closing the door

memories stirred in her heart like a wooden spoon stirring ingredients together in a mixing bowl.

there was the rainbow at beacon rock. plans for the little restaurant in the gorge. dreams of a home on the coast.

these were not small things. his was intense, passionate. he wanted to rebuild his life. he didn’t want to do it alone. but there were character issues. and pride. it caused him to stumble. and it kept him from yielding to holy spirit, jesus and papa.

she’d seen it often. when pride rose up in him, darkness would cover his face. the tenderness she loved in him was hidden. joy was crushed in anger and unforgiveness.

nearly a year passed since any communication occurred between them. and it was her doing the reaching out. again. he’d gone dark after helping her with the car battery at the airport after thanksgiving. christmas came and went without a word.

she texted him on new year’s day, wished him well. he responded back, but even his texting voice felt small. he wasn’t in a good place, maybe drunk.

now, on the eve of another christmas, memories resurfaced. she smiled, recalling times, places, conversations. his daughter. his family. aunt louise and uncle charlie.

she texted him again, fondly recalling a few details that would make him smile if she wasn’t blocked on his phone. she visited several of his family’s facebook pages, wondering out loud if he’d been home to visit them yet. it was fifteen years now since he’d seen them.

she recalled words spoken over their lives. his momma would be a momma to her. his daughter would be her daughter, just like she’d given birth to her. aunt louise had taken her under her wing, always grateful for how she’d brought him back into communication with the family.

when it got too painful to hold on, she quietly unfriended his momma. she contacted the half-brother and aunt louise to tell them she needed to move on. they wished her well. the half-brother invited her to visit him and his wife if she was ever in alabama. it hadn’t taken long to develop bonds with them.

on a whim, she reached out to aunt louise on messenger, not knowing if she’d even see her message since they were no longer connected. why was all of this flooding back into the forefront?

praying, she got into her weekly epsom salt bath. sitting in silence, papa surprised her with a question. “would you take him back if he was all cleaned up?” her head snapped as she looked up to him. “first of all, you can please confirm this is you. i’m pretty vulnerable right now. secondly, yes, i might, but with conditions.”

the conditions were clear: he needed to be walking closely with papa, jesus and holy spirit. and he would need to come out of agreement with every spirit that does not serve jesus. those two qualifiers covered a lot of ground.

something deeper was working. she wasn’t clear on what it was. more prayer, more healing in the salty, lavender water. thirty minutes later, she was on the living room floor stretching. then cleansing her gateways. this was an important process. forgive, cleanse, release. release is equated with liberty.

late afternoon arrived and she began cooking for the week. chicken thighs fried on the stove, rice cooked in the dutch oven. when the phone rang, she was startled, but not as much as she was when she saw the location of the caller: new orleans. who and why?

she answered. “hello?” “hi ______!” i see you wanted to talk with me. it was aunt louise. calling her. from new orleans. what??? something deeper was working here.

she and uncle charlie were well. the big surprise and subsequent shock came shortly thereafter. he’d been home to visit. finally. he’d been there in october, just a few weeks ago. that was the big surprise. then came the shock.

he hadn’t gone alone. he went with a woman. not just a girlfriend. a fiancé. her head and heart reeled at the same time, shock waves tearing through her senses. aunt louise said something about them being forever grateful for bringing him back to them..somehow, the call ended abruptly.

devastation and betrayal set in. that was her trip to make with him, her family to meet. the new woman had taken credit for getting him there. truth spoke loudly over the top of the lie. she knew well the prophetic words she’d spoken over him two years earlier that propelled him forward to reconciliation with his family.

the truth could not be taken from her. his betrayal could not be ignored, either. he’d chosen not to yield, not to say, ‘yes,’ to papa, jesus and holy spirit. he didn’t want to do the work.  it was easier to find someone else who didn’t require so much of him, someone who would be satisfied with mediocre.

it took two weeks to process all of it again. hashing over all the prophetic words, all the promises, all the conversations..and all the character flaws. left unchecked, the character flaws became massive stumbling blocks. indeed, they’d made the foundation of their relationship unstable.

his actions consistently sowed distrust. there was nothing solid to build on. it was unsustainable, shaky ground. she knew his history. if he was challenged to be more, he threw a tantrum. and if he didn’t get his way, he moved on to someone else.

two weeks later, she made a different decision. looking up, she spoke decisively. “i don’t want him back. if he was yielded to you, he would have come back for me. he did not. so i’m closing the door. you close it, too.”

she took back the key and the dream. papa had already breathed new life and purpose into her. it happened yesterday in the salty bath laced with lavender and into the future oils. he’d taken her heart into his large, gentle hands and breathed new life into it. it was beating strong again.

she held the key in her left hand, the side her heart lived in. someone was coming. he would be worthy of her heart, the key and the dream.

