Hidden Away

Abuse Survivor, birds, bravery, confidence, contentment, courage, Faith, fear, grace, Holy Spirit, hope, Peace, rest, Trust, Vulnerability, waiting, wisdom, wonder

Last night the dreams did that filtering thing, bringing all the half processed thoughts to the surface so that morning’s arrival could have a blank slate.

Angry encounters, loneliness amongst others, worry, an almost real sense of illness and a vivid place of being taken advantage of.

I understand the purpose of dreams when they are this threatening, this vulnerability revealing.

What was heavy becomes evidence now of false narrative and a waking up to return to truth.

“I am convinced that any suffering we endure is less than nothing compared to the magnitude of glory that is about to be unveiled within us.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:18‬ ‭TPT‬‬

Last weekend my husband and I stole away for a couple of days in a time it seems we’re supposed to be hunkering down, getting ready to fight, a time of yet more uncertain events.

We were among the leaves, the curving hills and valleys, the powerful rush of water, the sound of leaves tousling under our feet and dancing downward.

In the afternoon I sat and rocked alone on the old porch shielded by camellias. The inn was uncrowded because of pandemic.

I simply sat. Several minutes into the comfort of nothingness, I turned to see an oddity.

In the corner of the porch, the shape of a dark bird sat. I turned away and then looked again, still there.

I puzzled over the shape. Had somebody left a carved bird there for sweet decoration, was it one of those country birds people put on a shelf, the legs dangling?

I waited, no hurry to decide what it was.

I began to be sure that it was there just for me. My soul was stilled. The world around me a mess and yet, I am sitting quietly with a simply beautiful view and I’m rocking gently in an old wooden chair.

All was good, was well.

Sunset approached and I quietly decided to see more closely the figure in the corner.

I stepped gingerly and I saw it, a sparrow who allowed my visit and then fluttered away.

I went to tell my husband and to dress for dinner. As we stepped towards the porch I shushed him, maybe we will see it.

And we did. Back in its safe place, we both saw the bird.

“It’s roosting.” my husband said.

Oh.

The bird wasn’t there when we returned after dinner nor on Sunday when we departed.

Only Saturday as I sat resting from hiking and in between a good long call with my son and a FaceTime with my daughter and hers.

I knew it was God.

I know it was His nearness in a visit with a roosting bird.

Now I know roosting is different than nesting as far as the pattern of a bird. Roosting is sitting still, finding a place to rest and returning there for comfort, for safety.

Maybe we roost when we allow our souls to rest in God’s tender but massive hand. Maybe we confidently return to our little place.

“A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord,
A wonderful Savior to me;
He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock,
Where rivers of pleasure I see.
He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock,
That shadows a dry, thirsty land;
He hideth my life in the depths of His love,
And covers me there with His hand,
And covers me there with His hand.”

I pray you know God’s nearness today, that the noise of all other is quieted by a view, a song, a sound and that if sleep awakens buried fears, you wake with assurance of being never alone and you rest in the safe place of that knowledge.

God is for you.

Grace and Intention

Abuse Survivor, bravery, courage, Faith, fear, grace, mercy, obedience, Prayer, Redemption, rest, Salvation, surrender, Uncategorized, Vulnerability, wisdom, wonder, writing

She told me a heartbreaking story and how she came to accept it.

She said,

“God said, ‘that was my intention’.”

I woke today and met rejection. An email quickly skimmed and moved on to the folder marked trash.

I’d told myself submit and if it is for you, it will be.

I wasn’t at all destroyed over it. The not being chosen for my writing was sort of an answer to some recent questions of God.

One in particular, do I just blog and let that be enough?

I don’t know yet.

But, I’m open either way.

Not on the edge about it. I know that God’s intentions for me are always good. I find it brave to believe this.

Wish I’d believed it sooner.

Wish I’d seen the verse with the words “returning and rest” the way my friend explained it.

“Daughter, come back.” is what she told me the prophet Isaiah wrote, as instructed by God.

