A New Day, Broken, life making, The Mucky Stuff, The Vulnerable Side, When It Gets Dark

Coming Home

I let go. I let go of the writing. I let go of the processing. I let go of the feelings in an effort to stop The Terrible Awful I couldn’t seem to get away from. Because to write is to feel and to feel The Terrible Awful? To feel the grief, the pain, the death…So much death. So much loss. No, I could not feel it anymore. Because that pain was too great, and so in my effort to survive, I turned it off. I went numb. But in the going numb, I didn’t just numb the pain. I numbed the joy. I numbed the beauty. I numbed the technicolor rainbow pushing itself out from under the rain clouds. I messed up that day I put pen down. The day I no longer let ink bleed black into notepads, desperately hoping my heart would stop bleeding as well.

Little did I know the avenue I’d be walking a year ago when I started writing again. And now, seven journals later I have more than just words brimming. I have thoughts. I have feelings. I have tears. I have so many tears. But I have laughter. And I have smiles. And I have memories. Memories that do more than just dance around the grief I so much want to ignore. I have memories of joy, and love, and beauty. I have moments forever tucked away in this mind of mine. Moments I cherish. Moments I would sacrifice for a thousand times over. Moments I will never get back, and so I tuck them deep into this soul of mine and I hold them oh the more closer to me. And I have truth. I have so much truth. Truth that shines so much brighter than those lies ever could. Truth that reminds me that there is wonderful joy ahead. Truth that speaks to my soul that this story, this story with so much pain and death and ache and brokenness is not over. That there is a plan and a purpose, and that I am loved with everlasting love. A love that reaches into the fathoms of depths and widths and heights and breadths, more so than any of my imaginations could invent or build. Yes, I have truth. And I have spirit. Spirit made manifest from He who creates. Spirit that will never wither away. Spirit that is fed from the life breath of a God who sees more in me than I will ever know. Spirit from the bread of life, He who feeds me. Yes, I have spirit. And I have truth.

I still have so much to work through. Questions I do not understand. Why my dad died so young, and why he will never walk me down the aisle, or see my children, or have another talk with me. Why my brother at 34 was taken all the more too early. And why he could not be rescued from his disease of addiction, of pain and trauma. Why his healing had to be a heavenly versus earthly. Why this disease ravages my body, and keeps me from the career I’ve always wanted, keeps me at the grace and generosity of others instead of allowing me to support myself. Yes, I have so many questions. And I have anger. I have so much anger, and confusion, and I speak it out to Him daily. “Why won’t you take this thorn from me? And why won’t you change my life, and bring the prosperity you promised? And where are those plans to prosper and not to harm me? Where are they?!”  Yes, I have questions. And they may never be answered in this wilderness of life I walk through. But I will not  be afraid to do the feeling. Because perfect Love casts out fear. And God is Love. And Love is in me, because He is in me. And manna will still fall. And the seas will still part. And the rock will still bring forth life giving water. Even in the question, even in the feeling, even in the grief. That technicolor rainbow will still speaks to the promise even with the rain clouds. But He will not flood the earth again. And He will not flood this soul. And death will not bear a sting.

So here’s to starting over, to the writing I love, to new seasons, to feeling all the feelings, to life abundant even with the chance of The Terrible Awful, to technicolor rainbows and promises they bring. And most of all, to spirit and truth. Beautiful, confusing at times, yet ever so consistent and life giving Spirit and Truth.

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A New Day, Dear Love, Holy Moments, Love Story

Cups

My whole life I have dreamed of my wedding. Of being a bride. Of being a wife. Over and over and over again I dressed my dolls in white, traipsed them back and forth across brown carpets letting them walk imaginary aisles towards their grooms. When my mom went to work I would sneak into her closet, dressing myself in lace scarves and gloves all white and stare, always stare into the mirror and into my imaginations. I was not a girl playing dress up. I was a bride. I was beautiful. I was wanted and loved.

As the years passed I fell asleep dreaming of him. The one that I would meet who would want me over any other. The one who would, on one knee, look up at me with eyes so genuine, asking me to be the one he would wake up to, share coffee with, while morning sun spilled down smiling faces and into cups, the one I would drive to not so far off adventures on weekends, laugh, share life.

