This is my 27th blog post for the Write 31 Days challenge, which I signed up to four days late.
Today, the official 31 Days challenge ends (not mine!), as hundreds of writers around the world prepare to write or post their final blog posts for their series. So, today, I will join others in recapping on this wonderful experience, before I prepare to write my four final posts to complete the 31 days. Further below you will find a poem I have written about my journey into God’s Love, which takes you through the voyage I have shared in the past 26 blog posts. I pray that the words bless and encourage you to lean into the safe and loving embrace of our Heavenly Father.
I would like to say thank you to everyone who has supported me through this challenge, for the faithful prayers (and messages) of family and friends, for the support and encouragement shown by the Facebook 31 Dayers group and to all who have been following and reading my blog. A special thank you goes to my most faithful visitors and encouragers, Wendy at Widow’s Manna, Jamie at Deeply Rooted in Love and Robin at Living My Portion. And finally I’d like to sing out my thanks to:
- Janette at A Grace Narrative for being so kind as to feature my blog post on worship in her own 31 Day series on Praise and
- Crystal Stine for shepherding this 31 Day challenge and for her personal encouragement and technical help to me at the beginning of this challenge.
Through this challenge, I have been blessed by the opportunity to write and be encouraged in community, by discovering just how much of a passion God has given me for writing and by witnessing how God takes my meager offering and multiplies it into blessings, both for others and myself.
Tomorrow, I will introduce you to several other 31 Day writers who have written about journeying into God’s love as well, many of whom have been a great encouragement to me in my writing, and I pray that their stories will bless and inspire you in your own journey.
A Journey Back Home
(Psalm 23, 62, 63, 94; Philippians 4: 7, John 6: 35-40; Zephaniah 3: 17; Jeremiah 31 : 3, John 15: 4-5)
A little girl, I watched, the pain wrenching deep,
Watching, listening, feeling, but kept at
Unable to hold, love, comfort,
hearing his little heart
beneath the labour of rebellion,
a child crying out to be seen, loved, accepted.
You saw, but let it be.
And yet You knew the pain, felt my heart cut deep.
Saw me turn and hide, unable to
Saw me replace trust with the idol of fear,
Terrified fear of
No longer a loving Father,
but terror out to catch me
“You’ll never be good enough and not love, but
awaits you if you stay.”
The trust of a child,
Fear driving me far, far
For more than twenty years,
You watched and waited,
as I learnt the ropes of perfection,
fleeing the fear etched deep:
“They’ll find you out, just wait.”
Anxiety the greatest slave driver of all,
I sought to deny, numb, erase those voices of fear. The fear of “not enough”.
And then it all
Tumours. Multiple. Three months.
A world away, yet in heart entwined.
Torn, by oceans, continents
A dying mother, me a grieving child beneath the adult facade,
My own little three year old,
left behind in the arms of her Papa, Oma and Opa to give her mother and beloved Grandma the gift of
Yet in the dying, in the fear of the
You draw close.
My eyes open, and I behold You.
The mountains high, the lake glistening,
The sky a tapestry of Your Love.
I feel Your arms.
Strong. Holding me.
Your beauty and love
They’ve been chasing me.
All this time.
Every single day of my life.
And this love wraps around me
In my dying Mum.
Peace enveloping and exuding from her
weakening and breaking body.
A peace that passes all understanding.
A peace beyond all human fathoming.
I am not yet ready to receive it fully,
But this Presence, Your Presence,
speaks truth into my numbed soul.
Your Peace pours out upon me.
And slowly and surely You draw me back
into Your loving arms, as I return
but RICH beyond measure in Your safe, comfort-enfolding arms.
And yet as I watch, behold the
My beautiful vibrant mother,
Locked in a body breaking before my very eyes,
I doubt Your goodness again, all those months later.
Images, fears crystallized, entrap me.
How can locked limbs, paper-thinning legs,
swallowing taken, speech no more,
until all is taken…
My Mum. My once beautifully vibrant Mum…
How, Lord, how can this be a testimony to Your goodness? Your love?
“Is this it?!” I cry out to You.
“Is this the “life” you promise to those you love? And those who love You?”
Despair piercing my living room
those many months later.
My heart once again truly doubts Your goodness
And the value of life itself.
I behold the suffering and fear has me
reeling to numb myself, to remove all pain.
But in Your eternal love and unfailing kindness, You draw me unto Yourself instead.
“Anna,” You say,
“All those I draw unto myself, I hold onto
and don’t let go of.
And in the name of my Father,
I prepare to place all those He gives me,
Whole and Complete before His eternal throne.”
My Mum, broken before me:
Whole and Complete before His Throne!
Me, her grieving and despairing daughter,
Held Tight, oh so tight!
Truths. Truths of Hope and undying
And yet, the fears keep pelting down upon me.
I start reading Your Word and struggle with doubts of Your goodness in judgements enacted.
Yet, I keep returning and in the returning
my eyes and heart open to your perpetually
returning grace. I see you keeping a covenant of love in tact, holding onto a people who become infamous at turning away, walking in flagrant disobedience, instead of into Your eternal love.
And in my doubts, in my seething anger and rebellious distrust of You,
You patiently turn me to the book of Job, lifting my head up to
Your love, up to Your consolations that are waiting to delight my soul.
“Who made these tapestries of skies?” you ask of me.
“Who loves You so much that He woos you every single day with untold beauty unfolding before you?
Who has been holding you all this time, waiting for you to slow and feel His arms enfold you?”
And so You teach me to bare my soul.
To cry in anguish.
To unburden the brokenness laid bare.
To open my heart before You.
And there in the depths of despair
You sing over me,
Songs that tether me to Your faithfulness.
To solid rock under my feet
and breathing room for my soul.
Who is like My God?
God- you’re my God!
I can’t get enough of you!
I’ve worked up such hunger and thirst for You.
Traveling my road of brokenness and pain,
my eyes have been opened to Your waters in the desert.
And so, I’m finally drinking in Your strength and glory.
As You continue to break me open,
You turn me heavenward, and
My lips brim praises like fountains,
As You make Your
deep, deep within me.