Freedom

Faith, lifestyle, poetry, Uncategorized

“Land! I see land!”

My eyes behold the distant shore. 

This boat I’ve been on, 

Has been my home. 

Rocking me to and fro.

Gently, 

And mercilessly. 

It’s carrying me along, 

But I’m stuck

Within its confines. 

The sea rages, 

And it calms. 

Then thunderously screams, 

“Hear me roar!”

As it crashes against my boat.

The warning of the sea

Keeps me within. 

I’m a weary sailor

Sailing the unrelenting waters

For far too long.

Seasick.

Alone on the ocean,

I’ve felt.

My compass is broken. 

Its failed me.

I know not which way to go, 

Or what to do.

But, then,

My eyes behold it. 

Land!

Will my boat reach it, 

Safely?

And then, I know.

Instinctually, 

I stop resisting. 

My tight grip on the wheel

Loosens,

White-knuckled and clenched, 

My hands finally soften.

I let the wind

Lead me. 

Guide my sails. 

Effortlessly, 

My boat glides gracefully

Upon the land. 

I am stunned.

I made it! 

Now what?

I stand there, 

Paralyzed.

I cannot get out of the boat. 

Safety

Is right outside, 

All I have to do is

Step out. 

Shaking, 

I at last get out. 

The sand is firm. 

Solid ground. 

Grounded. 

Steady.

Shaking . . . I am still,

But the earth holds me.

Welcomes me home.

The wind whispers 

Through the trees, 

“You’re safe.” 

One foot in front of the other.

It’s time now.

Time to run, 

Not in fear. 

But like a wild child, 

An explorer who has 

Discovered a new land. 

Run forward.

Don’t look back.

Run to the future. 

Arms wide open,

I welcome you. 

I laugh as tears 

Fall at the same time. 

Tears of happiness, 

Of Knowing. 

Because I’ve been here before. 

I stood at this place, 

Once upon a time. 

Everything that had caged me in, 

Is gone. 

And I laugh, because I’m no longer frightened. 

I’m no longer lost.

I’ve found land.

It’s All Gonna Be Magnificent

anxiety, beauty, blogger, christian living, Faith, God, inspiration, Uncategorized

“And there she stands

Throwing both her arms around the world

The world that doesn’t even know

How much it needs this little girl

It’s all gonna be magnificent, she says.”


Whenever I listen to these words from the beautiful, heart-stirring song by “Elbow”, it brings so many images to my mind. 
I see me. How and WHO I want to be. 
I see her vividly in my mind. 


She is laughing. 

She is Free. 

Dancing.

 
Smiling so big that it makes her crinkle her nose. The same smile that she knows her husband fell in love with her, many, many years ago. She still smiles and laughs, but is it the same? Is it as often, back when life seemed easier? More simple?

 
I see the “little girl” that I used to be. The me before “life got in the way.” Life has been beautiful and I Thank God for all my blessings. My husband. My beautiful daughter. I have truly been blessed beyond measure. But, like most of you, I have experienced pain and darkness. Sometimes I feel like it’s taken its toll on my spirit.

 
When this song plays, I see the woman I want to be. A woman who puts her wholehearted trust and confidence in God each and every day. Who believes that He will walk with her through whatever might come her way. Shouldn’t she know that, and have the deepest faith, because He’s always been with her, even in her darkest hours? She wants to believe that God will give her the desires of her heart, and He KNOWS her heart’s desires.

 
“She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.” Proverbs 31:25 


Do I want to be that woman?! Do I want to laugh without fear of the future? A resounding Yes! 


Do I want anxiety do my constant companion? 

Do I want fear to STOP Me? 


Can I use this fear, instead, as a CATALYST to drive me forward into the direction, the path, I want to go? Sometimes I think we get to a point in our lives where we get so fed up with… so tired of the way we’ve been living. The roadblocks standing in our way. 


And then we feel this anger rise within us. An anger because, we KNOW, we deserve better than this. We deserve to be treated better than we have been treating ourselves. We become angry at the Enemy for the lies and doubts he’s instilled within us, that we have been listening to for FAR TOO LONG. 


I know that God is walking with me on this journey. He knows where I’ve been. He knows my heart. He knows the power of Satan, and God knows the lies that I have held onto.

 
He’s been working on my heart. This has been a year of “growing pains.” 

Growth. 

Stagnancy.

 
A stirring. 


It’s painful to grow. But it is worth it! 


If you feel stuck, you can get out. A seed has to be planted in the ground, and it works hard to break out of its shell and through the earth to blossom into beauty. To see the sun and the light, sometimes it takes going through darkness. And it takes time. Patience. 


There’s a place where I want to be, and our family to be, that I envision.

 
Striving. 

Trying. 

Growing. 

Learning.


There’s been Resistance. It makes me laugh, because Satan sees. He sees me. He sees this stirring within me, the things I’m trying to let go of, and the good things of God that I’m trying to cling to. And he doesn’t want me to say goodbye to him. He wants to dwell in my heart, soul, spirit, and mind.

 
But he doesn’t belong there.

 
God does. 


And I laugh, because I know that…

“It’s All Gonna Be Magnificent.”

