Tuesday, May 18, 2010

copyright Judy Silverstein 2009
used by permission

pain is a gift!
it hurts. it scrapes our
egos and hearts against rock-
hard boundaries. but...
it forces us to tilt our eyes away
from ourselves to others. and
ultimately, toward the face of

pain kneads in us a softening
of our rigidity. our criticisms.
our wilful bent to define our own
journey. leaving God on the sidelines.
believing ourselves far more adept
than He at putting the pieces together.

i have never marched in
the band of suffering with joy and
acceptance. in time, i start kicking and
screaming. i go from shock to an immed-
iate sense of rebellion and fear. believing
that God needs my help to peel away
this claustrophobic tightening of what i
want vs. His will of defined hardship.

i always think of brock, my second born.
standing in the door of the laundry room
where i was folding clean clothes. he had
just returned from kindergarten.

someone said something mean
to me today.

my face looked sad.
that must have really hurt
your feelings.

it did.

i folded this five year old
little wonder into my arms.

brock, life is sometimes mean
and hard, but Jesus always, in time,
fixes everything.

i am just now really coming out of
years in the wilderness. and silence.
always writing and speaking publicly
that darkness comes, BUT Jesus never
leaves us there forever. that we will always
laugh again. the sun will diffuse the
darkness. yet, this wilderness felt like

stop the pain.
turn off the sun, moon. the stars.
close all the stores. tell the policemen
to go home. paint the windows black.

again, i promise you that pain is
a gift. it purifies our souls. gives God
a chance to prove Himself: that love
ALWAYS wins. miracles ARE raised
out of ashes. we can really appreciate
the gifts He has saved for us only if we
have lived with pain.

take pain's hand.
make her your friend.
believe....always...that darkness
does NOT last forever.

as i read your loving comments
on facebook and my website, i
have tears. your love warms my
spirit where wounds once lived.

Jesus is my Song.
the ONLY One who can paint
beauty and purpose in our lives
if we embrace the pain, and wait
for Him to create the sunrise.

dance with me.
take my hand. i love you.
remember that God's
love binds us together.
and our acceptance of
suffering ultimately brings
God's brand new, fresh

"Dear friends, do not be surprised
at the painful trials you are suffering,
as though something strange is
happening to you.
But rejoice that you participate
in the sufferings of Christ,
so that you may be overjoyed
when His glory is revealed."

~ I Peter 4:12-13 (NIV)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Michelle Meiklejohn


when our babies are
laid in our arms, there is
nothing like it. so tiny. cooing.
the smell of burped milk .
gifts of God's, to us. we

paint our dresses yellow.
hang the flags on every post.
celebration begins!!

yet..her baby suddenly
gets more attention than ours.
or one gets the croup. nights of
walking the floor. exhaustion.

husbands and babies and the world
to impress and please and nurture.

our children go to kindergarten
and others hurt their feelings.

my oldest was in first grade.
a rainy day. i had my other three
in car seats in the back.

mommy, will you please walk me to class?

and another quiet

finally i took
his sweet, little hand and we
ducked the rain, and dashed into
school. i suddenly could see that
he had tears streaming down his cheeks.

i fell on the floor beside him.
i began to weep. i had not
imagined that this was such a painful
day for him. i wonder why, i thought.

and even as i type this,
my eyes are filled with tears.
every mother has some sad
memories. and somehow,
when it comes to our children,
those don't fit.

scratch them out.
wrap them in paper.
color them black, and
throw them into the river.

i wanted us to be HAPPY!
no troubles. no yelling. no spankings
by dad. warm cake at bedtime. adven-
tures. the bigger world where we all
stood on some higher level of peace
and wholeness than those around us
with all their problems.

along. the. road.
every mother hits the wall
of hardship and pain and worry
and imperfection and concern.

babies become toddlers, and
toddlers grow and end up in
junior high school where hormones
start going crazy. all kinds of
things can begin happening. at eighteen,
they are supposedly adults, and making
their own choices. and NONE of us
EVER always make the right and per-
fect decisions.

my children are my rising sun and setting
sky; my moon and stars and quiet, evening
breeze. my four sons are my everything.
and i believe every mother reading this feels
the same about her children.

but they aren't perfect. don't always make
right choices just as we didn''t and don't.
motherhood has thrown me on my face.
across the carpet of my bedroom floor, and
taught me to PRAY. a mother weeping over
her children.

i love the line,
forgiveness is an act of worship.

mostly forgiving ourselves.
forgiving all the tense moments
when we could have handled our
children better. forgiving all our imper-
fections when we started out sure we
would be perfect. forgiving our children
when they step into some deep hole,
and we don't know how to pull them out.

louie giglio was talking about how inconceiveably
BIG our God is. how He spoke the universe into
being and breathed stars out of His mouth that
are huge, raging balls of fire. our God who knitted
our human bodies together with amazing detail
and wonder. we can trust the God who has the
power to hold us all together when things seem
to be falling apart.

held together,
one cell to another,
by the Cross.

mothers are soldiers.
marching. marching.
always striving to live with
forgiveness as our act of worship.

i throw my arms around you.
i especially dedicate this column
to all the single moms who have
marched on turf most others cannot

marching as to war!
the enemy cannot have
us or our chilldren.
I corinthians 13

"Love never fails...
and now these three remain:
faith, hope and love.
But the greatest of these is love."

~I Corinthians 13:8, 13