The sun glinted off the cherry-apple red lacquer; the smooth finish aching for an approving touch. The chrome finishes were anything but standard, especially the custom made rims. The black leather seats could entice anyone behind the wheel, as they dipped low beneath the roof, transporting you into the world of fine leather and class. Without a streak or a smudge to be seen across the windshield, this beauty was a top of the line, one-of-a-kind, sports car that one could only ever dream of owning. If I could just hear that baby purr, well, if only in my dreams….
Cool wind licked at her face, leaving behind traces of the salty mist that plagued the small island. Leilani dragged in a haggard breath as she put one foot in front of the other for the last time. She hunched over, elbows on her knees, “sixteen miles,” she muttered, “one step closer to winning this year’s island marathon.”
Leilani flicked her glance sidelong as she stood, taking in the broken glass, weather-beaten frames, the chipped paint that barely covered the pine siding. Oh to have seen the old church in its former glory… what was once beautiful, is now lost.
It’s been nearly three years since I said “I do.” Hard to believe so much has transpired in that short amount of time, yet so little at the same time.
My hope and dreams of what the coming days, months, years would look like- three years ago all seem to have fallen apart. What am I doing with the life that I have been gifted with? Is this day to day life of working a job that is far from fulfilling and biding my time until the day til someday comes- really what I am called to do at this very moment? Have I somehow missed the path I was intended to take? And if so where were the blaring signs saying STOP, TURN BACK, NOT THIS WAY!!???! I don’t recall even the smallest hint of any sign that had those words sprinkled over them. And if I didn’t, then, is this really it? Why was it so much better in my dreams?
Dreams. Dreams are a funny thing. They easily carry you away. They take you and give you what you can not otherwise attain. Perhaps they are merely meant to sustain you at times, give you a challenge, something to work for. To provide hope when it seems to have run out elsewhere.
By now you must be asking, “what’s fallen apart?” And I may ask the same question in response, “what has fallen apart??” Nothing. Everything. My dreams? Perhaps. But really nothing. I may be optimistic, but not too far gone to not be a realist also. Could magical things happen? Yes. But will they– well let’s be honest- the odds were and are slim. But what if magic isn’t what was in mind. But merely a house, children, a loving community. Friends. What if that is all it ever was?? and will be?
But three years– that’s all? Why yes, only three years, but didn’t I hope for something grand and was disappointed it didn’t come to fruition? Well, when you put it that way it seems frivolous. Where is contentment? Life is not over, instead it has hardly began.
So instead, where is my purpose? What is my purpose? What am I doing that means more than just ‘wife’ in the end? Or was my intended PURPOSE patience. contentment. wife. servant. light. Is that enough? Can that be enough? Should it be enough?? — WHY NOT??? Why can’t it be enough? Why doesn’t it feel like enough???? Why do my hopes and dreams seem to take away from the “could-be-glamorous-life-if-only-you-would-let-it??”
So it’s me. It’s me that’s runaway. It’s me that has taken off, without so much as looking backing. Balking. Aiming wildly into the abyss, headfirst. It’s me.
How did I miss that? How did I end up so far off the tracks? And now I’m sitting. Waiting. Pondering. Thinking. — in the middle of what seems like a mess, but is really only a slight derailment. Ha! a derailment!! I’m sitting mere feet from the tracks and this whole time it seemed like I had crashed, miles and miles away.
New light danced across the floorboards. Shoes scuffling near the entry way, resounded through the downstairs. A coat was hung, a briefcase set down. More footfalls.
Her breathing heightened. Her eyes continued to peer through dark and light, watching shapes as light moved about.
New steps grew closer, and promptly grew distant. Mumbles reached her ears, amidst kissing sounds. Followed by a giggle, a chuckle.
Then the door swung open and light filled the closet as her unexpectant eyes met those of her loving father. Endearingly, he gazed down smiling at her surprise attack gone awry, amusement across his face.
I watch through slatted glasses. The picture is visible, but not completely there. Pieces are missing. But what is missing?
I’m right there, I’m watching it happen, but what is happening?
I’ve stepped into a puzzle, but everyone appears to have the pieces, and I’ve been left with none.
How do they so easily put them together? All around me? While I stare in confusion. Disbelief. Regret. Turmoil. A yearning is building up inside of me.
I want that. I want to be able to do that. How do they do that? How are they accomplishing something, while I, I… I do nothing.
I do nothing?? NO, but I am something. I am accomplishing something. I am worth something, more than something!
But yet, am I? Do I believe that? Does my life reflect that belief?
What have I lost? What am I yearning for? What do I desire most, but have been unable to attain?
How do I keep moving forward when the path before me is unclear? What expectations have fallen to the wayside, and were they ever really mine?
Where have I begun to gain my worth from? What have I selfishly taken as mine, when I had no right to? This is not mine, but yours. I am not my own, but yours.
Take it back. Take it all back. Fix it. Mold it. Break it. Use it. Make it into something. Something that is of worth. Something that is worthy of all this, everything that surrounds it.
Make it into an alleluia.
Remove the back-slidden desires. Repair the tears and rips. Make clear the picture beforehand. Blend what’s right into something new. Awaken the calling. Cleanse the wounds, and thaw the ice. Restore the feelings that once flowed through.
“Make my life an alleluia, a song of praise to You each day. To proclaim Your grace and glory, fill my heart with your praise, I pray. When I stand at the mountaintop, or the valley of despair, This will be my cry, my song, my prayer, Lord, make my life an alleluia.
Make my life an alleluia, a gift of love to You, my King. I will join with all creation in the song that the heavens sing! The earth will turn, and the planets spin, as the seasons ebb and flow; Still, Your grace surrounds me as I go. Lord, make my life an alleluia.
Make my life an alleluia, this offering of myself I give to You. I will share Your grace and mercy for as long as I shall live. When I come to my journey’s end, may those left behind be reminded, This has been my cry, my song, my prayer: Lord, make my life an alleluia. ” (Ruth Elaine Schram)
The pitter-patter of little feet was absent, but left in her wake were toes and heels waiting to be erased seconds after their impressions were left. Small shrieks filled the morning air, as the salty waters rushed forward contesting gravity for Arabella’s slight body. Upon the departure of the seas, tiny fingers plunged into the sandy waters. With fingers tightly clenched and shrills echoing as waters lapped at her ankles, Arrabella rushed toward her grandma. A tiny clink resounded as one precious treasure was added to another inside a purple bucket while a smile splayed across the little one’s face.
Holding firmly unto the seat of the bicycle, Tannar watched his son place one foot on each pedal and slowly begin to make his way forward. Taking a step backward, Tannar let go of the seat and watched as his son continued apprehensively down the driveway. His son yelled, “let go, Dad, let go!” while a smiled erupted on Tannar’s face, as he watched his son pedal further and further away from him.
After weeks of determination, his son had succeeded, but not without Tanner realizing how bittersweet the moment was; after all his son was doing it by himself.