finding peace in pieces .

Ann Voskamp named ‘ink’ as the cheapest form of medicine, I stand here today in complete agreeance. Signo, UniBall, 0.7, the only pen ever to write across the pages of my journals. It’s ink has recorded the brutal chapters of my life, the tears and sorrow. But ink has also recorded the beautiful chapters, the testimonies of God’s goodness and it’s counted the ways in which He has loved me. The ink across my pages tell a story of brutal brokenness that is being transformed into beautiful breakthroughs.

It was nearing midnight and a single poppy gracefully swayed outside my bedroom window, a second poppy began to grow to it’s left and another to it’s right. All poppies were yet to flower and as I fixed my gaze upon them, I forgot about the world around me. I forgot about the fear I felt. I forgot about the raging fight my parents just had. I forgot about the broken glass and turned over furniture. I forgot about the slamming doors and the violence. I forgot about what happens when I tried to get between them to stop the arguing. I forgot about dialling 000 without pressing ‘ring’. I forgot about the fact that only one parent was left, whilst the other had sped off into the unknown. I forgot everything as I remembered what God shared with me about my poppies, only a few weeks earlier. Do you remember the morning I sat watching hail fall between my poppy seedlings? That morning, God showed me that whilst life can be brutal, He can use that brutality to bring growth; the way the hail turned to water which produced growth. Prior to finding myself in a mess of tears that night, I had shared with TR about my pursuit of God, I told her about my week alone with Him in hospital and all He had done for me since. When I left hospital for the last time, my sole prayer was that my need for God would only deepen. It took a matter of weeks before I realised that God was answering my prayers, the waves of battles kept washing over me and I felt defeated until I realised that they were washing me up at the foot of the cross – that continues to be the only place I want to be. My heart that night, as I sat alone with my God, found it’s home in Him and He kept me safe and secure. It was uncomfortable to sit with the uncertainty of whether or not my family would remain one of four, as many times as my parents have reached the point of walking out, neither ever had until that night when at once they both did. I closed my eyes and my mind took me back to dark corners of my past, memories replaying vividly of childhood trauma. I sobbed for a while, fearful of the unknown but R beautifully reminded me that God was bigger than the circumstances I found myself in and everything would be okay, even if it didn’t feel okay in the moment. My heart hurt because after what felt like the most perfect weekend, I thought it probably wasn’t the most ideal way to end it, but in hindsight ending up at the foot of the cross was all that my heart needed. 

God has a way of using the most unexpected circumstances, from the most painful to the most seemingly insignificant, to constantly bring me back to Him; back to the foot of the cross. I shared with T recently about how God keeps bringing me back to a place where I am left with no other option than to realign my dependance solely upon Him. Ps Shaph shared the most beautiful perspective on this topic at church recently, he said: “Sometimes God allows weakness between a precious gift He has given us, so that we can keep coming back to a full dependance and security in Him alone”. God has gifted me with precious relationships [friends and family] but every now and then, God allows a moment of weakness and insecurity, that brings me back to Himself and reminds me that my relationship with Him is most important. God continually reminds me that He is my home, that I am safe and secure in Him alone. I have held onto God’s promises a lot more tightly lately; His promise to be my home, His promise to keep me safe and secure, His promise to hold me in my brokenness, His promise to love me unconditionally and to hold my right hand. Each time I forget, I look down to my wrist.. Isaiah 41:13.

