share: God’s unconditional love encourages us to share and trust

share - God's unconditional love encourages us to share and trust @poetryjoy.com

Love wore many faces for me as a child. Not all of them welcome or healthy. I didn’t experience unconditional, fully accepting and embracing love until I invited Christ into my heart in my late teens.

Even though I was, and still am, very willing to share the wondrous things God has done for me, I’ve found that opening up about a painful past and sharing my wounded, imperfect self with others has proved challenging over the years.  But we all need safe places to vent and people we trust to share ourselves with.

Now I am in a better place than in my wary childhood days. A spacious place because I have been redeemed by grace. And as I’ve found courage enough to write and spill my story instead of hiding away, I give God the glory for opening up wider avenues of confidence and trust, of love and faith. Those “you too?” moments mean so much and are well worth the vulnerability we choose to expose to others by sharing our hearts.

“He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.” – Psalm 18:19

To share or not to share

she kept her heart locked tight
unwilling to open up
one person had an invite
flooded it with his love

a slow warming, thawing
as icy layers began to melt
he continued to pour more in
unafraid of her tumult

dirty corners were cleansed
cobwebbed thoughts expunged
she didn’t have to make amends
he took the mess upon himself

to share or not to share
a daily life dilemma
wanting to disappear
the silent death of her

he breathed a purer air
he spoke a new language
mercy and grace appeared
as he took away her anguish
© joylenton

share - to share or not to share poem (C)joylenton @poetryjoy.com

I’m delighted to be sharing my five minute poem with the wonderful wordsmiths in the five-minute-friday community.  This week’s prompt is: “share”. You are warmly invited to join in and read the great posts being shared. 🙂

beauty: we’re all made beautiful by God’s grace

 

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. No two people admiring a piece of art, lovely landscape, or a person, will see exactly the same features that are attractive to them. We all have our own viewpoint about what we define as beautiful.

Although we may not measure up to contemporary or classical definitions of physical beauty, we can be comforted by knowing that the inner beauty of our soul and character are the most enduring qualities to treasure.

Like many women before me, right from girlhood I have mourned my perceived lack of attractiveness. Society sets impossible standards for us to reach. As does advertising with its emphasis on outward perfection.

So it’s a huge relief to know—especially the older I get and the more invisible I feel— that God looks at us with eyes of unconditional love. He sees beauty in everyone. God gives us beauty for ashes and paints us with His loveliness.

Broken into beauty

I had beauty once but I didn’t even
know it, so I lived like one impoverished
sitting in dust, when I was really rich

I ached for difference, because
I couldn’t match the face I met
in the mirror with my preference

Instead, I honed in on the flaws
and saw plenty enough to keep me
occupied. Several imperfections

cried out loud and I bowed down
to their name, holding it all inside
where my real self sits, and I

could barely stretch to fit the skin
I was in, never mind making room
for all those needful improvements

And now? These days my gaze rests and reflects
on a God-given inner vision, more than
having derision for a fading outer face

I can see life’s manifold brokenness and pain
but beyond it all what shouts out most to me
is how God is breaking us into beauty again
© joylenton

 

**I’m grateful for God-given inspiration, as I join fellow wordsmiths in sharing my five-minute-friday thoughts for this week’s prompt of “beauty”. You’re welcome to join us here and read the great posts being shared.  🙂 

Safety valves

Do you ever get to the point where you feel like exploding?

There are issues which can really make us mad.

Maybe something or someone has touched a nerve.

We feel raw. Wounded. Hurt.

Out of the blue (or so it seems) rage, anger, annoyance or other emotional pain come to the surface.

Feelings rise as steam and we long to vent somehow.

If our nearest and dearest are in range then they may be the unwarranted recipients of our spleen.

Perhaps we need a safe way and place in which to vent our feelings?

A safety valve to allow us to let go without losing full control.

An escape. Outlet.

It may vary greatly depending on the nature, duration and extent of our pain.

And the type of people we are, the resources we have and openings for letting go.

I have found many ways over the years to vent. Not all of them comfortable for others, sad to say.

Over the years, I have tended to rush more eagerly to the phone than the throne of grace.

Counselling gave me the tools to work through pain and see why it was so deep-rooted.

Now, I try to remember that God is always listening, caring, available  and – most important of all – loves us unconditionally.

Loved ones, friends and family can help us up to a point, but only God can truly heal, restore and make us whole again.

The poem below describes how those deep emotions can affect us and how I have found some help and release from mine.

Safety valve

Sometimes our pain

gets buried

deep inside

locked up

inaccessible

in a safe place

where we hide

our true selves

from prying eyes

yet wounds will

fester when left

unattended over years

and seep their poison

through our systems

releasing more

anxiety and fears

We need an outlet

safety valve to

vent within constraints

a catching-place

for leaking holes

where what is

heard is veiled

yet has intent

I express myself

through poetic lament

to pour forth

words as water

releasing mercy drops

that may hit

the spot for other

thirsty souls

©JoyLenton2013

This poem is part of a guest blog post on my friend, Barry Pearman’s site where I’m honoured and delighted to be sharing my thoughts on how poetry helps my mental health. I’d love you to come on over and read the rest there.