down in the dirt

In 2015 I was prayed over in visions, and the Father showed me a wolf that was chasing me as I ran to a mountaintop. I was fearful until a brave welled in me at the top of the mountain as I was able to turn around, look into his yellow eyes and kick him in the face. I got that wolf tattooed on my hand with Genesis 50:20. Because the enemy is always after our story. he wants to bite our throat before we make it to the mountaintop, where we can scream it out loud. There’s some sort of healing in ourselves when we speak out our story, then that same healing flows through to others. The wolf was catching up with me again the last few years. I was believing that what I said was just pointless words and I was believing that my story didn’t matter. I was hiding behind my husband and motherhood and anxiety and the fear of (wo)man. Then yesterday, my sweet friend gave me a prophetic letter with the mention of that wolf. I immediately looked at my tattoo and remembered the first time I kicked him in the face. I remembered what he is after. And that I’d rather lay my head deep in the dirt next to Jesus than to please anyone with silent words just to make them comfortable. There’s a time to walk quietly in the deep of the woods to heal and let go and there’s a time to turn around, kick the wolf in the face and use your voice. 🌿 you intended to harm me, but God’s using it all for His good..

Advertisements

Walk before run

My son had his one year appointment today. I can’t believe he is one. Everyday he wakes and he is doing something new. He’s been walking for the last month and a half, and with each day he grows more balance, he walks a little faster, he needs my hand a little less. Today at his appointment, his doctor smiled as he showed off his walking skills, and said “He is getting the walk down, soon he will be running!”

And my mama heart is in no rush for that. I’m in no rush for him to need me less. To let go of my hand. Though I’m so proud of every accomplishment he makes, I love him being my baby. I love watching him slowly plant his feet firm on the ground, gain his balance and walk. And I know, soon he will run. Soon he will chase his brother off without needing his mama’s hand. It made me think of where we are at in life. I was getting so frustrated with our walking season. I was ready to run. But today the Father reminded me, walk before run. He is in no hurry in teaching us to run. He loves holding our hand in the walking season. Full of compassion as He watches us fall, and loves watching our determination as we get up, gain our balance and walk off again.

And I ask, Lord don’t give us the things we aren’t ready for. We don’t want a single thing prematurely. We want to hold Your hand in the growing season, we want to learn from You and walk slowly with you, though there are moments when I try to run ahead. Your hand picks me up, and we start again. Thank you Father, for those you’ve surrounded us with that walk with us, believing in us, and calling out the best in us. This season is a treasure as we walk before run.

Photo by the lovely Anna Moos

I’ll never recover

when you know you’re loved you walk differently. You look at the world differently. When you believe you are loved kind words flow easily. Confidence comes naturally. Hope feels accessible.

As we got ready for church this morning I heard my husband singing a song as if he were trying to convince himself of its truth:

I am chosen
Not forsaken
I am who You say I am
You are for me
Not against me
I am who You say I am

This last week I could feel that on edge feeling creep in. I could feel frustration leave my husband’s lips from a heavy week and I could feel my patience run dry. When you’re in the midst of a pressing place, I’m learning how important it is to hold onto the identity of His love. So when I could feel the tension in the midst of my little family on our way to church this morning, I grabbed my husband’s hand and prayed to the Father. Asking Him to remind us of who we are. Of whose we are.

When we bought our home last fall we overlooked the tree in our backyard. But as it started to come back to life this spring, I thought I was going to puke from what I saw. A magnolia tree. We prayed for years over the home we would one day buy, and I would always mention how I’d love a magnolia tree. So when I saw that The Father remembered, it felt like just an above and beyond moment. I remember telling the Lord, “you already did all of this, you didn’t have to…” but He wants to. And I’ll never recover from the goodness of God.

When a season calls for stretching in all areas of your being, of your families being, the enemy doesn’t want you to pass the test. He wants to cloud your vision. Destroy your identity. He wants you to forget the promise the Father has given you. He wants you to feel abandoned and alone.

So I prayed in our car on a warm Sunday morning. The sun woke our bones and I asked the Father to let His creation be our reminder. Of how loved we are. We weren’t walking as people who are Fathered by God, but like we were abandoned. And I remembered our sweet magnolia tree blooming in our backyard. What a gift, a promise. That He remembers every detail in the deep gardens of our hearts. And He remembers us all the more.

And I asked the Father to let us remember, every time we sit under the shade of that tree, every time we look out of our window into the blooming flowers, may that be our promise. We can walk in the identity of a remembered child because we are Fathered by the God who remembers it all. Even when it’s been so long that we have started to forget. And every promise He has ever made will come to pass.

Before we got out of our car I tell the Father, we don’t need any special words, but Lord today let it be special. Let us be reminded.

So I lean into my husband during worship and my sweet friend starts to sing,

I am chosen
Not forsaken
I am who You say I am
You are for me
Not against me
I am who You say I am

I look to my sweet husband with tear welled eyes, as if to tell him, He remembers. Oh how loved you are, my love. And The Father remembers you. And I’ll never recover from the goodness of God.

