BROKEN BODY, BURNING ACHE
I cannot wish away this pain or pray it out of existence. I cannot prevent my limbs from screaming out their piercing, while I try to resist it, or stop soreness and stiffness from being my default position.
I cannot close my eyes without feeling their hot, dry, burning ache, or be comfortable in a room where bright light infiltrates. I cannot get away from this broken body. I cannot get away from me.
But what I can do is to give it all to you. To turn my sickness and pain into an offering. To yield and surrender each fresh sting. To stop fighting what I cannot control, and to live like you’re here and you’re able. To seek your help when I cannot help myself.
AS I REACH OUT
And as I reach out to you, I sense your arms are more than big enough to cope with the burden I pass on. As my own weak and weary arms falter in the giving, I see how swiftly you willingly take it all from me. There is no hesitation, only acceptance and peace. And I feel lighter once you have received it.
I sink further down in this bed but it’s more of a falling into deeper rest. It’s a letting go that allows me to breathe freely again. Then my ears sense you calling my name and I lift tired lids to look into your face. What I see brings my soul to my knees. My heart contracts and I gasp.
A BEAUTIFUL BOUQUET
For before me is a beautiful bouquet, full of fragrant, heavenly flowers. They’re heady, vibrant and dazzling with color. A veritable rainbow of delight dances before my eyes and I can’t help but open them wide. There’s a huge smile on my face as I witness the glory before me.
Then you gently take hold of my hands and warm them between your own. And you look into my eyes with the tenderest of smiles, so full of compassion and love, and you tell me how the hardest, darkest, most painful things of earth we go through are transformed into beauty when given freely to you.
Please forgive how slow I am to understand and how quick I am to complain. My heart fills with gratitude as I remember that this is not the first time you have tried to reveal these things to me—this precious treasure, hidden in darkness.
I’m in awe of your kindness, compassion and mercy. They are endless, deep as the ocean, wide as the sky, swelling like waves on the sea, forever full of love, and laced with gifts of grace from above.
Chronic Joy® Contributing Writer and Poet
Joy is a wife, mother, grandma to one beautiful boy, M.E and chronic illness sufferer who spends many days in her PJs penning poetry and prose. Joy is also a work in progress by God’s grace. She is the author of Seeking Solace: Discovering Grace in Life’s Hard Places, and a contributor to Mosaic of Grace: God’s Beautiful Reshaping of Our Broken Lives by James Prescott. Joy has also contributed to Taking off The Mask: Daring to Be The Person God Created You to Be by Claire Musters, and Finding Purpose: Rediscovering Meaning in a Life with Chronic Illness by Cindee Snider Re. Her latest book is called Embracing Hope: Soul Food to Help Chase Away the Blues. You can find her sharing her regular insights and poetry at poetryjoy.com.
This gentle soul companion guide will help steer you the right direction as it reveals the places where hope can be found and encourages you to explore your own resources as well. By means of thoughtful reflections, soulful poetry and encouraging blessings, you will be supported on the journey toward regaining the hope you had lost.
Joy offers us a glimpse into her world with the aching immediacy and transparency of a poet. She shares her painful past and challenging circumstances to reveal how she has learned to seek solace and find peace, and how you can do so too. Her journey leads to discerning and discovering grace in life’s hard places.
Prayer is a precious invitation from God. Let’s Pray! Often, we over-think prayer, complicating it by seeking the right words, the right time, the right place, or the perfect formula, so afraid of getting it wrong that we fail to pray at all.