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Daring to be vulnerable and my fear of feeling joy

Behind every sun lit tree there is a lurking shadow.  

Beyond every summer breeze there lies a winter chill.   

 

No matter where I try to run, the sadness seems to chase me.  

It’s a cumulus cloud, a tenacious oppressor,  

Always on my tail.  

 

All that is good is tainted by the darkness.  

Everything sweet is shadowed by bitter.  

All that is living is fleeing from decay.

 

These shadows they haunt us,  

A reminder that everything is ephemeral.  

 

The flowers will fade.

The grass will wither.   

Our skin will become dust.  

And these shadows too shall pass.  


 

There is a feeling that rises within me every time I feel great joy. A sense of haunting sadness and a chilling panic. A cloud that sweeps across the clear blue sky and leaves goosebumps on my skin.

 

An awareness that soon the joy will pass. Without notice, the blinding happiness could be taken from me.

 

So I am quick to extinguish the joy rather than dwell on it. My mind scurries to latch the windows and draw the curtains.

 

I have this firm belief that it is better to shield myself than feel these overwhelming emotions.

 

So I smother them. The darkness and the light. The joy and the grief.

 

Brené Brown talks about this concept as a shield of armor we use to protect ourselves from feeling vulnerable. She calls this sensation, foreboding joy. In those moments of absolute bliss we are exposed, laid bare and defenseless.

 

When we feel love, connection or a sense of purpose, we are vulnerable because we have something to lose.

 

So rather than taking our time and sitting in the joy, we trample over it quickly with fear and sadness.

We picture these worst case scenarios. Our partner leaves us, one of our parents passes away, we lose our jobs, our plane goes down.

 

We prepare ourselves for the worst instead of living our best.

 

We think it is safer to keep our expectations low so that we won’t have to face the awful pain of disappointment.


 

I didn’t realise how often I was doing this until I recently read Brené’s book, Daring Greatly. I thought this shield of foreboding joy was just another idiosyncrasy I possess. That for me, everything was just a little bit tainted by sadness.

 

But as it turns out, I’m not the only one who lives this way. Darting from joy and dwelling on sadness.

 

It’s just another way that we try to escape that missing-the-last-step-stomach-drop feeling that comes with vulnerability.

 

None of us are particularly fond of the delicate balancing act we must undertake in order to find connection and meaning in this life. Wearing our hearts on our sleeves, sharing our art with the world, showing up wherever we go.

 

There is so much at stake. Sometimes the risk feels like too much to ask.

 

I’d rather stay in bed than face the fear of rejection or open myself up to the judgement and criticism of others. 

 

Unfortunately, as I’ve got older I have come to realise that all the best bits in life require vulnerability.

 

Those laughing-until-you-can’t-breathe friendships. That flying feeling of sharing something you’ve created with complete strangers. The dizzy dancing rush of saying I love you for the first time. Blushing when someone compliments your cooking. Traveling some place not yet explored and losing your sentiment in translation. 

 

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I used to hide from the joy because I wasn’t brave enough to reach that depth of vulnerability.

 

But now that I recognize this problem I’m striving to have the courage to feel joy.

 

Whenever I find myself softened by happiness, instead of allowing the sinking feeling of weakness to set in,  I’m practicing the art of gratitude.

Giving thanks in that moment for the joy. Taking time to lean out onto the ledge, the uncomfortable, unknown abyss that stretches before me.

 

Observing the way it makes me want to squirm and choosing to bravely trek onwards regardless.

 

So I’ll hug my friends extra tightly. I’ll smile even wider at the words I write. I’ll unclench my fists and relax my tense shoulders.

 

This is what it means to love loudly, to live wholeheartedly.

 

We share all of ourselves with others. Every last messy, imperfect bit. We know that vulnerability is strength not weakness so we force the shadows back and allow ourselves to feel the light.


 

I know now that feeling joy is incredibly courageous. It’s so very brave to allow ourselves to dive headfirst into such a powerful and unpredictable emotion.

 

But in the end both the joy and the sadness teach us what is truly valuable in life.

 

I consider it a privilege to feel sadness and to fear loss because it means I have something worth fighting for, living for, and loving with all I have.

 

For me, daring greatly means dropping my shield and welcoming the joy even though it terrifies me. That’s the most challenging, audacious and rewarding work that can be done.

The fear and the thrill of the fall

the-fear-of-falling

I have been ice skating three or four times in my life and every time I set foot on the ice I feel the same sensation.

