This I Believe

 A less traveled path of humble conditions involuntarily chose me. By mistake, I longed to be anywhere else, rejecting all that I am. Not until I learned to embrace my journey, would turmoil release me as its slave. 

     Years of preparation helped mold my tender heart. Now the fierce capacity for empathy flows through my veins. This one conviction remains steadfast. With unyielding insight, I know to give up life would be to abandon every effort I’ve resolved to endure.

     Immeasurable are the days of wrestling my mind under a weighted blanket, threatening to squeeze out hope, the very essence I seek for stability. The body count rises of mortals lost before their time, dragging my grieving heart with them. Yet, I will stand before the week is done.             

     This fight I refuse to surrender. No hour is darker than the value of my purpose here is light. Isn’t this thorn in my flesh the precise thing that keeps me inspired, and draws the broken to me? Like the moon, I shine to illuminate the dark. 

     Compelled in self-awareness of the children I labored, this call to nurture remains apparent. I will not forsake them, for they are my heart. They are deeply rooted here as the mightiest of pillars. 

     Something larger still pulsates through me, the broken hearts, the bleeding in hidden corners, the minority of neglected souls. Who will advocate for them? Again, I remember I am significant.

     I ask myself, what do I need for this hour–this day? My fingers glide over the words on a page, soaking in power through stories of survival and redemption. Darkness is not a permanent fixture. Nothing stays the same.

     To a society of cliched misrepresentations, God made no such promise to limit the troubles I face. When did He vow to measure my tolerance prior to an assignment? Yes, He carries my burdens so the weight no longer exceeds me. I must only believe that I’m not alone here.

     Flawed translations of scripture haunt me. Ask my therapist. Circumstances have broken me but I am still here. Strength comes in the mourning. Tears do fall. Poured-out vessels may look empty, but the darkest night ends to welcome the day. 

     God’s face, I seek to find the greater meaning for difficult things. Days come to question my faith, that sacred space I rely on. Intrusive thoughts indeed come, and to them, I ride the wave, remembering if there is a God–then every mountain-top view is worthy of committed pursuit. 

     So, I dig my bare feet into the awe-inspiring earth to be grounded in my senses. The foundation underneath does not waiver or quiver in fear. My eyes lift their gaze against a baby blue sky of majestic proportions, calling out the names of my God. My ears hear the inquisitive child digging for worms, his mother giggling joyously over in delight. Cars cruise by in the near distance. 

     Light fragrances of California Spring on the horizon mix with the faint scent of lavender body scrub. Warmth against my lips, I savor the first sips of deliciousness as my morning coffee dances on my tongue before it comforts my grateful belly. 

     It’s not without reason that I choose every day to stand my ground. My namesake, the brave Joan of Arc once said, I am not afraid… I was born to do this, not as some feeble attempt. Courage comes by faith, so I reach down to my deepest parts for strength. With a purpose far beyond my human capacity of understanding, I continue to press on.