Hush, Little Baby

     Hush little baby,

     Don’t say a word.

     The man touched you, sure,

     But let’s just ignore.

What’s done is done,

Speaking won’t solve a thing.

You think you need to talk,

But we like the silencing.

     Hush little baby,

     Don’t you dare speak.

     Standing up for injustices

     Will only make you weak.

If you become woke

Then what will we do

When we can’t rule the world

With the bottoms of our shoe.

     So hush little baby,

     Don’t you even breathe.

     Those people there in chains

     They don’t want to be freed.

They made their own choices

So just let them lie

In the state of their birth’s making

Until the day when they all die.

     Hush little baby,

     Don’t say a word.

     If you choose to rock the boat then

     That’s the end of our world.

So give me your voice,

And I will teach you to deceive.

And show you how lying to yourself

Is your only way to have peace


     Oh little baby,

     Your Father hears your voice.

     I see how you’re curled up

     And don’t feel like there’s a choice.

But oh my sweet child,

I’ve heard your unspoken cries,

And I know what’s happened

In the darkest of these nights.

     Oh my sweet baby,

     Come to Me. You can cry.

     And I will hold your broken pieces,

     Until your tears are all dry.

It’s okay my sweet child,

I’ve seen all the evils done,

And that’s why I’m holding you

Because you need to be the one.

     To go into this battle,

     With your head held high,

     And search out all of those,

     Who have been told not to cry.

I need you to hold them,

Like I Am holding you.

Show them My Love,

And tell them I’m coming soon.

     Because this is not forever,

     This home is not for you,

     There is a place being prepared,

     Where everything is made anew.

All the evil and injustice,

Will never come inside.

But all the judgement will strike

Against those who silence  My  children’s  cries.

     So don’t hush little baby,

     Yes, It’s okay to cry,

     They can’t hurt you anymore,

     For I Am by your side.

Rise up, little child,

And stand on solid ground,

For I gave you to this world,

To turn it upside down.

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on bringing truth to light

it isn’t new. and maybe that’s where a large part of the tragedy lies. in that it isn’t new. and it hasn’t changed.

it happens. regularly. almost religiously. it’s one of the things you can count on happening. in all of it’s awfulness. it will happen. again. and again. and again. so long as the mindset of “the church” refuses to change.

we wear blinders and focus solely on what paints the picture we want to see. we’ll erase and smudge and blur out the lines of the things we don’t want to discuss or acknowledge.

and it’s a lie straight from the pit of hell- that talking about it will encourage it. Satan is smart. he is cunning. and beautiful. and tempting.

he. is. powerful. and STRONG.- he makes sin look sweet. and desirable. and pretty.

wrap it up, stick a bow on it, and don’t talk about it.

mmm, yeah, that’s right. not talking about it can be a sin. silencing voices of victims and refusing to spotlight the sin does nothing but contribute to the sin.

and this mindset permeates our entire culture.

the “let’s talk about it as minimally as possible.” pull yourself up by your bootstraps and get away from the event as fast as possible. because that’s the only way to heal. not.

sweep it under the rug and somehow it just disappears. ?

i don’t know about you, but if there’s so much as a tiny button underneath my rug, my toes will find it. and eventually i pull up the fabric and scrape the wood to remove the button and put it where it belongs. because it doesn’t go under the rug.

 

so in a world where, by the tender age of eighteen, it is estimated that one in four women and one in six men have experienced some form of sexual abuse, maybe the sweep it under the rug and don’t talk about it mentality is severely messed up.

kids need to be educated on sex in a way that is healthful and empowering- knowledge is power- how do you expect a kid to tell you if something has happened to them if they can’t fully understand it themselves? do you think a child is going to feel safe to come and talk to you about something that you won’t talk with them about? as the adults we have to be the ones to teach our children in a manner that is appropriate.*

*have a loss of where to start? i recommend something like this.  

 

and second, if a child is coming to you saying, describing, something that makes you uncomfortable, you don’t get to sweep it to the side. by doing that you fail them. you fail that child. and you help to silence their voice. your job, in that moment, is to listen. to validate who they are. they are still loved. nothing has changed in how you see them. and then you seek help from professional counselors. oh, and you report the incident. you just do. i don’t care who it was or how it happened. you. report. it. you do the right thing. not the pretty thing, not the what makes you feel more comfortable thing. the right thing.

 

maybe you aren’t convinced yet. maybe it’s because you are so removed from the situation. because maybe you aren’t one of the “one in four” or “one in six” maybe you were one of the lucky ones. so maybe it’s hard for you to fully understand. so maybe you need to hear someone’s story. and maybe you can try to make it real for yourself. then maybe you will understand what happens when victims lose their voice. and an act of abuse is labeled as a mistake.