 

The wobbly knees. The racing heart. The sheer terror of trying to move the thin blades on the slippery ice.

 

For the first few minutes I am nearly paralyzed. I jump at every passing person’s shadow. I teeter on the edge of the rink. I breathe deeply and attempt to slide forwards but the motion is less smooth and more like a drunken stagger.  

 

If I could only quieten my noisy mind and still my anxious heart, I know I could do this.

 

But the fear of falling always slows me down.

 

The panicked feeling of losing control makes my legs stop working.

 

As I look around, I see kids who barely come up to my knees, who are careening around without a care in the world. I wonder why that is?

Is it because they have sweet, innocent minds not yet tainted by the worries of this world? Is it because they’ve fallen once and they know it’s not so bad, so the falling no longer scares them? Or perhaps, it is just because they are closer to the ground so when they fall it doesn’t hurt as much.

 

I wish I had their fervor. I wish I could skate with their gusto. I wish I too, wasn’t afraid of falling.


 

The thing about fear is that it immobilizes us. It keeps us rigid, tense and hyper-aware of our surroundings. It prevents us from having the fluidity needed to move forwards.

 

There is something known as the fear-tension-pain cycle which women often experience in childbirth. The more afraid a woman feels about giving birth, the more tense she becomes and the more tense she becomes, the more pain she feels which leads to more fear.

 

To break the cycle, she must lean into the pain. She must face the fear and reduce the tension.

 

I see life as somewhat similar to giving birth.

 

We are constantly creating something out of nothing. Painting gentle strokes onto the canvas of our lives. Making art and beauty with the words we speak out, sing in the shower and whisper under our breath.

 

And in this birthing of something new and not yet known, we have to lean into the pain of the process. If we give into the fear, if we allow ourselves to tense up or pull back, we’ll find ourselves stuck.

Our ideas will run dry, our dreams will fade in the sunlight, our creativity will crumble like dust.

 

We have to allow ourselves to feel the pain in order to create. We must push through that fear of falling and make something anyway.

 

We have to be like those little children, unhindered by the slippery ice and sharp blades. Undaunted by the chill in the air and their lack of coordination.

 

To live, we simply must fall.

 

And that is what scares me the most. The lack of control. The absence of order.

 

There isn’t a road map for following your dreams or a safety net for falling in love, it’s just you and the ice. Miles of frozen water stretch out before you. An endless, unmarred horizon.  A blank, white unknown.

 

At some point all of us are faced with a choice, will we hold ourselves back or will we wobble out onto the ice?

 

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There is a time to hold back and there is a time to leap forwards, the key is recognising which move will serve you best.

 

I’ve been foolish with this decision before and of course, I have been hurt in the process.

 

But what I have found is that most often, it is better to take the leap because the fall is never as far or us fatal as I am expecting. And somehow, I always recover after the fall. It’s as if the fall makes me stronger. I suppose that dropping down to the lowest possible place means there is nowhere to go but up.

 

Taking a risk isn’t the safe option but it’s the only one that will allow you to fly.

 

You’ll never know how it feels to glide around the rink if you don’t step out onto the ice. You’ll never find love if you keep your heart locked up. You’ll never experience an adventure if you don’t seek it out. You’ll never know your full potential if you don’t give yourself a chance.


 

Because the other thing about the fall is this…it’s exhilarating. It’s breathtaking. It’s intoxicating.  

 

The reason we come back time and time again is because the fall makes us feel alive. Fully human. Impossibly free.

 

The truth is, our broken bones will heal. Our shattered hearts will mend. Our deflated ego will be restored.  What do we really have to fear when we’ve survived every fall we’ve ever had?

 

Because the alternative is to live a despondent life. To stick to the side of the rink. To hide ourselves away from anyone and anything that could hurt us. To never know the dizzy, dancing way it feels to take a running leap.

 

I don’t want to live that way.

I don’t want to be afraid.

I don’t want my thirst for control to limit me.

 

I’d rather fall on my face a thousand times than be the kind of person who isn’t willing to try.

 

“When you get the choice to sit it out or to dance, I hope you dance.” – Lee Ann Womack

Healing from the past: unraveling our stories and struggles

healing-from-the-past

I found a thread hanging loose from my shirt.

I tugged it gently thinking I could stop it from running.

But the slightest touch made it come undone.  

Before I could stop it the seam had unraveled.

Long, looping strands pulling away from neat stitches.

I tried so hard to keep it together.

I knotted the ends as tight as I could.

