Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Rejection, rebellion and redemption.


"There is nothing to writing.  
All you do is sit down at a typewriter 
and bleed."
~ Ernest Hemingway

When we moved into our new home late last summer, in the midst of cleaning out boxes in our off-site storage, I came across this paisley gem: la journal that documented some of my life between the ages of fourteen and twenty. 

Yea, so I've always had this thing for documenting all of the things. 

This unrelenting urge to write all of the things throughout all of the years has proved to be both a blessing and a curse.  While there is so much I want to remember, there is seemingly so much more that I wish I could forget, that I wish I could rewrite altogether, that I wish wasn't a part of my story; or that wasn't my story at all.  

This particular journal recounts a painful narrative of both heartache and heartbreak, rejection and rebellion.  It is a foreshadowing of sorts, stepping stones to what would become the tumultuous path through the next decade of my life.  

Those were the most critical formative of years, pivotal years precariously positioned between the rejection I'd felt in childhood and the rebellion that would manifest itself later in my adulthood. 

I read through to the very last page that late summer morning. I closed the cover.  

And I wept. 

Before I even knew what was happening, tears were pouring hot and steady. 

I don't even know why.  I'm not even a crier.  Not really.  Unless I'm crying because I'm laughing.  Part of it could have been the season of change we were in.  Change, even good change, has never been easy for me and all of the feels about moving into a new home and leaving the old one behind was compounded by another shifting season as our daughter was beginning middle school... 

I felt so much empathy for the young girl that wrote all of those words all of those years ago.  The chaos and confusion that clouded my soul was so evident then.  I was so lost, so broken, so empty - and so very desperate.

It's hard to imagine now, that life in contrast to this one.  How long I dragged on in rebellion and yet, how long it's been since experiencing such redemption.  It never gets old.  Not in my heart, not in any of our hearts, I suppose, for those of us that were lost and then found, pulled from darkness into marvelous light.  Oh, we might grow to take it for granted, to become used to it all, but when we're reminded, we feel it all over again. And it takes our breathe away.

Earlier this week, I sat at my desk and sent out the invitations for my daughter's twelfth birthday, scheduled a consultation with her orthodontist and texted her a reminder about lacrosse practice...

If I weren't fasting from social media, I'd have probably posted something lamenting "#tweenlife", but then again, she's asked me to stop using that hash tag.

I feel the time.  It's tick-tocking loudly here inside, with each step I take alongside her on this coming of age journey she's on.  I don't feel that I'm losing time.  Not always.  Some days, it feels like it's gaining, building momentum, snowballing down hill.

Gaining speed and gaining distance, bridging this gap between what was, what is, what will be. Ushering the anxious anticipation of the silent shifting that is to come, that has already begun - changing everything. 

Like all mothers, I want her to learn from my mistakes; but more - to somehow guide her into truth and wisdom and understanding.  

With this ground shaky and shifting beneath our feet, I cling to the words - not my own - but the Word.  And I encourage her to journal, not just her own words - but the Word.  

And she does.  


I journal alongside her, you know, with words instead of doodles because her artistic genes clearly did not come from me.   

And I tell her what I know to be true:  that sometimes, you will have all these words inside of you that you might need to just get out of you somehow.  All these thoughts and feelings and utterances that flow from within and pour out.  Write them down.  Anywhere, somewhere.  

But more important than the words we create us and those we pour out, is the Word we put in us.  

Fill yourself up on it.  Hide it in your heart.  Not just so that you won't sin, but so that you will see.    

"I have hidden your word in my heart so that I might not sin against you" (Psalm 119:11). 

I cannot protect her from the world, I know that.  I cannot protect her from middle school.  But piece by piece, I'm giving her armor to face it, this battle that will be waged for her heart.  The helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, the shield of faith, the belt of truth, the shoes of peace - "and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God" (Ephesians 6:17).

Someday she may read my words, those that I wrote in that ugly, worn paisley journal.  I pray that when and if she does, she'll she it through the same lens I see it through now.  The lens of His word.  The lens of grace.  The lens of truth.  

Armed with the truth of His word, rejection is a lie; rebellion is not an option.

Skip straight to redemption, my child.

"Guide me in your truth and teach me, 
for you are my God my Savior, 
and my hope is in you all day long." 
~ Psalm 25:6

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