As I got sicker, I wondered if he would care. Would he love me enough to find joy in protecting me, providing for me even when there wasn’t much I could give back? Would the sick get in the way of the love? Would it still be worth it to him? I walked into events, always looking. Was he that one? Or the one leaning against the wall? Or the one laughing with friends in the middle of the room there? Was he here? Or would I meet him next week, at the the Starbucks on Morrel? My eyes were always looking, my heart was always wanting. The little girl in me still staring into her imaginations.

And I don’t know how exactly the sickness took the attention. But slowly, I noticed less and less, as the caring dwindled and the keeping up rose. And slowly it was other things that took my attention, namely the basics, the everyday needs of life that suddenly felt so much heavier than they ever felt before. And I didn’t care so much about finding him, because there were too many other things that deemed themselves prevalent.

Isn’t that how it goes? The child in us, ever hungry for relationship and love, seeks out, longs for, hopes in. And time goes by and we age through circumstances, and independence and necessity for the to-do’s and the to-get-done’s becomes louder and louder and suddenly relationship no longer seems vital, and love is merely a luxury rather than a need. But the to-do’s and the-need-to-get-done’s, that never ending list, that always-being-added-to list grows heavier and heavier to the burden of our backs and for a girl, like me,  who can’t notice details in the healthy, it is an impossibility in the sick. And suddenly, I was thick in the quicksand of self-sufficiency. Gurgling calls of help as fingers sunk deep into sand. And my mind went back to the One, the One who loves me over any other, and I couldn’t see Him, but He said He was there. He said He would never leave me. And suddenly, again, I was reminded that it was His presence I needed over any other.

And so we talked. He and I. We talked. And I told Him all of it. Every day. Every hour. We talked and I reminded the One who didn’t need reminding. And we talked, while morning sun spilled down not so smiling faces and into cups. Into cups I didn’t want. Into cups I never asked for. Into cups I hoped to rid myself of.

If you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.

Into cups that gave more than just drink. Into cups I found more than just relief of thirst.

This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you…

Cups of covenant. Cups of remembrance. Cups of relationship. Cups of love. And over those cups, He asked me what I wanted.

Ask and it shall be given, seek and you shall find, knock and it will be opened to you.

What I wanted. What I wanted? Did I even know? I had always wanted a husband. And that dream seemed so long ago. Slowly, life shook and cracked and crumbled around me. The strippings of a world no longer necessary, a world full more of superficiality than I had ever noticed before. What I wanted. How could such an easy question feel so difficult. Words that felt so tangible I rolled them around in my fingers. Possibilities flipping through my mind, and after so much, they no longer seemed important. I wanted security, but money no longer seemed necessary. I wanted peace, but at what store do we buy peace? I wanted to breathe, but how do I send off for breath? But a husband. The age old desire circled back into my mind. The little girl in me hoped, but the worn, tired heart wanted more.

“A husband.”

My answer, alone, exposed, and unsure. My answer, reeking vulnerability as I placed it there, open on this table of discussion, this table among cups. I looked to Him. I looked at Him. His words, an open invitation into more, but did I want more? And what did my answer mean? A husband. A husband? I thought again. I rolled those words over and over my fingers, like a marble and a trick I never knew I had.

I said it again, “A husband.”

Confident and sure. It grew in me. And slowly, with each time spoken, I knew. I knew what I wanted.

A husband.

Tears fell. Cups were poured. Covenant. Remembrance. Relationship. Love.

Memories came. Aching, longing, difficult memories. Reminders of all the moments. Those strippings of life, of hopes, of dreams, of security, of security feigned. I looked back on all the years, years stolen by drought and famine. By pain and loneliness. By disease. By fear. I looked back at those memories. At looked at the cups He poured now. It had to be Him. It had to be Him! I cried. Tears fell. I poured out into those cups. My aches, my pains, my fears. Never before had I realized. Never before had I seen what I really longed for. Never before did I know. But I now knew. Now I saw. In the multitude of this famine, this drought of the soul, this drought of my life. No job, no car, nothing. No thing. No security, tangible and sure. Just aches, just pains. No insurance, no remedy. No remedy? A husband. Ask and it shall be given, seek and ye shall find. A remedy. A husband. Even in saying it I slowed my breath, I slowed my heart. And question turned to confidence. My eyes and mind focused together. It had to be Him. With realization I looked up and I saw, I saw the cups He placed before me with new eyes.

