Waiting.



Patience is not a thing that comes easily to me.
It’s a hard-learned quality that I still struggle to grasp firmly…
I hate delay..hate the pause…the uncertainty that the wait entails.

But nevertheless, here we are again.

We’ve lived pause and isolation before. Oh, more times then I can be bothered to count.

When our sunchild became ill and overnight turned into a shade-seeker we stepped out of the race.
Hid from the light.
The threat of exposure, sunlight or illness, was too costly for her.
She was defenceless and we had  need to retreat from the world, from life to an extent and re-write our normal.

When depression and pain reared its ugly head again and again…we stood back once more.
Retreating from loved ones and acquaintances alike.

It took everything to keep one foot moving in front of the other.. Years lived this way…this half-life.

Then one day the disease lost its grip letting go of our girl… Light returned to her smile.

Later on, the depression and rage left home.  Slowly but surely new life has been found on the wings of faith and
in the arms of friends … we stood tall again..finding our feet, our breath. Shaken and bruised but redefined through the hardship into something stronger.

So it seems like a mean trick and the worst possible timing this current season of shaking and stirring…

The whole earth appears to be trembling…a global pandemic..a virus.  Unseen before and we are all taken off guard..ill-prepared.

Gods fall all around us and take with them any semblance of security.Stockmarkets plummet, unemployment skyrockets.
Its hard to tell whether the real threat is an illness or the fear it infests us all with.

We are left stunned and helpless in the face of a storm set to swallow the earth as we know it…

Meanwhile, this child that once overcame a beast is showing signs of relapse…

The strain of the last yr has taken its toll on all of us. But this child, My strong silent girl with a brave face to rival any warrior is struggling …it starts with pain unspoken.

My mummas eyes are trained to see the hints no one else but her big sister sees. These clues are seared into the recesses of our being we know them on some primal instinctive level. 

Rashes follow.
A butterfly flush stretches across her creamy white cheeks..encircling both beautiful hazel eyes and stretch down to her chin. It’s been coming and going for a while but now comes and lingers longer then I can stand…

This flush is pure anger – blood boiling vessels and capillaries raging with inflammation that circulates through her system…tearing and shredding at her muscles..her joints ..her organs and skin.

For an invisible disease, the visible ruins me.

She doesn’t play her guitar much any more. Her hands ache and while she hasn’t said anything…the lack of music from behind her door tells the tale. I have become home sick for the sound of plucked and strummed melodies.

A blood draw confirms my fear and my heart braces, knees crumble and I am found again on my face calling heaven down around her demanding the light return and banish the beast for once and for all.

There’s no other beside me this time. No shoulder to brace myself on or hand to grip when fear beckons after dark.
When my mind runs rings around itself..and all I have is prayer.

I find myself on my knees,prayers constantly falling from my lips.They drop as desperate laments, sprout wings and reach heavens ears in a stream of constant overflow.

Communion unending breathes faith back into the dark space between fact and truth and I am tethered to heavens heart again.

I’ve come to realise I can’t stop the onslaught. Life is in lockdown as the threats around us magnify.

But in this place of waiting…

Waiting to see how just how firmly that beast has tightened its grip on this child….

Waiting to see if she’ll shake it again or is this to be war once more?

Of waiting out the tremors of the world around us. For this pandemic to burn out…

Waiting for friends and family homes and hands to be safe reprieve again…

To see what tomorrow holds for our little reshaped family… I’m relearning the art of patience…

I remember learning once before to count blessings. How doing so drove out the darkness and summoned the light.

To fix my eyes beyond the storm clouds, and gaze above the waves.

A season of slow down offers much to one whos willing to see it… but mostly it offers time.

Priceless time.

The chance to remaster old arts.

To do those things I never seem to have time for and notice the small.

If you take the time to see and have the inkling  to look a little closer there’s such beauty in the mundane.

Magic can be found even in the fog of uncertainty if we find the grace enough to see it.

Forced stillness can be therapeutic…

Home can hold the heart and laughter of carefree faith given space enough to be.

Unrushed days and easy nights are in fact perfections.

After all, some times schedules can serve to suffocate.

Isolation it seems minimises complication..permits real rest…

Perhaps the timing I thought so bad is in fact blessed?
It’s not a stretch to see that deep rest could herald deeper healing.

