Being A Woman, depression, Encounters, Faith, Friends, God, Hurting Heart, Journaling, Lessons Learned, Life, Pain, People, Photography, photos, Seeking Answers, Writing

seen

Her lit smile flirts heavily with the laughter that she currently has engaged at full volume.  As you notice her when you walk by the place where she takes on the world, it seems that the whole planet exists just to hold her up.  Thick confidence drips from each and every movement of her body and it is obvious that she owns everyone with a simple glance in their direction.  As she works her small crowd with ease, you can’t help but stare…and if you are honest, you probably wish, for just a moment, you had a small taste of what it is like to be her.

but as she sat across from me,
I held her eyes longer than she’d like,
seeing more than she wanted on display for anyone…
herself included.

The truth is…she sits alone, even when surrounded by adoring people on every side.  What no one else has figured out yet is that she draws on the energy of everything around her in an effort to blind prying eyes from what doesn’t shine anymore.  She needs the crowd…not for companionship, but to hide from what screams up and out from her own mind. Scarred and broken, every beat of her heart reminds her of all she isn’t and she would rather die than continue to breathe…but she breathes again because she has no choice: the audience is still watching and she isn’t the kind to force the curtain down.

She knows I know.
She knows she has been truly seen
and I wonder, deep down, if she will run because I got in…

…but as she left, I whispered that I love her
and I smiled when she said she loved me too.

…as she walked away, I cried and prayed that for just a moment,
I could help her to see what she is blinded to.

…that while the beauty born of shadow is often the most challenging to endure,

it is always the most endearing one to all who find it.

that which grows beautiful in shadow

Looking up, as always…

Bina

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depression, Faith, God, God's Love, Hurting Heart, Lessons Learned, Life, Me, Pain, photos, Prayer

…with just two words

The wall wasn’t a shock to me.  I had seen it looming in the distance for some time, but had somehow convinced myself that I would never actually hit it.  No way.  And in those rare moments when reality had crept its way past my defenses and into my delusional state of mind, I shoved it quickly into the shadows because, when gagged and bound, truth had no hold on me here.

I was invincible, you see.

Or, at least, I was…until I wasn’t anymore.

And now that I wasn’t, I was just a mess…totally mangled by the same anger and disappointment that had built the cement wall that I had spent so much time actively ignoring.

wall1

Flooding over with tears that I could no longer hold back, I had to admit that I was hurting…broken…done.  I didn’t think before I spoke, but the words burned as they left my mouth: “I am angry at You.”

The moment after I spoke hung heavy as I absorbed the depth of truth that I had just released from its prison.  I was angry…and not just angry, oh no!  I had somehow boiled over from angry to livid without even realizing it…and as I sat in my car, shocked by my own brutal honesty, I wondered if He was put off in the least by what I had just said.

I mean, I have been in church long enough to know that God knows everything we think and feel without our verbal confession, so the logical side of me knew that He wasn’t shocked by my words.  But I have also been in church long enough to know that I have no right to be angry at God, as I have chosen to be sold out to Him…willing to be used by Him for His glory, knowing that He always has my good in mind.

So, if I am who I say I am, how can I be mad at Him for allowing this situation into my life…no matter how hurtful or hard it seems to be?!?  I was totally confused as to what I should say next, so I just sat there, silently waiting…

I know.”

His whisper was a verbal one, yes, but it also radiated in, thru and all around me, leaving me chilled against the warmth of His unexpected reply.

Suddenly, my confusion was replaced with a calming peace that picked me up off the ground from the base of denial’s wall.  As I tried to wrap my mind around the depth of His simple reply, I was placed at His feet, where I let go of the rules of “what you can and can’t say to God”.

Everything I had been denying now poured up and out of me in a verbalish-gush I can only hope His Spirit could translate…and as I spoke, the weight I had been struggling under fell away, brick by brick, until it was all gone…and I was “ok” again for the first time in a long time.

This isn’t the first time He has met me like this…but this was the first time in a very long time that I was so blinded to what I was feeling.

This was the first time in over a decade that His voice was the very thing needed to melt denial into a river of honesty…a river that had frozen over without me even realizing what was happening.

I had not only let bitterness take root, but I had nurtured it to life within me…and in just two words, He pulled it up and out by the roots.  …in just two words, He destroyed the power it held over my heart.  …in just two words, I was free again.

His gentle whisper left me vulnerable to Truth, showing the scars that I had desperately been trying to cover over…

…and with just two words, I was healed.