In church last Sunday M stood up to lead us in communion. Hebrews 12:2 reminds us that for the joy that was set before Jesus, He endured the cross. M shared with us the truth that we were Jesus’ joy, He endured the cross for us and because of His deep love for us. Isn’t that beautiful? I think that the love that our Father has for us, is sometimes taken for granted. When I pause to actually think about the type of love God has for me, I feel so overwhelmed because it’s a love that allowed for the death of His own Son. I think of the deep love in my life, I think of those closest to my heart and my heart aches at the very though of losing those people. I truely can’t fathom the love my God has for me. My Jesus sacrificed His life for my very own. Would He be proud of the life I have lived? I hear T’s voice again.. “His heart aches for you, this is not what He had planned for you”. God didn’t plan for me to live a life ruled by trauma, governed by Gollum and safely trapped. God’s heart breaks with my own and He has been showing me that there is so much more to life than what I’ve experienced. How can I accept this life, given to me through Jesus’ sacrifice, without sacrificing myself as well? We are also called to be a living sacrifice. We are called to surrender unto God each day. We are called to be mouldable, to be His hands and His feet. I need to die to Gollum so that I may live for God. I’ve found myself relapsing a bit more than usual lately, with the lack of control between work and home, the uncertainty around life and the longing for things to be okay. My battle against Gollum has been flaring up and growing hard again but the Sunday before last, Ps Shaph shared something that really spoke to me; he said: “When we put our hope and faith in God, we become safe and secure in Him.” God has been helping me find my safety and security in Him, He has been teaching me that to do so requires faith. Hebrews 1:11 reminds us that ‘faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things unseen’. Since my special week in hospital with God, my heart has found it’s home in Him. It’s funny because the more I pursue God, the more He pursues me. Ps Shaph continued to share that; “When we put our heart and treasure in God, He will take care of what we care about”. The more I seek to live given in my brokenness, the more tenderly God blesses my heart with what He knows fills my love tank’ as my precious girl calls it; unconditional love from loved ones, special time with them. Our Ps also shared that when we give of ourselves to others, a gap is left and God is then able to fill that gap with more of His abundance. I think that beautifully partners with Ann Voskamp’s concept of broken givenness. God is calling me to be His hands and His feet, and when I make myself available to Him, He moulds me and uses me in my brokenness to bless those around me. I often feel like I have nothing to give, but our pastor reminded us that it’s not about what we have, it’s about what God has- I’ve seen the truth to this because I’ve watched as I’ve come to God broken and empty-handed, God has multiplied my offering and blessed both those around me and myself. Proverbs 11:24 tells us that ‘Those who give freely, will receive in abundance’.

Feelings of failure are no stranger to me, more so recently. I was absentmindedly vacuuming at work the other day when God asked me why I thought He now loved me any less because I have been battling more? Did He not love me last year when I walked away from Him? Did He not love me as I swallowed pills on end? Did He not love me as I drew red lines across my skin or painted shapes over my body? Did He not love me when I begged to die? Has He not proved to me that no matter what, He will still love me? So why now, that I have found myself struggling insignificantly a little bit more than usual, do I suddenly think He can no longer love me or bare the sight of me? Why do I feel like a failure, too ashamed to enter into His throne room? It’s becoming clear to me that I have began placing unrealistic and unattainable expectations upon myself, I have allowed the opinions and expectations of others to get the better of me. Part of me has been fearful to admit that I have been battling more so than usual, but by now I know that recovery isn’t always clear skies and that sometimes the hail does come. In spite of all the work God has done within me, we all know that it doesn’t mean I am immune to suffering; my broken pieces still yearn for peace. A lot of my fear has stemmed from a fear of loss. I’ve lost a lot to Gollum, we’ve discussed this is past posts. But the losses I fear now are deeper and closer to my heart. What if in admitting to the struggle, I lose my progress? What if I add years onto the long wait before T and I can enter into friendship? What if I lose our Sunday coffees? What if I lose time with R and our little loves? Oh how grateful I am to know that those fears are irrational. As I read one of Ann Voskamp’s many books the other night, she spoke so rawly about the pain she felt when she lost one of her dearest friends – I thought of T and R, I sobbed. Granted it was the end of an emotionally long day and there were other factors at play, but my tears came from a very real place. It was T’s birthday not too long ago and there was a part of my heart that felt a deep sorrow for that day to arrive. You see, in the weeks leading up there was a lot of excitement when it came to buying a gift and planning for her birthday, but amidst that was the very real reality of mortality. I won’t have my people forever. It sounds silly but I sometimes hate myself for not being born sooner, and for not meeting them sooner; both of which I had no control over. I often catch myself replaying my time with them, wondering if I showed them that I deeply care and value them, wondering if I loved them enough or how I could have loved them more. I do this with many of my relationships and it’s not a matter of unhealthy attachment, it’s a matter of me having lost enough in life to realise how valuable these relationships are. I actually told T the other day that it saddens my heart to know I lived 19 years without knowing her, that I can’t go back in time and meet her sooner so that we could be friends for longer. There’s beauty in the brokenness of my heart because yes, my heart breaks when I think of losing those I love most, but my God holds those relationships and He brings forth beauty and growth. God is very actively centred in the relationships dearest to my heart, He is orchestrating each aspect and He watches over them. Coming back to where I am at now, in retrospective things really aren’t bad; I know I am still recovering and I know I am still pursuing God above Gollum. When I put my faith in God, when I sacrifice my own hearts desires to place God’s desires first, when I pursue Him and surrender to Him; He takes care of my heart and He allows me to press into Him, trusting that in His perfect timing all will fall into place. You see, as I continue my recovery, I continue to keep an open line of communication between myself and people like T or R. In my honesty, I am always met with an abundance of love, understanding, support and comfort. My God is never disappointed in my struggling, and neither are those who love me. I have a hunger for Jesus and I have been tasting His goodness amidst the battles of recovery. God has blessed me with tastes of the life that is to come, a life of friendships and precious moments. My people aren’t going anywhere, I won’t lose them and I know that they will continue to love me no matter what. The battle may be hard but these tastes of God’s goodness and the life awaiting me, makes the struggles all the more worth it. 