And then I remember…
Last year when life hit so hard I couldn’t breathe and time insisted on ticking by with so many commitments I felt drowned I prayed that it would slow… stop even..long enough to catch my breath.

And here we are.

Time stands almost still once behind our door. Life hit pause and only the garden changes around us.

This time around I’ll seek the joy in the mess.
I’ll resist the urge to be swayed by the trembling of all around us…
I’ll stay on my knees and hold tight to heavens hand when fear creeps back.

I’ll embrace the wait with faith enough to know healing is hers and we’ll rise again.

We may be shaken and bruised a little but refined some more and stronger somehow for our trouble.

Patience is an art form that it seems I have time enough to learn.

 

 

Hindsight

If I had it all to do over again.. I’d write a different story. The plot twists would remain the same I guess, I had no control over them anyway, but I think perhaps Id handle it all differently.

Hindsight is 20/20 or so they say and if I only knew then what I know now. Maybe I wouldn’t be sitting where I sit. Life in limbo is not so fun.

In hindsight….being everything to everyone left little space held for me, for us, for them.
Spread so thin I got lost amongst the load…but this is what I know,
its how I walked wounded..
This is my survival story.

Empathy imbalance is costly. I mastered in needing to belong…but found belonging nowhere.

Boundaries have never been my strength…

I’m learning.

I guess when life is chaos you control what you can in order to feel some sort of comfort. These shoulders carried more then they should.
These hands held to tightly when they should have loosened their grip.

Maybe if I saw the pain within and recognised those wounds as not unlike my own Id have been less quick to pick up the weight, less willing to be  trampled under the need to please.

If only I saw what was truly behind the masks, the walls perhaps I would have connected differently having held insight to meet the need.
I’d have loved differently perhaps … Less surface skating but brave and risk loss to go deep, instead just existing holding pace.

At very least I’d not have been so effortlessly deceived.
But perhaps this is how he walks wounded…
His survival story.

 

I guess though we can only know what we know..and give out of what we have to give.
Running on empty could never ever be enough.


Had I perception of the hidden depths then perhaps we would never have drifted so far along these roads that led to the edge.
Or perhaps never had begun at all.

Having never known whole ourselves how could we recognise the depth of dysfunction?  But you can only know what you know…
This is how we walked wounded.
This is our survival story.

Knowing now what I missed then… Id tell my former self to let it fall…step back and allow the crash…not fear the mess but embrace its power to herald change , eyes wide open. Perhaps the earlier the less complex it could have been.Or less final.

I crave a time machine so that I could go back and do it differently.
Notice when I overlooked. See what went unseen… Less played the fool and more foolhardy. More Wiser then wishful.

I loath the wounds,reddish-purple scars that weave the depth of my 38 years, wishing they were not …quite… so… deep.
This is not the first abandon.
Not the first rejection.
This is not the first heartache.
These are old wounds that have been torn open time and time again.

Each repeat more shattering then before, each blow leaving the scar more unsightly …

This ache such a part of me imbedded in my soul. It has a way of spinning spells that dictate my every moment.
I have wished this ache away a thousand different ways. 
Dreamed a different story a thousand different days…
But life is no dream and to live there in denial heals nothing…achieving even less… Just more time lost in  fraudulent haze.

Enough life wasted walking wounded.

I crave courage.
To be dauntless
To walk whole.
I want to live life in full colour.
High definition.
Outrageously authentic no matter the cost.

But what’s required here isn’t earthly essence…it isn’t easily understood… I’ve let go the idea that I could change it all..instead learning to trust in the process.
Forgiving the other the damage done is easier than forgiving myself for my own failings.

But perhaps it had to be this way.
Perhaps it’s fundamental to our walk.
Perhaps it was a lesson I had to learn and learn it well I have.

Maybe the story had to roll like this to get where we are going.
Maybe this is where the wounds get healing.
Maybe this is the start of a new story.


And maybe it’s ok if I’m not ok.Not just yet anyways.

Isn’t it enough to know I’m held in hands of grace?

Hindsight while helpful for understanding can be a brutal teacher.
Freedom seems cannot be brought.
I can’t untangle myself or turn back the clock. I wish to God I could…
But heaven knows better than I of how this journey plays out.

I’ve found that forgiveness is freedoms kiss on aching brow…
It’s release…..
Oxygen and medicine all at once.
It’s CPR to a dying heart.
Breathing hope back into these weakened lungs. It’s the strength to put down the anger and lift gaze into tomorrow.

