Thursday, October 30, 2014

"3 a.m. Refrain" {an original poem}

(written June 7th, 2014)

Oh rambunctious mind
When will you unwind?
You toss & you turn
Like this body of mine

You pound in my head
As if you're filled with dread
From each dream that lurks
Between blanket & bed

We both cry in pain:
3 a.m.'s new refrain
Until God soothes us
& sings His song again



{this is the first of several poems I will be posting here; poems written during some of the hardest parts of my battle with Lyme disease. If you're interested in this story & my journey, I have created a corner of the blog just for writings that stemmed from it. Check out the label: Lyme Disease Journey.}

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

"Weak" {an original poem}

(written June 8th, 2014)

Bitter tongued
Weak handed
Exhausted
At the thought of waking up

It came down to this

Fragile heart
Weighted mind
Lonely soul
Waiting for an ounce of hope

Can't live in my strength

So He came
Lifted me
Weak made strong
Satisfied in His embrace

Helpless no longer

His power
Made perfect
In weakness
This symphony of mercy

Melody of grace

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Story

I told you once that it would take a miracle for these hands to play the guitar. These hands could never do such a thing on their own, because, in addition to being perpetually weak, they were also burdened with migratory joint pain, from my Lyme disease.

I erected a stone in my mind's path.

A stone marked with weakness & pain.

A stone of memorial.

And, reader, I'm so glad I did.

I love that I wrote during my darkest of days, because now, they are not just a fleeting memory, but they are part of my story; my testimony. I stamped them with ink, like tattooing the internet, my heart, & a half dozen journals. It's marked down in my life as history. The kind that bears repeating.

He met me in the midst of the worst pain week I have ever had.

{If it had hurt less, you would have heard about it, but typing wasn't exactly easy.}

He met me, through His people.

I was surrounded with an army. Prayer warriors lifted me up. Friends comforted me & fought for me. My family members cried out to God on my behalf.

It was difficult to sleep, because of the ache of every position.

I was exhausted, & that makes the symptoms even worse.

I was stressed, & that didn't help matters.

He met me in the dark nights of my soul.

He asked me a question, & I answered plain & simple.

"Lord, okay. If this is what You have called me to, then okay. If I never recover, if I never heal, I still trust You. You've worked through this disease to change me for the good, & to impact those around me, & if Lyme has more to teach me, I will bear it, & I will learn. If You slay me, still I will trust You. You are worth any cost You could ever ask me to pay."

I surrendered.

When humans do that, crazy things tend to happen.

Come Sunday, I was sitting in a pew, massaging my aching, cold hands. The pain was loud.

His voice was stronger.

"What if I want something different for you, My child?

What if I desire to use healing in your life, rather than illness?

Could you trust Me then?

It won't be easy.

You will no longer bear the identity you do now.

No more will your name be Diseased.

That can't be the foundation of who you are anymore.

I will be the foundation.

I am the only Way, & the only way out of this sickness.

Will you trust me?"

I had felt oppressed by the disease that week, & He was revealing to me His heart for justice for the oppressed.

In my mind rang these words:

"And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?" {Luke 13:16}

You hold my every moment
You calm my raging seas
You walk with me through fire
And heal all my disease
I trust in You, Lord I trust in You

I believe You're my healer
I believe You are all I need

I believe You're my portion
I believe You're more than enough for me
Jesus, You're all I need

Nothing is impossible for You
Nothing is impossible
Nothing is impossible for You
You hold my world in Your hands

{Healer by Kari Jobe}

Basically, His message was clear.

I had trusted Him enough to say that I believed He could heal me ...

But now I was asked to believe that He would.

Those are two very different things, you know.

One feels safer.

I like safe.

I was terrified to boldly ask for healing ... because what if nothing changed?

What if I had to endure the rest of my days, knowing that He had said no, or not yet?

