an odyssey: year 5, day 363.

I’m realizing that Your hospital isn’t such a daunting and clinical place. After the years I’ve stayed here, I’m starting to realize it’s actually more akin to a sanctuary. It’s when I venture back out into the world without You, forgetting and abandoning what I’ve known of Your character, that I run into trouble. But inevitably evil wounds me in such a way that leads me to remember You and Your loving skill with mending.

You’re not cold, clinical, and distant like they portrayed You to be. I once vehemently believed You were. I think often people forget that our story started with me despising, resenting and running from You. But in my time with You I had the opportunities to watch You work on others, pouring all Your concentration into the patients in distress on the table in front of You. That grimace on Your face that I once confused with a grimace of disdain and disgust now has context and is better understood from an onlooker’s perspective. It wasn’t disdain and disgust, it was a grimace of genuine concern – one that knew that this work You were doing would be the deciding factor between life and death. And You knew that in their disoriented state, these patients were combative because they thought the pain You were causing was torture instead of resetting bone, removing shrapnel, stitching up gaping wounds and dealing with ravaged tissue. You knew they might not understand for a long time, but still You saved their lives anyways.

Maybe I would’ve seen it more clearly if I hadn’t been trying to claw and beat Your hands away when You were tending to my wounds on the table for the first time. I’d just been through the worst thing possible to my mind and after snippets of stories about You, I had known only fear of You. At one time I thought kindly of You, but I couldn’t reconcile what I had been through with my unknowingly shallow understanding of who I thought You were. Still as my hands clawed through the air searching for Your face, You skillfully dodged and kept working. You knew that I didn’t know what I was doing. You forgave me anyways.

I was comatose for a few months. I knew somewhere in my consciousness that I wasn’t alone in my room. Somehow I felt You there. I sometimes heard other patients too. You’d come visit me, check in on how I was doing. You always knew exactly what we all needed and exactly what pace we all would mend at. You were always patient, always kind. Always long suffering. Even though I could tell I was slowly but surely healing I would still shy away from Your hand when You reached for me. It was very confusing. I trusted Your ability to heal me from whatever was coming my way, that You’d help me overcome the obstacles. But I also in my heart believed that it was because of You that I was in need of You to begin with.

When I would come to, You’d ask me about the distrustfulness in my eyes when I looked at You. At first tentatively but soon increasingly with a degree of defiance I would retort with the aforementioned reasoning. You’d calmly listen. You seemed sad, but not surprised not shaken.

“In time.” You said. And my defiant glare would swivel upwards from where my hands gripped my blanket to Your eyes and the breath would get knocked out of me because I thought Your response was a challenge but the love in Your eyes told a very different story. I’d be internally reeling in confusion but You’d peacefully smile back, smooth my hair, check my vitals, then go attend to other patients.

[patient log status; completed.]

[archived.]

[impending log – 03/24/2017]

 

an odyssey: year 5, day 362.

the relentless furnace of reality has a way of igniting my wishful thinking, sending dreams and misplaced comfort up in smoke.

i know what I said because each moment is carved into my mind. I never tried to chisel them away because I needed the energy to survive, to exist.

i know what it’s like to be without Your presence. The cold and lonesome dark, the knife through my heart as the words “she’s gone” change my life forever.

yes I’m gone, far gone.

irretrievably lost unless You come and save me.

even though I cherished and loved all life long naturally, I was desperate to savour every interaction with anyone as if it were my last. I was desperate to see You, desperate to know there was something or someone who could help me.

always the child fearful of nothing but losing the loved ones she had, I lost my last breath when I heard you died. the thing that I feared most in life was an everyday and every night possibility that I tried desperately to see coming lest the surprise devastate me again. but for these matters, one could never be prepared.

so followed the six years of open heart surgery. so followed many surgical complications.

You had so much hope for me that I didn’t have for myself. I know Youre real, that You love me. I wouldn’t be coming back to life if it weren’t for Your skillful and loving hand.

“I’m not going anywhere,” they would tell me. And another shard of schrapnel would saw at my heart strings as I uncomfortably shifted, reminding me of the precise location it was lodged.

people to this day have always fallen into two categories. the ones that would inevitably leave over time and the ones that would leave despite our mutual passionate desire to stay with each other until the end.

death is so cruel. Jesus help me to not get swallowed by pain and fear of what has been known.

learning to live again post surgery is at times worse that the initial heart failure.

in my experience, as much as tragic things are tragic, what is intensely more difficult to swallow is the aftermath. I don’t know who that girl is in those photos from 6 years ago. she wears my face, but I dont know her. I’m dumbstruck. is it possible to be two totally different people in one lifetime?

ive struggled to remember much of anything accurately in the past six years. I remember her. I remember the summer following. almost everything apart from that is muddled together. almost. must be the anesthesia. time to rest.