There’s a mother and her daughter who sit alone together each Sunday. I’ve seen them often and the three of us have even bumped into each other at headspace before. Each week this mother shows so much affection toward her daughter, they look so in love and watching them praise God together is so beautiful. A Sunday not too long ago, I watched on as the mother ran her fingers through her daughters hair, her arm then resting around her daughters back for the rest of the service. H and I had just spoken before the service about our families. She had asked me if my family goes to church. How should I have answered when the truth is that they haven’t gone in many years? She asked if we spoke about God at home. How was I supposed to say that God isn’t something we can speak freely about at home, it’s been more than six years since we did bible study as a family or prayed together. To my surprise I found myself being quite honest with H, risking judgement, but to my greater surprise her home was much like mine. It seems that neither of us have an open relationship with our family, where talking about our faith and excitement in Jesus is welcomed. I’ve said in previous posts, how this reality saddens me, especially in light of the monumental and ‘remarkable’ changes God has bestowed upon and within me- I suppose that in hindsight my relationship with my family, both deepens my need for God and my gratefulness for relationships that do welcome the excited sharing of faith. My heart felt heavy as I watched this mother and her daughter in church, my heart longed for my own mother and our own beautiful relationship. It was as if God sensed the heaviness weighing in, and He scooped my heavy heart right up into His loving hands. Holding my heart, God reminded me of how truely loved and blessed I am; outside of my family. My phone buzzed in that moment with a message from TR who sat behind me, telling me she loved me- completely unexpected but beautiful. T’s daughter and her husband sat beside me, they originally sat in front of me but when O saw me he moved with K to sit next to me on my left hand side- completely unexpected but also beautiful. Before the service T and I had shared a cuppa, she’d invited me to church early and I’m so glad I went, it felt so natural and precious- completely unexpected but so very beautiful. I didn’t know it at the time but I would later be invited to spend time with R and our little loves- completely unexpected but dearly beautiful. God is so looking out for me, He knows what my heart needs and when I seek out my safety and security in Him: He comes through for me. My Jesus sat in the empty chair on my right hand side, He held me the way that mother held her daughter, and He told me not to fear (Isaiah 41:13).

