Walls, Toilet Paper, and Encouragement – Part 1 of 3

Walls.

Meant to keep out.

Meant to keep in.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) kept out.

All of us kept in.

Walls divide.

Walls protect.

Is the boundary good?

Is the boundary bad?

If vulnerable and unloved, how can safety be found?

If kept safe and loved, how can free-roaming be practiced?

What lessons we learn,

What answers we get,

We are doing it together.

 

In light of the suffering and shutdowns this week, I’m doing a little thinking and sharing in three posts. Thanks for joining in.

I’m spending a lot of time praying. My prayers are for the world, so I’m praying for you, too.

 

Faithful

2019.

Reeling, I entered it being a funeral coffin.

That’s what I called myself for months, because that’s what I felt like after I miscarried our fourth baby.

I hated myself, my life, my enemy, my world, and my God.

Everything felt like death surrounding me.

I laid in bed, day after day, night after night, crying.
Hating.
Wishing.
Struggling.

I personally knew God’s goodness. His faithfulness. But at that point, I wrestled with why we’d lost another baby. Why He’d let this one die when I cried out for Him to save.

Enter God.

From January 10th until January 19th, He took me, His highly-visual Daughter, on a series of imaginings. Through a whirl of fictional situations, so vivid in my mind I had to write them down. He whispered to me a title and encouraged me to add names. He showed me a place in outer space and asked me to share in the conflict. Who was good, who was bad. And at the end of ten days, I knew.

I had a story perfectly etched of 40 days in the life of an orphan.

I started writing.
In the middle of the miscarriage pain.
In the throes of hormonal angst.
In the vastness of confusion.

I became focused on writing only, and I hated anything that got in the way of it. (Especially the sleepless nights that meant I wouldn’t be able to write well the following day.)

Then, something amazing happened.

Midway through the first 50,000 words, my review of what I’d written came to a halt in realization. I was my main character, and God was the father-figure. He was holding me in it all and helping me heal. Same as the father-figure helped my orphan chara.

Everything shifted for me.

From hate to understanding.

God stood with me in my pain.
So intimately and carefully, He’d helped craft a story to lovingly draw me into my healing.
Healing—not just from the miscarriage—but from my insecurities.
I cried more.

I’d been seen.

And I was held.
Loved.
Kept.
Known.

It was beautiful in a way only a loving God could give.

Speed up to December 31st of 2019. Here’s where I ended the year:

  • The hormonal-crazy of the miscarriage completely gone – yay!
  • God expanded the story from 40 days to 40 years
  • God brought me a bosom friend to co-write
  • Co-writer and I wrote 431,073+ words in one year

Y’all.

God met me that January where I lay, angry, bitter, sorrowful, and lost, and gave me what I needed, and stayed.

It’s so like Him to love like that.

So very like Him to meet me.

So very like Him to meet you.

So very like Him.

“I entrust my spirit into your hand.
Rescue me, Lord, for you are a faithful God.
” Psalms 31:5 (NLT*)

endkevianaelliot

 

*Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004, 2007, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Wanter Poem

My wanter is busted, or maybe it’s fine

But it pushes my feelers to so far behind

My wanter sees problems it desires to fix

Often my soul doesn’t want into that mix

The absurd and the costly, my wanter demands

I cringe at its focus, I drown in these lands

My wanter is busted, surely needs saving

Pushed along by it, my heart is done raving

God, please change my wanter to line up with You

Because it’s stuck with me, and You’re stuck with me, too

When Shattered – Phones and Other Things

Phone – My I.T. Girl opinion? I was stupid. I loved how the iPhone felt outside of its case. So that’s how I carried it around. One day, I have it on the dryer while I’m messing with laundry. Then I bumped it. Down to the tile it crashes. As soon as it hit: glass crackage. Right around the camera on the back. My soul let out a scream. I knew better and yet I shattered my phone. The only thing I could do was put it in an Otter Box to cover the glass splinters.

