Poetry: Between Two Storms

Poem by Lora Harvey

Image by Photo by NOAA on Unsplash

Barely adrift

long after the last raging storm has passed.

The beating, scorching sun an equally opposing enemy,

and just as brutal.

Surrounded by taunting waves lapping against my parched skin.

Teasing me with their deceiving nature;

appearing as respite for my intense thirst.

Only to destroy me from the inside out.

Darkening clouds gather on the horizon.

Beckoning me.

Welcoming me.

I cling tightly to this worn buoy.

Too frightened to let go, closing my eyes.

Struggling in the current, the shadow of my

Salvation and Shelter

envelops me.

A vast and steady Rock, always within my reach.

My fingers delicately brush along the Foundation.

I know the power.

Rest for my weariness.

Food for my soul.

The Water to quench all thirst.

I must grab hold of my true anchor and surrender this

damaged

sinking

buoy.

But why can’t I release my desperate grasp?

JUST LET GO! I scream inside.

I struggle to recall

any song

any praise

any prayer

any joyous sound.

A despondent cry escapes my arid lips.

Once again, I feel your gentle breath on my sweaty brow.

Your loving hands cradle my exhausted body.

Let go, You whisper.

I feel my rigid limbs loosen.

My aching bones relax.

You calm my weepy and repentant heart.

These buoys are not real, You remind me.

We turn to face the approaching storm,

together.

Your only survival lies here

with Me,

in Christ alone.

About Lora Harvey

Harvey’s lineage is full of creatives, so the love of reading, writing, and art comes naturally to her. She recently began the path of drafting her first book and is also working with other Christian writers on an anthology of the armor of God. Harvey lives in Arizona with her two young adult children and two dogs. For more, visit her blog, My Lamp and Light.

For more inspirational content, please visit our Spotlight Blog as well as our Magazine Issues page to download your free copy of Lost Pen Magazine.

How Do You Handle the Whirlwind?

Image by Elisa CB (Unsplash)

Since being back at work after 6 weeks of rest, life has been a whirlwind. The magazine went out, submissions are coming in for the third issue, and I have a steady stream of editing projects on hand on top of my full-time job. There were days I felt like I wasn’t going to make it–days I told God that something had to give.

Sometimes, we really are doing too much. Other times, the pressure lasts for a time before it eases up. Discernment tells us which of those places we are in, and wisdom tells us how to properly handle the load.

Right now, thanks to God, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and by His strength I’ll get through. I’ve had to sacrifice things like my social media presence, newsletters, and outreach, but a human can only do so much. I’ve had to remind myself that I must give my energy to the things God has for me to do and let Him handle the rest.

Where are you at? Are you trusting in Him for wisdom, discernment, and perseverance? If you know you are holding on to too many things, then seek Him to know what must be let go. If you are on the verge of giving up when you know you must endure a little longer, cry out for strength.

God gives wisdom and strength to those who ask. So, just ask.

Blessings!

Special Note: The Lost Pen Magazine BLOG is open for submissions on an ongoing basis. If you would like to submit a piece (ex. a devotional, a testimony, an exhortation or a word of encouragement, or something similar), visit the Contact Me page to learn how.

Poetry: I’ll Go Where You Send Me

 

I’ll Go Where You Send Me

by April Ojeda

 

I’ll go where you send me,

I’ll write words you lend me,

But fall out of step on the way.

Distracted by options

And prone to disruptions

Oft veering off-course. God, I may

Run far off and leave you

Then call when I need you

I mean well—don’t trust me to stay.

Night terrors they haunt me,

Pursue and then taunt me;

Foes, ravenous, seek out their prey.

In grace you forgave me,

In mercy you saved me,

Absorbing a price I can’t pay.

New sense of direction

(From your resurrection)

Sets wandering feet on toward day.

So I’ll go where you send me

And trust that you’ll tend me,

Good Shepherd, teach me to obey.

 

 

 

About April Ojeda

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Ojeda is an educator and writer from Oklahoma. She teaches high school English and children’s Sunday school. She lives in the Texas Panhandle with her husband and two children.

Contact Ojeda at eaojeda4@gmail.com.

Also, enjoy Ojeda’s poems, “be” and “Saturday Morning” in the Lost Pen Magazine.

Be Still My Worried Heart

Guest post by Anne Perreault

There are days when I can’t get my mind around my own problems. I mull them over and over, allowing them to steal my joy. I permit myself these moments because I believe I’m entitled to them. After all, I’m very good at pity parties.

