In this chapter, Collin and Hallie experience what is feels like to have their souls (emotions) wrapped tightly in knots. In Collin’s situation it is the relationship between his father he is trying to break away from emotionally, since his father broke away from him physically. Hallie is fighting off all the emotional insecurities she holds onto. They are lost in two separate tunnels underneath their creepy old house. Collin’s drawings, that have come to life, torment both him and his sister, Hallie. They are symbolic of the emotions we put into our drawings and how much control we give them. After all they are only ink on paper, but just like our emotions they can grow to enormous proportions and torture us.
I chose this portion of the chapter to share with you, because it shows what the battle over our emotions look like, and how to overcome them. The song that Hallie hears was actually spoken to me word for word when I asked the Creator what do you want to say personally to everyone who is battling with their own insecurities. Honestly I was hoping for a cool one-lined quote, but I was quite overwhelmed at how much the One who created all of us had to say to us, and what He really thinks and feels about us.
Chapter 20 “Soul-tied”
How could this be happening? The bigger-than-life pen-and-ink drawings were actually moving! Hallie recognized the owls right away. The twin freakish sketches from Collin’s room. She remembered the first time she had seen them and felt like they were mocking her.
But they were just drawings—right? Pure fear wrapped its tight fist around Hallie’s courage as the very lifelike creatures came against her.
“This little waif of a thing is what we were sent to destroy,” the crude owl spoke. His words sliced notches into her mud-caked sweatshirt. The one with his mouth wired shut looked down at her with such mockery and arrogance, she felt as if she were standing in the school assembly completely naked.
Crude released an onslaught of insults. “You, child, are the most repulsive, ugly, and awkward-looking piece of crap I have ever had to lay eyes on. Are you sure you’re a girl? I mean have you ever actually checked? Cuz I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but all I see is a mutated, hairy monkey.” Mouth Trap snorted and cackled.
Every time Hallie studied her form in the mirror, that was exactly what she thought about herself. Closing her eyes tight, not wanting to give these creatures the satisfaction of her tears, she saw her reflection plastered on the back of her eyelids. It mocked her with her flat chest, thick hairy eyebrows, and dark fuzz parading over her upper lip. The repugnant sight held her down like a bully’s knee pinning her to the ground, and she couldn’t think of how to fight back. Shoulders slumped over and head drooped down, she allowed her hair to shroud her face in shame.
As the grotesque owls kept pointing at her and hurling insults, a demonic guard dog crawled closer, growling and snapping at her. No chain held it back so all she could do was cover her trembling arms over her face and cry repeatedly for it to stop.
Then her greedy uncle appeared—in the form of a spider. With his crooked fangs, he spoke more tangled-up words of self loathing and rejection than she thought she could bear. He hissed close to her ear, “You never were much to look at. Is this what you’ve made of yourself?” He took a long, painstaking pause to peer down his nose at her with disapproving eyes. “Nothing? No wonder your father left you. He deserves so much better than the likes of you. Wouldn’t you agree?”
Hallie quivered, speechless.
“You know, a graceful and elegant daughter. One who understands fashion and can dress herself in something other than smelly boy’s clothes. If only he could have had a daughter who knows how to carry herself in all situations. I bet he would have taken you on his business trips and showed you off. He could have been so proud of you. Shame, really. Instead he got a clumsy, gangly half breed that can’t seem to do anything right.”
Hallie could take no more. She sobbed as every word he hurled at her pierced her soul.
Then the spider creature aimed his next fiery arrow straight at her heart. “You know that’s why your father bought you all those beautiful dolls from all over the world, don’t you? Surely you didn’t think it was because he cared?” Uncle Grimm chortled. “He had hoped it would teach you how he wished you to look. But unfortunately you never got the hint, and now it’s too late. He’s gone. You poor, fatherless thing.”
The growling guard beast inched closer with every word spoken. Fear of the words really being true, of people really viewing her this way, of wanting to tear at herself almost as much as the gargoyle did overwhelmed Hallie. She wanted a release from the pent-up pain, to cut out the hurts and let them pour out like blood from a gaping wound.
Then, barely audible, a song bubbled up from somewhere deep inside, like water from a gentle brook.
You are more than enough, My perfect one.
I love you.
I made you.
You deserve so much more than this.
Let My love be perfected in who you are.
Allow Me to chase away all of your fears.
Nothing you do or don’t do can change who you are.
You are beautiful, intricately made by My perfect design.
Do not let fear define who you are or are not.
I made YOU to BE feared.
My DNA runs through your blood, I am yours and you are Mine.
Believe in who I am. In all I am.
I am life.
I am about overcoming.
I am about victory.
I am about rising out of the center of the earth, death, and the grave.
I am to be feared, and I am jealous,
I am coming after your enemies like a raging inferno, unstoppable.
No one messes with My beloved. No one can tear Me away from you. Only you.
I don’t need you. I want you, so desperately.
I define you. I make you. I restore and redeem you.
You are Mine and I am yours.
My love for you is as constant as the flow of water.
It was, it is, and it will always be.
I will never stop loving you.
I embrace you, I blanket you, I forgive you.