 

…so maybe you need to read this excerpt below?**

 

“I think it would be good to tell you the story of one woman’s experience of sexual abuse. The reason I believe this might be helpful is that I find many survivors can see and understand more about the experience of sexual abuse and its aftereffects when they hear about it in someone else’s life. They are outraged about hearing what happened in another’s life. When it is their own experience, they are often quick to brush it off as “no big deal.” Somehow I do not think you will say this woman’s experience was “no big deal.”

This is a true story. … This story concerns the rape of a young teenager, about fifteen years old, by her older brother. I believe it has much to teach us.

Aaron and Tanya’s dad is an extremely wealthy man who knows and loves God. Aaron, the man’s oldest child, is due to take over his dad’s business. Although Aaron and Tanya have the same father, they do not have the same mother. Tanya’s full brother, Adam, who also lives with the family, cares a lot for Tanya and is very protective of her.

As Aaron watches his half sister grow up, he becomes enamored with her and allows himself to fantasize about her. Over time he becomes so obsessed with her that he can think of nothing else. Aaron’s lust for Tanya grows so strong that it literally makes him sick. When Aaron’s cousin, Jon, asks him what is wrong, he tells Jon about his obsession with Tanya. Understanding the power of raging hormones, Jon helps Aaron plan a way to get what he wants out of Tanya.

One day, Aaron pretends to be too sick to get out of bed or to eat. Aaron’s dad, hearing about his son’s behavior, checks on Aaron to see if he can help. Aaron tells his dad that he probably would eat a little if Tanya brought him some of her special bread. The father thinks this is an easy solution and tells Tanya to bake some bread and take it to her sick brother.

Tanya, happy to help Aaron, goes to him without fear or suspicion. Once she enters his room and they are alone, Aaron tosses aside any pretense of sickness or interest in Tanya’s bread. He takes the bread and throws it across the room. Tanya is frightened and confused. Aaron grabs Tanya and tries to force her to have sex with him. She pleads with him not to force her. She reminds him that their dad would be horrified if he knew what Aaron was doing. She begs him not to disgrace her. She warns him that people will lose respect for him if he gives in to his passion.

Blind with rage and lust, Aaron hears nothing she says. Her words are meaningless to him. Using his brute strength, Aaron forces Tanya down and rapes her. As soon as he finishes, he turns livid. He acts as if he hates the very sight of her, making her feel as if she is somehow to blame. He screams at her to get up and leave. Again, Tanya pleads with him, telling him that trashing her after what he has done is as bad or worse than the rape. How can he toss her out and make it look to everyone as if she has done something vile to him? How did this get to be her fault? Aaron refuses to listen. He throws Tanya out of his room, loudly slamming and locking his door so that everyone in the house knows something horrible has happened. She knows they will assume she has done something wrong because of how Aaron throws her out.

Tanya can hardly think. Her heart is pounding. Her life has just been destroyed. She is terrified. She leaves the room, shrieking in anguish and ripping at her clothes. She feels as if her body cannot contain her feelings; they are so overwhelming.

Desperate for help, she goes to her brother Adam. Surely his loyalty to her will help her find a way to deal with this. When Adam finds out what has happened, he says to Tanya, “Don’t tell anyone. Our family will never recover from the damage this information will create. Never mind. Don’t let it upset you.” She is stunned! Don’t tell? Don’t have any feelings about this? Is he crazy? She feels she has no place to turn. What about her dad? He will help.

When Tanya’s dad hears what happened, he is furious. His reaction gives Tanya hope. Her father never seems to doubt the truth of her story. He seems to know that Aaron is capable of such a thing. But although her father shows lots of anger, he does nothing. Nothing.

The father’s passivity destroys Tanya’s hope. Somehow, protecting his oldest son and the reputation of the family seems more important to the father than dealing with his son’s appalling behavior or his daughter’s feelings. Her father acts if nothing had happened.

Tanya knows then that she is lost and alone. No one cares. She does not matter. What Aaron did to her matters to no one.

Tanya lives out the rest of her life in the shadow of that rape. She becomes numb to her feelings, almost like a walking corpse. She seems to have no will to live. She wastes away physically. Her beauty, her body no longer matter. She learns to hate herself and becomes very self-destructive. Her grief is more than she can bear.

Tanya’s story is similar to many of yours. Although she was older and was “only” raped once, her experience carries many elements common to others. She was forced. She had no choice. She was deceived. In a place and in a relationship that should have provided safety for her, she was in great danger. Her voice was silenced. Her words and feelings had absolutely no impact. She was helpless to stop both the rape and the events that happened in response to it. What she needed or wanted did not matter.

Afterward she was blamed. She was humiliated. Those who should have come to her aid left her alone. She was told not to talk about it.  She was told not to let it bother her. In essence, the message was, Do not have any feelings about it. Just get on with your life. There were no consequences for her rapist. Her father, a godly man, did nothing. He passed over his son’s crime as if it were of little consequence. The implication seemed to be that appearances, reputation, and her father’s hopes for the future of his business meant far more to him than she did.

