I used to be

Sometimes the heart just needs to bleed out words. And so I did, tonight.

Worse things fall like snowflakes;

dozens of them, like crystallized art descending down a stanza made of midnight

and moon, each one different and unique, landing softly on exposed flesh.

Cold kisses imbue reality into my bones;

like a tattoo, almost.

A blizzard upon and among me, wrapping me, delicately.

The softness of each shock, twitch, and tingle takes my breath

away; into a place where fears echo back to ears dripping

whispers;

promising whispers, sharing cruel words of never, not soon, not any time again.

I feel that;

the naked honesty that relief does not wait around the corner, that tomorrow does not

bring brighter days, and most of all that the beginning of the end only marks the turn of the cul-de-sac.

Even if I could run, there would be nowhere to go.

I am trapped in here; a prisoner

feasting on tears and prayers, and one last plea, to please hear . . . me.

Hope changes clothes almost every hour.

A vagabond with unkempt hair and a stench that travels, that buys

into lies

because they’re easier to digest.

I don’t like this hope;

so I turn away and search for the others.

They band together, form a stalwart fleet of macedon and cottony mountain.

Racing toward them, my knees quake and shoulder blades burn, but I beg my soul

to overtake my body;

bring me

breathless and weeping to the feet of Salvation and Grace;

so that I might rest, if only to brought to the End of the world, where my body is finally

stripped away and I emerge; the real me; the girl

who laughs with her eyes and her mouth at the same time.

Who looks around

at the world and its humans, and thinks up scenarios, playing with people in her mind;

possibly taking them to her books, where she can look and wonder, make him

vulnerable,

make her complex, intertwine their worlds like a lanyard of licorice and sorghum.

But these worse things continue to fall, faster and heavier, making all that creativity feel like a snare;

a pack of singing sirens reminding of all that I used to be.

I used to be beautiful.

I used to be alluring.

I used to smile in secret, for no reason at all.

I used to be strong.

I used to be clever.

I used to listen, really listen, and that was my favorite of all.

i used to think that miracles weren’t things, but people

just being themselves; forgetting to be perfect long enough to let something in

side.

Now I am absorbed with myself. I can’t

think while my head screams, while fingers reach up behind me and poke my ribs, startling

me when I only want to live.

I want to live!

A living nightmare is all I find, and this takes a toll

on everyone.

It seems to me all that’s left is to decide:

I can be startled and afraid, acknowledge each and every limitation,

Or . . .

I can survive, like this;

live one more day and see what happens.

There’s this saying: “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

Call me contumacious, but I’ve always thought that whatever doesn’t kill you

makes

you

harder.

Sugar coating life is all well and good until it rains, and the gutters flood with sweet, filthy waste.

The truth is,

the heart’s response to pain and misery is to clam and close, to pull the veil down

and swing the shield around.

.

.

.

I’ve never liked shields.

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18 thoughts on “I used to be

  1. Oh how I loved your illustration of hope, sometimes a bright, shining beacon of light, sometimes only as bright as the light shining out of a little key hole in what seems like the expanse of a wide-open desert. But when I read the “I used to be’s” my heart simply broke. Even writing this I am in tears, because oh how I wish you could know with everything in you that you are still each of those things: beautiful, radiant, strong, clever, intelligent, caring, and so much more. I can imagine how He longs to whisper these words over you during this time, that He has not stopped delighting in you, rejoicing over Cara Olsen with singing, because she is His precious girl. This is my prayer for you this week, my sweet friend. I love you so much and know that this too shall pass… in His sometimes confusing and frustrating, but always perfect, timing! xoxo

    • I hear Him, Amanda, I do . . . And I feel His presence sometimes, too; a sense of courage or hope or optimism that I know did not abound from my own efforts. In His eyes I remain that same girl I have always been. Whether beaten or flourishing I am His child. But that does not change the fact that life has trampled me, that each day I wake, I must make a decision to hope for the best, or succumb to despair. I trust Him. I trust that He is working things out for the Good of those who love Him. He never promised it wouldn’t be painful, though.
      I take solace in the man who was Job; a righteous, upstanding man who had wreckage and anguish brought upon him and was found to be pure in heart. He had no qualms about directing his confusion, hurt, anger, and despondency at God. Neither do I. “Oh Lord, here me as I pray; pay attention to my groaning, my king and my God. For I will never pray to anyone but you.” Psalm 5:1-2. I can only hope the same fate awaits me: a lifting of this curse, and the restoration of my life.

      I love you, dear friend.

    • Chronic illness of any kind is one of the hardest pills to swallow. It changes you, and the fight for your soul is moment by moment. God is my peace, and I pray that He brings healing on me in His perfect way and timing.

      Hope you’re well, Kim.

  2. Cara

    This is such a raw and honest portal into your weary soul! As a mother, friend and sister in Him, my heart breaks at the depth of your suffering. How I wish I could unload some of your burden onto my shoulders and share the heavy weight. I truly believe your health WILL be renewed and He WILL give you rest! I DO believe in miracles; not because I have an unwavering faith when faced with my own trials, but because my loved ones in Him have faith for me and lift me up when I can’t get up on my own.

    I will continue to lift you up and ask my brothers and sisters in Him to join our battle. “James 5:14-15 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up.” I pray you draw strength from your own poetic words and from the arms of the ones who help carry your burden. You may be broken, but you are still beautiful, strong, alluring, cleaver and so many more wonderful things! :)

  3. I used to be all these too and now I try my best to reclaim them one day at the time. I told my wife, ” I wish we chose a different road where life is simpler yet happier. A life where we can enjoy a day without being stressed with the demands of the world.” today, I am reminded that It is possible to gain back those reasons that made us smile just because our hearts felt so. Happy Thanksgiving.

  4. wow! I felt this very deeply, it is somehow entwined with some of the stuff I’ve been writing about recently. At any rate happy to have found it, your words weave some wonderful images and the emotion is unmistakable.

    • Thank you for stopping by! It always pleases me to know that someone relates; nothing more human than that. I thank you for the accolades, too, and look forward to finding my way toward your blog.

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