The Parable of the Parrot

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I am about to share with you something that will probably shock you to your core.  Words that have been spoken to me since I can recall until now are that I, in fact, talk too much.  I know, it is a major confession.  Yet, in the midst of a really great church service today, Pastor Kevin spoke on what I seem to excel at…words.  A power exists within the linguistic ability to build up or destroy.  Our inner moral code is formulated with what comes out of our mouths and what can be detrimental the words we tell ourselves that believe we truly are.

Absorbing every word of our beloved pastor had to share on the power of words I both felt great appreciation for my gift, yet a deep burden.  I have both the gift of spoken and written word…what a responsibility!  My heartbeat slowed, my air flow swallowed as I gasped in the great knowledge of what God has called for me in this life.  Like a sword that is in your hands and you can either lift up or chastise.  You have that much power.  Yet, we all do.  The wordsmith isn’t the only one held accountable to such a duty.  We all are.

I almost didn’t go to church today.  After battling on Saturday a day of depression that I haven’t had to face in a while, the kind where I could barely get myself out of bed.  Saturday, the only thing I wanted to do was sleep, find some kind of peace in nonexistence.  Faces danced in my mind of my children, my blessings, my God who has always been faithful, and my husband, my dear wonderful blessing of a husband who loves me so…and even so…I wanted to disappear.  An imbalance in the brain, circumstantial, environmental, abusive past, all things prelude to such an illness.  The words of others telling me I’m weak to not trust God for healing blared in my silence as I tried to do anything but sleep.  In that moment, that precipice of time, His hand reached down and caressed my hair like my mom used to do when I was sick.   He said it wasn’t my faith in His ability to heal me that was lacking, it was my trust in Him that He hasn’t healed me is what I needed to cling to. He gave me a vision of why I’m where I am.  Sometimes we aren’t healed.  People die of diseases that they don’t deserve, and more so, they live with illness’s that holds them back from the better part of themselves because of a purpose.  God told me my purpose was clear.  And it is my words.

I drifted off to sleep, thankfully.  My dreamland brought me to a place where I was speaking in front of a group of young women.  All suffering from…depression.  A door opened and I walked through it, even though in my dream I could barely keep my head up, my eyes open and my body afloat.  What I saw were sixty, maybe eighty eyes on me begging for hope, for an answer.  For enlightenment.  Digging deep into my life experience, pain, torture, lack of want to go on, I walked on the stage and told my story.

Tears fell.

Knees buckled.

Women’s lives were somehow touched.  Because of my pain, not my immediate healing.  My journey through the perils of grief, abandonment, abuse, loss, addiction, fear, love, joy, birth, re birth, loss, loss, loss lives were forever touched….I woke up with a gasp of air that filled me full and left me okay with not being healed today.  For healing comes in so many different forums.  Sometimes our closure to the vice that hunts us down is simply helping others who are walking in the shoes we had to navigate tough territory in.

I almost didn’t go to church today because I’m battling a big go at depression.  Somehow, I got up, dressed, put some makeup on so I wouldn’t scare anyone, and gathered my family to Journey Church.  Walking into the place where it is easy to find and experience God my husband and I ran into Pastor Kevin.  I told him, “I’m so excited about this service.”  He smiled, humbly as he always does, and placed a gentle hand on my shoulder.  In that moment I wondered if he knew if I almost didn’t come.

Words flowed, from a wordsmith to a wordsmith.  Taking notes as fast as I could process I realized that my polarity is huge when it comes to my words.  Sure, I write books, blogs, speak, but I am so very capable of the polar.

I have gossiped.  Slandered.  Cussed. Been blasphemous.  I have. Usually depending on my polarity or the reach of where I chose to hang my hat.  Folks I surround myself with, words I acquire into my vocabulary.  They can be either earth shattering beautiful, or God-forsakenly hurtful.  

Colorful and smart the parrot knows this better than any of us.  Mimicking who is dancing in front of her, she speaks the words, repeats the actions because it is all she knows.  Yet, we as followers of Christ know that we chose who we polarize ourselves to.  When we surround ourselves in darkness we speak….way more crass than we would in the light.

In the sunshine, we encourage, build up, bring peace and open the door of opportunity of God to move.

I have been the enemy’s parrot.  Speaking ill words of people who have done me wrong, spreading gossip, true or untrue, somehow giving me a high that is straight from the pit of hell.

