The sky flashes, light unzipping across the dawning summer morning. It is surprising in these parts, a morning storm without rain, and the unseen bolt is a beginning that spreads fingers across earthly skies.
She sits across from this new face at the table, and she is afraid. This is a risk to trust again, to present herself as worthy of being known, to let unroll that piece of her story that told her she was tarnished, inadequate.
She hugs the child close, whispers love and I see you, says what she needed to hear herself as a little knock-kneed girl, and it is unknown and frightening. This speaking what is into what was not.
She puts down the phone and the book and the to-do list, and she sits with the quiet. She feels devastatingly alone and wonders if she will be swallowed right up into the darkness.
She picks up the pencils and sketch book, watches her hand’s imperfect lines across the perfect white page, and she is terrified. She hears the voice that told her art was a waste of time, indulgent and only for the talented, but she is determined to uncover some mysterious thing.
She begins to forgive, releasing clenched fingers to make room, and she feels naked. She does not know what will arrive in that empty place where jagged grief and anger have become her portion.
She moves across states to enter another recovery program because she must. Starts all over, gives up her freedoms, her phone calls, even her son who must live across the border with her brother because he’s too old to live with her. The woman who takes the open spot at the table next to the hurting and healing woman has nothing to offer, and so she gives her presence, her eyes meeting a fellow sister’s.
Just look at their courage, her bravery, her hope, her beginning somewhere. Agreeing with what is true as if it actually were, fingers of light reaching across vast expanses like massive yearning vines.
Joining with Lisa-Jo Baker and the Five Minute Friday crew this morning. It’s bittersweet to say goodbye to FMFs with Lisa-Jo (what a place of community, joy and freedom this has been for me over the years). We send her off with so much love as she pursues new beginnings of her own, and I’ll continue to write on whatever Fridays I’m able, linking up at our new host Kate‘s place where the community lives on. You’re always welcome!
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Ashley, You certainly are a painter with words… Thank you for sharing your heart today. I admire your courage. May you keep on “agreeing with what is true as if it actually were” (beautifully put!). God bless you.
Your 5-Minute Friday neighbor,
Thank you, HBHW. I so appreciate you sharing your words here. I am working daily on this courage thing…it sure doesn’t come easily. May you walk today in your belovedness. Sending love.
Beautiful, Ashley. We can each relate with one of those women, each facing a new beginning and a new brave. Thank you for sharing your words here, friend!
Marcy, I miss you. It’s been a while since we connected. Thank you for your love here, friend. We as woman have so much more in common than what separates us, don’t we? xoxo
I love seeing all the ways we begin and become and are. And I can’t wait to squeeze you in real life. So excited! I miss your beautiful smile.
Aw, I miss you too, sweetheart. Thank you for all the ways you share your journey…you encourage so many to be brave. I love you.
Stunning imagery, Ashley. Wow!
David, thank you for being such a champion of others. I appreciate you, brother.
Beautiful & poetic sharing of one woman’s story! Love it & your gift of compassionate writing dear friend!
Thank you, my friend. This is actually a bunch of different women, but it could as easily be one. Our lives are filled with so many layers, aren’t they? Looking forward to our time together soon.
Oh sweet poet, your words and stories are always like sitting down for dessert. I love you, love the way you see, can always picture those huge beautiful eyes of yours holding someone in them so they don’t feel alone. You embody compassion and it seeps out through your words, from a life lived with love. Thank you.
Receiving your words as the gift they are, love. I adored being with you and your dear sister over the weekend. You are such a joy in my life.
Thank you, Victoria. Keep writing, poet!
So beautiful! SO excited for you to share that beautiful heart with the Renew ladies. Love you, friend.
Love you, Kari. I am excited, too. So good to dream with you and hear your wisdom over coffee recently. I am praying for your rest and renewal this month. xoxo
I’m really looking forward to hearing you speak at our Renew retreat this September!! Praying for you as you prepare and launch into retreat speaking! What an exciting way to serve our wonderful Savior! :)
Elisha, I am truly looking forward to meeting you and the women of Renew…and deeply honored to have been asked. And thank you for your prayers, dear sister. God is so very close to us when we step out, isn’t he?
This was so beautiful!
Thank you for slipping in here with your loving words, Jennifer.