Lately, I’m on my way back to go forward again. And the best way to describe that is to say, I am here. Mercy is teaching me this.
I’ll back up on what I mean by that for a minute…One morning a few years ago, I woke up speaking Indonesian. Yeah.
(For those of you who don’t know me personally: I grew up a Midwest gal and currently have got my bare feet where they were always meant to be here in Kentucky, USA. All that to say: I’ve never lived in or near Indonesia.)
Never mind that, I woke up speaking a language I didn’t know anyway!
At this point, there had been countless long nights of more wakefulness than sleep as I watched over my then chronically ill (to the tune of 7 months) children. The sleep deprivation in addition to stress of not knowing how to help my kids overcome the illness was overwhelming. I genuinely wondered if I was beginning to *lose* it. And yes, I did call a counselor!
In the mean time however, there was only one thing to do — Google it! Ha! Amazingly enough the phrase I woke up with actually meant something: “Mercy, a valid teacher.” I didn’t really know what that meant but you can believe it set me in a direction of earnestly wanting to know.
The days and nights were so difficult then, I craved easy. The easiest path for dinner, housework, homeschool and my heart. The less the better, including emotional rawness, was my plan of action. I just wanted to turn it all off, problem is—that’s called hatefulness.
I know we all need breaks, and I’m all about taking worthy short-cuts, and making the quiet places a priority, trust me! This was beyond that though…
I hated myself, my inability and utter lack to help my children sufficiently. I struggled not to hate my life and the lack of value I felt I was to it. It was self centered at the core mixed with exhaustion, grief and pain that needed tending, but at the time I really wondered if my family would do better without me?
Through the strangest of ways Mercy broke in in these quiet, wonderful words and lit a lamp to a steeper path than I’d ever have chosen on my own. Fascinated by this turn of events however, with wonder, I followed that path on almost without noticing.
Honestly, the first step looked like a long, loong drive alone and down some country roads that Jay nor I was sure when I would come back from.
After a few hours of driving (on what I eventually decided was a solo trip to the Atlantic Ocean!) the car kinda seemed to pull over to the side of the road on its own. I know it didn’t…it just seemed like I hit a barrier, every where I turned, barrier.
I sat there looking over a different landscape though—this lush green pasture that felt endless with as many endless rich colors above me as the sun began to set. (Maybe this was the beginning of how much I believe in beauty and how beauty invites. Or maybe that was that blizzard my dad took me for a walk in when I was 14 ;)…) Anyways, all of the sudden I wasn’t in the car anymore, or the dark of my mind.
I was in the field, following Mercy.
Something deep inside was uncovered in that space. To my surprise it was deeper than all that grief I was choking on, it was freedom: freedom to choose. It was potential. It was space and wide, wide, open, reality.
In those moments I hated and loved myself all at once. Like a deep weed root being pulled, a lot of junk was coming to the top and a lot of good was being allowed to breathe. Looking at it all, looking at me coming all undone, was breathtaking in the worst and best ways.
Mercy calls for undoing in the tenderest breaking of time. Mercy surprises us with truth we’d never known to hope for. Mercy makes Itself known to a people who did not know to call. Mercy shows the way to Love, in whose eyes even darkest death become a place of potential.
Storms become revelations of a holy embrace that should be bound by time but instead we discover everlasting arms that always were, are, and always will be. Mercy holds us and releases us all at once.
Mercy took me home that day with hope to carry on.
When I’ve messed up beyond my own willingness to accept myself, I’ve needed Mercy to show me the way to love again, especially how to love myself. That makes me a better lover of others than I ever could have the way I thought I should: rejecting myself.
When I’ve feared more than I’ve hoped how badly I needed Mercy to let me out of my own head and into the vast expanse that is truth and grace. After that, even when I don’t understand yet, when I’m more confused than clear, at least I can hold onto the hope of The Place that exists: the place of freedom, to the embrace that crosses all limits.
This is part two of a few stories from my life that are making more sense to me everyday in a still bewildered, wonderful kind of way. Sometimes that’s the way of it though… And I’ll take it, because I can’t teach myself what I don’t know. I can’t reach for what I never knew existed. But “in His Presence is fullness of joy…” This is Mercy and I’m so thankful for all of us, not just me, this is for all of us. More to come!
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Hey there! I’m Raynna. If you’ve read this far I hope it’s been a blessing. Also, if you’d like to be entered to win one of my books then subscribe HERE or leave me a comment below. Winner will be notified at the end of this week! ******update: this drawing is now closed******