Dear Sister

You tell me your heart is breaking.
You tell me you’re tired of faking.
Why do you have to be the tough girl?
Your world’s falling apart, and you can’t remake it.
You feel like God left you when you needed Him most.
You know your babe will leave you, though he’s promised he won’t.
And you’re a wreck.
You’re sick of it.
You swear that you’re all alone.
Death creeps closer to home.
All your friends turned to stone.
And your family won’t stop fighting. No!
You think you’re a mistake.
And you hate.

Don’t run to me;
The hot heroes on your screen;
They can’t save you.
I can’t stop your inner crisis.
I can’t be who only Christ is.
I was blind.
Broken.
Bruised.
There is one who can bind up.
There is vision.
I still feel lost sometimes,
But we were bought so dearly.
He never let go—not for a moment.
When you say you can’t feel Him,
He is still holding you.
The clouds don’t blot out the sun,
Or even dim it.
He didn’t go anywhere.
He can take your shattered pieces.
Make you new.
You are worth more than you could ever imagine–
Than I could ever see.
Go to the well and drink—-
Not from broken cisterns.
You don’t have to be the tough girl.
In His strength, you can be weak.

Let Him see you—
Bare bones.
The pain. The screaming.
Let Him hold you.
Kick against Him till you feel His arms.
Run as fast as you can.
Planted as deep as everything
That you could never have from me
Or anyone else.
Go away. Go,
Seek Him.
Ask.
He’s waiting.

I’m saying this because I love you,
Not because I don’t.
But love is the opposite of codependency.
You can’t find it in me.
So run. He’s holding out His arms to you.
Can’t you see Him?
He wants to hold you so tight.
It’s what He breathed to me one night:
“My love is deeper. Better.
I weep over her,
Like my flesh is being torn again.
I love her more than you could ever.
Only I can fill her.
Trust me.”
He’s telling you to trust Him.
Please, trust Him.
He never ever breaks His promise.

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Standing Here

I’m frozen while standing here
At this lonely curb that everyone hates
My hands are shoved deep in my pockets–
I’ll shuffle my feet and grunt and groan,
But I’m still here and still stuck

I see others pass me by
Some are in the slow lane
The rest are speeding ahead
There are no tickets given to the confident
Inside we are the same though,
Unsure, unfaithful, unused
Our plastic faces are sore from smiling

Here comes the first one that I knew
He walks with confidence and purpose
We’ve come a long way from Play Group
His future is set by his own determination
He’s found companions in his passion
Our similarities are guided by the past-
Inside jokes, ridiculousness, memories
Is this what holds us together?
Will the glue deteriorate?

There’s the one who I thought was true
We laughed and joked and had fun
Then I found out how much he cared
Now he walks and does not look at me
His steps are sloppy, all over
Where is he going?
Even though I should care, I don’t
I lie to myself and say that I’m not angry
There’s no bitterness in my head
Make sure you look both ways before crossing

I see someone across the street
He hides behind lamps, cans, other walkers
Is he afraid of what I’ll think?
I see frustration, pain, shame in his eyes
Is he shutting me out from his walk and life?
Am I not trying hard enough?
He’s lived through more turmoil than I ever have
I won’t understand everything he’s going through
We cannot relate on our levels of life
He might be running away,
But I can’t stop him

Then there’s the man who stood by me
We’ve grown closer as we take this trek slow
We’ve both learned the danger of distractions
This road isn’t so lonely when we run
He’s walking away from worlds and eyes
Now I see him growing inch by inch
My mind tells me he’s inching away
I don’t know what to think, throw, thank-
Will he remember me?

Thousands of people are running around,
Hands clamped around their ears and eyes
They don’t want to hear, see, or live
Inside they’re hurt, misguided, and warped-
Until they can’t fit anywhere
Lost with nowhere to go

My fortune is a hidden one
I can help a select few in their long walk
These people have been placed in my life
Regardless of how they treat me
I can be the light on their dark street
And while I am standing here,
There is more than just companionship
I can reach for deep, true friendships

A Poem I Think I Wrote

I need to write a poem,
Not because I need to.
Not because of scrolling words a non-existent audience needs to read.
Not because the music in my head is so loud, I have to bleed.
Maybe there’s a song in my heart or I want to plant a seed.
I’m bored at 10pm when I should be asleep.
I want to fill pages when I don’t know what I’m feeling.
Not the not knowing that means something’s wrong and the ink turns to goop.
But the still not knowing, when nothing is particularly wrong or right, and you’re just tired
Yet you know everything is wrong and right, and you just feel inspired.

