Wire

I was split into pieces
with your muffled
telephone
voice
and left in the dirt
by your calloused
open
hands
then you sewed me up
with threads of
barb
wire
and called your handiwork
suitable
enough,
“all you could do”.
But your intentions
fell with a crash
and a
wallop
like they still do
every time you go back
on your so called
good
word.
The only salve for these
deep lacerations is in
your
apology.

I lie here,
waiting.

They Were Born To Go

giants causewayYou can think of their names as soon as I ask you the question: who have you lost in your life? Who has been taken by death or by choice, by time or by a lack of caring? Who have you lost due to the failures of a thin friendship, or a love that was so terribly disordered? Who are the people you would give anything to have back?

My list of names is quite long. I don’t have enough fingers and toes to keep track of them all. And my list includes some heavy hitters–mother, father, sister, grandmother, best friend, and a great love. Sometimes when another loss hits me, all the others wash over me like a tidal wave. Does this ever happen to you? Where one thing goes wrong and suddenly you are reminded of every catastrophic event in your life that ever knocked you off your feet? As a Christian, I’ve come to understand that the Enemy loves this. He locks your legs to a ball and chain anchoring you in the past. He drudges up your hopelessness, your fear of being alone, your insecurities, all in the hopes of destroying you. You are simply a conquest to him and he fights dirty.

I often think what it would be like for Christ to consider the list of people who turned their back on him or left him due to death. Throngs of names would be on that list. And what’s worse, each name is someone who He knows in the most intimate way. No one else on earth knows those names better than He does. No one on this earth loves them more than He does. Christ has demonstrated the depth and immensity of His love in the sacrifice of His life–done out of pure, unadulterated love. How his heart must break.

So what do we do? How do we cope with the losses in our lives? The broken promises, the false friends, the absence of some of the most essential people? We are allowed to weep, and we are allowed to mourn. Don’t get me wrong here. You’re allowed to be angry (and in your anger do not sin) and you’re allowed to feel sad. Yet we are not called or required to remain in those emotions. We are asked to let it go.

Letting it go is easier said than done, to be sure. And I wouldn’t go so far as to say that Christ lets these things go when they are done to Him. While he forgives and shows grace, I think He feels the absence of every one of His children. But we can’t handle that. We are asked to let things go, to cling to the Cross, and to receive perfect satisfaction from it. We must realize that are were never truly alone, and that we’ve been given the deepest relationship known to man. Jesus, the man who is God, who has single handedly shaped the face of the world as we know it, has sought after you. No one you have lost in your life will ever have been able to offer you what Christ offers you through the Cross. While your pain is understood and felt by God, nothing compares to the love that poured out its life for you at Calvary. So when you feel wronged or left behind, let it go. Let Him pick you up, dust you off, and set you back on the road. Understand that no one in this life is bound to you, and we are created to go by some means, be it death or choice or whatever else. Turn towards the hope that doesn’t leave, the love that never dies, and the truth that is revealed in the person and work of Jesus. Your life will not be empty. Your cup will overflow.

let it go – the
e.e. cummings

let it go – the
smashed word broken
open vow or
the oath cracked length
wise – let it go it
was sworn to
go

let them go – the
truthful liars and
the false fair friends
and the boths and
neithers – you must let them go they
were born
to go

let all go – the
big small middling
tall bigger really
the biggest and all
things – let all go
dear

so comes love

Discipline

I considered taking part in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) this year, but decided against it. It’s in part because I don’t have nearly enough time to write some 50,000 words this month. I understand that the point is to get into a discipline of writing, and to challenge oneself to get that creativity going, but it’s just not going to happen for me. And here is why:

I’m not disciplined enough as it is.

Yep, it’s true. Confession time is here, and there you have it. I’m someone who desperately knows that routine and discipline will help me grow and thrive as a person and a Christian, but I have a hard time attaining it. I think a number of things contribute to this, and I also think it’s true for a lot of people. So here are a list of my excuses, and what’s I’m trying to do in order to get myself aligned in body, mind, and spirit.

1. I’m lazy. Mhmm, it’s true. Sometimes I put off things that are important (like devotions, going to the gym, or communicating with family) simply because I just don’t feel like doing it. I’d rather read a non-school related book, or watch Downton Abbey, or bake a million cookies. I think most of it has to do with the fact that I get my energy from being alone and doing things I love, but sometimes it’s just laziness.

So here’s what I’ve been trying to do: schedule down time and make it as important as the other things I need to schedule. Self-care is important, in moderation. If I allot myself a couple of hours to do whatever my heart desires, then I feel more inclined to accomplish more important things as well. Also, I’ve been setting goals. For example, I have a goal for what I want to accomplish through clean eating and going to the gym, and it motivates me to fight laziness. I have a list of things I want to do and have to do before I go back to Ireland in the summer, and it motivates me. One step closer to the places I want to be.

2. I procrastinate. I’m the person that has a million good intentions and then puts all of it off until there’s no time left to accomplish anything. Papers, exam prep, writing letters to friends, working out–you name it, I put it off. This has gotten me in trouble in university, because I know I can put off an essay and still get a decent mark. But that mark wasn’t really earned. It’s just dumb luck, really. I didn’t work hard to get it. I don’t get the same sense of satisfaction when I rush to accomplish something. Academic hubris is also a colour that doesn’t look good on anyone.

That being said, I’ve been trying to use every spare moment to get ahead of things. I’m a list maker: I like having things ordered and laid out in front of me. I make lists of things I have to read and write for school, goals at the gym, groceries to buy, people to call, people to e-mail, etc. It’s not a perfect way of eradicating my chronic procrastinating, but it’s helping!

3. I don’t know enough. Something that takes away from my dream of a disciplined life is a lack of understanding. Disciplines in a spiritual sense are important to practice. Things like prayer, silence, confession, worship, and sabbath keeping are vital to the Christian life. They make for healthy Christians, close community with God and other believers, and a deeper knowledge of God. I learned a lot about spiritual disciplines when I was an RA at school, but sort of let them fall by the wayside. Realizing that my spiritual life affects every other area of my life, I see that setting aside time for something like prayer will impact every part of me.

I’ve been learning to prioritize. My health has become very important to me, so I’ve been learning and reading more about what’s good to eat and what’s not, and how active I should be. My faith is the most vital thing in my life, so I’m trying to get deeper in my walk with God. Reading Scripture, praying, seeking fellowship with other believers, and reading some awesome books (watch for a post on this later!) has helped me understand how important spiritual discipline is. My family is important to me as well, and considering that I intend to leave the country in the near future, I’ve been taking every opportunity to spend time with them. I’ve been writing letters to my friends, Skyping with people in other parts of the country, planning trips to see people I may not see for years, and praising God for the absolute gift my life is.

My life is more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. I have a responsibility to get myself in order and be disciplined, if I hope to live this life well. So maybe next year I’ll have time for something like NaNoWriMo, but for now, I’m working on discipline itself. And I’m quite happy with that.