I didn't trust myself, that was the thing. If He didn't answer, I didn't believe I had enough faith to still trust Him ... how does one cope with that?

How could I watch Him answer every other prayer, but not mine?

Could I still trust Him, then?

I pushed my doubts aside, by grace.

I chose to try Him, as Spurgeon would say.

Because He is worth the risk.

And I am not called to a life within my comfort zone.

He said to me, "No more. You're not going to bear this any longer."

So in faith, I prayed.

I laid hands on myself, & I silently, but boldly, prayed for healing.

I called on His name, & asked for the removal of the disease & every. single. symptom.

Each pain & discomfort.

Every weakness.

I asked Him to invade.

My prayers were interrupted by another's.

An elder & friend was praying over the offering, & he responded to the Spirit's prompting by stepping out on a limb & praying healing over those in the church.

Not your average offertory prayer.

I didn't have time to laugh at my own joke before the wave of heat flooded me.

He gave me my miracle.

The pain completely left.

I haven't had any tests done, but I have faith that the disease has left also.

The devil has been trying to discourage me with minor aches & normal human discomforts, but he's just mad.

That's what happens when you lose a fight.

God is the victor, & in Him, we are more than conquerors.

I can bear witness to that.

He hasn't ceased to flood me with blessing & praise since my healing, & I am so excited to see what He does in me next.

This is my story, & I will shout it from the rooftops:

He is my Healer.

He has saved me.


{I kept up with my poetry during the time spent away from the blogosphere, & I am so filled with joy as I reread what I wrote in those days ... what He was stirring within me, even in the pain. I will be posting some of those here soon. The journey I am on is so incredible. I want to let you in on all of it. Stay tuned!}

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Holiness > Happiness {an original poem}

I almost cry
Such foolish tears
I should not cry
I know better

Tears held inside
Blur my vision
Logical thought
Is beyond me

Changes I face
Overwhelm me
Mindful of grace
I can still breathe

Where He leads me
I will follow
Though the pain ebbs
And the tears flow

Thy will be done
Yours and not mine
I count the cost
I choose You still

For holiness
Means more to You
Than happiness
And I'm convinced

That You're faithful
E'en though I fall
You still hold me
And comfort me

I know joy comes
With the morning
Your mercies dawn
And they blind me

And then one day
I will look back
See Your grace, and
Tell the story

Friday, October 3, 2014

Scales

Weighing options, I find myself again thinking about priorities. I need to think about them more often ... maybe then I would keep true to them. This space, for instance has been given little of my attention, though, by my priorities & convictions, it should be higher on the list. Thus, I am found here after the soul-searching, & not beforehand.
My dilemma is that it takes much longer to write a post than to read one. My life grows busier daily, becoming full of new opportunities & commitments. No matter how important something is to me, I cannot always find the time to invest in it, simply because of being otherwise invested.
And so I weigh the importance of things.
Little ones make it high on the list; I love them so dearly ... I often choose them over most other concerns and activities.
My friends. So precious to me. Mamas, sisters, teachers, listeners, talkers ... One glance, text, call, email, etc. from any of these will often take front burner.
Family ties are strong.
Health is something one must consider occasionally.
Feelings are put ahead of their place. I value them too highly ... I'm trying to reshape my actions.
Work must be in its proper priority, for I am committed; responsible. I cannot take it to lightly.
And yet.

There is a priority that must trump all others.

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple." {Luke 14:26}

I have learned that this verse is not meant to support cruel children, spouses, or parents ... It simply means that there is a tie that binds far tighter. When we are to choose between following a friend & following the Lord, we must always choose Him. The decision should be that simple. Our love for Him so strong, that any other love might e'en be compared to hatred ... sure, He was using hyperbole, but there are instances, yes, where we must utterly reject the other thing in order to follow Him.

And He's worth it.

He's always worth it.

Worth anything.

Worth the highest price you could ever pay, & trust me when I say, you might be asked to pay it.

