A Thrill of Hope.

So much has happened between the two of us. So much has happened in these two years. I look back on a sky full of stars and remember all the sadness, all that has been stolen from me. I look into winter skies and remember the season that is coming. I see a star that shines into the manger that saved us all. A tiny babe, wrapped in swaddling clothes- too poor for garments, too low for blankets and royal draperies. A tiny babe, wrapped in shredded cloth, a babe with the heart of a King, who came to find me.

I look into winter skies, past years and years of stars and constellations, and I wonder what the point of it all is. Why you called me into a life that leaves eyes rimmed with so much red. Why tears have to fall again and again and again. I don’t understand why you took them. Those people I loved so much. Why did they have to go? Why so close together? Why when death walked in, did you not stop him? Why didn’t you lay your hand of protection upon them and keep them safe? And why does it feel like so much betrayal on this pre-winter night? Why does the cold seem to come from so much more than temperature? Why does this heart ache with so much hollow aching? These caverns in my heart that crumble just a little more each day.

I miss you. I miss the One I loved so much. I miss that heart that beat within me with so much passion, that laughed with You, smiled with You, found joy in You. And I don’t know how to come back. I think of that little babe, that babe that risked everything for the joy set before Him. That babe who declared with newborn wails, that I was reward enough. Oh how He loves. The Prince of Peace, who felt the same shock of isolation one cold winters night so long ago. And yet, despite all we share, I cannot provoke my heart to come back to life and love you. Life does not spark, and I wonder if I will ever find you, and that peace you offer oh so sweetly, ever again.

When will these tears stop falling? And when will this pain stop breaking me over and over and over.

I don’t know who I am anymore. And I don’t know what I’m for anymore. This hollowness eats me, and breaks me in a way I have never known. What good am I? How do I do anything? How do I live? Oh Jesus. Rescue me now, just as you did on that night so long ago. Be my Thrill, the Thrill of Hope I so desperately need. I cannot do this on my own. I cannot find this Hope you speak of on my own. I cannot turn these stone walls to flesh. I cannot shake this companion named Grief.

So instead I fall back into sheets and blankets surrounded by darkness. And I look out into the stars that hold more history than I will ever know. Stars that witnessed the greatest light. Stars that witnessed the greatest darkness. My hand closes around yours, while tears fall from red rimmed eyes.

“Be my Thrill,” I whisper. “Be my hope.”

I hear the cries of the world echo my prayer. Indeed, the weary world rejoicing. I join their chorus. And together we cry. Until darkness breaks, and we find a new and glorious morn.


Gray Blankets

The word confess comes from the latin word “To harmonize”. It literally means to agree with God. Is that why I find it so hard to confess to Him right now? Because I cannot agree with Him? I sat on my couch, Bible open this morning, trying to read. But there was no familiarity there. Black words on a white page. That was it. Black and white staring back at me. No familiar words being read to me. No compassion, no tenderness, no love story. There was no red spilling down the page. No more blood linking hearts. Only black and white.

I am 31 years old. I have never been married. I have never had a real relationship with a man. My life is made up of many stories, but a love story is not one of them. And yet, I feel as though I understand the pains of divorce, these pains of separation. I woke up one day and my heart was tired, my soul overwhelmed. I sat up in bed weary. Shoulders hunched, heart sunken. I sat among a sea of gray blankets, staring. He tried to say something to me, but I could not speak to Him. Him. The love of my life. The one I literally felt tied to from birth. The one I could never run away from. I could not speak to Him. And so I turned my head, I turned my head and I stopped listening to Him. I asked Him to be quiet, because I needed rest. But the longer I distanced myself from Him, the less restful I have felt. There is no rest without Him. This body is tired, and it only grows more so. There is no rest without Him.