 I have been God’s parrot.  Shouting from the mountain tops His love, promise, hope even in the face of depression, abandonment and abuse.

The takeaway and the burden of my heart this week is that when we speak kindly, even against those who we feel don’t deserve it God will shine, those around us will be blessed, and we will be at ease. No, we aren’t Jesus.  We can’t be, but we can try.  It is our calling to Fight so hard to act as He did, and strive to be the better part of us that He is in the process of formulating.

Words are monumental and in ways we are all parrots, repeating our surroundings and giving what we are given.  Chose light, love, joy, freedom, and repeat.

 Repeat.  Repeat Love.

All of Me

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Close your eyes and try hard to imagine what you were doing one year ago today.  I know it can be hard when a monumental thing may have not occurred at this time 365 days ago, but for me it did.

One year ago, I had just quit dream job, something that I had literally worked my whole life for.  Being a publicist for a national company, writing recognized magazine articles, public speaking, social media marketing, making great money,  it was everything I hoped I would become.  In that moment in time, I was living my life purpose…so I thought.

If it was so great then why would I quit this so called “dream” job you ask.  An office with a view came with a price.  A title with a grand business card was slowly stealing my soul as I reported each and every day to a boss that chose to belittle me yet praise me.  One who knew no boundaries and promised to equip me with fear yet accolades.  I just never knew which antidote I was going to receive.  He yelled, found joy in me, belittled, laughed, changed his mind, then back again, and finally pushed me too far.  For I had made a promise I was destined to keep, that I would never let a job ruin me again.

Two years prior that very occurrence came to pass.  I was loyal, obedient, and taken advantage of.  I had many chances to stand up for myself, yet, I stayed quiet and allowed the lashings to keep on coming.  My health deteriorated, my mind was dizzy with anxiety, and my self-worth demolished.  All because of a jealous and horrible boss who had it out for me in the worst of ways.  I took the bait and became her scapegoat.  Eventually, to save myself, and my family, I walked away.  I left.  Exited the building with my head held high in pursuit of my greatest dream, to become a published author.

I accomplished this goal, but my head wasn’t as upright as I wanted people to think.  I was beaten down, and the worst possible thing I could have done,  I isolated myself.  I wrote constantly, marketed my name, my purpose, sleeping little, and drinking a lot.  I mean a lot.  I clung to a numbing mechanism that took what I thought to be my demise away.  Got drunk on the good life, while the past slowly ate away at my bones making me weaker every second I continued such a life.

I ended up at Rogers Memorial Hospital because I chose to.  Dual diagnosis.  Depression and alcohol abuse.  Now that’s a tough card to read for a perfectionistic person who really wants the people around her to think she’s super great.  Humbled, I spent seven days detoxing, in counseling and meeting some amazing people who years earlier I would have dubbed as “losers.”  Titles cause pain because the back story isn’t taken into account, the seeming drug addict who is unable of quitting has a story.  I had a story.  They all had a story.  And in that our tales mingled in the midst of all the demons we were fighting.

After finding my way out of the darkest hole of my life the light started to shine again.  I published my first book February 20, 2015.  A romance novel about overcoming the most impossible of odds to find a destiny in the midsts of pain.  Sunset Vibrations, my first go at fiction was a great success, and I hadn’t touched a drink in months.  I was finding my way back, forward, and all around the turmoil,  my life had brought me thus far.  After the painful burial of my infant babies, childhood trauma, poor adult choices, I was finally choosing to cocoon myself in a wonderful sense of peace.

Four months later I published a little memoir titled, The Return to Happiness.  Accounting my experience of losing two infant baby boys within the span of eighteen months.  I never held back, shared my soul, my despair, flooded a bucket of my tears, yet eventual hope.  After I hit the icon on Amazon, iBooks, and Barnes and Nobel that says “publish” I ran into my bedroom and hid under my covers.  Terrified of all I had bleed over the pages of my book I was afraid that the people of this world who saw my big smile, and wonderful children, and husband…what would they think when they found out the truth?  That I sucked at turmoil, and I gave into methods to numb myself ; what would the world think of this imperfect girl?  An agonizing hour later my husband pulled the covers off telling me I had to come downstairs right now!

