Sweet smile
Beautiful heart
Stubborn mind
Gentle eyes
That grin!
How she giggles every time I scratch her head as I ready her for sleep
Or beams when someone visits
Laughing at the dog's silliness
Her sweet-tooth never failing
Determination in every hindered movement
That chair so confining, yet freeing
The wheels that move for the body that doesn’t
The frustration that must be, yet in she goes
Every. Single. Time.
Enduring Pain and Hard
tears dripping
and onward she goes
The memories so fleeting, yet oh the stories she tells
The important things never forgotten
(even if buried deep)
The hugs always ready
The hands trembling, yet reaching, reaching, reaching
Always ready to help
Always ready to do
In the moments she can’t, letting others who can
(perhaps grudgingly at times, yet still she allows)
The search for conversation
The joy over-spilling
Never unimportant
Never insignificant
It shines bright in her eyes
She may seem weak
Her strength of will is Mighty!
Her quiet faithfulness shouts
even in her whispers
Words describe, but not define
Look deep, you’ll see
She is



Being Okay With Not Okay

I spoke with a good friend recently who's struggling with Hard right now. And she mentioned something that I'd been thinking about, but hadn't put into words, so I knew exactly what she meant.

Sometimes? It's going to hurt for a good long while.

Sometimes? What's meant as encouragement doesn't help.

Sometimes? All we can do is just breathe.

Sometimes? It's okay not to be okay.

Because we're not.

When the Hard Thing comes, when the pain is overwhelming, when we barely can function, when all we can do is put one foot in front of the other and move forward, when the joy isn't coming, when the smiles seem far, it's okay not to be okay.

Now granted, we shouldn't wallow in Not Okay forever. At some point in the near-ish future, life should hopefully be coming back in our lungs and we'll be able to breathe without thinking about it. And if, months or years down the line, you're still treading water instead of swimming, then yes, friends have the duty to hold you accountable and seek to help. They should do whatever they can to shake you up and get life started again.

But until then? Your friends are just going to have to wait. They are going to have to learn to be okay with the fact that you're not okay. 

Because grief is personal. It's a process that every single person on the planet handles completely different. There's no hard and fast rules we can follow when it comes to handling Hard. It's. Just. Hard. We need to give each other grace. And mercy. And TIME. There will eventually be a point where talking about the Hard won't automatically bring the tears. There will eventually be a point where thinking about the Hard won't send a sharp pain through your insides. There will eventually be a point when the Hard will hurt less, smiles will come easier, and joy and life will begin anew.

Jason Gray's song 'Not Right Now' speaks poignantly about this very thing. {click here to listen if you care to} While researching the story behind that song, I stumbled across this article which had a paragraph that struck me:
It’s an important song for me as a Christ follower because it’s a reminder that Jesus is well acquainted with grieving and understands everything I’ve struggled with.  More importantly, he wants me to take time to grieve, and there is open permission to not be okay. Jesus doesn’t spout off platitudes in an effort to put a band-aid on a person’s pain. Jesus WEPT.
Jesus is well acquainted with grieving.

Let that sink in for a bit. He knows. He understands. He's felt the same.

We know this. As faithful believers, we have (hopefully) read Redemption's Story and we know the passages about Jesus on the cross. We know He died for us. We know He was left alone by the Father. We know He felt pain. We know His heart hurt. WE KNOW.

But do we really?

Do I really?

To be truthful, I forget. I get involved in life, and when the Hard comes, I forget that He knows. But oh my friend, He does! He truly does. That moment when He chose to keep going, even knowing the grief and pain to come, and He chose it again and again and again, oh how my heart sings when I remember that. The amazing thing is He keeps choosing it! If you think about it, Jesus had umpteen different moments when He could have chosen a different path. But He didn't. Because He knew we needed a Savior. And particularly we needed a Savior Who would understand. Who would experience all we do, plus more and beyond, so that we could find comfort there. And rest.

So in those moments when you're Not Okay.....it's okay. Cling to Jesus. Rest in His Presence. And trust that He has big enough shoulders to handle our questions, our doubts, our fears, our raging, our pain. Give it all to Him! He can handle it. In fact, I believe that He wants it. He wants us to trust Him with it. He wants us to trust Him with ourselves. He wants communication and communion with me. And with you.


Intimacy means there's no part of your life that He doesn't know and isn't a part of. So that anger you're feeling? That doubt? That fear? That frustration? That I-don't-know-what-to-do? That grief? That loss? He wants to know it. In fact....He already does. He just wants to hear it directly from us. Because when we can share it with Him, then we begin to heal. Just a smidge.

So don't put a time limit on your Not Okay. Just accept it for the moment. Be okay with Not Okay! And someday? You'll look up and realize that Okay is here again.

And it will be glorious.



Do you ever feel unknowable?
deep spaces inside
emotions a tangle
craziness circling
      (ready to dive in for the kill)
heart fears shouting
chaos everywhere
Unable to even explain in your own mind
Searching for Known
but this world doesn't carry it
And then...
a gentle knocking
a quiet whisper
all you have to do is...
Encircled there, embracing Light
all the dark feels drenched in warmth
deep means Strength
feelings are Conquerable
crazy finds Balance
heart at Rest
chaos is Calmed
and there
oh yes, there!



a Curious Inbetween

There's a Curious Inbetween where I stand on a precipice
Behind is a mountaintop, bold and glorious
Below is a valley, desolate and gray
time spent both places has been filled with Hard and Wonder
yet both are transient
(for what is time really?)
So here am I, a whole world of curious
wanting so badly to stick out my foot and calmly move forward
fear? doubt? a peculiar mix of emotion even I can't explain holds me bound
Love knocking, shouting
Friends encouraging, reaching
Secure and Safe are holds that must be broken
new words
new steps
new life
heart wildly beating
squeezed with paralyzing excitement and insecurity
This stationary bicycle life is deemed un-enough
no thought
no plan
just spindiddly words that gather
I fling out the hazy possibilities
in the Quiet
in the Waiting
(for no shouting fanfare happens here)
fall where they may
I am left with Hope
(sometimes the Curious Inbetween is precisely where He needs me)
HOPE, though small, glows bright
Ever Onward


{I recently challenged myself to see beyond the poetry I've always loved and written. Here's one of my first efforts. Do let me know what you think? It took a bit of brave to share.}



At that moment
                                  (that most unexpected moment)

when all the world was seemingly asleep
                                                                     (except me)

the phone rang
                                  ( :: missed call :: )

a message was left
                                      ( :: voicemail :: )

my heart sprang up with delight
                                                      (quickly dialing and .... *smile*)

and for just a few minutes
                                                 (a happy few minutes)

the sun was shining bright even in the dark