It is the lie of the enemy. Self sufficiency. Independence. The American dream. It is the lie of the enemy. I do not need anyone else, I can do this on my own. Provider? Protector? I can do it. I can make it. It is the lie of the enemy. And we fall so easily. We let it coat our souls like oil lathering skin. We sit in it. We get comfortable in it. Yes, this feels good. And so we settle in. We believe. We get up and go to work, we earn our money, we watch our bank accounts fill. We gather our manna. We eat our fill. We think, “I have gathered. I have done this. Look at what I have done.” And we forget our Husband. The one who gave. The one who provided. The one who filled. It is the lie of the enemy. I see with new eyes.

“It has to be you,” I say. Once again, I look across the table, past the cups and into the eyes that have never moved. “It has to be you.”

I pick up the cup. “Drink this in remembrance of Me,” He says. I drink. I drink from the cup. I accept the covenant gladly. “With this ring, I thee wed.” I drink. Because it has to be Him. It has to be Him. He is my husband. He is my protector. He is my provider. And were it not all stripped from me, would I have seen it? I look around my kitchen, I look at these walls, these pots and pans, these pretty things. And then I see the sun, dripping down these walls, these pots and pans, these pretty things. He is in it. He is in it all, and yet I hardly see. Not until today. It has to be Him. I want no other. No other husband. I only want Him. And so I drink. Hearty, mouth gulping, pouring down my chin, drink. The new covenant of His blood. Covenant. He and I. My greatest and only Love. I drink, and with each drink, I know. I have found the One my soul loves.

Drink this cup in remembrance of me.

I drink. And I remember. And with grateful gulps I remember. I remember what He has done. I remember what He does. I remember what He will do. For my maker is my Husband, whose name is the Lord of hosts; And my Redeemer is the Holy one of Israel, who is called the God of all the earth. My Maker is my Husband. It had to be Him. It was always Him. With this ring I thee wed. With this cup I thee wed. I drink. And I am loved.
It was always Him. It was always Jesus. 

 

Luke 22:42 | I Corinthians 11:25-26 | Song of Songs 3:4 | Isaiah 54:5

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A New Day, Dear Love, Healing From the Inside Out, Love Story, The Plans He Has for You

In The Lap of Love

It started with a problem. With two. With four. Multiplying and adding up until soon like bees they swarmed around my head. And there were so many, so many that stung. I remember crying. I remember biting my tongue to keep the tears from coming. I remember the chin tremors, the heaving shoulders. I remember it was all just too much. And I was mad. I was so mad. Angry. Frustrated. Overwhelmed. Burned out. Confused. Tired. Sad. Grieving. Yes, I was all of those. And more.

And so much more.

Everything felt wrong. Everything felt heavy. I had worked it over and over in my head. I had thought through a million different options. A million different answers. A million different exercises and choices and things that could work or may not but at least I could say I had tried. But in the end they all felt like that thing we can’t make sense of. That thing between a rock and a hard place. They all felt stuck. And so I kept thinking, and I kept trying, but mostly I just kept crying. Because it was hard. It is hard. And it didn’t make sense. It didn’t make sense how He could see all of this. See me go through all of this, and just do nothing. Why wasn’t He doing something? Why wasn’t He stepping in and fighting for me? Because I was tired, and I was weak and suddenly it was all too much. And I couldn´t make any sense of it. Didn´t want to. I was too burned out to put any more thought into it, and yet it was the only thing I could think about.  Just this rock. Just this hard place. I couldn’t see any other thing. And so we talked, Jesus and I. We talked and I poured out my heart. Poured out my fears. Poured out every ounce of me that couldn’t handle this life. And He just sat there, and listened to me. Like He always does. He´s always open to listen to me. Even when it’s what I think I shouldn’t be saying. He sat there and He listened to me.  And suddenly I found myself saying something I never expected to say.

“Jesus it was so much easier for you than it is for me.You had no problems”

I don’t know where I was going with this thought but suddenly, like a snowball, it just rolled out of me, growing bigger and bigger as I spoke. It felt like blasphemy. But it also felt so right. And so I kept it. And I chewed on it like a wound on the side of a cheek. And whether or not I wanted to it was something I kept finding myself going back to. It didn’t seem right and yet I couldn’t see a fault in it.