Tanya’s response was one of shame and humiliation. She was stunned by what had happened. She was emotionally numb. She basically sat around in a stupor. She wasted away. Life held nothing for her anymore. The world was an unsafe place. Her joy was gone. She became self-destructive. Why not? She didn’t matter anyway.

If you truly grasp the horror of what was done to Tanya, as well as the profound consequences of her life, then you have a glimpse of what sexual abuse can do. If these are the results of the rape of a fifteen-year-old, then how can we expect otherwise in the life of someone who is repeatedly raped throughout his or her growing-up years?

This is not a conglomerate of many different stories. It is one woman’s true story. It actually happened as it was told to you here. This is not what could happen. This is not what it might have felt like. This is what was.

Tanya’s story is really the story of a woman named Tamar. Her story is found in the Old Testament, in 2 Samuel 13:1-22. Tamar was raped by her half brother Amnon, who was the heir apparent to King David’s throne. Her brother Absalom is the one who told her to be silent and not be upset about it. He, of course, hated Amnon, and he later murdered him. King David failed to punish either Amnon or Absalom.

Amnon’s rape of Tamar was a blatant violation of the Old Testament law (Lev. 18:9-11; 20:17). What Amnon did was deliberate and defiant disobedience of the law of God. That same law demanded death as a penalty. By failing to hold his son accountable, King David, too, failed to obey. The result of all this in Tamar’s life was that she “was desolate in her brother Absalom’s house” (2 Sam. 13:20, NASB).

How important it is for us to hear this story that God chose to place in His Word. How clearly it teaches us the terrible aftereffects of sexual abuse. Not only does the Word of God make it very clear that sexual abuse is against God, it also vividly portrays for us what the results of such sin can be in the life of a young girl.

However, for us, the story does not end there. God’s Word contains truths that Tamar never had the privilege of hearing. The same God who gave us this story says, “Whereas you have been forsaken and hated with no one passing through [what a description of desolation!], I will make you an everlasting pride, a joy” (Isa. 60:15, NASB). This God sent the Redeemer, who said he came to “bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim… release from darkness for the prisoners” (Isa. 61:1). This God responds to the cry of those who are oppressed by sending them “a Savior and a Champion” (Isa. 19:20, NASB). How Tamar needed to hear such words! How she needed such a Champion!

Let this story from the Word of God affirm your experience. God knows what sexual abuse does. He hates it. He hates it so much that he has sent Jesus to bear in his own body very similar consequences to those that Tamar experienced. In so doing, God offers redemption and healing to all.”

 

**(excerpt from “On the Threshold of Hope” by Diane Madnt Langberg- if you or someone you love is a survivor of sexual abuse, i highly recommend this book and the workbook that accompanies it)

A Call to Reflection

because, per usual, the right words are failing me.

and the media is flooding.

and death is trending.

and a life that brought so much “life” to all who watched his performances on screen is being widely “mourned”- and every one has an opinion– every one has words to say. or more likely,  t y p e d.

black and white. stark. and all fail- because none can fully comprehend what Mr. Williams was dealing with, what his thoughts were, or where he finds himself now. none of us are him. and if any could talk to him, that would mean they’d be dead too, so the point there is mute.

but i just feel the loss of life. a life that shouldn’t be lost, lost.

and here we go- because i have a problem, y’all.

a problem with internet and social media and every other way of communicating news being flooded by one death. One.

One tragic death. one to mourn and feel sad for the unnecessary loss of.

But there’s been be-headings of children. raping and killing of women. hanging of men. and the all of that has not been covered to the extent that one man’s death has been covered in the last TWO days. 

and i? Oh i’m guilty. i’m guilty of grabbing my exhaustion and burrowing deep inside my own meanderings in order to not look at what is actually going on in the rest of this whole world- because the fact is, it is absolutely grotesque. we could watch a movie about it. when it’s people pretending to die. but the actual process- we can’t look at it- perhaps because we feel helpless to do anything about it.

i tell myself i can’t stomach it. i have too many hormones coursing through this mom-of-three body of mine that pictures of children’s heads on spikes in a park would just crumble me right where i sit and i would lose all ability to function. the anger and grief would overwhelm me entirely.

so i remain slightly less involved in what is happening in another country- because i can’t handle it.

what can we possibly to do make the situation any better?

is that why we can all (myself included) so publicly mourn the loss of a great comedian and not the loss of all the other lives lost these last few weeks? Because upon waking and finding a man gone, we can grieve- knowing there wasn’t anything we could have done? or is it that we don’t feel compelled to change anything about our lives because of his death? so we can grieve freely and unburdened?

we will still flood people’s blog posts on his death with hateful comments. or we will criticize someone’s twitter feed. we don’t think we need to temper one single thought we send flying out into the inter-web. we don’t have a care if that would add further burden to another’s depression or struggle. we, humanity as a whole, has fallen into a pattern of not having much of any integrity when “publishing” our thoughts for all to read.

