Holidays on Broken Backs

Just a hint of jingle bells, the rest was rustling leaves. Just a smidge of holiday, the rest was preparation. Just a sprinkling of arguments for when Christmas music plays, but mostly welled-up hearts just waiting for the lights.

But in between this holiday, the noise we all know well, were women walking everywhere with burdens hard to bear. Hunched low with breaking backs, their Christmas trees dragged behind and little kids ran vibrant, free. Hunched low with breaking backs their Thanksgiving tables beautifully set for empty, childless homes. Hunched low with breaking backs the music plays aloud, but the loneliness beats louder. Read more

You Have Permission to Be Brave

You have permission to be brave, she said while she watched my tears fall heavy and sore. You have permission to be brave, she said while she held my stiff, sad body. You have permission to be brave, she said while she cried along with me. You have permission to be brave, she said while we shared our deep, hidden struggles.

And without any words, she gave me permission to be brave. Because sometimes, brave means opening your heart. And sometimes, brave means being vulnerable. Brave often means breaking down in weakness and seeking comfort in His Truth

And letting her lead you back to Courage and Hope.

Sometimes, brave means handing her some of the burden. And brave always means casting these feelings, heartaches, trials, and struggles on God. Oh to be brave my small heart beats! O to be brave, my soul crumbles!

You are brave, she said while she led me back to Truth. You are brave, she said while she told me about fearlessness. You are brave, she said while she watched me resolve my heart in God again. You are brave, not because of you, but because you have God.
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The Girl with the Hollow Eyes

I see her walking alone. Her head drooped low. Her back is laden down with a hundred burdens. We are walking the same way, but our footsteps are spread apart. I feel the sunshine on my face–a time of joy for me. But her hair is wet with sorrow–a time of pain for her.

My footsteps slow. I know that our proximity is no mistake. I approach her slowly, the trail of tears making heavy indentation on the ground. I could remember a time I felt the same.

My mind is transported to the darkness that was—after many years–overcome by light. I gather the stinging, yet hopeful memories to my heart and stand beside her with a gift of companionship. I am ready to offer.

She looks at me with hollow eyes, and yet the depth of tragedy is deep. But I have hope and I know hope is in her. It just needs a way out. I reach for her hand and she doesn’t reject me. It is cold with stiff pain. I can remember the feeling. Read more