But we are separated now. And I find myself rolling the same question over in my mind, like a quarter rolled across my knuckles, over and over the question lingers: How does one fall back in love? How does one step back into the throes of relationship when you have lived for so long without them. How does one confess when she cannot agree with God. There is no harmony to sing. I cannot harmonize with Him for I cannot find His melody. Or perhaps, I do not like His melody. I do not know. I am so angry with Him. Angry at this world. Angry at all the pain and all the sickness. I watch as these diseases tear up the lives of those who live. The ones who want to be something. The ones who want to do something. I watch as the terrors intoxicate our loved ones. How with each drink, each inhalation, each swallow, they let go of what they are, who they are. I watch as pain destroys. The pain of not being enough, of not doing enough, of not achieving enough. These people who want so much and get so little. I watch as their souls decompose. I watch as so many carry on, unaware they have even fallen victim to the prey. I watch as they keep striving, keep moving.  Bone to bone, thread bare souls, wondering what they have become without the words to ask.
Do I confess this to Him? Do I tell Him all the wrong, broken things I see? Do I confess my anger to Him? Because I know He can already see it.  Do I confess how much I miss Him? Do I confess the screams I keep locked up inside of me? The ones that push and shove, the ones that demand action, the ones that fall helplessly to the floor groaning? Do I confess this? And what if I cannot harmonize to Him? What then? What if there is no music to come out of this throat of mine. What if I am only left with aches and groans. Can He make music out of that? Can He find the harmony? Can He harmonize to me?


When the Conflict Comes

I’m angry. Can I even admit that? It is not the fashionable answer. The fashionable answer would be fine. But this is not fine. It does not feel fine. And I am not fine. I am not good, or cheerful or happy. This is not how I planned my life to go. I never wanted this sickness, this pain, this medical debt I can’t seem to catch up on, the aches of memories past, the fear of what may never be, the recognition of what is, the loss of friends I loved so dearly. I am angry. And I am sad. And I am grieved. And I am exhausted. And when I have been all of those emotions I come home and sit in my chair and I am numb. I am so numb. I don’t think I’m supposed to tell you any of this. I think I’m supposed to say something inspirational. But I have sat in silence for four months because I had nothing inspirational to say. And I realized sometimes the inspirational is just in the vulnerable. Sometimes we can be encouraging just by being honest. And maybe I don’t have a lot of inspiration right now, but I do have a lot of vulnerability, and I do have a lot of honesty.

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. I’ve taken time away from people, retreated into a safe place as it were in my heart. And there, in that place, I’ve thought a lot about stories. Donald Miller talks a lot about story. Have I told you about him? He wrote an entire book about it. A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, that’s his book. And when he talks about story in his book, he also talks about conflict and how it is necessity to a good story. I am not even halfway through his book but I know he’s right. Every story- every good story- has conflict. There must be conflict. There has to be conflict. There has to be danger, and peril, and fire, and evil queens, and corruptions, and dragons, and death defying stunts. There has to be sickness, or failure, or bogs, or if we are lucky maybe a rodent or two of unusual size. Somehow, in some shape or another, conflict will come. And with it, comes a good story. The kind of story we write into books, and make into movies, and tell to our children and our children’s children and our children’s children’s children, over and over and over again. We don’t care about the easy stories. The one where Jack and Jill go up a hill and do nothing. We want the good stories, when Jack and Jill go up a hill and discover something they never expected, something that is so much more than just a pail of water. Because when they discover that thing, and they go through the danger, and the peril, and the fire to get it, then they discover the epic, and don’t we all just love a good, epic story?