Key, Heart, Daisy, Love, Wood, Valentine'S Day, Symbol
photo credit: pixabay

destiny beckoned as compromise lost its power and voice.

copyright © 2019 jane doe productions llc

 

reunion

they’d last seen each other almost six months earlier. it ended abruptly when she decided not to listen to his tasmanian devil fit on the phone after confronting him on bad behavior.

as he spewed angry words across the airwaves, her response was simple and calm. “i am not having this conversation with you tonight.” she pressed the red button on her phone, disconnecting the call. kindness with boundaries. he does not have permission to speak to her this way. no.

the result of the boundary was an immediate facebook unfriend, a block on the phone and an email requesting she never call him again. it’s what people do when the mirror is placed before them. it was also a sign he was not worthy of her heart yet. sigh.

now here they were, giving it a go again. she was excited and wary. the phone call had gone well. now she waited for the text so she knew where to meet him.

they met at a new place, not one of their old favorites

he asked her to meet him at a new place. it was new to her, not to him, but new to them together – appropriate for a new beginning. arriving first, she made her way straight to the ladies room after a brief survey of the establishment.

she took a minute to get her bearings. and breathe. deep breath in, exhale slowly. rinse and repeat.

photo1
photo credit: leisure public house

she checked her lipstick in the mirror, observing the glow on her face. there was a tenderness and light in her features that had been missing for several months. it returned the moment she heard his voice. love does that.

father, jesus and holy spirit were as excited as she was. realizing this was a new day, she asked holy spirit to order their conversation. shaking off any anxiety, she walked back into the bar area and settled at a table near the door. yikes. it was dark in this place. the smell of marijuana wafted in from the patio. it didn’t stimulate her appetite in the least. it wasn’t her favorite, never had been.

when he came in, he’d see her straight off. and he did. he walked in, saw her there, pulled back the chair to reach her and put his arms around her neck in greeting. my god, what a long time it had been since she felt his embrace. he sat down. they looked at each other. he asked her something she didn’t hear. she was so caught up in just looking at him she never heard the words.

“excuse me, i’m sorry. what did you say?” it was almost funny. well, no, it was funny. was she fifteen again? maybe. there wasn’t much that could render her speechless. she let him begin with the catching up so she could just look at him.

he was as beautiful as ever. dear lord. it wasn’t just his physical appearance. he was freer, glowing from the inside out, light in his eyes. his joy had returned. part of that joy was the call he got from her only a few hours earlier.

they glanced at menus. he was a regular here, so he made a couple of recommendations. “order whatever you like.” she ordered something, not really caring what it was. he went up to the bar, placing their order for food and drinks.

he was nervous, though, like a cat on a hot tin roof. she let him begin catching up on his life first. he was going to counseling, paying someone to listen to him vent. that was good. he also commented he’d tried dating, but it was a disaster. she felt some relief with a question mark following. why did he share this? this revelation would prove to be a clue later. she filed it away. guilty people always tell on themselves. they can’t help when it when truth is staring them in the face.

they finished their food while keeping the conversation moving. she studied him closely. he hadn’t been home to see his family yet. another item to file. she was in contact with his aunt/godmother, a lovely woman who prayed for her nephew consistently. she took her role of godmother seriously.

he knew the two of them spoke on messenger, asking what they talked about. she lightly danced around revealing their conversations. there was no need to show her hand except to encourage him to go home to visit. his parents and the rest of his family weren’t getting any younger. they wanted to see him before moving to heaven. it was that simple.

his response indicated he wasn’t ready for that trip yet. he ordered another beer. she asked how he was going to drive home. he wasn’t. an uber driver had dropped him there and uber driver would collect him and take him home. this had become a regular routine. he thought himself clever. it was a good choice for keeping his driver’s license, not so good for other obvious reasons.

it was late now and she had to work the next day, friday. he walked her down the street to her car. he hugged her goodbye, embracing her for a very long time, longer than he ever had before.

she got in her car and watched him walk back to the bar with unease and a heavy heart.

it still wasn’t time.

copyright 2017 © jane doe productions

 

 

 

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?

scrambled-eggs-5865_960_720
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)

 

turn around, look

the weeks apart turned into months. truth be told, it was not easy. standing and believing took on new meaning. her faith grew exponentially in the process.

day by day, she took communion, prayed and declared over them and their children, mixed lot that they were. when she prayed, she saw things and then she would speak them out. in one vignette, she saw him with his head resting on father god’s chest, hearing the heartbeat of the one who made him.

in another, she saw father god building a new bridge between him and one of his children. they approached from opposite ends of the bridge, getting closer to each other every day. in the moment they met in the middle, they entered into a brand new beginning, one that would make up for the lost years.

