Searching

Poetry and other random thoughts from a wandering mind and a searching heart!


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Authenticity


Tears are running down my cheeks
Heart is broken
No words to speak
Stretched myself to honor a friend
Aware the night held potential for pain
I was not surprised when the moment came
I took the steps to protect my heart
Refusing to pretend, to play a part
Now I am the villain
How can that be?
They abuse me and I am to blame
But I will stand my ground and I will not be shamed
I cannot play this nonsensical game.
Love me or leave me
But don’t pretend
I don’t need your fake gestures
I need real friends.

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I Don’t say “I Love You”


I don’t say the words “I love you”
I’d rather let my life show you
Rather give you the respect you deserve
Than speak the words and offer the hope
And let you find that it was an unforgivable joke
Too often I trusted the things that were said
Only to find no reality there
Words thrown about with such great ease
But lacking in meaning or acts or deeds
They say I’m too serious, too intense
But words have meaning where I exist
So I choose my words carefully
Let my actions speak
Try not to make promises I cannot keep
Friendship is a precious treasure
Love a sacred bond
Hearts were made for tender care
Not to be trampled upon
So I do not take it lightly
This offering of my love
I just do not say the words “I love you”
I live my life to show you!


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Someone Prayed for Me


When God answers prayers I did not pray
Someone prayed for me
When the despair I cannot seem to escape
Suddenly disappears
Someone prayed for me
When everything is dark and I cannot find my way
Then the light shines bright and the darkness goes away
Someone prayed for me
When I think there’s no hope and I’m about to give up
And peace creeps in like a welcome friend
Someone prayed for me
When the pain is so deep and never goes away
But I find joy in my unstructured day
Someone prayed for me
When I have lost my ability to speak with my God
The words won’t come and the desire is gone
And I find myself smiling, the dark clouds gone
Someone prayed for me.

Too many times in my life I have found myself without words to pray, bogged down in darkness that seemed it would never go away. Then one day I would realize the fog had lifted, my motivation had returned and I felt peace again. The change comes so gradually that I am unaware that it has happened. There comes a moment of revelation when I know that God has brought about a change in my mind, my heart, my soul…and I know it is answers to prayers I did not pray. It is then I know that someone or maybe several someone’s have prayed for me. Whoever you are, wherever you are, my profound thanks for those prayers. Our God is amazing and those moments when he reveals to me that He has done what I could not imagine always make me smile with delight.


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When joy and sorrow collide.


I don’t’ remember another time in my life when extreme joy and profound sadness occupied my heart and soul simultaneously with such intensity.  I have known my share of grief in life.  My first experience with the death of someone I cared about came in my teens.  As the years have passed and I have lost other people in my life to death, I find that grief seems to multiply and that each new reason to grieve seems to resurrect all the others.

This time my grief is because I lost a friend, someone very dear to me. But death did not claim this friend.  The relationship ended for the reason many relationships end, the evil one, Satan, found a way to use his lies to destroy what was once a loving, caring, fun friendship. Because we were not only friends, but sisters in Christ, I believed this one would last forever.  The friendship had survived so many ups and downs across better than a decade and a half.  The pain I feel has no words I know how to express and my heart is broken. Right now it feels like it will hurt forever.

At the same time I approach a new freedom, a dream come true, a totally new adventure.  I will retire at the end of this year and I am filled with such joy, such peace, such hope.  I count down the days and as the time gets closer my excitement grows.  I find myself giddy over the prospect of no longer having to work.

If all of that were not enough I am experiencing God’s transforming power in ways that are filling me with awe.  I feel God’s presence and power working in me, guiding, providing.  I truly believe that my best years are yet to come.  I know that he has a purpose and a plan for my life and I wait with great anticipation to discover what it is.

There are moments when my heart is filled with joy and wonder.  In those moments I cannot keep from smiling and my eyes shine bright with the excitement I feel.  There are other moments when my heart is heavy with grief and sorrow.  At those times I cannot keep the tears from falling and it feels like my heart will never be able to withstand the depth of this pain.  But what has left me in awe of this God, this creator of mine, is that there are moments when my heart holds both in equal measure, when I feel both the depth of sorrow and the height of joy and I cannot figure out whether to laugh or cry. I do not understand how that can happen but it leaves me in awe of the one who created me.  I know that both of those emotions are real.  I know that he catches every tear I cry.  I know that he already knows what the future holds and I know He is in control.

