I need a lot of grace on this post….this “thought” is not fully fleshed out, which is really saying something since my writing process IS fleshing out the thought while I type….
*laughing out loud nervously*
I digress.
This one is REALLY not fleshed out.
Maybe the promise is finding it in little moments within the chaos.
I know.
A year and a half ago God gave me what I lovingly call “The Promise” and I have had enough confirmations to know that God is in it, so I continue to dream about it and focus on watching God unfold it in his time. I am so patient….I never get anxious. LOL *insert eye roll*
In the past few months, I have been having these “Spidey Sense” moments where I almost feel like I am….wait for it….”in the promise” experiencing it in real time. How crazy do I sound??? So…the promise is about time and space and place and God (that is all I am going to share right now…”Vague much?” you are thinking). It is VERY personal and frankly, in order for it to happen, some pretty transformational things must occur in my life. Like BIG things. God-sized things.


So, this morning after church I am listening to THE most beautiful song (I am currently obsessed with (listen to it HERE)) and though I have heard it a dozen times already over the weekend, while it is playing this time I am thinking about The Promise and hoping for it sooner rather than later - just a small moment to HOPE. Then I feel it, BAM! I am in it….yesterday as I rested and today in church… I am in it. I am in the feeling of The Promise. What I mean by that, is that I can feel what my spirit will feel then - Good Grief - I sound insane!!!! *face in my hands*
Then I realize…maybe part of The Promise is the ability to find it in the little moments of the chaos of the now BEFORE I fully experience it. Maybe God is trying to teach me something here and now about the bigger story he will show me then. Maybe, just maybe, I am losing it. LOL
I have a lot of “secret” writing going on right now (no need to get excited), and I was working on a piece before church this morning from some notes in my journal and this line popped out, “finding and loving God in both the beautiful and the brutal” and I felt suddenly dizzy.
My Sis is worried about me right now. I am going through some pretty heady stuff in counseling and it is taking me back to people and places I would rather leave neatly packaged up on the shelf. I worry about me too when I think about it too long, but that is the deal you make when you reach out and claim the baton of healing. You walk boldly into the backyard where you buried all the dead bodies and you dig them all back up. You face them, you forgive them, you forgive yourself, and then you bury them properly (with all of the pop and circumstance), and then you move on - one step in front of the other - in full healing. In my case, you also document this hot mess because God told you it would help you ‘get over yourself’ and maybe help someone else too. I’m super duper happy about all of that too (that is sass - hear my tone as you read it). In all seriousness, if this helps someone avoid three decades of self-hatred, I say read on and claim healing for yourself. God didn’t mean for you to live like that…not ever.
Boy….what a digression.
My point is that I crested a few waves this past week, instead of being crushed by them, and so even sick as a dog like I was, it was a great week for Heather’s heart and soul. Yay ME! I also needed the “wins” as I am anxious to finish the work in the backyard so I can focus on the front, so to speak. Actually the analogy looks more like finish the backyard and step into a whole new neighborhood; there is a lot of open road out there. I am anxious to explore it.
Back to The Promise.
I hear you God. I see you God. Keep speaking to me. I am listening. I hang on every word you say.
God is right here with us in the every day, every moment. In the sick days stuck in bed. In the crazy times at work. In the sermon that breathes fresh life into your lungs. In the thank you notes written. In the journal pages filled with dreams, to dos, and doodles. In the song you found by accident and played over and over. In the laundry you finally got caught up on. The orange juice you are enjoying like you just discovered it for the first time. In the denim shirt you finally ordered (took four years) so you could finally throw away the one you have had for 25+ years. It is in the photos you finally went through and packed away. It is in the to do lists you finally conquered, and the trash you finally emptied. The words you finally wrote. The letter you finally sent. The sin you finally forgave yourself for committing. The friend you finally called. The person you finally forgave. The check you finally mailed. The gift you ordered. The flowers you sent. The loss you grieved. The bed you made. The food you tried. The words you gave life to. The conversation you finally had with someone you love. The dream you finally allowed yourself to have…..and on and on.
God is in it….all.
Speak to me.

When I was a little girl….

