Friday, April 17, 2015

When Worry is Your Drug of Choice

I stumble into worry the way an alcoholic stumbles into a bar after a long day spent trying to keep it all together.

"I'm just here for a few minutes," I stammer ... but before I know it I've spent the entire night drinking cocktails of what ifs and mights and maybes. I leave drunk on fear, and I wallow in the certainty of death ... before waking up in the morning and realizing I've done it all over again: I've died more times than I've lived this week, and yet I'm still breathing.

It's a waste. A waste of time, a waste of breath, a waste of energy.

A waste.

And is that how I want to summarize my life?

Wasted, drunk on fear. Wallowed in and swallowed by worry.

There is a beckoning of Grace nodded in my direction each morning as I walk in the shame of another binge, a gift from Heaven waiting to be received.

And I? I eye it wearily and mistake the offerings of grace for that of disappointment and anger, wonder if I'm still so drunk that I can't even determine between the two.

When will I live like I am living instead of like I am already half-way dead?

You asked who of us by worrying could add a single second to our lives. I realize the simplicity of this truth. And I also realize something more that was written in between the lines.

Who of us by worrying could erase seconds of our lives

moments that could be spent smelling the sweetness of a preschooler's hair

or the warmth of the sun shining boldly through the cold of March winds

the embrace of strong arms around my waist

and the faint smell of winter melting into spring just outside my window.

If worrying empties today of its strength

then I want to empty my heart of worry.

I want to fast from fears, forget even taking one sip of the drink that pulls me under.

I won't swallow it any longer

because I won't allow it to swallow me whole.

In the watering holes of my mind

I empty my bottles of fear

and I drink of the grace

You've poured for me instead.

Monday, March 23, 2015

New Growth

I wait.

For winter to melt away into spring.

Hearts to heal.

Prayers to be answered.

For an invitation to a faraway place that holds more and more of my heart every day.

And for my hair to return to its former glory.

The last one, it seems silly, really. When I think about it within the frame of all of glory and the every day, amid all of the need and all of the hurt, amid all of the joy and all of the laughter, I think, "really?"

Really, am I really and honestly waiting for something so small and tiny and inconsequential as my hair to regrow and return to its shiny, healthy mess of locks?

Late last summer I noticed that my normally thick hair was thinning out quite a bit. My husband thought I was just more tuned into it, but really my hair was actually falling out more. Probably it was a perfect storm of stress mixed with some heartache and a flaring autoimmune issue that caused my tresses to wilt like leaves falling from autumn trees. By the time the trees were shedding their leaves, I honestly wondered if at some point I might just go completely bald. I sympathized with the trees that lost all their vibrant glory before the others.

By the time snow started dusting the ground, I was feeling like I'd recovered quite a bit from the heartache of our "failed" adoption and the implementation of breathing and moving and doing the two in conjunction while praying seemed to douse the fires of flares and stress enough to give not only my mind and heart but also my hair a break.

In this new year, we have known great joy, and that joy has been a salve over the scars of the past few years. And that joy has been founded now in the wait of bringing two girls home forever into our family.

I marvel that joy has been found in the hard, in the long wait of

winter and healing and prayers prayed passionately at all hours of day and night and invitations being carefully crafted and in my very own locks of hair.

In the wait there has been joy

and there has been new growth

in days lengthening, sun stretching longer across the hours and horizons.

There has been faith strengthened and elongated,

hearts mended stronger

soft whisper-prayers held, heard,

heart strings strengthened.

And because He knows every hair on my head and nothing is too small or meek to escape His tender care, too, in the wait there has been new growth in the form of tiny whisps of baby hairs stretching longer and longer and longer ...