In forgiveness I find my courage..it bleeds refreshment through these veins. Quiets the storms of overwhelm.
Lifts the weight of not being enough.

Hindsight schools me in forgiveness. Leads me back to hope. To faith. To the dreams of age-old yesterdays that seem to light the way into tomorrow.
I am found again in graces embrace.
Still bearing scar tissue..
Still walking wounded,  but a little less so now then before.

 

 

 

 

 

 

She is….

Impossibly flawed and oh so broken…still she walks as queen.

Head held higher defying the ache inside.

Youd never know the depths of sorrows overcome. She is victorious .

Her integrity is made complete by humilities seasoning.
She is beauty and brokeness all at once.
A masterpiece in the making.
Dust refined into being by the artists hands.

She carries the blue prints of heaven deep in her soul.
Her path is kingdom laid .

The presence of ten thousand angels feed her courage .

She walks encircled.

Wisdom of the ages is at her beck and call.

With each stride made grace pours down and washes the earth beneath her feet.
She is holy and this now holy ground.

Sanctified and sacred.

Her beauty elemental.

Flowing like a current from soul deep…

down rivers of cracked and broken
out her finger tips into the atmosphere.
She’s electric.
Intricate, one of a kind.

Irreplaceable, unforgettable, indefinable.

She cannot and will not be contained. Her soul has swum deeper than any ocean.
Her prayers break through the outer reaches of furthest galaxies.
She is not limited by time and space.

Infinite and wild as any raging sea.

Her faith and compassion stand her tall.
Though she may be knocked down broken she will never be destroyed.
She knows how to rise.
She is master swordsman.

When She lifts her gaze to higher things the heavens are her home.
Loyalty is on her breath..faithful her hearts cry.

She is a master at connection.
Built for depth and real.
A wellspring of hope and light into darkest stratospheres.

 

Grace is her garment.
Peace her shoes.
Truth her battle cry.
Crown of glory adorns her head
Mercy falls from her lips like a waterfall…washing healing over all she encounters.

She speaks the language of  angels.
Her heart is held safe in the hands of the divine.
Honor runs through her veins.

Her eyes behold the unseen.Shes gifted insight into tomorrow.

She lifts her voice with sure authority. She will not be silence.

Created for freedoms call. To advance and not be halted.

Her heart is guarded by discernment. She takes pause, waits for clarity.

She is unrushed and sure footed.
Time and season don’t define her.

Love and belonging is her legacy. Wholeness and completion her birthright.
Freedom her inheritance

Destiny dances in whimsical abandonment before her eyes and shes confident in the script she lives knowing all of heaven goes before her.Testing the way..weaving a path.. orchestrating it all for good.

 

Grace upon grace

Grace….how heavy life would be,

how hopeless if not for grace.


Grace brings rebirth.


Renewing..

Grace means it’s not what you bring to the table…. but who you are.


Grace says it’s not all up to you.


Grace turns vulnerability into strength unparalleled.


It’s not the measure of your worth by your accomplishments but the intrinsic value of your soul.


Grace is the gentle whisper that says try again tomorrow.


Grace says that you are worthy of love.


Grace breathes forgiveness, hope and lights up darkest valleys with promise.

Grace says you are enough.

You can overcome.

Grace holds space.. Pauses time. Rewrites legacy.


Grace craves integrity, walks hand in hand with courage to seek honesty in everything.

Grace dissolves shame and fear..

Births hope into the darkest atmospheres.


Grace says there is always hope.

 

Precipitation .

Raging fires and devastating drought have overwhelmed this part of the world that we call home and it really has felt like life imploded over the last twelve months.

Like the internal and external environments around us have reflected and refracted the same theme and there’s been little reprieve from the onslaught..

Impossible diagnosis had launched herself into our stratosphere and we were caught in the whirlwind of trying to process exactly what those words would mean to the way life needed to be walked.

January held Acute Myeloid Leukemia,

June a heart attack then strokes x 4 Life shattering disability following in its wake

August marriage and family collapsed in an avalanche of lies undone. If lies were liquid the drought would have broke by now a thousand times over.

But they arnt so water got scarcer. The green pastures turned to dry cracked earth and trees and gardens of our own oasis die.

Temperatures rise quickly with summer coming earlier then she used to . No afternoon storms this year to break the heat. Just hot dry parched landscape. Selfishly I’m thankful for their lack. Storm watching was a favorite pass time in years of love gone by.

