The Fertile Fields of Our Soul

I’m working today (horror of all horrors) but thought that I would post a new entry while I was here, slaving away at my mother’s desk while the students complete pages of paperwork. Muahahahaha. I love substituting for my mom, since I know exactly what she expects, and she always leaves the students plenty to do (the less I have to hear them speak, the less I have to be discouraged by the current state of our students and society in general).

I spoke of change in my last few blogs, and how I’ve been patiently waiting for Synchronicity. Of course, it’s too early to determine anything, but I feel it finally happening. The wind is shifting, and the light is bursting through the cracks of the doors in my life. I’m blinded by the occasional glimpse of Beauty awaiting me. I’m hopeful, and I’m smiling in the inside… all the time. I can’t sleep at night, because I’m bombarded with Hope and anticipation. When I do sleep, my dreams reflect my hopes, and I wake with the blurriness of pseudo-reality becoming Real.

I’m happy to be alive again.

My last post was a poem – “Meanwhile, You and I.” I still haven’t recovered from this piece; it was formed straight from the fibers of my soul, and I am honored that I was allowed to create art with my words. It had been a while since I had written something new, and I was glad to have the dam finally burst again, upon the page. I never cease to garner great happiness from writing… nothing in the world makes me feel more alive, or to believe I have any truer purpose.

One of my dear friends has been hurting lately, overwhelmed by this life and the realities it offers us. Financial and emotional entanglements are strangling her, holding her back from her purpose. She is beautiful, and filled with such promise and light. I want her to break through the walls that hold her back, and press herself upon the world in a powerful way. She has the power to redefine her reality, and I think she is becoming aware of this. I want to be by her side as she comes alive. I am so proud of all that she is, and I hurt when she hurts.

If only I could ease everyone’s pain, just a little. Perhaps then we could all breathe for a moment, and with that breath offer the world a bit of Peace.

Someone new has come into my life and validated my soul. I wanted to share this, for it has added new wonderment and joy to my life. I feel as though my soul is reflected in another, and this offers me hope for the future, and the knowledge that I am not alone.

When we find this reflection in another, it is a glimpse into the earthen depths of our lives, into the grace that is God, and the gift that is our souls.

I am quite obviously slipping into my “purple prose” for this entry, something I have been critiqued for by every English teacher I have ever had (save one or two). I can only hope that I am slowly stripping myself of cliche, and other such saccharine sweetness, and rather delving in the deliciousness of the soil – the vibrating richness of the world.

For we all need a little poetry in our lives. 

We all need a little randomn love and beauty.

  

Homecoming

Occasionally I get the feeling like I want to cry and cry and cry.

Sometimes it’s when I glance at a picture I took, and suddenly I’m transported right back to that spot, feeling and breathing and being there. Sometimes it’s just an image in my mind, or a random impulse. The whole world is different now. Yes, I am back home… but my entire world has been changed.

I don’t want to cry because I’m sad, though, because I’m not. I’m actually very happy. Today was one of the best days of my life. I went over to my Dad’s house in Charlton, and we had a fantastic day. All the kids were there (Joel, Govie, Candice, and I) and we haven’t all been together like that in years and years. We sat outside by the pool and we laughed, and then we ate steamers and lobsters, and even Dad, while he was saying Grace, had to cut the prayer short because it was all so beautiful. I almost cried myself, sitting there, being happy.

Today assuaged so many of my fears of coming home. I was so nervous that I would be depressed, or that I would feel more distant than ever from my family and the people who matter. I am overjoyed to learn that this trip has only brought me closer to the authentic self I was always hoping to express and to be, and that now I move more fluidly through moments. I am more settled in the Present, and I am more confident of my place within it.

But occasionally I just want to sob. I am unaware of where this impulse is originating from, but I know it is partly from a deep appreciation of the Road, and of the Silence, and of the Solitude I experienced there.

I was always one who thrived in solitude rather than feared it, but now it is more than that. Now it is an awareness of my strength, of my profound nature, my grace, my gifts, and my place on this earth. I am honored to have had the opportunity to learn this things, and at such a young age. I have an entire life now to impress myself upon the world, and leave marks of beauty and grace, and poetry.

Grace Center, Franklin, TN

I have let this go for far too long.

