Sunday Rest #7

“That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said.  As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”- John 20:19-22 

Happy Easter!

photo credit: An Hour Is Coming via photopin (license)
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Rise Up

This past week has been full of tears as I have reflected on the 34 years of memories that I have with my dear sister, Melody. She fought a 3 year battle with breast cancer and it took her life last Sunday.Who she was as a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend speaks volumes to the brave and beautiful warrior spirit that God had placed within her.

As I was watching television with my husband last Friday night, the song “Rise Up” by Andra Day began playing at the end of one of our favorite shows. I had never heard it before but something in me needed to hear it. I did not know what was to come within the next two days but it’s like God gave me an opportunity to be prepared through this song.

I listened to it non stop before I found out about my sister, on the flight home as I let the sad news sink deeply into my heart, and throughout the following week as funeral plans were made. And I can’t get past the meaning of the words.

You’re broken down and tired
Of living life on a merry-go-round
And you can’t find the fighter
But I see it in you so we gonna walk it out
And move mountains
We gonna walk it out
And move mountains

And I’ll rise up
I’ll rise like the day
I’ll rise up
I’ll rise unafraid
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
And I’ll rise up
High like the waves
I’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousands times again
For you

When the silence isn’t quiet
And it feels like it’s getting hard to breathe
And I know you feel like dying
But I promise we’ll take the world to it’s feet
And move mountains
We gonna walk it out
And move mountains

And I’ll rise up
I’ll rise like the day
I’ll rise up
I’ll rise unafraid
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
For you

All we need, all we need is hope
And for that we have each other
And for that we have each other
We will rise
We will rise
We’ll rise, ohh ohhh
We’ll rise

Melody has risen up PERMANENTLY. She is alive and well in the presence of our Savior, Jesus Christ. No more falling down for my sweet sister ever again. How grateful I am for this truth. The lyrics are also a call to action for the rest of us here on this very lost and desolate place called earth. We have a mandate to rise up against all odds and testify to the goodness of God no matter what. We have an opportunity in the middle of pain and loss to stand tall on the foundation of God’s unfailing love. To speak out above the noise of chaos in a voice that resonates with hope.

So, I write this from a place of honor for my sister and the legacy of faith she left for others to follow. There is no other option than to rise up. I will not let earthly sorrow keep me from having a heavenly perspective.

Until we meet again, my lovely sister… #riseup

(photo credit: Sunrise Yabucoa, Puerto Rico via photopin (license))

For the Teen Mom

photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/38991082@N05/3596275884">pregnant silhouette</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">(license)</a>

 

The wind whistles as I wake

to the light of the morning sun.

The rays shine through my window

And I reflect on who I’ve become.

 

In all my years of womanhood

I’ve never felt so scared

I don’t know quite what to do

with my current state of affairs.

 

To say I’m lost for words

is to speak the pregnant truth.

I couldn’t have seen this coming

even if I had read it in the news.

 

My body argues the facts

whether I want to believe them or not.

I guess I’ll have to get used to this.

I guess I’m officially caught.

 

The birds chirp away a song

that soothes my tired soul.

And I lay there beneath the covers

trying hard to forget it all.

 

I sigh and get up out of bed.

My head is foggy from little rest.

The darkness of my past mistakes

is trying to swallow me up yet.

 

Another day is beckoning

But I can’t seem to let anyone in.

What if they knew my secret shame?

What if they can’t see past my condition?

 

My hands start to shake

as I reach for the phone.

If I don’t dial it now

then I’ll be doing this alone.

 

A kind voice gently answers

with a simple “Hello?”

And my words fumble out

In a mesh of unintelligible groans.

 

“I’ll be right over” she says

as the phone drops to the floor.

And I lay there crying until

I hear a knock on the door.

 

“Come in” I feebly call

from my crumpled position.

She sees me in my weakness

and hugs me in contrition.

 

There’s no more hiding for me

as she sees my size.

I can’t ignore her glances down,

her questioning eyes.

 

Before I can utter a defense

for the situation I’m in,

she calmly smiles and says to me,

“I’m so glad that you’re my friend.”

 

We sit there in that moment

letting the silence speak the truth

and for the first time in my little life

I was surprised at what I knew:

 

The days behind me offer a glimpse

Into a life of wandering

But the days I’ve yet to see

Offer me the chance to be set free.

 

I may have made a mistake

I may have gone the wrong way

but the pure love of another

Has awakened me to change.  

 

If fear and condemnation

could make me lay it down

I would’ve left my sin long ago

I wouldn’t have been the talk of the town.

 

But here in this place

where honesty and grace collide

I can see that I’ve been given a gift

I can love the new life growing deep inside.