Strawberry Jam – My grasp on the small strawberry jam jar slipped. It may not seem like a big deal, but I love strawberry jam. And we were about out of its goodness. Almost out. (Like, all the household toast is about to cry.) BANG! The jar hit the tile on the bottom corner and then… Shatter shards allllll over the kitchen floor. At that point, you can’t eat it, even though part of the jar is sticking together thanks to the last bit of jam. No, no, no, it’s gone. Done. Sorry, toast, you’re left with butter alone.

Relationships – My INFJ ways are to let things sit while they are good. Then, once they aren’t, decide what to remedy and what to let fail. Unfortunately, I’ve always done this with people (and to this day fight to freaking. stop. it.) It starts with a friend going silent. Sometimes maybe I caused that. Then something doesn’t feel right, good, or nice about the relationship. Too late, I see the shattering, between them and I. A delayed gut-punch. All that’s left to wonder is, will friendship glue fix it, or am I too late? Usually, yes. I’m too late.

Feelings – Life happens. Someone dies. Hurt flares. Expectations are dashed. Pain of an argument that goes on and on, stretching the heart pain on for longer than a month. Peace is hard to hold within, because the “owie” overrides everything. Shattered insides much? All have been there. You might be reading this pointing at your own shatteredness in solidarity.

I get you.

A shattering can happen with anything, anytime. Job expectations. Kid expectations. Marriage expectations. Life expectations.

No one gets away unscathed.

My question is:

Who do we take our shattered parts to? Who really cares?

Does anyone really care?

I’m going to whisper this next part, because sometimes blog voices can get tart and snappish, and I’m not wanting that.

*whispers* 

I looked for answers. I really did. But I only found one who really cares.

Also is the only one can fix it: Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

Over and over I take the busted stuff in my life to Him, because I am surrendered to Him being the “fixer” in my life. He stood next to me when it happened, and He isn’t upset or mad.* He just wants to be trusted to help. He wants to be trusted to soothe. And He wants to be trusted as the One who never leaves.

He’s never been unfaithful to me. Because, yeah. Stuff shatters.

 

 

*Theologically, Jesus is in heaven after ascending to the Father and the Holy Spirit replaced Him on the earth, so God can still be lovingly with us, for those that care to invite Him in. Triune God = 3 in 1. If you have questions, first read the Book of John and the Book of Acts. Forgive the people that wear the name “Christian”… we are all busted and need our Savior. But He isn’t human. We mess up this Christian walk. He didn’t fail us. He’s perfect, so yeah. He “stood” next to me by the Holy Spirit within me; the Holy Spirit is my direct line to Jesus and God the Father, so artistic liberties on how I displayed it.

endkevianaelliot

Gratitude Series 04

The focus of this Gratitude Series is simple. I’m turning gratefulness and thankfulness over in my mind and heart, seeing what shakes loose. If you start a Gratitude Series, please let me know on my Facebook Author Page so I can visit it. Carry on.

Thoughts have brought me to the starting and ending places I find myself staring at.

I have lived through a lot…

My sisters being born. My Abuela’s death. A college friend taking his life. The aging of respected elders. The death of a writer friend, who left behind books unpublished. Miscarriages, amid a sea friends having children and raising children…

The cycle of life and death never ends. And it shan’t, until the Great Creator deems it will.

But I see it now. I can be grateful and thankful for this cycle.

I express gratitude over life on Earth.

I express gratitude over death portals. (Death portals is just a nice way to say the spirit departing a person, as is the order of things now until the next age.)

I express gratitude that Yeshua* took the keys of Death and Hell in fair exchange.

When I saw him, I fell at his feet like a dead man. He laid his right hand on me and said, “Don’t be afraid. I am the First and the Last, and the Living One. I was dead, but look ​— ​I am alive forever and ever, and I hold the keys of death and Hades.

Revelation 1:17-18 (Bible reference in the Christian Standard Bible version)

I express gratitude that Yeshua* is the Path to Life.

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me, even if he dies, will live.

John 11:25 (Bible reference in the Christian Standard Bible version)

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

John 14:6 (Bible reference in the Christian Standard Bible version)

I express gratitude that in these things, I can rest, I can be at peace. One bigger than myself, bigger than all this, handles these things that I can’t control.

And for that, I can smile and say thank you.

 

 

*Yeshua is Christ Jesus’ Hebrew name.