in love with hello

she said,
I cannot feel
Your love. God,
in my heart. my
bones are chilled,
as if soup’s been
left out too long
& I sip from spoon
because I am fine.
You see through me,
not ignorantly, no.
the way I imagine
You’ve looked at me
unformed—with intent
absent shun I cast on’
myself, because it is
easier than admitting
I would like to fall

one of the lies the Devil’s been whispering in my ear lately: Are you sure that’s from God? Could be a trap… He has me second-guessing every person who comes into my life life. He whispers that they could hurt me and they’re lying to you, so be afraid. Don’t trust.

But God keeps whispering: Do not be afraid, I’m your sun & shield & I’m protecting you, whom I withhold no good thing from because I sent My Son, whose walk was blameless, for you. So you go ahead & be broken. I am with you, even as you are dismayed  I will strengthen you, uphold you with my righteous right hand. I care for you. I am guiding & blessing you./

There’s no shame anymore, My child. I know how hard you are on yourself, but I didn’t intend striving to be how You find me. I don’t care about perfect efforts. The heart I see behind the skin is tired. You must rest in My arms. Speak to Me and I will listen. Even as you are quiet, I understand the groans within. Don’t worry, I will provide your needs always & the desires of your heart I delight in..

Patience, My child. I’ve kept track of the tears you’ve cried & I promise I haven’t forgotten about you. Your name’s inscribed on my palm: Julia. my fair haired one, your joy will be again. You will sure as the sun, smile again,. I promise.

Love, Your Daddy

why don’t you see you’re known?

we are open
window, different
points of view.

inside she looks,
crying out: let me
be seen, listened

days longs after
end. i’m tired being
overlooked time

& again. outside
i beg

————-

FMF prompt: open. Inspired by a conversation with a friend last night. God’s doing a number on my heart these days. When your words are pouring out, turning into his & then silence. And the screen becomes a mirror you’re watching yourself talk to. You want to give hug. but know the glass is fragile & you are too far. So, you let the hush come, praying through the distance. truth will envelope the girl with tired sighs.

Sometimes Truth Is Speechless

In the beginning of this month, my friend Trisha sent me a book. When it finally came in the mail, I was giddy. To see the little package on the chair. To be reminded I was known. Though Jesus has been faithful with food, drink, and shelter, this was different.

Well, to me at least. There’s something about being given written word. Books. Text messages. Notes. I see God’s handwriting most vividly in this way. This isn’t an offense toward the necessities of life—because in the repetitive there is love.

But sometimes, one act can lead to expectation. And expectancy is a messy game. Especially when you’re me with easily dashed hopes these days.

Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us,
even as we hope in you. Psalm 33:22

See, when I opened Amazon’s perfect taping job, I didn’t expect to cry. Not full out sobbing, but enough to make my eyes wet. I took the book from the bubble wrap inside, smiling.  I put the packaging to the side and opened the cover of the book. Then, I felt the welling.

I checked the package. Nothing. Flipped through book. Nothing. Checked inside the cover only to find a message from 2000: If you enjoy, pass it on. I looked inside the package again. Nope. Nice try, Julia.

At this point, I think I began telling my mother no letter came with the book. Her reply? The mail song from Blues Clues. Yes, I had a thing for Steve when I was younger. He wore my favorite color (green) shirt. And his excitement about getting letters was fascinating to me.

Sitting here, I’m wondering if it would be the same reaction with bills…

After my mom finished her song, I told her I shouldn’t be crying over this. I just really want someone to send me a letter.

And there was the truth. I tried covering myself.

I really am depressed.

Well, I’m telling myself the truth, I didn’t get a letter.

Or rather, one of those little pieces of paper with a message I unexpectedly received the last time she sent a book.. There is a key word in the previous sentence. Unexpected.

My mother, being quick to turn my attention off myself for a second, asked a few questions before, “She has three young kids and sent that to you.” (These may not be exact words. I’ve been thinking about this whole thing for weeks.)

I sat at the table, eating pretzels & greek yogurt chipotle dip, staring into space. My body knew I had put my hope in material rather than Jesus. My heart took a little longer to get the memo. I’m quicker to shame myself than try listening to truth.

After eating dinner, I went back to reading a blog post sharing this book on hope for tired moms.

“Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them. Add up God’s Law and Prophets and this is what you get.” Matthew 7:12 MSG

I actually heard it: do to others as you want done for you. I felt a breath from within. A joy I knew only God could give. I bought the book, attaching what I thought was a cheesy note within 5 minutes.

Here’s what makes me smirk.

1. I had low funds. The shipping cost on Amazon though cheap, made the book seem pricey. But, the cool breath wouldn’t stop whispering, Go.

2. The book was out of stock. It was published the 1st, but I assumed a new shipment would arrive within 1-2 days.

3. 1-2 days was not the case. It tested my patience. I checked my email everyday. I wondered. Begged God to speed the process.

