Emma sat under her tree and felt the wind through her very being. She watched the wheat field rise and fall like waves crashing on the shore through the white picket fence. She listened to the rustling of aspen leaves twirling in the wind above her head. This was the spirit she had been missing. This was her hideaway, her place to reconnect with the universe. The place she gathered and released her thoughts in peace and solitude. Emma’s hideaway where she wouldn’t be found; no one could fluster her brain and clutter her mind with more noises and demands. This was her quiet place. All hers alone. How she had missed it.
She hadn’t been able to sit under her tree in a while. The needs of her brood had become more and more demanding on her. She knew what would happen if she came up for air to give herself a breath. The breakdown would surely follow. They needed her to hear their complaint, vent, simply share, be there, find all their things, make the meals, and make all things fall perfectly into place. Emma was happy she could do these things for the people she loved, but she also missed being there for herself sometimes.
Sounds of doors slamming, kids arguing, and the constant tug-of war-of not having enough time, money, and energy ran her ragged. The urgency and requirements of the outside world pulled at her. It was the battle of love. Loving the energy of life that surged through Emma’s home and life is what she thrived on, but the overwhelming fear of being unable to maintain it gave her nightmares. Fear of it all being too much for her to carry and her not being enough, being a fraud. Not enough to keep it going, to keep them going. It scared her to death.
Emma sat under that aspen tree, felt the sun penetrate her skin, and let time run away as tears rolled down her cheeks. In these small pockets of free time, Emma released the pressure of the world on her small shoulders. She felt such a mix of emotions. On the one hand, it was a sense of freedom to let it all go and scream! A river of hot tears seared Emma’s face and soaked her oversized gray tee shirt. She let out a wild scream, scorching her lungs as the wind carried it far away. It was the release she needed, as crazy as it made her feel.
She took all the rejections, criticism, and backhanded compliments with a gracious smile. All the amount of times she had to be the bigger person for the sake of peace. It was wearing on her soul. How often had she said she was fine when she was far from it on the inside. All nights without sleep, the nightmares that haunted her, the passions that would never be. It hit her hard, like groundhog day. Over and over, but still… Emma got up and put on a smile. Everyday. Everyday.
Then there was the other side of Emma’s secret hiding spot. The stillness, the peaceful quiet side where it all becomes very subdued. Now Emma’s mind quieted, emptied. She felt lighter but a bit numb, almost like nothing at all. She could just simply be. Once void of all the disruptions and nonsense, the world was quick to shove down her throat and cram into her mind; it was completely tranquil. Desensitized from the rush and request, Emma sat under that tree, entirely still and waiting. No more tears fell from her bloodshot eyes. Her breathing was calm. Emma looked around the landscape with a grateful heart, thinking of nothing but the moment. But still, secretly hoping in her heart God would send her a sign of some kind… something.
A small grouping of yellow finches gathers in the field; they fly away in sequence, doing a performance in the sky. The tiny gathering of birds lined the white picket fence and sang Emma a song as she sat under the tree. It was a sign she’s been waiting on.
25 “So my counsel is: Don’t worry about things—food, drink, and clothes. You already have life and a body—and they are far more important than what to eat and wear. 26 Look at the birds! They don’t worry about what to eat—they don’t need to sow, reap, or store up food—for your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than they are. 27 Will all your worries add a single moment to your life? MATTHEW 6: 25-27
Emma could feel the tears begin to fall down her cheeks again, but this time it wasn’t out of frustration or exhaustion. It was love. Pure love. She folded her hands together and listened to the small voice inside her. It wasn’t her voice; It was HIS.
He reminded her of His promise to never leave, even when she felt alone. His love never fails. His grace and mercy are Might to save. He walks with her through all seasons of her life. The awkward times when she thinks she doesn’t fit in, the raging storms, the nights she tosses and turns, the seasons of laughter and joy, and the season of hurt and pain. There will never be a moment when she is too far away from her Father’s Mighty hand to grab hold and be pulled back to safety. She can never wander too far.
Remember, I love all those awkward, rough edges, snarky, and even unsure parts of you, my child, because I put them there. You are not broken but beautifully made. Just as I intended you to be.
Emma opened her eyes, soaked with tears. The sky looked brighter, the colors were more vibrant, the air crisper, and the sounds pulsed through her fingertips. She was one with this place. Emma took a deep breath and wiped her face. It felt good. Wow, she thought, just a small glimpse of Heaven on earth. The bluest tree line sky was settling into a sunset of yellows and oranges. Soon it would be time for her to be beckoned back to her people. But now, she wanted to take this moment God provided her. A small gift. One she needed.
The gift of His provision. His everlasting love and care in her life. One she often misses because the noise in is world mucks it up. Sometimes we need a place to hide away. To be quiet and empty ourselves of the world’s lies and demands. The lies we tell ourselves. Emma gave thanks, absorbed the moment, and let the redness fade from her face.
It was time to rejoin the world, her family, work, and life. She would have to endure more times of being the strange one and not understood, but she knew she wouldn’t be alone. And when it all got too heavy, too much to carry on those tiny shoulders, that tree would be waiting for her.
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