Stones on the Broken Road

A few weeks ago, when wrestling and struggling for days on end with my emotions and thoughts, impulse grabbed me and I caught hold of a handful of river stones from a glass vase in the dining room. Laying them out on a ledge in the kitchen, I smiled at them but turning away, did not give them another thought that day.

The following morning in my quiet time, my fingers walked to David and Goliath. A burst of recognition dawned on me as I remembered the 5 stones that I had selected and laid out without much intention.

Suddenly the story sprang my motherhood role into personal focus. I had unwittingly mimicked David while choosing the stones, and this gave me an identification with his status of isolated caregiving, of being a shepherd, of providing food for the warriors; of being in the background, a humble career but one that forged character in the dusty bowl of his charge's needs. He fended off attackers. He sang and talked with God. He wandered about nature with his flock, finding them new pastures and water, walking the land until it must have become dearly familiar to him.

Developing an understanding of the principal of authority, for without this he would have been ineffective as a shepherd, he obeyed his father's orders to deliver food to his brothers on the battlefield boundaries. He allowed their crushing insults to roll off his deeply secure nature and perceived that responding to God's promises was the only key to overcoming this battle.

The enemy was enormous, iron-clad and unstoppable to the untrained eye. He carried a fearfully heavy and penetrating spear and stood roaring and steady, confident of his ability to intimidate and spread terror.

David's eye was however trained, in the quiet scrublands of shepherding, in the gentle nature of caring for his flock, in the handlock of humility with authority. Achieving firstly the incredible task of convincing the officals of war to allow him to step into their muddled plot-plans, he then shunned their protective armor and in complete vulnerability, walked to a nearby brook to select his tools.

Five Stones.
I got to thinking.

1. Stones from the Riverbed; clean, cool and dripping, fresh from the washing, cleansing water of life. (Psalm 1 v 2)

2. These pebbles were worn smooth by the current, no hard edges, no imperfections in their balance; these stones would fly true, character buffed from being nestled into each other under the tumbling current of the stream. These stones would find their mark.

3. The weapons God put in David's hands were formed from the Rock, a source of life on which all things are bound by and built upon. (Exodus 17.6 and Psalm 18.2/118.22)

4. He only needed one stone, why the extra four? Because David knew not to presume. It is also thought by scholars that David's vision for victory included wiping out Goliath's family.

5. Five is the number of GRACE. The unmerited favour of God. And essential coupled with faith for salvation. (Eph 2.8) It is a gift to the humble.

Slowly I closed the book of 1 Samuel. The low position my heart lay in, with giants looming over me on the battlefield of my mind, was illuminated in this text. Bewildered I might have been, but the flash of revelation gave me the courage I needed to face the next steps. I was out of the control seat but peaceful to let Someone else drive.

Later that very morning, I was scheduled to see a doctor about my feelings of deepening blue. I felt literally petrified. The collision of mental turmoil and my faith wrangled inside me. Could I be an emotional mess and a sturdy believer at the same time? Could I really confess to a medical professional my tangle of feelings, twisted together with memories, prayers and confusion?

I went to the appointment unsure of what words to use, and when the moment came to try and articulate what was up, the tears spoke for me. I had nothing to say but grabbed a handful of tissues that the doctor quietly held out. My sensible words had gone completely. I had reached the end of explanations and rationalisations.

I wanted to run. I wanted to slide away under the wooden door in a river of my tears. I wanted to be strong, clever, compassionate, together, not sitting miserable on a consultation chair. I looked up at those compassionate brown eyes fixed on me. The doctor was in his thirties probably, with a beard and dark hair. I sat up straighter. Breathed. Fished for words that strung together sounded like nonsense. But he deciphered the code. Listened. Talked to me about Jesus, (I mean, c'mon. Really?). He explained the effects on the body of unprocessed emotion. He taught me to breath properly. He listened some more.

The funny thing was that he recommended taking Withania, a herbal supplement, derived from the Wild Cherry, to support the emotions while I process. My eyes were like saucers.

Only the day before, the 5 stones day, I had been moving into my new studio. A room just for me, with all my creative stuff. Up to now, my art has been done on the floor of the walk in wardrobe, paints piled haphazardly, my glues and papers and ideas stuffed into boxes. My wall of inspiration hidden behind the winter coats. The boxes of brushes, scrapbooking paper, silver leaf stacked up above the socks. But with a change around, Greg insisted I have what was Kenzie's bedroom, and now the girls are sharing a room downstairs.

I had a fairly utilitarion approach to the room, stack it up, make space for an easel and a table and shut the door. But all through out that day, I kept hearing the words Cherry Blossom. This room was to be my treehouse, in the Cherry boughs. My safe haven, my God-space. Never having been particularly partial to pink, I dismissed the nagging thoughts. It was safer to keep that personal space office-ish and messy. I walked in several times in the course of that day, looked around, shook my head at the notion of a cherry tree and close the door firmly on the way out. I was intent on being a grown up.

So when this Doctor said Wild Cherry I nearly fell off my chair. Okay God. Cherry it is.