I drove out to Luke Pen the other afternoon, the wheels of my car hit the pot holes; 1…2…3. I held my breath and tried to breathe in rhythm with the holes. It felt like there was a hole in my heart. I parked my car and walked my body down to the riverside. I placed my hands in the icy water and sat with God for hours on end, laying and dozing in and out of sleep, just being with Him in His presence. Together we sat with difficult emotions, we painted them and let go of them gently. I allowed myself to be washed up at the foot of the cross. This is something I have been practicing with E: We draw a circle in which we paint the tricky emotions, then we paint a vibrant defined ring of safety around it to keep the tricky emotions entrapped, before lastly flooding the surrounding page with a safe colour. Thursday, the 10th of June, marked one year since the start of my longest admission. I reflected back to that morning of my overdose and I still only remember things in flashes; pills by the waterside, sobbing in T’s arms on the floor, telling my mother while T held my hand in ED, the overwhelming feeling of walking into the psych ward.. I remember the first week being a blur of endless tremors and lots of tears. Oh how things have changed since then, they got worse and then they got better and then we seesawed between. Yet out of everything, my greatest blessing was coming home to God and seeing His glory and faithfulness in everything. Over the weeks passed, I have found myself needing my Jesus a lot more than usual. I have found myself ever so desperate for the safety and security that comes from Him alone.

I saw a perpetrator the other day. The most recent trauma but the eldest of the men. He’d cut his grey hair and I had to look twice, just to make sure. But I quickly realised the initial glance was enough to know for sure because a face as such isn’t one you easily forget. The flashbacks since have been heightened and the reality of ptsd has been washing over me like a tsunami; brutally one after the other. I’d like to say it’s washed me up at the foot of the cross each time, but truth be told when it comes to trauma, I really do battle to see my God amidst it all.

There are times where I feel overly frustrated with myself for the way I feel around men. I sat down at a local cafe not too long ago and there was an older man who sat across from me, perhaps a metre or so away. Out of the corner of my eye I saw him watching me and smiling and out of panic I looked away. I felt uneasy and unsure of what to do, I looked for my safety and security in God and my again my broken pieces searched for peace as I held on a little tighter to my olive green cardigan. Later that morning I found myself grocery shopping and I’m generally quite okay when it comes to a busy supermarket, but that day I was constantly looking over my shoulder and cowering away as big men walked past or stood near me. It’s become quite habitual for me to plan my escapes, no matter where I go or what I am doing, I always have a plan at the back of my head. I was telling T about a walk I went for near where both herself and TC stay, I was walking but saw a dark figure watching me then moving behind some trees. It was after dark and the street lights offered dim scattered light. I began to run and knew that if something were to happen, I had a plan for where I would go and who I would phone. I never go to places that don’t have a safe person in relatively close proximity. Luke Pen is my daily place, riverside with Jesus, but also close enough to both T and TC that if I were ever in immediate danger I could phone them after the emergency services. My brain appears to be wired in search of safety and security, always seeking possibilities for danger and warning signs. Perhaps this is a cautiously pessimistic way to live, but I don’t know how to change that. It can make daily interactions quite difficult, as per the examples above of simply visiting a cafe or a supermarket. I’ve even found myself battling in church of all places. There are genuinely very few men, four that come to mind, around whom I feel safe because I know that if something were to happen and they were near, that they’d undoubtedly step in; these are the husbands of my nearest, R, TC, TR, and T. 

Truth be told, I battle to feel God or to comprehend where He was when the traumas took place. I struggle to understand why He won’t fix me so that I can stop feeling so afraid. My shattered heart knows that His heart breaks with my own, it knows that He didn’t will for the trauma to happen and that He didn’t plan for it.. but it also knows that He allowed it and if He allowed the brokenness then surely there must be a reason big enough and important enough, because within that He allowed His own heart to be broken. 

