fight song in a minor key

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yet i will rejoice.

it’s not the first time you have heard me proclaim those words,

and it certainly will not be the last.

i have been trying to muster the courage to speak words over the realms of my heart in recent events,

but how does one box the depths of great sorrow into a simple combination of letters on a page.

the deeper i fall into grief, the more excruciating that phrase is to declare:

yet i will rejoice.

yet i will rejoice.

yet i will rejoice.


Leilani Joy,

a piece of my heart is no longer here with me.

i never understood love to such capacity before you.

i never knew a friendship could be so sweet.

some people praised me for serving you,

but oh, sweet girl, it was you who ministered to me,

and i somehow was blessed to take on the roll of “big sister” in your heart.

your smile was contagious and your sass was fierce.

your confidence in your salvation and your lack of fear in life and death,

well, there are simply no words to describe it.

you were breathtaking in every way,

and i find it impossible that anyone could spend more than two minutes with you,

and not leave forever changed.

how precious this weight of grief is,

because it reminds me how deep my love for you will forever be.


it’s funny how thin the tightrope is between the tenses of present and past.

you blink, and what is becomes what was.

oh, even typing the word “was” is paralyzing.

somehow, in one final breath, everything in life changed,

and a beautiful life was no longer to be found by my side on this earth.

i went to bed, with a knowledge in my soul that all would be different when i woke up.

sure enough, my beautiful sister is gone.

a lifeless body with new life redeemed by her Creator in heaven.

never again will i hold her.

never again will we dance.

never again will her hand rest in mine.

a blink of an eye, and the time ran out.

the present became the past.


i have known for a long time that i desired a constant reminder of the Lords ever present goodness and faithfulness in my life.

i have prayed and sought and doodled and sketched and shared and prayed some more.

from design to design until the vision came into fruition.

there is so much significance in the ink that caresses the inside of my arm.

from a phrase that at first i did not even realize was biblical,

to my two favorite flowers that had no alternative meaning to me.

peonies, a symbol of healing.

sunflowers, a symbol of joy and light.

tied together to fully express the life song of my heart,

even through the deepest suffering.

yet i will rejoice.

though my precious friend is gone,

though my heart is longing for a world far away,

though my days are filled with an aching heart and a confused mind,

yet i will rejoice in the Lord;

i will take joy in the God of my salvation.

God, the Lord, is my strength.


i found it interesting,

as i was driving to ames for this appointment,

that my vision for this piece was for it to be all lowercase.

this is my second tattoo,

and the first was written in bold, capitol letters.

a declaration of assurance:

TAKE AND SEAL IT.

an anthem of surrender.

a constant reminder that I am sealed in the realms of heaven,

my citizenship is not here.

a reminder that life is short and the Lord is still good.

a reminder that my ever wandering heart is bound to my ever present Maker.

it had to be bold.

because it is bold.

it is a constant.

it is a truth.

it is non-negotiable.

it is a victory song in a major key.

this, this one is different.

it is soft, aching heart cry.

it is a fight song in a minor key.

it is an early morning,

wind whistling,

birds chirping,

sun piercing through the fog,

life song.

it is a quiet head bowed,

hands open wide prayer.

it is gentle and it is sweet.

it is the hardest song i have ever been called to sing.

and even more each day,

it is my survival and revival.


i will rejoice in You, my Jesus,

because you are far greater than this present aching.

i will sing to You a song of joy and surrender,

because You are my rock.

i will seek You again and again every morning,

until You call me into your arms.

God, the Lord, is my strength,

now and forevermore.

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