Portals in Pain

Do I live life to its fullest?  Do I make every single day count?   There has been a pervading sense of wild abandon these past several months.  A sense that there has been a tectonic shift in my life – a shift that has changed the landscape and geography of my heart. 

What was once smooth as stone, the surface slippery as ice, so much so that if you stood on it your feet could not find purchase  has changed to a wild and adventure-filled landscape.  There is a path, one that has been clearly  marked for me.  But this path is not ordinary – not well groomed – it is full of mystery.  Mystery despite the pain and fear that has been so much of my life.

This morning I am sitting, perched really, at the mouth of the Pine River on an outcropping of rocks, overlooking the vastness of Lake Huron.  Whilst sitting here on this precipice I am struck by the metaphorical precipice my heart is perched upon – as I begin to discover life through my pain.  I am struck this morning as I watch the current of the lake feed a drought thirsty river with life, struck by how, at the mouth of this river, this opening, such life force moves through such a narrow space.

The river holds no fear for what it is accepting – there is not a moment when it says “no more – no more life, no more water – I am full.”  It never once refuses what the lake has to offer – despite the vast difference in size.  The river recognizes its value as a portal and openly accepts the current. 

There are days when my pain appears before me as a vast and yawning gap – when I feel as if my head will slip beneath the surface and I will be consumed.  There are days when I can feel myself moving against the current of my life too afraid to place my faith in the mystery of what can be described as a  portal.

This morning I am watching this lake feed this river and musing about how my pain might be a portal, a path, an opening to the mysteries of faith.   I am musing at how I can choose to move with the current of life and accept and allow my pain to be the direct connection with God.  How I can accept from God a garment of praise and live my life as a channel, a conduit for His mercies and grace.  In her book One Thousand Gifts Ann Voskamp writes – “That which tears open our souls, those holes that splatter our sight, may actually become the thin, open places to see through the mess of this place to the heart-aching beauty beyond.  To Him. To the God whom we endlessly crave.” 

Living inside of God’s grace and as part of His purpose does not mean that I must continuously render my garments and heap ashes upon my head.  No, living in God’s grace means accepting from Him, His provisions, His manna and allowing it to nourish my soul.  I cannot even fathom what mysteries God has in store for me but I do know that they are  great and they are awesome.  I know that He has called me to a richness of life – to experience all that He has created me to be.  I also know that He exalts in who I am, my triumphs, my victories and at times He coaxes me into His arms when I find myself hiding in the shadows of my own fear,  paralyzed from stepping forth through my portal of pain into joy.  Life has been given to me in abundance and today I choose to accept its richness.

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