My writer sister births life in her words like a doula. Her raw beauty and honesty beg me to move, to respond as in song. In safe open sacred spaces, her words welcome and invite me to find and birth my own. So, I am raw here.

Dear Lord, HELP!

I am caught in a whirlwind swirl of sweet hope, a glimpse of life, and the forces of hell shrouding my identity with ugliness, emptiness, despicable shame, a reject. I’m lost in the void of panic, restlessness, purposelessness. It comes every day. I laugh when I’m empty and hurting. I grasp at TV viewing to find relief. I eat, drink trying to fill in the gaps. Panic infuses, what do I do? I do not know what to do.

One thing I discover as I reflect and view my thoughts and feelings is this. I am caught in the lies of my captor. These are the lies formed to destroy me. These are the lies that he wants me to believe, know, think, and feel about myself. This is the trap, the false identity that feels real. He tells me I’m too evil to consider Sacramental living, that I am outcast, unacceptable. I’m not like those good religious girls. And the telling is done with innuendo like a smear besmirching their characters.

This is life in the war zone. I live suspended between heaven and hell, and the forces of both are palpable and active.

My dreams at night are filled with hellish intensity trying to pull me under into torment. I wake in a stupor covered with oppressive death shrouds.

I have been embattled for years now, and I am worn out, worn down. I have suffered from shame and self hatred my whole (long) life. So I am easy, susceptible, a sucker for a bad familiar lie.

My habits need to change. I want to LIVE REST. LIVE STILL. LIVE ABIDE. LIVE RESTORED. LIVE FREE. LIVE tenderheartedness. LIVE GRACE. LIVE WISE. LIVE LOVE.

I want the Holy and the Sacramental.

I want shining boldness. I want to live a beloved warrior, an ezer kenegdo.

I know I must continue to seek, ask, knock. I know I must continue to follow my homing instincts.

Thus, I tumble to safety. Rescue from the fight, I find myself again in the Psalms. The Anchor secures me safely in the ancient words. My eyes stumble upon the mirrors of my soul looking back at me. Here the words echo my own anguished cries of longing, desperation, languish, and pain. I can exhale here. My prayers form and come alive, a familiar whisper, seeing and being seen, knowing and being known. Relief! Hope!

The war zone teaches me. I discover that in the deepest, blackest depths of all my darkness, GOD is afoot. He works, even when I have no awareness of Him. He works, breaking life, hopefulness, a sense of surety about HIS VOICE. PEACE. LIGHT. LIGHTNESS, springing up joy, whispering a future…

The casting off of death is rising now as sure as the slow steady indomitable move of flood waters. Coming. SURE. TRUE. FREE.