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sometimes we don’t even care if we hurt, offend, or dare i say speak actual truth. a lot of the time we press “enter” with no accountability or second thought.

there is death. there is unjust death. there is uncalled for death. too young death. “so much life left to live,” death. murder. suicide.

when all that seems possible for an average person to do is sign petitions.

and pray.

the screaming of our guts-all-out -prayers that rip from the deepest depths of us when we allow ourselves to fully feel the enormity of the injustice and crimes against humanity being perpetrated today.

this week.

last week.

and the longing to do MORE.

yes, i feel that too.

so what if every human being alive today were to come to the realization that every other person is also HUMAN? That we are equals in that, if nothing else… which means that we, the all of us are  I M A G E.  B E A R E R S.  of.  GOD.

and, because of that, we have a responsibility.

to advocate for justice.

“Mishpat, then, is giving people what they are due, whether punishment or protection or care.

Over and over again, mishpat describes taking up the care and cause of widows, orphans, immigrants and the poor—those who have been called “the quartet of the vulnerable.”

The mishpat, or justness, of a society, according to the Bible, is evaluated by how it treats these groups. Any neglect shown to the needs of the members of this quartet is not called merely a lack of mercy or charity but a violation of justice, of mishpat. God loves and defends those with the least economic and social power, and so should we. That is what it means to “do justice.”

Primary justice, or tzadeqah, is behavior that, if it was prevalent in the world, would render rectifying justice unnecessary, because everyone would be living in right relationship to everyone else.

When these two words, tzadeqah and mishpat, are tied together, as they are over three dozen times, the English expression that best conveys the meaning is “social justice.”

We do justice when we give all human beings their due as creations of God. Doing justice includes not only the righting of wrongs but generosity and social concern, especially toward the poor and vulnerable

we are called to be reflections of Christ. not sit placidly on the sidelines witnessing the media.

and to view each life as equal.

so mourn death.

and advocate for justice.

And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly[a] with your God. – Micah 6:8

What IF: we became a generation willing to suffer…

So- What IF?

what if every single person cared so much about every. other. person. in this world and those to come that they wanted to come along side the poor. the hungry. the homeless. the orphaned

 and gather everyone up into this same. standard. of. living: 

…mentally?

…physically? 

spiritually?

when it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of Heaven- and maybe that man is in reference to us? – that the standard of life we live here in first world countries is considered the wealthiest in the world-

and, yes, that does in fact make us the “rich” of the world. 

And then does it start? Those immediate defenses that spring like geysers – those mental images of that handful or group of others who have more or do more or spend more than you ever could or would or do– spring to mind?

and that makes you any. less. wealthy. ? 

And what if wealth had no actual meaning in regards to earthly endeavors and possessions but solely those that are for eternity and His glory? … And are we wealthy then?

Are we being the true last?

Are we serving the orphaned?

… the widowed?

… the sick?

… the lost

And when the preacher is standing at the pulpit on Sunday morning and your blood starts to surge through all of those depths, because just YES that is where you want to go- those unreached people groups– that your heart is so pulled for that that you end up ignoring the fact that you are where you are in this season for this time- that His reason for keeping you somewhere will be the same as His reason for sending you over oceans.

That calling to live the Gospel- waiting until His plan and timing reaches utmost perfection– and you may just board that plane with a solitary one-way ticket – the lost just as much there as they are here. 

And we are living in His timing now

And if God provides all the needs for His people, why do we not see ourselves as being a part of His body as a provision?

That He has provided us to do His work.

That His work may in fact be something that puts us right in the middle of suffering?- 

That despite the friend, the parent, or even the stranger who looks at the sacrifices and the sufferings of your life and declares “Enough!” – they are in fact not God? – That you are in fact NOT here to do their will, but rather you are here to do His will and obey His commands? 

And oh are we missing this!

For those who look at the orphan crisis, human trafficking, or even just the general third world conditions that exist today- and sit back, “broken hearted” and. do. nothing.- 

 

My son recently opened a fortune cookie. Delighting in ever crisp piece he placed between his lips- humming to himself that song of lovely contentment…. when he handed me the little rolled up white piece of paper.

Tiny printed black words, which I was expecting would read something along the lines of: 

“Fame and fortune will soon be yours.” 

“Something lost will soon be found.” 

“The sun always shines after the downpour.” 

“The star of riches is shining on you.” 

But instead read:

“No one would remember the Good Samaritan if he only had good intentions.”

