Eyes Open

He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.There are days that do not feel post-worthy. Or noteworthy. There are days where everything gets cancelled and you don’t even get to enjoy it. There are days when your skin is blotchy and your clothes are wrinkled, and it doesn’t even matter. There are bad hair days and laundry days and cleaning days. There are days when you can’t stop thinking about everything you don’t want to think about. When your heart feels as laid bare as your mattress when it’s stripped down.

I dare to tell you that there is beauty in it. That these days should give us pause and then make us fight for the joy and the light in it all. That these tired, blotchy parts of our existence have things to teach us. Today, I can’t tell you that I have seen it, but I am paying attention.

Sometimes fighting for joy doesn’t look like you might expect it to.

Maybe it’s not the bright laughter you used to burst into so often. Maybe it’s not feeling awake and alive again. Maybe it starts with paying attention. Opening eyes to the possibility of joy. Even when the days look like this.

Have you noticed how on the darkest and rainiest of spring days, the flowers look even brighter and braver?

I see the magenta of my mother’s roses, and knowing that she struggles too, I hope that she is paying attention. I see the way the flowers stand tall although beaten down. I mimic their posture, though I don’t feel half as bright.

I feel a stitch in my side and I grimace at how  it seems I can never stretch enough. Then I remind myself, I am fighting to be stronger and happier. If I don’t do it perfectly, it’s okay. I am still fighting. I let the pain represent the fight and not the failure this time.

I have only the finger strength to play one song on the piano today, so I choose to play the prettiest one I know, and to move with it until it almost breaks me with its beauty.

I sit back down on my bed and I dare to open my Bible again, dissatisfied by my own dissatisfaction in it earlier. I take a deep breath, read the words again – this time slowly with hope.

“He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.” Psalm 23:2b-3a

I decide to keep choosing to stay with Him and let Him do the work in me that I cannot do alone.


Lydia HartLYDIA HART grew up in the trenches of chronic illness; both in her mother and in herself. Currently, she is pursuing a degree in occupational therapy, because she has learned that the pain is never wasted, and the story should never be silenced.

Lydia blogs at: Broken Bird Song

Chronic Joy Ministry View All →

Radical hope. Compassionate change. Equipping those affected by chronic physical and mental illness through community and education rooted in Jesus Christ.

3 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Oh thank you for sharing these precious words today. Especially this: “I have only the finger strength to play one song on the piano today, so I choose to play the prettiest one I know, and to move with it until it almost breaks me with its beauty.” The beauty we would have missed in other settings of strength, has now become such a gift.

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