The Vision

December 19, 2011 at 2:54 am (Ruminations.)

God spoke to me through Kat this morning, who shared this with me.

http://www.24-7prayer.com/about/thevision-en

So this guy comes up to me and says “what’s the vision? What’s the big idea?” I open my mouth and words come out like this… The vision?

The vision is JESUS – obsessively, dangerously, undeniably Jesus.

The vision is an army of young people.

You see bones? I see an army. And they are FREE from materialism.

They laugh at 9-5 little prisons. They could eat caviar on Monday and crusts on Tuesday. They wouldn’t even notice. They know the meaning of the Matrix, the way the west was won. They are mobile like the wind, they belong to the nations. They need no passport.. People write their addresses in pencil and wonder at their strange existence. They are free yet they are slaves of the hurting and dirty and dying. What is the vision ? The vision is holiness that hurts the eyes. It makes children laugh and adults angry. It gave up the game of minimum integrity long ago to reach for the stars. It scorns the good and strains for the best. It is dangerously pure.

Light flickers from every secret motive, every private conversation. It loves people away from their suicide leaps, their Satan games. This is an army that will lay down its life for the cause. A million times a day its soldiers

choose to lose that they might one day win the great ‘Well done’ of faithful sons and daughters.

Such heroes are as radical on Monday morning as Sunday night. They don’t need fame from names. Instead they grin quietly upwards and hear the crowds chanting again and again: “COME ON!”

And this is the sound of the underground The whisper of history in the making Foundations shaking Revolutionaries dreaming once again Mystery is scheming in whispers Conspiracy is breathing… This is the sound of the underground

And the army is discipl(in)ed.

Young people who beat their bodies into submission.

Every soldier would take a bullet for his comrade at arms. The tattoo on their back boasts “for me to live is Christ and to die is gain”.

Sacrifice fuels the fire of victory in their upward eyes. Winners. Martyrs. Who can stop them ? Can hormones hold them back? Can failure succeed? Can fear scare them or death kill them ?

And the generation prays

like a dying man with groans beyond talking, with warrior cries, sulphuric tears and with great barrow loads of laughter! Waiting. Watching: 24 – 7 – 365.

Whatever it takes they will give: Breaking the rules. Shaking mediocrity from its cosy little hide. Laying down their rights and their precious little wrongs, laughing at labels, fasting essentials. The advertisers cannot mould them. Hollywood cannot hold them. Peer-pressure is powerless to shake their resolve at late night parties before the cockerel cries.

They are incredibly cool, dangerously attractive

inside.

On the outside? They hardly care. They wear clothes like costumes to communicate and celebrate but never to hide. Would they surrender their image or their popularity? They would lay down their very lives – swap seats with the man on death row – guilty as hell. A throne for an electric chair.

With blood and sweat and many tears, with sleepless nights and fruitless days,

they pray as if it all depends on God and live as if it all depends on them.

Their DNA chooses JESUS. (He breathes out, they breathe in.) Their subconscious sings. They had a blood transfusion with Jesus. Their words make demons scream in shopping centres. Don’t you hear them coming? Herald the weirdo’s! Summon the losers and the freaks. Here come the frightened and forgotten with fire in their eyes. They walk tall and trees applaud, skyscrapers bow, mountains are dwarfed by these children of another dimension. Their prayers summon the hounds of heaven and invoke the ancient dream of Eden.

And this vision will be. It will come to pass; it will come easily; it will come soon. How do I know? Because this is the longing of creation itself, the groaning of the Spirit, the very dream of God. My tomorrow is his today. My distant hope is his 3D. And my feeble, whispered, faithless prayer invokes a thunderous, resounding, bone-shaking great ‘Amen!’ from countless angels, from hero’s of the faith, from Christ himself. And he is the original dreamer, the ultimate winner.

Guaranteed.

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Bound

December 19, 2011 at 1:57 am (Ruminations.)