“This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength. But you would have none of it.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭30:15‬ ‭NLT‬‬

My friend is biblically wise and I’d always felt the words about running away felt like chastisement.

She read farther back and told me God is just reminding me rest means closeness and confidence and strength are from staying near.

We talked a little more and we began to share worries over our world, the evil motivations of people and the bravery required to stand strong and speak up about God.

She became quiet. She shared of a high school classmate she’d heard through others had suffered a stroke.

She told me they weren’t close friends, hadn’t run in the same circles way back then.

Using the connection of another former classmate, she contacted the ailing friend and asked to drop off food, say hello.

The stroke victim said no at first and eventually allowed my friend in.

And I’m not sure how many visits there were, if meals were shared or if conversation became natural.

My friend shared that the woman she’d been visiting did not believe in God. She had her reasons.

My friend asked God to keep her alive until she could change her mind about Jesus.

My friend ached for that assurance. She is aching still.

The former classmate died too soon.

Tremendous pain prompted her to get any pill she could get off the street and my friend heard that the stroke victim who said there was no God, died while sending someone a text.

My friend heard later, the pill was tainted, a deadly ingredient added.

I sat and sensed the ache of question. I saw regret in the posture of my friend.

Months passed since the passing until one day in the shower, she longed to know why she’d not been able to help the former classmate believe in Jesus.

She looked over at me and said,

“God said, ‘that was my intention’.”

And the truth of God’s intention for my friend’s friend and for me caused tears to begin slowly.

Peace permeated the space between us.

“So, you have peace about her?” I asked and she nodded.

Then, I smiled and I cried and I told her something I don’t think she knew would be for me.

What that means is that those horrible things that happened to me were not what God intended, the evil just won the battle.

And maybe, just maybe the stuff I longed for that had not happened was not God’s intention for me.

Come back, daughter. Yes, I now see.

Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you.
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭30:18‬ ‭ESV‬‬

What makes no sense to you if you believe in a God that is good?

My friend found peace when God told her, I was on your team, I was fighting alongside you.

You having more time with her was my intention.

Evil broke in. Broke in too soon.

On earth there is evil.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭29:11‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Heaven, though, is God’s purpose.

Our hope and future.

Come back. Stay near. My grace to you is intentional.

Be brave.

Continue

and believe.

What God intends is good.

The Pace of Peace

Abuse Survivor, bravery, contentment, courage, curiousity, doubt, eating disorder, Faith, fear, hope, memoir, Peace, Prayer, Redemption, Vulnerability, wisdom

I’ve taken some advice I used with others making their way towards change, women working to steady their lives after losing their footing.

I remember suggesting,

“Look in the mirror, you’ll know how you’re doing. You’ll see if you’re changing.”

“The light of the eyes rejoices the heart, and good news refreshes the bones.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭15:30‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I see the signs of aging, the crinkly look of already used tissue paper is the texture of the skin on my neck.

My nose is wide, not graceful or balanced below my eyes.

My lashes are short and somehow my actual eyes appear tiny.

This was the observation early morning after sleep not coming and my frustration over it.

I’m one who needs my sleep and very well knows it. I woke up to the problem when I got up close and peered into the bathroom mirror.

I remember just days ago an acquaintance and I talking about not recognizing each other after a few years because of the mandatory mask.

The old friend disagreed, told me he’d recognize my eyes anywhere, that they are very intense.

I wonder how it can be when age and life it seems are dulling their blueness so rapidly.

No amount of wrinkle cream or remedy seem to make a difference.

The difference is deeper, it’s the soul of me I am learning.

Two days after fixating on the size of my nose I visited the early morning mirror and now, it’s daily. I compare me to that sad selfie I won’t be sharing, thank you, as a tool to assess what I believe.

Beauty is born in the soul. Clarity and hope will not shine through if the source of them both is sought outside the place that inhabits God in us.

To be honest, it’s the approaching sixtieth that has me accepting my appearance and racing to catch up with time wasted not caring about my health or caring too much obsessively towards harm.