I meticulously sewed myself up so nothing could get in.

And yet a single strand sent the whole thing unraveling.

A tiny flaw in an integral stitch and everything fell apart.


 

I never thought I would need to see a counselor. I never thought my problems were worthy of such an extreme measure. I never felt like I was broken enough to need help putting the pieces back together again.

 

But I was wrong.

 

Strong people still feel weak. Happy people still cry. Sensible people still snap.

 

I didn’t cry. Not at first anyway. I was so proud of myself for that. At least I was still in control. At least I could still be contained.

 

But if you pull on a thread, it hardly ever snaps off a single piece. More often than not you’ll find that the thread you pulled keeps unraveling.

 

So that’s what happened.

 

One story looped through into another. On and on the pain I’d bottled up came flooding out.

 

Funnily enough, my biggest fear before I began was that I would have nothing to say. That we would sit for an hour in awkward silence, watching the clock hands inching around, eyes flickering from abstract art pieces to the flower vase on the coffee table.

 

You can imagine my surprise then that I found I could not keep the words from spilling out. I was a kitchen timer. Tick, tick, tick. I twisted around and around, a constant stream of stories, a tireless monologue.

 

I found myself smiling at things that weren’t funny. I laughed to mask the sadness.

 

And after every session I was always surprised that I felt nauseous. Physically ill from sharing such deep parts of myself. Like I had taken my internal organs and laid them out on the table in front of me. Inside parts always object to being outside.


 

This kind of vulnerability, this kind of healing is always painful. The deeper the wounds, the longer the healing process.

 

I wish I had sought after the healing sooner. I wish I hadn’t wasted so much time wallowing in the mess and brokenness. I wish I hadn’t tried to keep myself sewn up neat and tidy.

 

Because the unraveling of our stories is beautiful. The unwinding, the coming undone, the letting go…it’s exhilarating. We find the source of our sorrows. We discover the roots of our fear. We realize the truths that will set us free.


 

The unraveling made me aware of threads that had run through my entire life. Lies that had shaped me. Burdens that had strained me. Core beliefs that had hindered and blinded me for far too long.

 

Shame was one of these threads. Deep and sometimes indistinct. Winding itself around every good and lovely memory, choking the very life out of them.

 

It taught me to hate my body. It led me to hate myself. It taunted me until I had no choice but to hide my full self from the rest of the world. I put up walls around my heart, a sturdy shield of armour to avoid getting hurt.

 

Shame swallowed up my voice, never allowing me to give an opinion or share my real thoughts. It distorted my vision, making me believe I was never good enough. It whispered constantly in my ear that my body was a distraction to others and a burden to myself.

 

And at the end of the thread, where the knot meets the fabric, I found shame whispering to me that I would never be enough.

 

Week by week as I sat on that scratchy, white couch with its chevron cushions, I shared all of the ways shame had entangled me. Slowly but surely, in the releasing of words and the surrendering of tears, I felt the weight begin to lift off me.

 

healing from the past, moving on, letting go, counseling, therapy, shame, love, extending grace, self love,

 

I learnt that love and shame can never inhabit the same space. Shame needs darkness, dampness and very little oxygen to thrive.

But to love is to be free from shame.

 

Love is authentic, all-consuming. With nothing to hide. Nowhere to run.

 

To fight shame we must expose it to the light. We must drown it in truth. We must recognize its many faces and challenge each one of them.

 

That’s what counseling did for me. It caused me to notice all my loose threads that needed to be pulled.

 

It taught me to extend grace towards myself and others. To be kinder, gentler and more vulnerable. To wear my heart proudly on my sleeve once again.

To knock down the walls I had constructed as a defense for my fragile heart. To recognize the ways I was intuitively protecting and doing what is best for myself. 


 

I thought counselling would be like taking a sledgehammer to my foundations. That I would tear everything down and start all over again. But for me it was more about recognizing the parts of myself that needed redecorating. Attitudes that needed shifting. Negative thoughts that needed replacing.

It turns out that I didn’t need to be completely rebuilt…just reminded of the beauty I already possessed.

 

I was afraid that counseling would be a waste of time. But perhaps the biggest waste of time is denying yourself the opportunity to heal.

 

At the end of the day, that’s what we all need more of. Healing. Honesty. Hope. A gentle tug on our loose threads that begins the beautiful unraveling.