You kept me sedated.
Placated.
Tied up in chains, intoxicated.
Bonds so delicate… subtle… pleasant
I never even registered their presence.

Sedated.
Numb.
Faded to the reality around me.
Surrounding me.
Invading my soul, as unobtrusive as the air I breathe.

(he breathes in, i breathe out)

I succumbed to your lies.
I believed *your* truth.
Not the truth of eternal reality, but your manipulations, ruminations, rotting fixations and escalations.

Keeping me from…

freeing me.

I believed, I truly believed.

With aching breath,
heart clenched,
chest heaving.
My empty wails rising to the night sky like incense, but falling like seeds among the thorns. Choking, dying… provoking the demons around me.

They surrounded me.

Trapped.
Wounded.
Crying.

Dying.

My life. It died. And would die again if it would bring me closer to the grace. To the mercy. To Love.

I’ve been delivered from your lies.
I’ve been exposed to the light.
From the darkness I rise.

I simmer in the peace, and… steadily… I survey the destruction around me… it surrounds me…

(he breathes out, i breathe in)

But I have

the hope of glory.

It’s not the end of the story.

But the start of a new beginning.

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Loud but Quiet

November 16, 2011 at 12:27 am (Ruminations.)

Charlie Anderson jumped up on the hood of the car and scared both of us a little bit, but we had to laugh inside the darkness of the car. It was a quiet night, following a very busy day, with still so much to do before making the leap from Oceanside to my old life by plane the next morning. The cat was super sketched out because she could hear us laughing through the windshield. She was in hunter mode but also skittish because she couldn’t actually see us through the glass. We were audible, but invisible. She was about to pounce.

There was silence – a pause – as we sat and watched her watching us. The cadence of our conversation had stilled, and in the quiet I was able to consider what had just happened. The emotions had risen intensely from the deep, out of nowhere, and very unexpected. All Erin had asked was, “Are you nervous to go home?” and I felt helpless, like crying. I hadn’t even thought about it. I hadn’t been home in just over a year. The last time I was home was just after the house sold, just after I moved from my home into Elizabeth’s, right after the most excruciating couple months of my life.

It was excruciating, and it was the reason I decided to skip out on Thanksgiving and Christmas with the fam last year. It was just too fresh, too new, and I couldn’t even deal with the thought of the awkwardness… the elephant in the room – or the lack of the elephant, you could say. The absence of the family member in the holiday season. So instead of celebrating the holidays in Texas, I hopped out for a quick trip before hiding away for the winter in Carlsbad, CA, to recharge my batteries. And now, a year later, on the eve of my next visit, the emotions were just under the surface.

I am here, now – “home” – in this house where I have so many memories of life ‘before’, the evidence of my previous life around every corner. Evidence within everyone I talk to, on the streets I drive through, even in the clouds where my gaze rests. I lived my life here with him.

I realized why my emotions were just under the surface last night. I have experienced healing beyond measure in the last year. And many of the things I’ve healed from happened in this place, and with these people. The details aren’t important at the moment, but just the fact that I have realized the depth of my wounded-ness over the last 12 months, and I have attempted to heal from it. I have succeeded in some healing, and uncovered many areas that are still raw and open wounds. The process of healing, and growing, in and of itself has been painful. The grief I have experienced from realizing the wounded-ness and mistakes is difficult to describe.

It is clear that I am seeing through new eyes. The eyes of a believer. The eyes of the forgiven. I was a believer last time I was here, but I didn’t have the depth of understanding of Jesus that I have now, and I think that’s what makes the difference. My eyes are staring out at this world, out at the scenes of the crimes of my previous life, but this time through the lenses of grace and peace.  I am seeing an old world through new eyes, and it’s not easy. And through emotions, through tears, through grace and peace… with a breaking heart I am seeing sadness. Evidence of my previous life, but also evidence of people I love not experiencing the fullness of Christ.

And all I can do is live silently with Christ in me (the hope of glory), and let the spirit speak for itself.

