;Life

life__s_highway_by_alancross

i want to Live…

Yet,

i want to die.

Can i live somewhere in between?

i want to feel, yet,  i desire to be numb

Why can’t i just accept that life isn’t perfect, whether I’m numb or present?

Evil thrives in the presence of facades, yet, Grace illuminates through my Truth.

i like to keep my poison private, my beguiling friend, who binds and gags me.

Trying so hard to convince me to take darkness by the hand and pour another.

I want to Live because He died.  And oh what a waste it would be for me to exist hidden behind the mascarade of my lies.

The Truth has already set me free.

Through death, He Overcame

So that I may live my Life in the Light

;

My Life goes on, past the darkness and into Eternity.

Hallelujah

 

A soft voice

Singing in my ear…

With tears on my face

Forging permanent scars of torment

That won’t subside.

Singing away the darkness

Hopeful song, please…Carry me through

To the other side.

The angel voices above cry out

Hallelujah.

For in times of laden

We sing out…

Hallelujah.

To find a sound

That calms our storm…

Hallelujah.

My body pushed

My haven caved

A small one born

Without breath…I cry an aching

Hallelujah.

I hear the beautiful song

Echoing from the angel’s above

Hallelujah.

God’s beauty in the midst of my struggle

All has come full circle

For in all I’ve lost I have so much…

Hallelujah.

God’s Whisper to Me

joy-of-joy

You say Trust

Makes me strong.

I say Peace

Gives me strength.

You say, Faith,

Gets me through.

I say Fact

Makes me Stand.

You say, Love,

Is the greatest of all things

And I feel it abound

As I cry saltwater tears

In question…

Why me?

And you say

Strength suits you perfect.

This Beautiful Painful Struggle of mine,

Makes me question Your Trust

For me to be Strong.

And you say

Trust Me.

For Faith, Love, and Peace

Surrounds you.

And on the other side of turmoil

Beautiful Joyous Peace awaits

Only if you Trust.

I say

Your Strength must carry me to the other side

As Trust makes me Strong.

 

 

Sweep me Up

It started with a twinge of a memory. Perhaps something I saw on TV, on Facebook or a snippet of a flashback of my life. Subtle at first, like a swell of soft emotion beginning to wage its war inside my brain. But then, like a fury fast and strong it slowly yet swiftly overtook my every waking moment.

The feel of a long satisfying drawl of a sip of a delicate red wine slithering its way down my throat into my bloodstream was all I could think about. It overtook me that quickly, with that much force.

Apparently, I forgot. The wreckage such an interaction had on my life only months prior.

The life I had forgotten to live, the complete and total hell my life had become because of that very feeling I was craving now. The indulgence that I had given in to that nearly destroyed me and took me far far away. From all that I loved and all that ever loved me.

I found myself only remembering the fun I had with my so called “friend.” The escape from the rigors of life and the glory I mistook it for.

I couldn’t stop the pounding of my brain and the fight that was being waged against me. All the strength I had mustered over the past 102 days was lost, gone and impossible to find. All I wanted was one glass.

One warm satiating seamless glass of red potion to call my own.

I punished myself wondering how I let my drinking get so out of control to begin with. I mean, dang, I am a strong girl. Always have been. I’ve never been one for defeat, so where did it begin? Did I take Caleb going to college that hard? Or was it the culmination of a hard life lived, fought, and finally letting it defeat me? Why couldn’t I have risen above it all and never found myself at the bottom of the bottle. Ending in being admitted to Rogers Memorial Hospital that warm June evening months ago? How did it become this? Where I can’t even have that one glass of red wine that calls my name inside my brain like a dripping faucet I can’t shut off.

Drip, drip, drip.

Drink, drink, drink.

I seem to have forgotten how it overtook every aspect of my life. My ability to laugh with friends, enjoy serving my church as much as I do, and writing away my days without the aid of alcohol. I must have misplaced my memory of the wrecking ball of ethanol making me an emotional mess unable to complete a sentence without tears. The feeling of waking up in a pool of sweat at three am because the poison was fighting its way out of my blood like a fury that had to find a way out.

