I’ve been walking towards health and wholeness for a few months now, learning to truly take care of myself as well as go inward to my emotional health which I’ve neglected over the years. If someone asked me about forgiveness, I would have said I forgive easily! After all, I am a freaking Bible teacher! Forgiveness is my bread and butter. Oh, how easily we deceive ourselves.
A wise woman confronted me with my own hatred, bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness. I sat stunned, weighing the truth of this revelation. I knew in my gut she was right. In that moment, I felt loved. I knew the Lord was speaking through her directly to my heart. I’ve prayed the Lord would show me any blind spots. Boy, does He answer.
I learned two things through this encounter. I sat with the Lord and listed the offenses/wounds I’ve held onto; I felt the Lord’s deep compassion. Facing the hurt head on is imperative, rather than offering a blanket forgiveness. The most powerful thing I felt was understanding from Him. The Lord didn’t minimize the hurt, He acknowledged the pain. Silence ensued. I waited quietly. I knew He was waiting as well. You see, in God’s Kingdom, forgiveness is commanded, expected, required. It’s a standard the Lord upholds. If I am truly a Christ-follower, I must forgive. It’s one of the most loving expectations I’ve ever encountered. He actually believes I can do this.
The other thing I learned (again) is that forgiveness is truly caring for myself. It is the ultimate in self-love. When confronted, I knew the huge block of unforgiveness inhibited me from receiving love. Unforgiveness disables us from truly loving ourselves and obviously, others. Forgiveness is a process. I’m so grateful the Lord is with me in the process. Forgiveness is freedom; freedom to acknowledge pain, freedom to let go of the pain.
Me circa 1970
Little girl all alone
Unaware no one there
Little girl all by herself
Oblivious to the absence
Does anyone notice?
Does anyone care?
Little girl on her own
Summoning imaginary friends
Little girl in solitary
Music her only companion
Does anyone notice?
Does anyone care?
Little girl seen and loved
By her grown up self
Little girl nurtured and held
By her forty-eight year old self
Little Girl All Alone by Megan Burmester
October 1, 2017
Salmon-tinged clouds rimmed with love.
You wait to surprise me.
Mid-run, I’m arrested by your beauty.
Elated, I commune.
October 16, 2017
“Circle” by Megan Burmester
Our culture is obsessed with beauty, outward beauty. What makes a woman truly beautiful? I’ve encountered beauty in women. Here are my observations.
Women that hold their scars (visible and invisible) gently, knowing they are beauty marks. Women that can laugh in the face of adversity. Women that aren’t afraid to feel and validate all of their feelings. Women that choose not to color their hair after chemo and let the “hair glitter” crown their glorious heads. Women that face their own brokenness with courage. Women that accept their limitations. Women that come alongside others, encouraging and cheering. Women that head into the darkness of their own pain and keep walking, despite the fear. Women that are honest with themselves and others. Women who love themselves, just as they are.
When have you observed beauty, true beauty in women?
She donned Strength as a necessity.
Strength fit her well as if tailored for her very soul.
Strength hung like a heavy overcoat, covering up her true self.
Strength whispered from time to time,
“Be the strong one.”
“Don’t show weakness.”
She listened; obeyed.
Strength served her well as pain and trauma abounded in her young life.
Strength became a default mechanism, an automatic response.
Others admired her strength, not knowing the cost to her battered soul.
Strength protected her; she hid behind Strength.
The time has come; Strength must slip off her shoulders and fall to the ground.
Oh, there is a wrenching, a wrenching in her soul.
Whispered words heal,
“You don’t have to be the strong one anymore.”
Each month, I take part in a 10 on 10 blog roll. Photographers tell a story with ten photos taken all on one day posted on the tenth of the month. This month, I documented a lazy Saturday.
Rest and Be Thankful. ~William Wadsworth
If you’d like to see some amazing photos, click on through each photographer. In fact, my friend Maite’s day is right here.