Last night I was trying to explain something to a friend, and he stopped me and said, ‘I get you Wendy. It’s like when you see people speaking with sign language in public. It’s loud but quiet. I get you.’ It was very applicable to what we were discussing, but even more  profound in thinking about how we have to live with Christ in our lives. We have to let the spirit be loud, and in our quiet peace the spirit is the one with the volume. This is when people can truly see Christ in action. This is the real testimony.

Loud but quiet.

“To live a life that is not dominated by the desire to be relevant but is instead safely anchored in the knowledge of God’s first love, we have to be mystics. A mystic is a person whose identity is deeply rooted in God’s first love” (Henri Nouwen, In Jesus Name). Being rooted in God’s first love, disposing of our innate human desire to be relevant, is the only way to live loud but quiet. The only way to let the spirit reign in our lives.

Daily I want to dispose of my need for relevance so that true relevance can wash over the earth.

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Setting my Sails

November 9, 2011 at 11:51 pm (Ruminations.)

The game started spontaneously, which I guess is the best way for anything to start. I was surprised at how the hours and hours I spent playing hacky sack back in high school seemed to be paying off as we kicked the soccer ball around the circle in an impromtu game of ‘keep up’. Our goal was to reach ten, and with lots of comedy, shenanigans, and laughs we just kept counting and counting…

It started with 5 or 6 of us but the group grew and shrank as time went on, the numbers of smiling faces changing every few minutes. People would come in and out of the circle, and I have to marvel at how each beautiful face belonged to someone who was dear to me, but who I had only known for a short time. But some of these faces I felt closer to than people I have known for years. It was one of those experiences where the spirit of the moment was so intense that it almost came as a surprise when I realized the only ‘spirit’ was the holy spirit, no other ‘spirits’ involved.

It started to sink in how *good* God is to me. How God continues to show himself to me through this body of Christ, the body that I am a part of and that I love. The body where I am loved. How this existence is safe, and it is probably the safest I’ve felt in… awhile.

As I sink into this realization, into the reality of the spirit and its glorious presence in my life, I ponder the concept of ‘dwelling deeply’ in Christ.

In the ocean of faith, the belief in Christ, the more deeply we dwell, the further our roots go down, the further away we are from the storm, from the elements and from the waves. I think about sinking into the spirit, into this reality of the blessings that have come to fruition in my life. The interesting thing is that the deeper I sink into Christ and the blessings this life has given me, it brings me further and further away from the world, and for the relationships that exist in the worldly perspective… it hurts.

So which way is God going to have me set my sails now? That’s the question of the hour, and it will be interesting to see what the answer is. I’m trying to figure out how I can navigate above water, in the middle of the storm that apparently just keeps on coming, while still having my anchor dropped securely in the love of Christ.

How to weather the storm of the pain that keeps coming my way, while keeping my roots secure and deep.

One thing I know for sure is that even though I don’t deserve this beauty that has been placed in my life, it is here and it is evidence of God’s blessings.

21 Do not be afraid, land of Judah; be glad and rejoice. Surely the LORD has done great things!  22 Do not be afraid, you wild animals, for the pastures in the wilderness are becoming green. The trees are bearing their fruit; the fig tree and the vine yield their riches. 23 Be glad, people of Zion, rejoice in the LORD your God, for he has given you the autumn rains because he is faithful. He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains, as before. 24 The threshing floors will be filled with grain; the vats will overflow with new wine and oil.

25 “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten— the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm— my great army that I sent among you. 26 You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the LORD your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will my people be shamed.  27 Then you will know that I am in Israel, that I am the LORD your God, and that there is no other; never again will my people be shamed. (Joel 2:21-27)

I’m pretty sure God is repaying the years the locusts have eaten.

And it’s pretty cool.

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Jonny’s Story

October 19, 2011 at 1:45 am (Ruminations.)

