Writing blogposts at 37 000 feet in the air

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This plane has got to land. It has got to make it to Los Angeles so I get off and thank God that it was all alright.

But right now, it is the safest place in this 11, 279 metres of space above ground and sea. Suspended and gliding through the air. I over heard the lady in the row in front of me marvel at how this whole thing works. Read More

When the search is over

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2013.

I want to trace my fingers over these numbers. To reach every nook & cranny of them, taking them apart and building them back together again. To pause at those moments when life felt unbearable so I can whisper to myself that it will be ok, that the end of the moment would be better than the beginning. Promise.

I want to linger at those moments when my heart was bursting at the seams with abundance so I can take it all in again & again & again.

I want to freeze those numbers, etch them into my skin & into my bones so I can remember always that I can never, ever go back to the way things used to be, that this is the end and at this end only one thing is clear – God & all the parts of Him.

In the beginning there was me. I was born.

I was born into love & poverty & struggle & peace & discontent & deepness & God & doubt. And I didn’t know what to do with all this stuff so I did what any normal human being would do – I started searching.

For answers. Why was the most pressing question for me and the one I asked over & over & over when I was a child. I asked it of family, friends & strangers alike. I wanted to understand the wiring behind things, why they happened the way they did. It was an obsession, a craving whose origins was as mysterious as my own soul.

Why is the sky blue? Why won’t those kids play with me? why does it hurt in the chest when you are sad? Why, why, why?

The answers given were always short & simple – the kind you give to pacify a child. But I was not a child; I was an ancient soul in a child’s body. So I continued searching.

It became thick and complicated.

Now I was searching for significance, validation, value and for my place in the world. I was looking for love, depth, richness, passion, realness, authenticity. I was looking for God, even though I had Him. He was too big for my small hands, I wanted to handle Him, taste Him. I wanted to feel Him.

I was deluded & on fire.

I was searching for identity, I was searching for myself.

I’ve spent the last 30 years of my life searching. I’ve left no stone unturned. Everything in me that can be cracked open has been cracked open. There has been no holding back here, not on my watch. I laid myself out in the open, through rain & sandstorms and I looked my flaws in the face, dined with them & then sent them off on their way. There was clinging, there were tears. It has been painful. It has been scary.

I searched like an insatiable lover & the very idea of searching was like a tall, dark, brooding man always desperate for my touch, my skin, wanting me, consuming me. I became good at him. It was a thrilling love affair.

Then I went to Malaysia.

My humanity came under scrutiny. It was simple, really. There was nothing new about this experience. I have had this questioning of my humanity in other places in the world. But there was everything new about where this experience took me.

The despair was blinding. & the darkness, suffocating. It was in my in veins, in my sinews, everywhere. It soaked right through my skin & it covered me until that was all I could see, feel & taste. So I did what any normal human being would do – I stopped fighting.

There was nothing left in me. I had no grace to offer the world or myself.

Coiled up there in the darkness, I realised this was the end. This was the place where the search & I went our separate ways. I wanted to hold on to Him, to feel his warm breath on my skin just one more time but this was it. This was goodbye.

It has taken me weeks to understand what this means. And even then I cannot be eloquent in words with it. So, instead, I want to show you. From here on end.

The search comes to an end when you find what you are looking for. It must. Mine has.

I will now enter the arena, with all my gold nuggets in tow to reflect back to the world, to take on the work of being properly human.

 

Surrender

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Some things, some moments are simply too sacred to reduce to syllables & words. Too precious to gather together in a net of phrases & sentences. Instead, they ought to be breathed in, to be allowed to settle into us. For they are the groans & utterances of our inner most being – those things we know not how to say or give account of. We only know that we know & this reality alone convicts us of their existence & of our own, convicts us of our frame & flesh.

But I find myself wanting to explain these moments to you & to myself. I find myself wanting to mesh a net together that will catch every speck, every drop, every breath of life that lives in these moments.

I want to describe the last 10 days. I want to analyse & cut open & poke…again & again & again until I come to some semblance of a story that I can feel & handle in my hands, tangible & hot. This want rises up in me like an overwhelming tide. Part of this urgent desperation is driven by nostalgia, the other part, by fear. A year from now, will I remember these moments? Will my breath catch in my chest at the magnitude & depth of them? At the mere thought of them?

I don’t want to let go. I want to hold on.

But there are no words to immortalise this time or the me that is reflecting back when I look in the mirror of my soul. Everything is at sea, swimming over each other, cascading & falling into a pit of overflow.

My small hands cannot hold this over abundance.

My vocabulary is limited.

My pen, inexperienced.

