the white orchid

it was a birthday gift from a *sister, the one who filled the role of *jonathan in their david and jonathan relationship.

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photo credit: pixabay

it was breathtaking, in full bloom the day she received it, adorned with five beautiful white blossoms. she’d never had an orchid before. it intimidated her. she knew they could be tricky to care for.

not only that, but this was a gift from a friend. what if it died? this was different than failing with a plant you bought for yourself. there was pressure to keep the plant alive and nurture the relationship that was clearly from papa god. oh boy.

over time, the delicate white petals dried up and gently fell to the cabinet below. the stems that held the petals also dried up and fell off. only a long green stalk remained where so much glory and beauty had shown weeks earlier. even the stalk began to dry up. she clipped it back, hopeful it would prevent further decay. it did not.

desperate, she cut it back again. ugh. this was a failure. no, she was failing at caring for the white orchid. so she thought.

there was danger in overwatering these plants. she followed the watering instructions. and somehow overwatered it. the little pieces of bark on the top of the pot grew mold. the small new shoots at the bottom of the plant were moldy. more failure. frustrated, she cut off some of the moldy shoots. they would not recover from the mold.

conversely, the green leaves at the base of the plant were huge. they looked healthy while the stalk that once held the flowers was dried up and quite a bit shorter than before. she shook her head. overall, the prognosis was poor. the big leaves were healthy but would it ever bloom again?

every day she looked at the orchid, wondering if she should just throw it in the dust bin and be done with it. looking at it was tormenting, a constant reminder of failure.

one day, with a burst of resolve, she moved it to the window ledge. here it would get intense sunlight whenever the sun made an appearance during the rainy winter. she still gave it an occasional drink, teetering between willing it to live and wanting to pitch it. she was sure she sucked at caring for this gift. where had the green thumbs gone?

months went by. on the saturday morning before easter sunday, she decided to give it a little drink. she considered it might be wise to turn the whole plant around on the window ledge. the backside of the orchid could benefit from the sun, too.

this complicated plant closely mirrored another relationship. she wrestled with vision, hope, and big promises from papa god about this one. all her eggs were in this one basket. the investment was great, the risk high, the reward and return not yet realized. it made her lay awake at night sometimes. what was that about walking by faith and not by sight?

reaching down, she turned the plant 180° and set it down gently. sitting back down at her desk, she saw it. there was a new, beautiful green shoot growing from the stalk she’d cut back and left for dead. not only that, there was another smaller shoot growing up at the base of the pot on the top of one of those big, healthy green leaves.

new life was springing up all over this plant.

she was dumbstruck. leaning in for closer examination with wide eyes and eyebrows raised, she found yet another new shoot growing from underneath another large green leaf. even the moldy shoots that remained were growing new shoots. what???

Shirley Temple
photo credit: tv guide

the stalk she’d thought was dead was now producing new life. she looked at it, tears running down her face. new life was springing up all over this plant she’d wanted to toss out.

she looked spoke to the orchid and the man she loved in her words of blessing.

“i bless you to grow and bloom more than you were ever told you could.”

the plant and the man would respond beautifully to her words of love and encouragement.

it was easter morning when she wrote this post. the deer were passing through the back yard, playing and leaping as they often did. her morning cup of coffee went down easy as she listened to elisabeth cooper (the journey) sing about the banqueting table set before her.

the plant continued to speak to her. things were seldom as they appeared. more tears flowed.

then she heard daddy god’s quiet voice break into her thoughts, mingling with her hopeful tears.

“what you see as failure, i see as growth…”

 

copyright jane doe productions © 2018

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those high school years

sometimes it helped her to write about things. sometimes it did not. she still wasn’t sure where this would land on the processing meter. the rock band ‘til tuesday‘ played on her itunes. those old familiar songs coaxed her angry seventeen year-old girl back out of hiding to confront this goliath. she was still angry, and she came out swinging. it was safe to be angry now, safe to confront the injustices, the lies and the shame.

she was quite cognizant of the fact that justice would not come from him. it would only come from papa god, the only one who could fix the wrongs, make them right, restore what had been stolen. innocence. purity. trust.

it was all true. he made bad choices in abusing his position of authority. he did bad things to her. he broke her heart, stole her self-worth. it was also truth his actions did not define him anymore than they defined her – that was harder to reconcile. it was ugly all around. the movie reel of those years was painful to watch as it played through her head, even after so much time.

she had no desire to out him, no desire to destroy his life or family. if it came out, it would be because he himself told the story. it would not be her doing. she found a recent photo of him on the internet. he was all gray now. so would she be if it weren’t for hair color.

back in the day, no one said anything when they saw it happening. and it happened a lot. thousands upon thousands of young girls at high schools around the country were manipulated, seduced and sexually assaulted by male teachers. the ones there to protect became the predators. it happened to the boys, too. and it still does.