So I embrace the pain as I embrace the joy. I give thanks for all He is doing in my world and I face the future with hope. For the first time in my life the past is not a chain and the future looks bright. But I still miss my friend.

joy and sorrow


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The pain that won’t end


When you can’t move forward
And you can’t go back
When you are stuck in the middle
When you are off the track
When nothing feels right
When the tears freely flow
When you can’t get a breath
Cause the pains so intense
When there is no way to fix it
No direction to go
When you guard your words
When you try so hard
But your silence speaks
And the hopes all gone
When you pray and you pray
But don’t find the answers you seek
When you’d rather die
Than cause them pain

But look, oh look…
You did it again.


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Vitamins for the soul.


A friend texted me on Friday to see if I wanted to meet for coffee. She only had an hour to spare but I readily agreed to meet her. We ordered our coffee and found a table. We launched immediately into talking, filling the hour so quickly and covering quite a few topics. Too soon it was time to part.

I had entered our time together feeling pressed and frustrated about so many things. But I left it feeling calm and renewed. After several weeks of snow, too much time spent at home alone and pressures at work that were dragging me down, it was like a breath of fresh air to get to sit down with a friend and talk.

As I got back into my car to continue my errands I realized that I was craving connection and real conversation.   Not the chatter at work, not the pleasantries that I exchange with people at church, but real conversation, sharing of life.

That thought took me back to a question that had been asked on Wednesday night at church about why people leave the church. I have so often talked to people who say “I don’t feel connected.” That set the gears in motion for me and I started to wonder, what is this connection we all seek? And we do all seek it.   Everyone wants to fit in, to belong, to be a part of something. Everyone wants to feel wanted, needed, special. Everyone wants connection.

I heard a report on the news this week that research was being done to try to discern why teenagers and young adults are leaving their countries to go and join terrorist groups.   It was discovered that at least in some cases, these young people had sought relationships, had tried to find a place to belong, only to meet with failure over and over. And so they go to join this cause, something they can unite around, a place where people want them, accept them, where they are part of something bigger than themselves.

That brought me back to the church question. Don’t we have something bigger than ourselves to unite around? Jesus died for each of us, sinners, bought with a price, washed in the blood….saved by grace. Why does this great truth and His extravagant love for us not pull us together and cause us to pour out lavish love on each other? Why does any member among us feel unaccepted, unloved, like they don’t belong? Why do they feel adrift and not connected?

Is it our own individual sin that causes us to feel disconnected? Is it that as a people we are too distracted, to busy, to unwilling to make commitments?   Is it that we have let ministry take the place of ministering? Is it that while we say it is all about Jesus, it is really more about us?

Do we let our backgrounds, our hurts, our slights, our perceptions and misconceptions, our passion and desire, our pride and our pain, keep us from pursuing connection, from offering connection? Do we walk by hurting people on our way to take care of that tasks that is on our to-do list, do we put up walls that keep people from coming near?

As is always the case with me, I have more questions than answers. What I know is that God created us for community. He did not create us to journey alone. He has left us so many instructions on how to treat each other, how to love each other. Will you join me today in praying that he will show us each how to love as He wishes us to and in learning to do that, find community and connection with each other?

That hour on Friday, that cup of coffee and real conversation….it was a vitamin for my soul!


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The friend who stays….


I needed you

But I would not say the words that would draw you near

Instead I built walls, walls so tall

And I tried to drive you away

I rejected your attempts to draw me out

I sat silent, alone and afraid

I wanted you to go away

I feared that if I let you in

You’d see my hurt, my shame, my sin

It was easier to push you away

Than to risk the chance you would not stay

All bound up behind my walls

Sinking downward

In a free fall

Blinded by lies and unspeakable pain

Darkness ensuing

Nothing to gain…

Finding no hope

At the end of the rope

Lost inside the walls I created

Walls built to keep me safe

But suddenly I looked to see

You sitting there, right beside me

Undaunted by my sturdy walls

You listened to my silent call

And led by love

You came along side

And assured me you were there to stay

You refused to let me push you away

And I found myself grateful you’d stayed

That you heard the words I could not say

Encouraged by your persistent love

I find the strength to try again.