So, Monday has me focused on what I know now and what I’m doing that is good.

Because I can’t circle back on life’s walk and erase unhealthy choices. I can’t run ahead and anticipate or offset dreadful aging.

I can live today.

Begin again every morning knowing God keeps no records of wrongs only watches and nudges us toward learning.

I can look in the mirror and marvel over its honest reflection. I can be happy over my current condition trusting my eyes will tell me what is different as well as what choices I make that need to be different.

God is with me.

All the way. Good things are coming with brave choices and gentle faith in myself as I wait.

As He waits for me not to undo my past or catch up, just to join alongside Him.

“So the Lord must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion. For the Lord is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for his help.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭30:18‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Want to know the condition of your soul?

Look into your morning mirror first thing and then continue.

Continue and believe.

It is well.

It is well with my soul.

The Audacity of Believing

Abuse Survivor, Art, confidence, contentment, coronavirus, courage, depression, Faith, fear, hope, memoir, mixed media painting, painting, Peace, Redemption, rest, Salvation, Trust, Unity, Vulnerability, waiting, writing

After three days with no writing or painting, I returned to my “sanctuary” on Sunday afternoon.

It was as before, it was life giving, the losing track of time and paint on my hands and forehead.

All afternoon, I painted.

I followed my husband’s suggestion. He noticed I was isolating and told me to stop spending so much time in “that room”.

When I did, I thought of other things. Things other than the canvases piling up, other than hopes that seem to have no place to land in this seemingly hopeless land.

I noticed the hardships of others. I paid attention to sorrowful eyes on masked faces. I observed the way we all seem to be walking together reluctantly, like lambs headed for slaughter.

I recalled my work with depression and suicide. I recalled the one thing more important than any other.

The one in need asking for help, and the listener being committed to listening and helping.

I thought of situational depression in comparison to chemical.

I realized, maybe now (I’m not an expert) it makes no difference. Isolation, depression, anger or sullenness, no respecter of persons.

And I revisited my career long reminder.

Be kind. Everyone is fighting a hard battle.

Here we are on another Monday feeling like the never ending mystery of our days.

I turned to Matthew, today marked Chapter 7, about not judging others wrongly, considering their conditions could be yours.

I read ahead, drawn towards a healing story.

Longing to remember the healer, longing to remember the one needing healing.

Wanting to feel touched by another’s story.

This one, a single soul held captive by an ugly disease. He was a leper, one others avoided.

He was brave enough to believe and saw the throng of people along with Jesus descending from the mountain down into the valley where he stayed hidden.

He asked for help.

Jesus listened.

“And behold, a leper came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.” And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭8:2-3‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Today, I’ll remember those who are struggling more than most, more than me.

I’ll pray they find a listener, are able to express their pain and that the ears that welcome their anger or dismay, offer a heart and hand of patient compassion.

I pray that I am able to offer the same, whether words or canvas or eyes that smile instead of look away when I meet another seeking soul, a gentle lamb trusting God and in need of healing.

May we find each other in our quest for healing. May we continue to believe in the audacity of believing.

Tell Me The Story

Abuse Survivor, bravery, courage, doubt, Faith, fear, freedom, grace, memoir, Peace, Prayer, Redemption, Vulnerability, waiting, wonder

After 45 minutes listening to an interview with someone discussing the idea of “faith over fear” and her testimony, I encountered real fear.

The interviewee shared of loss due to cancer, her mother’s death and her own diagnosis from which she recovered.

She recalled those fears and the interviewer asked about her testimony. She laughed and shared her stable faith driven upbringing and the path towards believing in Jesus that seemed, some might say, a boring story.

I silenced the podcast as I took the main road when approaching the hill, a sedan cut it close at the curve and forced me to walk in the overgrown ditch.

I thought little of it, said to myself you shouldn’t be on the pavement, this is not a quiet road.