Drip, drip, drip.

Drink, drink, drink.

My memory must have faded out the part where I had to quit my life just to find my way back again, where I had to sweep myself up into the majesty of staring completely and utterly over. Three months of rediscovering what it was like to take it all in with a clear and beautiful mind. I may have lost my gift of writing words during that time, but I regained all that God has intended for me to be.

I saw the bottom of a glass of wine tonight, I lost the wage, but won the perspective I needed to gain. Why did I forget? Apparently I needed to be reminded of all the risks that go with giving in to such.

Clarity. Stumbling gave me this. As crystal as the sea as crisp as the fall air. I want to love, live and see the pride in all of your eyes as you take in the brilliance of my clear eyes as I tell you I’m sober.

I never want to lose that, even when I lose at winning.

So this is where I beg God to sweep me up into His living and forgiving arms. Where I ask Him to give me the courage to once again overcome the most impossible of odds.

I c

hose to begin tomorrow at the top of 103 days not at the feet of my demons that call me back to the bottle. For one slip never made us invisible in God’s eyes before why should it now? That is what the bottle of red wine would want me to believe, that I’m lost again and I should stay that way. I know that isn’t so, and in that I grasp Grace’s hand and dust myself off and know my fortune is in my God not lost in the fall.

The Pain I can Control

images (2)

//

With an array of stunning colors exploding from the small of her wrist to the top of her shoulder I was left staring at a random stranger’s arm in the grocery store.  

Vivid blues, met a stunning red sunset, with the peak of a storm followed by a grey outbreak of a lightning blaze.  After gawking for far too long, she met my eyes and silently asked me, why are you staring at me?

Breaking the uncomfortable silence, I proclaimed, “I love your ink.”  

A smile overtook her once strained face and then she responded, “why thank you.”

The tension subsides and all that is left is two middle-aged women in the produce department chuckling.  I proceeded, “tell me the story of your tattoo.”

She glistened with pride and love as she drifted off in a deeply moving memory.  

“It is the story of me, my life, my loss, and the fact that I eventually will prevail, thanks to God’s grace.”

Amen, sister.  

“Indeed, you will.”  Is all I had to say.

Engaged to the point I didn’t even realize there were annoyed people trying to get by us en route to the perfect broccoli head, we moved out of the way of the busy supermarket.

She continued, “I live with chronic pain.  Every day I ache all over no matter what medicine I am given, it doesn’t touch the pain.”

I’m brought to my knees by her words, as I have experienced pain in my life, but not to that degree.  Not like the nagging, anticipating, debilitating torturous pain she had spoken of.  

I pointed to the inner part of her upper arm, where a bright orange and yellow monarch butterfly transcend time, and yes, pain.  “I love this.”  I touched the butterfly and goosebumps immediately encompassed my entire body.  “Yet, I’ve heard that this part is the most painful to tattoo.  My husband has a full sleeve and he said that the underarm is the most painful.”  I smiled at her and stared into her stunning green-blue eyes.

“I don’t mind because it is a pain that I can control.”  Her magnificent glance drifted as her hand reached the inner part of her arm where the butterfly was in flight.  “My pain I didn’t choose.  But the burning of the tattoo gun is something that produces beauty when it’s all said and done.  And that I control.”

My chance meeting with this woman greeted me with a revelation that truly shook me to my core.  Although I do not live with chronic physical pain, I do live with chronic emotional agony, that haunts me from my past.

Dreams when I’m sleeping often leave me shaking, terrified, and restless.  
They identify as a horror film replaying in my mind as my body tries to sleep.  Vivid recreations of hands on me and lashes carried out that I did not deserve, yet was made to believe that I did play out.  There are times I wake up in the morning depleted never wanting to fall into “Dreamland” again for fear of what nightmare may await me.  So in my waking hours, it seems fitting to give myself what I think I deserve to be punished for.  Yes, I inflict pain on myself, much like the burning of the tattoo gun, I try to engrave on my being a picture of something that can make sense of it all.  A pain, that I, in fact, can control.