 

“I am nothing but a ripped fabric stitched together by God’s grace.” J.A. Anum

 

The antidote to shame

 

You will never be enough. The voice whispers over me. You don’t belong. It calls out as I go to sleep in the all-encompassing darkness. You are just an impostor. It greets me as I open my curtains to the beckoning morning light.

 

Then there is this sticky feeling, like molasses poured over my head. It drips down over me until I’m covered from head to toe. I’m blanketed in it. Blinded by it. It discolours everything that I look at. It destroys everything I touch. So I withdraw. Better that I wallow in the sticky fog than drag anyone down with me.

 

Shame.

 

The thick, blinding fog that mars every thought, misinterprets every encounter and paralyzes my fragile heart.

 

Its’ barbed tongue pierces my delicate flesh.

You are too young, nobody will take you seriously. You aren’t pretty enough, you aren’t clever enough, you aren’t fun enough…nobody will want you. You are too emotional, it’s exhausting for everybody around you.


 

I find myself crawling on my hands and knees to church every Sunday. Weighed down by these lies that shame hums over me seven days a week.

 

The first song starts and I stand motionless, gripping my hands together. I can’t look anyone in the eye. I can’t even look myself in the mirror. I can’t face a God who is so without fault.

 

So I stand as my fellow church-goers and friends sing a rising song. Shouting their adoration, clapping the rhythm of their joy.

 

I’m bitter. I’m empty, hollow like a crystal vase. You can see right through my pitiful display. I’m not fooling anyone.

 

They can see my failure. They know my shame.  

 

The guitar keeps twanging. The drums keep beating. The worship leaders keep singing. I remain glued to the spot.

 

I close my eyes. I bow my head. I slowly whisper the words, not the ones they are singing but the ones in my heart. The ones I’ve been hiding all week. The ones I’m afraid to say. Am I loved? Do you see me? Am I enough?

 

My heart is drumming as I await an answer. I expect a booming thunder. A roaring wind. A blaze of light. And instead the room begins to glow. Gold light shimmers down from above. I’m swept in a glow. The antidote to the dark, sticky molasses.

 

Love.

 

Gently the gold glitter rains down on me. Settles on my hands which are now outstretched, on my eyelids, lips and shoulders. Seeps into my skin and filters right down to my core.

 

A thousand failures disappear. All my shortcomings are erased. I slip on this new robe of grace and it is well with my soul.

 

antidote to shame, shame, faith, intentional living, healing, hope, God,

 

How can it be?

 

How can the one without fault find me under my blanket of shame? How can He lift my chin from the ground, meet my eye and love me all the same?

 

I was wrong about Him. I thought he would be mad at me for all the ways I’ve let him down. I thought he would be disappointed in the little I have amounted to. I thought he would agree with that voice I hear day and night…I thought he WAS that voice.

 

I was wrong.

 

Where there is light, there is no darkness. Where there is truth, there is no deception. Where there is love, there is no shame.

 

He doesn’t care if I can’t sing the words the others are. He doesn’t notice that I haven’t washed my hair in three days or that my socks don’t match or that I sang that note out of key. He’s just glad I’m here. He’s absolutely delighted that I came to him.


 

I hear whispers from neighbours. I see glances from people on the street. I know that there are people in this world who want to take advantage of me. There are people who only want me for my body, my success, my superficial attributes.  

 

And their approval feels good. It lifts me up and for a few seconds I’m flying. But it’s a temporary buzz. Over almost as quickly as it began. And I’m sinking again. Because all they saw was my pretty face and funny story.  

 

I’m thirsty for attention. I’m parched. Absolutely desperate for love.

 

Their attention and affection fills me up but like drinking salt water it only leads me further into dehydration.

 

I need more.

 

I need love that’s unconditional, unfailing, unending.

So I keep crawling back to church every Sunday. Not because I was raised that way. Not out of habit or to impress anyone. Not because I need the affection of the other desperate souls I find there.

 

But because I’ve found a well there. A well that springs up a different kind of water. A living water that finally quenches my thirst. In this place my need for love and approval is met. I find my worth and I am unquestionably different because of it.

 

I’m anointed with oil and the shame won’t stick. It drips down and slides right off me.

 

I am healed. I am whole. I am home.

 

“When you get to a place where you understand that love and belonging, your worthiness is a birthright and not something you have to earn, anything is possible.” – Brene Brown

 

Here’s to the ones who dream

Heres-to-the-ones-who-dream

I used to be afraid that eventually I would run out of ideas.  

That all of my words would run dry and I’d have nothing left to say.  

But I’ve learnt that my writing is a gift.  

