Thinking about a message from Tiffany Bluhm…
It’s the 80 percent that looks really good, she says. The part of me that works well. Ticks along like a nicely balanced pendulum in the predictable rhythm of my days. But it’s the other 20 percent of me that is like a wetlands of the soul. A place that absorbs the storms, gets all tossed around and then is drained.
I don’t like slogging through that marsh. It’s hard to walk through there because it’s muddy. There’s stuff growing but it looks kind of weird after the wind has calmed and the rain has settled back into the clouds. And yet that’s the section of my shoreline, apparently, that God is interested in. The crushed, messy part, strewn with the flotsam of days of tough sailing.
Lean into the pain, she says. That’s where the deep work is done. Where I can rise like a phoenix from the remainder, the wreckage that I keep tucked away because it doesn’t always work quite right. Little gusts of dysfunction escape once in a while and I say, hey, where did that come from? I am so OVER that. Thanks but I’d rather not lean into that, I say. Took me long enough to recover the first time around.
I know I can’t depend on an uncertain foundation. Can’t stay in a cabin I built in the marsh. I have to move inland, to solid ground. The only way through, the only path is straight across the mud. Through the barnacle-covered memories. And weedy nightmares that cling to my ankles.
There’s somebody behind you, she says. Someone that needs what you have, what you can offer. Who needs the peace that accompanies a new journey of hope. Not the stuff YOU have planned – your tidy package is nice, it looks good, but it’s not the canvas God wants, she says. It’s that broken place, that place of shadows where miracles are born. Where the loveliness of your soul can burst forth and truly be seen. In the dark.