Every time I think of trauma and the boxes that go with it, every time I sit across from E and every time I sit with the tricky emotions; I hear T’s voice. “You gotta talk about it, it’s gonna fester”. Someone who loved Jude told him that, with the greatest compassion and gentleness they explained to him that the longer he waited, the harder it would become and the more it would fester within him, eating him alive with guilt and blame, haunting him each and every day. Jude lived a life that formed the very meaning of brutal, his story and his words lived inside my mind for months and months on end. Every now and then I hear his voice and I think of him. Both his loved one and mine, they’re not wrong. The more time passes, the more complex those boxes become. Like a tea bag left in too long, it brews and brews until it’s contents become a strong and bitter mixture. E touched my deepest box in our last session, she didn’t mean to and if I’m honest it was my carelessness that lead us there. Half of one sentence: Aunt and her husband. That was all it took, that was enough for my mind to spiral toward my safely trapped. I quickly found myself grappling at any string leading toward my safely held instead. My eyes spoke for me and E told me to breathe, I muttered that I didn’t feel safe with that box and she gently spoke me through my heightening distress. As every space and crevice around and within me was flooded with olive green, the faces of my safest people appeared around me and my Jesus began to hold me. Gollum questioned how pathetic I was for falling apart because of four little words, but God reminded me that I am not pathetic: I am His Beloved and I was safely held. The beauty amidst this brutality is that when we find ourselves ashamed and alone in our brokenness, Jesus wraps us in His most intimate grace; He cups our face and draws us nearer to Himself. I understand that with time I will need to visit the boxes of my past, however I am learning that I won’t need to face them alone and there is no time or pressure that is placed upon me to do so.

Growing up I hated anything that resembled my body. My body has always felt dirty and gross, I have always been disgusted by what I saw in the mirror and tore up any photo’s of myself. The way I saw myself derived from a place of trauma, when I saw myself I saw hands all over my body, I saw unwanted marks and things that I wish I could un-see. For months I have been deliberately praying over my body and the way in which I see it, I have been praying that God will help me see myself the way He sees me and the way people who love me see me. It wasn’t until 13.06 that God answered those prayers. I sobbed because for the first time in my life, I truely saw myself. I saw myself in God’s image, beautifully held and made whole in my brokenness, fearfully and wonderfully made. For the first time I felt what I believe to be the beginning of me falling in love with myself. I found myself reminded that God is love (1 John 4:8), Jesus told us that the greatest of these is love (1 Corinthians 13:13). God’s word tells us that we can not love others, let alone love Him, if we don’t love ourselves. The more I fall in love with my God, the more I begin to love myself. I had this discussion with TR, she looked at me through tears and reminded me of a time when she told me that God would bring me out on the other side of this journey. She told me that right after 19.03.2020, the day I chose to die. I didn’t die that day and when I saw her again, she told me that God gave me a new 19, Isaiah 43:19; “See, I am doing a new thing!”. I looked up at her and smiled because God, has done a new thing; He has picked up my broken pieces and made me new and whole in Him. TR pointed out that though it wasn’t the 19th of June, it was 13.06 and added together it equalled 19. Isn’t God just incredible? The way He fits the puzzle pieces of our lives together, so perfectly in His timing?

I have found that since the day of the breaking, Gollum has been quieter but still present at times. Most recently he has been trying to convince me that I need to get back to my lowest weight before I can stop pursuing weight loss, but what Gollum fails to realise is that my heart is set on pursuing God and nothing he says can change that. My human heart has been tempting beyond what I thought was possible, but each time my God has come through for me and He has held me tightly; safely and securely. Where I have fallen, my God has picked me up and helped me get back on track. I have been struggling again lately but I have no doubt that my God will continue to pick me up and that as I walking into this new week; He will help me get back on track again. My body appears to fluctuate between gaining and losing weight. I don’t know my number but I can see it when I see myself and I can feel it. I looked at my body the other morning and a streak of concern ran through me. An hour or so later I found T asking me if I thought I’d lost weight. How was I supposed to answer “yes, I’m worried I have”? How could I tell her that when I saw my body my first thought was “I need to gain weight”? How could I help her understand that my motives weren’t driven from fear of admission, but rather from a place of just wanting to recover? It wasn’t a matter of ‘fixing’ anything before seeing her again, it was an innocent desperation for the life God has planned for me; a life filled with cups of tea and the fulfilment of dreams. 

