bleedingheartsForty years is a long time. It’s the length of time for a whole generation to pass, a new one to begin.

It’s the culmination of the millions of moments I have been alive.

(There’s really a lot of back story to this, I hesitate to even think of opening this “can of worms”, uncertain of how long it will take to get to the bottom. Maybe I’ll just do it for myself, a good, cathartic exercise. It’s a way to process everything, right?)

blurrypathb&wThe road my life was on, before I fell into the extravagant grace and abundant mercy of Jesus Christ, was a dizzying spiral into an unending abyss of darkness. Really. The path I followed was leading me ever faster to a world I made up in my head and wanted so badly to exist I was completely blinded to anything else but reaching the end…of my life.

I saw no other way to stop all the pain.

To stop the ever-maddening, life-consuming, thought-engulfing, will-sucking, constantly-screaming-at-me-can’t-you-make-it-shut-up-already??!!, pain.

I tried everything else. And by “everything”, I mean EVERYTHING.

Any relief was momentary, some moments lasted longer, but all momentary none-the-less. I kept coming back to the same door, over and over and over and over again. The door marked “NO MORE”.

It’s an interesting irony, what delirium-inducing nectar self-inflicted pain releases. It’s a costly high and should make us shudder to think that one could be so hurt as to crave it, tirelessly seek it, live a life needing its fix, lest insanity ensue…pursue.

The thing about suicide is that while it is perceived as an act of cowardice, it is also an act of bravery for those who take their own lives. If you’ve never wanted to die, truly be dead and gone and away from everything and everyone, you could never possibly fathom how brave you have to be to overcome the fear that grips and chokes in the moments before you act. The finality itself is quite sobering, though for some, it’s still not enough to deter. While to others, it seems as though it is a simple act; one flick, one pull, one leap, one _______. It is actually a storm that started long ago and has built up to such a crescendo not even a tidal wave could drown it out.

TwoHarborsLight11It’s a place where the presence of all clamor becomes white. The absence of all else, black. The only way for there to be silence is to quiet the source. Forever.

I hear with my ears, my thoughts come from my mind, I feel with my emotions. The common thread is it’s all about ‘me’. I am the source of all the dark sounds that won’t turn off. The suffering ones are the only ones who can flip the switch. And some try. And some do.

This is so heavy. I know. But can’t we better understand and desire the light if we first fully comprehend how dark the darkness is? (And also come to know that it isn’t really the  end?)

I know for myself, it’s exactly because my darkness was so horridly dark that the Light of Christ is so blindingly bright and magnificent. Sorrow-shattering. Night-nullifying. Darkness-diluting. Hope-bursting. Joy-delivering. New-day-birthing.

sunflowersMy birthday.

(Traci 2.0, hee hee. 😉 )

This last Friday was the anniversary of my birthday. That morning, as I woke up, laying under a crowded sleeping bag, huddled next to my husband, surrounded by warm dog bodies, a simple refrain quietly broke through the chilly, summer morning.

In my head and in my heart these words kept repeating themselves, like a skipping record, only I didn’t want to fix it. I searched my mind for the file that was associated with these words and all I could remember was I was certain of it being from a David Crowder song. As my day went on, in every new situation I found myself, all I could hear were the words “I’m alive! I’m alive! I’m alive! I am alive!” It humbled me, gave way to an overwhelming understanding of what God has done in my life.  Reminding me of where I had been and how vastly different that was to where I am now.

Grateful, joy-filled tears wet my cheeks.

It wasn’t until we were back home I had the chance to look it up. And then I remembered. I remembered why it had sunk into my soul. Words, so simple, so profound, so true, so me.

Well, who I am now.

I AM ALIVE!!

“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light…” ~Ephesians 5:8

“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy. ~1 Peter 2:9-10

This isn’t exactly how I would tell you what I was thinking and feeling, if we were able to exchange real words with sounds. One of the things that keeps me from writing more is that I have so much to say and how I say things takes time and you’re only supposed to have so many words in a blog post and blah, blah, blah, all the rules. I can never quite tell if you’re willing to listen that long, if I’m overstepping your generosity of giving my your time and listening ear. Or if I’m sharing in a way that makes you want to linger.

I know *I* like YOUR company. :)

Well, if we ever get a chance to really chat, no matter what I said, I would need to make sure that you perfectly understood how grateful I am to God for saving my life and without His mercy I would not be alive to sing and shout the words:

“I’M ALIVE! I’M ALIVE! I’M ALIVE! I AM ALIVE!!”

whiteheartflowersingle

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

shelley June 30, 2014 at 8:21 pm

Dear Sister in Christ,

This was beautiful! Thank you.
So when is the book coming out? :)

I am Alive only because of HIS beautiful GRACE!

Reply

Traci July 1, 2014 at 2:12 pm

Thank you for your encouraging comment. One of these days, when I can map out my thoughts, I’d like to write a book. It’s constantly on my mind, I’m regularly seeking the Lord about it.

AMEN!!! Praise God for His GRACE!
~traci

Reply

Lynnae McCoy July 27, 2014 at 8:50 pm

Popping over from The Declare Community, and I’m glad I did. What a testimony you have!

I work in a ministry for teen girls, and I really wish they could hear your message. They have so much darkness in their lives, but what they really need is the hope of Jesus.

Reply

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