Take out the notebook.
Is it just to fill pages?
Just to hear yourself think?
To spill ink?
To feel legitimate?
To stay up one more hour because you started it?
Or is there more?

Cuz yesterday you wrote a love song, then scrapped it.
You’re writing more because you’re learning to write when you’re happy
Or when you just feel normal–
Even though you know there’s no such thing.
Writing happy, normal, tired
(Anything other than sludge and slime and more goop)
Is a challenge.
But you’re ready.
Cuz that nonsense was normal for too long.

You’re tired of it.
Your general state is happy now–
When you don’t think too hard,
Or you think hard enough.
It’s a paradigm shift.
And the poems you write should reflect it.

Like you’re a different person,
But you’re the same you’ve always been.
You just like yourself better
And thank God for making you you–
And giving you a crazy, normal, wonderful life.
And friends.
And family.
And self-respect.
And all the things you can let go of.
Including poetry.

Welcome to My World

Horizon shakes in my vision—
My steps feel like… responsibility;
The weight of maturity—
It makes me tired and lazy.

All I want to do,
All I need to make me happy,
Are my computer and earbuds.
I can sit here for hours,
Lying and saying that I’m actually trying.

There goes another wasted second.
Adios to my passion for hard things.
Arrivederci to my righteous dreams.
Guilt drips in through the gutters;
I groan and sigh reluctantly.
I should do something productive.

Blare the rap music to drown out real life;
Let the sweat run down my face,
Lift the weights and push the pace,
Aching body and numbed mind—
It makes me feel more worthy.
Make exercise the priority.

I’m always tired and sluggish.
There is no connecting with my characters.
My mind has no emotion for poetry.
Coffee is my elixir of life.
They say “Go to bed earlier!”

But then I find excuses—
Excuses are what push me.
I don’t have time for this,
I don’t want to do that.

Education is a wasted effort.
I’ll never use Algebra again!
When will Chemistry formulas ever be useful?
Learning another language is pointless.
I have no life!
I don’t have enough friends!
Why do I care about being real?

I lay in my bed and stare into darkness.
Today was another failure…
But isn’t every day Yours?
Does that mean You don’t care about my feelings?
That You can’t possibly see all my struggles?

The evidence against my assumptions is clear.
What about Job?
He was compensated for his suffering.
What about Corrie ten Boom?
She saved lives through her secret room.
What about Jesus?
He could see beyond the pain.
What about me?

My complaints and trials are so minuscule.
I’m still alive and I still believe
You are alive and still speak.
We are still one forevermore;
Your Spirit still shocks me to the core.

My monotonous days are only opportunity,
A chance to love others with Your truth.
Please help me to live in your peace,
And to make the most before I leave.

I Know You’re Beautiful

On a cabin bed—
Embraced by odd sheets and coverings;
My back sinking further down and deeper in;
Exhausted from the hours of trying to be someone I’m not,
Of forgetting to be someone I am,
Of guiltily peering at my inner-reflection when I remember
And forgetting again—
That’s when i know You’re beautiful.

The back of my mind wonders,
Or maybe it was added to the memory with time,
If Your arms surround me
Like the blue quilt I lay on.
If my earbuds rocking gently
Are really You whispering.
Or if I listened hard enough
Maybe I would realize that these songs
Were borrowed from the dearest friend You’ve given me.
And i would know You’re beautiful.

Thinking of my friend now,
I remember when we went to the ocean.
I scraped my knee and wanted to go home.
I felt You holding me then too,
But my problems were still significant in that room we shared.
I sank into Your arms, the sheets, when he prayed for me.
And i knew You were beautiful.