My love never fails, so you can never fail.
When the song subsided, she looked around at her enemies that still set upon her in a biting and feasting frenzy of words, but this time it was as if she held an imaginary mute button and could silence their painful and poisonous words. It was almost funny, like turning the sound off a horror movie to find it no longer held her captive to her fears. Now the only creature she took notice of was an iridescent blue butterfly that fluttered off her shoulder onto the box in front of her.
(I am sorry to say I am having technical difficulties and cannot get my chapters to post)
I would like to award Helen Keller with this vibrant crimson Poppy. I believe these encapsulated blossoms represent her undying voice.
I had the privilege of listening to some passages from her book: Helen Keller, The Story Of My Life.
Her words were so uplifting, poetic, and coated with praise and thankfulness, that I felt almost ashamed of my own frailties.
When she finally divulged what life was like for her apart from her positive attitude, she described herself as living in a grey dull drizzle near a gate she could not enter. On the other side of the gate was color, laughter, conversations, and music.
This vibrant woman, experienced more color, laughter, conversations, and music internally from her soul, because this frozen barrier like the encapsulated ice around the flowers, only pushed Helen to strive farther in her knowledge and understanding to communicate such a sweet fragrance of revelations.
May her quotes allow you to carry the same appreciation for life and learning that can eventually change our world into a field of inspiration.
“One can never content to creep when one feels an impulse to soar.”
On December 2, 2010 Israel experienced the largest wildfire in the country’s history. The blaze broke out in the Carmel region. It Spread over large swaths of land overnight, the fire quickly consumed 5,000 acres before emergency crews extinguished it. Over forty people were killed bringing sorrow and despair to a nation. The Jewish people pleaded with their government to be able to instantly replant. They described how spiritually important trees are to them, so much in fact that the Torrah means “Tree of Life.” They finally relented to let nature take it’s coarse and one year later the blackened country side was covered in wildflowers, ferns, and teeming with new life.
Fires bring death and devastation in the natural, but how about in the spiritual? Has your heart ever felt consumed by hardships that rage on your emotional well-being? When these horrific flames race across our personal landscape and consume everything in their path, leaving a smoking blackened corpse behind, it is hard to imagine the robust regrowth waiting to reclaim natures beauty.
There are flowers called Cape lilies or fire lilies that lay dormant until flames brush away the covering, allowing them to blossom overnight. Our creator truly gives us beauty for ashes, and joy for our morning. There are also trees like the Lodgepole pine that rely on the pulse of a flame through their crowns to melt away the waxy bond that holds their cones closed; their seeds then fall to fresh ash below, where they can take root without much competition. Sequoia seedlings flourish best on deep-burned sites of grasses.
Nature goes a step beyond restoring itself like an artist who painstakingly restores a damaged painting back to its original. Nature evolves through natural disasters such as forest fires. It adapts to it’s changing climate and atmosphere. There are different species such as orchids, bulbous plants of every description, pink and white, navy and pale blue that delight the eye. The slopes turn green with re-sprouting resilient plants, some protective grasses, while seeds from Everlasting bushes, as well as other, bury themselves happily in the nutrient full ash and sprout when the first rain arrives. New shrubs and ground vegetation is appealing to different kinds of wildlife that travel to and populate these new areas. In life’s hardships we are finding regrowth of courage, strength, compassion, humility, and probably new found wisdom that will help us to continue to thrive in our changing environment.
I wish we could suppress all of life’s fires in the natural and spiritual, but just like nature needs the fire to strengthen and adapt to an ever changing environment, we also need the adversity in life to become resilient. Most of us have heard the word, resilient, but do we know what it actually means? The official definition is the power or ability to bounce back. Capable of withstanding shock without permanent deformation or rupture. Able to recover from misfortune.
A perfect example of this is the song bird called the Kirtland’s warbler which only nests in Jack pine trees. When conservationist found out that “fire might be the worst enemy of the bird.” according to a 1926 article in Audubon magazine, they tried to sustain the birds existence by suppressing the forest fires. What they didn’t understand until it was almost too late is that the warblers nest only in Jack pine woodlands that is a “fire species” tree sustaining itself only where there are periodic fires.
We were not only meant to go through adversity, our spirit thrives on it. I am happy to report natural fires are not seasonal but only cycle every 10 – 20 years. In one year my father died, my daughter was raped, my son admitted he was an alcoholic, and dealt heavily with depression, and besides a few other things that I choose not to speak about, a young man that was like our son didn’t show up for thanksgiving. When I drove to his apartment I turned the corned to find he had committed suicide. My heart felt like it would never recover. I went through the steps of grieving, and thought I would live as a spiritual and emotional burn victim my whole life. But I am glad to report 2 years later God has healed my heart. I am not the same person I was 2 years ago. I am wiser, stronger, and more purposeful than before. I would also like to report that my son is recovering and doing amazingly well, my daughter now councils young girls at school and is joyful and full of life. God has truly given our family joy for sorrow. That doesn’t mean there aren’t time when I turn a corner, think back and shutter, but I have an assurance that God has planted Joy beyond measure in us, and made us resilient.