Telling the Truth

connecting the dots of my life

Tag: Lost and Found

An evening prayer

Today I got a little lost
Until You found me
In the hymns I played
At the end of the day

I’m weary and it’s late

Last night I had a hard time
Getting to sleep which
Made this entire day feel
Off-balance –
already behind and unable
to catch up with myself

This night – sing me to sleep
And wake me with joy
Alive and ready for another
Day – found and grateful

From my journal yesterday evening.

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 29 January 2019
Photo found at unsplash.com

My story from the inside out

I grew up in a church that wanted to know exactly when and where you were converted, and from what. The deeper the degradation, the more your story was valued. Unfortunately, I had no dramatic story. Sometimes I wondered whether I was a ‘real’ Christian.

In November 2013 I wrote the following brief piece to read at a church meeting. I read it this morning and teared up. A timely reminder of how God works in my life.

I don’t remember when I received Jesus into my life. I do, however, remember times when I was lost, and God came looking for me. One of these was a huge turning point in my life.

I was in my 40s. Outwardly I seemed to be following Jesus; inside, I was lost.

  • I was filled with shame and terrified that any day I would be exposed as a fraud, an imposter.
  • I was plagued by chronic anxiety about events at home and at work.
  • I was harshly judgmental toward myself and toward others.
  • I felt my life was out of control, yet I kept trying to make it work.

In my mid-40s, I learned about family matters over which I had no control. Secrets I’d been carrying inside me for years began to eat away at my gut. I fell into deep depression. At home I sat for hours doing nothing but staring out the window, or weeping uncontrollably. At night I frequently asked God to just take me while I was sleeping. I didn’t want to wake up the next morning. I wanted to die.

I had always survived by being a good girl on the outside, and hiding what was on the inside. This took great effort. I had also become addicted to running my own life and thinking I could run everyone else’s too! But it wasn’t working; my body, my emotions and my spirit were in turmoil.

I believe God was trying to get my attention. And there was a price: I would have to come out of hiding and ask for help. I was terrified. What would people think of me? Fortunately, I was also desperate.

So I began attending a 12-step program to deal with some of my family matters. At my first meeting no one frowned, judged me, or expected me to perform. They weren’t shocked when I told them why I was there. They just welcomed me, smiled, listened, encouraged me, and said to keep coming back.

So I did. Slowly, I began to relax, join the rest of the human race, and trust that God was in this process.

Today I’m still a recovering human being and a grateful follower of Jesus Christ. Sometimes I still struggle with shame and anxiety, and try to control my life or change other people. I don’t, however, suffer from deep depression or pray that God will take me while I’m sleeping. I remind myself daily that I am God’s beloved daughter child, and that this is more than enough to bring God delight. When the time comes for my final home-going, my only hope will be to appear before God then as I do now: just as I am without one plea.

If you’re feeling lost or despondent today, God may be trying to get your attention.

Elouise ♥

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 30 July 2017

Manufactured faces

Manufactured faces gaze
From magazines and brochures
Scattered around the waiting room
Wherever I turn my eyes
‘They’ smile knowingly
If not mechanically
Picture perfect features
Enticing sirens of perpetual youth
White skin gleaming
Radiant in life
And in death

What do they know that I don’t know?
Is this happy heaven or happy hell?
I seem to have lost my way.

It’s Friday, March 25. I’m sitting in a nearly deserted, picture-perfect, calm, shades of blue cool color-coordinated waiting room. Not, I’m sorry to say, the plastic surgery (yes!) waiting room above. A plastic surgeon, on site only once a week, is going to remove two suspicious growths from my skin. Due to unforeseen developments, the wait will be longer than anticipated.

Upbeat music plays relentlessly. Every chair, magazine table, shelf and counter space offers indoor advertising for the miraculous powers of plastic surgery and the good life. I search in vain for a normal magazine or newspaper.

Alas, I didn’t bring a book or even my iPad. All I have is my writing journal. Into which I enter the thoughts above.

An hour later, things finally get underway. I also learn a thing or two. The surgeon is probably in his late 30s or early 40s. I’ve often assumed plastic surgeons are in it for the money.

This one, however, doesn’t fit that stereotype. His primary work doesn’t involve what I’d call elective cosmetic plastic surgery for the wealthy seeking eternal youth, or even for the rest of us with routine things like suspicious growths. He does this only one day a week, at this site. A break from his demanding schedule.

The rest of the time he’s at a downtown university hospital doing what he loves most. A form of intricate, creative plastic surgery. Most of his patients are women who’ve had mastectomies or trauma victims whose skin needs repair. He loves the challenge of each case, and knowing that what he does helps people recover from life-changing events.

I left feeling chastened and grateful I’d heard a bit of his story. Well worth the wait.

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 27 March 2017
Photo of spectacular plastic surgery waiting room found pinterest

Lost and Found

Even though I’m a recovering care-taker, I still get urges to DO something about situations I don’t like. Most often it’s about things that are none of my business.

But not always. Read the rest of this entry »

“Missing”

Here’s a wartime poem from Amy Carmichael.  Have you ever dreaded or experienced the knock at the front door?  An unexpected phone call?  My brief comments are at the end. Read the rest of this entry »

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