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“This is the beginning~my beginning. Maybe even yours. It is the shedding of the first garment on the way to naked. This is an exposition of my process of stripping off the falsities, of coming clean.”

Seth Haines~Coming Clean

No, this is not a book review, an endorsement of any sort. What I have found tucked away in these pages has deeply impacted me.

Next to the living, breathing Word of God, there has been one other book that has had this much impact on me;  Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts: Dare to Live Fully Where You Are and now this one.

I was drawn to the book for several reasons. I read his blog, his wife’s blog, Amber C. Haines. They write as poetry in motion, enticing words to dance across the page. I imagine them reading aloud with the same softness and vulnerability found in their words. Amber’s book, Wild in the Hollow, made it to my top ten list as well.

That alone was enough for me to once again, push the magic Amazon button(I’m sure they keep a delivery drone in place just for me…smile), though there was already a stack of books next to me begging to be read. Some for review.

My man walked through the door with the yellow envelope and like a greedy grabber with grubby little paws, I took it and ripped it open and went to my chair. Sinking in it beneath my fuzzy blanket.

I come from a long line of addiction. Alcohol, drugs, perfectionism, numbers on a scale. You name it and you will find it in the cobwebs of my family tree, generation upon generation.

My time in the “pit” of darkness, found me flirting on the edge of alcoholism myself. First there was the nudge in my spirit to give it up, when that didn’t pan out, there was the swift kick in the backside. I listened. I picked a day. And so it went. To this day, some three plus years later, I cannot even tolerate the smell.

Whether you have flirted with this malady, or not, the words between these pages will speak to you.

This is a story of faith.

The struggle of faith in the unanswered prayer. The wrong answer, or perhaps, when there is no answer at all. The sweet communion with Jesus in the hard.

I do not know about you, but for me, I have experienced all of these. In this season, I currently find myself struggling with faith in the uttered prayer of not my will, but yours be done. .

I wrote about it here last week https://tlmashburn.wordpress.com/2015/12/11/so-i-dance/

I am dancing on the edge of faith. Skirting quietly around the why God. Uttered prayers that come in fragments of my life.

I feel naked and exposed. Stripping off layer by layer all that I ever was. I had adjusted, accepted, reconciled myself and yielded to the one chronic illness. When the second one came about, I balked. I wrestled. I fretted in my faith.

In the fretting, He has brought me grace. In the wrestling, there is communion. With the communion, comes the yielding. In the yielding, there is peace.

“It’s in the pendency, the space between the mustard seed and the upper crust of the fertile soil.” Seth Haines~Coming Clean

I feel as if I am hovering. Hovering between the mustard seed faith and the upper crust of the fertile soil. Days I inch closer, plant my seed of faith in the fertile soil. Others, I tumble backward and claw my way back.

After the pit, I daily prayed that no matter what life threw my way, I would never turn from the Face of God again.

Somewhere along the way, as I had adjusted to this new way of life, my prayer was lost. I became complacent. Arrogant, even.

Then, there was this. The new thing.

I have daily taken up that prayer again, as I pray through the pain, the uttering of those words many times through out the day.

“Lord, give me faith in this new thing, do not let me turn away from you. Grow the seed of faith into the unruly mustard plant.”

Gifts of Grace