on top.
They need to know.
It has been months now,
but I have wondered
and waited,
hoping for their questions.
For it is better to question
than to stuff all of those thoughts down,
to put a lid over it
and not allow them out into the light.
But these children,
though only in this world 8 years,
they know the light.
They are closer to the light than many of us.
Because they know the light,
they ask the questions.
They trust the light
even in the darkness.
Even in my practical answers of what happens
when our bodies die.
I tell them as honestly but also as simply as I can.
And I remind them of Jesus’ words
that a single kernel of wheat must die
and go into the ground in order to produce many seeds.
I remind them of Jesus’ death,
but how He defeated it
and rose
flesh healed and new.
How before this
he had called to life
a friend, Lazarus, whose flesh had
began its decomposing.
But he was called to life
and made new.
Like us.
Like He calls us to be made new on the inside now
and promises us a new outside later
when He calls us Home.
And one of my sons say
“Sometimes I just want to die young
so I can be in heaven sooner.”
My heart breaks inside me
but there is a sweetness to it.
The thought of losing any of my children
is unbearable.
But the thought of knowing what awaits them
is amazing.
My heart also breaks
because I realize yet again,
through my children,
how much closer the least of these
is to God Almighty.
How their belief,
somewhat untried,
is so beautiful,
how heaven is so close and wonderful to them.
My heart breaks to think
of them growing up
and letting the cares of the world
and the thoughts of the times
tangle and choke out this
wonderful faith.
This longing for heaven.
But I need not worry
only pray.
He will guide them.
He will strengthen them
and sharpen their blades
so they can cut down such weeds
and cut through such thorns.
He will have to
because I can not reach in where only
the Creator can go.
I can not restore flesh and bones to life.
But He can.
He does.
And He will.
He is faithful.
And He calls us all to be like my sons,
like these little children.

May it be so Lord.
May it be so.

Beauty All Around

Beauty is around
Give me eyes to see
a heart to give thanks
a mind to remember
lift my soul in praise and awe

Drops of rain
sliding down long pine needles
hanging tenderly
an ornament from God

A butterfly
on the sand
taking flight
seeking the next
sweet flower

Shards of light
splitting between the trees
as the Sun casts its web
down to reach the earth
It shimmers and shines
and allows the earth to flourish

A moment’s step away from the traffic
beneath the green canopy
there is an orchestra
free for all to hear
these feathered musicians have been singing
since day 5 of creation

Cool breeze kissing the skin
giving a reprieve in the heat
encouraging
urging us on
moving us forward
lending us air

Raindrops
Butterflies
Sunlight
Birdsong
Wind
Minuscule drops of colour
song and sound
that tells a story of something much greater.

There indeed is beauty all around.
It all cries out in a song for its Maker.