The antidote to pain…

… is praise.

Slow learner that I am, my heart has soaked in a solitary sadness that fastened steel fingers around its flesh. To dwell upon the dismal aloneness—when life does not bloom the flowers I had hoped to tend, I see wilted petals and mourn my empty garden. I pay no attention to what quietly grows in their place.

But to find a calm in the midst of raging winds, to be weather-stained and beaten down is a desperate position, when my heart swells with poisoned hope that bursts and infects my veins, how do I look up when I am paralyzed from within?

It is a moment beyond myself, a gentle prod of angels, to part my lips and praise the day for its thorns. To reach beyond myself, reminded that I originate from dust, and breath is a given wonder, never even guaranteed. Though my spirit be anchored down, each gift received is named and numbered, lifted to the One who has claim to them all. The more I usher in the blessings of this life, the more aware of just how small I am, what truly matters.

Yes, the pain may blind me. But the supernatural bounty brings sight to my heart more vivid than a snap of light. I am lifted above myself, to eternity’s embrace, and that alone does ease all discomfort.


A Time To Speak

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under Heaven… a time to be silent and a time to speak.

-Ecclesiastes 3:1,7

I once feared the echoes of my own mouth. The heaves and gasps my lips pushed forward, the noise breaking into the air. I could not fathom what formed from my voice.

Deep within my heart I stashed my sayings and kept tight hold of the key. Inside, words pounded on the door and begged to be released. I couldn’t crack open their purpose. When a matter of importance arose, I smiled politely but offered no rebuttal, while my silence led me to conform to the patterns of the people. I did not believe the lies their lives were dipped in, but my voice remained silent. My words remained lonely. Day after night they whimpered at my timidity, and again and again in vain I tried to set them free but cowered in my failing courage.

A clock ticked from somewhere beyond time, each strike of the second hand setting my mind at work.

“Whom shall I send? And who will go?”

“Speak Lord, for Your servant is listening.”

“Help those who cannot help themselves.”

“In the beginning was the Word.”

Voices, sweet and honest, dove into my defenses, breaking down the door that held my captives in my heart’s cavern. If not me, who would speak? Who could hope to hear the Truth if I buried it in the belly of restraint?

A time to be silent would not work if the quiet fear I harbored held me helpless. I awoke my world to a thousand different sounds, rushed my tongue to slip into the praise it must spring forth. I called aloud the Light of my life, and how the hills of love crossed the soundwaves to those in desperate need of refreshment! Words, once so timid and small beneath my breath, now rolled with thunder, struck with strength.

In the beginning was the Word. And that Word has emboldened me to proclaim good tidings and hope eternal to those who have ears, may they hear.

It’s time to speak. May my mouth continue to soothe those in need of grace, and be empowered to keep my fears of silence forever away. I’m using my voice. I’m speaking on behalf of Him who has unblocked my words and set them soaringly free.

New Year Wide Open

Snow shakes from the tuft of clouds like salt falling from its holder. There’s a freshness in the air that’s breathing quiet, steady. Cold is smooth, like satin on my exposed skin. And above in bare branches, birds speak with one another, their whistling coos calm across the trees.

This white-painted world washes this new year wide open.

We believe the burning hope within to start again.

But I, I wonder.

Where am I beginning?

Do I reset and start from scratch? Or simply continue in new cadence, found rhythm? I am still experimenting with the intricacies of this unexpected life.

To embrace the uncertainty and rest in what I cannot see. Stir with hope a resilience that balloons my chest for reasons unexplainable. Revel in wonder and unlatch “What if?”. Step into my destiny and approach it, not with fear, but anticipation. And truly let my belief bloom. Believe God to be bigger than my mess, bolder than what makes me afraid, and working beautifully on my behalf.


Read the rest of my essay over at Awake Our Hearts!