After researching this fortune I discovered it to be a Margaret Thatcher quote, the second part of which is “He had money too.” But we do have wealth, in abundance, both in the Gospel and in this first world life-style of ours! … so what is our excuse for not #endingitALL –

All the abortions?

the deaths

the lies?

the poverty?

the starvation?

the sickness

the thirst

the abandments?

the slavery?

the brokenness?

the abusing?

the unreached

So how do we sit here, in our air conditioned 21st century lives, and be just plum okay with Satan having a freaking playdate with all the lives of all the lost? 

And what if we weren’t

What if we lived, actually lived, the Gospel?

What if we lived in submission to God’s will for our lives, instead of our loved ones’ wills for our lives?

What if we up and stopped trying to please others and rather focused solely on pleasing Him?

What if we actually loved the Gospel so much we were willing to suffer for it?

What if we did something to #enditALL that required more from us than just clickinglike?”

 

entry twenty four

it’s the black and the white of the world and the do’s and don’t’s and should’s and shouldn’t’s all begin to stop making perfect sense all of a sudden. and how and why the stress of something fleeting can fill up the mind and burst from the mouth?

why the tired of the day yields to the exhaustion of the constant and comes out all anger and ugly? why women need more sleep than men? or we’ll get mean. when the hunger sneaks up through the midst of perfect child chaotic mess of a day,

and the ugly

it.  just.  retches.  itself.  all.  out.

before it can be swallowed back?

when there’s so much love and yet none at all– and the thought of no longer hearing the tantrums and the tired sits okay enough within that the thought of leaving it all behind doesn’t seem horrid but pulls pleasant?

and you, you thought you were made for motherhood but all that fills you is resounding failure. that at the end of the day, what was it that was accomplished that won’t need repetition the very next day?

And tens of thousands of times after

and it all wears thin.

and naming the grace gifts have been far from me. held off at arms length.

the race pulls at me and all i look for is the ending and the gentle soothe of knowing it is all over and i am all done. and the wanting that it won’t come fast enough.

and i am at loss.

for the desire may be good, the looking for the eternal, but it’s in such a desperation that it leaves all loathe for the place i find myself in … the here. and the now.

and how is that glorifying? and do i even care?

i want to whisper the thought – has my heart become so tired that it too has turned to all ugly? 

can i not wake long enough to name the grace that surrounds and abounds.

infant child “nu nu” sounds

young son’s desires to be as big brother

big brother desires to be baby once more

and the thought process there… oh son… you too will grow… and growth is an awfully big adventure. and sometimes it may feel all awful, that’s true. but the grace, it’s here, son. and the joy that comes from fully giving of a thanks that fully fills… to experience that, son. I pray you will live the majority of your life experiencing such a joy.

but that means you have to continue to grow. and the growth will be good. it will be hard. and it will end good.

our flesh is incredibly weak, child. and the pull of this world is wickedly sweet. but bypass the happiness to find the joy, you will find no regret there.

and here, when the desire for sleep leads to the demanding for rest and when respite is refused… to name grace. and when this feels like the hardest thing, to give thanks for the exhaustion. to give thanks for the crying. to give thanks for the never ceasing constant serving cycle of the day.

and maybe it’s time to rewrite the black and the white according to the serving of Christ that does not make the perfect of sense to the outside looking in.

-and to be okay when it’s met with the backhanded whispers and the shaking of Miss Manner’s head.

-when entertaining people may be bringing them into the realness of what is instead of a facade of something that’s all together perfect tidy.

-to fully relinquish that which causes stress and to realign priorities.

for the   eternal.   to.   matter.   more.  than the clutter that will burn and fade to nothing. 

 

entry twenty three

And the eyes ache. And the human patience has its limitations. And when eyes are pushed, and patience trembles, and all inside wants to shout out and curl into tiny quiet places- because does a woman ever have just one emotion?

and it’s all right about to be ruined.

It feels like dropping a ball over and over and over and over again… and the ferocity of it all makes me want to pick up each of these orbs and instead of catching them one. more. time. … just throw them like hot potatoes as far and fast away from my nervous system as is humanly possible.

because it hurts.

there is ache and exhaustion and a constant state of servanthood is not an easy supplication.

and the cry of my heart is to be as Christ like as possible… and with the opportunity to give all of myself on a daily basis, here I am wanting to run for the hills.

To be Maria on the mountain top once more- and to think she never would have come down if she had only known she would end up being a mother to seven.

And children are blessings? And everything for good?

And the baby screams instead of accepting sleep, and screams for days. and weeks follow slow. and this is blessed?

I sit mother over child. I stand and sway the unable-to-be-soothed-babe against my chest, and hold tight when it hits hard. For my mother heart knows the eyes need rest, and the body is weak and it is weary, but the boy-full-of-sobs doesn’t understand and he builds up defiance deep within his lung fibers, releasing bellows of indignation right to my face.

And how often do I scream at God? I am pleading for something I am not receiving, and does He not hear? And how as Father does He not just silence it all right then and there? For we are but children, and are unaware of what it is He is preparing us for, of how He is trying to give us exactly what we need in this present time… And in that black pit of the depth of my heart, am I sitting here thinking i know better?