Do you remember that special thought that God gave me in hospital? “I have lost enough weight”.. Well, I’m learning that the thought didn’t only apply to when I was at my lowest weight. In reality, the weight gain has been harder to come to terms with, than I thought it would be. T and I had our first blind weight the other week and my goodness, when she helped me backward onto the scale, the lump in my throat grew and my lungs forgot how to breathe. I was terrified and felt so vulnerable in that very moment, being the first time my heart was glad that it was T who was with me, and not a nurse I didn’t know. I studied my bare body in the mirror this morning and saw that my bones have begun to fade. I always knew, subconsciously, that recovering from Anorexia would mean an inevitable weight gain but it still hits me like a smack in the face every now and then. It was quite different this morning, because unlike most other times, I didn’t actually spiral downwards. Truth be told, I felt like crying and tearing my body to shreds. As the knot in my throat tightened, I forced my lungs to take another breath. I lifted my head, looked at myself, and said: “I am fearfully and wonderfully made in God’s image, this body is not my body because it belongs to God, I am His hands and His feet, I am beautiful in Him”. My body. God’s body. Jesus’ body. Jesus sacrificed His body for my own, He lost His life so that I could gain mine. God made my body in His image so that I can bring Him glory. The meaning of my name derives from Christ Like. How do I reflect Jesus? How can I reflect Jesus? My stare lingered a little longer than usual and I began to find the beauty hidden between the depths of weight gain in recovery. You see, if I were to remain at my lowest weight then how would my body ever heal and repair? How would I ever grow strong enough to fulfil God’s plans for me? How would I become His hands and feet? Or more so, how would I ever escape my safely trapped? With each gram I gain, I also gain life. That sounds so stereotypical but if you think about it, it’s also very true. God is growing me in so many more ways than I realise. Because yes, my number is changing, but do you know what that actually means?? It doesn’t mean I’m getting fat or losing control.. It means that God is restoring and healing my body. It comes back to the verse God gave me through TR last year: Isaiah 43:19. That verse ends by saying; “Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?”. I am growing and I think that the process is so beautiful. I suppose it’s again, a bit like my poppy seedlings.. I am growing but just because I draw my water from the good Well, it doesn’t mean that some battles won’t hit me like the brutal hail. Growing isn’t easy, but I am beginning to perceive it for what it is. Growing is God’s way of moulding me. If I am not broken, He can not pick up my pieces. If I do not surrender fully, He can not shape those pieces into a new creation.. a new thing. My bones are fading away, but with them fades Gollum too. With gradual loss, comes gradual gain. I am gaining a life that grows to reflect my God and His glory. I welcome the sacrificial loss.

My deepest desire is to pursue God through my recovery. I may not necessarily need to ‘gain weight’ as my instinct thought outlined, I may not have even looked as if I’d lost weight the morning T phoned and asked.. but I knew how I’d felt and I knew that I wanted to gain more of God- I needed to gain more of God if I wanted to beat Gollum. I realised that the last few weeks had taken away from my pursuit, Gollum had subtly creeped into aspects of my day where He infiltrated my behaviours without me fully realising. I’m not trying to blame Gollum to claim my innocence, but I will assure you that I’ve been trying my utmost best. That’s the problem though.. I was trying my utmost best. Somewhere along the lines I began to forget about God’s hand in my journey. I stopped that morning to find myself exhausted from trying so desperately to get back on track in my recovery. That same night I continued reading one of Ann Voskamp’s books and it dawned on me that I really had subconsciously begun to take things back into my own hands. Ann wrote about the concept of having ‘God-Alzheimer’s’, a very real battle we all face from time to time. The concept is centred around the fact that we sometimes find ourselves so busy and engrossed in the life we are living, that we get distracted and forget about God in the process. How is it that we can so easily forget the face of God, forget that He calls us His Beloved and forget that He is carrying us through? If there is anything I can take away from looking back on my life, it’s that God has carried me through. There is not a moment where I can truely say He was not there. And yes, that goes for amidst the trauma too. I am trying to recover from so much more than just Anorexia Nervosa.. I am trying to recover from a life spent thinking nothing of myself, not valuing who God created me to be, not honouring Him with the life I lived, living trapped in past trauma and the deep rooted beliefs that came from my upbringing. There is so much more that I am recovering from and it’s not as simple as deciding to recover because making the choice to recover is only the first step outside.. there’s mountains and valleys left to go. In remembering God, we allow the room for Him to re-member us, to put our broken back together and to carry us through both the beautiful and the brutal chapters of life. I am learning that I never cry alone. My Jesus will give me what I need to get through each chapter of my life and I am learning to trust that what He gives me is enough. None of this I can do without my God by my side; holding my right hand.