He told it to me tonight, over beers, at the Flying Pig. It was the end of Bible study and we decided to pile into Marcos’ car (climbing over a shovel and a pitchfork) and cruise for a night cap to end the evening. He was talking about a friend he invited to Bible study, and how his friend had been intrigued by what he told him about our crew, our body, our church. So I asked him to tell me what he had told his friend. Someone said we already knew the story, but I asked him to tell it anyways. So he did.

I’m just writing what I remember here, but I think the point comes across…

Jonny says:

I was walking to breakfast one morning on a Sunday in downtown Oceanside, and I saw a spray painted graffiti sign in the window of a building across the street that said Gen City Church. It caught my eye and I wanted to see what it was (Marcos interjects ‘Wendy painted that sign!’).

So I crossed the street and there was a tattooed woman in blue standing outside, and she invited me in. (At this point Marcos interjects ‘a smokin hot woman’, and Jonny says ‘drop dead gorgeous’) I walked in and there were a bunch of tables set up like a banquet, and I started to think this might be a cult. I hesitated for a minute and then I decided to go in anyways. There were a couple of guys in the corner and I went over and sat down and started talking to them. Then the service started.

It started by a big black guy standing up with a box and saying ‘My name is Julius. I’m 42 and I’m a black man.’ And he put his box down. Then a tiny petite woman said ‘I’m Karlee, and I’m a 22 year old white woman.’ She put her box down. They built a wall with their boxes, talking about their differences, and then this crazy white dude comes crashing through and knocks the wall down. He threw a box and me and I dodged it, Neo style – which I’ll explain to you later why it was like the matrix – But he was throwing boxes and yelling, and the whole point was how differences don’t matter and we have to break down the boundaries.

Then after the service we ate lunch, and the tattooed woman in blue told me about a Bible study on Tuesday nights and she invited me to come. This is where the Matrix comes back in, because she started talking about a green house and a purple house and how they are one.

So Tuesday night I came to dinner in the green house, and then Bible study. There were like 30 people packed into the green house, and then we all walked out the back door through this big garden past a chicken coop through the yard into the purple house. There were a bunch of chairs in the kitchen and we all piled in and people were talking and telling their testimonies. Then this old guy gets up with a piece of paper and he’s dressed all psychedelic. He starts talking about becoming a model for an art school drawing class. He explains to the people that were sitting in front of him that while we were all sitting there and listening to people’s testimonies he drew their backs.

And he shows the drawing, and its a drawing of their backs that says ‘your backs’.

There was a beautiful blonde next to me (who turned out to be Janie) and she leans over and says ‘It’s not always like this.’

And I lean over to her and say ‘Then I may not come back’.

——

This story, this perspective of our crazy little world really made my night. It is so strange, makes no sense, but yet – we know – it makes all the sense in the world.

It is reality, and I love it.

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Two Years

September 17, 2011 at 4:59 am (Ruminations.)

This is my reality.

And no matter how much I pretend that it never happened, how much I erase the references to my previous life, how many times I change my names, how many times I delete the word ‘husband’ from previous notes, it doesn’t change the fact that it happened.

This is my reality, and this is what happened.

Two years ago today my life was shattered.

I’m stronger now than I was two years ago. And this time around won’t be as hard as the last. But nothing can ever change the fact that two years ago my life was shattered.

This is my reality.

I can see it in slow motion, like a glass sphere… maybe even a crystal ball… dropping, free falling in delayed time, spinning and reflecting the light so delicately and slowly, falling slowly and surely to the ground, and then the impact of the fall. Pieces fly everywhere, some big, some small. From the motion and the impact the fly up into the air, some close and some far, some we may never know where they finally land.

I can also visualize it as a puddle, after the storm… many times, looking back, I referred to it as God stomping right into the middle of my life. And the water splashes so far and high, with such violence, maybe even in the middle of the pouring rain, and getting totally eaten alive by the storm.

Sometimes I hate that I am so date oriented. Sometimes I hate that there is such a line drawn in my life. Such a clear before and after. But I understand that is how it had to be.

