There is so much to write about. Too much to write. My pen doesn’t move fast enough across my journal these days–and still my brain races to the next thing and I scratch out and scribble in my haste.

I’m home.

I have this strange new, never-felt-ever-before hope and contentment, yet can’t shake a strange reflective mental-churning of the last months.

And all the while still struggling with trust and wistfulness and questions.

Recently I received an email from a close friend with an attachment icon blinking on the subject line. I read..

“….Long, long ago we were both in Virginia. You were…. walking across a field, and there was a tree nearby where people had piled their stuff, and I thought it would make a lovely picture: the princess wanders through the field, leaving her burdens behind…or something…”

The attachment was this picture.

What held me was not so much the picture itself, but the “leaving her burdens behind”.

Those words caught the straggled ends of my thoughts and gathered them into meaning and something my heart recognized.

For that is what these last two years have been—a leaving of burdens. Not physical or relational burdens. Burdens of sin and wounds and lies. Burdens I never knew were there until they began to catch on the thorns and I was snagged, helpless, unless I laid them down. Divine thorns, I think.

A year ago this week, a woman who had looked deeper than most and who cared enough to ask questions, sent me a letter. Not all of what she said, I was ready to hear. But, like He does, God used her words. And at the end when she wrote…

“Whatever happens… in the future does not need to destroy you…you are responsible for your own choices. I am your greatest cheerleader believing in God and your heart as a woman …knowing that the path toward healing will include pain and hard choices on your part…”

…I heard Him. Heard her. And little by little stopped playing safe and nice like I had for so long.

I used to think that all my burdens were wounds—hurts that I carried around like unhealed scars. Indeed yes, some of them were and still are. But I am learning that somehow, somewhere along the way, I’ve made my wounds a bigger issue than my sin. Wounds only exist because of sin, because of someone’s rebellion against God. Sin creates wounds, wounds do not create sin, like I always imagined. And, suddenly, I couldn’t blame my sin on my wounds anymore. My wounds made me want to hide and in the hiding I rebelled against the One who said “my grace is sufficient for thee” and the burdens piled up over a lifetime.

Never more so than this year have I realized how fallen and sin-crusted I am. How good and perfect and sweet I tried to be, and how dishonest and sinful the shell was.

There was so much in me that needed to be crushed.

How much needs to be crushed still.

How many burdens still clank around, and how the sin still creeps in everyday.

And yet, now, there is hope for being gentle since what she said, I think, is true. One can be unhidden—because hurt is reality, but nothing has the power to destroy the heart that rests in being forgiven.

And as broken and fallen as I now see myself to be, I have more hope.

If He can forgive my hiding and hold my shattered pieces together than He is big enough to take the control from my fists and I don’t need to fall apart.

And so here is to a God who forgives, and lifts burdens, and gives unreasonable hope.

Truly He is the reason.

Truly He is good.

Truly He IS.