4. I cracked one of the days. I decided to chat with a representative, asking if she knew when new copies would come. She was so sorry. Within 5 minutes, she upgraded the shipping to One Day and waived shipping fee. I was floored. I didn’t ask for that. I was even unsure I would have to pay, though she told me I didn’t. And they’d email when they shipped it. I said thank you and waited.

5. Last Friday I was talking to God about it again. I felt the nudge to check my email, though I didn’t want to see nothing again. It shipped. The hilarious part? According to Amazon, it was still out stock. I told God, only you could do something like that. Pretty sure I heard a laugh not my own.

6. I started to track the book, but gave up after realizing it wasn’t going to update as much as I liked. And, I was driving myself nuts. I think excitement may have played a role..

7. This became so much more than about a note. The expectation vanished, watched him use my small offering to show his love to this friend, who’s life is way more chaotic than mine. (Let’s be honest, it’s chaotic most in my head).

I’ve heard the Golden Rule since I was a child. I agreed without understanding what this rule means. I mean, I follow rules because I do what I’m told. There’s no trouble this way. And I make someone proud. It’s ridiculous that I’ve been following this more out of a sense of duty (and possibly fear), than love.

I don’t know why this has been extremely difficult to grasp. God calls us to love because he loves us. When I look at “God’s law” I think, “serving.” Serving makes me think of something you have to do. It’s not a want.

Where I am in my life right now, it’s a struggle between “want” and “have” When I have to do something, fear is always involved. When I want to do something, like sending a book, or music, or a poem, there is always love.

It’s what I see in Trisha, my mom, Megan, and all of the friends God’s given through my blog. There isn’t sigh, almost as if I’m a chore to, but a constant dusting off, saying, Let me show you how you are loved

And though I’m coming out of misbelief slow, I’m learning the joy of thank you.

The book may have taken a week to open, but I’m learning more without expecting a thing.

While World Sleeps, We Whisper Truth

She lays down in sorrow,

veins reminding her blue

colors hope she can no longer cling.

sky is black, lead or ink,

her eyes no longer make sense of words,

nor comforted by a period.

I am sad, she tells me,

over a screen tiny enough

for my thumb to press against.

The glass isn’t cold,

warmed by a battery

I imagine her hand.

I press letters, stories

my heart can’t help expel-

fingers unfurling grief inside

this whitespace our lungs inhale,

exhaling,

Friend.

I.

Understand.

Author’s Note: I have wanted to hug Michelle’s daughter continuously ever since we started talking the other day. We have so much in common. Fears, struggles, age. It’s made the past few nights easier, I’ve actually started to sleep before 1 AM. If Oklahoma wasn’t so far, I’d be right beside both of you, drinking  hot chocolate with whipped cream. 🙂 Michelle, you did a beautiful job raising Alex, God’s light shines as bright in her, as I see in you. She brings me so much hope and I’m so thankful I get to be a part of your lives. You both remind me to hold on. I love you both so much. ❤

I Knew You Would Come, Darling

For weeks, I have been wanting to write about dreams. The ones I’ve had come true from September to October. The ones I woke to on loud days. In my mind and the circumstances outside. The ones I’ve shared with my family inside this house that lately feels like a stained glass window I’m constantly squinting out of to see You.

These gifts perfect and good from You, the Father of lights, never changing like shifting shadows. The ones I poured out my ugly, bearing this vulnerable heart as if it is all I own. With every broken shatter from one repeated question: Why?

Why did I come back?

Why does this hurt worse?

Why so much arguing still?

Why do parents have to divorce?

Why do I believe the lies that come from separation?

Why do I want to spend so much time with You?

Why do I need physical proof of Your intimate care for me?

Why am I blind to You taking me in?

Why do people have to mock me for loving You?

Why am I still so angry?

Sad?

Why is it easier to anticipate the bad, and refuse sweet, sweet blessing?

Why don’t they love You like I do?

Why can’t I accept You forgive me?

Why me?

Oh, Jesus, how the only dreams staying with me, are the ones where I’m drowning. Cold. Frigid water. My head is being pushed under. So far to the point the I’m sure I’ve died. Someone is telling me to let go. Stop fighting. Laughing an evil laugh. My eyes are wide with fear. I’m opening my mouth to scream fir You. My lungs are filling with water. I’m flailing. Laughing is louder.

HE ISN’T GOING TO SAVE YOU! This voice is cackling. I’m crying: Where are You?!

My eyes close to an end.

I’m floating. On air or water, I’m unsure. But You must be with me through these deep waters, because I’m held in Your everlasting arms, in a hug I never wish to shake off.

Ypu’ve set me, as Moses, in the cleft of the rock. I’m standing under the cover of Your right hand, knowing though I am still, You are fighting for me.

Every why. And every question that follows when you misunderstand your life. Yourself.

Who?

What?

When?

Where?

How?

And as I am a sheep, I must follow You, my Shepherd, watching in expectant hope Your back will turn away my longing gaze, revealing Your welcomed expression.

A Prayer From Your Ungrateful Child

Joy looks softly, what’s wrong for real?

You upset because you complained?