But why do we do this to ourselves?

 

  • We cut our own flesh with a razor blade
  • Force a finger down our throats to vomit up the food we just ate
  • We drink too much
  • Take drugs
  • We lie, steal, and cheat
  • Spend money we don’t have
  • We smoke
  • Starve our bodies of food in fear we are fat
  • We blow up in anger when a trigger point is pushed
  • Commit adultery
  • We run ourselves ragged trying to prove that we are in fact good enough

 

We are broken inside so the immediate response is to inflict on our bodies and minds, the pain we think we can control.  

In my personal journey, I know this coping mechanism all too well.  It is hard to give myself love and grace when I fail daily because, in the past, the pain was given when I “messed up.” It feels all too ordinary to punch myself in the face, instead of accepting that as a human I will fail, and God loves me NO MATTER WHAT.  He doesn’t desire pain for me, all he wants is me.

All God wants is all of us, encompassing our turmoil and the spinning thoughts of failure that blare through our hearts and minds.  As a matter of fact, He actually tells us that He will take those failures and pain from us and turn it into Gold.  He will release the burden of it all, and allow us to transform into the monarch that we were predestined to become, what He designed in His image is ours for the taking. But we have accepted His healing principle into our hearts, memories, and inner child.  

Broken, bleeding, depleted, drugged, drunk, too fat, too skinny, He doesn’t care.  He says in His Word that He has written our names in the palm of His hand and calls us His.  

God screams that He wants our pain, and He will control it.  All He wants for us is to accept His grace, love, and forgiveness.  If we are able to wrap our minds around that fact we will be able to stretch our butterfly wings out and fly as far into the sunset that we dream of.  

For, in inflicting a self-deprecating way of dealing with our demons, we push the love of Jesus further and further away, as the enemy perpetuates our painful memories, and tries to belittle our self-worth.  If we hurt our bodies and minds, due to past trauma, then the serpent wins and God’s love is left at the back door.

Fight the good fight, accept love, and give the pain you cannot control to our God who begs us to release it all into the black of night, for He is willing to take it on so we don’t have to.  That my friends is the gift of true and unconditional love.

//

 

 

 

 

Sweep me Up

It started with a twinge of a memory. Perhaps something I saw on TV, on Facebook or a snippet of a flashback of my life. Subtle at first, like a swell of soft emotion beginning to wage its war inside my brain. But then, like a fury fast and strong it slowly yet swiftly overtook my every waking moment.

The feel of a long satisfying drawl of a sip of a delicate red wine slithering its way down my throat into my bloodstream was all I could think about. It overtook me that quickly, with that much force.

Apparently, I forgot. The wreckage such an interaction had on my life only months prior.

The life I had forgotten to live, the complete and total hell my life had become because of that very feeling I was craving now. The indulgence that I had given in to that nearly destroyed me and took me far far away. From all that I loved and all that ever loved me.

I found myself only remembering the fun I had with my so called “friend.” The escape from the rigors of life and the glory I mistook it for.

I couldn’t stop the pounding of my brain and the fight that was being waged against me. All the strength I had mustered over the past 102 days was lost, gone and impossible to find. All I wanted was one glass.

One warm satiating seamless glass of red potion to call my own.

I punished myself wondering how I let my drinking get so out of control to begin with. I mean, dang, I am a strong girl. Always have been. I’ve never been one for defeat, so where did it begin? Did I take Caleb going to college that hard? Or was it the culmination of a hard life lived, fought, and finally letting it defeat me? Why couldn’t I have risen above it all and never found myself at the bottom of the bottle. Ending in being admitted to Rogers Memorial Hospital that warm June evening months ago? How did it become this? Where I can’t even have that one glass of red wine that calls my name inside my brain like a dripping faucet I can’t shut off.

Drip, drip, drip.

Drink, drink, drink.

