#FMF – Ten

Joining up with the others over at Five Minute Friday to write out my thoughts on one word, and let the fingers just fly without editing for five minutes. Always interesting to see what comes of the prompt. Don’t forget to check out the writing of those around you, and leave an encouraging message.

prompt: Ten

In August it will have been ten years. wow.

and sometimes, I wonder what if. What if I had followed through with it. What if I had not listened to all the signs and signals that were there telling me that this was a bad idea.

10 years ago, life looked different for me. I had shed tears at different birthdays because life didn’t look how I had imagined. Turning 20 had been a hard one, turning 25 was even more difficult. This was not how my life was supposed to turn out. I had plans. Things were supposed to happen in a timely fashion. There were steps to life. You know…do school, get a job, get married, get a house, have kids, etc. All the things that I felt were expected in society. Things that it seemed everyone else around me was falling into, and I seemed to be the odd one out.

There are so many reasons for the whirlwind that it was. I had a plan. By 25 I’d have everything in place…all of this would line up and I’d be well on my way to the dream, or what I thought it was supposed to be. And I knew in the whirlwind, in the back of my mind…that perhaps I was trying too hard, that I was overlooking the obvious.

There were signs early on, but I was too blind to care, or maybe I did and just stuffed it. I’ve always been about me, and its never more evident when your life is entertwined with another. There were conversations and actions that should never have happened. The moment that clued me in was when I cried more than I smiled. When I was constantly modulating my behaviour because what if I did and said something wrong. There was one day that everything changed, that he changed. And it scared me..it set the fear of God in me. Literally…because He had been speaking to me all along and i’d been stopping up my ears, covering my eyes to what was evident before me.

its always interesting how hindsight is perfect. What really floored me though is that after the fact, the people who stepped up and told me that they had seen it for what it was, over and over again…but didn’t tell me. They didn’t even hint at it. And even though I mourned, and mourned…the fact that others had seen it and not warned me, just added to my pain.

I will also never forget the day that I was corned by a lady who decided she would tell me about myself…and how I needed to not look a gift horse in the mouth, but jump on the opportunity because It might never come again. this person who i’d shared maybe two conversations with in my whole life. Who knew me not one bit and decided to corner me in the building and lambast my choices.

so ten years. It feels like a lifetime. it was a lifetime.

the dress still hangs in my room. Sizes too small, and yet its more than I can do to begin to get rid of it. I don’t want to hold on to it, it just that perhaps others don’t want it because of the stigma. The invitations came in the box the day that I walked away.  Lovely and beautiful with no hint of the chaos they represented. The flowers mostly paid for, photographer with a down payment, venue chosen, counselling mostly done…and then it was over. I made the choice. it broke me. in so many ways.My heart still aches. Ten years later. I know it was the right choice. but sometimes, sometimes I wonder what if.

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five minute friday

#FMF – Free

joining up (a little on the late end) with Kate and the other writers over at FMF for this past weeks prompt.

Join in. Write for five minutes on a topic. No editing…just let your words flow. and Be sure to comment on those who share space with you over at Kate’s place.

topic: Free

GO

who knew that writing about a topic like free could send me quivering away from the keyboard. Seriously, ya’ll. I heard the word and I didn’t want to write. Perhaps more accurately I didn’t know what to write. But isn’t that how these things go. I mean many of us don’t know what will come out on the page when we start writing on these prompts. Sometimes the Spirit moves us to very different places from what we originally thought we might be heading. And so it seems that this week, I let the fear get the best of me. I didn’t know what to write, perhaps was afraid of what I might find out when I write, so I didn’t do it. Until now…two hours before the next prompt will be given.

Interestingly, My first OneWord365 was Brave. My 2nd one was Freedom. both of those are incredibly challenging and things that I think that i’ll be seeking to understand and grow in for the rest of my life. There wasn’t one word that really stood out to me this year…so i didn’t pick one, cause it felt that every experience i had i was just jumping on the  next term and that nothing really felt like it had called to me as these words had laid themselves in my heart.

I had expectations of these words when the year began. and my expectations looked nothing like reality, as usual. However, its always those years that you can’t even imagine that God’s got these things planned for you that you can’t even begin to imagine, that are going to shape you in a manner which you can’t begin to comprehend.

And so i think this dichotomy between free and fear is a fierce one for me. Because they are warring with each other. Fear keeps you tightly wound, close to things you know, whether they are healthy or not. Freedom and walking in this free…takes those chains and looses them.I have felt moments of being free. The come infrequently. I think i’ve only tasted them. But it was something I yearn for again. something i’d love to be part of my life in a more tangible way.

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five minute friday

#FMF – Hope

its Thursday night and I’ve been chatting with my dear community over on twitter at #fmfparty. And now we join together, writing on the same prompt for five minutes, without editing our voice…and seeing how each word inspires each of us.

prompt: HOPE

I want to write about hope. How it feels up your soul. Keeps you stepping the next step. Keeps you breathing the next breathe.

but I wonder if I know this hope that I’m talking about. If I’ve felt it. If its something that you feel. Or if its just a reality. It doesn’t matter if you feel it or not, its just is.

