Islanding

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I hate islands; they are too familiar to me. While they are safe, they drain the life out of me. I know what it’s like to live alone. More than just being alone though, it’s also feeling lonely. To feel like no matter how loud you scream, no one will break into your loneliness and be with you.

Sometimes I think I can see you standing at the edge of your island wanting to be rescued. Well, I’d like to think that you want rescued. Maybe you like your land and the peace and quiet. Is this the only way we survive life?

Recently something has changed, I can hear the voices calling to me. They must have realized that there’s actually a human here. I’m scared but I think I’ll go with them. Hopefully they know the way out.

I was wondering… would you come with me? They said they have a boat and that there’s plenty of room. We can come and get you. I don’t know you but I can’t stand the thought of leaving you here. We can be brave and escape these islands together.

Hope

The System (Part II)

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How can a brick and mortar structure create so much emotion in my soul?

I long to go to church and worship God, to meet other believers and to belong. But I don’t.

People misunderstand me.

I misunderstand me.

I don’t hate church, I hate the system. Why is it that when we attempt to put God in a box we end up confusing ourselves and hurting people? I think when we take God and bring him down on our level we end up with another god. Our human minds can’t fathom their own Creator’s goodness.

I’ve concluded I have 2 gods. I gave my heart to the god of the system years ago. Then just recently I attempted to give my heart to the Eternal God of the Church but the god of the system won’t let me go.

There is nothing wrong with the brick and mortar structure we call church.

We are the church and the problems lies in us.

In me…

I carry years and years of pain from lies I’ve believed and still believe. And a deep anger at all the wasted years and energy I poured into being good and fitting in and serving a god who could never be pleased. It was all a waste and it never got me anywhere.

When I go to church all the pain surfaces and I choke up. All the lies come back… You don’t belong, you never will. You don’t fit in. God hates you, he’s long ago given up on you, you’re just wasting your time. You’re all alone in this. The thoughts swirl and I feel alone in a crowd of well put together people.

I smile, I talk, I say amen, I ask questions and I agree to help out with things but I’m not there.

That’s why I quit going to church.

-KD

Rescuing Myself

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Why do I feel like apologizing to God when I can’t fix myself? Where did I ever get the idea that I can heal myself? I didn’t become a Christian and get this far by fixing myself. I didn’t save myself from my own sin.

The truth is that I can’t rescue myself.

Somehow I like to think that I can.

After all this time, do I still not trust that God will come through for me? Does it feel safer to believe I can save me?

I’m afraid that I am not worth freeing. I don’t know if I want God pursuing and rescuing me if I’m just a mess.

“It’s safer for you to stay out of my mess and just encourage me while I fight for freedom. I feel bad about making you get involved in my painful life.”

When I write that, I suddenly feel like the prodigal.

Worthless

Ashamed

Afraid

“Really God, I’ll try to make it easier for you. You can just make me a servant. I don’t expect full freedom; I’m too muddy for that. If you come the whole way over here, you’ll see it all. That will be even more shameful. It won’t be safe. Just come partway and I’ll do the rest.”

Sigh

“That’s not what you want is it? You want to come all the way into my pain and wipe it away. You want to put your hands on my face until your tears wash my shame away. You want to wrap your strong arms around me so I won’t collapse from sobbing. You don’t want to leave me ever, do you?”

“Why didn’t they tell me you were this way? The way they talked, you sounded like a school teacher making sure I learned lessons correctly and gave the right answers.”

“You really are good. Just like a Good Father. Next to you my saving doesn’t even look freeing. You rescue with love I’ve never felt before. You are a wonderful rescuer. Somehow you’ve managed to make me feel worthy again. You believed I was worth pursuing when I didn’t. I don’t have the words to tell you how that makes me feel. Is this how freedom feels?”
~ Hope

Who Are You Really?

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What are you hiding behind that smile?

Your life looks amazing from my perspective. Your outfits are well put together and bought brand new right? Your hair is always on fleak. You show up to work always on time, a few minutes late sometimes maybe. You are climbing the ladder of success.

But who are you?

What are you carrying inside of you? I’d like to know.

Are you looking at me the way I look at you? Do I seem well put together?

I’m not. My life is held together by thin threads of borrowed hope.

Could it be that you need someone to believe in you? May I loan you some hope? You have an amazing life ahead of you but you need to hang on.

What’s behind your smile? What do I hear in your laughter? What’s that I see in your eyes?  I think we are a lot alike. Your life isn’t perfect at all.

you are sad and lonely just like me. Are you afraid too? It’s ok. You will be ok. Let me give you a big hug. I can’t put the pieces of your life together but I can tell you there is hope and you are not alone.

I can be your friend but I cannot carry your pain for you. We all have a battle to face and it feels like no one understands.

But we all have a need to be understood. Jesus says come to the light.

Friend, lets go to the light of Jesus Christ and expose all the ugliness and broken pieces of our hearts because you know what? That’s how healing happens.

You are loved, you are chosen, you are important.

