Poetry

A Soul Cry and the Victory Dance

After years of battling depression – losing all hope, void of God and void of purpose, hating myself and harming myself – I emerged alive and have witnessed my story being redeemed by this Faithful, Awesome God. Yet, even with so many great moments, I’ve still been dealing with this intense inner critic and trying to find where I can best engage in life and make use of the gifts I’ve been given. 

I started to write the following poem a year or two ago, but I didn’t ever end up finishing it. Maybe because I didn’t really know how to? Maybe I still don’t quite, but I feel like I’m getting there…

OUTSIDE LOOKING IN

My heart is heavy tonight 

As I realize that I am and always have been:

A lonely, yearning, passive gaze

On the outside looking in.

Too afraid to upset the apple cart.

Too scared to speak in truth.

Too void of confidence to stand up when it counts.

Too ashamed of who I am: 

A lonely, yearning, passive gaze

On the outside looking in.

Oh – sometimes I’ll try that brave act

Of boldly chatting it up with the rest.

But my head plays the awful analysis check

And I don’t ever really pass the test.

So back down I go, to where I feel safe

Yet broken, defeated, and limp.

Such a lonely, yearning, passive gaze

On the outside looking in.

How could an Almighty, Awesome God

Use this messy, frail being that I am?

Striving to have an impact in life

But being manipulated by my thoughts instead.

Oh you lonely, yearning, passive gaze

On the outside looking in. 

Well…sounds kind of pathetic maybe? But oh so real. Time goes on. Life keeps us busy with this and that. God keeps nudging my heart and using me in different ways. I keep seeking after Him. But is this internal struggle over? 

If I look back, I actually think I’ve taken strides forward, however unintentionally. I truly believe that God hears the cries of our hearts and the longings of our souls, even if we don’t ever voice them out loud. 

The biblical phrase “Jars of Clay” came in and out of my mind recently. It was a phrase I’d heard many times growing up in the church. I memorized the verse as a child, yet I don’t think it really meant anything to me. 

Suddenly, it’s come alive in my heart. I am a jar of clay…nothing fancy outwardly, prone to cracks, and yet so loved by God, and so perfectly able to be used by Him. All of my inner battles and all of my outward imperfections keep me humble and keep me continually looking to God alone as my source of strength, hope, joy, and abundant life! 

Maybe I’ll finish that poem, or maybe not. I kind of like the messy, pathetic voice it carries. I’m happy to know it’s a part of me, and yet there’s also so much more. 

Time for my Victory Dance…it’s definitely not a solo dance! 

(And I know that there will be many more of these dances to come, as well!)

When Love Speaks

August 4, 2019

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