The only thing meaningful left to do is Surrender, body, heart & soul. To stop wanting to memorize every freckle of this. To trust that it is all part of me, right into the muscles & bones of me, forever changing the fabric of my being;

To walk on ahead with courage knowing that God will move for me;

To be still in this wanting & needing because He will send His angels at just the right time, even to the very second. No sooner, no later.

There is hope unfathomable. The kind that shines brightly behind thick, dark clouds; the kind that is breathtaking & true because it is wound up in Him who created it & has reign over it.

I can rest in that. I can truly, truly rest in that. & so can you.

 

Things falling from heaven

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She stood by the window transfixed. Afraid to move. This was the longest she had tamed her nerves. Everything in her had welled into a strange calmness. It was a gift and she was going to take it, no questions asked. Relief from the fiery questions, doubts & fears that plagued her day in and day out. she sighed. The sky was a transparent blue. She could easily get lost in that blueness just as easily as she had lost herself in Noah’s blue eyes. He had taken her by the hand and promised her the world. Who wouldn’t believe him when he stared at her like she was the most beautiful woman in the world?

She shook her head sternly banishing the thoughts. She knew exactly where these thoughts would lead – curled up on the cold floor drowning in her tears.

Her fingers’ grasp on the thin draperies tightened. The trembling seemed to start from the inside of her. It made her knees weak & her senses fill with nausea.

How did this happen? How could she have been so mistaken?

“I’ve never met anyone who understands me the way you do” he had said a mixture of shyness & excitement traced in every line on his face as he tilted his head to look at her. He was the most beautiful man she had ever seen. And he was here, saying these soul-moving things to her. She knew the moment was monumental, she could feel the electricity in her body & on the surface of her skin. & she knew then that if he ever touched her, it would be too much.

“You tick every box of mine…and…and I don’t want to go” he finished. She stared at him with no words or breath, her small chest constricting into its own. He made her so happy it hurt. This was the day she had been waiting for – the man she had chosen had chosen her in return. This is what they called love.

She shut her eyes to stifle the memory. The tears were running down her face and she lifted her face to the sky, wishing the blueness would just swallow her up.

Please God, she prayed. I need to know. Give me a sign. Anything.

Nobody had warned her that sometimes love is not true enough to last forever. & that sometimes people mean something else when they speak words of intimacy.

She had given of herself to him. The fairytale had ended as quickly as it had begun. He offered no explanation except;

“You are not the one for me…”

What about the beautiful words we exchanged? What about the promises…what about what was growing between us, the chemistry, friendship, trust, hope…

“I didn’t promise you anything. I was simply tasting…”

And so it ended there & the journey of her broken heart had began. Her dreams had been smashed into a million pieces & her hands were too small to gather all the pieces back together.

The tears came faster. Unbridled & bitter. The world did not take kindly to women like her – weepy over a man who had given her the wrong impression. A man who had dangled hope in her face and then retracted it as if it was something dirty. There was no sanctuary for this kind of condition. She had to toughen up & get on with life. Her shoulders convulsed in protest as her finger nails cut into the draperies. The cloud around her heart was thick & heavy.

Please God, she prayed again. I need to know. Will I ever mean more to a man? Give me a sign. Anything.

She swabbed at her eyes & that is when she saw the things falling from heaven. One, two, three and soon it was raining hope. The cloud melted. Her heart welled up and the laughter that escaped her throat was from that place deep down that she thought had died.

This was the sign. God had heard her prayer & even more so, he had breathed into her insides grace & compassion. She was not forgotten. She was not alone. The pain would pass & she would learn salvation in the process. This story ended here & its home was to be revisited no more. Hope had returned.

This post is about God

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Here is the thing about being a God-lover.  It’s not all candy & bliss. It’s more like sugarcane. To get to the juicy, full-bodied flesh of sweetness, ripping, peeling & cutting has to happen.

To love God you actually have to do things; God-things. The things God does that make Him what He is. It’s the impartiality, the forgiving of others, the loving of the enemy, the esteeming of others better than yourself, the sacrificing & the keeping of the law. You do these things even when you don’t feel like it or you’re having a bad day. This is difficult.

Some people believe it to be a kind of slavery. Maybe it is. But imagine being chained to a mountain of goodness. & imagine that mountain oozing its goodness into you…it’s like that.

To love God you have to know Him. It’s not the mucking around in the emotion of it but the knowing of Him to the core. What He thinks & His take on life. The doing of Him. See, it stops being about you & how you feel & what you think is right. It’s about doing the God-thing regardless of what you think or feel. It is doing that thing that is the right thing to do everyday, everywhere and every time.

Of course this is impossible because we are human & are filled to the brim with the murk of our nature. But we cannot claim to know God without acting like He does.  We might as well leave the arena.

