We're telling true stories tonight on the FMF. This night of the week where a bunch of brave writers gather close to spend 5 collective minutes writing on a single prompt. It’s a great way to catch your breath at the end of a long week. This blessed, beautiful place where we open our hearts and let words and tears and the inner workings of our lives bleed and flow and dance across the virtual pages. Yes, this community opens wide and invites you in to share. Come and visit and read. You will be blessed.
This Week: True
Why yes, it’s true. I am in a panicked whirl. I am sitting frantic, yet still beneath the fluorescent lights in my office. It is quiet – except for the squeak of the chair as my husband patiently waits, and the scratch of the pencil as my daughter plows through her homework. And underneath the bright lights and low hum of homely conversation that is only slightly out of context here, my mind whirls and I think about what she asked – tell me a true story. I need your true story. And as I think about the desert road that I’m about to write deep and long about on the 31 day journey come October, this is the Truth that comes to mind.
Just over three years ago, at the far edge of December,
I lost my mind and most of my health to a job that wasn’t worth the money they paid me for it.
Too many hours and too many expectations
and the me inside that wouldn’t back down and wouldn’t say no
and didn’t know how to find a boundary or a compromise to save my life.
Didn’t know how to save my life
So I went right over the edge
To the place where you just don’t get up anymore
Don’t get out of bed
Don’t answer the phone
Don’t raise your head for your sweet little girl to give you kisses.
Just lie there in the dark black
That has become the consuming all
And think darker thoughts and the idea
That you’re never ever going to come out of this again.
Pass through a week
That feels like a decade
And pull yourself out into some semblance of decency
And write the letter you’ve been wanting to write for eighteen long hard months
And say goodbye.
Good riddance (but not saying that part out loud).
Breaking through the ice-driven waters of the next thing
And realizing that it’s not cold,
But a long desert road ahead.
No end in sight.
Good God the cries from your throat
Are nearly as desperate
As the ones when you were down in
Your pit of despair.
And then right before the desert swallows you whole,
The light breaks
And the One who walked long and hard
And days of His own in the desert
Shines through again
(like He always does)
And one small step in front of the other
You begin the slow walk
Through the desert.
Not immediately transported out -
Because there is so much to learn.
Because so much needs to go by the wayside.
And all these things that you’ve been hanging on to
and decades (yes, you’re old enough to say that now)
Come peeling off like sloughed skin
Like Eustace in Narnia
The Lion strips you clean.
and while there is that stinging burn
Of the things that were before,
The brilliant shinning clean
And what you can see now
Compared to what you didn’t see before
(which is only a shadow of what you will see)
Is amazing beyond belief and understanding.
And then standing at the far side of the desert
You know the truth of the matter.
And why you had to walk the path.
And why you can never go back.
And why it’s so important to tell the story
Of the Lessons in the Desert.
How to Join
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