I walked on as the high weeds brushed above my ankles. Tired and almost home, I looked down to see my shirt wet with sweat and saw the waiting snake. The snake with the markings my daddy taught me, the snake with the metallic like tail raised up in the weeds. The snake with its eye focused on crossing the road.

I was scared.

And then I wasn’t.

I had not been struck by the car, the snake did not turn and strike me.

Later, I wrote my June Newsletter to include what I’m learning about fear and its part in my story. Read and if you’d like, subscribe here.

https://mailchi.mp/f57cb8777573/praying-fear-away

More than focused on what could have happened, I thought of how I’d been protected. I remembered what I was learning about fear in relation to faith.

This is progress for me. My husband had been so nonchalant, “But, you didn’t step on the snake, you are okay.”

I agreed to agree with him. I let the fear go.

Fear of everything has always been a theme in my story. Fear of catastrophe, of rejection by those I love, of illness. But, my story of redemption has no place for that old chapter, those old characters.

Which story will I choose?

Which ending?

Like being in the middle of a thick rope in a tug of war game, fear is strong with the brute force to pull me back. Redemption is a more strategically played strength, the pull more steady with necessary breaks and balance leads to a sustainable victory.

Redemption will win because it won’t wear itself out aggressively like fear that’s so angry, so unpredictable, so mean and devilish.

Fear is an emotion. Faith is a committed choice.

I woke this morning wondering why more of us aren’t telling our redemption stories, our testimonies. The timing is good. Our fear fighting redemption story may lessen another’s fear. The time is opportune for sharers and for listeners. Dare I say, our stories of Jesus are not only more important but more sustaining than yet another commentary on the virus or the heartache of societal unrest.

Fear is a distraction, these times are skilled at using it.

Dare I say that? I suppose I should be afraid. My faith says don’t be.

“Tell me the story of Jesus. Write on my heart every word. Tell me the story most precious, sweetest that I’ve ever heard.” an old hymn

The woman in the podcast interview was raised in church, began to believe at church camp around age 11.

Me, at age 11 is a story I’d love to forget. My Jesus story, my testimony began when an elderly pastor told me, a new single mama, that all I had to do was ask for mercy, Jesus died for me and grace and forgiveness is a gift called salvation.

It was mine for the asking.

So, I asked and received.

I’ve never doubted God’s love for me through Jesus, only doubted I’d ever simply believe I deserve it. This is the never withdrawing pursuit of grace. I am redeemed because of it. God doesn’t see my struggle to believe, He simply sees my continued pursuit of a deeper belief and loving communion with Him.

I sent the newsletter last night never mentioning the reckless car or the rattlesnake. I could hardly believe it! A day spent focused on faith and choosing to fight off fear was ended with a walk at dusk and tangible fear.

But, I was kept safe. I am safe. I am here to tell the story of it.

More redemption stories must be mine to share.

Continue and believe.

.”.

Love, The Way

courage, Faith, fear, hope, love, mercy, racial reconciliation, Teaching, Trust, Unity, Vulnerability

“Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?”
‭‭John‬ ‭14:5‬ ‭ESV‬‬

When I’m not certain how to join a conversation, I sometimes don’t say anything. I linger with my questions, I gather information.

I acknowledge my lack of understanding. I tell myself this is just too much for a well meaning but insufficient response. Situations over lives lost violently and unnecessarily weigh heavy on my heart. I am not equipped with words to make a dent in the dismay.

I turned to John today, led by my ancient Roman numerically referenced devotional, “Joy and Strength”.

A drawing in the margin illustrated the question asked by Thomas, “How can we know the way?”

I realized Jesus had told them, shown them, modeled it along.

The way is love.

John, chapters 13 and 14, tell the touching story of the love of Jesus.

Jesus, confusing the disciples by sitting at their feet with a basin of water, choosing the dirtiest of their parts, feet familiar with dirt, and he washed their feet.

He was teaching that you do what seems unfitting for you to do, you take it a step farther than telling about Him or giving food or shelter or telling their own Jesus story.

