Life seemed to move in a beautifully crafted pattern of friendly conversation and focused minds. I recalled the melodic days of sitting by the window simply gazing and wondering where life would lead. Where God would guide my steps. Even in the times I felt God crumble everything I knew, I would still wonder in prayer when I could come up for air again. When the waves would stop beating me against the rocks. When the bruises and wounds would fade to simply a memory. I can recall the moments when I sat in the corner seat by the window and letting the tears fall to the page. I could see the reflection of the memory so clearly as I walked in the familiar doors of the coffee shop I once called home. There was a sense of empowerment as I entered the room with a different gaze. I breathed in the sweet nostalgic smell of coffee and let the memories fade to reflection. Emotions laid at the feet of God. And there they shall stay. The simple reflection of how far I have come has my mind pondering what is to come. Through the miserable tears, the moments when the waves seemed too much, and to the times that my heart shattered across the floor, I realize more how God is shaping me. How all the pain moves to the moment of pure joy. Without the pain I would not have learned. Without the strife, God would not have guided me back to him. Guided me back to see him clearly before me in all his glory. When the waves seem too strong, that is when God speaks so clearly. His resounding voice saying “trust me now”.
The most intimate moments in faith I find are in the moments when words fail. When the situation comes that you cannot simply reach for your friend to pull them from the darkness. Instead you enter the darkness illuminating the light that God has placed in your heart and you search for your friend. It doesn’t mean that you can rescue them, it just means that you can be with them. I can recall the tender memories of finding a friend in the darkness. I see them, surrounded and chained by the things of this world. Their heart shattered across the floor. As the tears fill my heart, all I can do is move the light near them. Hoping they can see the illumination of the angels surrounding them. Tenderly singing hymns to calm the anxiety of the darkness. This moment will not last forever. Life will not be like this forever.
In my recent travels across Oregon I have truly come to realize your demons follow in the shadows. Without warning, they cast the darkness across your once open skies. Clouding the light from surfacing. Two years ago I would of been overwhelmed at the recognition of a past demon, but now I stare it straight in the eyes and cast it away. Life is too short to let the demons overwhelm. The reflections of memory change the farther I step away from what the world expects of me. I seek deeper into what God expects and asks of me. Every new place I travel I ask God to break my heart so I can see clearer. The dangerous prayer that has been fulfilled every time I have sought after it. There is still more to see, to learn, and to understand. As I have come upon my birthday this year I let the reflections reveal themselves so I may better understand where I have been, where I am, and where I am going. Time seems to slip from my grasp as I chase to keep it close. Time is moving rapidly where I find myself questioning where life may be leading. As each little choice I make leads me to a habit, and habit creates where my life leads. Each little decision leads to a choice, a chance, and perhaps a new beginning.
I watch time slip through my fingers and enter into the stream of life. I watch and feel the tear of relationships moving and changing. Life is moving quickly as people move in and out of my story. As death looms with a dark eye, we try to move forward from the shadows of the past and look to what is to come. To appreciate what is here. As time slips, I can only let the tears fall for a moment before the ever present of now calls for my attention. Entering a new year of life is a blessing, and I recognize the life that God has granted me to live. With all the heartaches, joys, and adventure that I have been blessed with I can only let the tears of happiness fall. Setting aside pain and looking to what is here. What is now. Something I learned in Thailand was the ability to pay attention to the now more than the past and the future. I felt that lesson slipping until the moment of turning twenty-one. Where all I could do was laugh and smile and the joy God has given me. The ever present meaning of joy. Joy. Joy is a gift. And sometimes joy has no words.
The moment when words fail. When the tears fall in pain. In joy. When you bring the light to a friend. When you are curled up alone in your thoughts and God speaks. As I enter a new year of living I give thanks. Thanks for the friends who have been there for me. For my loving family. For the adventures past and present. For the lessons. The heartaches. The joys. The wild adventure. The laughter. The love. And even for the times when words fail.