Facebook has this new(ish) function where they have a little window on the side that says ‘On this day in 2009’ or whatever year you happened to have posted something on that day, and it shows what status you posted last year or the year before. Two days ago is when it hit me, I saw a post from 2009 that said ‘Happy to be home’.

It all flooded back right then, and funny thing is I hadn’t even thought about it until that moment. What a stark contrast from last year, when I came up on the first year anniversary (smack dab in the middle of me trying to extract myself from my previous life), and could barely eat without wanting to vomit. Scratch that, I just didn’t eat.

I came home from this amazing long trip to see my family. I stayed with Margaret while she was on bed rest with her pregnancy with Calvin. It was a blessing, in more ways than I could know at that time. Then I topped it off with a quick trip up to the LBK to get some more love from my family, and then home to San Diego.

Its very clear in my brain. We were driving home from the airport a couple days before and he told me he had lied to me. Again. I went through my standard speech about how we would never be able to have a good relationship until he came clean of everything.

Little did I know.

That I was about to get hit by a train.

 

 

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Flash Flood

May 26, 2011 at 12:43 pm (Ruminations.)

It’s stunning how memories can pop up and catch me off guard. Like when I was a kid, and I would hide around the corner, jump out at my grandmother and yell ‘BOO!’ Only today, this time I’m the one on the receiving end of the shock, caught off guard, heart racing – aching – and a little shaky from it all… and having to sit in the feelings that surface, and just feel… which I have no practice doing because I’ve spent the last 32 years of my life intentionally NOT feeling.

I don’t know why so much sadness is coming up right now. And I guess it doesn’t matter why. My friend Kat told me last week “It’s OK to still be grieving. It’s wasn’t that long ago.” Genius, really, but something I had not put into concrete thought at the moment. A few days later I left for Zion.

Beautiful, beautiful Zion.

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The road trip is what set me off again, but only when I got into the passenger seat and left Roxy to drive. I soon as I kicked up my feet, a flood of memories came flashing back. It could have been two years ago. I could have been next to him in the driver’s seat, where I had spent

So.

Many.

Hours.

Driving miles and miles, hours and hours between somewhere beautiful and… somewhere beautiful. Feet kicked up, music pounding the night, tires pounding the road. Sometimes in blizzards, sometimes in rain, sometimes with the bright blue sky framing the shining sun. Just getting through the miles and miles of pavement to the treasure at the end of the road… which would usually include love, and family, and friends.

This time the treasure at the end of the road was all of those things, but at the same time… totally different.

I have been acutely aware this week of the gaping hole that has been left in my life. No matter the circumstances, there is a hole – a canyon – where a companion used to dwell. And now it is empty.

Sometimes the emptiness echoes in my day.

Driving up to Zion the tires pounded the road up and up and up through the hills, to the mountains. The peaks framed by the blue sky, and the canyons cutting deep and exposing the layers upon layers of time that created the valley. Each line representing another layer cut away by the river, another flash flood survived, with scars to show what used to be.

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And each layer was beautiful.

I have been walking through a valley in my life, and that gaping hole is echoing with the aching loss of my life. But God is filling that canyon with things and people that are so much greater than what I used to have, greater than what I could have imagined.

But in reality, maybe God isn’t filling that canyon, because maybe its OK for that canyon to just be. Maybe, instead, a mountain is being built next to it that is stable, and strong, and sufficient. And even though I have to walk through the valley of fire sometimes, climbing out of it will bring me to the place where I can look over it all and see the beauty of time, the beauty of the journey. With gratefulness and peace.

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Isaiah 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.

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Dirt

May 21, 2011 at 12:03 pm (Ruminations.)

I have noticed lately that I often have dirt under my fingernails. Its kind of random because I am usually pretty particular about stuff like that, and I don’t really know what it means other than the fact that I don’t even have time to look at my nails. And what does that in itself mean?

I’m living life.

