When Barren is Beautiful

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Thank you for this thorn embedded in my flesh;
I can feel the mystery, my spirit is made fresh.
You are sovereign still and forever wise;
I can see the miracle opening my eyes

To a proud heart so quick to judge
Laying down crosses and carrying grudges.
The veil has been torn -
And I thank you for this thorn

Thank you for this thorn, fellowship of pain
Teaching me to know you more, never to complain
Thank You for this love planted in my side,
Faithful patient miracle opening my eyes.

I never thought I'd say it without reservation,
But I am truly grateful for this piercing revelation
Of a proud heart so quick to judge,
Laying down crosses and carrying grudges -
The veil has been torn,
And I thank you for this thorn

And if You chose to take it, I will praise You
And thank You for the healing in Your name.
But if it must remain, I thank You for Your rod
Evidence of Father-love for a child of God.

I join You in the sorrow,
So much less than You have borne,
And I thank you, really I thank You...
Lord I thank You; I thank You for this thorn

- Twila Paris, This Thorn
I hever saw myself posting this song, or even echoing it from my heart until today when I found myself humming it, voicing it, singing it during a diaper change.

Yesterday's words
were for me. I meant only to give voice to myself and my struggle, meant only to shovel out some of my personal winter to make room for some spring.

Today, writing from here, I am nearly wordless at the depth of the response. I look at your words poured out in yesterday's comment box, filling my email inbox - words of encouragement, affirmation, identification. Words and prayers and Scripture and hope to refresh me, to make me feel young again, to let me know that there is still life to be had, to reach for my heart with yours and wrap it up and send it heavenward.

I have said thank-you so often lately, I can't help but respond with grateful all over the place. I am still with amazement today.

Today has been a slow day, a quiet day, a sunny day with March winds in January bearing growing excitement for us. It has been a day for making room, for choosing trust, for having and holding and trying again.

His mercies are new every morning, I learned in my first round of depression, when every night I fell into bed feeling I'd failed, knowing I'd handed in my miracles. They are still new, every morning.

This is what His faithfulness is.

I can't begin to describe it for you. It is simply something I know.

Last time I walked this path, I wanted what I wanted - the assurance that I would not lose, the end of my pain for crying out loud. God Himself was not reward enough for me. I was alone because I chose my isolation from His grace.

I am not alone this time. I could not have written what I wrote without the new knowledge I have of His love for me.

When I wrote yesterday, I could not thank Him for this, but today I step gingerly into praise. I learned last time not to feel guilty for the good days.

Worship aches out in breath today, in not-so-studied bed-making and hair-doing and nursing and diaper-changing and in writing and in cooking, which I have done.

There are not words adequate for this grateful, for this sense that God cares - He really does.

I look outside, absorb the sun and the blue and the trees and the glory of the morning traveling into noon and into early evening. The smile comes deep, peace that barely curves my lips, peace that lightens my eyes.

He has borne my burdens; you have borne them with Him. He has enriched my soul; He has used your words to do it. He has given me a good day; He has given me Himself.

Should it stun me that I am not wasted after four days in the dark? Should I be so amazed that I am not destroyed?

I am.

And I am, quite frankly, humbled. It as if I am seeing the world through different eyes today. I keep blinking, trying to make sense of it all, trying to figure out what to do with this "enfolded" feeling, with this "surrounded" feeling - this safe that isn't even a feeling so much as it is a faith.

I don't understand why I should feel beautiful like this. Why I should feel cherished like this. Comforted like this. Quieted like this.

Who am I to deserve such treatment?

Slowly, I learn now to pray.


This post also linked at Holy Experience for Walk With Him Wednesday.

(Image © Informal Moments Photography)


Glynn said...

You ask the question, "Who am I to deserve such treatment?" The answer is, you are His child, and He loves you more than you love your own, as impossible as that seems. And He will hold you fast.

katdish said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maureen said...

I give my peace to you. May peace be with you.

katdish said...

Oops. Let's try that again.

If you want me to

Erin said...

"I was alone because I chose my isolation from His grace."

I do this. I was just thinking as I faced one crisis after another in preparing dinner, how I simple CAN'T do this. I am not sufficient for this life I live.

And then I remembered-- I chose sleep this morning over daily bread, physical rest over peaceful prayer before my Father. I am so incapable of these things I am called to do, but His mercies are new every morning, free for the taking.

Am so glad for your good day. He is good.

Jennie said...

And now you have me humming too...

"Who am I, Jesus - that you would call me by name?
What could I ever do to be loved this way?" - Margaret Becker

Yes. Enfolded, Surrounded, Cherished, Comforted, Quieted

Bina said...

"Who am I to deserve such treatment?"

...you are His. Simply...beautifully.

You are beautiful...and I thank you for your willingness to bare your soul in order that He would be praised.

Christy said...

Thank you so much for sharing. I am in this boat with you...It is good to know I am not alone. God is good. Why is that so hard to remember? Thanks for the reminder

HisFireFly said...

Now I'm singing the song:

"Who am I that You are mindful of me, that You love me, as I am? Is it true that You are thinking of me, how You love me, it's amazing."

One step at a time, one hour, one day.. He will lead you into light.

Claire said...

still praying. walking the journey with you.

kirsten michelle said...

I rejoice with you: for the thorn, for the fog, for the not-being-destroyed when it seemed that surely you must be.

I often ask myself: is God this great?

And He always gently answers: Yes, yes I am.

Heather of Swallowing A Moose said...

Your loved right where you are. And even if you never changed.

That's a beautiful revelation!

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