No, you love others if they’re different, you love people who walk on different roads other than your own.

You acknowledge that their steps are led by God enabled feet and journeys, joys and woes.

Feet like your own.

Made by God, loved by God.

Led by God.

Led by love.

All sorts of words can be said about choosing love.

It’s the choosing that matters, not really the words we’ve known so very long and already know.

It’s the choosing to love when that’s all you know or when that’s “all you got” in unthinkable ungodly situations.

“And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
‭‭John‬ ‭14:4-6‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Love is the way.

Love, the way to God.

Through the sacrificial death of Jesus, the washer of our faltering feet.

More Rest than Race

Abuse Survivor, Art, bravery, confidence, contentment, courage, doubt, Faith, fear, freedom, hope, memoir, painting, rest, Trust, Vulnerability, wonder, writing

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭12:1‬ ‭NLT‬‬

It’s trendy to choose a word for the year in some circles. Make a hashtag, tag it onto your posts, think about what it means to you.

So, when I chose endurance it was a subtle choice. Not working out with a buff trainer flipping tires and doing burpees kind of intention.

No, I chose endurance because it seemed to be the mindset to the phrase I like to live.

Continue and believe.

me

It felt like a soft determination to put action and patience and steps forward. No destination or goal, just keep going.

And I liked the idea of it. It was doable.

Then the pandemic crept in and took over and I laughed a little cynical giggle, what was I thinking to choose the word endurance?

But, I didn’t let it consume me. I decided it meant what I meant it to mean.

Months have passed and the days are written in my journal with the word “surrender” written daily and circled, the thick circle somehow making me believe I could and should do it.

Because I love words I found myself not really understanding the purpose of the word and my daily circling.

I began to feel it was something different God wanted me to embrace.

Today marks the return of my very old and reliable friend.

Today, I return to trust. The word surrender can be found in the Bible in the context of battle. Not once is it found in the New Testament, only the idea of it.

I’m fully on board with idea, the idea of giving my concerns, my goals, my worries to God in surrender and letting Him filter the outcomes. I am for this for sure. I’m just more certain that now more than anything I need to recommit my mind to “trust”, the word and decision I used to scribble on my wrist before making a speech or decision.

Yes, I am returning to trust today.

And I’m sticking with endurance in my own unique way.

Believe and continue.

Trust, a good word. I hope I’m known for not quitting, not striving to be the grand winner, simply staying in the race.

Logic and Learning

Abuse Survivor, bravery, coronavirus, courage, curiousity, doubt, fear, memoir, mercy, Redemption, rest, Stillness, surrender, Teaching, Uncategorized, Vulnerability, waiting, wisdom, writing

What have you learned about yourself since March whenever when you were scared to death by being told to wash your hands, don’t touch your face?

I’ve learned I can’t blame lack of time for my lack of effort. I’ve learned to understand my resistance to taking chances is for fear of something not happening.

If you’ve read my blog, you may be thinking well, that’s no secret.

I learned that God made me to be merciful and that I have what is called a mercy gift, that this is my redemptive gift. The day after a very wise person told me this, thinking surely I already knew, I received this In Touch publication, their final issue. The issue’s focus?

Mercy.

I’ve learned there is a reader for stories born of trauma. There are authors who are honest and long for their readers to be changed by our stories.

One such author is Jake Owensby, the author of “A Resurrection Shaped Life, Dying and Rising on Planet Earth”.

Jake is a blogger and a minister. He also grew up exposed to violence. He developed a fear reaction. He cowered when he felt that was the only way to feel safe. He grew up being told he was worthless in so many ways. His book is written to convince the reader, God made you for different. You can believe you are valued.

I haven’t even finished the book and I’ve not been asked to review or mention it. It’s just a part of my learning during pandemic.

I admitted a big hard and better understood truth about myself.

I am a blamer. I look for places to lay blame for the trauma of my past, the way it has and continues to stymie my living.

Jake Owensby defines it this way, a way I am embracing,

You see, I’m a blamer. Or, more accurately, I’m a recovering blamer given to occasional relapses.

