Saturday, October 29, 2011

Standing in the Storm

I have learned along this spiritual journey that sometimes I am able to walk, even run, learning and loving in leaps and bounds. But there are other times when all I can do is stand, head swirling in the midst of uncertainty, doubt, and pain. You see, as I walk forward, one foot in front of the other, there are moments with each step when I am slightly off balance, one foot on the ground, one foot mid-air. And in seasons when the air is calm and the wind is but a mellow, gentle breeze, these moments of unbalance are absorbed by the forward momentum of learning and loving. 

But those seasons when the air is not calm and the wind is not gentle, that slight unbalance makes it more challenging to stay upright. There are seasons when torrents of rain pelt the body painfully, and any moment void of a firm hold may just knock me over, and I will fall apart altogether. There are seasons when the air is so thick with pain and the clouds are so heavy with fatigue that the very hand of God is concealed by the darkness swirling around. 

And it is in this season that I live and breathe now. 

And so in this season, where I am unable to walk, unable to move forward in my journey without falling over or falling out, unable to see my own hand before my face, much less the hand of God, I choose to ground my feet, and stand. My feet grow roots, and I stand like a tree planted by streams of water, firm and strong, and as the winds of this storm blow back and forth, I will bend and sway under the weight of it all, but I will not fall down. I will not walk away. I will not retreat. And I will not break.

And as the winds grow stronger, I lean in, and cry out for mercy. 


In the midst of it all, I cannot lift my hands. It hurts too much. My heart, full of fear, doubt, anger, and too many questions to process, weeps. It hurts to praise. A whisper of Your name echoes, reverberates off the walls of an empty chamber hall. And so I simply stand, tears mixed with rain and hail. 

On this Rock, I choose to stand. I choose to take my stand.  

I do not fall. I do not crumble. I do not walk away.

And it is in this where I finally am able to see Him again, His hand of mercy and compassion holding me up. By His grace alone, I am still standing.

In the midst of a dark storm, when everything in me says to get out, my feet are grounded, my legs are planted, and I do not fall. 

That's His hand, holding me up. 

And someday, this season will pass. At some point the skies will clear and I will be able to run again. But now, with dark skies and heavy clouds looming overhead, I. Will. Stand. 

I will press in, and I will persevere.

I will rest soundly with Your hand on me, holding me up.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 
James 1:2-4

*Photo courtesy of

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Beating of a Heart

You bruised my heart when you banged it around,
You said it wasn't worth fighting for and took it for granted.
In the discovery of the betrayal of vows, it bled heavy, tears mixed with thick crimson, leaving but a pale remnant of the life that flowed through it previously.
Now it beats strange, lopsided, nursing the wounds left by the sickness of disappointment and the mourning of dreams lost.

But it beats still.

How does one recover from such a blow? From one as such that leaves perfect fingerprint outlines on shaken arms or beaten bottoms?
How does one breathe when the weight of desperation and loneliness crushes down on the chest?
The simple rise and fall of the lungs in a previously simple world is so inadequate now, leaving the body starved, lips blue, the heart beating shallow, dull.

But it beats still.

You tell me that God hates divorce and my heart is hard and my god is small;
I open my mouth to speak of His mercy and grace and release from oppression and falsehoods,
but you wouldn't hear it because God hates divorce.
But He also hates pride and injustice and arrogance and oppression and sin and the planks that blur all of our vision.
And so I cling to Him under the shadow of a mighty wing and listen for the beating of His heart.

And it is beating still.

And someday the purple black spotting of capillaries blown open, now painful to the touch, will ease, turning to shades of unspeakable green and yellow that will once again flow crimson.
The vibrance of life is waiting, refilling, beating low and steady as it pushes through the repair of a life in shambles.

But it beats still.
And I forgive you.

All grace and all peace as I venture through a new and scary season of life.