Easter

Don’t you know?

Oh such sorrow!

If only you knew

It was all about you

Sweet light breaks the veil

You are seen

Nothing can hide you

Not success 

Not the ditch

Nor anything in between 

Don’t you know?

You must know

It was all for you

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Light to the Darkness

Sowing seeds in the desert may seem insane

When the drought hits, some may say

“what’s the point of working the land”

In your seasons of dryness, don’t stay silent

These are the seasons to declare God’s promises

When your carpet is worn and your knees dented from labouring into what feels like deadness

Raise your voice, plant your prayers

God hears every word uttered in the name of Jesus

And there will be a crop, there will be a harvest

Turn from your disappointments and look to the gardener

He can make water flow from solid rock

Bring life to dry bones, bring joy where there’s none

His love brings abundance, even from emptiness

Holy Spirit come and bring light to the darkness

Apple Tree

My single apple tree

Pokes out behind the out building

A shy little creature

Buds popping pink and white

Like popcorn in the spring light

So much beauty in a space smaller than a pin prick in its place in the universe

But still, small as she may be

She brings such joy to me

Which Voice

The devil shouts

Even his whispers are loud

The taunting sounds of all our fears.

But quieten, still now

Listen for the gentle voice

The unforced voice

The outstretched arms voice

Perfect love making a way.

The devil tempts you

Into smaller and smaller spaces

But God’s gentle guidance 

Leads you into wide open places

Come Alive

I’ve been dancing in kitchens too long

Harbouring passions in private

It’s time to come alive

The world needs to see our souls alight

Eyes dulled with suppression cannot fight the good fight 

It’s time to come alive 

Prayer

It’s in that place, an utterance, a mumbled mutter, a barely audible whisper, a scream, a gasping, ranting, silent, loud off loading, begging, standing firm, requesting, yearning, writing his promises on my heart and then pouring them out and hoping, hoping, always hoping that the barriers between angels and men, the barriers between waiting and receiving, the barriers between winning and losing, barriers between my understanding and the reality diminish and my eyes see the glory of God revealed, His kingdom come, His will done on earth as in heaven.

Heaven

The heartbreak of loss is so searing

So immediate

Even after years have passed

I guess you cannot understand it, unless you’ve lost

The guilt that your loss still cripples your heart, when some have lost more

When you search for perspective that slips from your grasp like a glass from clumsy hands

Haunted by the endless, unanswerable questions

You close your eyes

Try to fill your lungs

Breath shudders in and out

Clenching your eyes shut

Reaching out with your spirit to a tender hand

You whisper

“Be with me”

As tears pour down your face

“Hold me”

As you clutch your chest

“Heal me”

Perhaps death is not the punishment we feel it to be, our hearts wrapped around narratives of terror

Could we dare to bend our minds to an alternate reality

That illusive moment where healing happens

Where miracles manifest

Wholeness leaking into our timeline

We glimpse a place that holds no darkness

Where predators and prey are friends

We try to catch it like fireflies in jars

Like a word caught at the end of our tongue

“Heaven”

“Sweet heaven”

Where death is not the punishment we fear

Binoculars

I left church today feeling really down. A mixture of exhaustion and hormones, threatening to push tears over the brink of my tired eyes. My baby girl snuggled close asleep in a sling – and needing some head space, I opted to get the train home to let her sleep, whilst my hubby drove home with Grace. I picked up a mocha from Costa, sat on the cold, rigid seats on platform 2 at Guildford station, trying to hold back the threatening sobs and my rising sense of panic at being caught so vulnerable in public. 

I look up postnatal depression on my phone. Deciding to text a dear friend to ask for prayer, my battery dies. Internally screaming, I shout to God, “Okay, what now? I need you.”

To my left, I notice a lady 30+ years my senior who makes friendly conversation about my sleeping babe. She has a pair of binoculars around her neck and I venture to ask her what she’s on the look out for. She’s on her way to a guided archeological walk – apparently they’re good for bird spotting. I tell her I’m currently obsessed with a programme called Time Team, turns out she is too. We unashamedly admit to each other that we frequently watch the same episode more than once. We lament about lead archaeologist Mick’s sad passing a few years ago. We get on the train, we chat some more. We get onto the topic of Alpha and church.

I get off the train, having momentarily forgotten my dilemma and start wondering if I’d missed saying something that God might have wanted to say to this lovely lady. Gently, the Holy Spirit dropped a sparkling thought into my stilled heart, God wasn’t looking for me to do anything, He just wanted to be my comforter. To provide the answer to my silent panicked heavenward shouts. 

Of all the people that could sit next to me, at that moment, it’s a lovely lady called Gwyneth who shares my random love of an obscure programme about archeology. My God, who knows me and sees me and loves me, orchestrated a very specific conversation just to cheer me up. My Father God cares for me. I just wish I could tell her how God used her to calm the heart of a daughter that He dearly loves. 

Fear vs Hope

You know when you realise you’ve wasted half your life on misguided fear

Like a drunken misadventure and you’ve become aware far too late, that this person you’re cosying up to in the corner, you wouldn’t have touched with a barge pole if sober

Had you seen with clear eyes that this affair with fear was only going to leave you out in the cold, identity clouded and searching for your soul

Too many times I let your interest define me, your disinterest define me

Wasn’t taught to value me, was only mocked and disciplined for who others moulded me to be

You bartered for my sexuality like I was yours to buy, only children caught in an adults game

But it’s not charades, it’s not pretending when you touched me like you owned me and sent fear into the very heart of me

And I learnt that attention from boys, attention from men equalled desirability

So I laughed off education, surrendered to depression and defined my life by sexual admiration

All the while fear crept in, it kept me caged, it kept me in and I never explored or had adventures with people or stories that fed my soul

Fed it with hope, fed it with joy, fed it with possibility

And even though I know there is freedom from fear, still I struggle daily

Don’t want to let those ugly moments define and chain me

Want to be able to see a clean page free from insecurity

So every day in some small way I stand defiant of all that fear

Fear that I’ve wasted it all and it’s way too late to live my life with eyes that see and a heart that hopes

I look in the mirror and see who God sees, a miracle, a life, purpose in living

I will not be defined by the ghosts of the past, I’ll be defined and changed by truth and love

Arms Around You

I’ve seen life depart

I’ve mopped up my own blood from my womb that contained lives that barely flickered and then were gone

I’ve seen days so darkened with depression I’ve nearly lost the will to live

Your pain may be so much worse

Your struggle so intense you don’t know how you continue to hold on

Your eyes may have seen horrors no eyes should see

But I know a man whose sincere friendship has kept my heart secure

Turn your eyes and heart to Jesus and let His peace surround you in your storm

Breathe deep, don’t rush

The lover of your soul sits by you

Arms around you

He’ll never depart from you

There is no road too rocky

No hole too dirty

He is not ashamed to sit beside you

His love will save you