Tired Eyes, Sore Back, Happy Heart

I wonder how many flights like these I’ll find myself on over the course of the next six months. Dry mouth. Cold feet clad in Birkenstocks. Tired eyes, sore back, happy heart. Stale lights. Strangers’ kind smiles asking for guidance, then helping me find my way.

Through the airport, through my skin, electricity pulses. With the turbulence, excitement gently rocks my bones while the tragedy of farewells begins to wane. Mountain and Josh Garrels on repeat. Told only by the shadows on maps I so obsessively enjoy, ocean cliffs lurk miles below the belly of the plane. One malfunction, and we’ll be reenacting scenes from “Lost,” but for each of us confidence in something greater than ourselves helps curb the anxiety. For me, it’s trust in the Almighty God who sent me on this trip.

As for a moment the perpetual tossing of the wind ceases, the walls hold their breath, begging explanation from the windows. The gales find their rhythm, and the luggage exhales. All is well.

Thirty-five minutes until I arrive, and suddenly the nerves settle back in. Finally, it begins to hit: the changing of homes has begun, and I find I’m ready. I’m ready to see what the Lord has to show me on the ever open road, what the life of a missionary will teach me, and who I will have become by the end of it all.

“In You, O Lord, I put my trust; let me never be ashamed; deliver me in Your righteousness. Bow don Your ear to me, deliver me speedily; be my rock of refuge, a fortress of defense to save me. For You are my rock and my fortress; therefore for Your name’s sake, lead me and guide me.” ~Psalm 31:1-3

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because cliche mush is allowed.

And so it begins: the fearful process of farewells. Six months doesn’t seem like long, but it feels like an eternity. In six days I’ll be on a plane to California to see my beloved boyfriend and meet his family, and ten days after that I’ll be on a plane to Kona, Hawaii for a missionary training program called Youth With A Mission. With my parents having met there and being continually involved as I grew up, my life has been planned around these six months. While ideas for what would come next perpetually changed, as they do with any kid thinking of the future, YWAM remained constant. And now it’s here.

Last Sunday marked my final escapade with the humans who have become family; the ones who are brutally honest, can irritate the daylights out of me and are the most welcoming shoulders when life becomes grey and fuming red with pain’s knife. From midnight drives so we can scream at the stars and yell promises of who we’ll be to the passing cars from hideout vantage points, to nights spent in hotel rooms and around familiar coffee tables processing the glory of who God is, they’ve been there through it all.

Things will be different when I return. Time changes almost everything, and I know we all will have grown in such unique and different ways. But they will remain constant. The ones who make me feel all cliche because they make the stereotypes of beloved friendship true, the ones who give me freedom to discover myself while they discover the intricacies of their own souls, my motley crew of wild wallflowers, will remain constant, each with their own adventures along the way. And when we reconvene, older and wiser, it’ll be as though nothing has changed.

See you on the other side.


  

September Sunrise

It’s a farewell season
On to new horizons
Heralded by autumn’s fire
With each hello this
Summer is demanding a goodbye
It seems, if not to faces
Then phases
But I’m learning
I’m okay with it.


In the quiet
Fear assaults
Ferocious doubt, like a lion
Will tear me to shreds, if not
I take the plunge, over the deep end
Into the blue abyss, swim until
My feet find land.


It is time to leave
My feet are aching
For unknown shores, dreams unseen
I will return
But for now, I must leave
This town feels small
It’s only shrinking
It is I who must grow
My feet are aching.

Rabbit Hole War Base

A quiet little rabbit hole
Come hear His Name
Sweet truths proclaimed
War preparations you’ll see
Defenses for those who can no longer fight
Through the darkness to see the light.

We’ve been deemed insane, once or twice
“There’s no battle coming
The only fight’s inside your mind”
We’ve been told times before
But now
The veil is tearing, revealing
Monsters hiding behind
Seemingly beautiful smiles.

Darling, come in!
There’s room, always room
Let Him hide you
Let Him heal you
The war’s been waged
And you find yourself caught
On the wrong side
He’s reaching, reaching
For you
Will you let His children
Help carry you out?
It will first take a leap
Recognize the cave you’re in
Beloved, it’ll be worth it
To escape those chains
Will you be carried out
Or remain in the miry pit?

We’re used to extremes
There’s no pain you can bring
From which we will shy
All we can do is turn you to Him,
The only One who heals
This is not a song of self-praise
This is a statement of faith
We are more than is seen
We are the quiet underground
Working to save lost and lonely souls
Caught in the raging sea.