But I’m angry. And the thing is, while I realize the goods to make an epic story I don’t know if it’s worth it. Or rather, I don’t know if I’m strong enough to get to it. I don’t know how much more conflict I can take. I don’t know how much more conflict I want to take. My body is tired, my spirit even more so. The trauma and change of years past has worn it thin. And thin muscles, no matter the kind, don’t lift well. I think about the spiritual adages that we give in moments like these. We say, “lean on Him”, “give it to Him”, “Let Him carry it for you”. And that is good, and that is true, and that is right. It is everything we are supposed to say. But I don’t want to say that anymore. I don’t want to say it anymore. Am I allowed to admit that? Is it OK to say these things out loud?  I ask the window I am standing in front of. I don’t want to say these things, these truths that I know are true, but I’m getting tired of saying, tired of doing. I don’t want to say it anymore. I want to say, “this is easy!”, “this is getting better”, “this is getting so much better”. I want to say, “it’s not so hard anymore”, “it isn’t a struggle anymore”. I want to say, “the worst is over”. Can I say that instead? Can that be my truth? Rather than the awful truth of “I’m angry.” Rather than the awful truth of “I’m angry because…” I am not ready to admit that.

I don’t like this truth. I don’t like feeling it. I don’t like admitting it. And I don’t like the grief that comes along with it. I splash water around in my sink, washing away the soap and suds that have caught randomly after a sink drained. I look up at my windowsill, I look past it out the window. I have so much to be thankful for. And I know it. Faces blur in and out of focus as I recount the years past. Those who took me in and took me out, all in the name of love. Those who cared for me in my most basic needs, those near and far away who stepped up when they had no inkling but a tug on their heart to do so. And as suds swirl in this steel sink, faces swirl in this mind of mine. I have not forgotten. I will not forget.

But how do I reconcile all of it? How do I reconcile the pain, and the anger and the gratitude? What does one do with a handful of beauty and a handful of ugly? Can those hands ever be joined together? Or does something have to drop? And if something does have to drop, what do we do when it’s easier to drop the beauty rather than the ugly? Am I making sense? Can I even ask these questions out loud? Again I ask the window. But no answer is given.
I wash away the suds in my sink, hoping to wash away some of the grief as well. It is a question I will have to answer eventually. What kind of story do I want? Am I willing to encounter the conflict in order to encounter the epic? Am I willing to surrender to the Author and let Him write a story worth telling? Or will free will buck the pen, and splatter my own ink across pages? 


Sackcloth and Ashes

Sunlight shines through to-the-ceiling windows onto wooden tables, bouncing  from table to table to wall, spilling down, oozing life into cracks and crannies, no spot unturned, no piece missed. I stare at it in wonder, reminiscing. I used to be like that. I used to spill down to the floor, oozing into people’s lives, cracking out smiles and laughter before they even understood what they found funny. Used to. The operative word there is “used to”.

I stare in the mirror and tired eyes look back at me. When did those eyes get tired? When did they start to age?  When did the soul start to? The thing about aging is you don’t realize it is happening. You only realize after it has. One day you feel an ache, or you can’t make as deep a stretch, or joints suddenly crack and skin suddenly has lines. You didn’t notice it happening, you only notice once it has. And it is the same for the soul. One day you look inside and see the lines in your soul that were never there before, you feel the aches, and realize that the stretch that used to be so easy somehow isn’t. You didn’t notice it happening, you only notice once it has.  

I remember driving home from Indiana on that first trip in September. The first time we saw Dad after he got sick. I remember how loud the silence was. I remember how tired our minds were. It was not just a trip to see Dad and driving home we knew time was forever changed. We felt the exhaustion that came with change. We felt the trauma of it. And suddenly, as if my heart were a wall, trauma led to trauma and I could feel each brick crumble and tumble and fall into a heap. I didn’t cry then. I haven’t really cried since. The feeler stopped feeling. And life became still. Not everyone’s life stopped, but mine did. I was no longer revolving with the others. I was simply still as I watched others carry on. I used to spin with them. Like planets, we were spinning and revolving and living. And then one day the trauma set in and I instead stood still. And others went on revolving and spinning but I? I stood still.

