It’s time to take that step forward. This next revolution around the sun is the RECLAIM. It’s time to reclaim those parts of yourself that were lost, stolen, and dead. It’s time for the take-back of your peace, your desire to dream, your joy, and all the things that make you imperfectly perfect. You are not done!
This season has felt dark, cold, and lonely. However, in the dark cold spaces is where the seed takes root. You see, the seed is in a state of dormancy before it is planted. It looks dead. But, inside the seed, there is an embryo waiting to be born. When it is watered, place at the right depth and temperature, what is inside will grow. It will grow in two directions one part of the embryo becomes the plant while the other part becomes the root.
Perhaps, this is what is happening. Perhaps, what needs to be brought out of you looks dead on the surface, but just requires water, depth, and the right temperature for growth. This season of planting and growing will eventually lead to the bloom/harvest.
This process isn’t easy. It doesn’t feel good. It downright feels like death. It may feel endless and suffocating. It downright feels like death. But, when we think it’s the end it’s often the beginning. I know something beautiful is coming. You were meant to bloom, you were meant to be loved, you were meant to be cared for and appreciated.
And so I ask,
What is inside of you that needs to be born?
So, “Talitha Koum” my friend “Girl I say to you rise up”. You are royalty and don’t you forget it.
This may be the last time I write to you for now. It’s only because…..
I miss you beyond reason. I miss you beyond anything I’ve ever felt. For 7 months I have suffered in your absence without a word from you. For 7 months I’ve held my breathe and forgotten to be present. I’ve been lost along with you. I’ve been hiding in your story. My mind is always somewhere else.
Today it hit me like a ton of bricks. I am mourning you. I never thought it possible to mourn someone who is still living. I am mourning the girl that was once was you. The one who sat at the top of the stairs when I came home and the one I tucked in every night. I am mourning the memories we were supposed to make. I am mourning the life I thought we would have.
But, part of the mourning/grieving processes is forgiving and letting go. So please forgive the broken parts of me that hurt the broken parts of you. I forgive you and I Love you. So, I release you butterfly go spread your wings. Hopefully, one day you will migrate back to me. One day hopefully you show me your beautiful wings. I’ll be here waiting but until then I have to breathe again…….
PS. Love you forever like you for always as long as I’m living my baby you will be.
Life has gotten busy despite your absence. My social media accounts reflect simple moments in which I try to find joy. In those moments, I don’t feel it or at least I try not to. I try not to feel the sadness or pay attention to the grey dark cloud following me or the feeling of reaching for something that isn’t there. I feel stuck under that cloud and the rain that comes and goes.
Lately, I am more ok than not. But sometimes, however, I am triggered by a word someone said or a fleeting memory, and then like a flood it all rushes back to me. Crashing over me like a monsoon over a beach. Wiping out everything in front of it and I become paralyzed in memory of you. All of the feelings overtaking me and I relive every moment. I relive every moment of you! The good, the bad, the in-between. The tears, the laughter, what we once were, what we never were, especially what we are and what we could be.
There isn’t an hour that goes by where I don’t think about you. I wonder where you are, what you’re doing, what you’re eating and I hope it’s all enough. I can’t help but look around see that you are not here. You are not here for the lazy Sundays, for family Saturdays or even to watch our favorite tv shows. You are not here for our crazy target runs or dollar tree finds. Yet, I am still waiting. I am still waiting for you. I’m still trying to understand how you can walk away from everyone you love and be ok with it.
Things may not have been perfect, I am not perfect, but you were loved and you still are.
Tonight my heart just wants to hear your voice. I just want to know your ok. I’ve been pretty silent because I’m trying to give you space. But I miss you baby girl. More than words, more than anything else. Just a five minute phone call is all I need from you. It’s all we want. No one is mad we all just want to hear from you.
I know its been a while since I’ve written. I’m still trying to process life without you here. It’s very quiet in our home. Yet, I never knew how loud silence could be until now. I think I am finally hearing sounds as you do. I am understanding how you hear them all at once and how overwhelming they can become.
As I sit quietly to breathe and contemplate, all I can hear is the roaring of the things around me. I hear the air conditioner as it hums, turning off and on. Simultaneously, I hear the light as it flickers and sparks. At the same time I can hear the sound of the birds chirping outside of the sunroom. It’s a song that reminds me of the summer that is drawing near. I can hear the water drip from the spout from the bathroom sink and the toilet running. Breaking past the front door, right to where I sit, I hear the laughter of the children running in the neighborhood.
