Breathe on these Bones



You will hear thunder and remember me,

And think: she wanted storms.
The rim of the sky will be the color of hard crimson,
And your heart, as it was then, will be on fire.
-Anna Akhmatova
Look at that. In the corner. LOOK. Do you smell it? Rancid, garage-y smelling like yellow-paged sourness of an old book sitting on a neglected shelf in a basement somewhere. You can swat at the furious flies all you want, but it’s still there. The pile of bones in the corner of your heart that sits and waits for you. And sits. And waits. 
All your mistakes. Everything you’ve failed to do. Everything you thought you might accomplish or might become, but didn’t. The beckoning pile of bones sits there. It gets more and more filthy in your desperate heart. The very bottom tip is where these bones sit and weigh your heart down like an anchor. A sinking ship. Help, your heart whimpers. I’m drowning in bones. But no one else can hear it crying; only your mind can. And your mind is wired from the draining outlet of an empty-promising society. 
Haha, you ate that whole bag. You are so fat. Fat is failure. You have to look perfect. Another heavy bone. 
Wow. You really thought he would like you? You’re ugly. Super ugly. Look at that zit, those eyebrows? Uh-uh. Failure. More bones pile up, and soon the seams of your heart are ripping open. 
Why would anyone ever love you? Just LOOK at you. Past being gross, you’re stupid. No one wants to talk to you. You never have anything good to say. Your life is boring. No one cares. 
A fragile heart can’t handle this many bones. Your heart splits open, and bones crash all over the hardwood floor. You made a mess. Your vision becomes a desert of white, and you collapse right on top of the heap, falling deeper and deeper, until you’re finally hidden beneath every single imperfection. All you can find left in you is a tiny noise, a silent breath of help. This melody of desperation rises to heavenly ears. He drops everything. He comes over to this heap of bones, not bothered by the sour smell of the past. He digs. He throws the bones aside into a heavenly dumpster that spits them right back out into the devil’s face. He finds you, lying there like an abused rag doll; broken, bruised, and completely defeated. You finally open your small eyes, and they see something enormously beautiful. Jesus holds you close.
My beloved, 
I love you. I LOVE you. I love YOU. Please trust me. My heart breaks right along with you every time you obsessively get on that scale, every time you slice that razor into your skin, every time you smoke that “last” joint. Please don’t hide from me. I’m not a religion or a set of rules. I didn’t come to restrict, I came to set you free from all these terrible feelings. I want you to live a life of freedom and wonder. You are beautiful and I promise I have a plan for you. Your dreams of living in a big city? I’ve got it under control. Your desire to be loved? The wait will be worth it. Do you believe that I love you? I suffered immense anxiety and rejection. I know what it’s like to feel unloved and the weight of being an outcast. All those feelings were nailed to the cross with me. But here’s the thing: I came back to life, and they didn’t. They are dead to me. They belong to this broken world. I defeated them. Crumbled them like a sour scone. My blood sizzled them like acid. 
Let me love you. All you have to do is say my name. Even if you stop believing, I never stop carrying you. 
Love, 
Jesus

~~~

I’m learning to let go of my bones. I’m learning to throw them as far as I can, and then I sometimes watch as a super strong angel throws them a few galaxies further. Sometimes I’m still trapped. Sometimes I still smell my sour bones. But I’m learning, with breathtaking love supporting me.
I want to be thunder. I want to explode in the sky and rumble in people’s hearts, a feeling that gives them shivers. I want to flash in the endless sky like lightning, a split second spark of chaos and beauty and wonder, leaving them wanting more. I want to be a storm, scary and beautiful and exciting all at the same time. I want to be a spectacular sense of wonderment that people will remember and admire. I want to act like rain and walk like summer, a fresh coolness that leaves a crisp sense of joy. A joy that sets hearts on fire.

Lately, my heart has been set on fire. My bones aren’t weighing me down anymore. I’m not letting them. It’s as if lighting zapped my dried out wooden heart and set it blazing. I feel full of life. I’m so blessed in what God is doing for me. For the amazing people and friends I have who feed that fire. And for my Savior, the one who always makes sure there’s a spark, no matter how small.

I remember going camping with my best friend a few summers ago. We stayed in her family’s camper and, no joke, I caught an incredible amount of fish, at least for a girl who had never fished before! Party! Then we ate the fish we caught. Holy guacamole it was super fresh and scrumptious 🙂 Anyways, I remember one afternoon while we were feeding chipmunks (hehe) an unbelievable thunderstorm stirred up in the crystal sky. It only lasted a few minutes, but it was one of THOSE thunderstorms. Like the loud and scary and awesome ones with lots of bright lightning and beauty. We ran for cover in the camper, but I remember it being one of the most spectacular thunderstorms ever. And I got to watch it with my best friend. Extra bonus. We were just a bit worried about our chipmunks.

When I see tremendous rainclouds like that, I wish I could take everyone who suffers with me up on that cloud, and we’d sit in the shaving cream softness and float around the world. We’d go wherever we’re needed, watching all the people below and seeing the beauty of enormous things with our small eyes. We’d send fabulous storms for people to watch and squirt pure drops life on them. Then we’d float away again and kiss another town goodbye. We’d see a small girl, dreaming and watching the sky behind her bedroom window, wishing we’d stay and carry her too. We’ll be back, we’d tell her. But for now, be drenched in sunshine and rainbows. And as we’d float away, a rainbow would trail after us, giving us wings. Our rain would wash away every sadness, tragedy, conflict, issue, and heartache in every town. They would flush down the drain like dirty car-wash water and into the dirt. Then a flower would bloom. A flower of new beginnings that sprouted from decaying bones.

You are worth it. We all have bones, but Jesus will take them for us and cause flowers to sprout from the despair. He can turn your biggest burden into your biggest boast, all because you conquered it through him. Never let society define you in such a way that you think you’re worthless or unloved because it’s so not true. You are worth dying for. In fact, someone already did die for you. Throw your bones as far as you can, and watch as they tumble and fall, further every minute. Breathe, and let God set your heart on fire. 

 Daisies at Mt. Vernon (who knows how old that soil is)
Double rainbow outside our house last summer!

Okay so this was amazing. Last night I went to a Switchfoot concert with a good friend of mine, and the lead singer, Jon Foreman, is literally my heart and soul packaged into a human being. He loves people so much, it’s incredible. ~~Go to a Switchfoot concert sometime in your life~~ seriously…do it~~


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