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Song for the WoPA

It's been decades since I wrote anything of prose or poetry.  I used to do it a lot.  I read the following quote from a friend, and it struck me


"Writing is my soul's exhale. Some days, it is the wind I've had knocked out of me. In my dark moments, it is a prayer that I pour out unto my God so that he can fill me up with something better. It's okay if it is not graceful. At first, breathing through life may register as more painful in some ways, because we become more present in the moment. But it also means WE'RE BREATHING and that is a good thing, even when it hurts. Eventually we must become perfectly aware of our breath, and there is gratitude found within the inhale and the exhale. The pain begins to feel like growth. Growth gives way to greater love for others, and greater love, cycles back around to greater capacity for joy, which inspires a deeper inhale. Then a deeper exhale..."- Emily Ruth

"Soul's exhale."  Yes.  Why do I keep not writing when this is how I feel about it?  So it was that as I sat in bed and pondered on what things I would tell leaders in my community and church, friends and family, of the things I see and hear...and have experienced... thoughts came and I knew I needed to write.  In that moment.  Whatever flowed.  This was it:
 

Song for the WoPA- By Heather Worthen

There are women all over who cry in silence.

They suffer, believing they are alone and that no one understands.

They are told to turn to God and rely on Him,

because He understands.

But how can they do this, when they feel unsure of themselves?

 

Addiction robs us of our trust in ourselves

Our ability to believe our own intuition

to feel safe with ourselves.

We spent so long sensing something wasn't right

Repeatedly being told all was well

We were simply stressed or emotional

Or Satan was trying to put contention in our homes.

So we pushed aside or wrote off our feelings

Only to later learn we were right.

And then we wondered why we didn't follow through

or stick to our guts.

Or we spent so long believing all was well in Zion

that when we learned otherwise

We wondered how we could not have known

How the Spirit could not have warned us.

We did everything right.

 

There are women leaving the church in mass numbers.

They are lacking validation for the negative feelings

that are right and appropriate.

They have witnessed firsthand the hearts of men grown cold

And it is shocking.

When your immediate Priesthood leaders don't notice your suffering

but are supposed to be representatives of Christ

When your spouse is encouraged to keep things from you

because it is between them and God

or for fear of your 'irrational', emotional reaction

 

There are women feeling lost

because how do you trust God when those male figures closest to you

have betrayed your trust?

And where or how do you trust God if not yourself?

 

There are women who have been to the war zone

and tended quietly to the wounded and the dying.

They have fought in the trenches-

for their families

their relationships

their safety

their sanity.

They have been accused of being unforgiving or unChristlike

because they prioritize their sense of safety

Because they put on their own oxygen mask first.

They cry in the dark and wonder how long they must wait for his return

if he will ever return at all.

They are weary from a daily battle

with forces of evil

and then they feel guilty or ashamed

for not putting on a happy face

or enduring well.

 

They aren't sure they can win.

They aren't sure what winning looks like.

They worry what others may think

of them and their decisions

of him and his actions

of faults

of callings held

of their children

And so they stay silent.

 

There are armies of warrior women

banding together to provide strength

and support.

But they don't  know how to find each other.

So some speak out

In the hopes of being  a lighthouse to one lost at sea.

"I am here.  I am safe.  You can come to me."

And they wait.

 

Some continue to speak out

choosing to risk the whispers

and sideways glances

Determined to find victory over shame

and break apart chains binding others

Determined to create a small ripple

that might change the tide of the future

Because we are tired of drowning

and watching those we love get lost at sea.

 

It makes others uncomfortable

being a lighthouse.

Sometimes they are on solid ground

and don't like being reminded of what is out there.

Sometimes the light is too bright in their eyes.

Sometimes the light illuminates one struggling.

It is hard to be reminded of this reality

To risk the safety of the shore

To feel a tug of responsibility

To decide whether to care.

 

But the lighthouses,

We care

and We are bound by duty

Because we know what it's like to drown

to float

to treat water

to see a flicker of light and hope in the distance

to be rescued.

Happy Father's Day

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