Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Meadow

Recently I attended a leadership awakening class that was recommended by a very good friend.  Those who know me understand how long it has taken me to find my voice; however, this weekend I lost it, literally.  The week prior to the two and a half day course I couldn't sleep without waking around 3 am, my heart racing.  I felt a battle approaching, adrenaline pumping, but it was a fight not a flight mode reaction.  My intuition told me the battle would be fierce, I would be bruised and possibly broken but ultimately victorious.  I was anticipating something God orchestrated, life changing, an awakening within my spirit.  What I found was terrifying.  Fractured pieces, unrecognizable shapes, parts of a puzzle I had created but did not recognize as my own.  Yet each piece represented a part of me; at times exquisitely beautiful and other times pieces so sharp they eviscerated my beliefs crumbling the foundation of my perceived strength.

Growing up with a depressed, prescription medicated, suicidal mother and rage-filled, violent, alcoholic father did not prepare me for what I was about to experience.  From my first contact with my assigned roommate to the class introduction I was certain God was creating the perfect storm for my undoing, and I wanted nothing to do with His plan.  If any other human being had recommended this class to me I would have been gone within the first hour; however, it was my beloved friend who knows my heart and knows my soul - I had to trust her, so I did.

Retreating almost immediately to the dark, safe closet I had created in my mind, I cowered there awhile.  Covering my ears I waited for the angry man to stop raging up and down the hallway; waited for an opportunity to open the door a crack; waited for a chance to see if it was yet safe to come outside.  Eventually it became tiresome sitting in there because he kept pounding on the door pressing me to see with new eyes.  The gig was up; my safe place had been compromised.  What's the point of a safe, dark hiding spot if everyone knows you are in there? Reluctantly I emerged and as I did the closet door became nothing more than a thin veil, a barrier I had created.  As golden light streamed through, the darkness diminished and my vision became clearer.  Clear enough for me to see the meadow; clear enough for me to see the little girl I had shoved into that closet so long ago.  She was waiting for me there and she was radiant with joy.

This meadow is in my mind but it is a real place too.  A place I discovered as a child hiking with my sister through the redwood forest.  My steps there are silent, absorbed by the soft, rich soil beneath and the scent is earthy and warm. Time stands still and reverent as dappled sunlight dances through the canopy of giants overhead.  The hike is hard, all uphill, but my gift is this beautiful meadow at the top of the ridge.  Finding this meadow again is like finding my heart; only it is whole in this place and untainted.  The little girl I had left there so many years ago recognizes me as herself; no time has passed because time does not exist there.  This meadow holds the truth; no tomorrow, no yesterday just this perfect moment and in that instant I am free.

God breathes purpose and passion into my life every single day; my perceptions are what determine whether or not I receive His gift.  In order to live I must stay awake to the truth.  God is alive in His people and it is time for me to wake up and remember what is real.

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