you came for 21 days.
you inspired me to keep on going, you listened and talked and made me laugh until it hurt. Ladies, you are welcome: wherever I am, you are welcome, anytime. keep being incredible.
Those lyrics, those words of being surrounded have been traveling around my head on and off for the past week. They find themselves in the tiniest darkest back corners and then make themselves the center point of my main thoughts.
There is something in the sentiment of being surrounded: once in a way that you cannot control, threatening and full of fear, and the second, full of love, and comfort, the surrounding of the warmest most perfect hug .
The first is out of my control, scary, full of worries, and walls closing in. I see the world falling around me, weight on my shoulders, and all the fears rushing towards me..the second…Well that isn’t in my control either but it is so full of freedom. Those types of people who bear hug you in the way that makes you collapse into their chest, and you know you are safe, secure, and protected. THAT. That is what it means when it sings “I’m surrounded by you”.
This possibly invisible barrier that means the weight and world and fear cannot penetrate through, that it will not reach you, will not overpower you, will not become who you are.
I am surrounded by you God. Spirit. Son. I am surrounded by you.
It is a new year, one pregnant with promise, newness and life. For me there are days now where is feels like I am surrounded, in that first way, the new year is a background thing that I haven’t really recognised yet. But these lyrics that are making themselves at home in my thoughts scream out to me, “BUT I”M SURROUNDED BY YOU”.
Although this year is starting with a steep incline upwards, I know it won’t last forever, that the year will be full of adventure, goodness, joy, freedom and laughter. The photos placed on my wall prove to me that I am surrounded by the King of Kings, and his beautiful children. And in those places comes all that I need. In those places comes all that we need.
So welcome 2018, I’m 10 days late, but I’m sure there are many adventures to be had within you. I’m just learning how to live out those lyrics.
I found this post, one I wrote 4 years ago.
So I thought I would write a response, to the version of me then.
Who didn’t really know just how many mountains she would jump off, or rivers she would sink deep into. Who hadn’t really truly seen what it meant to live a life fully sold out for Jesus, or to live it. With the tears and the sweat and the ‘your will, not mine’s’
To the girl who thought the reality lived way beyond her expectations, it went further: it still is going further. You let the boxes grow back again, but when He ripped them apart, this time the space beyond was so much bigger. You’ve been lost and found so many times, wanted to give up and curl up and turn back time. But the expectations never seem to reach the reality. When you lift your head up, you can see the endlessness of His reality, where nothing is out of bounds, and no thing is impossible.
You’ve learnt now that boxes cannot contain things that are bigger than everything, and the energy of placing God in those boxes is more than when you see Him outside of them.
Your expectations then were blown away, but you seem to have forgotten about expectations and plans now, because you are beginning to grasp the gigantic nature of His plans, and the understand of the birds and flowers that each day is of its own.
You still adore the people, you’re still in awe of how they push you and love you and challenge you to live….
But you are more in awe of Him, more in awe of His beauty, His adoration, His grace, His forgiveness, His faithfulness and His love.
You didn’t expect to be here this long, to love here this long, to be at home here for this long. I am glad that you learnt to keep going, that you kept going, that you kept fighting.
You now, thanks you then, for your perseverance.
I wrote this in April, but couldn’t…wouldn’t publish it…maybe it was to raw or to vulnerable at the time but now I want to. So here is a piece of my processing from April. When winter had just ended and I was tired. When I felt like a lot had gone wrong and I couldn’t see past my own failings, and when all I wanted was to see how it would have been if I hadn’t lost my focus on Jesus, on the one truth and light I know to be consistent and constant in life.
I want to start again…or rather I want to have enough time to sit and see all the things and times I missed because the clock moves too fast and the pace is doubled and I haven’t had a moment to take a breath, except for when I do, and all I do is sleep.
I want to start again, or maybe just sit and watch my life on video tape so I can see the moments that I forgot and remember the cups of tea, and pieces of cakes and fresh juicy pineapples I don’t remember the taste of.
I want to start again, but not forget the things I learnt before I fell, so that this time when I re-start I do not re-do the same mistaken steps, and maybe this time I will start again and keep on going, instead of falling and stumbling and failing.
I want to start again, but really this time I want to see and hear and taste it all, and learn and jump over the trick-ropes that cut my legs from under me. I want to start again, with my eyes never leaving your face, and my feet never leaving your well trodden footprints.
Because I know that if I start again with my eyes and feet firmly where you lead then maybe, just maybe I won’t have to start again, again.
I did. Start again that is. But I couldn’t watch back my life on video tape, but I read over the journals lining my bookshelf and I looked over the words underlined in my Bible. I made myself lift my eyes again, to see the Jesus I knew. I made myself re-read words I have read since I was a child, but this time I saw something else, something new, because God is good that way. I allowed myself time to see my own failings and see how to be better next time, how to choose better next time.
Choosing. I have learnt that sometimes in just is a choice. A choice to make time, a choice to lift your head, a choice to learn and move on. Sometimes it is a choice to get out of bed to run, or to not watch TV but to read. I have learnt I have a choice, as crazy as that sounds, I have a choice to move forward, to learn, to become better, to focus, to rest.
it’s summer, the sandal tan lines on my feet prove it, as do the polaroids taken in hammocks and balconies, in lakes and at late night tire swing conversations.
and the time of farewells for this blonde beauty as she travels back to the place called paradise and the place that sent her here in the beginning.
it’s the season of no shoes, and late night conversations, and new friends, and swimming in lakes that aren’t that clean, and all the fresh vegetables and fruit you can find.
a little update/ i try to promise there will be more
Just stand up and take a breath and let the words come out your mouth.
You have never ever given up
You have never turned your back on us
You said light, and light there was
You created all that was,
You said breath and life stood up,
You are God and great above it all.
You are more than we’ll ever know
You give life and life to the full
You have never ever given up.
it snowed on christmas day.
winter is here. the wood store is going low. the layers are adding up…5 long-sleeves today and counting. i am simultaneously loving the cosy evenings and dreaming of the sun-soaked spring days that are coming.
You look different from this angle, through the rear view mirror as the ‘2016 turns to ‘2017 and the memories are all that I have to see.
2016, you look different; different lines are showing now, different moments and revelations are showing their faces as I look back through the glass.
You weren’t easy to drive through, you gave me pot holes and unexpected turns and twists in the dark, but somehow looking back at you I can see the path driven clearer now.
The turns and hills more in focus. The lessons and adventures and friendships are like crisp mountain outlines and clear horizon lines, created to be noticed and appreciated as I turn my head around and see where I’ve come from.
Hindsight is a beautiful thing.