Footbidge
photo credit: pixabay

she knew he was getting closer. father gave her dreams to encourage her to keep doing what she was doing. he was so close, she could feel it. when the breakthrough began, she would see him coming to the house to get her, standing at the front door ringing the doorbell.

other times, she would see him at her work. memories of them working in the conference room together would flood back to her mind. they were precious, sweet and painful at the same time. their foundation together had been good, but now it would be strong, solid, immoveable. father said so.

several friends knew this road they were walking out. their prayers were impactful, clear, declarative, filled with power and love. praying together, they moved things that had blocked and hindered, clearing a path for his healing, freedom, future and calling.

on the day she cut a cord of control and witchcraft, one friend observed it would take him a few days to get his bearings. this action was critical. the ties that held him captive held him no more. now, he was able to move freely like never before.

and then, days later, father let her see him walking free. on a thursday night after work, she headed to the pool for a swim. it was the same pool where they’d met a year earlier. it was the same park they walked and talked around many times.

the sighting

she was parked on the street sitting in the car talking to another friend. their conversation went all over the place, rabbit tracks in every direction. they were still getting to know each other. there was a lot of ground to cover – and not. conversations were rarely short and this was no exception. she opened the car windows to keep from melting from the heat. she rolled down the passenger window and looked to her left. what she saw stopped her talking in mid-sentence.

there he was, walking on the path. she looked again, hard. yes, it was him.oh, my god, he’s here, ****’* here!!! he’s about twenty feet away from me walking on the path around the park. what do i do?!?!”

‘”what is the lord saying to you to do?” “i don’t know! my heart is beating so hard i can’t think.” she stopped talking to listen, to feel and know what to do. then it was easy.

“i’m not doing anything. i’m not going after him. he still has to come for me when he’s ready. i just get to see him.” crying, she continued, “he looks good. he’s standing taller. and his gait seems more purposeful, like he’s freer and sorting things out.”

she waited to see if he went into the pool building. he did not. he kept walking. “okay, he’s out of sight now. i’ve got to get in the building while he’s on the other side of the park.” they postponed their remaining conversation until later.

she went on to swim. what was normally relaxing was anything but after the excitement of the ‘sighting.’ she kept an eye on the men’s changing room to see if he’d walk through the door.

when later came and their conversation resumed, both women agreed how special it was for father to let her see him. she knew a few more things now, with certainty: he was healing. he was free. he was stronger. and he would be coming for her soon.

the next morning, another friend messaged her. she asked if something had happened with him due to her post the night before: “tears of joy, peace, contentment, high expectations and a pint of organic vanilla ice cream drowning in chocolate sauce. it was a grand day. ♥”

this friend had surmised correctly, and she had some encouragement to bring, as well. she offered what father showed her:

“it’s not a long road between you two,” father says. “turn around, look.” she continued. “i see things in pictures mostly. so i saw the path being swept, and you a short distance away waiting. father is saying turn around and look. maybe an encouragement to see what father is doing.”

yes, it was an encouragement. yes, yes, yes! she mulled over the words again. “it’s not a long road between you two. father says, “turn around, look.”

she turned around to look.

psalm 37:4 the voice

take great joy in the eternal!
his gifts are coming, and they are all your heart desires!

(copyright © 2017 jane doe productions)

who was grandma?

it should have been easy. it was not. after getting her momma reconnected with her stepsisters, she also re-engaged with them in the hopes of learning more about grandma.

she talked with the oldest of momma’s stepsisters, then with the youngest. it was great to visit and talk with them. yes, it was. but it did not provide any of the answers to her questions.

what was grandma like?

what was her personality? what were her hobbies? did she like music? horses? dogs or cats or both? did she bake or cook?

no one could really say. grandma had been ill and in hospital often. she was there more than she was home. her daughters didn’t really know her, either. there were a few photos of her left. she asked for copies to be sent to her but they never came.

was there any family resemblance?

did momma look like grandma? did she look like grandma? hmmm. another idea came to her. would it be possible to see grandma in the cloud of witnesses? could she, would she make herself known? could she share more about her life in a visitation? maybe. it was worth asking daddy god about.

he did have one answer for her. he told her one morning on her commute to work. in a brilliant movie reel playing in her mind, so many things became clear.

 

Jesus loves me with music
photo credit: pixabay

 

“your grandmother was a worshipper. she loved to sing.”

(copyright © 2017 jane doe productions)