No problems…

No problems.

I chewed.

And it stung

I chewed again.

And like truth always does, something resonated.

No problems.

Yes, somehow I think that’s right. It felt so wrong to say, but the more I looked, the more I confirmed.

And so I thought back. Looked back. Compared. I looked at His life. I looked at mine. And then back to His. I compared and compared until I couldn’t do it anymore. Me and Jesus. My life. His life. All my pains, and all my blessings. All my loss. All my gain. All His pains. All His blessing. All His loss. All His gain. It didn’t make sense. In every comparison I came out the winner.  

I lie night after night in a bed made up with pillows and blankets, and He continually had no place to lay His head.  I have never had to think of where a meal was coming from, even in the tightest  days. And yet, I think how many times did He have to look to the mercy of others. How often did He change out his garments, buy new ones. I thought of my closet, full and overflowing. He never had a full time job, never kept an incoming salary, and yet, yet there was something more. His life was indeed exceeding and abundant. His life was joy.  His life was happiness.  His life was abundant. It didn’t make sense. But I couldn’t stop coming back to it.

No problems.

No problems.

Yes, of that I was sure. Jesus had no problems.

And so, there must be something more.

I looked over His life again.

“What am I missing?” I asked Him. “What is it that I can’t see?” I looked. I looked again. My brain chewed on those thoughts soon creating a knob of mental flesh.  Quietly, He spoke. “The Father.”

The Father. You had the Father.

I looked back over His life, and I finally saw what I never saw before. I finally saw the difference between Him and me. The everyday difference. Everyday. ¨You spent everyday in the lap of your Father. You spent every day in the lap of Love. It wasn’t just desire. It was necessity. He was your life source. Love was your life source.¨

I and the Father are one. Even as you, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that you sent me.

I and the Father are one.

Could it have been more than just a declaration of divinity? Could I really have read it wrong all these years. Could it have been a declaration of identity? A declaration of security?

Yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things and we exist through him.

It was so much more. He had no problems. He trusted in His Father. Looked to His Father. No, there were no problems. Trials? Temptations? Pain? Suffering? Yes, absolutely. But not problems. How could there be?  He sat every day in the lap of Love. Trusted every iota to the Giver of good gifts. Communed continually with Jehovah Jireh. If He didn’t have then His Father would provide. Either through the power of the Holy Spirit, or generosity of those around Him. And if He knew there would always be provision, then there was nothing to fear. And with no fear, there are no problems.

When there is no fear there are no problems.

I chewed again. It was a meaty thought. And suddenly, I began to digest.

Problems aren’t really problems. Problems are only moments of fear. Moments in which we can’t see the way out. But perfect love casts out fear. And when we soak in the reality of Love we have no fear. And with no fear comes no problems. Every problem is just the inability to see His provision. Every problem. Every problem is just a moment of fear. Every problem.  But when we walk through the problems. When we see what we are truly afraid of, light shines in and darkness is overwhelmed. When we walk through problems so that we may sit in the lap of He Who Is Love, when we talk out our fears and see that He holds them in His hand, that He carries us past our problems, past the wilderness and into promise, then fear is conquered and we are left only to love. Only to be in love. Only to soak in its fragrance. Only to find joy and peace and patience and kindness and goodness and faithfulness and gentleness and self-control. And when we walk through our problems and collapse in the presence of Love we gain boldness and courage and days are no longer weary, and nights are no longer long. When we walk through our fears and into the presence of God the Father, when we learn how to sit in His lap and depend, consist, survive off His love, we find the provision rather than the problem. And when we find the provision, life begins to happen.

Walls begin to crumble. Hurt begins to heal. Color begins to shine.

When there is no fear there are no problems only provision. And when we find the provision, life begins to happen.

John 10: 30 |    John 17 :21|   I Corinthians 8:6

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A New Day, Dear Love, Detoxify, Healing From the Inside Out

Faint of Heart

I jerk my eyes open. Sun glaring bright into my face but for the first time in weeks I am thankful for it. Thankful for the intrusion that this time isn’t an intrusion, isn’t an annoyance. I let the sun lay there, on my skin, it’s bright, sharp light burning into my not quite ready eyes. It was a dream. I can sigh. It was a dream startled awake by light. It was a dream, an untruth, an imagined reality.

