As I begin you will read all that exposed me, and made me look up! I looked up, and raised my hand up from the mire. I extended my hand, as my body was buried under shame, and self affliction. I looked to the heavens, and to my God who was stronger than I. My frailty was no longer a match for this world. I was crushed by the rock that was higher than I. The rock fell on me breaking my very being. I caught a glimpse of the beautiful sky, and God said, “Lisa I am here”. So here is where I began. A hand, the sky and a God so much bigger than I.
I asked the dreaded question to the gal cutting, and coloring my hair. It was a such a “girly” question too. I bit down on my lip a little out of anxious curioisty waiting for her answer,”how gray am I, like can you give me a percentage of how gray my hair is”? You know the old saying, “curiosity killed the cat”. The vanity in the question, caught even me by surprise. I mean come on I was 40 something. What was I expecting her to say, “you have zero percent gray“. As one of my silver hairs caught the light, and tracked the line of my hair from root to end just that morning. That old song by, Carly Simon was looping my mind. You know it well, “You’re So Vain”. Okay yes I was so vain, and there was no probably this was about me! She looked at me, as her fingers ran about my head. Seperating pieces, finally “ummm I would say you are 18 percent gray. What the….you have got to me kidding me.
When I looked in the mirror my minds eye saw all the years the locusts had ate away, and boy I saw gray. Gray in my hair, a whole slew of it. 18 percent gray who was she kidding, she was just being nice. Psh!
When I looked in the mirror my minds eye saw gray in the fine wrinkles around my eyes, oh yeah and those ones woman get just above the lip line. That if they wear there lipstick poorly, it bleeds into them making them all the more prounounced.
When I looked in the mirror from my minds eye I saw gray in the weary traveler that was me. Standing there with my reflection, and the long gray journey my life had taken. My body had taken quite a punch. Can you imagine what a gal like me should reflect blowing a .24 at 108 pounds. That is 3 times the legal limit. This was a daily regemine for me too(quite the beauty guru ay). My liver was obviously gray, well probably black.
From my minds eye I was all gray. There was no other color I resembled. From head to toe, from heart to soul, Gray. When I think of gray I think of pitiful. I was slathered in gray could I ever have a color?
From my minds eye I saw gray as I had not learned sober yet. I was gray with chaotic indifferance. I was gray, my marriage was gray, my relationships with my children were gray. My pours were gray, and smelled as if death had found me. God to me at this time, was so gray. Did he even know my gray?
God did indeed know my gray. He viewed me nothing of what I did from my minds eye. In fact he was gracious to me, and he restored the years the locusts had ate away. Not to toot my own horn(well sorta) many a people have said I look great, and even young for the life I have lived. I do have a color, and actually many colors reside from head to toe, and heart to soul.
With God I slayed the gray, and as a token of my obedience to Him I am made into a masterpiece of colors. Vibrant, colors only adding to my youthful 40 something self.
When I look into the mirror today from my minds eye, gray…nah! Only when the color from my hair has faded, and I know it time to color it again. I am not going gray yet…
I am only 40 something come on…
I don’t know “zip” about you? “You”? “You are my mom who just staggered in from work teetering to make her way through the house unnoticed, while leaving her stink of shameful inebriation with every faltered step”?
I don’t know “zip” about you? “You”? “You are my employee whos absence to the bathroom is cause for concern when upon return your words are slurred, and blunders are too many to count”?
I don’t know “zip” about you? “You”? “You are my friend I ask have you been drinking, and you might as well be holding the evidence in hand because there is no hiding your stupidity, yet you look me straight in the eyes, and say no. As your breath is so offensive”?
I don’t know “zip” about you? You? “You are my wife who seems sweet, and gentle in spirit yet turns into a savage with spite in her eyes, ready to devour me for the wounds I have caused?”
I don’t know “zip” about you? You? You are the pretty girl trying to fake it, while you think your so stealthy. Obviously transparent, as drunk is drunk. Guzzling booze you hide all around, and acting out with a child like innocence? You? Oh me? Yep, I didn’t know “zip” about me.
I know “zip” about you. “You”. “You are the girl that prayed a prayer of saving grace. You are the girl who sought my face. You are the girl who rests at the foot of the cross, for you my daughter are no longer lost. You are the girl who has nothing to hide. For with you, I your Lord reside. You and I hand in hand, walk daily this life. You are the girl who died to herself, and was given a new life in me. You were so worth saving!!
“For I know you, and you are mine”. No “zips”, I mean ifs, ands, or butts about it…
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when were dead in transgressions-it is by grace we have been saved.
Photo Credit: Lisa Ralph, Hog Creek Canyon Trail Head/Waterfalls Tyler, WA.
Zealous would be an understatement when it came to me and alcohol. Like the Lay’s pototoe chip commercial, “betcha can’t eat just one”. Boy was that right with me and alcohol, you betcha I could not have just one. 1,2,3,4 sips, that lead to 4 bottles later, what were we talking about? Kidding! I was zealous, can’t say I was zealous about all things in life. Zealous is good right?
Devoted to my days with alcohol, as a loving wife is devoted to meeting the needs of her one and only. I gave it my all, for I was devoted. “Hopelessly devoted to ____”? Devotion can only grow you right?
Ambition took over, and I was stout about retrieving drunk. For what joy was there in sober. Ambition now that is great, it gets you far! Success is derived of ambition right?