10

10 years old. It’s hard to even try to imagine life with a 10 year old. But that’s how old you should be this January. That number feels significant to me, and my heart and mind are jumbled with a thousand thoughts surrounding you and your 10th year. I remember the first January that rolled around 10 years ago when you should have been born. Each day I woke and I wondered, should this have been the day? Your day? I remember a dream I had when I was struggling internally with my abortion. I remember being at a store and I had a son that I had just met that I couldn’t bring myself to love. He had been with a father who was loving him deeply. I watched them interact with each other and it pained me to see how loving their relationship seemed to be. And I didn’t know how to do it. The father showed me how to love my son, too. I woke up and I knew it was you.

I’m much different than I was back then. I’ve grown much and I know better. I close my eyes and imagine sitting across from my younger self,10 years ago. She who was consumed with confusion and lonely and secrets and grief. I reach for her trembling hand and I imagine she’d pull away behind the wall that surrounded her for years to come. I know her and she lives in a desolate place. But I’d call her out of it. I wouldn’t look away when she couldn’t look me in the eyes. When I’d tell her I know what she did out of fear and I’d remind her that she is loved and forgiven. And oh how I know her so well. Oh how I know she wouldn’t believe it. But I’d speak it over her again, and again, and I’d hope she would really hear me this time. I’d tell her it won’t always be this way. That there’s going to be harder days but I’d promise her there will be a Rescuer and He is on His way. That He is already here, just waiting for her to let Him break down all of these walls. I’d wrap the younger me in my arms and reassure her that Healing is on His way. That it feels like abortion stole her story but oh sweet girl, this is not the end. I’d declare victory over her and call out the mother heart in her where she felt like all she was is destruction. And I know her so well and I know her broken. But I’d tell her I’m so proud of her, because in 10 years she will look back full of wonder for what could have been, but so much gratitude for what He has done. There’s so much to say about what He has done. And I know she wouldn’t believe it then, but I’d tell her there will come a Sunday in January where she will stand in a church that feels just like home, and she will sing to the Father about His goodness. So much goodness. And there won’t be a single wall left. Just freedom.

And I’m thankful for the promise of sitting with my baby on his side of Heaven one day, it will be a warm January day, and we will be eating birthday cake.

You were here.

You existed.

You are remembered.

These Are My People

I’ve been thinking about friendship. I remember my first friend that wasn’t family, our parents were friends when we were in diapers and so we really had no choice but to love one another. We were in the same classes up until she moved when we were in the 3rd grade, and my security was rocked. I made new friends throughout the years, but they eventually faded away.

My first best friend though, and still to this day, is my sister. We even had a handshake. Although we are 6 years apart, somehow we truly have been blessed with an unbreakable bond. And it is the same for my 3 brothers. I see other siblings who aren’t that close or fight constantly or don’t even speak at all, and I am so thankful for the friendship we have with one another. God gave us siblings for a reason, and I think we have done a good job at hanging on to that, even in adulthood.

I was the youngest out of 4 for 7 glorious years. The 4 of us are 2 years apart. I remember how upset I was when I learned that my torch would soon be passed on to my baby brother. I think for the first few years of his life I wouldn’t have minded if the stork decided to fly off with him, but these days I can’t imagine life without little Wibby Wobby and his too-smart-for-you self.

We are the only ones who can make fun of eachother. If one is late for a family gathering, you will receive a thousand texts on your whereabouts. (Except if you are the oldest, we all know if it starts at 4, she will be there at 5.) And if one doesn’t come at all, it feels incomplete. I’m thankful for my people. I realize we aren’t meant to live life without our people. Do you have them, and who are they to you?

They give you the best advice because they have been-there-done-that more than twice. They don’t accept your new love right away until they see they can laugh with the rest of your people. Unafraid to voice their opinion. They pick you up and take you to Starbucks at 10 pm when you’re mad at mom. When dad hurts you again, they call him back and take care of the rest. Because no one hurts your people unless it’s a brother putting you in a chokehold. They are the ones in your group text. The ones you send funny Pinterest messages to that only they’d find humorous. They are the ones you want there at every milestone. They are the ones you don’t mind seeing you act like a fool. The ones you can reminisce with however far back in life you want to go and they were still there. They bring up old embarrassing stories of you in front of new people. They remember your old Aunt Ethel and her whoopy cushions. They give you nieces and nephews and make your heart fuller. The ones who know your insides and outs and know the core of you, the real you. Because they’ve known you since birth and they’ve seen every shade. Even when you lose yourself for a moment, they don’t just wait for you on the other side, they go along for the ride. They see your ugly mistakes and they love you through it. They are constant. Willing to stick it out regardless of who you become. And when you hurt, they hug you until you cry. And when you cry, they don’t mind the snot and tears on their shoulder.

Sometimes they are blood, sometimes not. But for my people, our blood runs thick. We are different yet the same. Always there. These are my people.

IMG_8290.JPG