“It’s not real” I hear myself grumble with morning voice. As if the encouragement will make the ache lessen. “It wasn’t real. No matter how real it felt.”

It felt real. It felt much too real. Driving to see friends, my mind imagined a place in which I was no longer welcome. Walking up the drive, anxious to see them, I hadn’t seen them in so long. But rather than walking into a hug, I walked into isolation. They had replaced me. They had replaced me with others. Those who were less of a mess than I. In my dream, I watch as they gather together, enjoying one another, and while I am there I am no much more than a bystander. They hardly even noticed me. And then, without a word, they leave. They all left together, leaving me there in that house, alone with the sun. The setting sun. And as I looked up into that sun that was sinking into earth, catching the last of its rays before it, too, left, my mind disconnected and woke up to a rising sun instead. “It’s not real. It was just a dream. I never saw them. They never left me.”

So why then, did it feel so real?

I’ve been detoxing for the past five days now. I thought this was going to be a physical thing. This has been so much more than  a physical thing. Yes, there have been cravings. Yes, there has been a lot of cleaning out. Yes, there have been some breakouts. But this has not been a physical thing. It started with cravings. Cravings for things I thought I had more control over. Forget sugar, these cravings came from a deeper place.  Cravings for people, those who rejected me a long time ago, rejections I apparently never got over. Cravings for things God put in the past to keep in the past. Then there was the cleaning out. Cleaning out of old thought and old ways. Cleaning out of a mindset that continues to agree with the put me downs and keep me downs. There is so much to clean out. I didn’t even know it was there. He said we were going deeper…We’ve gone so much deeper. And now, there’s these breakouts. Breakouts I can’t seem to remedy no matter what concealer I try to use.  So many breakouts. Little forest fires of the heart, suddenly engulfing emotion and mood, thought and desire, leaving me in a flurry of action, fighting with buckets of tears, desperate to put the fire out, desperate to put the mood out.

And so was I, waking from that dream. That all too real, but not really real dream. Why do I dream this? Why do I think this? I thought we dealt with this. I thought I handled this. But all to often I do not handle, I simply move on. I find a band aid that fits and sticks and I think, “There, its all done.” and so I move on, left with a wound that was on its way to heal and yet, was not quite healed.  I forget that aid implies helping. Not taking over. There was still work to be done, mending to attend to, and yet, I once again choose to see other things. Why go to the murky and the mucky when I don’t have to. We are a culture built around the beautiful, after all.

And so here I am. Five days later detoxing. No, five plus many more  years later. Detoxing from all these poisons I left in my body. Detoxing from all those wounds I left to fester. Detoxing from all those lies I chose to believe, to let sink in. He told me we were going deeper. I sat there in that hospital room, eaten alive with disease, and in a whisper God told me we were going deeper. We’ve gone so much deeper. I didn’t realize how sick I was. I didn’t even realize how many toxins were poisoning me, body, mind, and soul. I didn’t realize how much I needed it, this detox. But here I am. Dealing with more than just green juice. Dealing with more than just a diseased body. Here I am dealing with a diseased heart, a diseased soul, desperate for the remedy, desperate for truth. I’ve listened to untruths for so long, spiritual propaganda that has sunk into the deep places of my heart.

I thought this was going to be a physical thing.  This has been so much more than a physical thing. And so we go. On to the next chapter, on to the next day, on to the next toxin. How often do we let ourselves detoxify? How often do we awaken our souls the lies that have sunk to the deep places? How often do we sit and listen, letting The Still, Small Voice speak into the pain, speak into the disease, speak into the atrophied heart. And when He speaks, how often do we respond, choosing to believe His truth over those we have built our life on?  How often do we believe love, believe in the power we so desperately want to be true. It is a journey for the faint of heart, the faint of heart that is ready to become strong. And so I carry on, drinking this juice, hearing His voice, and going deeper.