It’s God’s abundant grace spilled out in black and white.  

It’s limitless.  

It’s infinite.  

It’s not something that can be lost because it’s within me.  

As long as I have breath in my lungs, I can write.  

Because my DNA is the alphabet strung together.  

My blood is the stories of my ancestors.  

My heartbeat is the poetry of life.  

I create because I was created.  

This is my purpose, this is my life, this is me.   


 

I think my whole life I’ve been trying to squeeze myself into a box.

There is this particular type of person who I’ve always believed I am supposed to be. This girl is intelligent. She’s scientific and she’s loud. The kind of person who always knows the answer and readily volunteers it.  The kind of person who always sticks their hand up, voices their opinions and doesn’t let anyone scare them.

 

I’m am slowly coming to the realization that I am not that girl.

 

Since finishing my studies and stepping away from the arduous pursuit of intelligence. For the first time I’ve given myself permission to be the creative, romantic, whimsical person I’ve spent my whole life suppressing.

 

Suddenly, no longer bound by the labels of a major I have been free to pursue the things that really make me feel alive. Namely words and the compelling task of piecing them together perfectly.

 

And it feels as though I’m fighting everyday to prove my worth.

 

Because society says success looks like a hefty paycheck, a stable job, a clear direction. I had this wonderful idea that once I graduated I would glide effortlessly into a job. That I would jump into the world of adulthood and land gracefully on my feet.

 

Except that daydream was promptly shattered about five minutes into job hunting when I realized that path was not going to be for me.

 

Endless piles of paperwork are not for me.

Sitting behind a desk all day is not for me.

Mindless work to secure a salary is not for me.  

 

My heart longs to pour itself out in poetry. My hands ache with this need to create.

 

It seems that my art is no longer just the thing I squeeze into the hours I have spare but what my whole day revolves around.

 

And art is anything but certain.

Art is mystical, emotional and ever-changing. 

 

This calling makes me uncomfortable because it’s anything but conventional. I feel the pressure to conform. To be the university graduate who gets a steady job and makes her parents proud. 

 

I, like so many others have bought into the lie that my worth is found in other’s opinions of me.

 

It’s not true. Their opinions don’t matter. It’s all just noise. Noise that prevents us from doing the real work; the daring work our hands were called to.

 

So of course my opinion doesn’t matter either, but I will give it nonetheless.

 

heres-to-the-ones-who-dream

 

And to that end I will say, here’s to the ones who dream. Thank you. All of you for the work you do. You are all valuable. Your work is important and necessary.

 

Thank you all you authors and poets, you give words for the feelings I cannot express. Thank you to the scientists whose minds are never satisfied. The ones who cannot sleep until they figure out how things work, even if that means pulling things apart and stringing the pieces back together again.

Thank you to those who spend their whole lives working on puzzles I cannot begin to fathom. For the ones who design buildings, take stunning photographs and raise children.

For the ones who make history come alive again, give me music to dance to and fix me when I fall apart.

 

Each and every one of you make this world go round.

 

And my heart breaks at the thought of us carelessly snuffing out your song.

 

Imagine a world where musicians never played, philosophers never pondered, teachers never instructed, astronauts never flew. Imagine a world where we never dared to dream. 

 

We are quick to celebrate those who frequent stadiums, operate in theatres and grace the red carpet. But there are the humble few whose work goes unnoticed and unappreciated. Those whose worth is underestimated.

 

So to you I say this, don’t give up. Just because we fail to recognise your worth, does not mean your work isn’t valuable. Keep creating, studying, showing up and giving it your all.

 


As for me, I’m sick of being a square peg in a round hole. Squeezing myself into a box I was never meant to be in. 

 

I’m tired of trying to live up to the unfair expectations that others place upon me.

 

I long for this world to be a safe place where all of us are free to be our most authentic selves. That choosing vulnerability wouldn’t be considered brave but commonplace.

 

But I guess it starts here. With me writing these words to you. I will lay my cards on the table in the hope that you will do the same. My courage will spark courage in your heart and yours in anothers.

 

So this is me. I’m not loud, scientific or overly intelligent. I’m a writer. A dreamer. A hopeless romantic. I’m a square peg.

 

I might not fit society’s definition of success but that will not deter me.

 

“The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all, the world needs dreamers who do.” – Sarah Ban Breathnach

 

Beauty for ashes

Lately, I’ve been overwhelmed by this sensation of carrying a weight on my shoulders. I’ve had a weary heart. I’ve been walking around with heavy, labored breathing. As though getting through every day is a struggle.