“Shhhh” is the sound I give to my child. Eyes red and swollen, circles formed deep underneath. And more often than not I believe are faces bear similar markings of just right exhaustion. Or maybe we are fighting against the thing we need most. When we cocoon within our own commiserating and refuse to let in the light which might just warm us through to the very tips of our being…

the holding of grudges, the withholding of grace. forgiveness. thanks. we deny joy, and cling to the rot of our own misery. And we stand against the Father and declare we know better. And it all, all of defiance, may in fact sound like a tired defiant infant child.

And then thankfulness may fill up the heart and overflow out the mouth for the realization that the perfect Father is the one standing over this time- this life- and He. is. Patience.

Just as we want to give our children every good and beautiful thing- He gives us all good- all of Him– for all of us, and of that good there will always be enough.

And the baby quiets, the sleep-suckling takes over, and there is grace. and He is here. And we can rest in Him.

entry twenty two

Just watched this video.

And it brings the topic to my heart that catches in my throat and threatens to drain me of all physical and emotional strength. To watch that and not feel emotion… I don’t think it’s possible. Then to realize that this child’s life was birthed into this world when he was in his second trimester of life- still within his mother’s womb… and how children’s lives are ending so violently… at this same age and earlier.

by choice.

How we the church don’t seem to be doing enough to stand against this?

We are beginning to hear the call of the orphan and that of the poor. The widow. Those fatherless many. The street kids. Maybe it’s an easier call to answer because there is always someone to give money to who will then go forth and love on these who so desperately need it.

Maybe we don’t know where to step in.

So we may occasionally line an abortion center.

And shout out in masses for a few days.

 

Or stand in a prayer line.

But does anything really change in our day to day knowing that human. lives. are. ending. in the thousands. on a daily basis?

It’s where my heart strings knot. Blood pulses fast. Runs right ice cold. And muscles tremble.

As I feel as though I am not enough. The cries to God and the clawing desperate of the throat for this to just right this world upended and end this all. That I so desperately long for a switch to flip to just stop this mass genocide going on in our cities. in our country. on our continent. in our world.

Is the church failing? Why do pregnant women choose this?

Is it because we are “promised” a life that we can have and be whatever we want? The shows and books and magazines and articles that blind the soul as they proclaim a person can succeed– and we live our lives by the world’s definition of success? To have laid out before you everything you have been promised- but a life comes in and messes up the “perfect”, so it becomes a choice?

What if we revolutionized the definition of success? And we took the excess out of its entirety?

What if we let our children realize just how true it actually is that giving is so infinitely better than getting? To hold onto the blessedness that comes with dying of ourselves…

And why does it seem so contrary to cultural beliefs to realize that, when faced at a crossroads of a life you desire to live verses another life desiring to continue to live– how    b  l  e  s  s  e  d    that experience will be?

and how exceedingly full of pure refreshing joy to-serve-of-us truly is – if we could just show that to others – to teach that to our children and the generations being raised up…

If we could emphasize – because we actually believed – that the conception of a child is a wondrously glorious blessing- absolutely regardless of circumstance– That yes, there is more pain and more suffering if a person chooses to have such intimate relationship (to enter into sin) with one they are not in a covenant relationship with – and how a child’s life is never a sin.

If we taught our children to protect their purity of hearts and their love for others- if when a relationship involving premarital intimacy is discovered we would be saddened and upset by. the. action. of. intercourse. infinitely more than we are concerned if they are being “safe” – because what message is that sending to their child-minds? And what is the true take away there?

-I actually have yet to hear of a girl who gets pregnant in a Christian home where the parents don’t emphasize the fact that obviously the daughter wasn’t being “safe” enough because look what happened- which. is. not. the. sin. the baby is not the sin. But is that what is being taught in the church?

Why does the one innocent in this time receive all of the disdain?

If no woman ever felt shame for carrying a life within herself…

If the church – the city – the country – the continent – the world – could rise up as one and stand for our humanity.

Something so precious.

So sacred.

I have so many thoughts on this – and every paragraph can be formed into at least a chapter of a book – and maybe those pages need to be filled.

But can we start to teach our children differently? Can we see sin as sin – and a child’s life (no matter the circumstance of conception) as the exact opposite of that? Is it possible to separate the two when we talk to our children?

It’s time to stop living each day with a refusal to fully acknowledge what is going on in the here and now. You’ve read about genocides in your history books. This is so much bigger. And it’s right down the street. It’s within miles of the Church.

 

And it needs to be over.

It is time for every child to be given the gift of life. And for every mother to feel the blessing of her newborn’s skin nestled safe against her chest. As the child falls asleep to the sound of mommy’s beating heart.

A life is a life no matter how small- and if you believe God is the Creator of all- Who made us to be the salt of the earth- can we not be warriors for each child’s birth? 