Leaving, I drove home on a journey into spring. Every tree coming into blossom waved at me from the roadside. I felt instantly at ease, embraced, I could breathe again. Suddenly unlocked, I was able to nurture again, to tickle and cuddle Mishal and the girls when they came home from school. To listen. To smile. To walk into my studio and set about making it my own space, somewhere dreamy to sit, to exist in. I began making dates with only myself and walking down quaint streets, or driving alone through the rain, taking photos of trees dripping colour and perfume. I started going through antique shops to click my lens at the shapes of history that delighted my eyes. I bought coffees and slowly trawled bookstores. I read in the hammock.
I am loving taking steps to wholeness, to finding that soft place inside. It is a commitment to myself and I am no longer in that bleak place. Breathing, breathing, breathing.

A huge part of me curls up in shame admitting the extent of my imperfections and struggles to the eyes of my blog-readers. It's one thing being open with strangers, but quite another when several readers are people I know personally, many of whom are family. There is a prideful desire to cower behind a lifesize cardboard cutout of Amy and let everyone think the shiny, flat image of Me-ness is the real me. But the reality is not that pretty; the truth is that cardboard cannot hold up to the deluge of tears and the weight of life, my printed knees buckle and I get folds across my sightless eyes. The last year for me has been a battlefield of gigantic proportions: an unwilling move across the country, dipping in and out of homeschooling, the agony of my parent's separation, health issues, kid issues and trying to establish myself right way up without being swept away in a torrent of depression. The cardboard cut-out girl has been very busy. She is rather tatty now and won't stand without being held up. Her head hangs down where her neck is thickly creased.

Cringing, I have let her go, kicked her crumpled identity aside and feel a little like I am standing here, bare and vulnerable but alive and content. Kinda David-like. Humility meets relief and they turn toward authority - sometimes one just has to bow in order to move forward.

What I love most about the story of David is that through his life, I get the sense that joy was written all over his being; from shepherd boy sandals, to stepping over giants and into the destiny of kingship. His name means Beloved. And guess what?

So does mine!

I look at those stones daily. They mark the broken road Beloved. One step at a time.

Traci~ Ordinary Inspirations for the everyday wife, mommy, and homemaker  – (August 19, 2009 at 1:20 PM)  

Amy! I love your writing, your use of analogy that captures my heart, your honesty, your love for God...

Keep trusting Him~ you are not alone in this big crazy world of emotions...

Continue to make time to bow before Him- and look at those stones often, my sister.


Sammy  – (August 19, 2009 at 2:06 PM)  

Yay Amy! I love your courage in deciding not to pretend to be ok anymore. The freedom in just being right where you are right now must be dizzying. And the burden we put on ourselves as women to be "ok" (whatever ok is!) is just too much.
This post I love. It's gutsy and honest and true to you. I can see you in every line.
And yes to the joy! How amazing that your name means joy.
And go the pink! Hey, I can help you pick a pink paint colour (for the walls) if you wish that's not pink but pink...nice grown-up delicious Amy pink!

Sj  – (August 19, 2009 at 8:05 PM)  

hey amy girl.
i'm glad to read of You and of God, again. I've missed it as my puter has been annoying but now fixed. Love you and am cheering for you. Thanks for always being authentic, the real deal. I'm reading a book on David at the mo - he seems to be helping me process too. love u

Gail  – (August 19, 2009 at 8:13 PM)  

Oh Amy, I just love this post. Your feelings so clear, gritty, raw and courageously put there! The studio sounds like a real haven. Awesome.

Thanks so much. I have a heap of swirling emotions in my heart at the moment - your words have a way of describing the turmoil calmly. Thank you.

Widge  – (August 20, 2009 at 12:47 AM)  

Beautiful. You have such an incredible gift. Thankyou so much for sharing.

p.s David is my fave

Kelly  – (August 20, 2009 at 2:29 AM)  

Oh, He knows you, doesn't He? I love His way with us, how it is so perfect. There is no shame within His love...

Guckstersa  – (August 21, 2009 at 12:33 AM)  

Hey Amy,

Just wanted to encourage you and felt you needed to hear Psalm 27.

God Bless

Psalm 27
Of David.
1 The LORD is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

2 When evil men advance against me
to devour my flesh, [a]
when my enemies and my foes attack me,
they will stumble and fall.

3 Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then will I be confident.

4 One thing I ask of the LORD,
this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
and to seek him in his temple.

L.L. Barkat  – (September 1, 2009 at 12:19 PM)  

I admit, I'm a bit of a stones girl myself.

Yours inspire...

Fridaydreamer  – (September 2, 2009 at 3:43 AM)  

Very special post Amy, and I suspect that all of us girl-types can learn from what you're learning. Wired as we are to be extra sensitive to emotions, it hits us awfully hard if we don't process the swirl of them in healthy ways. Thank you for sharing your story--it sheds light on parts of my own. Be blessed as you have blessed many through your words and your pictures.

Shaunie--I take pictures of rocks too :)

deb  – (September 2, 2009 at 1:18 PM)  

May I say that you lift up hearts by sharing.
The tears, the uncertainty, the vulnerable spirit, I live there sometimes.
It is okay. Beautiful.

Post a Comment

About This Blog

Copyright - Amy Lynas

  © Blogger template Shush by 2009

Back to TOP