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A New Day, Adventure Makers, The Plans He Has for You

Breath

I sat in my car on one of those evenings that was a mesh of late summer and early fall. Hand on the ignition I looked up just before starting the car. And that was as far as I could get before letting the sunset take me away. I looked up to a fluffy sky.  I sat in my car and stared as cool blues and warm oranges floated into a stuff similar to grandmas whip cream and jello salad. Colors melted into a sunset as clouds smeared and puffed. It was beautiful. So beautiful it took my breath away and my thoughts with it. I remember as I sat there watching those perfect clouds. Clouds so gauzy they looked as though they had been painted on. Clouds so perfect and still they deserved an audience, a crowd, anyone to sit and see the perfect, frozen scene that streaked across a Tennessee sky. And it was only after giving that sky what it so rightly deserved that I realized the ballet that was before me. Because those clouds were anything but still. There was no frozen scene in front of me. But rather one of constant change and movement. Those perfectly painted clouds, the ones that should have been on canvas rather than sky, those clouds were moving, dancing before me in pirouettes and rond de jambes.  And perhaps to some it was barely movement, perhaps to some it was a crawl. But even the slowest movement is still movement.

And I sit here now, in a coffee shop on a cold, windy Tuesday and I think back to that day. That jello salad day. I sit here now and I think of those clouds. And I wonder if they felt still. If they felt stagnant. Did they know where they were headed? Did they know they were moving? Did they know there was life, despite the appearance of it all? I sit here now and I wonder, did they feel like me? Because I feel still. And I feel stagnant. And I feel stuck. Stuck on a canvas I never wanted to be on, framed into a pretty picture that isn’t so pretty after all. And truth is, I want a different picture. I want to feel life. I want to move. I want to move light years ahead of where I am now. Truth is, I don’t so much like where I am in this picture I’ve been given. And so I sit here in this coffee shop and I think about those clouds, and I wonder. I wonder if those clouds knew they were dancing. And I wonder. I wonder if those clouds knew they were beautiful. Even in the stillness, no, because of the stillness, did they know how beautiful they were? Did they know that they were stunning. Did they know they could capture the attention of one girl at first glance. Drop her jaw from its hinges and her keys from the ignition. Did they know? Do you know?

Because we, we are like the clouds. And we move. Sometimes so fast we can’t even keep our heads up. And other times so slow we can’t decipher if distance has even been made. But we are moving. We are not stuck. And we are not still. And no matter how stagnant we may feel, we are moving. In an ever present fluid line we move forward. And it is in no effort of our own. And it is not because of anything we do or do not do. And it is not something we can accelerate or stop. Because we do not move of our own volition. We move because of Him. He moves us. Blows us forward with each breath, with His breath. And He breathes into us the breath of life. Into our lungs. Into our soul.  He speaks into our life, and breathes into our soul.

Behold, I will cause breath to enter you that you may come to life. I will put breath in you that you may come alive; and you will know that I am the Lord.

We move, and we move forward and we live by the very breath of God. And just like He blows breath on those clouds, He blows breath on us. And we move. And perhaps there are days that you feel time blurs before you. And perhaps your heart can’t take another beat of measure. Perhaps you think it’s too fast, and you must slow down. Or perhaps you feel stuck. Perhaps you are tired of the same scenery and the same picture. Perhaps you feel that in your heart of hearts you cannot take another day in the same spot. And perhaps no matter your speed, your heart is overwhelmed. And this world, whether fast or slow, is too much. And perhaps. And perhaps. And perhaps.

But take heart. For He has overcome the world. And your story, and your movement and your speed, it is not by chance. And it is not forgotten. And it is not without purpose. But it is beautiful. And it is stunning. And it is bringing forth life.

You are not forgotten. And just like those clouds on that jello salad day, you have an audience. For He sees you. Dancing into your destiny, He sees you. Causing breath to enter you, He sees you. Watching as you come to life, He sees you.  He sees purposed movement. He sees a beautiful awakening. He sees life. He sees life abundant. So take heart beloved. Feel His breath and come alive. 

 

|Ezekiel 37:5-6| John 16:33|

 

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A New Day, He is good, Miracles

James Davis

I sat there. I sat there and I held him. After almost five months of waiting. No, after almost five years of waiting. I sat and I held him. I looked at his mama. I saw the light in her eye. I saw the smile on her face. After almost five years of waiting. After so many more than that, he was here. Words cannot express the power of that moment. I sat there and I held him. This child who may never know how many tears were cried for him. How many prayers. This child. For this child she had prayed. For this child they had prayed. For this child we had prayed.

