Flying Free

Her sandals flip and flop as she makes her way across the field. The bright green grass in deep contrast with the dark gray skies. The clouds, ready to burst with rain at any moment, a grander version of her tear-ducts ready to do the same.

Finding her way to the rectangle piece of rubber attached to an a-frame by two long chains, she sits and pushes off. Pumping her legs forward and back she begins to go higher and higher.  Back and forth. Back and forth.  She thinks of a time when life seemed so simple… when the biggest decision of the day simple was which piece of playground equipment to play on first.  With each pump forward and coasting back she begins to hand the prayers and praises of her heart, one by one, over to her Creator, Savior, Protector, Healer, and Friend.

Pump forward.
A friend making big decisions.
Coast Back. It’s all in your hands, Lord.

Pump forward.
The brother-in-law away for 8 more months fighting for our freedom in the Army.  Prayers lifted, too for his wife and daughter anxiously awaiting his return.
Coast back.  Three more people placed in the Father’s care and she flies a little freer through the air.

The joy in celebrating with high school graduates and prayers lifted that Christ would remain the center of their lives.
“They’re in your hands Lord. Help me, lead.” she prays as she swings back, hair flying in her face. 

The dear friend facing one of the most difficult weeks of cancer treatment yet.
And this one takes a few extra swings to truly trust and fly free.

The passion deep in her heart that God won’t let her forget… because He placed it there to begin with.
Forward. Back. Forward. Back. 

The burdens of her work and the even greater joys she finds there too.
Gratitude helps one fly higher & lighter, lifting the burdens to experience more joy.

The family far away. The beautiful niece. The distance between us.
The sister in Christ struggling to fight Satan’s attacks against the freedom she found in Christ.
The attacks she sees him plotting her own life and ministry lately as she celebrates God’s Kingdom growing.
The friend battling lyme disease at a most inopportune time (as if there ever was an opportune one).
For catching up with a beautiful woman and friend who is experiencing joy in a new amazing way and blessings on her journey.
And yet another beautiful friend who just can’t seem to get a break, except for the ways the people around her seem to constantly break her heart.

With each rise and fall of the swing, these are each prayed for not just in spirit but in body too… placed with her whole being, in the arms of the Redeemer of it all.  In the forward and back. In the working and releasing.

As she eventually stops pumping and slows her pace to a gentle swing, she notices the sun beginning to peak through that dark gray sky.

She calls it hope.

The wind rustles trees all around her and she hears God’s spirit say:

I am here.

Off her swing now and walking back to her car she remembers that she walks not alone. No, God himself is holding her hand…

For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.” (Isaiah 41:13 ESV)

Though still uncertain of what the next moments, days, and weeks will hold, she leaves the park a little freer.  Because this promise of a present God, is more than enough.

Flickr Photo by Meredith_Farmer

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