Fire season struck with vengeance burning hard and fast with no escape It seemed the whole world might burn and there was no stopping it.

The blue sky disappearing behind walls of smoke for weeks on end the earth here bathed in orange glow. Nights moon shone red through the acrid haze. Ash fall on everything and its like gazing at life through a sepia lense.

Colourless…void and dying.

But we were blessed . Spared the losses that others have faced …it stopped being a question of if but when the fires come and I realised that was exactly like our life.

Inevitable it is that pain will come. Heartache is it seems an equal opportunist of truest form.

And whilst I cry out at the injustice. At the disappointment ,and the needless mess.

I find necessity to get back up. Can’t hover here in despair..

I’m not fighting flames that threaten to consume but the dark that seeks to infiltrate this space that’s carved for glorys presence..

And in the fight to stand back up.. I find my voice….the breaking holds blessings in disguise and isn’t this the way of freedoms walk ?

I find courage seeping into the empty spaces..spured on by those who hold integrities hand. Despondent prayers are flung heavenwards and the troposphere cracks her reluctant floodgates…

Rain downpours as a Christmas wish come true drenching our arid earth and barren hearts a fresh with glorious liquid blessing.

Fires are extingished by heavens own hand and we are ever awed.

The reprieve this brings is divine intervention to an overdone soul.

The danger isn’t gone completely,theres still blazes to be fought. But each new step forward, Each time my gaze shifts higher, we gain ground.

Freedom comes at the cost of heartbreak a result of trust mislayed .Its a bitter lesson learnt.

Rain holds the promise of restoration..its grace tangible.

The dark retreats and glory edges back .A voice rises up louder then before. Wings stretch out ,arms link and we advance untouched.

Smoke and mirrors still try their hand at shaking this new courage that we’ve found.Threats seek to shut down this boldness.But it seems freedom has unshackled controls rigid grip and we will have none of that.

Faith stirs deep again feeding on glorys fire and I learn that burning bridges can it seems illiminate better the way then floodlights ever could.

Rain will come eventually. Droughts will break . Rivers will flow and life will begin again… The glory space will hold strong and despair will be a distant memory.

Prism

It seems with all that has been lost of late some years have fallen away too. Heavy taxing years that brought weight to these shoulders and creases to this brow vanish into thin air.

Age it seems is running in reverse as the clock ticks backwards and lost hopes are revived from the ashes of a hefty existence.

The grey that wove itself like a blanket all across our world has dissolved into a rush of technicolour. The limits I had, in absent-minded slumber, accepted for my life are peeled back one by one being found counterfeit with every layer.

Tears still come, but less frequent now. Traumas raw edges smooth with time and strength takes griefs seat at the table when given space enough.

Discipline to harness the overwhelms of a runaway mind is being developed. Now those tormenting thoughts are captured before they get loose enough to cause much damage.

This heart still holds the shadow of memory …it always loved, but hearts are easily deceived …infatuation it seems resembles love to a faithless unlearned heart ….as much as lies resemble truth to one that seeks to believe it so.

Naivety is no longer an option but in the raw light of realities presence, the world comes to life again. Rainbow possibilities dance like light through prisms across this new years dawning.

Dreams once cherished but long since passed over spring back into the realms of possibility. A second chance to live again without the sacrifice of freedom, of identity … Visions of tomorrow dance before my eyes weaving patterns that shift and change in a kaleidoscope of mesmerising colour. My breath catches in my chest as prayers are lifted higher.

Id never pick this for our story. I hate the disfunction of the journey.The ache in their eyes often more then I can stand …..but the independence is heaven-sent. Provision in its truest form.Sweet silver linings to a bitter onslaught.

While we are it seems destined for struggle…I have learnt that pain has a purpose .. And when I trust long nothing is wasted. Sometimes heartbreak is the making of us .. wherein shackles are removed and voices refined.

This fire that was sent to destroy this heart only served to temper it. Strength is found surprisingly within the expression of vulnerability. Integrity birthed from raw honesty.Freedom stirs from the seeds of surrender.

To embrace the process instead of fear it… This is the secret I have struggled to learn.

While this sole rages still at the injustice of it all..the foolish wastefulness that discards a life, a family that was long fought hard for…The spirit stirs within breathing oxygen back into tomorrow. Promising hope and second chances.

