Mountain Walks

This past Sunday I grudgingly took a walk through the mountains. I say, grudgingly, because at the time, I did not want to do it. As an extrovert with heavy introvert tendencies at times, I have been spending 75% of my time alone these days. More due to the fact that my heart has been needing to mend; and lately, I just need time alone. And that’s okay too. Don’t worry, friends. Your vivacious Raelynn will be back soon. It’s odd for me, too. But right now, I need some time. But, I digress, so with as much enthusiasm as I could muster, I went along on a hike because I said I would the Sunday before and I wanted to be true to my word. That whole, “let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes’, and your ‘no’ be ‘no’! And that, my friends, takes work. Because when you want to be alone, sometimes you want to turn that Yes, into a No! Not just a no, but a hell No!!! But like I said, I want to be true to my word, and as I secretly hoped it would rain…it didn’t, so off I went.

As we drove toward Silver Lake the sky turned grey and cloudy. Inside I was like, Yes, they’ll want to turn around. But onward we went because the sky was full of bright sun and grey spots. So there was much hope, no on my part, that our area would be full of sun. As we pulled in to the parking lot, it was pouring down with these odd snow/hail pellets. Affectionately termed “snellets” on this trip. And we sat in the car, waiting out the grey and snellets… then gratefully, it happened —yes please not the sarcasm here–the sun shone and called us forth. I was literally pulled out of the car, because again, my heart wasn’t in it quite yet.

We began our walk around the lake in the slightly grey–but not grey enough to keep us from going, yet still with bright sun peaking out of the clouds. And since I was on route anyway, I gave myself over to the adventure. So I walked, talked, and enjoyed the beauty that I was surrounded in–breathtaking. And slowly as I walked, it began to happen. You know…that moment! God began to speak soft, fatherly, comforting words to me. As it happened, I intentionally began to wander on the journey alone. Due to the fact that tears were so near the surface, my heart ached and needed healing, and I knew at that moment I was desperate for a moment with my Father. Which for any of you who know me, this was new to me. When it comes to God the Father, I tend to shy away. Due to not feeling as protected as a child, I’ve always kept myself distant and wary. Knowing that He was good and is good–all the time; but more toward you, and not toward me. Because again, I didn’t feel as protected…even now I can say that. But that was all about to change.

For any of you who know me well, know that when I’m in the mountains..and it never fails, He always puts a song in my heart. Something I just can’t help but sing. Sometimes they are super serious and worshipful, or even pensive, upbeat and happy, and at times it’s been “Colors of the Wind” from Pocahontas. After all, I am a Native Princess. But, anyway, I began to hear “You Found Me” by Loud Harp. One of my most favorite songs about God loving His children who feel lost and far away, yet He comes to rescue them. Like a Good Father does!! As the lyrics talk about how we wander and feel lost and are even caught neck deep in the mire–of our shames, guilt, and so on; that’s exactly how I’ve been feeling for some time now. Lost and wandering. Wanting a safe place to belong and call home. A place of total acceptance; and not based upon what I can do for you, or how I have to change to fit your personality in order to feel love and belonging. Truth be told, I’m quite transparent about much, but YES there are walls that I have had up for years and with good reason. And I have always longed for that Father acceptance and embrace; but felt it wasn’t for me. Such a long story that I understand and don’t understand. (It will take some time for a trained professional and I to sort out. But, with God, we’ll get there!) But, I heard God keep saying, “Be still and be with ME!” Which I felt terrified and anxious, but so needy for His comfort. As we walked He kept bidding me to know Him, but more importantly, to allow Him to know me. Basically, He was letting me know that He wants to know me–open and transparent–too. He wants to be with me. He wants me to tear down the walls I have and share myself with Him. And that terrified me.

Though I was terrified, the amazing thing about God, our Father, is He is loving. And He woos us. He knows I’m terrified to let myself be fully known. He knows that I am scared to let someone in fully to see the messes I’ve made; or to see what I truly think/believe of myself; or to see the hidden shame I stumble through trying to restore myself…which really is getting me nowhere. He already knows all of that, but He is allowing me to let Him in so I don’t feel forced in to it. He just waits for me. He waits for me to come to Him. And in that moment, I realized the depth of His love for me. When I could look at Him with all my flaws and mistakes–past and oh so present, and didn’t feel like I needed to lower my head. But instead, I could lift it high and wrap myself up in His arms. He was ready, more than ready…as I said He was waiting for me, and was oh so willing to rescue me when I opened myself up to Him. It’s the beginning of a new adventure of me understanding God the Father and His love for me..and you. I’m excited to move forward. And all I could hear as I continued my mountain walk was more of the song that says,

“You’re a good Father, this is a good home
right in the palm of Your hands,
You’re not letting go!”