Friday morning I woke up crying, my mind already reacting to the pain inflicted by my stomach. And oh the pain. It was so strong, so real. We hear the word breathtaking and we think of fairytales and fantasy. We think of sunsets and love stories and far off places. It’s ok when moments steal our breath, as long as it is in the name of beauty. But what about those other breathtaking moments. The ones that don’t just take our breaths they steal them with every bit the delinquency that you would expect from such an act. The ones that take each breath, leaving you desperate, desperate, desperate! for relief, for just one moment when the pain isn’t so bad, just one moment you can grapple with until another comes along.

I laid in bed at 4 AM working through the pain, realizing that if I didn’t get to the pharmacy down the street the pain would only continue. I thought through all the possibilities of people I could call, realizing with each name called to mind that they were indeed soft asleep in their beds and no call would rouse them. I couldn’t do that to them, I wouldn’t do that to them.  At 4:30 I knew I wasn’t going to get the medicine if I didn’t get it myself. At 5 AM I told myself the pain wasn’t that bad. That I was merely overreacting. I could stand up if I really wanted to. Walking was simply putting one foot in front of the other. A child could do it, and so could I. At 5:40 I put one foot in front of the other, stepping through the pain and down my deck to get to my car. I drove to the pharmacy, chose the medication off the counter, and started walking to the register. Only I didn’t make it there. I woke up on the floor with an employee standing over me. I tried to stand up, but my body refused to hold my weight, sending me back, again, to the floor. I laid on the floor, trying so hard to act casual, pushing back tears. I handed him money and let him walk back to the register while I continued to lay there. He came back to me with my receipt and bag of goods. He scraped me off the floor and walked me to my car. I sat in my car and watched him walk back inside as I felt the retching working up from my stomach to my throat. Over and over I retched, but nothing came up. And finally after what was only 10 minutes but felt like forever, I climbed into my car and began the drive home. I had to get home. I had to get home and give myself the medicine or none of it would stop. I had to get home, and it was just pain, I told myself. But as soon as I pulled onto the road, the retching started again, and this time it was not just the motions. Mess was all over my car. Mess was all over me. And finally after what had been so long, I cried. I cried and I retched and I cried. It was the lowest of the low. Alone, in my mess, I cried.

I don’t have happy words to give you right now. I want to. I want to bring you the words that will inspire and create. I want to give you words that will stir your soul back to its youth, and reminisce with you with childhood abandon while we dream of places over the rainbow. I want to give you happy words, but I have none to give. I only have honest words to give. And those honest words? They are made up of the emotions that I don’t like. The emotions that I don’t want to talk about. Emotions like anger, and grief, and confusion. Emotions that feel like a dead end, no way out destination. And what happens if I start to talk to you about them and they are all I ever talk about? What if I give you these words, honest as they may be, and they are the only thing I am ever able to give? I don’t know if or when I will have happy words to give you. I don’t know if these honest words I abhor so much will ever bring about more than what they are. I don’t know. But I do know this, if I can’t be my most vulnerable self than who can I ever be?

The Hebrews were a people unafraid of vulnerability. They knew grief and they knew suffering. And they were never afraid to share their grief. With sackcloth and ashes they wailed. Wearing their tears in a bottle round their necks, a visible exchange to the truth of their heart.  We are not like these Hebrews. We are not so candid with our grief. Nor do we see the value in such a poetic and vulnerable display. No, we are not like these Hebrews. And in a world full of access and immediacy, we fail to understand process and time. We fail to see the beauty in anything that does not advertise for glamour. Thus, we villainize grief and all its familial emotions.
Sunlight shines through to-the-ceiling windows onto wooden tables. It is noon, now. And that morning sun has thickened into afternoon sun so gooey that shades are drawn to counter the stickiness. And still the sunshine finds way between shades, seeping and pooling onto the floor. And still I stare, and still I wonder, and still I reminisce. I used to be like that. I used to spill down to the floor, oozing. And in my most vulnerable self I could bounce light off those also in the room, giving way to see life within every crook and cranny. And it was beautiful. But for now? I will draw the shades, and I will sit in the after effect. Letting go of what could or should be, I will accept what is. It may be the lowest of the low. It may feel lonely and messy. And I may or may not catch tears in a bottle worn round my heart. But I will not be afraid of this grief. Yes, for now I will draw the shades, and it will still be beautiful.