I seem to have forgotten how it overtook every aspect of my life. My ability to laugh with friends, enjoy serving my church as much as I do, and writing away my days without the aid of alcohol. I must have misplaced my memory of the wrecking ball of ethanol making me an emotional mess unable to complete a sentence without tears. The feeling of waking up in a pool of sweat at three am because the poison was fighting its way out of my blood like a fury that had to find a way out.

Drip, drip, drip.

Drink, drink, drink.

My memory must have faded out the part where I had to quit my life just to find my way back again, where I had to sweep myself up into the majesty of staring completely and utterly over. Three months of rediscovering what it was like to take it all in with a clear and beautiful mind. I may have lost my gift of writing words during that time, but I regained all that God has intended for me to be.

I saw the bottom of a glass of wine tonight, I lost the wage, but won the perspective I needed to gain. Why did I forget? Apparently I needed to be reminded of all the risks that go with giving in to such.

Clarity. Stumbling gave me this. As crystal as the sea as crisp as the fall air. I want to love, live and see the pride in all of your eyes as you take in the brilliance of my clear eyes as I tell you I’m sober.

I never want to lose that, even when I lose at winning.

So this is where I beg God to sweep me up into His living and forgiving arms. Where I ask Him to give me the courage to once again overcome the most impossible of odds.

I c

hose to begin tomorrow at the top of 103 days not at the feet of my demons that call me back to the bottle. For one slip never made us invisible in God’s eyes before why should it now? That is what the bottle of red wine would want me to believe, that I’m lost again and I should stay that way. I know that isn’t so, and in that I grasp Grace’s hand and dust myself off and know my fortune is in my God not lost in the fall.

Untitled as of 7/2/17

Copyright: Ami Beth Cross 2017

 

Chapter One: The End

March 2017

A storm is coming as I look up and see the vast dark expanse of the eternity of the sky.  I can see it coming for me as rabid dogs chase the intruder.

The wind blows through my hair with her anger, disappointment, and judgment.  Lightning strikes from beyond the dark black clouds that haunt me as I reach for my solid clear liquid glass by my side.  

After a long drag of my poison of choice, I see it again.

Flash.

Rolling booms shake me to my core.  The entire dark backyard turns into the Fourth of July in an instant.  My eyes are blinded as my destiny plays out her ritual play in front of my chilled being.  Early Spring’s warmth takes over my core as the once gentle breeze turns suddenly into the feel of a soft winter’s blinding snow storm.  Not freezing, but on the precipice of an ice storm that no one could survive.

Fleeting sensations overcome me as my body floats from me with the storm.  The sky screams, the heavens quake and as I see it, I’m not sure if I’m deeply sad, or somewhat relieved.  No matter my feelings, I watch.  In horror and awe, as I die.

Opening my eyes I see the constant flashes of light filled with sadness and the fear of the crackling sound in the sky.   Followed by an antagonistic taunt of reality play out in the form of a dark musical on a grand stage.  I breathe in,  and out, back into the hollows of my being.  Not sure if I’m relieved or grieved that everything is still working, blood running through my veins, sound permeates my being, the scent an early cleansing of the earth takes over as I grip my glass tighter.  

The night’s sky, beauty turns back looking at me, she lifts her hand and urges me on.  To worship the sin I can’t seem to free myself of.  

The inequity that I alone cannot find the courage to beat continues to haunt me. After every obstacle I’ve had to curve my body to avoid, this is the one I can’t  seem to get far away from before it beckons me back into her warm false embrace; even after I saw it.

Clear as day, the sky paints a future for me, if I continue on this path I will die for sure.

Lifting myself off of the concrete I scream out, “God let me give you my life!”

Flowing through me with a fervency like no other I shiver at the very presence of the Creator I so devoutly believe in.  I scream in the presence of an insidious power that I somehow feel as if I can’t win against.  Winning is what I do, expect this.  My mind follows a dark angel who has eyes of death, pale skin, and peeling realism that rips at the flesh falling to the ground as she walks.  Darkness calls, I answer and I take another. Then another, not caring about the vision I just witnessed.

Not one bit…