the girl who wasn’t clumsy

she wasn’t sure when the thought came to her. and to go to that restaurant? she hadn’t been there since they’d last been there together. the pleasant thought stayed with her until it became almost a compulsion. breakfast food. ham and eggs. what?

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photo credit: pixabay

the weekend arrived and the prompting to go out to breakfast persisted. but it wouldn’t happen today. today was just about rest. she had no intention of leaving the house. the last week brought revelation and information she hadn’t necessarily appreciated, even though it was necessary. mucking around in family cobwebs was dusty and dirty. an epsom salt bath to get it off was in order. saturday was largely uneventful, exactly the way she wanted it.

then sunday morning came. she rose early and cleaned up. should she go to church? no. that was easy. she was going out to breakfast. ham and eggs called her. ridiculous, but all right.

in the meantime, another friend texted her. she was going through some transitions and needed time. they talked until the issues were unpacked and prayers were spoken to resolve them. it was good to be daughters of the king. he was kind, loving, patient. he ruled his kingdom well.

she left the house, got in her car and drove downtown to the restaurant. there was parking right in the front of the stairs up to the entrance. she parked and sat in the car for a moment. off to the right was the courtyard they’d sat in so many times after church drinking iced teas, beer or hot tea depending on the weather and the mood.

they’d sorted things in this place, laughing, crying, grieving, making friends with their favorite waitress, all the while looking to the future. the memories were sweet and there would be more of them. soon.

this morning, no one was sitting outside. it was still cool, the weekend prior to the grand eclipse. everyone was out of town getting in position to witness the heaven-kissing-earth event.

the only activity was the young woman sweeping the entrance to the courtyard. she was a teenager, fifteen or sixteen perhaps, with long sandy, blonde hair pulled back in a pony tail. she was assigned to wait on any guests who chose to sit outside during her shift.

she was drawn to her. why? she grabbed her bag and exited the car, greeting the young woman at the same time. “good morning! how are you?” there was purpose in being friendly. a door needed opening. they made some small talk, and then she saw them. the young woman’s right cheek had scratches all over it.

“honey, what happened to your cheek?” she asked. the young woman hesitated, unsure of herself. was she embarrassed? was she afraid? what was it?

finally, the waitress met her gaze and answered. “i, uh, fell down. i’m sort of clumsy. i fall down a lot.” she looked into the young woman’s eyes intently. did she call her out or did she meet her where she was? grace took over.

“well, then. you are a daughter of god, and he didn’t make you to be clumsy and fall down. do you mind if i pray for you, honey?” “no, not at all,” the waitress smiled shyly.

she bridged the distance between them with two steps and put her left hand on the girl’s right shoulder. in a few sentences, she commanded her angels to protect her from future falls and harm of any kind, declaring that daddy god would order her steps and make them sure. she blessed her.

when she opened her eyes, she saw the young woman still had her eyes closed. it was a sweet image to see. as they finished, a young man, either a cook or a waiter from inside the restaurant called out from the top of the stairs to young woman. hmm. okay. she would have time to observe more while she ate. she went up the stairs and got seated.

the menu choices were varied and good, but she stuck to ham, eggs, potatoes and sourdough toast. as she ate, she recalled another meal in that place with other dear friends she hadn’t seen in months. more good memories. it was good to be here and think on happy things.

the young woman appeared to clear her plate and refill her water glass. she had been touched that a stranger loved her enough to pray for her, and not say out loud what they both knew: she was not clumsy. she did not fall. someone had pushed her down. hard.

they kept the secret between them and daddy god. it was fine for now. but when she went back there again, she would be checking on the girl who wasn’t clumsy.

(copyright © 2017 jane doe productions)

 

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taking back the name

options were limited and none of them were good. she could run away, but to where and to whom? and who would believe the stories about what really went on at home? did anyone really see her? she felt like the invisible child, even as the oldest.

she heard a voice say, “no one would believe you anyway.” at the age of fifteen, she wasn’t certain who that voice belonged to, but it might be right.

on the outside, their family looked pretty much the same as the other farm families in the area. she never stayed at friends’ homes long enough to know what was real and what was show. one of the neighbor kids had a mini bike that he used to taunt their dog. clearly, there were problems there.

no one heard what happened inside the four walls of the house, or in the barn, or the fields. maybe other farm families were all messed up, too.

she only knew she wanted out. there was no safe place, no haven, no peace. maybe she could go to new york, become a model. anything was better than here. she moved out of the house the summer after graduation. it was too painful and chaotic to stay at home.

a couple years went by, along with a couple of moves and job changes. those were manageable even in her own instability. but then the call came. her mother was hysterical, not making much sense. then her dad got on the phone. something about him having an affair, them getting a divorce. it all blurred together, all the years of fighting, the strife, the fear, the abuse. all of it came spilling out. and it was too much.

now she simply wanted to disassociate and distance herself from all that identified her to the family. it was so broken, such a mess. it felt shameful. their family name was dishonored.