The Quarks and Quirks

I’ve been a lot of thoughts today. A lot of thoughts that seem haphazard and disjointed. And yet, I cannot help but wonder if they go together much more than I think.

I feel. And I feel thick. My pendulum for emotions swings full and hard. And I hate it. It’s never made sense to me, and I’ve tried so hard to bury those feelings deep, deep in the earth of my soul. And yet always, without fail, those feelings prove themselves stronger than I give credit, and erect themselves again only to expose me like the traitors and bullies that they are. And I am the one left there, in the cold, vulnerable, confused, and embarrassed.

I sent a piece to a friend yesterday. “This is me. This is some of me. This is what I’m willing to share.” It said to him. “When did you write it? Do you still feel that way?” he responded. I thought it was an easy piece. Inspiring, encouraging, but easy. No need to throw out all the dirty laundry at once, yeah? But He still picked up on it. On them. On the feelings. “Do you still feel that way?” His question lingers in my mind. I tried to bury them deep in the earth, and still they erected themselves and exposed me. Traitors.

I sit in front of the mirror and stare and think. Think about his words. Think about mine.

“Do you still feel that way?”

“Doesn’t everyone?”

I ask the mirror. Doesn’t everyone? And suddenly I am hit with a thought so heavy it is as thick as a humid, Georgia summer in my mind. Doesn’t everyone? We all feel. Some heavier than others, but we all feel. And yet, what if we don’t know that we feel. What if we don’t know what we feel. What if that is why I am here. What if that is why all the deep feelers are here. What if the deep feelers were made to feel things harder to help the others feel, grief for grief, as it were.

What if it’s not a mistake? What if I’m not a mistake. What if you aren’t a mistake. I know I’m not the only one out there. I know I’m not the only one who walks day in and day out, feeling more than her fair share, walking with heart full, aware of my pain, aware of theirs, trying desperately to make sense of it all.  Grief for grief. And I cannot get the thought out of my head. What if we are made to feel thick to give word and expression to those who can’t?

We live in the thickets, the deep feelers. We live in the thickets, walking through bramble and thorn, feeling each scratch for them. And there are days that it feels weary. And there are days we cannot feel another feeling. And there are days that we wonder why we aren’t like the others. But there are days they wonder why they aren’t like us. Reaching out, hands open, wishing just once to grasp more than enough. Wishing to grasp more, so much more.  

I talk to my friend Amanda about this constantly. Asking her why I am so broken. Why my emotional pendulum does indeed swing full and tears pour easier than the rest of them. Whoever the them is.

“I wish I could feel more.” She says. “I wish I could experience the emotional reaction that comes so easy to you.” She speaks and my world stands still.

Because truth is, we belong together. And we need each other. And just as they help us to step out of the thickets, to live and be free and let go and enjoy, so we help them, to live and be free and let go and enjoy. Tit for tat of the emotional sort. Tit for tat of the healing sort. Because if we never felt the pain, walked in the aching, the uncomfortable, the overwhelming, the great, the beautiful… If we never showed them the extremes, how would they know what to reach for? And if they never walked through the day, balanced, at ease, persistant and consistant, how would we learn to stop and just be?

Truth is, we are bound to each other, woven together through this thing called humanity. Each with a different role, but none less needed than the other. And to see ourselves as mistakes is to alter the story. We are bound to each other. Opposites attracted. Positive and negative charges, each extremes in their own right, and maybe on their own they can seem too much or not enough, but together we create so much balance that life sparks, and the foundations of humanity exists. We are altogether atom. Proton, electron, and neutron, each its own role, each necessary to enhance the other. The scientists say they are composed of quarks, those electrons and neutrons. Up, down, charm, strange, top and bottom.  But could it be we are composed of quirks? The ups, the downs, the charms, the strange, the top, the bottom? Yes, I think so. Each our own charms, each our own bit of strange. The ups and downs, the top and bottom or that is, our own beginning and end, but not mistakes. Never mistakes. We are altogether atom. And when we live our role, life sparks, and beauty is made.