Looking at the sales analysis as an author and seeing you are in the top 100 best sellers list is a moment we all dream of.  The Return to Happiness was sitting at number sixty nine and I dropped to my knees and sobbed.  Joy, pain, exhilaration and pure gratitude flowed through each and every tear that hit the floor.  I was a best-selling author because I dared to share my darkest voyage through grief.  I had made my greatest dream come true in the midsts of vulnerability and courage of my deepest weakness and pain through loss.

Slowly, I was finding my way back to the top of the water not drowning underneath it.  In my youth, I had a fervor for God that could shake the mountains.  I praised Him wherever I went, loving and breathing the breath of salvation with every passing air.  Yet, I turned away in my mid-twenties.  That is for another blog, but indeed I said goodbye to God, I’d figure it out on my own.  I’m good.

One year ago today I took my turn at reconciling the black color of the past decade plus five of my life.  After leaving the dream job of my life I told my husband, “this time we are doing it right.  I’m not isolating myself.  I’m not drinking myself into a stupor.  We are going to church with the boys.  We are going to make this work.”

My older sons were deeply embedded in Journey Church near our home and I felt the calling to attend after not being part of a church since I was twenty-three.  

It was a Saturday night, much like tonight.  We sat towards the back and the message was about “The Prodigal Son”, a child who had left and returned after so much time and pain.   At the end, I told my husband that I need a minute.

Standing on weak legs, I found my way to the stage…alone.  

My head bowed.  I pleaded, “God, I’m back.  I want you.  All of you.  Take me back.”

I exhaled pain, regret, sin, anguish, and then inhaled…love.

Forgiveness.

Acceptance.

A home.

That was me one year ago tonight.  365 days have passed and my world has exploded in a way I could have ever imagined.  I have matured as a wife, mother, friend, author, and woman more than I knew possible.  God instantly healed me from one of my biggest nemesis’…anger.  The rage inside me dissipated that night I stood at the altar of my church.

I’ve given up vices that I thought I needed to get me through.

God has given me a renewed relationship with my mother.  Also, I’ve been able to forgive my father which I never saw possible.

The beautiful love of a couple who were called to take me into their hearts and lives acting as a surrogate mother and father came to me almost instantly after prayer for such.  Grandparents for my kids, unity for my family.

I’ve been called into a job where I serve people with debilitating pain on a daily basis and have the opportunity to bring a smile to their faces.

One year ago I came home.  After loss of a career that I thought was my everything.  But was my everything.  Because if I hadn’t left I may have not found my greater purpose, my chance at rebirth, growth and righting all the wrong that I had done and that was done to me.

God has a way of doing that.  He takes us in, no matter how far we’ve traveled away, or what may transpire in our beautiful and angry minds.  One year ago, my life changed.  My struggle continues deep into the night, to not rely on things that promise me hope yet bring me darkness.  I’m still drawn to the mystery of wanting to take control, take the wheel.  The thick liquid that numbs it all still calls my name and at times I answer it knowing of its false healing powers.  Yet, the grace that grabs my hand over and over again tells me that no matter how much I fail…no matter how much I succeed…that  I am His.  And He is Mine.

 I am running fast forward toward all the purpose He has.   For me tomorrow and all the healing He will do for my yesterday.  The all of me that He is healing and creating because of the all of me that was, and is to come.

Pieces of Glass

 

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The glass is alway half full to me, no matter the circumstance, turmoil or besiege.  Until it cracks and spills the captive juice all over the place.  Then, it is nothing but a fallen hot mess.  Who is there to pick it up, the broken glass and shards of ice that pierce my skin?  

Alone, I tried so hard to figure this out.  Sinking deeper into despair I realized that I alone cannot figure out how to keep all of the tiny broken pieces together.  The ones that exist inside of us all.

I isolated myself.  I left the land of the living.  I clung to my writing, husband, and kids.  For that’s all I really need, right?

A cold February night one year ago told me that it is indeed not true.  For in my isolation,  I found a darkness that was unparalleled to most.  For humans are simply not meant to be alone, God deemed it so in the Garden of Eden.  In fact, He gave man woman and woman man to comfort, lift up, and encourage one another.  And that great man and woman grew into an empire of humans that would co-exist until…well…now.

In my darkroom of aloneness,  I realized that I was suffering because I encased myself in a world that was existing without community.  I was lost, angry, and hurting with no one to wash my tears away.  For the first time in my life, the glass half full looked dull and empty.  I no longer cared if it broke, because in my isolation everything was shattered to the core.  

