Amnesia

Hailey’s laugh sounded like ice cubes rattling in a glass.

During a recent phone conversation, I expressed a concern about a heart matter to which she responded with a dismissive chuckle.

 “You’ll be all right,” she said flippantly. “It’s nothing.”

Over the past few years, Hailey and I shared countless conversations about dating, love, and solid relationships.

I encouraged her as she lamented, soothed her as she mourned, and laughed with giddiness as she celebrated.

But recently, she fell in love and gotten married.

And had taken a shot of amnesia.

Amnesia is a heady drink.

Part pride, part apathy.

A frothy spirit served in oversized martini glasses.

Brown sugar pebbles surround the rim while a maraschino cherry bobs back and forth on a wooden toothpick.

The sweet flavor delights the senses while its heavy composition is ingested.

And then memory… becomes a memory.

I think we begin to sip on amnesia after we’ve accomplished a goal.

Passed a test.

Been released.

Jumped a broom.

Gotten a raise.

Our history before that point suddenly becomes alien.

We become estranged from those who are not yet where we are.

We forget how complication feels.

We don’t remember what insomnia is.

The former struggle, tears, pain, and trouble are no longer things we can or want to relate to.

Instead, we lift a glass of amnesia in the air as a toast to the present tense.

I shrugged off the slight, knowing that the hurt was unintentional.

But it hurt all the same.

It is very easy to soak in present pleasure, current peace, and existing joy.

But remembering the battles from yesterday, the sores from last week, and the sadness from 2 years ago keep us grounded,

keep us connected,

And keep us grateful.

Praying that my memory has staying power. 

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The Final Blow

 I couldn’t move and I didn’t want to.

I was still.

Not still like peace.

But still like a dead engine.

Like a broken wheel.

Like a chalk outline.

I couldn’t move and I didn’t want to.

I lay there, feeling the pain from bullets 1 through 5 radiate through my body.

And then came the last bullet, snipping my spiritual spinal cord.

I couldn’t move and I didn’t want to.

Why should you get up?

You lose.

You’re a loser.

You lose.

You’re a loser.

You lose.

You’re a loser.

A furious refrain that was stuck on repeat.

A poisonous chorus that bloated me with shame.

And left me so lonely that I could taste it.

I couldn’t move and I didn’t want to.

My vantage point showed a lifeless scene all around me.

Because I had lost.

I’m a loser.

This was it.

But whenever I decided to cease looking and let the dirge sink into me, a different melody would begin to play.

This isn’t the end.

There’s more to this.

You are not forgotten.

I am with you.

My thoughts are higher.

Keep on trusting Me.

They were stirring.

I felt my eyes flutter. My legs twitched. My knees bent.

And I began to move again.

Current conditions made the forecast plausible.

Persuasive.

Convincing.  

But all is subject to change when God is involved.

I am not a loser.

I haven’t lost.

I will not lose.

For I know the plans He has for me.

And they don’t include failure.

Bullet #6 was meant to be the final blow.

Weapon #6 is resilience.

______________________________________________

“We’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we’re not demoralized; we’re not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we’ve been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn’t left our side; we’ve been thrown down, but we haven’t broken.”

II Corinthians 4:8-9 (The Message)

The Sentence

You won’t make it home alive.

It was a slick gray morning.

Flaky shavings of ice fell from the sky onto the already wet concrete.

The windshield wipers sponged moisture away from the center of the window.

But I didn’t think it helped much.

All I could see was water pouring everywhere.

My aunt drove carefully through the bad weather.

But each swerve made my stomach cave.

You’re going to get hit.

That truck is going to drive right into the car.

I closed my eyes and prayed.

We eventually got to our destination.

And I arrived home…safe.

This had become a daily dance.

 In the morning, satan would whisper a lethal sentence.

I’d become fearful and tiptoe throughout the day.

At the day’s end, I’d breathe a sigh of relief, thank God, and fall asleep.

Only to wake up to a brand new sentence in the morning.

 A sentence.

A judgment.

A dictated doom.  

But God doesn’t doom.

Quite the contrary, He invites, delights, and saves.

God is never absent.

Quite the contrary, He is always present, always ready, and always protective.

And most importantly, God does not, can not lie.

satan is adept at masking untruths.

Making them feel genuine.

Having them masquerade as destiny.

But the devil can only impersonate.

 What satan says will never be true.

So since such thoughts of terror and fear always fall short of fulfillment because, due to their origin, they can never be fulfilled,  why believe it?

Why be shaken?

Bullet number 1 was The Sentence.

Weapon number 1 is the Truth.

—-

“So God has given both His promise and His oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to Him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us.”

-Hebrews 6:18

Shot

I had no time to retreat.

I couldn’t even flinch.

There I sat, legs crossed, head down, and eyes shut when 2 bullets ripped through my chest.

The pair exploded in my heart, radiating disaster throughout my body, all the way up to my mind.

Yet, it wasn’t that that took me down.

It was the third bullet that made me bleed.

The fourth bullet that made me cry.

The fifth bullet that made me crippled.

The sixth that made me ponder life’s end.

I camouflaged the injuries in the daylight.

But in the dark hours, their ugliness was allowed to breathe.

I inhaled their fumes and exhaled total misery.

I had been blindsided.

Forgotten the fact that I was in a war.

The bullets are lies.

The shooter is the accuser.

And me?

I’m the soldier who had on none of her armor.

Jesus gives us spiritual weapons that are designed to block and fend off satan’s attacks.

Our trust and confidence in Him covers us.

 The eternal hope of salvation keeps us encouraged.

We fight off the devil’s lies with God’s Word.

I left 2012, bruised and on crutches.

I enter into 2013, bruised and on crutches.

But now I’m wearing my helmet.

I’m holding a shield.

And I’m carrying a sword.

Ready for war.

_____________

“A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.  In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.”

 -Ephesians 6:10-18

 

2.0.1.3

Why, hello there, 2013.

I have no expectations of you.

No wishes.

No requests.

No desires.

No resolutions.

Just surprise me. 

———–

-No one’s ever seen or heard anything like this,
Never so much as imagined anything quite like it—
What God has arranged for those who love Him.

-I Corinthians 2:9 (The Message)