I’m fifty-three. and I’m just now starting to understand what it means to be real.

It’s more than just existing, brushing my hair, my teeth and putting on the same shoes time and time again. It’s more than breathing, the inhale and exhale that I don’t think about, I just do.

Ten years before my 53rd year of life all I ever knew, as an adult, was a life of abuse and being used and using others…being a caretaker, wife and mother.

Being an individual outside of that realm is a little scary to me. The thought of empty-nest syndrome – is welcomed but not.

She told me, “It’s about that giving up and that allowing for ashes on the face, from clinging to that Fire burning like white-hot glory in your soul”. It’s about the understanding that He is greater, higher, stronger, than I could ever be. and that’s okay, because He is the Lion and I am His lamb.

Once you find real, you can never be ugly except to people who don’t understand who you are. I’m okay with being barefoot in the sand, because I’m treading on holy ground and there’s nothing I want more than to be in this place of sheer and complete emptiness, full of Him and empty of me.

There’s a sweet silence in the whisper of my breath and in the candlelight when He and I meet. It’s precious, Abba teaching me how to roar. I’m still soft and squeaky and tumbling over my own tail at the snap of a twig. but we start again, and again, and He’s patient, even though I feel like I must break His heart, realistically I know that’s not possible.

It’s in pursuit of real, of the nail-pierced hand on my cheek, guiding my tears into the bottle He keeps on His shelf.

It’s about realizing that I’m small, and that’s okay, and I’m worn, and that’s okay too.

Because through the soot and the tumbling and the ink-stained fingertips, He’s making me new.

I’ll sit in the right place, tucked at His feet. It’s all the dance, this step right and step left and settle in here.

One of these days I’ll be perfectly in tune with Him.

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