Jake Owensby

On the bottom page of this chapter’s second page are almost unreadable notes left by me, the truth of them so true, I had to hurry and leave it recorded.

If you can blame someone or someones for the hurt you felt, the fear unresolved and the physical harm that went unprevented…you won’t have to feel the deep heartache of not wanting to have to blame God.

Me

Mr. Owensby led me to this, it is valuable like a revelation long needed.

I’m only half through the book. The chapter after blame and shame has other underlined and margin notes. One more that lingers is the retelling of an English teacher who believed in him and convinced him to write competitively. His fear and comparison of himself led to failure. However, he writes of the redemptive value of the instructor seeing that in him, seeing him measuring his lack against another’s arrogance.

She yearned for me to see things, to see the world and myself in a different light. In retrospect, I realize that it was my dread of failure that undid me that day. Failure, even perceived failure, would set loose in me an avalanche of shame.

Jake Owensby

I’m remembering now how Jake Owensby and I connected through writing. I remember the time he offered me prayer. I believe he prayed.

Prayer is yet another thing I’m learning more deeply.

Last weekend, I sat with my mama’s sister on her patio. She told a sweet story about how my mama was a teenager when she first heard my daddy singing in a tiny little country bar. She was a high schooler and he had come home from Korea.

I asked her to retell the story. How had I never known it? Then we turned the discussion from life to death. My uncle and my aunt asking me to remind them how old my parents were when they met death. The perspective changed along with the mood when I compared my upcoming 60th birthday with the corresponding too soon years of their dying.

I thought about the scribbles in my Bible, a book I gave my ailing mama entitled “What God Can Do”. I thought about how I believed she would live, that God would do what the Book of Luke records, she would live if I would believe. I thought of how I never prayed that way for my daddy, felt I was not eligible to pray, not equipped back then.

Now, on this Tuesday morning I’m listing answers to prayer because I am still praying and I will pray, continue unrelentingly.

So, why pray when people die anyway, when abuse continues for some and if it ends at last, the deep pain often comes back to visit?

I pray because I know God is far too big for me to know why and why not.

I pray because I know His love and power and knowledge in increments when I continue.

Lost keys found, an old car that started, a baby protected in a storm, a heart condition healed, a softer tone from the heart of one that used to be harder, an opportunity to write about redemption from trauma for others, waking up well, tiny twins a little early yet, healthy, little answers to questions and requests not really life altering but good offering ups of yes”, the bravery to send photos of paintings to a gallery.

Knowing God so much more than before, so much that it’s unimportant the reactions of others when you say you still believe in miracles.

God is not logical. We can’t use a chart like a logic model to list our prayers and our acts of mercy and kindness and line them up in a flow chart kind of way towards a corresponding list of outcomes.

God’s ways are not ours to fully understand.

Only fully believe.

So, what have you learned during this time called unprecedented?

Maybe it’s just that, all of our times are in the hands of a God who promises unprecedented miracles, unprecedented new mercies, unimaginable grace.

Fix your mind on that, not your missteps, the prayers you prayed that left you questioning, or the long held fear of failure and shame that holds you back.

Learn of God in tiny grasps; but, keep longing for steady learning. There is more than enough time to get closer to grasping the truth of Him, the truth not made for us to wrap our minds around completely, simple to be drawn closer every moment to the possibility of it.

The immeasurably confounding and generous love of God.

“from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭3:15-19‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Like the prayers God answers, I’m enlightened by the possibility of them, not the end result. The book about a Resurrection Shaped Life, written from the perspective of someone hampered by shame was not written specifically for me and its author had no preconceived takeaway for me. I’m simply a reader as I am simply one who is praying. The revelation, redemption and peace in response are God’s answers.

I encourage you to follow the writing of Jake Owensby and to order this book if you’re stuck in your past or if you are prone to shame as a handicap. You can learn more here: Jake Owensby

Continue and believe.