To really live, love and be loved in return. To seek adventure freely. To connect completely without shame and secrets holding this heart back at the boundary lines. Freedom to lift a voice, a heart heavenward not caring for anyone’s approval nor bracing against their disdain.

Our world is alive with colour…it bathes the heavy-hearted ache and washes it in glorious light infusing hope as it swirls around the corners of our home.

Joy follows behind. .. Slowly she washes back into their laughter. They dream again. Play again. Exhale less laboured than before.

The weight is lifting and the world has opened up again as it was once before me long ago. Unchained, transformed and We are free.

Nameless.

Endless cycles of broken and breaking only to scar and tear and scar again. Layer upon layer upon layer upon layer and there’s no escape from the torment. The demons won’t leave. No peace. No safe space… Guarded hidden behind a wall of lies.. Fakery the only language. Life devoid of hope.. Devoid of living water. No refreshment.

Empty business fills the days and the sweat of labor is squalled away in all the inbetween hours. Nights are filled with numbing and distraction that pulls down deeper darker…its blackness intoxicates and consumes.. Contrasted only by bright empty eyes and flashy false smiles that scream as they seduce with empty promises of fulfillment, and satisfaction .To have it all… To hold excess. ..but they steal more then they give robbing life with every round. Draining a soul dry…

Battered and bruised by the work of own hands. Unconscious self-sabotage…drags under again. Like a black hole it consumes all around .. Promising to devour..decite has hold in its ice-cold grasp … And it must be a welcoming space I think .. better than the endless fighting of conscious.To proud to reach out. To ashamed to seek help.No recognition of truth amoung lies .

And here we are.. Life stopped short. Can a trauma be a saving grace?

Can this hell bring healing?

Does destruction herald restoration? Can so many broken hearts be healed?

Can a shattered life, family find grace for the new day?

Cause in this space of blackness. Of the darks cold breath down ones neck it seems that all is lost forever.

Truth is messy. But this mess is said to promise freedom?

And I don’t see how but I’m beginning to understand.. Heaven has loved me and loaned me his eyes to view the unlovely with glorious insight.

The stripping of secrets..Now only serve to dig the other deeper. No way to stop truths explosion.

Undoing is grace?

My eyes now opened. . . No longer held spell bound in a fantasy of falseness.

Heart break is grace?

This madness… Insanity. Absence of logic and kindness is freedom somehow as it makes the letting go easier..the absence sweeter still .

But this I don’t understand. Is there freedom in madness? Is insanity a reprieve? does it hold promise too or is this blackness exposed in all its filth?

And I begin to grasp that the only way to unstick us from the others demise was to shatter it all..to tear it apart exposing the darkness..we couldn’t save ourselves so heaven intervened.

And somehow in the unsticking of this other, we become free. Eyes wide open. Life exposed, false reality shattered and there is freedom here.

Can trauma hold healing? Can this chaos be blessed and produce fruit? Is destruction life-giving?

And all I know is what I see and what I see with eyes of heaven is divine hands holding us. Leading us… Dirty broken hurting us. He walks us through and breathes grace..intertwining us with love working it all for good.

Here hope lies waiting… When the anger wanes. When I loosen my grip on the ache..hope draws breath.

This is a year of restoration,and while in no way does it look like I thought it would ,he is a God of his word.

Mess

For a long time I’ve held my tongue ..then one day not so long ago our world came undone …..

How do I do this… Hold my head up and walk in faith? For the longest time I’ve held disappointments hand… I know the valleys well.

Well trodden paths of heartache and loneliness. I’ve survived on scraps of affection between round after round of tear down . All the while believing a new dawn was coming…I stayed the course. Honoured my vows.

Believed and held firm to the promises given… and now here I am.

Betrayed. Sinking.

Fear creeps closer as the rage that’s not my own echos through the atmosphere unhinged it lingers threatening .Hope and trust is shattered again and again … the weight of this life and all its responsibilities cave in on me. My hands are empty and trembling. Feet stand on borrowed ground. Nothing is certain and stability forgotten.

There are 4 little hearts in tow too and I just don’t know how to navigate this… So many voices. Opinions. Instructions. A to-do list that threatens to destroy any remaining sanity. … No peace to get quite. No space to be still. except in these long night shift hours…

But I’m so tired.

I’ve let my heart harden in self-protection ..put my desires and dreams to bed.