Be honest no matter how hard it is, and quit hiding behind that smile. You are worth so much more.

-KD

Freedom

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She heard his footsteps echoing down the corridor. She kept her head down. What she didn’t want at the moment was one of the guards tormenting her. The footsteps stopped in front of the cell. When there was only silence, she looked up. He was looking at her through the bars. She hadn’t ever seen this man before. There was no way he was one of her guards. The kindness in his face hid any distinct features he had. The last time she could remember seeing kindness like that was, well…

He finally spoke. “Why are you here?” His voice was soft, not at all accusing. She lowered her head but kept her eyes fixed on his.

“I, I messed up. I didn’t want to come here. But I couldn’t be good enough.” A tear ran down her face. She begged him with her eyes to believe her story. The only thing she couldn’t understand was why she wanted this stranger to believe her. For all she knew he could be a spy. Would he leave her after she had admitted the truth?

“Do you want out of this place?” He asked as he looked around at the peeling paint and stains on the floor. He turned his gaze back to her face. It took her a moment to plant the question firmly in her mind. Did she want out? Wasn’t that the dream that haunted her for so long? Isn’t that the only dream she had since being there?

“Oh yes, I don’t want to stay here.” Almost without hope, she watched to see what he would do. He slowly reached into a pocket. She heard the clink of metal. The sound with its memories almost paralyzed her. He brought his hand back out of his pocket. Something glinted inside of his hand. His hand went for the lock between them. The key slid into place. She held her breath, barely hoping. With a small click and rasping sound, there wasn’t any bars separating the two anymore.

He held out his hand. “Come with me please.” She slowly stretched out her hand and placed it in his.

“What if,’ she looked fearfully around. ‘What if they find us before we can leave?”

He stopped and looked her directly in the eye. “If you stay close to me, they can’t harm you.” Relief washed over. She moved closer to him. It had been that long since she was brought there that she didn’t know the way out.

They moved slowly down the passageway. Her legs trembled as they tried to support her body. Then there was the unmistakable sound of stomping. She knew that sound. He held her hand tighter as a guard came directly at them. The guard opened his mouth to degrade her. His look turned to terror as he recognized the man. Without a word, he pushed past the two. When the sound faded away, she looked up at the man. Who was he? She had never known anyone who wasn’t afraid of the guards.

Then she heard a sound. It was a gentle, soft noise. He was laughing. Who was this kind man who laughed at giants?

~ Hope

 

Potatoes and Lives

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I have a potato. For the sake of extreme creativity I will call it Potato A. If I take this potato and cut a big slice off of the side, I now have only a part of a potato. It’s very easy to see what happened.

But if I take another potato out, (let’s call him Potato B) and go outside. Then I find a rock. I take Potato B and rub it against the rock. At first you can’t see much, maybe just a little scraped skin. I don’t do this just once though, I do it again and again. Soon this potato is as damaged as Potato A.

The problem is that Potato B will have a harder time figuring out what happened.

Who are you?

Because this isn’t just about potatoes, it’s about people.

It’s about you. Are you broken? Wounded? Hurting?

Who are you?

Were you damaged like Potato A? Did your wound come in big blows? Maybe you were abused? Were you abandoned? You can look at your life and say, “This is where the knife came down.”

You are hurting. You have a reason to hurt. You were wounded.

But what if you weren’t hurt like that?

What if you can’t remember big traumas in your life?

Then you can relate to Potato B.

Maybe it was a lot of little things.

A friend’s rejection

An angry parent

Cutting remarks

Fear

Loneliness

Each time things like that happen, it scrapes away at us until we are badly damaged. The problem is that it’s harder to believe you were hurt. Somehow we think life should be okay.

Whether you are Potato A or Potato B, you are hurting.

I don’t know what happened.

But I do know this. You did not deserve that. You were not hurt because it was your fault. There was someone that already took that hurt for you. You don’t deserve the hurt. You are worth freedom. You are worth being loved. I want healing for you. Even more, He wants healing for you.

Will you let God heal you?

He is good.

He can put the pieces back together.

~ Your sister, Hope

The System (Part I)

The System

It sits empty all week long. Maybe an evening a week it’s visited and every Sunday morning it’s full. It’s where so many good things happen. People get married, people become friends, grow together and learn, they pour their hearts out to each other and cry together. Sad things happen too. Like funerals. They bury the dead in a plot of land beside it and mark the deceased with a stone to remember them by.

It’s more then a building, it’s like a system and it’s supposed to work for everyone.

I started off as a regular Sunday school kid. I learned all the songs, memorized the verses and earned my stickers just like everyone else. Then also just like everyone else I “gave my heart to Jesus” at just the prime age and was baptized at exactly the right time. I never skipped communion, I rarely sat on the back pew and I even kept notes of the sermons.

But it seems like I blinked and missed something important. I failed the system. But to me it seems like the system failed me.

I hate church, it makes me bleed.

It hurts like hell.

But what really happened? What is reality? I have more questions then I have life to find answers for. At this rate I’ll die with them or they will kill me.

-KD