I don't know where to start and I don't know what to say.
I just read this poem by Mary Oliver and I am feeling every word of it to my core.
" I tell you this
to break your heart
by which I mean only
that it break open
and never close again
to the rest of the world. "
I feel the overwhelming magnitude of what I need to process after years of neglecting the practice of writing down words. Writing was something so near and dear to my heart since I was a girl.
Random, disconnected thoughts swirl and blur across my mind, such as there is nothing more beautiful or rewarding than joining God where He is at work, because our good God is always working for the good. Thoughts of how proud I am of my kids. For boldly and unapologetically being who God has made them to be in our home. And for all the ways I want to learn how to the kind of Mom who points them to Jesus with my words and actions and love but never tries to take the place of Jesus in their lives. Thoughts of how undeserving I am of the husband I have been given and his patience and acceptance of who I am and in letting me have a voice in our marriage and family over the years ( that's not the culture we were raised in ). Thoughts of all the ways my family and the world at large is aching and groaning under the weight of shame and guilt for things unspoken for too many years, and for the fall-out and trauma caused by the consequences of bitterness and control in small and large ways across, not just individually but across all of time and space.
Thoughts of how Jesus always comes with healing in His hands, how by grace, He longs to erase the spiritual effects and consequences of all of that. To love us intimately, to win our hearts, and to walk with us in and through the questions and mystery of all the wilderness seasons. Through a lifetime of hurt and pain and suffering, the world over.
I want to make the time to go back and write my story down. A love story so beautiful but one that I feel I only know so little of. As a little girl I think I could have seen Jesus through a very different lens than I did but I somehow mercifully, I was able to see Him for who he really is, full of grace and truth and beauty that makes me feel this grace and forgiveness and freedom should all be too good to be true. From a very young age until this day, I still believe in the Jesus who loves me because the Bible tells me so. Of course I have veered off course and gotten stuck in my sin and pride and independence but I believe my faith wavered over the years mostly when I felt I needed to perform and prove my love, instead of living from a place of belovedness. Which leads my heart to ask: How do I love well? How do I treasure Jesus? By loving and treasuring others well. But I don't have what it takes to do that. Exactly. Always. But easier said than done. My daily, moment by moment dependance on Jesus is where it's all for me and acceptance that in my weakness, because of the power of the Holy Spirit I am strong. To embrace the upside-downiness of it all.
Life > Death
Light > Darkness
Healing > Brokenness
Mercy > Judgement
Forgiveness > my sin
Hope > Despair
Beauty > Ashes
Praise > Mourning
Freedom > all my shame
Love > Fear
Peace > Chaos
Humility > Pride
His joy, my strength. As C.S. Lewis put it, " Relying on God has to begin all over again every day as if nothing had yet been done. "
Which I have very much found that to be quite true in my forty years of living.
Break my heart open ever wider and deeper, dear Lord.