Two years ago plus some, I did this very imprisoning act to myself.  Thinking that becoming a full-time author on the brinks of greatness was enough.  Flowing toward dreams of grandeur I locked myself into a cave of creativity only to fall to my knees without communion.  For in my words, I was tormented by my own demons.  Words came, but that was all, as I was found bleakly alone.  

A stark winter’s eve almost a year ago, I was called home.  Out of isolation and into a tribe of people who I’ve come to love and adore deeper than I could have ever imagined in my backlash of anger on a life that I didn’t choose.  For we truly don’t know what we don’t know.  Through the depths of the grand moment of finding my true purpose as an author, God called me back to an even greater calling to serve a true purpose as a child of His once again. The pastor,  Kevin spoke of a prodigal son.  Pastor Jordan sang the lights dimmed so I could cry freely.  In that moment on a still frozen night, I answered the calling.  That no matter how far away I had been, how much damage I thought I had done with my hot mess of broken glass of half full liquid, God was greater, a Healer, anticipating my return.

You see, I had left God, for longer than I’d like to admit.  A decade plus some, which was enough time for two of my four children to be influenced by a life far from God.  Plenty of time for me to have seen the light again after many life experiences had left me listless.  The loss of my two infant baby boys, back .  to backYet, I still remained cold.  Angry, held off by the idea of letting go of control.  For in surrender bad things can happen to us, right?  A lack of a tight grip on our lives can lead to the most ungodly persuasions imaginable.  A road I wasn’t willing to travel again because my life had dictated to me that when I gave up my stronghold I was left with pain and invasion.  There was NO WAY I wanted to go back to the place of a small child who had no say in the turmoil that surrounded her.

Then the ice crackled and time warped into one giant explosion of love.  The sun came up through the clouds and color shunned darkness and  I had no other choice but to see what was in front of me, a beautiful Love that I once saw as a trap.  God called me home almost a year ago, through a story of a boy who left home under the most despicable of circumstances; yet he came home.  In the midst of prayers, fasting, love and fortitude I found my way back.  Having no idea the magnitude coming back to God would have on my life, I plunged in head first.  The healing that would take place, the justice it would serve to the open cunning wounds of my past has been an explosion in the sky, a beauty foretold in the pre-destined book of my life.

The people I was called to meet, them serving me, and somehow, me making them smile from time to time, has served as a deep testimony in my life.  As the anniversary of my one-year reunion with Jesus approaches all I have to say is thank you.  Thank you, God, thank you, to my family that never gave up on me, thank you church, and thank you to my new friends who have lifted me up more than you know.
Mostly, this half full girl deeply states a year later, I am 100% completely filled up after a year in your embrace of love.  Here’s to the next explosion of grace and far past the desire and predestination of God’s goodness on all of our lives.  The ride has just begun, for in the eyes of God, our glass is nothing but a great reflection of Him far into eternity if we let it be so. No matter how many times He has to put all of our pieces back together again.

The Passion of My Creator

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My wonderful readers, this is in fact, the shortest blog post I will ever publish.  I’m fully aware  I am that person who rambles on and on. I often lose people with the words that flood me like a tidal wave, yet prayerfully, am used to captivate you with even one sentence you may recall.  If you have the uncanny gift to follow a conversation with me, you deserve an award!  I say this with light humor because I feel it is important to sometimes slow down in life…To:

Not say as much.

Listen more.

Care deeply.

When I was sixteen years old, I faced an extremely intense dilemma for someone of my young life.  It consisted of a choice.  Do I leave a deeply toxic and damaging situation and run into the arms of God’s purpose for my life?  Or do I stay stuck in the barrel of the gun that was shot in my face each and every day, because as we all know eventually a bullseye can happen when we are living outside of God’s purpose?  Therefore putting ourselves in the fire of total destruction.

During my lunch hour today, in the midst of a rather stressful day at work, I sat next to a big pine tree enjoying the unseasonal warm Wisconsin weather.  Jamming out to my Spotify playlists, God brought me a memory of a poem I wrote in the throws of past turmoil.  One that propelled me to eventually chose Him, and take the risk of a lifetime, leaving severe dysfunction to heal from abuse no one should ever have to face.

I sat on the murky grass and took in the sunshine that will soon turn to a gray cold that will blanket my state for months on end, and found myself, at forty-two faced with a similar dilemma I did when I was a teenager.