You’re human, honey.

That’s not all, I say, my bottom lip

turning down any request I made

with myself to remain quiet, unheard.

My eyes rain truth only an ungrateful

child speaks fluidly.

I don’t want to go home.

I say this holding a chicken nugget

to my mouth, as answer comes

I never know how to take.

Enjoy the time you have now.

I can’t. I cry, looking straight ahead

at the empty seat. On the right,

someone rises with compassion

open wide enough to engulf all

sorrow I have grown accustomed to,

even before I allow You to quiet me.

My Friend, I can’t enjoy Your

company, without thought,

He’s going away. He’s leaving you

lonely.

He doesn’t love you. Why approach

His thrown with such a ridiculous

request: I want more of You. No

tears stroking my face. No sighs

making a liar laugh at my distress

waiting for you to shine bright upon

my face. I want to enjoy You on

earth, before I remark how my time

is gone with color photos of my

youth. Show me, Jesus, seventy

times seven, how much You delight

in me, Your small, weak, and needy

child, asking joy to become

accepted rather than wept.

Where Your Guidance Veils

IMG_0885.JPG

Marvelous moonlight-

how deep the Father’s love for us.

You bade me look straight to your light.

White, brilliantly beckoning my soul speak:

’tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,

who took my sin upon His perfect bone,

so I may live again.

No better love exists.

This Man who saw me

unformed inside my mother’s womb

took time in tenderness drawing

my crocked feet.

Leading my body in a sprint,

circling, circling, circling,

around counter clockwise.

I’ve never been good

managing time anyway.

My trembling legs

taken aback by words:

I’m sorry, I did that.

Repeated over again

til I feel freed from minuscule wrong.

I never am.

They never let me forget.

My right hand, weak in strength

gripping for dear life to anything

resembling stability, another hand perhaps.

My left, holding straight this lopsided body

wanting to walk as everyone else.

He sees this girl desperately trying,

remarking: Come thou font of every blessing, My child.

My glory shine through your disabling vessel.

Fear not, I do not see as you:

by outer appearance.

Rather, your precious heart I crafted

from My purity.

I sail night by night,

a starless sky above my blackened thought:

I am restless without my Lighthouse

guiding wayward effort safe to shore,

forever welcomed in.

Different Girl, Different Time

I made a game out of chasing the sun

in another pair of scorching eyes.

Your eyes remind me of trees.

The glinting sparks rising up

from those brown barks,

daring me: play with fire, babe.

I’ll forever be your Mr. James Dean.

You took my hand in yours,

engulfing my focus,

all about you.

I wanted roots,

intwined in a farytale

feeling home.

Strength.

You gaze gave

false security.

I took gladly.

One day, you met me

fearfully as a child pleads

his mother: can I go, please?

Please, Please?

Our lips were sealed,

a kiss inches away.

I couldn’t tell you:

You’ve already consented yourself

permission to fly.

I was the fool

believing you would never

become my so yesterday.

Validation

We’re made in Your image.

Art.

Handiwork.

Masterpiece.

She says these words.

My eyes begin watering.

Again.

Overwhelmed.

I don’t let them cross

the threshold from rivered

eyes to well-stitched blue jeans.

I am still of little faith,

even as You take my weakest hand

as if there is no one else

You’d rather have lean upon

Your arm.

Child, I have drawn you

with lovingkindness.

Don’t be afraid.

I have never left,

nor forsaken you.

I have overcome this world.

Trust My hand,

I will not mislead you.

Your heart may ache now.

You maybe stung by world’s

No.

If they hate you, they hated me

firsthand.

I hear your cries,

for I was the Man of many sorrows.

I am coming for you.

I will shepherd your wayward steps

along greenest pasture,

where you will lie beside still waters,

breathing My longing

for you and you alone.

You will rest in My peace,

our home.

Critic Talk

The tears come instantly.

I’ll spill.

I’ll show you how

insecure you are.

You thought they would

say, yes, of course we’ll add

your heart with the other collectibles!

You are a fool.

Someone told you yes.

You want more.

Physical print.

Don’t you see

the world is going digital?

No one really reads anymore.

Holding a book up

in defiance to our quick paced world.

Look at you, reading

off your phone.

You wouldn’t even know

how to linger on a page

if you were locked in a room

with only a book/magazine.

They don’t want you

following set rule: finish

what you start.

Hurry.

Hurry.

Hurry.

Don’t let anything touch

your heart.

Put that organ up

on the shelf, never

open up again.

That’s what you’ll do.

Leave yourself pressed

against other stories

no one will bother

turning over but one time.

Who knows if they were

touched the first time.

They don’t care.

They took time to tell you.

Not at this time.

Good luck with future writing
endeavors.

Let me come out.

Give Jesus another reason

to save you from this river

I’ll make sure you’ll drown beneath.

You can’t even do His will.

He shouldn’t even love you.

Why He wants to save you

over & over & over & over,

absolutely ridiculous.

Keep doing this in your own strength.

I’d much rather watch

you fail.