Posts Tagged ‘I Am’

I’m miserable. My throat hurts and my head hurts and I’m exhausted from nightmares and lack of sleep. I whine when I’m miserable. And when I have some clarity about my husband’s job situation, I’ll update, but that’s serving to make me even more miserable. Sigh.

Anyhow, Epi, our church’s writer’s corner came out today, and I included this poem. I spent quite a bit of time on it by my standards, but I’m pretty pleased with how it came out. It says to me that even my earliest memories aren’t my first story.

My First Story

It is not, “How could you do this to us?”
“No daughter of mine”
Or a late spring wedding, fast before she blooms

It is not swimming in a dark salty sea,
tethered to she who wished to cut me loose
Or the cheek throbbing hot and red from knuckle striking bone

It is not the inky stain of violation, pooled and permanent
sunk to soul
Or thick summer Sundays full of wood and brass and song

It is not rage spilling into crimson sear,
breath of fire spreading wild
Or being called adjectives rather than my own proper name

It is not back child support in thin green envelopes,
Forty-two dollars per week
Or the absence of abandonment, better this way

It is not the, “I wish you were never born”
(which translates to, “I wish you were dead”)
Or the baby who, because of memory’s ricochet, never drew first breath

It is not the tug of convention;
marriage, motherhood, roots
Or the deep rolling shame that aches and thunders


It is rather the soft call of home,
somehow known though never known
The redress and recompense

It is the First, the Last, the I Am,
Author of Life and Ancient of Days
The unsearchable mystery of being found

It is the joy of being bare-faced and
blue-jeaned and whole
The delicate lilt that captures my ear

It is my wounded heart weeping,
finally weeping, through its thick balm
The dignity remembrance lends to suffering

It is the nightmare calmed,
brow mopped and hair smoothed
The gruesome yet profound beauty of truth

It is the Artist’s hand sculpting the slope of my nose,
curve of my hip, arch of my foot
The monogram graven deep, forever on His palms

It is He whose name is the sound of my breathing,
worship spoken holy in the raging silence
This Jesus; He is my first story

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I Am

Almost two years ago I got the above tattoo. I Am is my favorite name of God, and has been since the very first days of my faith.

While other names of God appeal to me, this one keeps me coming back to His feet, and I can see why. It’s a statement of His existence. It’s a name of mystery. It’s a profound answer to so many questions. It resonates in a deep bass when the emptiness swirls around me. I Am. All-sufficient.

But on this journey into self, deciding and deciphering who I am, I Am. Because He Is, I am. We have the same name, and I’m reminded of that fact. As my name is engraved into the palms of His hands, His name is carved permanently into my flesh. I’m learning to breathe those words, use them as a touchstone when I quake with fear, am overwhelmed by doubt.

Every time we make a statement about who we are, we use the name of God. Perhaps this is because He wants us to remember who we were created to be, to speak truth when speaking about our identities.

I am here.

I am His.

I am loved.

I am safe.

I am a thousand other things I’m too afraid to own or too dull to comprehend.

Still and although, I am.

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