What choice do I make, one that God is showing me will transpire, one of healing, peace, acceptance, and unconditional love?  Or will I stay intoxicated by a habit that I now give myself?  Sadly children who have suffered severe abuse at a young age, deliver the same level of destruction that was placed upon them as children into adulthood.  When abusive behavior was forced upon a child in the delicate formation of emotional budding the consequences can be dire.

God gave me the provision through the sun beaming down on the fall trees in all of their red and gold glory today…To…

Chose Him.

Choose Life.

Choose the Passion of My Creator.

This poem was one of the first pieces of literature that I wrote that helped give me confidence as an author.  It won awards, scholarships, and His words that flowed through me helped me cling to His love through my suffering.  It was later published in a book of a New York Times Bestseller’s collection of poetry and prose, filled with stories of overcoming odds and fulfilling…my  very own destiny!

My life has always been, during the peaks and valleys about turning to the Love that won’t be undone.  I promise you, at forty-two it will be no different than in the adolescence of a very young version of…me.

Here is my short yet deeply powerful poem I wrote in the fall of 1989, and my friends, no matter how difficult your situation may seem, follow the Passion of your Creator.

The Passion of my Creator  ~Ami George 1989
I search for security
In the essence of a risk.
Slipping into the hollow chamber of change
My hands in torment can no longer hold on.
Feeling faced with the impossible
Expectations of strength,
His blood trickles down my arm,
As I scream out,
“Declare the passion of my Creator”

My identity is captured
In the culmination of my morality,
Through the ambivalence of my existence
the journey of my poignant youth is discovered.

Perplexed as how to quench the desire
His blood flows into the tears of my wounds.
I look beyond the fears ahead
and once again
the dichotomy is reborn.

Suddenly, the blood on my hands,
And the tears proving the sorrow of life
become transparent.
I reach out to the power of Salvation
Touching, feeling, and holding the love with no pain.

His resilient hand, I cling
And His Passion is Declared Through My Life.

 

 

 

All of My Sacrifice

We find our whole world in upheaval by one singular moment in time altering the axis of our normalcy. Dealing with such situations has proven tough for me, no matter the occurrence, or for lack of better words, change totally stinks!

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Major life changes have a way of doing funny things to you.  We’ve all had to deal with the swift change of the winds as it rises the shifting tides in our life.  For some reason, the stirring up of the norm creates a strange response in the human brain.  More like a plea that sounds something like this: “Wait, slow down God, I was fine before.  I actually liked the way things were going.  I WAS COMFORTABLEWait, what, this is really going to happen…no!!!!!!

Then we find our whole world in upheaval by one singular moment in time altering the axis  of our normalcy.  Dealing with such situations has proven tough for me, no matter the occurrence, or for lack of better words, change totally stinks.

As many of my readers know, my oldest son is going into the world in three weeks.  This new journey called…college.  But the strangest thing I have to wrap my mind around is that he is going there without me.

I mean this is a crazy concept, right!?  For real, how can my child, my baby, my flesh and blood, the tiny little creature that formed inside my body and made me love more than I ever knew how to love….leave me?

I’ve spent the past year of my life trying to wrap my mind around the fact that my oldest of four babies here on earth will be flying into the next.  Even though it has seemed like miles away as I’ve processed the idea of him leaving, I’m faced with the fact that his impending departure has turned into…now.  

We all deal with the idea of major change in different ways.  Some people crumble into the fetal position and cling to the past, some turn to a new outlet of social ties to help them through and some eat too much ice cream…I’ve done all of the above plus more…