Disgust fills the space that once loved deep… Shame ,in my foolishness of not reading the cues, weaves a cloak that hangs heavy off my shoulders.

I can’t even pray as I used to.. words feel empty and echo in this in-between space… Even tears are better than numb..but here I am.. Allowing numb so I can function. Something I swore I’d never do again.

I don’t like the girl this walk is creating. Faith falls flat as the risk of holding it seems too much to bear.

And I don’t even know what I want.. The dream is now unbelievably tainted. Hope seems poison.

Friends who should have held our hearts and warned us of the impending storm didn’t… Integrity is a lost art it seems .

And these 4 little hearts are shattered.

Childhood done with at lightening speed. And I’m to broken to hold them in the way they need most.

I can’t stop the onslaught. I can’t stem the incoming tide. Each encounter breaking the ties that connect them a little more. The bonds that are precious so willfully frayed and he does not see or is it care enough for them and I can’t stop it.

My words are hollow. Shallow comfort to their aching bones. . .

Betrayed, lied too, let down, again and again, and again.

This mess less glorious than ever before… At the end of myself.

I crave dream free sleep. To switch off and not exist for as long as it takes for this season to pass. This is the valley of death. Its dark here..no air.

Where is my rescuer?.my breakthrough?

Always on time? Ever faithful? Always good?

No, my faith isn’t missing. Not lost in this storm… Just my capacity to rise..the buoyancy that’s carried me through so much thus far is ebbing… My fight is empty..halfhearted and vague… Bitterness sneaks around the corners of my mind and I am jaded.

This is not who I want to be. This all-consuming ache will not be the definer of my story.

I tell myself it’s only a chapter..the page will turn soon. There’s more to this life then this valley… I long for mountaintop views. Stability. Freedom…to live life not balanced on the rare good grace of tyrannical other but to be free to write my own ending.

To lift these 4 little hearts high and show them the world. I crave adventure…freedom and light. Its been dark for so long.. Surely the turnaround is overdue?

Surely enough of the trauma. I’ve kept my end still. Still stand, still honour, Still trust. But I need to breathe and oxygen is missing … When will this end ?How much more can a broken heart take before it withers entirely? Feels like a final blow to end a long season of being hammered.

The highs and lows are never seen coming and change so very quickly I can’t keep up… Being thrown around like a rag doll is taking its toll.

I’m told I’m strong. But strength isn’t knowing how to roll with the punches. I see stupidity maybe as I keep getting up and placing heart in the ring…..

And then somehow truths explosive appearance comes unsought and unexpected again and I am undone.

But once the rage explodes through me making victims of memories then settles again I find new freedom in this in-between…

Maybe each increment of ground walked is a slow and steady path to freedom?

As groans of ache give way to a lionesses growl and the intimidation and shame I wrongly carried slips off my shoulders , I even now already seem to stand a little taller. A little more steady…

Feet more sure, Heart ready to push back the bully out of our way… Not willing to be shut down, silenced or intimidated any longer.No Im done with fear.

Taking back the right to live free starts with owning the truth.

No more shame… No more hidden ache. It’s out for all the world to see.

And here I find the strength to see through eyes of faith that in whatever we lost holds nothing in comparison to what’s to come.

Autumn…

Midday sun is warm on my face and the wind whips high around the tops of the trees that line our garden spilling rust and gold colored autumn leaves down to the earth.

The garden is getting ready to sleep. The autumn flowers are showcasing their last sprays of color in rich abundance and the citrus trees are slowly turning from green to vibrant orange. Dragonflies fill the space between the falling leaves and the wind howls high painting a soundtrack to my afternoon.

Why do I love autumn so much? Maybe it’s the lower UV levels… It’s becoming safer for our shade seeker to play longer outside.

Or maybe it’s just the way this country life showcases the changing seasons. Coastal life doesn’t mark the changing of seasons so well as this place.No, palm trees, and golden sandy beaches hold nothing against the seasonal contrasts that can be found in the country.

Here warm house fires burn and the smell of winters approach fills the air. Long nights fireside.Marshmallows… Savoring hot cuppas accompanied by long conversations on the sun deck is my favorite pass time.

I’ve learned that change is good. Blessed even.

I didn’t always feel this way. The prospect of change filled me with dread. The unknown has a way to undo one’s composure sowing anxiety into the heart. Change is uncomfortable, to say the least.

