Sun staggers in from the scrape of branches curled in the tree outside my window.
I blink, baffled by the light.
This scene is unfamiliar. I am not used to the shutters of my heart swinging open to the day. Of a dawn unfolding with the ease of a girl who delights in the world. A life full of innocence and hope, when her heart was whole and needed no reminders of a dream that once was.
Joy. The elusive song inside me that fell into a well reaching the darkest walls of me. What I searched for with battered belief, an unquenchable plea upon my lips to still the storm assailing my steps. Yet still, three letters wrapped themselves around this splintered heart, nudging me forward, lifting my eyes up. Making me move my mind from self-despising spread of lies to soul-stretching stamp of approval, of truth.
When I flailed against my lot, of ashes heaped upon my head, and scraping for an ounce of assurance that I was not desperately alone in the midst of this tornado that threatened to trample my spirit, I grew weary with the tears that soaked my skin. My bones ached in untouched places, and all I longed for was a glimpse of Your smile, the fold of Your arms around my tired body. I kept telling myself this thing could be beautiful, but it’s tearing me apart.
You have been the One to break me, piece by piece, precisely, intently, with a loving hand I could not guess worked behind the chaos. Struck blind, the blackness sunk heavy across my eyes.
And then, a stir of soul and my eyes found shape, stretched color and clarity in view and I stared at the sight of my new surroundings. The quiet, the marvel. I find my eyes stitched to the shutters and lift my limbs to the sky, awed by the steady rhythm that rocks my heart, its own breath of awareness.
It’s taken months to lift my mood, strike inside me with Your constant grace, new mercies stemming from my stumbles. And I am just beginning. The first steps are shaky to the dawn of day. I am slow, cautious. I am still learning.
I take my stride to the world that waits for me. Search my heart, swallow my pride. If there is anything good in me, it’s in the shadow of Your grace.
Somehow, a shadow is all I need. For in that grace, I grow. Eyes aglow, hesitantly hopeful. What a tender, breaking, beautiful way to live—arms of my heart outstretched, wrapped in flesh, flush with possibility.