Saturday, 29 December 2012

Waiting for Sunrise

The night isn't black. It is filled with all sorts of different colours, blues, greens, oranges, purples, pinks... virtually the entire spectrum. I learnt this in Art lessons at school when the teacher forbade us to use black when painting a night time skyline. I looked at the night time differently after that. I began to see the blues, and the oranges and the beauty of it. The shimmering of the stars, the glow of the moon, even the shadows of the clouds. It was all different. It became something a little less scary. (That's right I am a little afraid of the dark)

I think of how pain and sorrow are often described as "darkness" or "night"... like the lyrics "There maybe pain in the night but joy comes in the morning." I believe that even though things can seem bleak and even though you might feel hopeless and alone, the night need not be as intimidating or isolating as it seems. Pain teaches us lessons and builds our strength. It shows us who our real friends are and teaches us to value life and its happier times. These happier times show us that we can get through the tough ones, that there is always hope and always something to hold on for.

The "darkness," however, can be a very real and a very frightening place. It can make you feel cold, isolated and alone, even if you're surrounded by those most precious to you. It can make you introspective and despairing. It can make you feel small and insignificant. The pain can destroy you if you let it. It breaks your heart and forces loneliness upon you. It can make you feel like you're clutching at straws just to hold on. And that feels horrible. It feels lonely.

I seek help and solace in Jesus. He is my strength when I have none. He is my rock when I am simply sand, being washed away with the tides. Yes, I still feel low sometimes, and yes it is difficult to feel happy sometimes, but I have a hope. And as long as that hope exists, I can see the beauty within the night. I can begin to seek the colour and the brightness of the skies, as I wait for sunrise, rather than the bleakness of the dark and the cold which seem to trap me.

Friday, 28 December 2012

For You...

I never planned this. I never knew it would happen. I didn't know I'd like that smile. I didn't know you'd make me simultaneously happy and infuriated. I didn't know I'd end up doing casual. I didn't know I could do casual. Maybe I can't. Part of me wants to take the risk. But we know the cost. That hopeful little heart of mine just whispers "maybe it'll work." We know the gamble. It's just too big. But do I regret it? Not even a little bit. Maybe you really are "just that good."

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Forgiveness vs Revenge

Time changes us. The experiences we have shape us. The friends we make mould our hearts. Life teaches us some of the most important lessons we'll ever learn.

One of the lessons I am learning at the moment, is that of forgiveness. It's a work in progress and it takes time. I never used to think it was easy, but this time it seems harder than ever. Trying to define how forgiveness is better than revenge is difficult when sometimes that's all you really want.

Revenge twists the heart. It holds on to the pain and lets it shape your future. It stops your heart from healing and allows it to shrink and grow bitter. It allows you to hate and to hate those around you. It allows you to keep hurting. It causes mistakes to become catastrophes. It causes more pain than it heals. Is it really worth that for a moment's satisfaction?

Forgiveness is hard. It means letting go of the pain. It means trusting that you can heal and move on. It means not allowing pain to prevent you from loving and trusting again. It is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of strength, of defiance. By learning to forgive, you are saying that you fight it. That you can get up from whatever has knocked you down. That by learning to find joy and love again, your heart can heal and learn to love even more than before, because you understand the cost of forgiveness.

Revenge is burning the bridges and building indestructible walls. It is losing everything and gaining nothing.

Forgiveness is the beginning of rebuilding something broken and it allows us safety and hope. While we need walls to defend ourselves, we need bridges to let people in. Despite the damage our mistakes make, it's also the people I love most who make me feel like I can cope with whatever life throws at me.

Forgiveness. It's difficult but I am getting there.

Saturday, 1 December 2012


There are times when your desires far outweigh your rationality, times when, even though you know something is a terrible idea, the decision doesn't sit easily because you want it more than you care about the consequences. I can spend days or even weeks debating over something, but I send myself round in circles. It always ends with my rational brain saying "No that's a terrible idea, there's nothing to say" as my tiny hoping little heart just whispers "Do it, if it happened once it can happen again, and it maybe better this time." It's the part of us that hopes, that maybe this time things will be different, maybe this time things will change, and maybe this time they can make me happy.

Hope is a powerful thing, and and it can both help repair the wounded heart, but also bruise and break it once again. The dictionary defines hope as "something to be wished for with the expectation/ confidence of its fulfilment." I think so often today, we hope but that hope isn't necessarily followed with the expectation of its fulfilment. We just tell ourselves that it might be possible, that the possibility of change, of something good or better is simply enough to put our hearts into it and invest ourselves. But should we really invest something as valuable and fragile as our hearts on something as uncertain as HOPE? Furthermore, are we confusing hope with desire?

Desire is defined as something which you "wish or long for," that is it. There is no expectation of fulfilment, no kind of certainty or confidence attached to it at all, simply a wish. Too often we invest our hearts in what we desire and I believe that too often we confuse hope with desire. We keep our hearts in a situation because we want it to improve, we want it to be different to before. But there is no evidence that it actually maybe different, it is simply our hearts saying but "I want this, let me hope," even when your head perhaps knows that you need to take your heart out of it, even when your head knows that the wish for more is hurting your heart and that hope is a different thing altogether because it requires an expectation and a confidence that things can work.

In my life, the only true hope I have is in Jesus. It's a hope greater than anything else and one which I have the confidence and expectation to be fulfilled. I trust my heart will not be broken by it, because all who believe in him will be given eternal life and the knowledge that those whose hope is in him will not be disappointed.

So, next time I want to press that "send" button, I have to trust that the hope I have in Christ for something better outweighs the short-lived and destructive desire of the present. It is difficult, but no-one said looking after your heart was easy, otherwise you wouldn't have to "guard" it.