Words, burdens and letting go…
For nearly 20 years, I have carried a small book around with me. It’s gone pretty much everywhere I’ve gone. Inside its front cover I wrote down when and where I bought it.
I have always loved blank books and journals, their potential for creativity and a place for me to vent my thoughts. This particular one drew me in for 2 reasons. First, I loved its cover art depicting the sun, moon and stars against a swirly blue background. I think it’s permissible to judge a book by its cover when the inside is blank!
Secondly, I especially loved that its pages were unlined. I have enough restriction in my life. The pristine whiteness of its pages gave me freedom to write whatever I wanted, in whatever way I wanted…upside down, in a circle, diagonally or just crooked.
This little book became my constant companion, a safe place for me to write down the feelings I could not express any other way. Looking at those words now brings back memories of the extremes in my life at the time…mostly extreme pain and sadness. It contains the overflow of my broken heart and spirit during the last year of Mama’s life on Earth, a period when I was afraid and lonely, not thinking clearly and not making good choices.
I’m not proud of a lot of what I did during this chapter of my life. My spiritual life and relationship with God were at an all-time low. I couldn’t pray, really; all I could do was hurt, and sometimes, feel angry. I realize now that God heard every anguished scream of my heart, even though I was not talking to Him. He was still listening.
Even as wretched as I was, as horribly as I was acting and as distant as God seemed to be, I know now that He was right beside me all along, carrying me when I could not walk through life on my own. And not just carrying me, but sending blessings, glimpses of hope that I could survive this valley. His grace eventually brought me out the other side, altered for sure, but profoundly grateful.
I don’t think I need to keep my little book any longer, or at least, not the words it contains. I think I can finally let that part of my life go. Those pages need to be burned up in the bonfire of forgetting, of cleansing, never again a burden to be Carried.