I suddenly become aware of my breathing, and I take deeper longer breaths, I do that often now. It is as if my auditory system is scanning my environment in search of the sound of comfort.
The comfort that comes from hearing your piano chiming from your room. The comfort from the familiar sound of your voice echoing melodies. The sound you make when you walk into a room and announce your presence. The pitch of your laughter. The way your voice rises and falls when you call me “Mother”.
The sound of you.
I continue to sit in the loud silence and I take another breath. This time I then hear my heartbeat, and it echos so loudly it almost tunes out everything around me. Then, I am reminded of my own words to you.
You see you and I are connected by sound. I have always told you that the first sound you ever heard was the beating of my heart. Even before you spoke words, you knew the sound of my heart. You are the only other person in this world that knows what my heartbeat sounds like from the inside. For that very reason, I know you carry the sound of me with you.
I’ve often wondered about your beautiful gift to hear sound in a way that no one else can. How you are able to hear the most minut sounds and create music from them. It’s always been your super power. I also saw how too much sound overwhelmed you. Now I know that if silence is loud, adding the world to that equation, makes it must be so much louder.
So, as I sit here I begin to pray through that loud silence. I pray that the noise from the world quiets and that the sound of the Lord’s heartbeat fills us. So much so, that you and I overflow in praise and worship.
I pray that somewhere over the rainbow, you will remember the sound of my heartbeat and find comfort in knowing there is no place like home.
Sometimes when you’re coloring, even outside of the lines, crayons break. They break when we hold them too tightly, or when we have pressed too hard, especially when the paper has been ripped off leaving the crayons weak and exposed.
Sometimes life may feel like broken crayons.
The brokenness being the product of holding or being held too tightly, being pressed too hard in the wrong places, or being absolutely exposed and vulnerable.
The breaking may result in moments of behaviors we don’t understand, or behaviors we feel we can’t control.
The moments you find yourself reaching, suffocating, in a heaviness you can’t even describe. Moments when you look at the broken pieces and say “How did this even happen?”
So what do we do with broken crayons?
Well, guess what? Broken crayons still color! The pieces might be pieces but they haven’t lost their purpose. You, my dear, still have purpose.
As a teacher for more than a decade, I have learned to love the broken crayons. It’s the perfect tool for teaching children how to properly position their fingers for a better writing grasp. The repositioning of their grasp supports their ability to further develop their writing skills.
Coloring with broken crayons makes it very difficult for less mature or inefficient grasp patterns to exist. Their small size gives us no other choice but to hold them with our fingertips. Over time, our fingers become familiar with this grasp pattern.
You see when we allow the repositioning, the refocusing, for the better grasp, we invite the opportunity for growth. In this, we are given the opportunity for mature and sufficient patterns to begin to exist.
The broken moments in our lives should lead us to activate our faith. A faith that produces perseverance, and when we persevere we become mature and complete, not lacking anything!
“When it seems as though you are facing nothing but difficulties, see it as an invaluable opportunity to experience the greatest joy that you can! For you know that when your faith is tested it stirs up in you the power of endurance. And then as your endurance grows even stronger, it will release perfection into every part of your being until nothing is missing and nothing lacking.” James 1:2-4 TPT
Talitha, it is ok to cry over the broken crayons.
In case you have not been told, it is ok not to be ok, sometimes.
So, when you are ready and even if you aren’t, pick up the broken crayons with your finger tips.
Today I want to let you know that it is ok to color outside of the lines.
Albert Einstein said, “You have to color outside the lines once in a while if you want to make your life a masterpiece.” When talking about coloring a masterpiece I think of art. I think about our life like a painting being created. I imagine the blank canvas, the colors, the brush, the easel, the pallet, and the artist. How or what would be created on this blank canvas? Is there an outline? A structure? Is it freehand is there a thought in mind?
What I do know to help me answer these questions is the difference between process art and product art. (Stick with me, I promise it will make sense!)
Process art is the method behind the creation and a way to explore art in an open-ended, unstructured way… Humans are naturally drawn to art. It is a form of expression as we explore materials and uncover possibilities.
Product Art is about clear steps that should be followed. It has a specific outcome in mind. It expects the final product to look like the example. It has expectations around a right and wrong way to do it.
