Finding peace… faith & topiary

Hi again. Thanks so much for popping by. My latest blog was very unexpectedly started after reading a little of John Bunyan’s ~ The Pilgrim’s Progress a few days ago…I hadn’t realised previously, but a book written during confinement, which makes it all the more poignant, and especially the mention of the wicket gate.

…a couple of pages in, and that will be that with book reading for a while. Reading, as opposed to noting down thoughts already in your mind, is difficult for me. But I can write a little, yippee!!

Someone had mentioned the aforementioned book & I recalled a rather ancient copy sitting on the bookshelf. Book reading doesn’t always remain an option, but I accept that without grumble now.

So here we go… 1.40 am!!…last week sometime…and as I begin, thank you to the book for prompting this memory.

On yet another night of problematic sleep…I step into prayer, remembering those I have promised & made note to pray for. I wonder what God thinks of that, my talking at my bidding in the night hours… He is so patient & loving.

For many years, I have dealt with ill health by visualising. I hear a sharp intake of breath.

When ME/cfs first descended I had trouble seeing, literally with my vision. It was grainy, like trying to see through a sieve…it was frightening. My skin also turned yellow…anyway, let’s skip along a bit. To cope with the array, I tried & try to equate it in visual terms. Why? To just try & cope.

For a long time life felt like I was peering through a hedge, a thicket…so dense & spikey, getting caught up on every thorn. To attempt topiary or pruning of any kind being futile. Feeling almost like Sleeping Beauty (without much beauty involved)…recovery & health being my knight in shining armour…whose steed had most definitely lost a shoe & taken a detour to a distant blacksmith. Now I’m muddling Sleeping Beauty with Cinderella! But unfortunately ME/cfs isn’t a fairy tale.

The thicket for some time seemed like an obstacle, I was desperately trying to get through, seeing it as the illness…  as if I was completely hemmed in, exhausted with the effort. After some time however, it became  evident to me.. EUREKA!!…to be the complete reverse.

The perfect word, from the Greek meaning I have found. Or to put it another way, I had been found!

I was being gradually coaxed through this hedge, inch by inch. It took months & months. Then eventually I got through the hedge….into a beautiful breathing space. Protecting and releasing me from my own self-destructive self, & thoughts relating to illness…such as, “I’ve failed” & other such delights. The all singing, dancing, starter finisher, yes person. Being reassured that relinquishing this person was ok, it was fine to let go & be within the hedge of protection.

A friend, who has only known me as ‘ill’ (dislike writing that), can see the previous me beneath trying to, at times, re-emerge …the obsessive doer!…still fighting to regain control.

I also think that the hedge is the protection of my peace, being at peace..it was the start of my peace. Once through the thicket & gathering myself after this tussle, (& probably during yet another bad hair day) I saw a hill up ahead drifting down into a lush green meadow..(this is no joke), I was invited.

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It took a while to climb the hill in my mind, but it was worth it. Once at the top, and sitting down taking a rest, I saw a meadow. I can describe the meadow as a promise of beauty…green, gentle & goes on for a long, long way…with wild flowers & a soft breeze.

I can sit on that gently sunny hill & stare out into the distance for as long as I like. It remains beautiful & peaceful. This isn’t  relying on previous memory this time, it’s a comforting message ~ “I’m right with you & alongside you… this is for you.”

I know some folk may struggle to comprehend my faith… but it is so tangible to me, more so than ever before. I’ll let you know when I  run or wander down the hill into the meadow…or maybe I already am & just don’t realise it.

Topiary ~ ˈtəʊpɪəri. The art of clipping shrubs. A definition ‘a cottage surrounded by topiary & flowers’. On the outside, I perceived the hedge as a thorny mess, on the inside…beauty.

 

Psalm 121:8b The Message © ~ He guards you now, he guards you always.
My prayer ~ Father God, I thank you so very much for the renewed gift of words and being able to express them in this form. I pray that they will encourage & lift others. Thank you Father, in Jesus precious name. Amen xxx

 

Song suggestion ~

My Help ~ Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir

 

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