[patient log status; completed.]

[archived.]

[impending log – 03/23/2017]

 

Hold On to Hope. // The Thing About Time.

“Any fool can survive a crisis. It’s the day to day living that wears you out. ” – Anton Checkov

This quote has always stuck in my head, but I’m really starting to feel it this year. For the past half of a year, nothing really substantial has occurred that is apart from the daily.

But this is one of those few times that I’ve struggled so hard to not be resentful of my present circumstance. Constantly biting at the bit, this dreamer is ravenous for adventure and to be anywhere but locked up in a room alone with stacks of homework to do but instead staring blankly at a wall or computer screen. I’m craving forests, mountains, the outdoors. I’m longing for loved ones, quality conversation and time.

And I could feel tension slowly grating away on my sanity.

 

Time. I once used to think of myself as a patient person. When I was going through this desert of a time, I knew that the trial would end eventually. I knew that I should take heart, for each season ends and brings to life a new one.

“My God, why? Why can’t we skip all these extraordinarily dull days so I can actually be out accomplishing things? I think I understand where you’re trying to take me (very, very vaguely) but why take so much time?”

Time.

Finally, a break. And I come to hear, like a small whisper in the wind, a voice say to my heart, “Life will move along regardless of you.” And then peace. If you’re reading this and going through “a time”, I really need you to listen. There are two things.

This time you’re going through will end, and bring forth a new time.

There is nothing you can do to make this time end any faster or slower.

And here I pull in a verse that people use all the time. Seriously all the time. They could have a shop full of merchandise with this verse plastered all over their stuff because that’s how much it gets used. I digress.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11

Look carefully. Who knows the plans for your life? The LORD. So, now a question for you. Do you see your name in that verse beside the Lord? Does it say that you and the Lord know the Lord’s plans for you? Nope.

If God know the plans He has for you, and He is sovereign, does that mean that you have to be on the in for it to be a good plan or to bring about executing that plan by the best possible way necessary? No.

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:9

God holds the reins. There arises issues and conflict when we get control-hungry and try to take those reins away. We start to veer everywhere but “on course” it seems. This is either really good news or really bad. Really bad if it makes you overthink, “Well Delynn, I’m trying to do my best and do what God wills in this moment so He can do the most with me, but I just feel like I’m not where I’m supposed to be.” To which I have to say (and God please help me because I so desperately need to remind myself of this), “You are never in a place where God doesn’t need you to be in or can’t use you.” (Creds to my Love for this quote).

Time. It moves faster or slower for no man. There are no exceptions. We don’t have the full picture and sometimes are really prone to believe that God doesn’t know where the heck He’s driving. Please, He’s the best driver there is and He has the most comprehensive view than every man that has lived, is living, and will live combined. The only thing that makes for crazy driving is your rebellion of the action plan He’s trying to carry out.. And despite the maneuvers He’s doing or the actions you take that weren’t according to plan, He has the incredible knack for bringing the good out of any and every situation. How? Because He knows how all the roads and paths work out – He made them after all.

It would be like asking a total random stranger who has never been to a location before to workout an elaborate route through networks of roads and hi ways and byways they’ve never seen before in their lives. Are you going to ask the guy who made the roads and their systems to drive, or are you, the total stranger to such path ways going to try to make the best of it? Did I mention that your life is the cost if you don’t get to the end destination? But the guy who made the roads happens to love you more than you can fathom and has offered to drive for you. Don’t know about you, but I’m definitely going to take up His offer.

If you feel like your life is one move away from a 5 car pile up or that you’re already in the scrap yard, He has the ability to make even the most unquestionable of lost causes newer and better than the original form they came in.

“There is a time for everything, and a time for every matter under heaven.” – Ecclesiastes 3:1

This season will end. Hold on to the hope that is yours in Christ with unrelenting hands, because this world will try everything to try and steal it from you and make all your days insignificant. They aren’t, so don’t fall for the lie that they are.

This Woman Needs Bread

“I wish the I was eloquent with words. That I could be like one of those speakers that steps up on stage and

pops it,

locks it,

polka dots it,

and don’t do it for the fame.

