to not be okay
but it’s not okay
to stay that way
The gentle rain holds steady,
like the mercy of your heart.
Your faithful love sings softly,
as I rest in tender arms.
Your grace is what astounds me,
for I know where it was found.
Because God has loved you fully,
your love grows in depth untold.
You forgive me when I’m selfish,
your gaze soft upon my shame.
You confess when you have wronged me,
follow gladly where I lead.
Your compassion still confounds me,
but I know Who taught you love.
Because God forgave us fully,
our love grows in spite of storms.
The steaming black tea tasted bitter on Monica’s tongue. She had allowed it to steep in the heated kettle a full ten minutes longer than usual, and it was strong. She felt a slight shudder at the back of her neck as she forced herself to palette the bitter liquid. She needed this.
Her heart was so dark with bitterness, that even a small outward display like the tea helped her to process it. She had allowed her heart to fully transition from resenting Oliver to despising him. She hated that man for all he had caused and allowed to happen to her.
Her emotions were soaring up and crashing down these days, so much that she felt completely out of control most of the time. She needed something to ground her, and hate had quickly become that anchor. The guilt of her own mistakes was much less severe when she focused on hating him, and that was all she cared about right now. She was tired of being guilt’s victim.
She knew she was unstable, but right now she simply needed to be that way. Her friend, Mrs. Townsend, understood that and let Monica hurt openly without reprimanding or lecturing her. Even though Mrs. Townsend didn’t know about what Monica had done in the harbor district, it felt good to know that someone accepted her without question. Mrs. Townsend was the only person Monica knew who allowed her to grieve over her pain. She was a true friend.
Conversely, Olly was the personification of everything Monica hated about her life—about herself. She couldn’t keep him in her life if she was ever going to move beyond her mistakes and regrets. She also knew she could never bring herself to forgive him for how he’d hurt her, much like she could never ask him to forgive her. That was simply how life would proceed to be.
No one Monica knew had ever divorced their spouse before, and she knew she would be severely judged—even ostracized—for her choice to permanently leave Olly, but she truly felt she had no other choice. None of them had gone through all she had experienced either. Let them judge! They could never understand.
After willfully sipping the tea for several minutes, Monica grew intolerant of the overwhelming acidity and finally disposed of it. The taste had been awful, but it had, nonetheless, strengthened her resolve to return one last time to the place she had called home for over half of her life. She would retrieve her personal belongings, leave a letter of explanation for Nina, and then return indefinitely to live with Mrs. Townsend.
With a sigh, she raised her chin and stood from where she’d been sitting.
It was time. She could do this.
Many myriads of microscopic materials
and minuscule moments
of meaningful memories.
Collectively, they compile compelling creations,
combined and commingled
into a completeness of consciousness
called life, called living.
Leave the lingering lackluster lights,
the lights of life lacking love.
Boldly, they boast of betterness,
but breed brokenness and bitterness.
Behind each beckoning beacon
of beguiling brotherhood,
waits whitewashed, withering want.
Witting their wiles
whisk willfully away.
Wallow wisely in wonderful worth.
Follow the Father of forgiveness, freedom.
Forsake the fracas of fickleness
and find the fulfillment of full friendship.
For there is a Friend who fellowships
with paternal proximity,
paired with providential power—
propagating and proliferating
purity, pleasure, and piety.
Do not deny the depth of discovery
designed deftly to define your destiny.
If today is the tomorrow of yesterday,
Then why do you worry for tomorrow?
You’ve made it to today already,
And God hasn’t dropped you yet.
In fact, He will never fail you.
Like the psalmist, He has drawn you up.
He will never let your foes rejoice over you.
He never loses a battle.
Your perseverance is His priority,
For your sanctification is His glorification.
Sing praises to the Lord, O you His saints!
Worship His holy name!
He will never leave you, nor forsake you.
He will not forget you, as He has your sins.
By removing you as east to west from them,
He has brought you inseparably near to Him.
You will never walk alone or unguided.
Let your eyes look directly ahead.
Let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you.
Lay aside every weight and clinging sin.
Run the race set before you with endurance.
Look to Jesus, the Founder and Perfecter of faith.
He endured the cross to bring lasting joy.
He overcame shame to be your Savior.
And He sits at the right hand of the throne of God.