Order the redemptive book here:

A Resurrection Shaped Life https://www.amazon.com/dp/1501870815/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_J1aXEbAKSYSBC

Deciding Against It

bravery, confidence, contentment, coronavirus, courage, Faith, fear, freedom, hope, memoir, Redemption, Uncategorized, Vulnerability, wonder

I intentionally leave the blinds open now. The morning light and the shift of the sheers is my gentle waking alarm.

I’ve been thinking about fear and the contradiction of such beautiful occurrences as light through the window and when will this fear inducing pandemic uncertainty end.

But, I talked about fear the other day with my friend as we sorted out the hurtful and inappropriate behavior of another. I told my friend

At the core, it’s fear. Every unwanted behavior spills over from the fear brought on by something the other person has kept and is fighting to keep secret.

Since then, I’ve been contemplating fear. How so many of us are allowing our fear to go unacknowledged. We are afraid of things we can’t name on top of our already debilitating fears.

We are justified in our fear.

After all, there is no page in this book we’re all currently reading to tell us which chapter we are in.

Are we still reading the introduction? Have we moved into the mix of characters’ conflict, resolution and either an ending that leaves us unfulfilled and angry over giving time to its finishing or the final chapter in a really honest memoir that leads us to feel satisfied in the reconciliation of the author’s story?

We know little about this epic story called Co-Vid. I suppose we keep reading the book of it.

As needed. Only.

Otherwise, there are too many plot twists and too many arguments to make it pleasing or informative, to get pulled in, sleepless night reading birthing crazy night terrors.

I bet you can tell, I’m unschooled when it comes to this pandemic or anything else global or political.

This is by choice. Knowing everything is potentially harmful to catastrophic story writing me.

Today, I opened my Bible and decided to focus on fear.

Then I journaled each of them, as if taking notes for an upcoming test.

The section in my Bible that is called “What the Bible says about…” lists seven scriptures on fear. I googled “how many times is fear mentioned in the Bible?” The answer was “over 500” with a little more about the statement “do not fear” being in the Bible 365 times.

Many of us already know this cool fact. Many of us know God does not want us to be afraid, reminds us He is our strength and any fear we feel is from man not Him.

The greatest gift of reading my Bible is reading a verse I’ve read before but it being different, God being intentional in my receiving of it. Today, it’s 4 words from Isaiah 41:13

I am your God.

God is not just the God I believe, the Heavenly Father who desires eternity for me and so He gave His only Son. He is of course, those things.

But, He is my God. Yours too, as if we could be the one and only and He belongs to each of us with the same amount of love, of power, of protection, of fighting for us in a gentle way…as if to say, know this love I have for you more fully, better.

I am yours. God

The other verses are just as good. This thing called fear in this time called Corona has me thinking. Fear is complicated now. We can’t name the reasons for it because we’re overwhelmed with questions and information and a non ending to this chapter and book.

I do know God says don’t fear.

So, I’m sure fear must be coming from somewhere I’m not supposed to be seeing, hearing, absorbing into my thoughts. Maybe if there is one teaching and promise we can all wrap our minds around, it is this.

Do not fear.

Maybe it’s our heart and mind’s stubborn and faithful incomprehensible to others decision not to live in fear.

I’m deciding to be against fear.

To continue albeit naive.

To continue and believe.

Meanwhile, Painting

Art, coronavirus, courage, fear, hope, mixed media painting, painting, Stillness, Uncategorized, Vulnerability

The finished works are piling up! Hoping I get the gumption and patience technologically to launch a proper website soon!

I suppose since I can’t seem to summarize in writing my fatigue over the unending pressure from everywhere to live in fear

I’ll paint until I can formulate understandable content about the absolute crippling in every way fear that I feel is being imposed on us all.

Stay tuned if you’re hoping I’ll put together the website which will display prints, original pieces and a place to discuss commissions.

The heron is a commission for a friend’s newly updated den. I think it’s gonna be happy there. Prints will be available to purchase.

Comment if interested in any of these.