Dust powdered my feet as I stood at the top of Piestewa Peak Summit Trail, overlooking the city. My eyes raced across the panoramic view, taking in the generalities, but missing the specifics. That was because my mind also raced across the panoramic view of my life, taking in the overview of successes and mistakes, joys and losses. I glanced to the side and all the scanning stopped, inward and outward.
I stood beside a 20 foot Saguaro cactus. It looked as though, over its lifetime, it had been so bumped, kicked, assaulted by human or nature, that it could hardly stand. Its base was shriveled and darkened, covered with scars. Farther up, less so. Two thirds of the way up, it was green, robust, round, and thoroughly armored with the spines that are normal for the species. And at the top – a FLOWER! It was blooming!
This, I thought, is me! I liked the looks of that crusty old cactus! And my life, however imperfect.
I am no longer a victim. I NO LONGER FEEL LIKE A VICTIM!
I’m breathing, sleeping, jumping off cliffs, taking one day at a time, and laying my heart wide open before God.
After being frozen for months, for years, I am profoundly, utterly grateful for a number of things:
A friend who talks with me about God, Christ and faith without judging me, and without control or arrogance. A number of bloggers who very, very quietly, in words of peace, encourage me to faith like theirs…no hype, no insistence on words or doctrine, maybe no doctrine at all….more like a whispered, “this is what freedom smells like…follow the scent, breathe deeper, and also live in the One Who gives us breath.” The clamor and control of abuse has left me deaf to louder voices.
A way of seeing God and Christ that is gradually melting my sad heart and moving me forward to a place some rest and some faith. Progress.
Friends I have lost touch with many moves (and moons) ago, but who have had a sweet effect on my life by their sincerity and support, and by the example of how they live their lives. They are the Christians I went on walks with, shared kids with, shared my heart with – and who responded by being steady, sincerely loving God, knowing me very well and still loving me, seeing and hearing the parts of my situation I shared with them, admitting it wasn’t OK…and leaving it there…as displayed confidence that I would make the best choices possible. Hello, Cathy T.! Michelle J., Rosa P., Terri H. and Karen J.? I love you, and I will be getting back in touch to tell you so!
Medical intervention for perhaps bipolar issues (perhaps not) – that has turned the volume in my mind and heart down from rock concert screams to loud conversation. Medical intervention for adrenal depletion and nutritional deficits. Therapy.
Love. Beauty. Peaceful moments. Generous thoughts and words.
Those beautiful, beautiful people in my family who love, trust, communicate, accept each other (and me!). Safety from those who don’t. And a husband who is a diamond in a world made of stones.
Hugs, kisses, touch, laughter, funny faces, odd habits, mispronounced words, photographs.
If this is manic, bring it on! If this is faith, more and deeper! If this is normal….sigh… it’s about time. The problems are not all solved, the wounds are not all healed, the questions are not all answered. But life is looking better the longer I grow. Maybe I am looking better the longer I grow!
Like a crusty old cactus.
Blessings to you,
Tagged: abuse, advice, Christian wife, Compassion, counsel, Domestic Abuse, faith, freedom, Healing, Mental Illness, patience, prayer, Psychological Abuse, religion, spirituality, strength, support, Survivors, validation, words