dear september // 2017

i.  the leaves fade slowly, their bloom of health slowly slipping away with each icy breath of wind. i see the skeleton of some lining the road. i am slipping away too, but life still flows through my veins.

ii.  my leg swung in a smooth motion and the ball flew high and straight. for the first time in a long time, i let my laugh truly bubble up from the inside. for the first time in a long time, my injuries and my body do not define me. for the first time in a long time, i simply enjoyed life.

iii.  we were both consumed in worship, worship and prayer. you and i, we’ve found our hiding place, you looked over at me and we exchanged a silent smile. and i knew. i knew that you would stand by me. and i will stand by you.

iv.  i glided over the ice on wings of the wind, a dam broke, and my soul soared high. waved a moment, then disappeared into the clouds.

v.  the drink was cold, but my heart was warm. i’ve found a bosom friend, a hair model, a talented musician and singer. maybe one day we’ll go flying down the trail on bikes made of wings, but until then, we’ll dance in the rain together.

vi.  sometimes the numbness seeps into my bones and my heart shudders then lies still. when all i could see in front of my eyes was pain and all i could hear was those mocking voices. voices that carried tinges of evil darkness and dripping with contamination. please don’t make me go back.

vii.  i saw that grand piano and my heart gave a leap. thank you for little reminders that You are thinking of me. to feel my fingers glide over the smooth keys is the best feeling of all.

viii.  you loved him and i was happy. the little pearls of dew crawled up the side of my shoe and seeped into my stockings as shouts and music echoed in the sunny air. i saw your perfect pass and my heart leaped with pride. you two make a great team.

ix.  you walked away. maybe you looked back, but i couldn’t see through my mist of tears. we’ll never be the same, but frankly i’m grateful, because we were born different. i’m sorry, friend, i’m sorry. but child, i’ll forever carry your burdens for you and wipe away your tears before they fall.

x.  it’s been real. yes it has, and i’m grateful for each of your laughing faces. we don’t need to think out loud, because we understand each other through a simple smile. i love you all, introverts rule.

xi.  i sat there and watched you, and a wave of pride swelled in my heart. i’m proud of you, proud to be called your sister. we played the piano together, and we will always play the piano together.

xii.  cc. friend, i miss you.

xiii.  i’ve lose the ability to cry. a tsunami wave of pain rises in my heart, and i’ve given up, but nary a tear falls. i’ve gotten too used to smiling, smiling and pretending. a tear fell later that night, as my lower body became numb and the vision blurred in front of my eyes, but still i stood strong. stood strong and played strong. thank you for the hug.

xiv.  i cried out to You to take me home, and You picked me up gently and placed me on the altar. i found healing in Your warm embrace. You took me by the hand and showed me the rainbow above the rainclouds. You taught me to look beyond, beyond and ahead.

xv.  love keeps its promises, it keeps its word. it honors what’s sacred, ’cause its vows are good. Your love’s not broken, it’s not insecure. Your love’s not selfish, You love is pure. You don’t give your heart in pieces.


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run away

the door slammed shut, the sound of finality
it was cold
rain had begun to fall
like the shadows creeping in beneath the tangle of willows
so the myriad of raindrops chased and pelted me
and i ran
but i couldn’t run fast enough
nor get away from the stinging droplets
i thought i could get away from the things i’d tried to forget
but each frantic footfall only brought me closer to the abyss
and i ran
but i couldn’t run fast enough
and each mocking face began to draw closer and closer
i thought that finally, i could find peace and freedom
but the more i tried to smile, the more the wounds seem to bleed
and i ran
but i couldn’t run fast enough
the thunder boomed and the air began to shiver
i thought that the circle of faces would help me forget and help me find strength
but it only dug up the buried missiles i thought i’d thrown away forever

i ran
but i couldn’t run fast enough.

dear august // 2017

i.  you showed me these precious souls. my little men. a towel around my drenched body and a hug to keep me warm. we purple superheroes, we run fast, we are strong. we hold the flag up high and proud. we were built for a purpose.

ii.  i play the piano with every ounce of strength in my worn fingers. maybe if i play hard enough, maybe if i play loud enough, i can quell the rising flood.

iii.  the melody unraveled me. the shadows came down and enshrouded me in darkness. i sat alone, separate from the laughing group, head throbbing and heart aching. i couldn’t find the light, yet you came and sat with me in the dark. in that moment you defined friend.