I’m getting there…I’m embracing the journey…and soaking up every bit of good, bad, ugly, and awkward that comes along with it. I have no need to fear, though it is me, He knows I’ll get anxious at times, but I’ve got my Father along with me on this journey.

Check out Loud Harp if you haven’t yet! You won’t regret it.

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You Should Know (Vol. 1)

I have about 6 different blog post drafts that I am trying to get out of my head. Problem is I am a bit of a perfectionist; and now tie that in with being a slow processor on the serious stuff. What does that leave me? Drafts! I’m still not 100% sure that I can accurately express the thoughts that I’ve written thus far. Yet, also, do I believe them? So they are sitting there in my draft pile. Just staring at me. Mocking me. Goading me. Challenging me. To open my heart, to believe, to tell the truth, to learn more, to think more, to process more, to laugh and be silly more, and most importantly, to be.

I’m a mess. A beautiful mess; but a mess, nonetheless. Hey, that rhymed. I’m a poet and didn’t know it. (Ha, see what I did there?) But I digress, I’m learning to embrace that fact that I am a mess. Not as something to look down on or to work toward being better. But i’m learning to be honest about what is real and what is the facade. Life is a beautiful mess full of learning’s, hurts, pain; but yet, still so full of joy, hope, happiness, love and grace. Being a mess isn’t a bad thing. Embrace the awkward. Embrace the mess. It leaves so much more room to be free.

GRACE!!! The weight on the understanding of this little word, but large amazing gift has been heavy this past week. I’m learning to understand truly what grace is. Not what I want it to be, nor what I believe in my, often times, fleshly driven mind. But what God means when He freely and openly extends us grace. It’s BIG, y’all. And wonderfully heavy. And, oh so beautiful. I can’t even fathom it. There’s a reason they wrote a song about the amazingness of grace. It’s unexplainable; and i’m starting to feel the weight of the gift of it. I’m learning to swim in this ocean of grace. And it feels good. It’s scary because I don’t feel worthy of it. But that’s the point. It’s GRACE!!!! And has nothing to do with me or my feelings. Grace. Grace. And more, grace!!!

I’ve felt the need to be silent lately. I know, a shocker. Me? Silent? But, in life I tend to fill the uncomfortable deep achy space with chatter and build a fake world that I masquerade as truth in order to avoid. To be robotic in my, “everything is alright!”, and “It’s all okay!” cadence with a plastered fake smile. I don’t have that in me right now. Silence seems best. Silence is also loud and screaming at me. But, silence, I’m wanting to embrace it. Because should I open my mouth it would unleash an exodus of hurt, pain, sorrow and recklessness. Right now, the uncomfortableness of life hurts and sorrows is ugly and not fun. But it’s also refining me. Molding me and shaping me in to who God wants me to be. I love it and I hate it all at the same time. So, for now, silence is best. It’s not you, it’s me.

Hurting people, hurt people. Generally the ones they love the most. It makes no sense, but it’s there. Take it for what it is. It’s true. It’s true of you. And it’s true of me. I’ve been praying that God would show me how to embrace and accept His agape love; and then show me how to lavish it on others. Even when I hurt and don’t feel so loving. More so, when I hurt. Because then it’s authentic. When you have the ability to love during the dark and hurting spaces of your own life…I think you are beginning to truly understand and function in what love is and what it should look like. The unconditional love of Christ. Loving at ALL times. Not just when it’s convenient. We say it like a broken record…that we love at all times. But i’m learning we don’t. In theory we do. In our hearts we want to. Our minds repeat it as truth. But we don’t. Because when we hurt, we hurt others. I’ve been seeking to love fully, truly and honestly. Especially in my hurts. Because that’s when you will get the truth of my love because it comes as a sacrifice and takes effort. It takes me going beyond myself. I have more to say about this subject, but for now I must stop.

I have permission to live and move forward. Regardless of my past. Regardless of my mistakes. God loves me. He wants me to live. Letting light into the darkness so the enemy can’t keep me shamed or doubting. I am embracing that permission to live, even when things still look jumbled and not perfectly settled. I have permission to live.

Oh how He loves me.

Oh how He loves YOU!

Oh how He loves us.