If ever there was one to be trusted with all,
There is none to compare to our great God.
May His praises be ever on your heart,
Spilling in abundance from your lips.
When death began
It’s grip on man
A war ensued
A holy feud
Faith’s eyes gouged by pride
The legged serpent crafty lied
Love by hate was minimized
Lost hope epitomized
The chance to choose again too late
Death attained eternal state
No thought of sin to dissipate
The enemy’s demising bait
The King of Love assassinate
A day or two of victory
To lose the war eternally
Humanity is justified
The Resurrected glorified
Eternal life released for all
Repentant souls a globe enthrall
The love of God that stole the ball
Ensured the faithful never fall
Complete salvation to install
Righteousness to all who call
Who live by faith obedient
To them the gift of life is sent
For us the blood of Christ was spent
Religion’s prison to relent
Freedom calls with voice fervent
The Hand of justice grace-ways bent
The Law fulfilled to full extent
Come to Jesus
He Who’s freed us
Love the Father
Sin is mastered
The Word infleshed
The Word in text
Bound for Heaven
Do not prolong the coming truth
Lay aside the lusts of youth
Deduce the evidence as sleuth
Die to live your life for sooth
Die to death to truly live
Complete completion He will give
I allowed myself, over many years and through many self-serving practices, to create a dreamworld in which I thought I could escape from what I considered undesirable. This was a world where nothing existed except for what I desired. If I chose to remove God from it–which I usually, if not always, did because I envisioned myself as the god–I simply chose to ignore what I knew to be right.
This was my world, and it was my law which was given the illusion of power. I even allowed my world the luxury of believing there to be no consequence for sin. The only sin I declared to exist was that which I did not want, and its consequence was simply to not exist.
In my world, God was the transgressor, because He was the One telling me that what happened in my world–the very existence of my dreamworld even–was wrong. He insisted that I would suffer consequences in the real world–His world–for my rebellion. In stubborn, idiotic incredulity, I simply created counter laws in my world which dismissed his laws. I was a rebel.
As a jealous and selfish little god, I was quite territorial of my imaginative haven of rest. The more God impressed Himself on me–infiltrating every bulwark I raised to protect my little world from His assaulting love–the more desperate I became to protect myself–and my little world–from being removed from my imagined control. The deeper I went into my dreamworld, the longer I could stay and avoid the undesirable truths of God’s holy reality.
Many years later, and only slightly wiser, I began the strenuous and lengthy process of deconstructing my safe haven of denial. I quickly learned that this is very difficult work–nearly impossible. The first step I had to take was to admit, even to myself, that I am a completely lousy imitation of a god. The real God is no longer wrong. I am the one who was wrong all along, and I am needing to readmit that every day.
The things I allowed myself to do with such illusions of freedom in that world are being forced to cease. They do not want to be abandoned…at all! The little god in me–what the real God calls my flesh–still lives under the illusion that he deserves a place of royalty in my heart. He alone believes I owe him some twisted form of loyalty, but what he doesn’t realize is that, compared to the real God, he doesn’t have even half a leg on which to stand.
Even yet, he was the god of my secret world for so long that I sometimes get lost in the real world, and find myself wandering shamefully into my not-so-secret, less-than-private world of secrecy and escape. When this happens, I often find myself bewildered and sickened by my own foolish ignorance. How could I go back to a place that leaves me feeling so miserable? Worse yet, how could I let my flesh be a god to me, when the real God literally gave His life to free me time and time again from all the misery I suffered so long when I would try to hide from the truth?
God’s truth is so beautiful, that it invigorates every inch of me with awe, love, and hope. Even still, that measly old god, called flesh, seeks to preserve every possible claim he can over my old world–my old self. Between his stubbornness and the steady encouragement of his accomplice, the devil–who is at the same time his worst enemy–my little world of selfish pleasures has managed to remain year after year, day after day, haunting me.
It needs to be ended. I am ready. I am desperate for the real world, the one in which the real God is always God, and His goodness and truth are allowed to be alive in the real me at all times.
I am ready for complete sanctification. I am ready to be holy. Dear God, please make the real me emulate the real You. Help me to forever abandon my futile attempts to control. This is my most beautiful dream. This is what You desire. Give me the desires of Your heart.