Monday, June 30, 2014

Searching Secret Riches

"And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness - secret riches. I will do this so you may know that I am The Lord, the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name." -Isaiah 45:3

The days have been long - the beginning of summer has brought back pain that is yet to be defined - so my days are a cacophonous repetition of shaking out Advil from a white canister, flattening a bag of frozen corn to press against the hurt, and whispered cries, while flat on my back, for the pain to subside.

Still, I believe there is purpose in everything. {we must live life to experience a restored life}

In the midst of healing a searing pain, I am waging war against matters that I simply cannot contain, fix, or handle with my simple, human hands. The days are heavy.

Still, I trust in a Savior who does not leave the beloved behind. {Wait, my daughter, until you learn how the matter turns out.} 

I do not have answers - there are times I do not have the questions, either. Only a trembling fear of what wilderness I might need to wander through in order to come out of the woods.

Still, I fling mumbled, fumbled sentences and breathe, sigh-relieving, because only One knows the true language of my heart. {never once has our God left our story unfinished and unredeemed.}

I review the desires that lace a corset around my heart and I think of the tight yearning whispered and cried over when pen meets paper - and I consider those treasures, hidden in the darkness || as my house remains standing and guarded over and a caramel colored pup snores lazy and raspy at my feet || and I breathe deep in the waiting and count out five treasures I can graze with the tip of my fingers...

The days are long, the air is thick, and the eyes puff over tears shed and worries remaining and i slowly chant out into the darkness

{Christ comes to us, takes the mess of our lives, and makes it mean something.}

It is here, where the flesh is weak and failing, that the Spirit steps into the gap and raises you and me up.

Because Jesus wins. He is the victor.


*italicized print (in order of appearance)  She Reads Truth, Ruth 3:18, She Reads Truth, She Reads Truth.*

Monday, June 9, 2014

See the Colors of Another Sky

I looked down at my feet in front of the perfect, white chapel and felt my breath hang caught in the middle of my throat. The air was sugar heavy and heated as it swirled with the mosquitos around my head. I felt like a small child seeing a new place for the first time - how was it that I had traveled to Georgia so many times before and never taken note of the red hues of the dirt that covered the land?

I put the toe of my sandal down into the dirt and traced swirls and curly q's over and over, again - just to see that the red was intentional and meant its color.

A family gathers in a wood floored chapel and a girl in white says "I do" to a boy whom she loves deeply. I recall looking over my shoulder behind me and seeing generations of families collected together on creaking, wooden benches and thinking about all the vows that have come before this moment; I think about the grandparents that aren't able to sit among their children and grandchildren and great grandchildren as a brunette girl with blue eyes whispers vows to that blonde boy in the coral bow tie.

Fans swat the warm air back and forth, back and forth across foreheads glistening with Georgia heat and I wipe tears threatening to rip down my face - and I see, for the first time, perhaps ever, that this is such a gift worth waiting for.

I think back to the red dirt at the foot of that church in the middle of this state I know so very little about - and I think about the pink and purple, candy colored sunsets I grew up looking at, but never really seeing, and how about those snow-filled Christmases and humidity-laden summers and here I am wishing away the now to get to the next part and just what exactly am I so hurried for? When that dirt is red and those sunsets are water colors in a sky and who exactly do I think I am to try to rush the One who created all these things and created each if us with such purpose - what is the dang gone hurry?

I sit in Dayton now - in a room with four walls that I have made my own and I am still thinking about that dirt; and I'm thinking about a tree that Mal and Casey poured soil into from each of the places they've called a part of home - and I remember that preacher's words - saying something fit and true like this tree would grow from the soil of the places that built each of them to create something new and of their very own. And isn't that just what all our lives are littered with? Moments of greatness and agony and the soil beneath our feet to help us remember where we came from and that will always compass us to where we need to go ...

The same God that breathed life into my lungs, has my name written on His hands, and gives me new chances each morning is the same One who paints the sky each night in a slew of hues of orange and pink and purple; He is the same God who made the dirt in Georgia red and  the air in Colorado dry; He is the same God who brought Mallory and Casey into each other's stories and He is the one who started my whole story with a high school senior named Max and a high school freshman named Sara.

Each night, He calls out the stars one by one, and they listen. And He closes doors for us that allow new beginnings to flourish and He is always writing, writing, writing and He never changes His mind.

I swirl my foot in that imaginary dirt and remember the soft melody that carried a new Mr. and Mrs. back down an aisle and I smile at the picture of all of us together - and this is what makes the world go 'round - this is want makes the world all right, again.

The one who can decorate the sky in sorbet-colored promises is the same One who can heal a wounded spirit and bring pieces of a heart from all over the states to one piece again. He made the cornfields grow and the dirt that deep red.

And while He was doing all of that and while He keeps it all thriving, He managed to change the map of a weary, broken heart - and He gives hydration to a dusty soul. And He will keep on fueling this broken world and allowing it to spin.

I'll sit in Dayton and dream about that dirt and smile at memories snapped by a camera and remember that a day should begin with intentional recognition of just all He is capable of - with wide-eyed wonder and pure glee at what He accomplishes.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Revelations in the Rain

Raindrops splatter and tap dance across the windshield of a van with Pennsylvania plates. Mother moon has kissed sister sun goodbye and the stars have been called out one by one -  75 South has never felt this smooth, this solemn.

Raspy voices stream seamlessly into the canal of my ear, singing of hair decorated with flowers and shadows on the walls. The man next to me used to be a boy with a clean shaved face and cowboy boots always on hand. With each mile marker we graze past I am reliving his maturation and shifting.

Semis hover too close and sleep plays hide and seek with me - it ever hiding and I ever seeking. It is too dark to read of dysfunctional families in the blackened van's interior and I find my thoughts wandering toward faces and expectations.

Who knew this is what the end of 26 might look like for me - but I am here, riding in a van with a family I no longer live with, but love and miss in a deep, aching chasm sort of way.

Mere months ago a long, darkened trip like this would've led me to think fondly on experiences that did not deserve the pedestal with which I had so gently, so gingerly placed them  upon. But this June has brought new breaths of life, new waves of thinking, and the same God to believe in, but with a  completely transformed trust to kneel before Him with.

I may remember blue eyes and roughened hands, but with a sense of complete removal - they no longer create longing and loneliness within me - they are simple a part of a past  that was the catalyst for my present.

Southbound on 75 and the windshield wipers slap a rhythm only the night can keep time with. Strings and drums and creaks of a voice fill my eardrums and my eyelids flutter and then are left wide open. I can't tell how many miles this white van has laid down, but with each new exit sign up ahead I succumb to the humidity dancing outside of my window and exhale a little easier knowing I can only move toward a mind clearer of lies and confusion.

Each mile marker we graze past I realize I'm less of that little girl who sought so much in places and people who could only give a little. Hallelujah.