I think the root to many of life’s deepest problems is that people are running around not really living life. Instead of experiencing reality people are escaping into fantasy worlds. Instead of living in the moment people live in the past or the future or a moment that doesn’t even really exist. Making assumptions and creating things that aren’t reality either. And getting wrapped up in drama that isn’t even our own.

I think I’ve figured out how I can be healthier in life.

– First and foremost and always – submit to God’s direction and will.

– Regarding eating: Eat food especially when prepared by others, and when preparing food, make sure there are others to share it with. Feed as many people as possible.

– Regarding exercise: If someone invites me to move – move. Go on the bike ride or the walk. Stop what is perceived as important and focus on the moment. Be outdoors. Be active. And just be. And as a side note, finding a person to interact with is better than television. If there is no one around… go outside and find someone. You never know how God may be urging you to minister to someone that you don’t even know.

– Regarding health: Stop giving illnesses or ailments power. Illnesses or injuries do not stop life. I will not acknowledge that I am not feeling well. I will not give that power to something that is totally out of my control. It just is and I have to let it be but I cease worrying about it. However this also requires listening to my body and following its cues.

– Listen when someone is speaking without trying to figure out what I will be saying next. Just listen. It is an act of service and love, and a priviledge to hear the story of another of God’s creations.

– Speak only positive of any other person, and refuse to engage in negative talk with others (much easier said than done, but one of the most important things I think).

– Stop taking things personally. 99% of the time people’s behaviors have very little to do with me, so there is no need to read something into what someone says or does. It is a waste of energy and a foothold for the devil.

– Acknowledge that fear, anxiety and negativity are NOT from God. Therefore I refuse to let them dominate my life, and if they are dominating a moment I have to remind myself that…. these feelings are not from God therefore not worth my time.

– Love endlessly. Without judgment and without boundary.

– There is no “us” and “them”. Only US. We are all on the same team, all God’s creations, and all equal in God’s eyes. That’s a trip to think about when in the middle of conflict or anger, but its the truth. I have to learn from that.

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Wishes in Your Hair

April 27, 2011 at 5:39 pm (Ruminations.)

There was only one dandelion along the path, and we walked for several more yards before another one appeared. Strange, because usually weeds seem to stick together. Marissa picked the dandelion and handed it to Ashira.

“Make a wish,” she said, “then blow.”

I saw another one down the way and I ran ahead to pick it. I handed it to Marissa and she smiled and giggled. They were both totally in the moment – purely unaware of any cares in the world. We walked along and they each made a wish… and blew.

“OH NO, Wendy, you have wishes in your hair! My wishes went all over you!”

A few more blocks and we arrived at the farmer’s market. It was in full swing, full of people, full of energy…  full of life. We walked, in search of an artisan loaf of bread to compliment the feast we were preparing at the houses, stopping for a fresh squeezed lemonade along the way. It was a beautiful evening, as San Diego evenings often are in April. The air was perfect, and it was starting to drop into that time of day when the light was so gorgeously thick you could almost see the color in the air… pink.

I remembered many months ago I was in the same Sunset Market on an evening during a very sad time in my life. It was an attempt to act like everything was ok, like everything was normal, to go and do something to enjoy the night, something different, something…. pleasant. To pretend that things were ok. I remember walking around trying to relax and be… normal… and seeing everyone buzzing around me, big smiles on their faces, laughter, beauty, families and friends visibly and energetically linked in pure enjoyment of the warm night. I remember truly not being able to empathize with happiness… or understand how anyone could have anything to truly smile about. Thinking that everyone was foolish to believe that happiness had any authenticity because in reality its all a lie, everything is lies… and anyone who would believe that there is stability in happiness is a fool, just like I was.

