Let’s be honest…
We’re all beautiful messes. But these last days I have been particularly messy. I have Hope and I know that God is standing beside me and walking with me. I know he’s there, I feel his presence, I can see the little things he gives me like the beautiful sunsets, the encouragements from friends, the free cup of coffee this morning from a local coffee shop called Groove Coffee.
Pretty neat little place. My church just donated a whole lot of books to them so I thought I’d see how they were being used since books have a special place in my heart. On their page at the bottom it says:
-a long, narrow cut or depression, especially one made to guide motion or receive a corresponding ridge.
-an established routine or habit.
“we build an environment to slow down in, escape the grind so to speak.”
And for me, that was the purpose served this morning. I wasn’t going to make it. If I’d shown up at work in current form, I would have been a wreck the whole day through. So I opted to go in later and take a moment for myself. I’m very very fortunate that I can do that. Punctuality has never been my strong suit. I left feeling a little better. I was charged with laughing for no particular reason five times today. And laugh so long that I began genuinely laughing at myself for laughing. I am up to two times so far. I feel better…but I yet have more laughing to do to.
A friend posted a song this morning by Steffany Gretzinger called “Getting There”
I listened to it and cried, and lifted up my hands at my desk and as I opened them my friend Ashley was standing over me. She is always a welcomed sight for me. I enjoy her company and wish we could both lower our walls just a little. We both enjoy each other and have been friends for about as long as my daughter has been alive (3) but have yet to step into a higher level of friendship. I hope that is something we can do finally in the time to come. I love her 🙂
So I have a Youtube playlist going by this Steffany Gretzinger person. Her music is drawing out the creative in me through all the junk on my heart…my heartbeat quickens and I can almost imagine myself back in my room through the thunderstorm: https://themoldedvessel.wordpress.com/2015/09/30/lightning-and-the-lover/
Before I made this gut reaction to pull into this coffee shop this morning, I had been in my car praying. Shouting at the enemy, telling him that he CANNOT take me down because I have willingly fallen and been broken on the Cornerstone (Matthew 21:44) which now is the support in which I stand strong and tall…though today I don’t feel so strong, or so tall…But Jesus does. He always does and thankfully when I am weak, he is strong:
2 Corinthians 12:9-11
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
I wade in weakness. This overwhelming mud…the tantrums from sick and overstimulated children, the messy house that I finally get under control thanks to a gracious neighbor alleviating me of children for a couple hours, only to look at it again 2 days into the week and it feels like I never touched it. I have had a migraine for about a week due to stress and it won’t go away. When God showed me in my dream that I was going to enter a time of rest, I didn’t think it would be literal, but I can’t stay awake past 9pm and I’m a night owl. On top of that my body is re-regulating after years of abuse and it’s doing things that it hasn’t done in a long time that it should have been, it’s shedding weight held on to by a bodily chemical called cortisol that is created by stress…I don’t fit into clothes I wore 2 months ago. Dresses have been my go to lately…and I like feeling pretty again. My hair has decided to curl after 32 years of being straight as ever. Questionable moles that I was certain were cancerous are disappearing. Having to convince yourself that you’re beautiful when your pants won’t stay up and your hair is constantly a mess and you can’t help yelling at your child because they want to hang from the garage door as it’s opening (true story!) is…interesting and hard. The level of exhaustion I feel is extreme.
Cooking dinner for myself and two children who want nothing but Mac n Cheese and hot dogs is WAY harder than it seems and on the hard days I want to eat a whole pizza or go have all you can eat sushi or a bag of potstickers but that is not me anymore and I find that when I even think about it, my mind turns to my Savior and I am reminded to lean on him and not food. I am not who I used to be. I have been freed, healed and made well. I have come a long way from the day I had my husband escorted from my home and even farther still from the day that I asked God to release me. He has told me that for all intents and purposes He sees me as a Widow. I have chosen life, and the man I unwittingly chose (it’s hard not to choose when your arm is being twisted) to be married to has deliberately chosen death. He has also shown me that I am free of guilt and that he sees me (and my children) as righteous and clean and to not let anyone try to shame me for getting out by the door in which He opened for me.
…Did I think the aftermath would be this hard? No. I can see and understand how women choose to go back and dance with the devil because the mountains I’ve had to walk have been riddled with thorns, people would would take advantage of me (and did) but it’s also been speckled with beauty…like finding myself a rose among the thorns. And as I bloomed, I looked up and saw the Son through sharp thorns above me and knew that as I grew tall and learned to soak in the Son among the brambles that I would need Him to navigate through them to rise above. To rise into the atmosphere beyond the thorns to the place where I will thrive. As I look down I can see my past riddled by hurt and danger. I can’t change it. It’s a part of who I am, but I grow and I am growing and I can see daylight! I’m almost there!
I am so much more than where I have been. I am beautiful. I am a mother of two beautiful (stubborn) kids, I am a painter and a dreamer, a poet and a writer, a worker and a friend and a lover of hearts and people, I am old fashioned, I am a daughter of the One True King and though I am weak, I stand on my Daddies shoes and learn to dance to the beat of His heart for my life. I am growing…and it hurts. I’m broke and it’s scary as I withdraw my tithes, but God has provided even beyond what my grandma has funded. I’m still a month away (maybe longer) from even getting child support and yet I’m having to be still and trust that God will take care of me. But I still struggle with fear, I still battle with frustration…and the level of overwhelmed that I’m at right now as the voice on the phone screams and cusses at me and says that “this is your fault” and that I “have no idea what I’m going through right now!” with my three year old listening…I end the call. The storm is raging on, my boat is being battered by the waves and the storm and I KNOW I will reach land! My boat may not survive (only God knows)…but I will. When I’m above the thorns, I will be a different and more beautiful version of me. God has been refining me since May of 2013 when I asked him to change me…and release me. I have come so far…I’m almost there!
Father God, I’m overwhelmed. I don’t even have the energy to stay up and journal my prayers lately. I pass out while I’m writing them! I feel horrible that I can’t even write my prayers out for the man you have promised me in my future. I lift all these things on my heart and my body up to you. I try to seek you in the quiet confines of my heart as the world and life feels like it’s screaming SO LOUD. I have a list a mile long of things I need to do and I can’t do them. I lift it all up to you, all of the things weighing on my heart and my body and I ask that you carry it for me. Because Poppa, I’m weak, and because I have you, it makes me strong, so pull me closer and give me your strength. Show me who you see me to be, let me see myself through your eyes. Give me the endurance I need to run this race. I will keep giving you my troubles and reaching for you, I still hold fast to that future you’ve shown me you have for me. Help me to achieve that through you Lord!
I also pray for that little coffee shop Father. May his act of kindness(es) blossom into blessings and may they be bountiful. Grow that business and may it always have You at the center of it. Keep his dream alive and VERY well until Your return.
PS: As I edit, this song comes on in the playlist: