dear july —
ii. we talked about our feelings about the upcoming week. and he leaned over and said — hey, it’s gonna get better. and sitting side by side, my heart felt light. and for a second, i was sure that indeed it would… get better.
ii. names were called and a bullet went through my chest – sinking deeper and deeper, causing the already scarred walls of my soul to bleed all the more.
iii. you showed me how to risk being vulnerable and to open myself up to others. now, she is a safe sister i can vent to and one whose words are so quotable i write them up for keeps.
iv. i’ll be brutally honest and say sometimes my heart spills over with fury. but somewhere, in that wee little corner so far and yet distinct whispers that tugging command… to love.
v. so many things happened. one thing over the next. thankful for someone who understands what i feel even when i don’t have the strength to form any words. when all that’s needed is to sit huddled in soft cushion chairs while everything else revolves below – and being okay with sitting by me together in silence. you catch my tears and stop them before they fall. our weakness makes each other strong.
vi. sometimes the sound of a name brings all that is buried within you out from under the surface; things you wished never erupted somehow sprung up with the sound of that name.
vii. you showed me unity as i stood there, raising our voices together; making harmonious melodies. and i look deep into the eyes of them all – each with their own unique stories. and they keep singing their fight song – proving they’re alright song. and i’ve still got a lot of fight left in me.
vi. i walked towards the front of the room. he pulled my hands towards his then pulled me in with a tight squeeze. and all i could do was let myself fall within his comfort. i will never forget his words and i will never forget the feeling of that embrace. and that night, he listened. he didn’t bother saying it’ll be okay. he knew. i know it hurts like crap, and i’m sorry. that’s all i needed.
vii. joining hands with those i love, i stand with such excitement that i can feel my heart pulsating, leaping, bounding. to be loved over and prayed over, surrounded by my favorite people fills me with such joy. if this is isn’t what it feels like to follow the Lord’s calling, i don’t know what is.
vii. i sobbed and sobbed and sobbed some more as 2am drew near and i still poured out my week to her. all my hurts and disappointments. and her words still ring to my ear – aw, i wish i had known, dear. those words – they made me melt even more.
viii. i went from shaking and sobbing to all at peace. she denounced the lies and replaced them with truth instead. i felt free, as if everything else around me had disappeared and all that mattered was her and me. what’s surprising was that even before i started to explain she looked at me straight in the eye and told me i had been looking miserable all week.
viii. the jolly ole giant was his name, and that’s all i knew him as. but then he walked by and asked how i was, to which i replied, “okay.” i am thankful for his heart, because with an eyebrow raised, he asked, “is there a way i can make that okay to great?” to which he followed with an offer to talk. so grateful for reminders that i’m not alone and that it’s okay not to be okay.
ix. tears formed in my eyes as i held my arms open, palms up. my makeup was what i was worried about, and i frantically wiped my tears away. we sang the hymns, we commissioned the team, but as she prayed the serenity prayer my heart and all that was within me began to sob inside. accept hardships as the pathway to peace…
xvi. i longed for home. emotionally beaten, physically tired. she knocked on the door and handed me a handful of mail. i opened one after the other, and when i got to hers it was as if my knees dropped to the floor. i cried into my pillow. i begged. i agonized in my misery. too tired of being tossed about in the ocean, too blind to see, and so desperate for the General.
xvii. it was a “wanna-one” and she sat across me, her pretty eyes glistening with kindness and care. she asked how my week has been – even though it was only day two. the look in her eyes meant she wouldn’t be satisfied with just a “good” or “okay.” and there again, i risked it to be vulnerable and became filled with peace.
xviii. you gave me courage. over “a cup of coffee,” we laughed and talked like ole pals about our common love of forming words into stories. as she shared her story, i was intrigued, for one of her characters sounded… like me. and so tables turned, i shared my story – amazingly alike in many ways but different all the same.
xx. you showed me how contagious and inspiring it is to live life like a river flowing of joy. to put on a huge grin, double thumbs-up. with it’s all gooooooood as your motto
xxv. out of a simple conversation drew a deep connection. this sister relates with my struggles and now we have open and honest “heart checks.” love you, babe.
xxviii. thank you for surprise guides. whose earnest text messages suddenly become something profound… though simple. somehow it only takes a simple flicker of a flame to ignite a heart again.
o God you never leave my side… your love will stand firm for all my life. height nor depth nor anything else could pull us apart, we are joined as one by your blood. and hope will rise as we are more than conquerors through the one who loved the world.