I’ve been a lot of thoughts today. A lot of thoughts that seem haphazard and disjointed. And yet, I cannot help to wonder if they go together much more than I think. I cannot help but wonder if maybe we go together much more than we think. We are not haphazard. We are not disjointed. We are altogether atom, woven together through this thing called humanity. Each with our own charms, our own bit of strange, our own beginning and end, our own ups and downs. But never mistakes. Not a single mistake. We are altogether lovely, altogether perfect, fearfully and wonderfully made.


Christmas, Dear Love, Gospel

Chicken Soup

Its funny the things you took for granted that quickly become memory triggers years later. I stand in my kitchen chopping carrots. I always do it wrong. I never learned the proper way to hold your hands, to hold the knife. My dad did. He was always a good cook. He always knew how to fold his fingers away from the blade to protect them. I remember, even as a young girl, standing next to the counter with him, chopping vegetables for the spaghetti. I remember how he would always look down at me and say, “No, Katie, like this.”- He always called me Katie- and He’d take the carrot in one hand with curled fingers, and the knife in the other, and he’d begin to chop. “This way you won’t cut yourself.” And then he’d hand the station over to me and once again I’d begin to chop with fingers ready but still exposed for a knife waiting to chop. I never quite mastered that trick.

Dad always loved cooking. All of us kids picked it up. In our own way, we all spent our fair share in the kitchen, mastering our own favorite dishes. I don’t know why I’m thinking about that now. I don’t know why, as I stand here chopping vegetables and looking out the window to whispers of winter I’m thinking about that now. Funny the way memory is triggered.

My dad is sick. It was a stroke to the brain stem. And now he’s locked into his body, staring, staring, always staring. Unable to move body or words into the space around him. He’s just there, in the hospital, seven hours away from me, staring. And I keep thinking about his mind. Because his mind isn’t staring. Of that I’m sure. No. His mind? His mind is wandering. Around where I’m not sure, but wouldn’t you? If it was the only movement available to you, wouldn’t you wander? Wouldn’t you journey? And I wonder, what memories has he triggered. Does he remember all those days in the kitchen? Does he remember teaching me to chop vegetables, over and over and over? I don’t know. I don’t know what he thinks about. But I can imagine.

My dad is sick. And for the past five days I’ve been in a flare that has caused my own lock in of sorts. Three of those days I spent in a dark bedroom without moving. My body ached from the marrow out. Even the slightest movement of breath rolled my stomach in a tidal wave of nausea. In and out of  sleep I came. And in the waking, in the sleeping, I thought, I wandered. “Why is this happening? Why won’t you take this away? It would be so easy if you could just take this away. With one touch, you could take it all away. Please, please take it away.” And anger would rise, and suddenly surrender. Because who am I to command a sovereign God? And who am I, a sinner, to complain about a world full of sin? And why would I shoo away a holy moment, wrapped in the comforts of a tender God? It was painful, it was aching, but it was tender, and it was precious. For I am my Beloveds and He is mine. And even in my retching and purging all that was within me, He was there. Holding my hair, holding my heart. It was a lock in of sorts, but it was a lock in I will treasure.

