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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Exposed and Clothed

One of my latest blogs dealt with my fear of vulnerability. I’m happy to say that I’m letting this process have its way with me and listening to all that my hopes, joys and fears have to say. A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with someone I gratefully and graciously now call friend. I voiced my thoughts/beliefs to him and he captured our verbal interaction with great literary and lyrical genius through poetry. He described our conversation as us being completely naked and yet fully clothed. What a beautiful space to dwell…completely naked (honest, sharing thoughts/words that leave one totally vulnerable to ridicule and rejection) and completely clothed (invited to share in safety and confidentiality and embraced with no fear of condemnation) at the same time.  This exchange has allowed me to go deeper into my hopes and fears and uncover and re-discover something amazing----ME!!!  Friend, I need to thank you for giving me that space, for sharing in this process and pushing me to give voice to my experiences.
My prayer is that we all find that person and place to help us reclaim our wonderfully created selves.  When that opportunity presents itself, I pray you have the courage to undress.


Abounding in Love and Growing in Grace,

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Beautifully Scarred

Scar – mark left by the healing of injured tissue; mark or indentation resulting from damage or wear (Merriam Webster)
I’ve been thinking about healing quite a bit lately and gratefully experiencing it in amazing ways. Ironically, it was a recent injury that brought this to my attention. I was cooking dinner a few days ago and burned my arm. While tending to it, I had somewhat of an epiphany. I actually took a trip down memory lane as I examined my entire body and listened to my scars speak.
There are three scars in particular that speak volumes to my spirit:
1.)    A burn mark on the back of my leg (I accidentally backed into my father’s motorcycle and my leg brushed up against the exhaust pipe)
2.)    A iron burn on my arm (let’s just say this was due to an "incident" with my older sister)
3.)    A scar on my ankle (I was riding on the handlebar of my cousin’s bicycle after my father just told me not to and my foot got caught in the spokes)
These three incidents are examples of some of the ways we experience injury in life. The first is representative of life happening. There are things we may experience and there is no real rhyme or reason to it, no real answers for it. It's not anyone's fault in particular, sometimes accidents happen. The second is injury at the hands of another. What I’ve learned to realize and accept is that people can only love and give according to their experiences. Sometimes their own lives limit them and they cannot be or do what we would like. This does not diminish the injury, but it is sometimes the explanation for the injury.  However, God does have a way of sending others in our lives whose presence and gifts of love and grace overshadows the bad memories of those who hurt us. The third is a result of our own actions. When we know better, we should do better, but it is not always the case. There are times when the only person to blame for the pain we feel is the “man or woman in the mirror.” We received warning, had a feeling that perhaps we should not make a certain choice, but we did it anyway.
Each of these injuries brought about pain, tears and loud cries. These all happened when I was young and not afraid to cry.  These cries were all addressed by someone who came to my aid in time of need. We get older and are told that big girls don’t cry or that men don’t cry.  Nothing could be further from the truth. Tears are a necessary release of emotion and pain that can keep us stifled, stagnant and scornful. Cries are an alarm to those that love and care for us that something is wrong. Unfortunately, we are conditioned to believe that it’s best to keep our pain/fear/hurts from others. Unfortunately, we don’t let others see our scars.  We are afraid of judgment. Well, I now have another take on this issue. I believe my scars are a sign of triumph for they represent victory over pain and hurt. So as it is in the natural, so it is in the spirit realm. Some may look at my scars in disgust or pity, but I look at them and now smile. While the scars still remain, the pain no longer exists. I realize there is healing in the scabbing over. While it looks ugly to some, it appears to me as a beautiful sign of recovery. I pray you too can learn to rejoice and let your scars speak for themselves. There's a story of victory, if we listen closely and look through a different lens.
Abounding in Love and Growing in Grace,