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photo credit: jane doe

was it easier to overlook adult indiscretions than protect a child? apparently so. it was easier than confrontation resulting in a lost reputation or a statutory rape charge.

no one knew much about soul ties or soul wounds in those days. no one knew what would utterly break the fragile heart of a seventeen year-old girl. maybe he didn’t know, either. maybe he would have made a different choice. maybe not. she hadn’t been the only one.

his history wasn’t any nicer than hers, she recalled. an abusive father. beatings. similar story, different town. too many similar stories, not enough love, not enough goodness. not enough honor. no healthy boundaries. no respect for women. and no jesus.

the summer of heartbreak

it was not the summer of love. it was the summer of heartbreak and more loss, the quick, necessary construction of more protective walls. when he took her up north for a weekend, it was to tell her he was breaking up with her. he was going to go live his dream, moving far enough away to put several states and ocean water between them.

even now, she couldn’t remember when she began to cry or how she stopped. the song ‘voices carry’ played, cautioning her to keep her voice down, “hush, hush, keep it down now, voices carry, hush, hush, keep it down now, voices carry..”

the motorcycle ride home from that weekend was several hours long. a motorhome crossing the center line on a curve nearly took them out. the weather was a mix of sunshine, rain and hail. she had blisters on her face for weeks after.

the questions still came to her. school administrators, why didn’t you protect us? you saw it – you saw it all. the other teachers saw it all, too. teenagers are no less vulnerable than small children – the vulnerability just looks different.

dad, mom, where were you? she knew where they were. miserable in their own mess. did anyone see her? did anyone love her? was she just invisible? helloooo? was anyone there?

sigh. yes, her parents did the best they could do with what they had at the time. no use crying over what was anymore. well, no. not exactly. to forgive without fully feeling anger or grief leaves a wound that weeps silently for years. righteous anger demands expression as much as it demands justice.

she loved her parents, honored them as a choice of her will. it was the right thing to do. in the big picture, it mattered quite a lot, even though there were days she wanted to be jenny from the movie, ‘forrest gump’ and throw rocks at the house she grew up in. throwing rocks only caused more brokenness. it wasn’t a solution.

throwing rocks wouldn’t take back the hand of the parent that slapped her, upsetting her so much she hyperventilated, her left lung collapsing. she called him to take her to the hospital. there was no one else she could call. he was bothered, annoyed even. he was getting ready to leave on vacation and there she was all emotional and unable to breathe. he took her to the emergency room in his pickup, went home, and headed west on his motorcycle.

she told the doctor what happened at home. he blew it off, didn’t report it. when her mom came to visit her in hospital, she spoke firmly to her. “tell that ********* if he ever hits me again, he’s going to jail.” 

all the #metoo stuff triggered memories and opened old wounds. she could see his face, even recall the last time he showed up at her house at 2 am, throwing little pebbles at her bedroom window to wake her up. her father came downstairs to wake her, announcing, ‘that guy is outside waiting for you,’ as she wondered what he wanted.

perhaps he had guilt.

she’d heard he slept with another high school girl. more insult heaped upon injury. and now he was here, quite drunk. she was seventeen. he was twenty-four. the numbers said what they said. he should have known better in a few things.

they walked off the farm yard out to the creek. he was playing, acting strangely, teasing her. she was not amused. they walked back to the farm. she begged him not to get back on his motorcycle. he was too drunk to drive. he left anyway. that was the last time she saw him.

she wondered if he’d given up the scientology cult, if he’d recognized jesus coming after him hard yet, she hoped so. now, she prayed for it.

her emotions still registered anger. but it was good anger. it was okay. be angry, sin not. she looked him in the eyes in the spirit. he could barely look back at her hazel eyes on fire.

“let me be clear. you had no right to take what was not yours. but i forgive you.” with a choice of her will, she forgave him. she’d asked jesus to take it all. maybe throwing a bucket of rocks one by one into the river would help process any remaining feelings of anger.

there was more. hidden freemasonry curses on her life demanded things of her she never knew, never agreed to. the unknown agreement her grandfather made with the occult set her on paths of death and destruction. grandpa didn’t know what he signed up for, and when he realized it, he couldn’t get out. momma’s life was cursed, as was her dad’s, their life together. curses of all manner came on her, beginning in the womb, bringing devastation on every level.

she realized she had rejected her own beauty because it was always used to destroy her. now, she could embrace that same beauty with no more fear of exploitation, manipulation or abuse of authority.

she was papa’s girl before anything else these days. she had overcome the past. she wasn’t defined by the things that were done to her or said about her. she wasn’t the whore the clique girls at school said she was. she wasn’t the broken, unloved seventeen year-old anymore, either.

absolute truth tells her a different story about who she is, about who the people who hurt her really are. absolute truth declares all humanity is made in the image and likeness of papa god.

humans are good, the very crown of creation. even in the darkest moments, true glory dwells within the man or woman doing the bad things. humans already in the light of papa god must seek it and see it in those still sleeping, to awaken them, to call them into sonship with papa god.

she did a once-over of her life now. she was rich. rich in peace. rich in friendships. rich in love, compassion and forgiveness. rich in laughter, rich in joy.

the visual came a moment later.

smiling now, she sat right down in the weeds and waited for the poppies to grow up around her. for years, they’d been watered with her tears, sorrow, forgiveness, laughter & hope. they grew strong, tall and brilliant, drowning out the dullness of the weeds.

jesus took her through her healing when it was safe.

he made her new.

she was a graceful, glorious one. and always had been.

(copyright © 2017 jane doe productions)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the dark room and the darkroom

 

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photo credit: pixabay

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

this place was a dark room, and a darkroom.

she was afraid of the dark as a child.

now, it was the world she lived in.

she knew he wasn’t the enemy.

she knew where the trouble came from.

his demons liked the dark room, the isolation.

she knew what corners they lived in.

they shrank back when she walked by.

she knew jesus was here, too.

he lived in her heart.

spirit brought her verses as she prayed in tongues.

“no weapon formed against you will prosper.”

“greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world.”

“he is delivered out of the hand of the enemy by the blood of jesus.”

now was no time to quit.

in her weakness, he was forte.

light was developing in the dark room.

(copyright 2016 jane doe)