Last Sunday, I attended church with Kelly and Tim – they attend the Grace Center in Franklin, TN. It actually received the “church of the week” award on national television for the way the center helped a sister church by donating over $200,000 to them after their church burnt down. And as they said, “This isn’t a reflection of the wealth of our church, but a reflection of God’s desire for extravagance. He is an extravagant God, and he calls for us to give extravagantly of ourselves.”

It is sentiments like that which have opened my heart back up to the Lord, and completely re-awakened my heart. As the song went today – “I’m falling madly in love with you.” – it feels amazing to fall in love again, and this time with God.

Last week was simply mind-blowing, and it was fascinating to see how different last week’s service was compared to today’s. Kelly assured me that every week is different, and completely dictated by the will of God and what He wishes to accomplish, both with us and through us.

At 9 AM, before the actual church service, there is a time where people can attend the “soaking room” where… well, I’ve never experienced anything like it. It’s in a small room, which can hold about 50 people or so, tightly squeezed in there. There are about 30 seats, but beyond that some people lay on the floor, some against the wall; others stand. And what it is…. is… a place… where the Holy Spirit is allowed to come and sit with us, stir us… and create music. There are a few musicians who sit up in the front, and a couple singers, and what happens is a completely improvised music session, led by the Holy Spirit.

If you think that sounds strange, it gets better.

Some people shout out random things like “Amen” or call out to “Jesus!,” while others are moved strongly enough to dance around, or wave streamers/flags. The emotion and presence of Him in the room causes many people to cry, while others laugh out loud, or even start giggling – filled with Joy. It is really fascinating, sometimes overwhelming… always beautiful.

Last week was intense – Kelly told me that it was usually never like that. It got so loud in that room that she almost had to leave, but for me, since it was brand new and I was entering with absolutely no expectations, I was extremely moved. The room was packed, so we sat on the floor, and I was surrounded by interpretative dancers and music and people and I just sat there and my eyes were filled with tears and my heart was filled with God – a feeling I had been without for years now.

Today was more relaxed and much more calm than last week, but it was still intense and beautiful. It was Father’s Day, so some people occasionally spoke into the microphone (and even their words sounded like music) and talked about fathers. One woman came up and almost broke my heart. She started crying at one point, talking about how she was going to “give herself back to God – give herself all over again” – and that would be her gift to Him on Father’s Day. It definitely started my tears – her talking about how God has never lied to her, or taken advantage of her, or hurt her. “You are always faithful to me; you are such a good daddy.” – oh my gosh that almost destroyed me.

The woman who sings in these sessions is named Laura Rhinehart. She has a CD out entitled “The Soaking Room” so I guess she knows what she’s doing. 🙂 Anyways, she has this gorgeous voice, and then the words she speaks inbetween the music are just lovely. Today she said:

“All the things that you long for… are a breath to Him.”

I could go on for hours. And I hope to one day write a beautiful story about my entire experience being part of this church for the last two weeks. But the end of the story is this: I am in love with God, again. I hope to keep this in my heart forever this time. Kelly and Tim have taken me into their home for the past ten days, and they have been like family to me; I am honored to know them. Their goodness simply emanates from them, while at the same time they exude a naturalness and a simplicity that makes them very human. Kelly knew from the beginning that she was supposed to take me into her home, and she trusted that feeling, and in doing so has given me a safe haven where I have been able to explore my faith again.

I have been on this road trip journey for over six weeks, and I am finally in a place where I can begin to handle all these questions and emotions I have.

A few weeks ago, I talked about how yoga almost caused me to have a breakdown – and eventually I did break down, in the front seat of my car at five in the morning, panda clutched desperately to my chest. Three weeks ago yoga was too much for me to handle, since I had so much pain residing in my soul and my heart… I had soul pain that took away my breath. Yet one week ago, I sat in that soaking room and was enveloped by the Holy Spirit, and yes I felt pain and yes I felt intensity, but mostly I felt peace, and joy, and completion.

Just to know how far I have come in a few weeks is so encouraging to me. This trip truly is restoring my spirit – and more than that, it is opening up doors for me that I can walk through for the rest of my life.

And as Laura said today:

“Jesus came to take us to the Father.

Jesus is the door.

Thank you, Jesus, for being the door.”

http://gracecenter.us/index.php#home