But it doesn't matter, because the scales are tipped.

On one side, you have the human lifespan, the place you call home, your health, the people & things you hold dear ... a number of things whose value you consider high ... quite a weight. But in perspective, you see the other side. You realize that no matter what this world offers you; no matter what dreams you have, the value is always outweighed. Because on the other side of the scale is the Infinite One. Eternity. Our inheritance in Christ. The lives He plans for us to touch. The perfect will He has for our lives.

On a scale so tipped, nothing can compare to the side we claim through Christ. If we lose every last thing from this side of eternity, we are undaunted, for we know what lies on the other side ... & we declare that the cost is high, but He is worth it.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Make

It's been over a month.
I haven't walked these halls in over a month. Time to sweep these floors, brush aside the cobwebs. A month, & it seems like years. Years since I last sat here with a divine desire to write. Not the kind of writing that defines days. Not the letters & poems I've managed to stay on top of ... but the writing where my soul somehow becomes paint on this canvas called the Internet. It seems so commonplace; too much so to capitalize ... & yet when I do, I feel I bestow some added worth & honor to it, the Internet, & what I do here. It isn't much, assuredly. Lines & curves on a once-blank space.
It reminds me of music.
That's why I'm here, really.
That's what drew me back to this keyboard today.
I wanted to make music.

Isn't that a silly thing?

I wanted to make music, on this ancient Dell Latitude D430. It doesn't even have a space for a CD.
There are far nobler instruments in this house.
A small guitar missing half its strings.
A keyboard I don't know how to play.
An out-of-tune piano whose keys I long to touch with the hands of an expert, rather than the hands of a child.
Acoustic guitars that I've learned to make racket with ... not yet what would be called music by even the kindest of saints.

The list could go on. For one thing, I have a voice. That is no small thing, for I have only just regained most of said voice. It was robbed by a feisty head cold this week. Now, I can finally touch my alto range, be it slightly hoarsely. I sound like some young Indie artist, trying to express myself.
This week, I found my soul as congested as my head. I did not want to pray, think, love, act ... I was a weak flame, wind-whipped & dying ... I wanted only to be extinguished. I wanted my voice to be hushed, not just hoarse. I settled into a pit of darkness. I let the pain of my disease & added sickness exacerbate things. I let my heart fail & my soul faint. I didn't ask for help, feeling I didn't deserve it; that no one would care anyway. I rehearsed the lies in a mirror, like so many lines from a play.
And on the worst day, during the darkest moment, how I longed to make music.
But my voice was gone.
My hands are weak & without skill in such realms.
I yearned to sit at a piano in a dimly lit room. To press the keys with my trembling fingers. Pour all my anguish & feeble strength into some dirge. To let my tears flow as the music swelled.
Music can be a sort of therapy to the broken.
I knew not the kind of therapy I needed ... in my blindness, I missed Truth.
I was blindsided. I lost my way; lost my hope.

I dared not cry out, but cry out was all I needed to do.

Oh, dear Lydia, four days younger ... what were you thinking? Did you not know? How could you not realize? Why didn't you remember? ... I break at the thought, the memory.

He hears us when we call.
He bids us seek Him.

He called to me. Me.
He reached down & beckoned to me as I sat, bloody, beaten, in the mire, & shrank away from the voice who alone could lift me.
So blind.
I would rather have sunk.

So, still calling, as I was still rejecting Him, He climbed into my pit ... crawled through the mud & the stench of it. Picked me up, kicking, screaming, sobbing as I was, & embraced me. Held me there against Him, until finally, I stilled. I was asleep in His arms; overwhelmed by the peace found there.
He carried me out on His shoulders, singing a song of joy & of love.
I am the lost sheep, He is the Good Shepherd.
I, the wayward son, He, the Father.

He has brought me home
and so, I have found a new reason for making music.
Let these keys be beats of a drum. Let my words be a symphony.
Let His name be praised.