He is a miracle. And yet the casualty of that phrase does not give justice to what he is. He is power reached down. The hand of God moving. Supernatural found in the natural. He is a miracle.

Born three months early at one pound, fifteen ounces. I had never seen a baby that small. Skin so translucent it looked more like thin plastic than skin. Skin so thin we were told to compress him, rather than stroke him. And yet, even three months early, He was still so intricate, so detailed, so perfect. James Davis. The miracle child. The miracle man child. A child brought out of so much trial, so much difficulty. A child brought into so much joy. Consider it all joy, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect work, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. Consider it all joy.

Consider it all joy, James. All of it. Every struggle. Every cry. Every moment of confusion. I look at your sweet little face. That perfect little face struggling with emotions and ideas, trying to make sense in such a big, big world. I see you form O’s with your mouth, I see you want to cry because of the discomfort of growing. I see you look with eyes so big they could soak up experience like a sponge. I see you look, and I wonder, what do you see? And what will you do with what you see? I see you reach out, with tiny hands and tiny fingers. I see you grab above you and sometimes you come back empty handed. But I see other times as you reach and you reach big, and those hands, even so small, come back with something. And your legs move and your face brightens and I know you know. You know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And so you endure. And so you grow. And there are days when it seems hard. And there are days when it seems long. And there are days when we must choose to know that the testing of our faith produces endurance. But we will endure. You will endure, sweet baby James. and that endurance will have its perfect work. And as I watch you grow, and watch how beautiful you are, I think, how could something that seems so perfect become any better? But you will. You will grow. You will strengthen. And days will slow into nights. Sunrises will set into dusk. And dusk will grow into dark. And dark will transform to light  and all will continue again and again and again. Until we see you bigger, stronger, wiser. And one day you will reach again. But this time, you will reach with not so tiny hands. And perhaps there will be times when you come back empty handed. But, sweet James, there will be other times. Times when those not so tiny hands will come back with something. And your legs will move and your face will brighten and I know you will know. You will know that the testing of your faith produced endurance. And so you endured. And so you grew. So that the testing of your faith will have its perfect work. And you will be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. So consider it all joy, James.


Consider it all joy.  

James 1:2-4

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A New Day, Adventure Makers

Hum Drum Adventure

Sometimes I get caught up in the big and forget to live the day to day. I have longings. Big longings. I want to be a part of a bigger something. I want adventures. I want stories. I want soul stirring, epic thrills. And then I wake up and instead of that I get Monday. Or Tuesday. Or Wednesday. Or on and on and on. Day in, day out. And I think, surely I am made for more than this. Surely. Surely there is more on the horizon. Surely there is a better place than this. Surely.

But what if there is not? What if this is what we get? What if this is what we have?

The music plays. The melody comes alive. I hear it. I hear it. Don’t let it get you. Don’t let it get you down. Rhythm strums in my ears, in my mind, in my soul. There is more. And it is here. Do not be fooled. We are not waiting for epic. We are a part of the epic. We are not waiting for adventure. We are a part of the adventure. It is here in this place. It is here in this day. In this sun rise, in this traffic jam, in this coffee shop, in this deadline, in this cubicle, in this minivan, in this waiting. In this conversation, in this quiet, in this loud, in this hum drum, in this busy. It is here. It is in us.

The epic is in us.

The adventure is in us.

The bigger story is in us because He is in us. Greater is He that is in you than He that is in the world. He is in you. Epic is in you. The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, He will give life to your mortal bodies by the same Spirit living within you. He is in you. And He will give life. He has given life. Not just breath, He has given life. Soul-stirring, epic thrill-having life. In the Monday. In the Tuesday. In the on and on. In the hum drum. In the busy. In the day in, day out. He gives life. You, are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit. We are in the Spirit. We have received the Spirit. We have received His power. You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses.

The bigger story is in you. You are the holder, the place keeper of epic. Because He is in you. And He is the bigger story. Do not be fooled. Do not let it get you down. That lie. That lie that this is all we have. Because this is not all we have. This is what we have! We are the epic. We are the adventure. In this day. In this deadline. In this waiting. In this dot, dot, dot. It is here.


1 John 4: 4 | Romans 8:11| Romans 8:9 | Acts 1:8

Don’t Let It Get You Down, Johnnyswim. March 2, 2015. Web.

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