iv.  gentle moments when all the noise and excitement seem to fade away. just you and i. 

v.  we’ve met once, but seemingly lived a lifetime together. we’ll dare to be vulnerable together. and child, there’s sunshine beyond. i see it. do you see it too?

vi.  when the music fades, one touch of a deft finger sends the sound waves pulsating again. these ivory keys are my lifeline. and when my heart is too full or too empty to form the words, i remember that yes, the river flows in me. (i’d love to play at your wedding)

vii.  thank you for funny old greek philosophers from two thousand years ago. his words unknot my tangle of feelings and straighten the crooked picture frames.

viii.  ah, the words are now free from my trembling fingers. perhaps one day when i waken no more, someone will hear my whisper.

ix.  i walked down the rocky road again, heard Your voice again, spoke with a little squirrel who gazed at me out of clear glassy eyes. You showed me that the rain may be falling now. but climb the mountain, burst through the fog, and sunbeams will drench your upturned face. You showed me that ends bring beginnings, and the sun will always rise again. You love me, and i love You.

x.  it’s extravagant. it doesn’t make sense. we’ll never comprehend the way You love us. it’s unthinkable. only heaven knows just how far You’d go to say You love us.

08.24.2017

the sea calls me home
the roughened wood stabs little pinpricks into my bare feet
the saltwater beckons little tears to well in my dry eyes
the waves sing their sweetest lullaby

the world pulls me back
back into the whirlwind. the jumbled thoughts and burning carnage
back into nothingness. the night closes in, but sleep has fled. i am alone
back into pain. the blade sliced down my arm years ago, but now it slices into my heart

the sea calls me home
beyond the gray-washed horizon
above the dancing flecks of form
into the portal of light

the world pulls me back
i can’t go back, the fear makes me tremble
no blood left for me to bleed, no tears left for me to lose
the sound. the lights. the figures. alone again

the sea calls me home
but i won’t give up, no, not i

there’s a fire burning in my bones.

train tracks

i.  i hid pain behind a smile. maybe one day someone will come and peel back the layers. really see into myself. maybe then i will dare to be vulnerable.

ii.  hours turn into days. still you don’t respond. i am sorry. oh, i am so sorry. what did i do wrong? what did i do to be turned aside and rejected? why am i such a failure to you, the only one who cared in a sea of don’t-cares?

iii.  success and failure come hand-in-hand. i’m trying my best. truly, i am. but when i take one step forward, the world pulls me ten steps back. will this darkness never end?

iv.  i want only the best for you, my dear friend, but i am often inadequate. my scheduling doesn’t match up and my musical talent isn’t enough. i am sorry, i didn’t try hard enough. i wish i had the will to live to see you again, but i feel myself slipping away.

v.  the line of people, but nobody picks me. but i don’t need to be chosen, because time is running out.


The train tracks stretched farther and farther into the distant. Arnaia squinted, but couldn’t see the point where the never-ending lines disappeared into the sunset. She lifted her eyes, squinted at the sun, and drops of sunset splattered onto her upturned face.

“Arnaia, stay away from the tracks, stay away. They trap. They will kill you. They will kill you!”

“Arnaia, don’t listen to them. Come with me. Come with me, babe. Let’s follow the tracks.”

“Arnaia, no, don’t leave me. Please do not leave. Don’t leave!”

“Come. Come with me. Follow me.”

She looked behind her shoulder at the straggly trees and uneven hillocks she called home. She looked into the distance at the wayward birds singing their tuneless dirges. She couldn’t see beyond the blinding sun. But she went. One foot in front of the other, she went.

She felt free at last. The train tracks seemed to lead above the crest of the hill, beyond a blind curve, and out of sight. But her heart pitter-pattered happily and she didn’t care.

As her home became a tiny speck behind her, in the past, the darkness came down and swallowed her whole.

She was alone.


vi.  i’ve let go. i’ve given up. maybe one day i will love again. maybe one day i will breathe again. maybe one day i will live again. but not today. not today. 

vii.  lord i’m alone. help me, bring me home. i’m lost, i need You. oh God, hear my cry!

viii.  bring me into the straight and narrow way, for there i will find my true embrace. bring me back into the long-forgotten fold, for there i will find my one true purpose.

ix.  i’m too far gone, is there hope? the rain still falls, where is the sun?

x.  your arms found me in a place of suffering, exhaustion, sleeplessness, and pain. your light found me huddled in the dark corner. your voice found me inside the storm. even when i disobeyed you, followed the path that led me too far, you welcomed me back. welcomed me home. i’m not lost, i’ve been found.