As a teacher, it’s my philosophy that learning is all about the process. Learning happens in the space in-between not knowing and then knowing. The process of learning allows us to uncover possibilities and develop understanding. Those moments of trying, attempting, frustration, wrestling, and challenges are the greatest moments of growth. It’s in the process we learn most about ourselves. When my students are in the learning process, I provide them with strategies on how and when to ask for help when things get hard.
As a daughter, I want to uncover possibilities on my OWN. I believe in the process and love to explore my learning independently. I want to work through the process and learn while building my understanding. Asking for help isn’t an option I take often. Maybe it’s because I am headstrong. Maybe it’s my nature.
As a mother, I anticipate the product. I set a clear expectation that should be followed. I have a specific outcome in mind. All while expecting the final product to look like the example. Instead of allowing my children to learn through the process I have wanted to uncover the possibilities for them. When I see them struggling, I want to run and make it better even before they ask for help. In doing so, I get in the way of their learning process.
In my current place of process, I find myself in all 3 perspectives: Teacher, daughter, and mother. As a teacher I want to teach through the process, as a daughter I am exploring and uncovering, as a mother I am desiring to run to my child’s side.
Is it Process or product?
Well, it’s both. Over the years I have learned to accept that, it is ok to give my children space to color outside of lines. Something beautiful happens when we engage in this practice. I know now that through this process, my daughter is more like me than I ever realized.
When I think about the canvas, I notice there are no lines only edges. The edges serve as boundaries, not limitations. There is no right or wrong way to paint on the canvas. There are only suggested techniques to help enhance the painting process. It’s an open-ended opportunity to mix colors, use your brush or fingers, or other tools. The best part is there are no mistakes only learning opportunities. If the paint falls or drips in the other direction it will still be beautiful. What I will advise is, that the process can be messy. I’m currently experiencing messy! Your hands may get dirty, you may even think about not finishing halfway through. That’s when it’s ok to ask for help and not give up. When you are finally done, step back, and look at the masterpiece. It will be even more beautiful than you could have predicted, only because the process was so much more.
God the creator saw a blank canvas and created you and me His favorite masterpiece. He doesn’t give up on us when things get messy. He sees us and is waiting for us to uncover the possibilities. He is in the process!
I am writing this with hopes to reach the hearts of mothers and daughters everywhere. I am currently in the hardest season of my life. I am writing this from the liminal space. The space in which the process is taking place. My mother’s heart is aching. Yet, I feel that these letters will bring me clarity. My purpose is to navigate the intricate mother daughter relationship and embark on a journey of healing. We are constantly learning, growing and changing and so this is me offering myself grace. As a mother I don’t always get it right. As a daughter I don’t always get it right. These roles never came with a manual. Yet, we do the best we can with what we know. And, when we know better we do better. I accept the parts of me that haven’t been that pretty and I want to share that with you. Talitha, I pray that you can accept those things about yourself as well. Let’s heal together.
Are you battling with the words that were said to you or of you? Words that hit so deep they cut inner parts of your soul and have left you questioning, rethinking, and reevaluating everything you thought you knew. Words that echo when no one is around?
I’ve heard them too. I heard them say, “It’s all your fault” “You didn’t do it the way I told you to.” ” You were too much” “You were not enough” “Why do you always have to be so honest?” “Liar!” “Give it time” “How could you give up” “You need to keep trying” ” You failed!!!!”
I don’t know who said these things to you. I don’t know who made you feel this way. Friend, I know these words hurt no matter who said them to you. I want to share with you what I have come to understand:
Those unedifying words hurt the most when we have already whispered them to ourselves!
Especially when we have done so over and over again. If we are anything alike, we have perhaps said these things to ourselves before hearing them said by someone else.
I whispered to myself over and over that I was a “failure and unwanted”. I said it to myself so much that I had made an agreement with myself that those words were true. I believed and agreed that it was true about me. I was “unwanted” I was a “failure”!
Then, someone spoke to them about me to me…..
And I was destroyed….
Has this ever been your experience?
Talitha, if this is you would you dare to venture with me to unmask the lies we have told ourselves? The lies that we once judged ourselves by? The lies that others have spoken and that we made agreements with?