They pop the question that

locks the idea in your head that

there’s more than just sentences filled with punctuation

see,

they have the bravery to say the words I had left unsaid. And so what I’m trying to tell you is, before you ask who I am, I will say what I am not. I am not

a prophet

a healer of all wounds

a comforter.

I am a beggar showing other beggars where to get bread.

Because you see, I have been through some of life’s miseries and I’m starving

on the daily

and this frail me

cannot sustain itself through fasting and keeping quiet;

this woman needs bread.

And though I’ve been offered many delicacies that looked delicious to these starving eyes, and pleasant to hold in these shaking hands, when I took my first bite,

I faltered,

The very food in my hand

altered

as it crumbled to dust leaving ash in my mouth.

This woman needs bread.

And so for months I stumbled around. The things that I thought would sustain me,

they framed me,

and I became the poster child of what not to do and who not to be. I was shackled in irons, starving and tired, and in desperate need for my bread. And finally the day came for me when I was too weak to lift my head.

But I did have enough energy -enough bitterness- to sputter the words,

‘How .. could You .. do this to me?’

I thought it was the end.

And as I clung onto despair like my skin and tattered clothes clung to my bones,

He came.

And never have I so desperately wanted, needed, craved to see this last person I thought I ever wanted to know. And as He looked at my pitiful frame, He drew me to Him, broke the loaf with His nail pierced hands and said,

‘Here woman, starve no more. I offer you My bread.’ “

The Death of a Criminal.

We are by far our own worst depreciators. And so we need someone who will appreciate us. We need someone to believe in us. Someone who will love on us. Someone who will remind us of who we are and what we’re meant for. Someone who will hold us accountable to our acts, thoughts, and deeds. Someone who will give us hope when all is lost. Someone who will put us on our feet again and dust us off, and then continue on walking with us. Someone who will be honest with and tell us the truth. Someone who will be the way out when there isn’t one. Someone who will tell us we are beautiful creations when we can barely meet our own eyes in the mirror morning after morning. Someone who will destroy our demons, not just put them in cages and give us advice on how to train them so they behave better. Someone who will break into the deepest parts of our self defenses, just to prove that it’s actually a prison and prison is no place to live. Someone who will free us from our chains that we put on ourselves and have had others put on us, not pass us a gun and say, “it’s like roulette. I hope you get lucky and make the right choice.” But the answer is not in us. It never was. We do not live for ourselves Sometimes we find it hard enough to live with our selves. Is that why we celebrate like we’re going to die tomorrow? But I don’t want to die tomorrow. Or today. I want to live today, tomorrow, and for all eternity. I want to party like everyday is new, because everyday will be, and because it’s a new day of my life that I get to live to the fullest. But I can’t have any of that without love to first set me free. A love that would meet me in whatever place I’m at, and then not leave me there. A love that wouldn’t be afraid or disgusted by my disfigured heart that couldn’t stand the very thought of its own self beating. A love that would take on the crushing weight of the consequences and accountability I had been running from but knowingly never escaping. I knew because whenever I was out of breath from running and slowed down enough to think about my life, the weight of dread would come and try to suffocate the rest of the life out of me. A love that would find me and give me hope, because I was lost and chained, and exhausted, and alone. Because alone with only all my demons for company was not a good place to be. And so love came. And when I was covered in my own shame and filth and blood, He took the chains off me so I could rise from having my face in the dust, and wore them around himself. He lifted my weary head so He could study every detail on this face of mine and keep it in crystal- clear resolution in the forefront of His mind as He died in my place. My death. The death of a criminal. Why me? I am not worth dying for, I thought. But that thought holds no weight anymore, and now it holds no truth either because I live for someone else, and He is truth. And I abide by His truth because He tells me that He endured that wretched death because I was His reward. I do not have to own what I have done anymore, because He owns me and paid for me in full. The highest price – He paid for me while others shamed Him, when He took on their filth, and when they screamed for His blood. He knows who I am. He knew what I did, and what I would do. And He reached into my lonely darkness, craddling my wretched and failing heart in His pierced hands, and whispered, “Mine.” And before my eyes He became all that I had ever wanted but knew I never deserved. He became my faith that I was meant for more, because it is He who grants faith. He gave me hope, because that is what He is to me. And when all failed, He did not, because love cannot, and He is love. “Love never fails…So these three things remain: faith, hope, and love; but the greatest of these is love.” -From 1 Corinthians 13 ESV