 

dear july // 2017

i.  you showed me hope. little glimmers of light in the vast expanse of darkness. the storm is subsiding, life is stirring in the lifeless soul.

ii.  you showed me strength. not how much i can handle before i break, but how much i can endure after i’m broken. what doesn’t kill me will make me stronger. the river drenches my shuddering body. the tears dissolve in the cascading coolness. this is a renewing, a strengthening, a press-on-and-don’t-give-up.

iii.  you showed me music. i’ve let go of my only anchor, but the notes pull me back up.

iv.  she holds on faithfully, despite the hurt, suffering, betrayal, loss. she’s small in stature but standing taller than the tallest, looking with faith-filled eyes through the clouds. a beacon of hope. but when i’m supposed to stay strong for her, i’m not strong enough. i’m not enough. i won’t ever be enough.

v.  thank you for freedom. the walls come down for the first time, letting the tears pour down. i can’t hold them back, oh, i can’t, but i must. must hold myself together, my duty comes first. but no, i can’t look up, my head’s too heavy. those powerful words seep into my torn soul and the demons run and flee. there is no power in hell or any who can stand before the power and the presence of the great I Am.

vi.  thank you for late nights of craziness, loud laughter, enveloped in the embrace of friendship. for a moment the tendrils of love creep into my desolate soul. for a moment the sunlight splashes into the blackness. we asian-nons, we will rock the world with our mega-highs and our shapeless hair dabs.

vii.  thank you for this special friend, so beautiful, so talented. you, EM, you show me friendship. the church is empty, but our hearts are full. we fail at eye contact signals, but together we look beyond the mundane. i still remember those burned fingers, but now they throb with strength. pain is but a distant memory.

viii.  thank you for belonging. no longer the unwanted one. i’ve found my home. my people. oh i love my people.

ix.  You seemed so far away when i lay bleeding and cast away. but You held me close, close to Your side. took my pain, replaced it with joy. in my darkest moments, when i thought You had left me, You were carrying me. You and i, we soar together, together on wings like the eagle’s.

x.  i can see the light that is coming for the heart that holds on. there will be an end to these troubles. but until that day comes, still i will praise You. still i will praise You.

Guest Post: Gracie Alfors

Hi! My name is Gracie and I am 17 years old. Writing has been my passion for most of my life. I am a part time (for now) blogger and an aspiring journalist. My hope is to spread the love of Christ through my writing and bring more truthful information into the world of journalism. I blog at http://graciesfaceblog.blogspot.com/


God has given us so many wonderful things so that we may thrive on this earth before meeting Him. One of those wonderful things is friendship! Having friends is one of many essential parts in your growing relationship with God, which is why it is so important to make quality friendships and surround yourself with the right people. At times, it can be hard to discern which of our friendships are good and which are harmful. So, below are two list; one containing some traits of a godly friend and the other containing some traits of a non-godly friend.

Traits of a non-godly friend:

  • She will steer you away from you walk with the Lord.
  • She encourages you to do wrong so that you can be popular and fit in.
  • She leaves you when you fall.
  • She will squelch your growth.
  • She will abandon you in your times of need.
  • She will guide you in the ways of this world.
  • She will encourage you with worldly things.
  • She will not keep you accountable to your actions.
  • She will be dishonest.
  • She is unforgiving; she will hold a grudge.
  • She will not ask for forgiveness.
  • Despite what you may feel, she does not truly love you because she does the above things.

Traits of a godly friend:

  • She will encourage you in your walk with the Lord.
  • She encourages you to do the right thing, even when it is not the most popular or normal thing to do.
  • She will lift you up when you fall.
  • She will help you grow.
  • She will help you in your times of need.
  • She will help guide you to the ways of God.
  • She will encourage you with scripture and sound truth.
  • She will pray for you often.
  • She will ask you for prayer often.
  • She will encourage you to pray.
  • She will keep you in check.
  • She will have you keep her in check.
  • She will be honest.
  • She will trust you.
  • She will forgive you when you have wronged her.
  • She will ask for forgiveness when she has wronged you.
  • She will love you unconditionally, despite your flaws and past sins.

When choosing your friends, pray to God and ask Him to guide you to people who will encourage you in the ways of God. You will not regret it, because those friendships you form will last a lifetime.