Looking up, as always…

Bina

depression, Faith, God, God's Love, Lessons Learned, Me, Poetry

as my Sodom burned

i let go of You today.

heading in the right direction,
but looking back over my shoulder as my Sodom burned,
i allowed myself a moment of regret…
i cried a single tear.

in a simple moment, i exchanged the truth for a lie,
suddenly grasping onto a fistful of hot air
totally refusing to acknowledge the facts…
somehow dismissing the reality that i was drowning in the flames.

fire

Your old warnings only fanned the embers beneath me,
my feet tangling me up inside the molten web,
and then i knew…all that’s left is for the oxygen to ignite,
a simple breath embracing the rage that seeks to devour me.

my soul screamed out against the searing heat,
dancing fingers reaching ever upwards to hush me,
vines that laughed as I suffocated in total agony,
delighting in the torment that dragged me to my knees…

but it is here that i saw that You truly DO exist
standing in full armor, sword at the ready
something in Your smile said that this is where You excel
the raging flame no match for the passion in Your eyes
…eyes that locked directly onto mine.

and in one mighty swing, You took me back.

Looking up, as always…

Bina

Being A Woman, Faith, Family, Friends, God, Hurting Heart, Lessons Learned, Life At Home, Me, Seeking Answers

and it only took 30 years…

Something happened in me a couple of months ago.

I was pondering a few things as I casually prayed…when suddenly, I was done pretending I was fine when I knew that I really was NOT okay.

I mean, I was completely and totally done…I had had my fill of doing it by myself, only to be left scurrying around to gather up the pieces of my heart that kept getting blown all over the place when my efforts failed…again.

I was so tired of smiling when I wanted to cry…laughing when it hurt to even breathe…isolating myself when what I needed was a therapeutic group hug from the people I love most in the world.

And as I accepted that I was done, I found that I was completely and totally undone…and it was there that I met God, again, for what seemed like the first time.

Let me give you a little history on me…

Saved when I was 7 years old, Jesus became my superhero…the Jiminey Cricket to my inner Pinocchio…a voice I knew and trusted…but as life got increasingly harder to take in, it was a voice that I learned to ignore.

little bina
Me in 1st or 2nd grade.

Rededicated when I was 14, Jesus became a fire that ignited my heart and mind to know Him and understand His word…a passion that faded when I realized I could put a “real-life” man up on His pedestal.

high school bina
Me (right) and my best buddy, 1990.

Re-engaged with Him again when I was 23, Jesus became the glue to my soul when divorce, single motherhood and addiction tried to rip the very life from what was left of my heart…a solution easily replaced by the sweet calm of a happy life with a wonderful, new husband and great friends.

Me (left) with my new best friends, 2000.
Me (left) with my new best friends, 2000.

So to be bowed down as I was now, at 37, I had to come face to face with the fact that it was here and now that Jesus became my Savior for the very first time.

bina now
…me, now…

As I stopped ignoring the elephant(s) in the room and let reality take over where the masks had hidden me away, I was finally letting Him complete the process that began with my tiny prayer of salvation as a 7 year old girl…I was finally allowing Him to be the Lord of my life.

Facedown on the floor, I let Him knock away every self-defense, pretense and idol that had taken up residence in my heart as I sobbed out every tear that I had stored up over the years.  Powerless to help in any way, I watched the God of the Universe become my Defender as He rid me of every single life line that I had created to so many unhealthy things.  As my mouth confessed what my heart shuddered to admit, He cleared out the temple of my soul and made me fully His.

That night in the kitchen, when the 7 year old me stood praying with my mom, slides into my mind’s eye as clearly as the night just eight weeks ago when the 37 year old me finally surrendered completely.  Nights that are 30 years apart…and yet, intertwined as an intricate tapestry woven by the Master Craftsman.

…and it is only now that I can look back and fully rest in the fact that, no matter how much I may have missed seeing Him, He has never let me walk alone.

Looking up, as always…

Bina

Being A Woman, Bible, Bible Questions, Books, Faith, God, God's Love, Journaling, Lessons Learned, Life At Home, Me, Seeking Answers, Sin

when God said no

I have been having an issue with my thoughts.

As I draw closer & deeper in my daily walk with God, I find that the level of my mental distraction goes thru the roof!!  Sin issues, people problems, tendencies to worry, being prone to daydream…  What was under “control” now was spreading up and out and all over everything I was trying to put right with the Lord. UGH!

I thought it was me.

I thought I needed to try harder…read more scripture…do more to make sure I was walking “right”.

I thought I was messing everything up…and I beginning to feel yucky even IN His presence.

So I started asking Him to just make it stop.

No.

Shut up the chaos, turn off the noise, let me walk with Him in total peace.

wrong

He whispered that to me last night as I was mentally wrestling my “bad stuff” back into the closet that it had just exploded out of.

wrong

He whispered it again as I took my morning prayer walk a little while ago and found myself distracted by stupid stuff that has no business in my prayer time.