 

*disclaimer note- in case it is not clear- I do believe that premarital sex is a sin. Having experienced it first hand I am a huge advocate of choosing to wait until being one with your spouse. But that being said, all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God. And if this is an area where you have sinned, are sinning, there is forgiveness at the cross. Just as there is for every sin committed by any person. My argument here is that when a person becomes pregnant as a result of premarital intercourse- the two acts are looked at as sinful, and there doesn’t seem to be a true and honest separation between the act of premarital sex – the sin- from the conception of life – not sin. 

entry twenty one

It filled the empty space and then moved as if it would push through the very trees and barns themselves.

Fog.

And not the eerily, creepy, fallen at dusk and full moon type… No, this was a heavy blanket of woolen mist. And it settled deep amongst the all of nature.

Still. Inviting.

The kind of kindness to light a morning fire and stay all day immersed within it. And there I was speeding my car down the grayed highway- when suddenly 75 miles an hour was 75 miles too fast. 

The pull started strong. And it grew ever stronger. This startling desire to park a vehicle and just race to the center of autumn woods that lined the empty road. To stand in the midst of that thickened air and breathe it deep… into. my. very. existence.

I needed a calming – one to rush forth and hold me fiercely. For my heart was racing ahead of my chest and my head was only slow to understanding.

My thoughts? Those all fog too.

And God does not just give you what you can handle, for what would the point of that be? And how would that be for His glory? So he gives you much and then gives you more and then stands there for you to place it all back at His very feet. And there, sitting prostrate at the throne of the cross, can you begin to see it?

Breathe in.

Sigh deep.

It. Is. Good.

And how the everything can be ever-good, and how He does not waste one single thing? Even the smallest, most insignificant and inconsequential of things?

When the ever-pouring of the day gets relinquished from my hands, poured out at His feet- when the clinging to the cross so tightly sends splinters to the very core of my soul. and His overflowing of all grace-joy rushes through my entirety.

And I can rest in the truth that God is always here. And He is always good.

And the fog, it will always lift up.

Image

“We won’t stop confessing He is good and we won’t stop thanking Him for grace and we won’t stop holding out our hands — and taking His hand. We won’t stop believing that “God is good” is not some trite quip for the good days but a radical defiant cry for the terrible days.

That “God is good” is not a stale one-liner when all’s  happy but a saving lifeline when all’s hard.

And we will keep giving thanks, yada, yada, yada, because giving thanks is only this: making the canyon of pain into a megaphone to proclaim the ultimate goodness of God.”- Ann Voskamp 

entry nineteen

A small step towards healing a huge hurt… and it starts with this. And being able to listen to events take place at a school – and hearing a story that bears similar wounds as my own.

And being able to respond with these words.

And my heart.

And to those who have been here, or are here, or heaven forbid will find themselves here…

This, for the parent. This, to help you.

This, for you.

 

Your world has been turned on its axis. The ground has slipped away into a black hole beneath your feet and you aren’t sure if solid ground is ever really coming back. Every cog in your brain is turning at full speed to try to make sense out of something, to try to put reason into this situation, and to most likely attempt to justify by denial that this is actually happening.

And yeah, I’ve been there. And those worse case scenarios that your parent mind plays out, one of those may have come about in your own household, and every single fiber of your love-strong-sacrifice-ridden-bleeding heart is being torn into one. thousand. million. pieces.

And I try to imagine what that must be like. And you are trying to wrap your understanding around this, and trying to see how a man who earned your trust (and dare I say your love) so easily- effortlessly even- could be capable of doing harm to one of your own…. It is inconceivable.

Oh, dear friend, my heart aches- because, true as that may be, it doesn’t mean that it’s impossible.

And so as you sit and read this, or listen to this, you may be trying to take the next step in this horrendous ordeal, and you may very well be asking yourself, “What do I say to my child? How do I talk to them? How do they talk to me?” And I get it. It’s uncomfortable. It may make your stomach knot, your hands shake, and your mind turn to blank slate status.

(And that’s why I’m sitting at my table amidst chaos of child crazy to write this to you.)

Because at this point you most likely know the statistics, and you are probably going through all the “would’ve,” “should’ve,” and “could haves” that go Speed Racer through your thoughts. As it becomes more real you’ll look for blame and you’ll feel white hot anger that seers your blood and scares your soul.

And what about your child?

And, like I’ve said, I’ve been there.

Not where you are.

But where they are…

And maybe you need this tonight…

 

Dear mom, dear dad, dear guardian,

I’m confused.

A surge of emotions is coursing through this hormonal crazed body of mine – and adding to all of the thoughts and doubts and uncertainties that this world is already hurtling at me faster than I can sort through and swallow.

Shame flushes my cheeks and quiets my voice, and trust is something so broken within me I can’t speak a word even if I could somehow make sense of it all.