For me as a writer, I have had a lot of experience fussing and worrying about the publishing/writing process. After I finally submitted myself to God’s urging to write down the stories in my head, I found that the publishing process was filled with pitfalls and difficulties. It began when a “publisher” contacted me and told me that my story was great and that they wanted it. As you can imagine, I was over-the-moon excited. I hadn’t even inquired and yet they wanted me.

I grew a little chip on my shoulder until I realized that it was a bit of a scam. Publishing my book would cost me more than I would ever make back. I deflated! My husband suggested I look into self-publishing, and I . . . well, I wasn’t very gracious about it. I told him that I had no idea how to go about it, that it was too much work, that it wasn’t proper. Just like homeschooling, how could I publish my own work?

When I talked to another vanity publisher, I began to doubt:  

Did God really ask me to write?

Was I meant to do this?

What’s the point anyway? My books aren’t ever going to be out there.

In a relatively short time, I had forgotten that God Himself had commissioned me to write. Worry replaced His personal word to me as well as the joy and excitement I should have experienced. I became so angry after the second publisher tried to swindle me out of my hard-earned money that I went for a walk in our “back 10” (that’s 10 acres, if you aren’t up on the lingo lol) and ranted at God.

Do you see how quickly one can go from praise to discouragement? I was so angry I wanted to throw something and have the satisfaction of it breaking. So I picked up a pebble. It makes perfect sense that a pebble would break on impact. When it didn’t, I really became mad and threw another, which also failed to give me the satisfaction of breaking.

How dare God! He was totally playing me! He had put me on THIS path and I, being the obedient servant, only wanted to please Him!

On and on it went. When I finally threw a clump of dirt that looked an awful lot like a rock, and it shattered, I felt vindicated. But I really wasn’t. I was still worried and anxious. I’d relied on me. God had to show me that He was with me in this process and that He would provide EVERYTHING. And I mean everything, from submitting to self-publishing, to not one but two editors, and the cover designer. It all fell into place when I finally released my worry and my thoughts of how the whole process was going to go.

God is there. His beauty is not in His commandments but in the mercy, grace, forgiveness, and love that are available through Jesus Christ.

Someone said recently that women need to feel safe and secure. Mmm . . . I’m like that. I worry about everything. On a scale of one to ten, I’m probably a seven on the worry meter. How about you? For me, it has to be a conscious decision NOT to worry and to remember:

I am loved.
He’s enough.
He’s my Savior, I’m not.
The circumstances don’t matter.
I am good enough for Him.
He chose me.
He’s given me the ability to face my giants.
He will see it done.

When worry threatens to overwhelm, I can KNOW that He is Lord of the Universe who has me in the palm of his hand.

For the worries of your life, be encouraged. He knows what you are going through. He’s got YOU in the palm of HIS hands. You are His. He’ll make a way.

So, have I learned this lesson?

Ask me that when I go to publish. What usually happens is that the enemy starts to tug on the threads of worry and insecurity. The Deceiver does what he does best: deceives. And I have fallen into his trap numerous times. I’m up to ten published books now, and, every time, something big tries to derail the final process. It has taken me a long time to learn this because the devil is sneaky. He comes at me from different angles, attacking where I’m weak, and where I allow worry or fear to rule instead of resting in the One True God.

I was able to release my worry the last few times when the unrest started. I realized what was happening and took a step back, prayed, and asked for prayer. The problems didn’t disappear, but the worry and fear did. The last book I published was released and I wasn’t even aware of it! I had missed the 72 hours Amazon needed to review the files, and it went live without my fussing and hovering. So easy, so peaceful! Perfect. Because I didn’t have a chance to worry.

If we allow Christ to work through us, and if we place our worry in His hands, things change. I always wondered how Steven could stand amongst his accusers while they were stoning him and see Jesus. Or how Paul could shake off the dust after he was stoned and thrown out of a city and then walk right back in to preach again. I mean . . . HOW, Lord?

John 15:15 says, “I am the vine, you are the branches.” In one sentence, we have the answer to all our worries, our fears, our difficulties. My books will not miraculously find themselves on the New York Times bestseller list, my children will not spontaneously have a brilliant career, amazing spouses, and happy, productive lives. My poor husband’s health won’t change overnight (not that it can’t, but God is working something out in him too).

But I don’t need to worry about all that stuff. He’s the vine. I’m the branch. All I have to do is rest in that.

Be blessed. You are loved. You are beautiful.

You. Are. Enough.

 

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Learn more about Anne Perreault and her books at Into the Light Fiction.

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