I have things that I want to say, stories to share, tears to dry, pains to heal but the fear … oh the fear … the fear of fear itself, the paralyzation, the numbness, the withdrawal.
It’s been 17 months since I confided in you, 17 months since I wore my heart on your sleeve, 17 months since I silenced my gift, yet again.
The gift of this healing and the penning of these words haven’t come easy. It’s been a raw and unspeakable 12-year wilderness rumble marred with raging blisters, poisonous snake bites and ill-tempered quicksand.
But you’ve been on my mind, and my heart. Over the years, you’ve snuggled so securely inside my thought life that I can’t help but think of you every night and every day. I wake up thinking of you, wondering if your pain is as deep as mine was, or perhaps, just perhaps, also like me, you’ve come to treasure the wild extravagance of your still beating heart.
I know what keeps you up at night and what brings you to utter exhaustion and hopelessness. I get it. After years of circling the same muddy trails, the ones I now know by memory, I’ve become a tried-and-true genius at making mountains out of anthills and sliding down slippery slopes into pits of rough cut stone and swampy mush.
The defiance of the wilderness isn’t familiar to just a few, it belongs to you, to me, to all of us. It eerily beckons with its complacency and ease as it taunts us into the frigid depths of its rugged grip. You’d think that we’d fight and champion ourselves into the light of growth and triumph but, no.
Instead, we cower, we shrink, we, with heads bowed and lowered form, step timidly into the passionless shadows hoping against hope that it will rid us of the pain that consumes our brokenness.
But it doesn’t.
Because it can’t.
The wilderness itself is not the ringleader. It’s not our final destination, nor is it our final authority. It only serves as viewing portals for our journey, serving up continual glimpses of purpose and grace, if we’ll just open our eyes to see!
It’s when we enter the darkness alone, without guidance, trust and patience, that the commotion and unsettling of our footsteps begin.
It’s when we dare to think that our stories aren’t effective or relevant so we hold back, unwilling to release our gifts, hoarding them instead.
It’s when we choose to stay cozy in our naked casualties, not attempting to confront and heal the secret hurts of our pasts, because, as true to our proven record of stuck-ness, we just can’t win.
So if the wilderness itself isn’t the ringleader, then who is? Would you like to answer that, or do you want me to?
I know you know this. I also know you understand my words in the fullness and emotion of every syllable I write. But you know what that means (are you ready for this?): You really aren’t alone after all.
You’ve got me, you’ve got us; we’re your sidekicks now. You’ve got our friendship and sincerity to help guide you through.
So take a moment, right here, right now, and let my nurturing reassurance sink deep into your spirit. Release the stress of having to figure everything out by yourself, release the pressure of society based perfection, release your chosen methods of self-hatred and spoken/unspoken words of contempt and slowly… gently… gracefully… lower yourself back down into the already written words of your beauty-from-ashes story.
Your Author waits with open arms.
And so do I, so do we.