So here I am looking to you.

And you may go meet with a counselor and urge me to do the same- because suddenly so much has started to make some sort of sense to you- and I’m glad you are taking this seriously.

and it means so much to this battered and bruised heart of mine that you care enough to pursue all out the best way to handle my brokenness.

but going to see a stranger scares me right to hollow depths, because I can’t trust a single new face right now.

But I trust you.

The embarrassment brings shame, and there are things this child-growing-into-adult body of mine should still be ignorant of. And now I wish it was. But I can’t tell you that– I see the fear written plain across your face, and I know you feel hurt by a man you welcomed into your heart (and possibly our home.)

I wish you knew, despite whatever words are in my mouth, that I don’t blame you.

I need you to know that I am scared right to my core that you blame me. – And that this weighs elephant-heavy on my chest and crushes me right through.

Can you tell me honestly that the fault here is not mine? Not in any part?

Can you just hold me close when words fail you?

Don’t act like nothing has happened and that this is something to sweep under the rug- because I need to know that when I’m ready, whenever that may be, that I can talk to you.

That you aren’t afraid to hear me.

That you want to talk to me.- yeah, that. I need to know that.

Will you listen to me when I don’t speak a sound?

Invest in time with me and give me the opportunity to come to you?

Will you let me know that however much you may have cared for him, you care for me infinitely and un-matchedly more?

I’m sorry I can’t say everything right now. There’s too much I can’t put into words, and the flush in my cheeks and the fire in my veins (those flames of hate), makes it so I can’t say everything I need to.

Not now.

But sometime…. Sometime I want to talk to you about all of this.

But I see you are hurting. And I know your confusion. And I am child born from your flesh and the whole of my being aches right raw to think of causing you pain by telling you all there is to tell.

I am the child you bounced on your knee.

You curled my hair. And read me stories. We sang songs and laughed and we have caused each other hurts.

But this?  This is hard to tell. For this will be deep sorrow that will stain profound.

This will cause you pain, and I can’t say sorry at the end of it. There’s nothing for me to apologize for. I’m not used to sharing a pain with you and for there to be no fix.

But maybe we could walk through this together?

And don’t allow me to be complacent and victimize myself, but help me to move past this time. And make sure you continue to move through this time as well.

But don’t forget that this is now a part of my story, and this will shape who I become. And don’t worry, it will be good.

And yes, I will need counseling. A lot of it. And you can help. My certificate of birth you were given by the nurse the day you labored hard and bore me into this world licenses you to do just that. You can help counsel my heart and mind and bring me to a place where I can trust.

But here’s the most important thing, and it will be so hard for you to do.

Abandon yourself at the Cross. And open yourself entirely to Him. He has a plan in all of this. Point me to Him, while kneeling right alongside of me…

And let us find Peace,

Receive Grace,

And Seek Joy

Together and for each other.

entry eighteen

and how is so much wrong so fast? and why do the scales of life tip heavy to anger and irritability? a constant, rip right through your gut and straight out your throat – hot anger.

and why doesn’t time freeze?

dressing the baby in an outfit he’ll wear for the last time today. and it has come.

here.

now.

and it’s too fast.

the last time this clothing will be worn by a child from my womb- and have I missed most of it? has my energy been spent doing dishes and mopping floors – and thoughts consumed by these trivial mundanes when they are not actually being accomplished in the moment of the here and now?

when I have nothing to do but give in to sleep and still the list of the daily chores goes and rushes my mind- so I can be sure as to not forget a single one when it’s, you know, tomorrow?

and do I find my children’s laughter as important? to read their favorite lines for the thousandth time that day?

and what is true importance?

am I raising up children with an eternal outlook on life- the kind of young people who know what it means to live all out full tilt for the Kingdom- or am I teaching them to find their worth in the clean of the day?

and there’s a need for smiling more. for finding more of the joy. for putting away as you go and if something is missed allowing it to be found at a time.. one that is not now.

for laughing more.

for more pages and less screens.

for soft words and silly songs.

for just an actual enjoyment of the day that is given right gift. the now.

for writing the Scriptures on their hearts and for guiding them a little closer to their Heavenly Father. for teaching by action and not by diction. for allowing room for messes and ugly and for it to be okay when they just can’t control every emotion that bombards their tiny beings.

for grace.

for thanks.

for joy.

yeah, more time for joy.

for less putting off until tomorrow.

because the outfits of today may not fit tomorrow. and the growing doesn’t stop. and time is a never ceasing torrent of minutes. and days will never come twice.

little man coos

Liam’s crooked “got a secret” pure joy smile

a boy-child’s intuition

a girl-child-not-quite-two’s ability to make every expression heart stopping and hilarious

a husband home from work on days when the body isn’t strong enough

wedding invitations that cover photo wires

lit by glowstick toddler faces all awe and giddy