it was three years ago today…

…i woke up with no desire to live anymore.

wild, huh?

it hit me only just yesterday. i’ve been carrying around an odd, heavy feeling in my heart these past few days, and i had no idea why until last night. i had burst into tears, my core aching as i strained for the words to pray. my tears did most of the talking, as is typical. i prayed for someone who has claimed a place in my heart these past three years. he has no idea, and i myself can’t understand why, but i called out his name to my Abba nonetheless. it all ties together in some way, i’m sure…

and it was as i started to write in my journal that i glanced back at the date and realized…

that it was three years ago, today. today.

some coincidence, huh? (no, i don’t believe in those, really.)

i was laying flat on my back on that saturday morning, staring at the clock, wondering what the point of getting up was. no one would care. no one would miss me. i would never escape the abuse, the control, the lies.  i hated what i had become. i had reached despair. i was without hope. i was done. everything within me started to implode.

but out of nowhere in my mind, i heard a voice singing a song, and it led me to His promise. and for the first time, i believed it. i truly believed it:

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,’ says the Lord. ‘I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.’” (jeremiah 29:11-14, nlt)

oh, how those words resonated within me. how they ignited spark that has never died away. Lord, thank You, thank You, for Your precious, precious word. how it has changed everything…

and thank You for him. thank You for the one You spoke through – and have continued to use – to draw me nearer to You. as long as You place him upon my heart, i will lift him up to You. even though i don’t understand why. i will obey.

(my, how things have changed.)

sara

dear reader, thank you for returning to this altar with me.

now go to your altar and praise Him for the promises He has given you, for all the beautiful things He has done.

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the arms that hold me

it’s moments like this when i wish i had arms to crawl into. arms that would hold me close as i cried the way i want to do right now (and will no doubt do before the night is over). safe, warm, tender, strong. an embrace i could finally release myself in.

i turned myself off to touch for a long time. when i was young, it hurt. bruised. instilled fear.

as i got older, it made me feel disgusted. a touch would make me twitch. writhe. want to scream.

i was kind of forced out of my comfort zone when i encountered those within the body of Christ. i questioned motives for a long time…still do, on occasion. i walked with my eyes cast down. my face hidden beneath my hair. but my bubble began to shrink as people suddenly showed me love…His love.

His love. the arms that hold me. His word. even as i crave a touch to assure me, to secure me, i know i have His promises. but it gets worse as i think about the distance between us.  i can’t feel Him now. i can’t see Him. He’s the love of my life, and i haven’t even heard the sound of His voice. it makes me so homesick. i yearn for His touch. in every embrace here on earth, there is a moment you have to let go…it makes me long for eternity so much more.

sara

i wonder if He longs for that moment as much as i?…when i can finally rest in His arms.

songs in the night

there’s a part of me that is still very much like a child.

some nights i struggle with restlessness, and can only find comfort in a song…like a child listening to a lullaby.

it used to be more than restlessness that kept me awake at night. strangely enough, my bed was an escape, a retreat. even though bad things happened there, it was my place to cry, to scream into my pillow, to dream…i hated the prospect of waking up. i could hide there. the night provided the perfect cover, the perfect excuse to hide from the world and my problems. when morning came, i was forced to face another day. the reality of my life.

my heart had been hardened, but God knew me. even as i cursed Him, even as i turned on Him, even as i rejected His truth. but He never gave up, even though i thought i had. He spoke to me another way: music. artists’ transparency intrigued me. lyrics filled with hope and promise fed a desire deep within my heart. i resisted at first. it all seemed so unattainable, so hopeless.

God delivered me from the abuse in early june of 2009. as i look back on the weeks, days – and nights – leading up to it, i see His hand in every detail that moved me to finally trust Him. i was coming to a fork in the road, becoming more and more desperate. every night in that final week i cried myself to sleep listening to one particular song over and over.

i had a war waging within me. i saw myself in the words, but couldn’t believe the message of hope. as pretty as it sounded, it wasn’t enough. not with everything that had happened. not with who i had become.

and yet, i listened again and again…

…a better day to come.

one morning i woke up and just lay there, watching the minute hand tick away on my clock. seconds. minutes. hours. and still, no reason could come to me to get up…or even keep breathing. the weight on my chest got heavier as my thoughts turned dark.

my thoughts were interrupted suddenly with the desire to hear that song again, but it ended up that i listened to another. and through it, i was drawn to jeremiah 29:11-14. i read it, and for the first time, i believed it. it was like a light was suddenly placed within me. i can hardly explain what happened in my heart in those moments, but His word – His promise – gave me the reason i needed to live.

God used the music of a complete stranger to draw me to Him. to lead me to His truth and give me hope when i had none. i am eternally thankful for His methods. eternally thankful  for the transparency of another, and their willingness to sacrifice so that they can share what God has given them. maybe that’s why i have a passion for music and love for His word. when those two things combine, the work is profound.

sara

believe Him.