First day of summer but it feels more like fall. Waves move rough in my harbor town, out on the open water. Sky crouches to the earth, tries to make room for sunlight but the clouds will have none of that. I dress how I feel—oversized gray hoodie and frayed jeans. I drive in to town dissatisfied with the options on the radio, change to my CD, which still does not settle me.
It’s taken months for me to catch my breath in the shedding of an old skin, old home, old job and way of life, and dip both feet into these new streams. I am unsure what this will become.
I am healing, but there is so much that still bleeds out, leaves me empty.
There is a blackboard on my wall where I scrawl reminders to myself in chalk. I kept words from a prophet of old on my last days in Kansas City, let them travel with me to Wisconsin:
“I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten.” -Joel 2:25
What is there to repay when I have given everything and continually come up short? Sometimes it feels like all I ever do is swim upstream but never reach where I need to go.
But here’s a certainty in blinking lights if I would just open my heart and receive it. A chasm in the cosmos in such few words.
What will it take to repair my heart, so battered and bruised as it is? To restore my past, where I wandered off path and found myself surrounded by thorns and thistles? What is there to repay the barren fields?
My breath spills out a bigger exhale than anticipated. It’s been a long, arduous five years. I’ve had my share of the dark, the unexplainable, the restlessness and sharp jabs of aloneness I couldn’t kick. Dreams, delicately cultivated, only to shatter when reality struck. And I would cry my tears, brush myself off, and work on assembling another dream, only to have that one burst with even greater impact.
I wrestled with where I was, grappled with an inner emptiness that latched on and held tight. I was alone without ever quite finding my place in an unknown.
To stand on the precipice of another world, a promise of lighter chest and brighter eyes, appears as a mountain before me. What is my life that I should hope? That I should begin again to hoist my heart into my faith and attempt to try once more, look for the sweet among the sour?
He will restore to me the years that the locusts have eaten. My promise, He tells me.
//This resounds around my head, soft and sweet, like a velvet pillow when I lay down. For years, the storms of alone and dark evenings that grabbed hold of my soul made every day a struggle, and strain on energy and faith as I fought to piece those fractured fragments of a life beyond my understanding together.
Storm clouds gather, but so does sun, somewhere behind the rain.
After years of barrenness and wilderness wandering, I have come out of the clearing, without fully recognizing the new area of rest. God redirected my steps back home and to a house by the harbor, where wind and waves could wrap me in their medicinal embrace and I could hold still, and know that He is good.
Again, my heart fastens to Joel’s words, this promise from the Promise Keeper. He who was with me through the long stretch of years when I was beyond myself, did not know anything but how to suffer and serve in a life I never asked for, then reshuffled yet again into a new experience I never expected. One cannot go so long with insect bites along their past without looking to God to bring forth growth and harvest. //
One good turn can turn everything around. What was once broken can be restored again. Believe this, my heart pleads. Will I?
What will it take for the Lord to restore the years the locusts have eaten?
Whatever He deems for it to take.
That I can trust and tuck in with my faith to keep plowing and planting.
Repay, I pray.
Repay the barren fields and bring the quenching rain.
Continuing my attempt at the Five Minute Friday weekly writing challenge. Five minutes to write on the assigned topic. Raw and unedited. (Yikes!) This week’s topic: Restore. // symbolizes where five minutes started and/or stopped.
An interesting take on restore. Thanks so much for sharing.
FMF #54, sliding in just under the wire this week.
I love the rawness of this piece! Glad to be able to connect with you through FMF. I’ve had my share of locust-eaten years. What a beautiful promise that God can restore those years to us!
as usual I was swept up in your writing this week. your thoughts made me think about some of the areas in my life that I feel have been left barren and without hope. Thank you for the reminder that hope will come…even when so much has been dark for so long. I am always so blessed by your written offerings.
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