The truth is these words only held weight and hurt because we have already judged ourselves according to those very words. As my very own judge and jury, I sentenced myself to years of mishandling my heart and mind space. Believing that I was undeserving of many things, isolating myself, pushing others away, all because I believed the words.
In my process, I began to ask myself why I believed these things to be true. Then it hit me, those words were lies!
Lies rooted in things I needed to process and work through. They weren’t truths.
The truth is we are more than enough, we were perfectly designed, we are a work in progress, and we are fully loved and seen but our Creator exactly as we are right now in this very moment as you read this. We are imperfectly perfect!
I pray that we see this reality and began to be impeccable with our words to ourselves. As a result, we will come to accept who we are. Then, in turn, we will be able to fully love ourselves and through this, we can discover the truth and we won’t believe the lie.
So, “Talitha Koum” my friend “Girl I say to you rise up”. You are royalty and don’t you forget it.
There is a spacethat waits for you. A space that sings songs, writes words, and creates Beautiful.
Wherever you are, however you are I pray you are ok. I pray the space you are in is giving you a chance to breathe. I pray that you have a chance to reflect and discover some truths. In the space of your absence, I’m discovering those truths as well.
The biggest realization I’ve had is that you aren’t running from me, from your dad, your brother, your family, or your friends. I realized that perhaps the things we run from are truths that we aren’t ready to face.
You see I ran too.
I still run sometimes.
Not in the physical sense but mostly by avoiding, by withholding, in sleeping, and my biggest vice “self-isolation”! These are the habits I default to when, I can’t make sense of the space I’m in. This is why we are more alike than different. It’s ironic that “self-Isolation” is what I run to, but quality time is my love language. I know it’s yours too.
I know when I run from things (self-isolate) I feel in control. The ones that run do so, even if our hearts are breaking every single step of the way. To the runner, leaving poses no real risk. We just feel the urge to go, to self-preserve especially when nothing makes sense. Isolation feels safe because, facing the people that love us means, they will ask the hard questions. The questions we aren’t prepared to answer.
There is a false sense of comfort in running away or self-isolating from whatever is tearing up the heart space. We become comfortable with this self-inflicted but not externally imposed change. We become comfortable within this physical bubble of emotional security. Inside the bubble we don’t have to answer to people, explain or even deal with it. That’s easy, that’s familiar.
What is hard, is actually staying. What is challenging is investing. What is scary is opening up yourself to a situation that’s not entirely within your control. Furthermore, doing so with no guarantee that it’s going to work out in your favor. What could be overwhelming is, building a life that you cannot escape from the second something goes wrong. Especially when every nerve inside your body flips into high alert.
Isolating when I’m in pain may feel comforting but, it doesn’t allow me to grow. The reality is when I step outside of my comfort zone the answers come. Peace comes in staying when impulses say to go. When I stop running and isolating something shifts. This is where my relationships deepen, healing happens, and I find people around me that hold me accountable. The people that make me reflect and look. The very same people that love you, that know us and that see you for all the incredible things you are. They see us! They see beyond our running and self-isolation and love us in-spite of it. They are waiting for you too.
Running away and isolating will only leave open wounds, create bitterness, and leave empty spaces. Empty space collect dust when unused. They sit and wait to be inhabited. They stand ready to be utilized. Quiet and unmoved. Your space awaits. The space you once sang songs, wrote words and created Beautiful!
Today makes 20 days that I haven’t seen or heard from you. You are missed by your brother, your father, your grandmother, your family and community. I want you to know, I miss you!
Yesterday while sitting alone in my thoughts I remembered something. I looked over to the picture sitting on our side coffee table. The picture of Mita, Wela, you and me. I look at the generations of women in that picture and I am reminded of each of our stories.
Mita’s story was of struggle, pain, heartache, love and so much inspiration. Wela’s story was one of sacrifice. She assumed the role of mother when I no longer had one. My story has also had many twist and turns and now your story is unraveling.
Behind that picture I hid a note. I wrote this note before you were even born. I guess I’ve been writing you notes your whole life. I’ve shared it with you once before. Today, I wanted to re-echo the words I wrote. I want it to be a reminder that, I loved you even before I even knew you.
Every piece of advice in this note is still true. The most important however, is the falling in love with Jesus. He is the reason Mita was able to overcome, that Wela became my mom, and that I became your mother. He is what will sustain you, guide you and bring you to a place of understanding.