This story or poem or prayer–whatever it is–was something I wrote down in my journal last June (6/19). I happened to stumble across it again the other day while browsing, looking for something helpful for my soul. (I’ve found this to be a helpful practice — to go back and read thoughts, prayers, and questions, hoping for answers.)
Reading the words again was encouraging — although saying “again” doesn’t really describe it — I had completely forgotten them. I’d lose so many encouraging thoughts if not for writing some of them down. And as I read, I almost started to get discouraged. Until, that is, I began to notice how my journal looks so much like a spiral staircase.
I often feel like I just walk in circles — revisiting the same old issues, struggles, hopes and dreams: partial. Unfinished. Unfulfilled. Re-reading from my journal awakened me again — reminded me I’m farther along in my journey than I might think. I think this truth could be said of us all. The scenery of our journey may look familiar, repetitive, unchanged, but if we believe only with our eyes we’d be wrong. As we ascend our spiral stairway, our perspective is changing. We are deepening. Growing. Rising. Becoming. Learning more and more to enjoy the view. This was a helpful revelation.
So, I thought you might enjoy reading this snippet from my journal. Maybe it will help give you perspective as you’re seeking to become who you are.
I see. I look up. I climb on rocks for a better view. I even jumped — once or twice — hoping I’d fly. For a moment I did. I spread my wings courageously. And I tumbled. Caught by a gust of wind. I tangled in someone’s kite string. Or maybe driven down by a bigger bird. Yes, I’ve tried, but I’ve never stayed up long. Long enough to get a taste though. Long enough to stir my desire. Long enough to know it’s true. And some days, long enough to even believe I can.
But other days… Other days I hate that I even tried it in the first place. Days when I can’t get it. When I can’t keep up. When I compare myself to others – jealous of their grace, envious even. And I loathe the partial gift I’ve been given — the taste that wets my lips but never satisfies my thirst. Wishing my wings away — praying for shoes for my feet instead. And never released from the guilt I feel for squandering my time in unbelief. Wandering. Wandering.
I climbed up on a rock again yesterday. I braved the fear. I braved the knowing how far down I might fall. Not the height, but the dream, the taste, to stir again the hope not knowing if… If… What if? What if I can’t? What if I fail? What if I fall? What if I get lost?
But up I climbed.
What if…? What if today is different? What if. What if. What if. What if I’m enough? What if I can? What if it is a beginning? What if I see my path from the new view?
What if someone helps me? What if they see, and smile? What if they see and join me? What if they fly because my “what if” shows them how? What if I find out I am a bird after all?!
Oh God, help me climb higher. Help me to not slip. Give me the courage to do it. Again. Again. Again. Keep hope alive.
It’s time. Time to try again.
I can feel the urge to give up, like a collar and chain staked to the ground.
“It won’t work!”, a voice shouts. “It won’t work!”, again. “It won’t matter.” “You won’t matter”, it says now calmly, resolutely, with finality. Settled.
“Don’t listen”, another voice says!
“I can show you how. You’re not alone”, it says.
As an exclamation point to my entry above — I just had to post the following quote. I happened upon this recently and it fits so beautifully with my journal entry.
May we all find the courage to dream “What if…” and ‘try again’.