Totally wrong!

I knew I was hearing Him and peace was slowly painting the walls of my heart, even in the MIDST of the background noise…but I think He wanted to make sure that I knew it was Him talking and as I sat down after my walk, He spoke thru today’s Jesus Calling & James 4.6-8

Trust Me and don’t be afraid.

I want you to view trials as exercises designed to develop your trust-muscles.

No, I won’t take away your struggle to make it easier for you to be a “good Christian.”

Submit yourselves therefore to God.

Me rescuing you isn’t the point of the struggle…you are looking for the wrong solution to the problem.

Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

I need you to struggle…because it is then that you will trust Me, believe Me…and you will grow.

Draw near to God and He will draw near to You.

You aren’t alone in this “clean up” effort that you have going on inside yourself.
I am right here with you, seeing everything that is being thrown at you
and I will give you the tools to sort it all out. Just keep going.

It is so easy to get tripped up by the little things…but this morning, I am thankful for His presence that comforts my confusion, thankful for a heart that is seeking after Him even when I forget how to do it “right” & oh so thankful for the gift of eyes that see and ears that hear the Truth of the Lord despite the noise.

bible glasses
“Give Me Eyes That See”
(taken by our youngest daughter)

Looking up, as always…

Bina

Faith, God, God's Love, Lessons Learned, Me, Poetry

when love hugs back

Day after day I try to explain You
Like I can contain You in so many words
You are the ocean and I’m on the shoreline
Thinking I know You like You could be learned

A moment alone, hugged by a quiet breeze
Just you and me standing face to face, eye to eye
Your hand reaching for the one I have hanging free
Your eyes filled to capacity with devotion and I don’t know why

After all of my searching, all of my reaching
I’m left with nothing…nothing of worth
You treasure the broken, over and over
Give me a hope that could never be earned

The world seems to spin and I stumble into your ready embrace
You laugh as you catch me but your arms just don’t let go
I try to pull back, you breathe into my hair and I look up into your face
…and it is here that I find there is nothing greater that I will ever behold

I thought I knew Your face, I thought I tasted grace
But I had never felt anything close to this
Just when I’d seen it all new mercy breaks the dawn
With my eyes open wide…it feels like the first time, first time

Your beauty no eye has seen
Your majesty overwhelming
Your love for me is healing, oh God

…it feels like the first time.

hug
The journey back into step with my Savior has been
an experience of emotional surrender to a Love I don’t deserve…
…a Love I surely don’t understand…
…but One I can’t ignore or gloss over.
I am thankful for everything (the good and the bad) that led to the moment I tried to capture here
by blending my own words with those of MercyMe’s lyrics from ‘The First Time’.

Linking up with Woman to Woman today.

Looking up, as always…

Bina

Being A Woman, Bible, depression, Faith, Friends, God, God's Love, Hurting Heart, Journaling, Lessons Learned, Life, Me, Music, Pain, Photography, photos, Seeking Answers, Simple Blessings

When Grace Falls Like Rain

This weekend was hard.

My brain was in overdrive as every mental stumbling block you can think of was hurled at me, leaving me evaluating…examining…and absorbing.

By last night, I was e.x.h.a.u.s.t.e.d.

I opened my devotional just before bed and was led to Matt 11.28.

cometome

Simple words.

Come to Me.

So easy to distort.

…but?? I had been coming to Him.

All weekend.

I was praying, I was reading, I was seeking.

But the chaos was still echoing, screaming from all directions.

I was confessing, I was looking up, I was trying.

I came to You?!?!…and then I climbed into bed as exhausted as I was when I first reached for my devotional.

This morning I woke up with the mental drama ready to pick up where it left off. Seriously?!? I am coming to You, Lord.  I mean, what else do You want from me??

Come to Me.

Ohmigosh.

My Bible study partner showed up and I unleashed my burden onto her.  Dude, I am coming to Him and yet nothing is changing.  How is this thing supposed to work??

She laughed…she shrugged…and we began to go over our study.

It was halfway thru the lesson.

It was my turn to answer what I had written.

And it hit me like a cold, unexpected downfall of rain.

Come to Me.

Not pray to Me. Not read about Me. Not look for Me.

Not confess to Me. Not stare into space for Me. Not even try for Me.

No…none of this was what He was asking of me.

COME to Me.

BE with Me. 

ABIDE with Me. 

stop DOING…even for Me.

As I tried to speak, my throat caught and the tears came up from the pit of my stomach.

Silence.

I looked up at her to find her face flooded over with her joy for me and her smile widened.

Better now?

…yup. I am. In every way…as I dance in Grace’s sweet rain shower.

Looking up, as always…
Bina