I may not always like my body, I may not be happy with how I look, but God does and He is. God is my home and His home is in me, T said something quite beautiful the other day- our bodies are a temple. My body is not my own. I’ve said it a hundred times and I can not stress it enough: I am beautifully made in God’s image. As T reminded me again upon our first blind weight: I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I am learning to love myself.

My heart has felt heavy, weighed down and hurting. The deep pain stems from places in my heart I wish I didn’t know existed. I went to pinch out the buds of my newly growing poppies, there were three and the third was the smallest. As I pinched out that third bud, I held it in my hand and felt a flutter of remorse. That poppy barely stood a few centimetres tall and it’s bud couldn’t have been more than a few millimetres wide, it had a life ahead of it before I stunted it’s growth. It felt brutal and for a moment my mind took me back to when I was only a child. I used to be small, I used to have a life ahead of me that was untarnished and waiting for me; before the brutal hail hit. There’s a song and it’s opening lyrics sing; my heart’s seen things I wish it didn’t, somewhere I lost some of my innocence and I miss it, stay up all night thinking it’s different, my life’s been survival of the fittest but I did it”. Those words resonate with me in a deeper way. I wrote on a previous blog post that life has a habit of dismembering us, breaking us beyond recognition and causing us to feel a deep sense of hopelessness. But within that, the key in this is to hold onto hope in God; even after we’ve lost our naïvety. We are born naïve to the brutality of this world and somewhere along the line we are exposed to that brutality and our hearts begin to dismember. My dismembering began at a young age and over the years I became more and more dismembered. I think it’s precious to go back to the knowledge that God is able to re-member us when we remember Him. When we seek out and pursue God, He holds our broken pieces and re-members them. Blessed are those who cry, who mourn and feel loss, for they will be held by the One who loves them – there is a strange and aching happiness that only the hurting know, for they shall be held. I am breathing and learning how to let the abundance of God in. Yes, the pinching of my poppies buds seemed brutal, it seemed cruel and unfair. But does it not lead to further growth? T and TC both do the same to their poppies each year, by pinching out the buds the poppies are able grow stronger and more resilient. The brutality again leads to growth. In that same way I have to believe that the brutality in my life has lead to growth. Recently T reminded me that everything we experience shapes who we are, that God will use this journey and that it isn’t all for nothing. As distressing as these chapters may be, I will continue to seek out my safety and security in my God. In Him I will find my rest and peace.

Peace. Jesus tells us that He is our peace. I always thought that meant that I could find a sense of peace in Him, and yes, whilst that may be true I am also learning that peace isn’t so much a place or a feeling; it’s a person. Jesus is Peace. We can’t arrive to a place of peace, our hearts can’t travel into a sense of peace. The truth is that peace is a Person that we can abide in, a Person who offers the deepest peace because He is Peace. The broken pieces of my heart find themselves abiding in unison with my Jesus. My Jesus is my Peace.

– c x (19.06.2021)

*I smiled as I wrote the date because the truth be told, I didn’t realise today was the 19th until I looked only moments ago.. the ways in which God works.

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