place: when you’re seeking a soul sanctuary

place - #FMF - when you're seeking a soul sanctuary @poetryjoy.com

Do you have a place where you feel completely at home, relaxed, loved and secure? It’s a gift to have such a soul sanctuary, isn’t it? Though many of us struggle to find it and some miss out altogether, maybe due to the unkindness of others or their own limited ability to seek out a safe place for themselves.

Our homes are meant to be soul sanctuary havens. They’re supposed to represent the loving parental way God cares for us. But often they don’t. If you, like me, grew up feeling confined, insecure, unloved and unwanted because your family of origin didn’t provide the stability you needed to grow strong on the inside, then all is not lost.

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

I found my safe place in God. He alone can provide the complete soul solace we need in life. Other people and things might try to plug the gap, and succeed to some extent, but God gives us the means to rest all that we are: our fear, pain and shame, our identity and name, our past, present and future, our weariness, brokenness, wounds and mess in Him.

place - tree - girl - birds - sunset #FMF - resting ourselves in God quote (C) joylenton @poetryjoy.com

“You’ve always given me breathing room, a place to get away from it all, a lifetime pass to your safe-house, an open invitation as your guest. You’ve always taken me seriously, God, made me welcome among those who know and love you.” — Psalm 61:4 The Message

I am seeking

I am seeking
a quiet stream underneath
life’s detritus
beyond the fluctuating
a place that welcomes waiting

I am seeking
a still point in my life
to anchor me
when tides rise higher still
and I lose my heart, my will

I am seeking
somewhere secure and safe
a refuge
so I can reach out again
with courage, hope, confidence

I am seeking
signs of life when all looks dead
to survive
days of darkness and drear
times I want to disappear

I am seeking
more than this world contains
holy rain
deep connectivity
a place to sit, grow and breathe
© joylenton

place #FMF EH #9 I am seeking poem (C) joylenton @poetryjoy.com

Adversity hits us universally but our ways of coping are as individual as we are. I’m learning to rest myself more in God instead of wearying myself out worrying about everything. Faith and trust, coupled with experience, have shown me it’s the wisest course of action, especially when I cannot help myself.

One place I always feel comfortable sharing my words is with the fabulous five-minute-friday crew as we write on this week’s prompt of “place.” You are welcome to join us here and read the great variety of posts being shared. 🙂

By the way, dear reader, you might like to know that the poem above has been taken from my forthcoming new book, Embracing Hope: Soul Food to Help Chase Away the Blues, which is an eclectic mix of poetry, reflections and blessings and is due to be published soon! I chose it because I’m way too fatigued to think straight, and it’s about a place where my soul feels secure, loved and safe.

burden: chained by circumstance but freed by grace

burden - chained by circumstance, freed by grace @poetryjoy.com

There are days when our burdens, be they physical or emotional, become impossible to ignore. Days when we feel consumed by the weight of them. Chained to our hard circumstances. Dragged down into a dark place.

I prefer not to talk too much about having chronic illness, although it’s an inescapable fact that faces me each day. It demands enough. It has stolen too much. So much that I tend to want to ignore its presence and pretend I am fine, doing okay, even when I’m not.

It feels better to plaster a smile on my face and seek to maintain a positive outlook on life. It seems less bothersome, less of a burden to fight the good fight of faith and try not to yield to dismay. Or give in to self-pity.

But sometimes? Sometimes I am just too tired to fight against the pain. Sometimes I just want to sit and cry. Sometimes I lose sight of my loving Saviour sitting in the ashes with me, holding out His hands to receive.

Because God doesn’t want us to bear our burdens alone. He longs for us to turn to Him. To offer up our pain and problems like a fragrant thing. Because sometimes it’s truthfully all we are able to give to Him. And that’s okay. It really is.

Burden

fear nibbles at the edges of her soul, like a rat
aboard a sinking ship that leaks, lists and tips
because she has woken to face yet another
pain filled day, unrefreshed in every way

her spirits are plummeting fast and her heart
contracts as she thinks about the future, for
she longs above anything else not to become
a burden to others or to those she loves

during these days of increasing debility
and weariness, she can often forget
just who she should be handing all her
heavy burdens over to—until he speaks

with whispered reassurance in his voice
to her hurting soul—while he pours the balm
of hope into her heart, forcing fear and
discouragement to flee, and she falls

further, on bended knee, when Jesus
tenderly reminds her once again that
every burden handed over to him will
not only lessen the load on her soul

it will also miraculously transmute
into a blessing by faith, shaping her
perception, if not her situation in life

and so she prays, tears welling up in her
eyes, and she gives praise like a willing
sacrifice—in spite of nothing visible yet

taking place, she has already tasted his
goodness and grace, and sensed the difference
inside, where calm and peace now abide
© joylenton

We might not feel like it but we can learn to praise God in the storm, sense His presence with us and gain comfort in knowing we are not alone.

I’m so grateful for God’s grace in my life. His comforting embrace. His enabling when I am weak. For words coming when I feel drained and dry. And for being able to share my 5 minute(ish) poem with the fabulous five-minute-friday crew. This week’s prompt is “burden” and you can join your words here. 

burden - #FMF - burden poem excerpt (C)joylenton @poetryjoy.com