The Wren

anxiety, depression, Faith, inspiration, mental health, postpartum depression, Uncategorized

The wren came to me during my darkest hour.
I was sick.
The sun wasn’t shining.
It was raining.
Clouds covered the heavens.
I was lost.
Lost in terrifying, paralyzing thoughts.
Thoughts I’d never had before.
That were not me.
That rose up within me a feeling that was truly paralyzing me.
Anxiety.
I had just given birth to our daughter a month before.
My husband and I’s first child.

So, why did I feel this way?
Where was the elation?
The happiness?
It was like someone had injected poison into my veins.
Fear.
Worry.
Dread.
Panic.
I was sick.

The postpartum depression was powerful.
It was a living, breathing being.
It truly had a life of its own.
It had become the enemy.
It was my enemy.
Attacking me.
I was fighting back, desperately.
Fighting just to stay alive.
It felt like it was winning.

Every day I would awaken to the sound of black crows.
“Ca caw!! Ca caw!!”
Dread.
Just before the sun would arise each day,
While darkness filled the sky,
The panic attacks would overtake me.
During those three months, I awoke to a panic attack.
And I awoke to the sound of the enemy outside my window.
The black crow taunting me.
And seeing the buzzards that lived in the dead tree behind the house.

Imagine the fear I had!
The visual imagery.
It was winter.
Everything was dead around me.
The buzzards looked down upon me from the towering, lifeless tree.

Hopeless.
I wanted to live, and yet I wanted the suffering to end.

I stood outside that day.
Staring up at the sky.
A break in the clouds.
I saw the sunlight streaming down from heaven.
And then, I heard him.
Faint at first, and then its song reverberated throughout the dark forest.
The melody was the most beautiful sound I’d ever heard.
I couldn’t see the bird.
I didn’t see him for a long time.

Days later, I sat in the living room, feeling especially depressed that particular moment.
I stood up and walked to the back window.
And then, I saw him.
He sat on the red rocking chair on the back porch.
Facing my direction.
We were merely two feet away from one another.
I stood still.
He looked at me.
Our eyes locked and we both stared into each other’s eyes.
This is why I believe in Magic.
This is why I believe in God.
In miracles.
In that moment, I felt like that bird was talking to me.
He was telling me, “It’s going to be okay. You’re going to be okay.”

And then, I found something I’d been searching for.
Hope.
Hope flooded my heart.
I knew in that moment, that God was with me.
He had not forsaken me.
From that day forward, I kept seeing and hearing that bird.
That bird called a Carolina wren.
It became known as “my wren”.

He made a nest outside my window.
I started hearing the crows less and less.
I’d awaken to the sound of the wren singing his song outside my window.
Singing so loudly.
Scaring away the enemy.
God is in the whisper of the wind,
He’s in the things we deem as “small.”
Like this tiny, little bird that is known for being shy.
My wren was not shy.
He was sent down from heaven to give me hope.
He knew he had to work his magic.
And he had come at just the right time.
When hope had been failing me.

It was still a journey,
But with the Spring came my healing.
At last.

With the Spring came new life.
The wren’s nest outside my window
Now housed a family of tiny, baby wrens.
Life was beginning again.
Healing.
Redemption.
Life.
I was alive.
God had saved me.
He sent me a wren.
Yes, the wren came to me during my darkest hour.

[Photography credit: Tom Mann]

Away From Me

blogger, blogging, christian living, christianity, Faith, God, mental health, Uncategorized

You’ve taken over
I’ve surrendered to you
Unknowingly.
You crept in.
You invaded.
Now you are in my territory.
My mind.
The white flag I’ve raised to you.

How did you get here?
When?
Why?

How could I have let you?
You crossed over the moat.
Neither the river
Nor the iron gates stopped you.

Did I forget to close the gate?

I want my mind back.
My territory.
That’s mine.

I want me back again.
Where did she go?
Where has she gone?

Now you are all I hear.

Blinding me.
Taking me as prisoner. 

Lying to me.

And now I’ve taken the heavy stick
Away from you
And now I use it as a weapon
Against myself.

You’re so conniving.
So smart.
I see your smirk.

You’ve manipulated me.

Now I see myself 
The way you want me to.

You’re laughing.
Laughing as I spiral downward.
As my thoughts take me captive.
Shame.
Guilt.
Anger.
Bitterness.
Unforgiveness.
Oh, you have me just where you want me!

Stop laughing.
Away from me!
Get thee Away from me, Satan!

God is weeping.

“Get thee Away from her!”
He calls down to you.

Down in the depths
Where you creep,
And where you dwell on earth,
In the hearts and minds of His creation.

“She is my Daughter!
I am her Father!”

And the war wages.

You fight.
You’ve fought so hard.
So well.

You’ve been a strong enemy.

God intervenes.
In His majesty,
Through His creation
He sends down from heaven,
And He fights.
He stands by my side.

He storms into the castle.

His wrath against you
Is a fierce sight to behold.

His roaring rage
Sends you scurrying away.
Like a scared dog,
Whimpering and shivering,
Shuddering,
You slither away.

Away from me.
Out of the territory
That never belonged to you.
My mind.
My heart.

I can laugh again.
Smile.
Dance.
Rejoice.

For I am me Again.

The damage has been done
By the enemy.
But God will Restore.
Redeem.
Forgive.

I am Free.