for bravery & bulbs.

seriously, what the hell.
do you ever feel that way, or is it just me?

as i open up my journal to the words i scribbled down early this morning from atop my cozy couch, wool socks on, peach tea in hand, in my freezing cold basement apartment {for which i’m very grateful}, this is what i am met with:

“today i feel an uncomfortable & overwhelming sense of anxiety & grief. it feels as though my life has been categorized and compartmentalized by these feelings lately. i literally had to yell at satan to ‘get the F out, in Jesus’ name’ last night as i lied in bed without any peace or remnant of calmness in my spirit.”

and it worked, instantly. so, do i recommend this? yes. but maybe not in a public setting.

anyway, not to give him credit, but satan sees our fears and zeros in our them. he, a thief as scripture puts it, came to steal, kill & destroy. i don’t know about you, but none of those three things sound pleasant to me. they sound pretty stupid, actually, like what little four-year-old kids do with their G.I. Joes when they’re bored. but whatever…be a child.

i’m blessed immensely by the next part of that scripture, though, the part that gives me a sense of hope. the part i’ve talked about numerous times on this blog previously. the part where Jesus says, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the FULL. {emphasis mine, but i can picture Jesus throwing His hands in the air, spread out to show the grandeur of this offer, and robustly proclaiming, “FUULLL!!”}.

if i’m honest, though, lately i’ve felt no trace of that fullness. and by “lately”, i mean within the past few days, where things in my family have hit the fan and splattered across the walls and floors and windows. i miss my niece, who was taken quickly from us to her new home with my sister where things are unsteady, transient, and painful. i came home from work yesterday and stood in the doorway, where i’m usually greeted by a hug from her innocent, meek, hilarious afro-wearing self. instead, i found most of her toys & belongings removed, and an eerie silence that made my eyes well-up with tears, the kind of tears that could overflow into an ugly cry at any moment. yet for those of you who know me, you know all about how this little gal has changed me, and for the better, i’d like to think. she brought joy straight from the Throne-Room when she landed on that hospital delivery table a little over two years ago.


and again, from my journal:
“in the midst of my helpless grief, i’m met by Jesus. He tells me it’s not in a Daughter’s nature to fear. He tells me it’s time to take back what is mine, the things that have been stollen by the thief.

my heart. {no more fleeting.}
my thoughts. {no more fleeting.}
my emotions. {no more fleeting.}
my energies. {more!}
my ambitions & dreams. {more!}
my waking. {more!}
my sleep & solstice. {more!}
my laughing. {more!}

He’s my Hope, and He is the hope of Glory.

if i’m honest again, i don’t fully understand what the heck that means.
Glory is a topic in and of itself, one that i’m wrestling with daily, but still…faith is being confident of what we hope for and certain of we do not see or understand, right?

so i am choosing the make the conscious {wide awake} effort to not worry or wonder about my niece and her life. instead i’ll continually pray and know that her life is hidden with Christ on high.

i’m not going to fear tomorrow or the wars that rage. 
{hello, North Korea. i’d like to be your friend, and i make a mean {but really nice} batch of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. come sit at my table and let’s eat!}


instead, i’m going to allow myself to be filled with the promise of what hope brings. and in the process, i’m going to explore who i am–the real suzy, running at a steadfast pace toward my promise-land. {okay, you caught me, i’m not a runner, but i can speed-walk with the best of ’em.}


C.S. Lewis, in his book about grief where he writes about losing his beloved wife to cancer, also reminds me to “not mourn like those who have no hope…”

he even paints the idea that there are only two parts that coincide:
1. the only thing we can do with suffering is to suffer it.
2. hope and joy are perhaps to be found within our suffering.

and so i go back to the idea of uprooting, which i am still figuring out how to do, pulling up the weeds in my life that bog me down, the lies, the thistles and thorns satan plants in my garden to choke out what God is really trying to grow in me.

i’m an avid Anne Lamott enthusiast & junkie, thanks to mama Betsy, an amazing woman of God who spoke into my life so much over the past year, and often came to our debriefs with her stellar co-coach husband, bearing books and hugs, my favorite kinds of gifts.

i digress. 
writer Anne Lamott will make you laugh until you cry, and make you cry until the snot nearly drowns you. and she loves to garden, too. so she planted bulbs in her yard and waited 20%-expectantly, 80%-sceptically that they’d actually sprout and blossom.

here’s what happened next:

“then, amazingly, only a few days {after the Peace March}, the very first bulbs began to bloom. within a week, there were dozens of daffodils in the yard. when this finally happens in late winter every year, i’m astonished. i’ve always given up.”

i don’t think it’s too late to pull my shovel out of the shed. it may seem futile to stand over the frozen ground long enough to wishfully thaw it out, as Anne lives in California, and i live in the frozen tundra known as Missouri.

even still, i’ll metaphorically pull my boots on with bravery and plant my damn bulbs.
Hope is springing forth in the midst of my grief and confusion, and who am i to not at least try to water it somehow? 

yes, there is a season for everything, even the mourning. 


2 thoughts on “for bravery & bulbs.

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