And I guess it truly is all lies in a way, but I understand it now in a way that I didn’t at that time. The world is definitely full of lies, but reality is different for me now. I look back and my heart breaks for that person who was trying to find normal. Hanging on by a tiny thread, slowly – and very unbalanced – stepping one foot in front of the other… walking through the fire… and grasping tightly to the stem of that life that used to be, not knowing how to let go and let myself blow away. God was telling me for a long time to let go, and when I finally got the strength to… loosen my grip…

I blew into the wind like dust from a dandelion, some wish, some afterthought of a little girl walking along the city street, purely in the moment of joy. Off into the deliciously orange light in the sky into a life as it was meant to be. A life born of the spirit.

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Hunkered Down

April 27, 2011 at 12:17 am (Ruminations.)

I was standing in my old bedroom on Easter when it really hit me how heavy it had all been. For some reason at that moment the storm I just came out of crystalized very clearly in my mind… and how my little sanctuary on Celinda had been such a God send.

I was thinking about how just a few months before – on Thanksgiving, in fact – this journey we call life started to take a very interesting turn for me, when I was hiding away in that very room. As if it wasn’t interesting enough already… but this was a good interesting… maybe the point where the good started to clearly outweigh the negativity.

I had been living at Elizabeth’s for just barely over a month. At the end of October I had moved everything in after the house sold and basically settled down just long enough to gain energy to take flight a few days later. I flew four states over to my family… to Texas. Before leaving I jokingly called this much needed retreat my ‘weep and sleep’, but in the end it turned out to be just the opposite. Lots of visiting, lots of friends, lots of family and – most of all – lots of love.

I returned ‘home’ to Celinda having no idea what God would have in store for me next, feeling numb… broken… but loved. Somehow I instinctively knew I needed to hunker down for the winter, but I never would have verbalized it that way at the time. I just kept saying I needed to get through the holidays, that 2010 needed to die a quiet death.

In the couple of weeks up to Thanksgiving the discomfort in my life was palpable… trying to figure out what ‘normal’ is, feeling numb and just not knowing what to do with myself half the time. Several pity invites to Thanksgiving meals surfaced, and though I appreciated each and every one of them, when Kristin called to invite me to an intimate meal at her home I could have cried from relief. I just needed family and this was the closest I had after we had been living together for a month and a half earlier in the year.

So Thanksgiving with my German friends it was… and it was lovely. I drove home later feeling the same numbness and discomfort I had been sitting in for awhile, and I walked into a party at Elizabeth’s, right smack in the middle of the ‘what are you thankful for’ moment. Domino, in typical form, made a grand entrance, running in the front door and making a beeline for the pumpkin bread on the coffee table, licking everyone as he passed, interrupting Jesse as he was saying what he was thankful for, me chasing after trying to contain the hound. I retreated to my room for a few minutes feeling totally out of place and then I felt compelled to get back out there and be with people. I walked back in, sat in the back, and held onto the only stable thing in my life – my puppy – for dear life.

They asked me what I was thankful for… for me it was the roof over my head and being surrounded by people who love me. The holiday moment broke into games and chit chat and I decided it would be healthier for myself to stay involved instead of isolating. And over the course of the evening I started to spend time and get to know the people that would within the matter of a few weeks become my family.

Five months later – almost to the day – standing in my old room on Easter I couldn’t help but think about that long, cold winter. The nights getting longer, the days getting shorter. That damn room was FREEZING… windows weren’t sealed well and always leaked in cold air. Many cold nights of just trying to BE, hanging on to the only stable thing in my life… my puppy. Trying to figure out how to take care of myself, but not knowing how. Having no appetite and surviving on bananas and snack bars. Reading my Bible, or trying at least… sometimes just holding it and staring at the words unable to absorb. But always intimately aware and able to absorb the silent love being poured on me from all the beautiful people in my life. My family, my friends that are now my family, God, Jesus, and all the prayers, all the prayers so thick they were palpable even though I didn’t know who they were coming from.

Trying to ride the wave of God’s power in my life as everything fell apart perfectly, as everything broke into pieces, silently shattering… falling through the air in slow motion… hunkering down, riding out the aftermath of the storm, waiting for spring to break on a new and better life.

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