But no… I long for change. I welcome it in with open arms. New beginnings with old accomplices. A different adventure. Who wants to stay stuck? Never moving from season to season. Never growing, becoming. Who wants to put in the work but not bear witness to the fruit of their labor? No, change is good.

Change is growth. Labor pains whilst inherently painful and difficult to bear give birth to new life and blessing. Growing is painful. The uncertainty that floods in with new ideas feel unstable until it takes root. So in the seasons of wobble filled with the aches of uncertainty I’m learning to hold tight to the hope that the season will change. The pain will give way to new adventures. I’m learning to trust the processes that lead me out of one place and into another.

Like long summer days fading into cool autumn nights…I welcome the winter with its frozen mornings and the wonder on the girls faces as they sprint across the yard their breath all icy fog and frost covered grasses crunching audibly underfoot.

Change is good. Blessed even.

This little light …

It’s pitch black out tonight and we are late getting home. There are no street lights out here to light the way. The darkness cloaks the landscape like a blanket.We come up over the rise and the light beam from the headlights cuts through the night. The shadows rush away as light fills the space they once stood.

This is how I want to live my life. I long to live in the light,absorbing that glow and carry it with me everywhere. Even into the dark places especially the dark places. After all, dark cannot remain when light shines bright. The inky blackness is forced to surrender to the illumination.

But what if the darkness exists within taking up space where light should reside?What about fear? Unbeckoned it fills the empty places smothering the hope for tomorrow.

The ache of not being enough, not belonging.Of failing them. The haunting terror of medical prognosis. The dread of not having enough to make ends meet. These fears play like reruns ..a lingering side effect of days gone by when provision was thin and hope just as sparse. These were days weighed down by the dark.

And what of the doubts? Faith is hard to stand on when a contrasting reality stares unblinkingly back at you. Endless ‘What ifs’ ring loudly through this mind because what I see is in conflict with what I want to believe. I want the light .. but all I see are Shadowlands.

What about the hurts? I wonder how much of a beating can one heart take? Can my heart take, before it gives up ..falls casualty to this flawed reality?

I’ve carried a shattered heart before. Juggling all its jagged edges, hands bleeding from the shards while trying to patch it back together and work out how to avoid the same again. I became warden to my own failing heart. Keeping it close, under guard, tethered and restrained.How else is one to avoid the pain. I’ve taken the time to construct the walls even dug the moats needed to keep my heart from harms reach.

I became an expert at camouflage…a mask can hide a million scars ..nothing fits so well as an engineered smile and like a pro I excelled at the dance.Gave my everything except this heart. Never to be vulnerable but always untouchable. Never to be burnt again.

But high walls, masks, and what-ifs serve only to dim the light further.Allowing the darkness to gain ground and in the blackness, I become more afraid of what I can’t see. Im claustrophobic here… breathless and suffocated. Alone despite the crowd. My own fortress is now my gilded cage.

I want to love outrageously. Live uninhibited. Dream big and run fearlessly headlong into tomorrow. This is difficult to achieve when one is walled in and distracted with playing pretend.I’ve learned that safe comes at a price.The cost, a life half lived.

No this isn’t for me… the cost, this one life, is to great a price to pay for preservation.

Light, I’ve found, holds its own promise. Light is life to the fullest.

In pursuit of this, I’ve learned to tear down the walls, take off the mask. Silence the inner chatter. I trade the pretense for honesty in all its flawed beauty. Vulnerability once a foe is now my friend. I become a builder of bridges. I risk this heart to feel alive again and let this little light shine out bright.

And I’ve found that just like my drive home when this light shines true the clearer my road ahead becomes and further the darkness recedes. Clarity and truth are gifts of the light. Direction is easier to find when I can see the road that lays ahead.No more do I stumble blinded by the dark.

Light leaves nothing hidden. It ushers in truth. Light is unquenchable in its desire to shine.If allowed it floods in pushing the darkness out.Leaving freedom in its wake.

I’m left vulnerable, maskless, honest and alive …not afraid of what I can’t see as my focus remains only on where the light leads. Distractions like shadows melt away. The light brings purpose.

My world has come alight, my life follows suit. Far from perfect but complete in its imperfections. The dark doesn’t scare me now. Light has come melting my defenses and chasing that consuming blackness away. On those days where the mask is appealing and the what-ifs beckon, I’m learning to focus this light, silence that noise and not take the bait.