Shamelessly, I haven’t written in over ten months. Blindly walking through a bliss that has followed me through the past sunup to sundown twenty four hour days of my life, my words have hidden up inside me like a treasure I was afraid to show to the world. Kind of like spring refusing to surface herself to the barren land, my gift has stayed on hiatus. Why? Oh, why?
In times of lament, my power has been in my words. Darkness bleeds from me and letters form sentences and struggle dances into the abyss. Powerful, dark, intrinsic beads of life would flow from my essence, finding their way onto paper and flooding into the fight I would happen to be battling. Yet, the past almost year, I’ve been silent from the world and found myself on the other side, truly in the sun basking warmth of the sun.
My muscles swelled from the fight of it all and my body caved into the goodness of a rest it had been brewing for forty-three years. A season of contentment that quite frankly I deserve. Overwhelmingly, I welcomed her in, took care of her and danced the dance of acceptance as I encountered her. But how do I reside with such after four decades of struggle and relentless pain? I took heritage in a season of time without my muse of sorrow, a sonnet trapped in a river that wasn’t chasing the storm, one that was flowing toward the sea. Hoping for home, dreaming of sunshine and flowing into goodness. That is where I am, soaking up a life of smiles and a breeze in my hair that is warm and relentlessly faithful.
For, how do we reside in the quiet, when all we’ve ever known is noise? How do we quiet the questions that there has to be a barren time coming, a cracked way at life that has to beacon a desert because that is simply all we’ve known.
The times of peace that have overtaken me have left me with a smile placated on my lips and a hug so warm you would want it on you for forever. I sit here with a grin and a love so big you can barely imagine it if you’ve read my work. My words are usually heartbreaking and tainted with a loss so subtle yet powerful you cry at the mention of such.
I’ve been silent because I’m finally free and that in itself is heartbreaking.
Addiction, depression, anxiety, past trauma, guilt and a rampage had a deep home in me in the embedded places that should be kept for peace that only God can give. Yet, I have hung onto it like the only casing I knew of life. I didn’t know how to live in contentment. It’s like I almost had to learn how to breathe again, walk forward, and see the orange and pink skyline that tells us it’s a brand new day! When all you know is night, how do you accept dawn and welcome her warmth like the birds sing in praise to?
Songs have cascaded in my mind like, ‘I can’t write when I’m happy’. ‘My gift is gone.’ ‘At least I had it at one time.’ All these statements have filtered in my brain as I’ve wasted many hours not writing while I have resided in the gorgeous foundation of a bliss that God says I should claim in me like the life He sacrificed for me. Today while visiting some of my blog posts from last year, by far the most difficult 365 days I’ve ever lived, it hit me. I let my healing potion fill me up in the form of joyful ache, overwhelming cascades of syllables of a question, for why in times of pure bliss do they sit by the wayside?
In the times of joy, we need to find a way to shout it harder and faster than in the times we cry out. We need to bleed it from our skin as if we had no more life to give. For that is the true testimony of what God really does. He turns our darkness into light, our sorrow into joy and the pitfalls of life into a life raft that gets us to the other side.
Through the shadows and ultimate breakdown of my life I have a story to tell. Brilliance fought for me and God won a fight that I couldn’t do on my own. Now, I chose to shout from the mountain tops even more in times of triumph than in times of torture. I couldn’t earn it, I didn’t do anything special, I simply relented. And in that, He changed me, turned my torrent into something spectacle that until now I haven’t been able to write about. I am here, alive and brilliantly displayed for the world to see because God didn’t give up on me. No matter how hard I tried to destroy myself, He came after me, chased me down and did away with the grief I had defined as my life.
I see it, I don’t deserve it but grace doesn’t work like that, it seeks you out and finds you at your lowest to embark on a passage of truth and a voyage of greatness you have no idea exists in your life. That’s where I’m at friends, and the vision from this side deserves more of my words than all of the wreckage my life has produced ever did.
Today, I find a reckless abandon in happiness, not sorrow, in joy, not grief, in love not anger.
I have weathered a ravaging storm and found myself on the side of peace after a life filled with a reckless kind of jolting agony that Satan loves for me to live in. I found the joy and now I will shout it from the mountaintops. To speak the life Jesus has given me not just my cries, not only in my torment but to yell from my soul the gift of peace He has given me. He has gifted me the ability to tear down the barriers that held me back from fulfilling my grandest destiny.
As an author who lost her words because she was afraid of joy, take it from me, you have more to shout to the world in your times of praise to God after the storm than anything your defeat speaks to you.
My once Reckless abandon of Joy.
Isn’t that what the fight is for, and isn’t that what the final chapter should write? Yes, resoundingly, and powerfully, yes, that is what this season of my epilogue should say.