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I’ve been STRONGLY feeling all of your prayers going up on my behalf!  Thank you!

There have been no major shifts in the day to day reality of my life, but my attitude about it all has completely flipped.  I’ve been able to have more of an eternal perspective.

When I was a little girl I basically wanted just four things in life:  Lots of kids, lots of animals, to live on a body of water, and to write.  I loved to write stories and poems and play with my cats, dogs, chickens, rabbits, and calves.   Those were my happy places. But, as I grew my stories and poems got buried beneath heavy mounds of pain. 

My ex would tell you he tried to encourage me to write.  What he did was demand I write a book because he’d worked on the new home of a man who hit it big by…..writing a book.  Like one of those old cartoon characters, the dollar signs spun around his eyeballs, making him resemble a slot machine.  All he could think was that he’d no longer have to work at all.  His days could be wasted away in front of the TV, drinking beer, while living off of my royalties.

Because, yeah, starving writers aren’t really a thing.  You just write a book and get rich.  That’s how it works.  (I can taste my own sarcasm!)

I didn’t know what to write about though.  I tried.  But, nothing bubbled to the top and poured out the tips of my fingers.  They were dry.  Empty.  As though I had no stories to tell. 

The massive dam of abuse held back my ability to share my story.  Giant beams of shame and hardened layers of rejection directed the flow of my life and kept my words in place. 

Until an earth shattering natural disaster caused that dam to crumble.

Like Nehemiah riding through the ruins of the temple, I’ve spent the last five years circling the ruins of my life, trying to figure out how to rebuild this mess.  Debris is EVERYWHERE!  Some stones are so heavy there’s just no way I can possibly remove them by myself.   It’s a long, arduous process to thoroughly remove the chaotic evidence of destruction.  I can’t even think of rebuilding until the site is cleared.  Oh, just lots and lots of work to do!

As I’ve heaved and struggled, I’ve recorded my story.   I’ve written snippets, chapters if you will, of devotions, ideas and scripture verses, that have helped me with my work. 

I’ve also started writing my life story as a novel.  It’s not to make me the star of my own show.  I’m not so deluded as to think I’m that interesting.  By weaving other people’s stories into the abnormality of my own life story I’m hoping to prove there is no such thing as that elusive “normal life” and “normal family” too many of us long for.
And, now, I’m starting a third project.  I don’t think they’ll ever get published.  That’s not the point.  The point is, I’m writing.  I’ve tapped into that part of me that found solace in putting words to paper.  That, in itself, is fulfilling.  Amazingly, the abuse that took that from me has become the catalyst for my fulfillment.  It is my song. It is my story.

For now, my glory is that I have survived the cataclysmic disaster.  One day, my glory will be that I rebuilt on the site of the ruins, I will have reclaimed what looked to be beyond repair. 

Our precious Savior’s story of salvation and redemption is built on the abuse and pain of the cross.  The beauty of Heaven is built on the foundation of a fallen world.  His glory is found in the story of His willingness to become a man and suffer for the sake of all men.  
We’d have no desire to seek Him and that wonderful eternal peace He offers if we didn’t feel the terrible sting of the pain of this nasty world, just as He did.  Why did I ever think that I could escape it when even the Lord of Lords did not?  Have I not been called to follow Him?  To pick up the cross and follow Him? 

There IS glory on the other side of pain.  No matter the mechanism of injury.  No matter the cause of the devastation.  If we hold tight, it’s there.  If we can muster the strength to do the hard work of clearing, cleaning, and rebuilding, we’ll find it.  Our bodies are the temple of the living God.  And, as Nehemiah found with his temple, sometimes there’s just a lot of work to be done on that temple.  But, the beauty of the finished work outshines the disaster we began with.  It’s worth it.  Christ knew the cross was worth it.  He felt WE were worth it.