To speak of faith & God you have to spill yourself onto life. For to be a God-lover is to be vulnerable to ridicule, misunderstandings, judgement & criticism. But it is also to be privy to joy, peace, contentment, fulfilment, purpose & deep satisfying pleasure.

Many people proclaim to love God. I don’t know much about that. I only know of my own proclamation – I know it like a man knows a woman.

I am drawn to His purity like a miserable moth to the light. Irresistible, undeniable.

He has been merciful to me – the mercy He pours into my lap, no human can offer me. He has the one thing I cannot find anywhere else on earth or in the heavens. Even when I crawl into His presence with bleeding knees & parched lips, I leave with a nourished soul.

But when I try to explain this, words do not exist that quite capture the mystery. The letters of the alphabet fall off one by one in their inadequacy to name the beauty that is God to me.

I walk in a straight line. I am determined so. But as you would know, walking in a straight line can be like walking on a tightrope. You get wobbly & fall off sometimes. So you learn the art of steadying yourself. Balance. sweet, sweet balance. Sometimes it is the difference between life & death.

God is my balance, my ground, my earth, my air, my everything.

& so every night I find myself praying;

“I want to be secure in my knowing of You. In Your loving of me. Please, please…I want to be one hundred percent for You. I want to be amazing for You”

Fundamental happiness

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I don’t know when it starts.

Maybe it was walking through the park that day & noticing all the people your size had playmates while you shyly lingered besides the swing. Alone & desperate.

Maybe it was that one night when loneliness descended & clutched your heart so tightly that you couldn’t breathe.

Or maybe it was that time when everything was going wrong & you made a promise to yourself to move mountains for your success.

But whenever it starts, it comes swooping down from somewhere infiltrating every cell in your body. Making you heavy, heavy in the soul & casting a powerful spell on you. Your eyes droop & you’re hypnotised. Well & truly.

Thus begins your search for happiness. & convinced you are that it is somewhere out there. You vow to find it.

I‘m not an unhappy person. But then I realised that I haven’t been an entirely happy person either. For the most part, I’ve straddled the fences – like a restless spirit – moving between two worlds.

Like most people, I’ve always thought happiness is something you arrive at; that it is something being dangled in front of you & you have to reach out & grab it. The only thing is, it moves as you move. Forever shifting & making you forever reaching & stretching. That is not happiness. It is grasping. Wild & pure. Not the kind of stuff you want to get hooked on. & yet its tentacles reach into the depth of us. & so we keep reaching out our arms to things outside of ourselves to make us happy.

There is always something to be unhappy about; “I’m too ugly, too fat, too short, too poor, too emotional, too little, too much…”

Insatiableness & discontentment are man’s most reliable friends. Whenever we call, they will always come.

It broke my heart when I found out that people cannot make me happy. Not the kind of happiness that floods your soul & stays there forever. For someone who had so much faith in mere mortals to be good & wonderful all the time, this revelation was shattering. To be honest, I’m still recovering – still dusting off the debris of rolling knee deep in its mess. Attached to that was my sad, sad proclivity to perfection…a perfection that I thought I could drag out of myself & others. Such a recipe for disaster.

I’ve done a lot of soul wrenching & sewing-back-together in this searching for happiness business. I am not the same girl I was a few years ago. The reality that happiness lives on the other side of where my house is, is coming undone right before my eyes & I am loving the destruction.

But even with that, I still struggle with completely letting go of the notion that happiness will come washing in when I get there…wherever there is.

One thing in particular – I’m a single, gorgeous girl *I think I can say that ;-)* & I’ve always thought I would be happy when I get married – that the moment I lay my eyes on the lover of me, happiness would magically begin its work on me. Just like that.

I don’t know, friends, where this idea comes from. But I do know that I’ve practically wasted 10 years waiting for happiness to come in the form of a man. & yes, he will bring happiness when he comes but he is not responsible for my happiness. That is my business. & this is the place where I’ve always fallen flat on my face – this relinquishing of my power to be happy to other people who in most cases are busy with searching for their own happiness.

I have come into the realm of where fundamental peace & happiness lives. & for me, I have to invest in a relationship that is sweeter & better than any other I’ve ever had or ever will have. My relationship with God is my fundamental happiness. & there is beautiful movement in my soul – from understanding this generally to the specifics of specifics – the knowing & feeling God in my corner. Mighty & strong. Loving & kind. A friend of my mind. A friend of my soul.

It doesn’t take away the longing for pure, genuine friendships & a life-long love affair with an equally gorgeous man but it puts it into perspective. & happiness is 99% perspective.

Wherever I am should be the right place & time to be happy. Fundamentally. With every breath in my body.