Zealous, Devoted, Ambition, all makings of significant attributes of a leader or even more. What impeccable character I had, carrying these distinctions about.
All in all grand was the scope in my vision. But once I became too much of all of these I became, pushy, selfish, a mersonary, greed struck, and anything but successful.
For I was an AVID alcolohic. Try to raise to fame with that as your one trait.
Now let me do a 180, as I did. Let me be zealous, devoted, and show honorable ambition towards my Lord, now there is where I find a record long list of these awe-inspiring hallmarks within me.
I have been crucified by with Christ and no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
I am now an AVID believer in the Lord, and he saved me from the treacherous bondage of alcohol. He gave me new life, and I am the greatest success story of all things good in AVID.
Via Daily Prompt: Avid
From morning until night, I was given to drunk. I could not stand to look at my then husband with unprotected eyes. He made me nauseated. I needed drunk to blur my eyes to blind me to his sneer. I was so very very alone. Was God even near?
So I danced into the night with my bottle held in grip oh so tight. My bar was never closed, and for what ungodly hour be told, I never did know. We danced, we talked, laughed, sometimes romanced. I was alive on the flip side of reality. Lost in fantasy with each gulp. Yeah I gulped, I did not have time to sip. Sipping did not make my daydreaming real. I did not just flirt with alcohol, it was adulterated wreckless abadonement.
I was like Gollum with a michevieous smile, slithering around with a way to come about my tonic. Feverishly in need, for without it I felt no life.
All the while the chains that held me in captivity were getting ready to be broken. God was sending his armies, and a great battle was pending for my life. The plans were being drawn. The skies were lit up, and I was beginning to feel the pull.
The angels began to get suited up, and the dark side was not ready to give in. The devil had a ploy. He was already wreaking havoc on my family. Taking pleasure in their demise. The demolition had begun. They had had me for what was no short stint. They suited up as well relentless for my soul. The spiritual war was all in want for me.
The keys were jingling inside my jail cell door lock, the guard was coming for me. All the while they too were in want for me…whom had the stronger hold, and whom would beget the life I had known?
69 Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul.
2 I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me.
3 I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait for my God.
4 They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored that which I took not away.
5 O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee.
6 Let not them that wait on thee, O LordGod of hosts, be ashamed for my sake: let not those that seek thee be confounded for my sake, O God of Israel.
7 Because for thy sake I have borne reproach; shame hath covered my face.
8 I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother’s children.
9 For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.
10 When I wept, and chastened my soul with fasting, that was to my reproach.
11 I made sackcloth also my garment; and I became a proverb to them.
12 They that sit in the gate speak against me; and I was the song of the drunkards.
13 But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O Lord, in an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation.
14 Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink: let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters.
15 Let not the waterflood overflow me, neither let the deep swallow me up, and let not the pit shut her mouth upon me.
16 Hear me, O Lord; for thy lovingkindness is good: turn unto me according to the multitude of thy tender mercies.
17 And hide not thy face from thy servant; for I am in trouble: hear me speedily.
18 Draw nigh unto my soul, and redeem it: deliver me because of mine enemies.
19 Thou hast known my reproach, and my shame, and my dishonour: mine adversaries are all before thee.
20 Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none.
21 They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
22 Let their table become a snare before them: and that which should have been for their welfare, let it become a trap.
23 Let their eyes be darkened, that they see not; and make their loins continually to shake.
24 Pour out thine indignation upon them, and let thy wrathful anger take hold of them.
25 Let their habitation be desolate; and let none dwell in their tents.
26 For they persecute him whom thou hast smitten; and they talk to the grief of those whom thou hast wounded.
27 Add iniquity unto their iniquity: and let them not come into thy righteousness.
28 Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.
29 But I am poor and sorrowful: let thy salvation, O God, set me up on high.
30 I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.
31 This also shall please the Lord better than an ox or bullock that hath horns and hoofs.
32 The humble shall see this, and be glad: and your heart shall live that seek God.
33 For the Lord heareth the poor, and despiseth not his prisoners.
34 Let the heaven and earth praise him, the seas, and every thing that moveth therein.
35 For God will save Zion, and will build the cities of Judah: that they may dwell there, and have it in possession.
36 The seed also of his servants shall inherit it: and they that love his name shall dwell therein.
It was a beautifully orchestrated fellowship, that bottle
It was a rapport we had build like I had with no other, it understood me, that bottle
It was a shambled consistentcy nonetheless constintent, that bottle
It was a melodic unity that camflouged the secrets I was drowning in, that bottle
It was, no is peace that surpasses ALL understanding God offered me when I put down, that bottle
all photo credits; Lisa Ralph this taken at Palouse Falls State Park 2016.
Via Daily Prompt: Spike
The impaling of my heart as I realized I was drinking myself to death
The penetration so deep that no words could comfort my decay
The petrified outline of my body depicted for me to see as a crime scene investigation, headlines read “39 year old wife, and mother died of alcohol toxicity.”
The piercing reality that if I had a eulogy written it would say so little good, for I was just lost bones in a box another Jane Doe really
The pounding stab of my heart when I held onto my kid, and was made to say goodbye
The prickling pains that riddled my body from the inside out, as my life was turned upside down
The nails that pierced through Jesus’s hands, and feet as he took the bitter cup and drank of it. For all mankind to be saved from our sins, because he loved us
The girl who was lanced with grace that she lived it, and it now lived in her