The week is closing soon.
I welcome a short time away from the same old boring routine.
Soon we are heading to the beach where my heart is always longing.
Oregon beaches are often cold.
The winds can snap right past your face and chill you deep within.
They can also be sunny and beautiful and warm.
You don’t know what your weather will be so you prepare.
Walks in the sand are therapeutic to the body and the soul.
I used to think we could live at the coast, but after going there weekly for a few years,
we have changed our minds.
It is way better to visit and then go home.
When we went to Hawaii, that was different because it was warm and tropical and the water
is not cold.
Oregon water is very chilly and you really can’t stay in it very long.
Those who do dare to go wake boarding usually use water suits for protection.
There are a few spots around the coastline where they ride the surf.
The most relaxing thing is to sit and listen to the waves as they move back and forth.
If you are lucky you will hear seagulls and other birds sometimes.
We have seen pelicans fly over the surf looking for fish.
It really is relaxing.
The fall storms are coming and the force of nature will show itself in a mighty way.
So nice to watch unless you have to be in it.
I personally like a window between me and the rush of wind.
If one is lucky a fire in a fireplace would be a nice addition to this ‘visit’.
The ocean and it’s sand is always a call to my heart.
It is peace and even though it can be very dangerous, it can also be very healing.
The week is closing soon and it will allow time for reflection and thought.
The week is closing soon.
The hard stuff continues and these last few weeks, our area has been surrounded by fires.
You cannot imagine the anxiety it felt like when looking out the window and seeing the sky a deep red.
Fires moving across hundred of acres.
The sky is full of smoke and particles of small hazardous air to breathe.
It has been scary, overwhelming and horrendous to watch our state burn.
When it felt like this year couldn’t get much worse, then this happened.
Soon they are predicting rain and Lord we do need it.
I pray it comes soon to clear the air, clear the skies, stop the fires.
Firefighters have worked long hard shifts.
It’s not easy to fight a forest fire and we have had cities burned to the ground.
At this count I think there have been 10 people killed and a few not found.
Wild life has been deeply effected and you can imagine their fear when the familiar is burning.
People have come together and created safe zones for farm animals.
People have come together to feed the workers or those who are displaced with no homes.
It is a time to come together and help each other.
The protests we have had downtown is becoming old news, this is more important right now.
I pray often for our firefighters, our police officers and any one who is serving in that role.
This has been rough for them.
Our house is safe although we were in a level 2 evacuation zone.
That means at a moment’s notice you can move to a level 3 which means “leave now”.
This has been the strangest year, I am so ready for something fresh and new.
It will feel better when the rains come and the sky returns to normal.
The hard stuff continues and these last few weeks have been really hard.
Life is hard sometimes and it seems lately it’s become harder.
Having Covid show up didn’t make it easy or nice for sure.
Isolation and staying in can be good for a season, but we have been doing this for many months now.
Many people are tired of wearing masks and following the rules that change daily.
We have purchased our share of hand sanitizers and masks.
I have not yet ventured into the hair salon and going to the doctor’s office scares me because of the germ factor.
Since I am still recovering as a cancer patient and even though I finished radiation in March, they still consider me immune compromised.
As a introvert by nature staying home is not hard for me; although I really miss seeing my family and friends.
Have not seen my best friend in almost a year and I really miss her.
She is immune compromised too with leukemia issues and has to be very careful with germs.
The doctors don’t know what to say to her other than to keep doing whatever she is doing. Her system is holding steady and they don’t know why. We do, there are a lot of prayers for her and she’s staying strong.
Then another ‘friend’ who worked with me for over eight years was just diagnosed with lung cancer in March and is already on hospice.
We hear these stories and we wonder why.
He IS a God of miracles, but sometimes this stuff is so hard and sometimes it is not fair.
Life hands us these things and what are we to do? How do we pray?
For healing or comfort or wisdom for the doctors?
It has been a very difficult year for sure.
I know others who are struggling with life and death issues and it is hard to understand and hard to figure out.
We just have to walk this journey and do our best and pray.
Life is hard sometimes and it seems lately it has become harder.
A review of the basket of words, brings me to remember the reason why I wrote them at this time.
I was given the basket and it sat in my den for many years.
One day I started thinking about how it could be shared and how it could be a blessing for others.
The goal in writing this series was to not only be a blessing; but give the reader something to think about.
I chose the words carefully and prayed about how to share them.
The series was done in 2014 but not many have ever read it, and this time I revised some of the writings.
I began with the word courage, then willingness, then trust, then tenderness, then power, then balance, then change, then compassion, then rest, then healing, then play, then beauty and delight, then peace and light and finally, power and forgiveness.
I didn’t realize the word power was used two times, but when speaking about surviving abuse and trauma, there is a lot of power to overcome.
It was perfectly ok to use it two times.
As I have healed from my own journey, God has shown me that the experiences and the story can be shared.
It doesn’t have a hold on me anymore.
The story is important. The journey defines me.
The coming out of hard and dark places can bring hope to others.
To know that someone else has walked this path of brokenness; can give life to others just beginning their recovery.
I have sat with those who were hurt. I have listened to the tears.
I have heard stories that were hard to hear; but it’s a survivors truth of what happened and how it affected them.
I pray this sharing has been meaningful, for it is a gift to be there with others as they share matters of the heart.
A review of the basket of words make me realize how very important they are to me and my healing.
The final two words in the basket of words.
I have chosen these to be power and forgiveness.
When trauma takes place in any situation there is a ‘power’ that rises from the offender to the victim.
It is dark and controlling and very damaging.
When I think of that kind of power it’s feels heavy and hopeless.
When survivors begin to heal they begin to take back the power.
Boundaries begin to replace obligation.
The silent one becomes vocal and the rules change.
The word power is mentioned in the bible 256 times.
When I think of biblical power I’m remembering creation.
God through HIS power created all.
Then I remember when Jesus told the winds and the water to calm down.
Power can be negative or positive depending on the circumstance.
When a survivor begins to heal, they begin to realize that holding onto the pain and hurt only hurts them, it does not affect the offender.
What is taught in recovery, is “the only way out is through.”
When a survivor begins to heal they realize they ‘have’ the power within themselves to say, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.” Genesis 50:20
A healed survivor can help heal others.
They begin to realize the pain is not permanent. Yes it leaves scars.
But scars tell our story.
Only when the trauma survivor begins to realize; giving up the right to hurt those who hurt you, is the most powerful thing you can do.
Forgiveness then becomes the next step.
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, When it is in your power to do it. proverbs 3:27
For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline (or a sound mind). 2 Timothy 1:7
Forgiveness is not saying it was all ok and it didn’t hurt me.
What was said, was hurtful. What took place should never have happened.
It is a very important part of healing and the forgiveness does not have to be in person; it can be as simple as a prayer.
When a survivor can say, it was ugly. It was horrible.
But I choose to forgive because God has forgiven me. I cannot carry this anger any longer, I need to let it go.
It is not saying you understand their choice to offend.
*It is just freeing your heart to move on.* It is a gift to yourself.
In my process I had to forgive those who hurt me; so it didn’t have power over me anymore.
Dictionary.com says it is to cease to feel resentment.
Forgiveness is not for the offender, it is for the one who wants to heal and move on to a better way of living.
I pray this series has given hope and healing and maybe new insight.
The final two words in the basket of words are power and forgiveness.