I loved Jesus and people. I loved singing and writing and reading. I loved playing house, church, and school. I loved snuggling and bear hugs. I loved being loved well, and I loved loving others BIG - big hugs, homemade cards and gifts, over-the-top, stand at the window for hours waiting, sign-making - ways.
Most of all of that….as I typed….come with pop-up memories from the age of 3-9.
My “before” years.
Before I knew real pain, real loss, and abandonment.
Before the enemy took my family out behind the woodshed and whipped us…but good.
On my bad days, even now at 45, the “before” years mark me. They mark my doubts, my emotions, my reactions, and the real crap-fest — they mark how I see myself, how I see my very heart.
The core truth is though….I still love of all those things, and dammit, I want them back!!  I want my six year old heart back in my 46 year old body (46 is just a few months away)….and I want to LOVE from that sweet place of “integration” (counseling term) which comes from a place of healing and wholeness I don’t have a lot of experience with….but I want it….I am fighting for it…Every. Single. Day. I want The Promise and part of that promise is no longer wandering in the desert as a brokenhearted nine year old wondering what the hell happened to my life, my family, and God forgive me…my own heart. I know what happened. Life happened. The enemy happened. Humans happened. I was collateral damage in the third act of a play I didn’t sign up for….and neither I, at the age of nine, nor anyone around me, was equipped to deal with what happened to us….or what would continue to happen to us as the waves crashed on top of our family again, and again, and again, and again…..and again.
I met a nine year old girl at the children’s home last week. I was there to volunteer….to help. Funny how that works, you go to help someone in “need” and they help you MORE. I was waiting on someone at the swing set, so I started swinging alone when a little girl walks up and sits in the swing next to me. We start talking. She is nine. Nine. I look up and take a long, slow deep breath. The kind of slow breath you take right before, and full-on knowing, God is about to teach you something. I am taking a deep breath now just trying to type this out. My heart is still raw from the encounter. This girl tells me about her dreams, what she loves to do, and about her ‘hot mess of a family’ story. She is as matter-of-fact and calm, cool, and collected as an 80 year old man who went to war, came back, and lived a full life. She is fully present. I am….undone and in awe. What is the difference between her and me? Ponder that because I have for a week and am still working it out.
Here is what I know to be true. Today.
Healing comes from God…in community….with others.
That means I have to be open and honest with others…about and with my life while also giving others the time and space to be open and honest with their lives. Daily.
Holy Spirit Come.
Speak to me.
Healing comes when I finally get tired enough of being broken, that I allow God to be God….In. Me.
Speak to me.
Healing comes when I believe in The Promise…every day….more than I believe in the lies I have swallowed as gospel….for years….about myself, my life, my calling, my future.
Speak to me.
Healing comes when I choose the best of me over the worst of me, and I operate from that place. Daily.
Speak to me.
Healing comes when I am no longer the Israelite needing God to part the Red Sea in order to believe, but faithfully and obediently put my foot in the Jordan River BEFORE and while the water is still rushing along, ready to sweep me along, because I KNOW God will MOVE.
Speak to me.
Healing comes when I stand before God and say, “I am 46! I am still as strong today as the day you sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. Now give me this hill country that you promised me that day.” {I usurped Joshua 14:10-12.}
Speak to me.
The voices in my own head and heart have been YELLING at me for over three decades. Quieting those voices, those lies, the pain that came from a result of them, and even the pain that started the spiral….is difficult. Maybe, just maybe the hardest battle yet. Maybe it is really has been the core battle all along….these past several years. Quieting them so I could hear God, and now trying to kill them so there is only God. So, imagine my surprise when a nine year old girl demonstrates for me that the trick isn’t killing them, it is knowing WHAT they are and simply not letting them DEFINE me.
I just sat backwards and looked up…there it is…the lesson.
Speak to me.
Those things that hurt me. They really hurt. I didn’t imagine them. They didn’t happen to someone else. They hurt me. They happened to me. They defined me.
BUT…they don’t have to define me…still.
Speak to me.
I wish heaven were here. I wish that people didn’t get hurt. No one got sick. Injustice was not a word, much less a reality. I wish pain were no more and death an old wive’s tale.
Someday it will be.
Heaven is real. It simply isn’t here…now.
What is here is this odd space continuum where pain and joy coexist. Where we live at war and fight for Eden. Where love and hate are spoken in the same sentence. Where God is real, but so is the enemy. Where we are challenged daily to overcome and then throw our hand back to help our neighbor do the same.
Speak to me.
I am grateful. I am siting here utterly and ridiculously grateful that God is sitting right here with me cheering me through this hot mess of healing.  I am grateful that I have a tribe, a community, a family, and strangers everywhere being used by God to hold my hand and walk with me a bit before handing me off to another “angel unaware” to go along together on the next bit of road. {I see the visual in my head…it is breathtaking. Suddenly I see that dirt road in Haiti I wrote about HERE.}
We are all out here…together….fighting for our own healing, fighting for other’s healing, loving, learning, and grabbing joy with both hands. I hope that you are letting God speak to you….to your heart….maybe even to the parts wrapped up on a shelf or buried in the backyard. I won’t lie to you and say that it easy, but it is worth it. For real. The Promise, whatever your promise might be, is real too. God has something for each of us, but no friend or foe can unearth that for you; only time with God - listening for/to him, reading the Bible, meditating and prayer, and mostly (maybe this is just me) learning to walk with him….Every. Day.
When I was a little girl….
I loved the song “My God and I”…it goes “My God and I go in the fields together…We walk and talk, as good friends should and do. We clasp our hands, our voices ring with laughter….”
I found a video of it - listen HERE….Beautiful.
Praying for you a beautiful Sunday full of rest, walking, talking, and listening….with God. Where is God? Right there next to you….waiting.
Speak to me.