I don’t know why this happened. I don’t know why He would heal me of a disease and then allow it to come back. I don’t know. And believe me, I’ve gone through a web of reasons. But I do know this, Sarah was healed. And God gave her, in that year of healing, a blessing that she would watch grow into her legacy. God gave her Isaac. And then her womb closed, and it didn’t open again. But she was not any less healed. And just as God gave to Sarah, so he gave to me. He gave to me, in my year of healing, a blessing. He gave joy, he gave me a taste of the feast that is coming. He gave me truth to a God we cannot put in a box, a God who heals, a God who loves above all else, and works in mystery, so that His will and His glory is forever put first. And just because that year is over, I am no less healed than Sarah was. And I get more. Because yes, I want healing, I will live everyday with the truth that I have healing, but I get more. Because I get to see through the eyes of my dad. My dad who is sick, and locked in, and angry. My dad who is limited. My dad who doesn’t understand why a God who loves Him would do this to him. I get to be there, in his heart, I get to cry and intercede, because I know limitations. And I know confusion. And I know suffering. But I also know Presence. Holy Presence. And I know True Love. And I know Remedy. And He is Jesus. He is my Husband. He is the One who knows me best, who loves me best. And He is there, with my dad, even when my dad can’t see it. And I get to pray that for him.

Winter feels long. Winter feels like death to some. And snow falls, like a corpse blanket, finalizing, and sealing in that death. And we want to know why? And we want to know, ‘How long Lord?’.  And we want to know where the love is in it all.

I pour the chopped vegetables into the stock. Each piece falling, plopping into thick bone broth made to soothe, made to heal. Vegetables chopped, bones boiled, each destroyed, cut up, broken, killed? All to come together and heal. Death for life. Even in Chicken soup I find the gospel. Death for life. Death for healing.

I don’t have answers today. I have lots of tears. I have lots of tears. I don’t have answers. I just have memories. Memories triggered. And whispers of winter. And daydreams of snow.

But even on the snowy days, Love is alive. And the death that seems so deeply penetrating into this earth of ours, is only rest, is only preparation. Like vegetables chopped, like bones boiled for broth. Each a season, each an ingredient. Dry bones come alive. In a soup made for healing. So we might cry with those who can’t. So we might cry with those who won’t. All for love. All for Love.

Love Story

To Walk Among the Clouds

I woke up to love songs and a fallen cloud surrounding my house. Am I crazy to say it felt like a fairytale? Like the romance I always hoped for actually came true? He is my greatest romance. He is the peace that passes all understanding. He is the Bright and Morning Star, the Star that shines even on dark mornings when the sun won’t even dare. He is Wonderful Counselor, Almighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. He is Perfect Love, calling out all fear. He is the courage to shine when the world says don’t bother. He is Seeker to the brokenhearted, Declarer of the good news, Liberator of captives, Comforter of all who mourn, Healer of the sick. He is my joy made full.  He is Glory lifted high, above and beyond all things. He is the strength that lets me walk in impossible places. He is beautiful. And His banner over me is love. And He is mine. For I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine.

I don’t know how my dream came true. I don’t know how I woke up to the fairytale, walking among the clouds while He sings over me with love. But I guess it was never to be my doing. He thought of me. Exhilarated and insistent on my existence. And He created me. Intricately involved in my every detail. Unashamed of all I am. And He loved me. Anxiously awaiting the day I would look with new eyes and see Him. And He came for me. Leaving glory and a thousand and more hallelujahs. God wrapped in human skin, lying in a manger. Indeed, as the carol sings out, “The hopes and fears of all the world did rest on Him that night.” And He pursued me. Walking this earth for thirty some years. Thinking of me. Living for me. Dying for me. And when He died, He died for me. Painful and enduring, exhausting and breath taking. He was beaten, till skin broke open and blood poured fourth. And nails pounded, and He cried out but He never let them stop. Because He loved me. He loves me still. And He forever romances me.

Yesterday, I followed that cloud in the wilderness. Today, He sent the cloud as a reminder. And tomorrow? Tomorrow we walk among the clouds. We walk among the clouds forever. He remembers His covenant forever, the promise He made, for a thousand generations. For I am my beloveds and my beloveds is mine.