Today, I burn pages.
I wake up and check my phone. It reads 6:47. Good, I think. 1 hour before I need to start dressing for church. I ate too late last night and my stomach feels fat and bloated. I need to find a shirt that covers this ballooning muffin top.
I sigh and roll out of bed.
I pick up my bible and notebook. I stop. Peeking out of my trundle drawer is my blue notebook. THAT. Blue notebook. I pick that up too.
Blue notebook. Shrouded in memories. I pull back the elastic band and she flips open to the first page. THAT first page.
In my whispy handwriting I read:
“I realized that the deepest spiritual lessons are not learned by His letting us have our way in the end, but by His making us wait, bearing with us in love and patience until we are able to honestly to pray what He taught His disciples to pray: Thy will be done.”
Elisabeth said that. I read it. I remember the day I read it. I was fed up of waiting; tired of the uncertainty. I wanted God to dip his finger into lava and write in the papyrus of the morning sky. Yet. He didn’t. Strange huh?
So I waited. And prayed. I was sitting in the white house of my friend’s. Sitting with legs sprawled out when I read those words. They were fire in my soul. God had taken his finger and touched my heart and with it He said, child. My child. Wait. A little longer.
I nearly wept reading those words. They were my companions the next year of my life. Through the summer I took them – I printed them out and sat them in front of me in my office space; next to the smiling faces of my family. I took them through the fall, when the uncertainty grew deeper. When the doubt grew stronger.
He still said wait. While the leaves crunched and turned golden I waited.
And when the wind swept them up and icy chill came and replaced those golden leaves with cream powder, I waited. And my tears turned to ice as I cried for God to reveal Himself. I still wanted my way. Even though the seasons changed my heart hadn’t yet. So He waited. And bore with me in love and patience until one day.
One day, it was if a noose of realization and certainty and absolute assurance gripped my neck. Here you will stay and go no further, He said. He finally showed His hand. And I took it and said yes. You were right all along. I didn’t know i needed the wait. But He did. So He concealed the matter until it was time.
Life wasn’t happy go lucky after that. But i knew. Amidst the storms after that, the memory of His leading still shown like the North Star.
So there I sat. A year and a half later. With blue notebook in my hand. Nodding at those words which carry the world’s weight of meaning in them now. They’re not just for the Jane girl down the street. They’re for this girl. Me.
Burning pages. Burnt messages. Burnt into my very soul. I finally said thy will be done. But it didn’t end there. I’m still saying it. I’m still needing to say it.
I say it as I walk outside into the muggy, August morning. Is say it as my toes touch the wet, fresh smelling grass as I walk quietly barefoot to the fruit trees where the campfire sits. I say it in my soul as I bend and light a match and watch the first flickers of yellow lick out and touch the white pages. They begin to eat up those pages hungrily. I watch the fingers of brown crawl across the pages, erasing the words, the questions, my scribblings and his name. It eats everything in its path – unsatisfied, it looks for more. But there is no more. I’ve watched those flames burn and devour and erase two years of memories and questions and hopes and dreams and expectations and answers.
So here I sit. With those smoldering pages lying in the ash heap before me – remnants of a life once lived and dream that have died and been buried. The birds are quiet this morning. I hear only the murmur of my own breath as I say, thank you. Thank you for that blue book. Those pages. Those dreams. That hurt. YOUR plan. I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Your perfect will in your perfect way. It was perfect because you are perfect.
Today, I’m thankful for burning pages.