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photo credit: pixabay

for months, she thought of different name combinations that would work, thinking she would legally change her name. she never did. but she no longer identified with that family name. it was just too painful.

the pain got worse before it got better. years went by. people died. perspectives changed. and the big move happened. it was the hardest and it was the best. healing came, layer by layer. the more she cooperated with father god, the faster it went.

distance helped. she could be who she was now. no one was looking over her shoulder, and she no longer needed permission to fly out of the cage and be free.

her mother’s health waned, so there was the occasional trip home. the mommy wounds were deep. forgiveness didn’t come so easily; it was a choice of her will, and nothing else. she certainly didn’t feel it. so she just kept choosing it.

the daddy wounds were different. abandonment, neglect, abuse and blah, blah, blah. the list could go on and on if she let it. family members were getting old. people were dying.

and there was the truth that couldn’t be denied: father god had placed her with her parents. he knew what she could and would overcome. and he said he would cause it all to work for her good.

she and the big daddy talked about the earthly dad quite a lot. “i get that he’s never going be the father i would like him to be in this life. you get to do that for me. i’m good with it now. but, i would just really like it if he would take an interest in who i am and what I’m about. for a minute.”  daddy god didn’t say anything. she knew he heard, so she went on with what she was doing.

then, on a friday night, she missed a call from her dad while she was swimming. concern rose quickly. the only time he ever called was on her birthday. did someone die? was the family okay?

she called him back only to get a message saying his voicemail wasn’t set up. well, of course it wasn’t. she shook her head and tried one brother. he didn’t answer. she left a message.

mom didn’t answer. her voicemail wasn’t set up either. what was the matter with these people and their technology? she called her sister, got her voicemail, left her a message.

next she tried her son. he answered, but hadn’t heard anything. “hey mom, i’m always the last to know. they don’t even invite me to christmas until the same day.” they laughed. she promised to let him know if she heard anything.

she called the other brother. he answered. “i haven’t heard anything, so everyone must be fine.” sigh of relief. if he didn’t know, yes, everyone was okay. and the sister texted back. she hadn’t heard anything contrary, either.

this was puzzling. dad calls on a day not her birthday, doesn’t leave a message and no one is dead. something was at work. she could feel it.

the next morning, her father called her back, “hey, ******, i saw you called last night.”

“yes, i called because i saw you called me. you only ever call on my birthday, so i thought someone died. i was frantically calling my siblings, mother and son to be sure everyone was good!” he laughed, she laughed.

then he asked her the question she wanted to hear. “so, what are you up to, what are you doing? bam. there they were, the open-ended questions that gave her permission to share pieces of her life with the man she knew as her earthly father.

she answered him with confidence and gusto, pleasure and delight. as she shared the details of her life, she heard how full it was, how rich she was in experience, deep friendships, location and above all, fulfillment in her relationship with father god. he was the one who made it all work.

her dad’s initial call? it was a pocket dial. but not really. it was really a set up to answer her prayer and she knew it.

when they were ready to end the call, for the first time ever, she blessed him with words he had never heard before, “i bless you and i love you, dad.” “i love you, too,” came his response. she encouraged him. “stay in touch. you can call on more than one day of the year.” she knew she’d have to be the one to call, and that was okay.

she had released him from expectations he could never meet. father god would be what she needed when others simply could not. and it was all right.

in her heart, the family name became honorable once again. she took back her maiden name, and it was good.

(copyright © 2017 jane doe)

 

 

grief, healing and rest

life changed after the big move.