I think sometimes I paint hope with a much different brush than it would like. I make it into a grand and glorious offering, when it could just be a whisper, a scent on the wind, a breeze blowing my skin…

and this hope. it could be a spark. just a spark. a spark in the dark…because that is all it takes to remind you of the light. And that light will always win over darkness. Hope is the thing that gives this spark life. that brings the spark to a flame…that breaks back the darkness one moment at a time, growing stronger, and banishing the shadows past corners and door posts.

and it turns out…i’ve seen this hope. I’ve felt it. it exists whether i acknowledge it or not. And i’m thankful. Because sometimes, this hope doesn’t depend on me. It doesn’t need me to start breathing, and fanning the flame. to show me that glimpse of what lies beyond where I find myself in the moment.

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five minute friday

#FMF – Favorite

joining up to write five minutes, unedited, straight from my heart through my fingers to the page. Its always interesting to see what the prompt brings out in the way of thoughts and ideas. After linking up with the group over at Kate’s, don’t forget to check out some other pieces on the same subject.

prompt: FAVORITE

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they are some of my favorites. I mean, lets be honest, I really love people. I do. But they tire me out. But there are some people, who whenever you spend time with them, they just fill up your soul. And these two are so good at that.

in 2001, I started school at Tyndale in Toronto. That first day I met my Resident Assistant (one of two who lived directly across the hall) named Anne. Little did we know the friendship that would be forged that day. Through my four years at school, and the subsequent years I have been blessed to call her friend and to have her in my life.

It was also a blessing to meet her parents, Jane and Doug and have them become such an instrumental part of my life. When everything with my wedding in 2005 fell apart (I broke it off) they invited me to come to the cottage for the week that I was supposed to be married. They let me cry, they let me reminisce and they let me just be me. And I appreciated it so much. It was definitely a much needed soul break.

When I had to escape a keg party that was happening at my new apartment, i went to their house. When I needed to just come down from a tough week at school in Hamilton, I went to their house. I went to their house for Halloween one year, and slept over. When I had a breakdown at school in 2011, they were the people (besides my own parents) that I went to for advice about leaving school and what they thought I should do. They have always been good at listening. Good at sharing the truth. Good at sharing their hearts. and I’m so thankful for that.

I was blessed to be part of Anne’s wedding two years ago and it was a blessing to get to be with them before that time, so have them hug me and be thankful that I could be a part of their daughters life as well.

This past week, I ran away to their house since I had a couple days off. I had been looking at bed and breakfasts but wasn’t sure I had the money to spend, so I had decided I’d just stick around home. Jane asked me to come visit and I had a most delightful and soul refreshing time. I’m so glad for this family that is one of my favorites. I’m so glad that I’m one of their favorites. Its such a blessing

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five minute friday

#FMF – Dream

Joining up with the community of writers at Five Minute Friday, and writing on One Word for FIVE minutes
without any editing. Making sure that you link up and then check out others writing on the same word.
Joining Kate and all the others.

Prompt: Dream

Go

When I headed out for Nebraska two years ago, the theme of the retreat was about finding and pursuing your God-sized dream. I was afraid that I wouldn’t know what my dream was when I went, or that I wouldn’t discover it before I left. I was also intimidated by the people that were going to be there. I mean there were people who were big names in blogging going to be there. Who was I to be even attending this retreat, was the lie that kept running through my head. Thankfully a good friend spoke truth into my life…and told me that I had as much right as anyone to go, that I had a voice that needed to be heard and that I had a reason for going there. I printed out her response to me and put it in the front of my journey I had brought to take notes in.

Thankfully there were some dear hearts that were there to give me hugs, that I felt like i could connect with. I had been traveling since early in the morning and I was exhausted. I think i may have gone and had a nap before dinner, so that I would be ready for the session in the evening. To be honest I was overwhelmed…so many people and the doubts were beginning to creep in. That evening I met a beautiful woman named Sherri, she shared some of her story with me and my eyes filled with tears. God was doing amazing things in her life…but it had been a hard journey. I held her hands in mine and prayed for her and her ministry.

The next day I got up early and headed to the dining area with my Bible and journal. So many doubts were overwhelming me and I needed to hear from God. And I sat in that room and wrote my feelings into my journal. praying as I went that God would be evident to me. As I went through the day on Saturday I had some good conversations, one of which was with a dear friend Gretchen who I had met on the shuttle to the retreat. We shared about some of our doubts about whether we even had a God-sized dream or not, but we had little inklings of things that he was working on in our lives. That night Jennifer Dukes brought a word that had me weeping…giving up some of the fear that I had that perhaps God hadn’t called me to anything.

I came home with a little more knowledge then I had gone with. But I didn’t have a dream set out in stone. Saturday afternoon I had a conversation with a young woman who I shared some of the inklings that God was bringing to the forefront, and she came to me after the session and prayed for me and spoke life into these inklings. And I wept. Because I had felt like I had nothing, that I had no idea why I was there, or what the dream was, what the dreams were that God was calling me to.

and now my dream continues to be more of an inkling every now and again, rather than something set in stone…but its been a journey. I still don’t know what it looks like, maybe it will be a whole lot of little things that He uses me for rather than some big journey that others will know about. I am still dreaming, and I still get caught in doubt…I have seen Him work, I have seen Him change me, and I’m trying to keep my eyes open to how He’s at work and how He’d like me to be apart of the journey.

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five minute friday