In bed, at night, I always feel Your arms.
But only in other beds.
Or on the couch,
Where I read The Praying Life
And learned that not all friendships are healthy—
Especially when you don’t really know the person on the other end.
Or if you don’t yet know yourself.
You knew me. And You were beautiful.

I listened to a song, a different song, the other night.
It reminded me of those songs I listened to in bed
At the cabin—
When I recalibrated,
Felt held,
And regained a sense of me.
My friend said it reminded him of me.
I wrote a poem about it,
But it wasn’t this good.
Now I’m writing
Because even when You’re not at the forefront.
When there are no stars or sunsets, rain or crosses, and i’m not thinking of Your blood…
i know You’re beautiful.

Starving

Flashing cursor centers my vision
Tapping fingers scream frustration
My mind is blank of the life once there,
A shadow of the unknown relayed to me

I feel drained of all the words
Sitting here in midnight hours
Stressing about posts and what I can do more
Where is the raw imagination dump?
I need the tears and goosebumps
The floods when you scramble for a pen to float on
When your life isn’t complete without a page
When your hand isn’t trapped in a cage

Slam my computer shut in rage
There’s more to writing than this!
My self-confidence is on the death bed
Put it to rest and wish it well

Every word is a question mark
Does this even make sense?
Will my failures soon be in past tense?
I’ve done this a million times before!
The words should flow like a river
Now I see a dry creek bed with dead fish
Make stories with botched stitch

Can I live up to my reputation?
Will fatigue prove too powerful a temptation?
If it isn’t the best I’ve ever done,
Then I shouldn’t even try
Will my readers be disenchanted?
This mess is less than what’s demanded

Worst of all of this,
I do not know my true identity
If the words do not come to me,
If my stories are not told,
If the books are not sold,
I’m not really a writer

My name is liar and faker
I can’t say I’m a wordsmith,
All my success is just a big myth
Who am I without my work?
This may seem like a writer’s block,
But my head is on the chopping block

Then comes a voice in a whisper
“Who is sovereign over your life?”
I ignore it and move on with my struggle
“Who owns the feelings you juggle?”
Well me of course

A laugh resounds within my heart
I suddenly feel beyond foolish
“You are not the one who tames the seas”
“You are not the one who answers pleas”
“Why do you try to control what you cannot?”

I soon realized something crucial,
Nothing material is worth my trust
My identity should not rest on something so frail
Writing abilities change and grow,
And my inexperience will always show

He is the same every day
Nothing is really mine, just a gift
I cannot lose what I never had
He will guide my writing and my future
He is the one who loves me no matter what

Girl

What kind of man should I be
To have all of you for me?
To win what I don’t deserve?
To love you with every word I breathe–
To the end of me?
A love that’ll grow this seed,
Instead of controlled by need.
To crave every girl that I see–
And give into all this greed.
Girl.

I’m waiting for you to show.
God, shut me down when I say I know
Who will be with me.
I flirt like I’m sick of life.
I flirt with a brother’s wife, and I. . .
I won’t marry her.
The trouble I am inside.
I’m reading between my mind, the lines,
Girl.

Oh, non-existent to my knowledge future wife,
I’m striving for an image, yours and mine.
Don’t get it’s just reflecting. I’m the bride.
It’s infecting, distracting, but that love’s already mine.
Lord, help me love her like she’s not mine.
All good things come in their time.
A three-day wait till desire dies–
Idolatry; plucked away from the lies.
My acceptance is not defined
By the type of girl I find.
Not the type of man she finds, in me.
Without You, we’re both blind.
Now we see.
So make us just an image of You.
There’s so much more than just my girl.
We’re a reflection of Your Word.
Make me know the real thing,
So the copy I make is as good as it could. . .

Good as it could ever be.
I want all of You for me–
You won what I don’t deserve.
You love me with every word You breathe.
To eternity.
A love that’ll grow this seed.
A love that has filled my need.
To crave more of You, I plead.
I’m giving You all my greed.
Lord.

Help me grasp what You’ve shown.
To never feel I’m alone at all.
You will be with me.
Help me to trust You more.
Give all of myself away.
I hear You call, “Follow me.”
You’re giving me all I need.
Someday, You’ll give me
A girl.


Version 2