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photo credit: jane doe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

she now lived with a younger married couple.

she recalled meeting them, visiting for the first time. she heard holy spirit say, ‘family,’ softly to her. it was how she knew she belonged with them. it was confirmation.

the woman became a sister and a daughter. the man became a son, a brother, a protector. she had missed growing up with her siblings. these relationships provided restoration and fulfillment of those longings and desires.

papa. he was good to her again. over and over. always. forever.

she had long talks with papa about him after the big move. in the first conversation, he asked her to wait for him one year. he gave her choices and options. they reasoned together. she agreed to wait one year.

two months later, papa spoke again on the same topic.

she was at her desk when she heard his voice.

“i am no longer asking you to wait for him.

you have waited long enough.

i want you to move forward. 

i will restore.”

his words stunned her as she sat up straight.

she took a breath and a minute to process his words.

his voice was strong, tender, purposeful, fatherly.

his direction came as a surprise. but papa knew the end from the beginning.

the cord had been cut.

the processing began soon afterward. grief, anger, shock, betrayal, sorrow.

sometimes the deep longing to hold his hand again would unravel her.

she blessed him. she prayed for him when he came to mind.

papa had movies for her to watch. they helped her process emotions, to see beyond, to see glimpses of what he would do for her.

he encouraged her, sometimes saying, “great is your reward, child.”

she believed him. she had been faithful and obedient.

she began to sleep again. she learned to breathe again.

she soaked in worship music and healing frequencies at night as she slept.

sweet praise and rest brought healing.

jesus beckoned her to the beach. it was time to meet again. she went.

the touch of the sand under her feet brought more healing and balance to her body.

she worshipped as she walked, singing into the wind at the top of her lungs.

then he was there. suddenly. he’s like that. suddenly. it took her breath away.

the lion spoke.

“it was harder for you to let go because you didn’t really trust that i loved him, that i had him. but i want you to know this: i love my son more than you love your husband.

you can trust this. you can open your hands all the way and release him to me.”

she looked up in the sky. waves washed over her feet. the sand was cool.

She opened her hands and spoke the words out loud. she let him go.

then she drew an imaginary line in front of her.

with great joy and intentionality, she stepped over it.

there would be no more sorrow over what was, over what might have been.

her bright future beckoned.

she answered.

‘yes, lord.’

(copyright 2016 jane doe)

 

the wind at her back

 

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photo credit: pixabay

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

silence fell between them. she sensed his anger.

once again, he got up out of bed in silence. In silence, he dressed and in silence, he walked out to the living room.

this time, something had to be different. their separation hadn’t changed anything. he was content. he didn’t have to do anything different. he hadn’t made room for her in his life. he didn’t care for her heart and she had given it all. the status quo was beyond painful, and now, unsustainable.

she needed to speak this time, to stand up for herself.

courage came. she steadied her voice and spoke: “i don’t feel very loved when you leave the room when we have things to sort out.” her words were strong, gentle and calm.

there, she’d said it. lying in bed, she waited for a response, hopeful. it came, but not the one she’d desired.

that mocking spirit rose up in him. it spoke out loud, addressing the dog. “did you hear that, rascal? she doesn’t feel loved.”

she lay in the bed, drawing the covers up closer around her. she waited, giving him time and a wide berth to do the right thing.

minutes later, she heard him get up from the couch. he walked back into the bedroom and lay down again on the other side of the bed. it might have been miles for the chill she felt from him.

she waited. it was his move now, not hers. not anymore. she waited for him to move closer to her, to invite her into his arms.

she waited for him to say he was sorry this one time. it didn’t come.

instead, he got up in silence and walked back out to the living room. he sat down in the same place on the couch.

waiting again, she gave him more time to choose well, to make a different choice. it didn’t come. the game was on. she wasn’t playing.

she got up and dressed. refusing to give in to anger, frustration or accusations, she walked to the living room, too.

walking to the door, she unlocked the door handle and deadbolt. she turned around, going to the kitchen to gather the items she’d purchased earlier.

her arms full, she walked to the middle of the room and looked at him with love in her eyes. holding back tears, she asked him, “Is there anything you’d like to say to me before i walk out the door?” she hoped, praying for a different outcome than the familiar one that had played so often.

he was on his feet now as she spoke, going toward the door. his anger was no longer contained. “no, I think you’ve said enough for both of us.” he had opened the door, but not as a courtesy. he was throwing her out without words. again.

she looked at him, but he wouldn’t meet her gaze.

she felt no fear, just great sadness as she walked over the threshold of the door. the wind of the slamming door blew across her back.

immediately, she heard papa speak in her heart. “now, he must come to you.”

there would be no going back now. he had choices to make.

(copyright 2016 jane doe)