  1.  I’ve cried.  A lot.  Probably to an embarrassing degree.  When I took Caleb to NCU for an audition for a music scholarship, encompassed in the next home that he would eventually have, I couldn’t stop the cascade of tears pouring from my eyes.  I felt like I was in a relay race handing the baton off to the next leg in the chase.   
  2. I’ve rejoiced.  My son has made me more proud than I could have ever dreamed.  While this past year he has pulled away and I’ve clung to one last hug, he has shown me that he is ready to make his impact on this world.  He is capable and ready to walk out my door and into the amazing journey that awaits him.  As I’ve rejoiced in the man he has become I have to pause and know that he will take with him all that I have given him.  Even the smallest of lessons like how to not ruin your clothes by putting them in the dryer on “hot”.  I’ve smiled a lot this past year rejoicing at all he was and the magnificent, intelligent and capable creature he has become.  
  3. I’ve tried to hold on.  I’ve pushed myself on him, wanting more, begging, hoping he would give me what I needed.  But in the midst,  I was missing the lesson that people never give us all of what we want but most importantly, what we need.  People innately fail us, yet, God gives us what we need.  Yet the one last glance, one talk, one hug I longed for came to me in the simplest of forms, in sparkles of hope and rejoice, and not all from Caleb himself.  His friends blanketed themselves around me this past year.  Sharing with me tales of how my boy impacted their lives. The smile that placated their faces as they spoke of him truly showed me the love my son is giving the world.  Yet, every interaction with my boy somehow felt like a “last” until I realized that instead of goodbye, this next season in our lives as mother and son is a new hello.  It is indeed a brand new beginning of a bright change in our relationship.  I’ve done my duty, now he will do his.
  4. I’ve learned to let go.  Every time I’ve watched him leave this year I’ve imagined it being when I drop him off at college and he walks through the doors of his new exciting life. I know it sounds ridiculously dramatic, yet, it has felt all too real to me.  To have one less child at the dinner table, to not be a part of his every decision, his undertakings, successes,  and failures.  I’ll never forget one of the most tender moments I’ve ever shared with my son.  When he 10 years old, after fighting 6 years of type one diabetes we shared a very powerful moment.  He was mad.  Angry, sick and tired of needles, finger pokes, highs,  and lows.  And so was I.  He melted in my arms and told me how frustrated he was with the failure of his body.  I held him tight and proclaimed that I was really mad as well.  Then we cried together.  Probably the last time I’ve seen my son shed real salt water tears.  I wanted him to know that life isn’t always perfect and that is okay, we receive ebbs and flows, joys and sorrows and to feel them is the presence of God, for this is all He has intended for us…the challenges and the blessings.

Yet as a mother my mind has drifted to a question as my son leaves me~who, now, is going to wipe away his tears?  

Letting go is the hardest thing to do.  No matter the instance.  Saying goodbye is brutal, echoing a heartache that makes one fall to their knees begging for a remarkable pardon from the feeling of absence.  Yet I know deep in my heart that he will always be with me.  For how could he not be?  He is and always will be one of the four greatest parts of my mind, body, and soul.  That’s called being a mother, and it doesn’t cease when they graduate high school and move on to the next phase of their lives.  

On Caleb’s graduation invites,  I had captured the scripture, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11

It seemed fitting.  Yet, now I know who this scripture was really for…and that was indeed, me.  God is telling me that I will be okay, my boy is ready to fly, and I am so ready to watch him soar!  My Lord is comforting me in saying that Caleb leaving is a gift of promise not a burden of goodbye.  I’ve made mistakes and made promises I couldn’t keep.  I’ve let him down, yet I’ve given him all of me.  All of my sacrifice, my word, my lessons, my laughter, my work ethic, my mind, my servitude, my earnings, and my blood, sweat and tears.  I’ve given it all.  We love and breathe and provide everything thing for our children, and then we receive the greatest prize ever, a child walking into the world with promise, hope, and dreams of a future.  The tricky thing for me this past twelve months is finding how I will fit into this new world.  Yet God has taught me that life is a cycle of giving, nurturing, loving, teaching, losing, falling, winning, and finally letting go.

If you see me in the months to come beaming with joy and pride, or glossy eyes missing my boy know that I have done my job, and I may need a hug…

Please enjoy the song that inspired this blog post…Empires by Hillsong UNITED!

 

The Daughters and Me

Recently, I went to a Christian woman’s conference hoping to make some new friends. Little did I know I’d end up spending the weekend with some pretty amazing millennials.

13131540_1767702466809038_6790292382361851216_oThe term daughter can bring an uncertain sting to a girl who has begged and pleaded for an eternity to be loved by the hand that created her.  At the feet of their own father they cry out, “love me, see me, want me.”  But when their cries are fruitless there is a question of validity and an intense breach of trust being forged and often the opening of a lifetime wound.

Recently I attended a women’s conference called Shine in which I was so excited to go to I could barely stand it.  Then as it approached I became more and more filled with the fear that haunts us when we least expect it.  The foreboding that can hold us back from greatness.

I found myself afraid because I was going to this mega celebration…alone.

My mother always taught me that going at something alone is brave, that it builds character.  I’ve tested this theory, this life lesson. I’ve gone to a movie alone, dinner party of one, Starbucks with yours truly, simply to see if anyone would actually see me.  And guess what, never once did anyone care that I was in fact, this huge big smile sitting at a table alone.  Nope, no one cares.  Because we are all so inside ourselves our own complicated mess of complications.