 

I’m aware that this darkness scares some people, but not me.

 

Because I feel things very deeply, I am affected by the burden of pain a little more than most. I am blessed to be aware of so much love, beauty and delight in my surroundings but this comes with the struggle of feeling equal measures of despair at the suffering I see.

 

I’ve got my hands in fists on each side. In my right hand I hold the darkness, in the left I hold the light. And each day I battle to keep this balance. Exploring the light without being lost in the darkness.

 

How can I hold all this suffering within? How can I live in this world which is so broken? How can I cope with the pain I will inevitably suffer?


 

I’m thankful that God is gracious in his approach to us. That we are free to wrestle with these fears and doubts. That we are allowed to feel angry and sad and come at Him with a billion questions.

 

What matters most I’ve found is that in the search for truth, it always comes back to Jesus. We’ll always end up at the foot of the cross staring into the face of the one whose love protects all things, forgives all things and perseveres through all things.

 

I’ve been searching for answers.

I’ve been angry with God.

I’ve questioned my faith and coddled my doubts.

 

What I found wasn’t a clear answer or divine revelation but rather a gentle whisper, a heart nudging, a deeper appreciation for the beautiful, mysterious way that God works.  

 

I had to look outside of myself. I had to move beyond the cynicism clouding my vision. And in nature I found an answer which satisfied my crumpled heart.


 

Have you ever considered the life cycle of a humble flower. Seeds drop into soil, dig down and find their place. Awakened, they send up shoots, gather light and fight their way through the earth. Buds turn to blossoms which are admired by all and then they droop, wilt and fall back down to the ground.

 

Which is where we tend to believe the story ends.

 

But as the flower, leaves and stem decay, the nutrients return back to the soil and provide sustenance for the next flower to grow.

The death and decay feeds the new life.

 

It seems that nature always moves towards harmony, peace, rest. Shalom.

 

And we see that in our own bodies too.

On New Years Eve I hosted a party at my house and during the evening I retreated to my bedroom to grab something and in my haste to get back to the fun, I accidentally slammed into a door and cut the back of my hand.

Over the past few months I’ve watched with fascination as the wound has slowly healed itself.

The cut was gradually coloured in with flesh and blood and the scar has eventually blended into my skin.

 

Our body always moves towards balance. Our homeostasis is healing.

 

Right now, what I see all around me is suffering. Around every corner I am faced with brokenness. Our world is a mess and if we dwell on that for too long it’s easy to fall into depression.

 

Families are breaking down and leaving shattered pieces. Countries are being torn apart and are spilling their inhabitants in all directions. Diseases are choking out the life from our very veins.

 

If ever there were a time for a mighty flood of destruction, I would say this is it.

What good can possibly come from a wretched place like this?


 

I feel that darkness beginning to close in.

 

But then there is a stirring in my heart which is calling me to say, hope is here.

 

God is making all things new. He is trading beauty for ashes. He is binding up wounds, drying up tears and pushing up flowers from the dry, barren ground.

 

His intention has always been redemption. His promise has always been restoration.

All creation beats to this rhythm. It’s humming in the bees and rustling through the trees.

 

Some of you may be in a situation that feels hopeless, but know that new life is just around the corner. The seeds are dormant and still but they are there underground.

 

beauty for ashes, finding God, faith, redemption, healing, encouragement, God's promise of healing,

 

I have this hope that none of the pain or loss is wasted. The death and decay filter down and provide the foundation for new life to flourish.  

Our bitter losses and tragedies are not worth comparing to the glory that will be revealed in us.

 

I take comfort in knowing that my God is BIG.

My hands are easily weighed down because this burden is too great for me to bear. My humanness is insufficient for such a task, but God can hold it all. He can hold both darkness and light without strain. He can be all consuming love and righteous judgement. He can dance with us in our joy and weep with us in our sadness.

 

Over everything, He is our redemption.

In all seasons, He is our hope.

In the longing, searching and seeking for truth…He is our answer.

 

I waited and waited and waited for God.

   At last he looked; finally he listened.

He lifted me out of the ditch,

   pulled me from deep mud.

He stood me up on a solid rock

   to make sure I wouldn’t slip.

He taught me how to sing the latest God-song,

   a praise-song to our God.

More and more people are seeing this:

   they enter the mystery,

   abandoning themselves to God.”

-Psalm 40 : 3-5 (MSG)