And this created an inner dialogue that was so intense.  God would say to me: why do you care that you are alone?  For you have me and I created this interestingly smart woman who has all the potential in the world.

Even when I didn’t want to hear it.  He was there telling me that I was enough.  That I do not need other people to validate me because I am well…in fact a Daughter.

That may be easy to accept when the people who are supposed to validate you, don’t do their jobs.

But often times they don’t.  Our fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers can leave us unloved and dry of life-sustaining water for years upon decades.  And when that happens waiting on God to provide at a huge women’s conference where everyone going is there with a stunning woman on their arm is somewhat…daunting.

I almost didn’t go.

God asked me, “Why are you doubting?”

I paused.  And He read my heart singing:

Seek Bravery, not Fear.

But I’m scared to be alone.  I hate not being accepted.  I’m insecure even though I may seem larger than life.  I am a facade.

No~you are greater than any comparison you will conclude and I will show you as long as you believe, have faith, and go at it alone.

Yet God knowing me, truly reading that I am not the “alone” girl I had been in the child of my past I received a text from an extraordinary young woman later that day.

She said she wanted to sit with me at Shine.

Twenty-three years my junior I wasn’t sure.  My inner insecurity said,
“Don’t ruin her fun.”
“You are old.”
“You aren’t, hip, yo.”
“You aren’t good enough.”
“You should be alone because no one really loves you.”

Against my inner demons I texted back,

I’d love that.

And so I embarked on a life-changing weekend sitting with the daughters of our future, the difference makers of the days ahead.  The future mothers, friends, wives, leaders, lovers of life that are about to embark on the truth they are being called into.

I can say there is a lot to be spoken of spending time with the generation that follows you.

Looking at the youth ready to face their own opportunities I relished in the excitement their eyes reflected back at me as they shared the call they felt were on their lives.

I met amazing young woman number one who has aspirations of becoming an author and public speaker.

Inspirational strong young woman number two wants to be a midwife specializing in women experiencing miscarriage or stillbirth.

Dynamite girl number three aspires to be a worship pastor, one of the most captivating ways to meet God.  And~has a calling on her life to write her life story which involves a broken relationship with her father.

Okay, for those of you who don’t know me, get ready for some provision…

I’m a best selling author and a national public speaker who has spoken in front of thirty thousand people.

I have lost two baby boys, one at eighteen weeks gestation and one at twenty-three both due to chromosomal abnormalities.

And lastly, my oldest son leads worship, touching thousands with his passion and fervor for both music and well…God.  And I also have a horribly broken relationship with my father that guts me every day.

Wait…What?!?!

And I thought I was going to this thing by myself?!  Are we ever truly alone in this life as long as God is in charge? Resoundingly NO!  Our life story runs through and through with a beautiful symphony of a song that weaves in and out past the years of pain and conclusion.  It is beauty.  It is God.  It is a community of women.  It breaks barriers of age, judgment, and class.  Yet only if we let it.  These girls welcomed me and we soaked each other up like precious water after a hundred year drought.

We can learn a little from the youth, can’t we ladies who have lived a little life?

My weekend ended on a high.  After I left my girls I paused and decided that I needed to get a few “selfies” with my date for the weekend.  Me.

In that, I met two amazing women (a little closer in age to me this time) who had attended the conference together and then an amazing conversation took place.  I told them that I came alone. But am leaving knowing I’m never alone, that no matter the demographic or the anticipation, God gives you what you need and what is needed from you.

I told them that it doesn’t matter who I am or what I’ve done that without togetherness it doesn’t work.
I shared with them that I wrote a little book called, The Return to Happiness.

One of the girls said she knows several women who have suffered pregnancy loss and would love to connect them with a resource such as my book.

I cried out, knowing I had been alone losing my babies yet when women unite, it is always better together, stronger, and far more powerful.

I made new friends in that moment and left the weekend behind filled to the rim with love, community, and possibility.

Yet I left with the youth deeply embedded on my heart.

The daughters and I worshiped, loved, and learned from one another far from fear of lost trust, abandonment or pain.  Yet gave us more than we could have ever anticipated.  Leaving us with an overwhelming joy and praise blanketing us all, knowing that we are in fact better together.  Forever.