Posted by: karanoel | January 27, 2020

Tents with a view

I’ve been tempted again lately to get some botox like a heck of a lotta women do where I live (or maybe everywhere?) when the signs of aging change from subtle whispers to blatant shouts. I’ve read that a good amount of young, unwrinkled people even do this preemptively now. No one wants to look old, especially when you feel like the only one. Responding to this predicament with botox or fillers is certainly nothing worthy of shame or scorn, so please don’t feel bad if this is something you do. And I’m going to give myself grace if I end up taking that route, but here’s what I was thinking about yesterday….

The fact that I’m alive at 46 is pretty much a miracle. Nearly losing my life to a heroin overdose at 18 was my closest call and one that brings me to tears in gratitude for the mercy of every breath, but it was not remotely the only time my life was at risk. There were times I totaled cars and walked away uninjured and other times I drove drunk and escaped the horrors of destroying the lives of others in addition to my own. There were years of pummeling my flesh with whatever drugs and alcohol I could get my hands on; of withholding food and kindness to my hungry body and soul. There were countless poor choices that made me vulnerable to the twisted whims of others, like the time I was kidnapped, and relationships so broken and drug-fueled, they held no safety. I recklessly provoked self-destruction, egging it on, feeling deserving of it.

And yet, not only am I still here, but those horrific years of brokenness and torment have been swallowed up by ones of beauty, truth and grace. These deepening lines on my face and the gray hair that increasingly shows through my artificial highlights, I feel like I’ve earned them. Through laughter and love and hardship. Through wrestling out my faith in small things and big. Through working and learning and growing. Through relationship as a daughter and a sister, a friend and a wife. Through raising my amazing children; through losing my son. Through days and nights and years with the Lord. Through time outdoors in the sun I love, breathing in the cool, moist air of the ocean or the thin, dry air of the mountains. Through living.

I don’t want to go back to being young. I’ve fought hard to get here and I’m proud of having made it this far. Age has been such a blessing to me. And my outsides are just a shell of who I am; a tent that holds and covers me for this part of the journey. I want to care for it as best as I can so it can serve me well and shelter me for the adventures ahead, but I’d rather use it and enjoy it than worry about it looking brand new and untouched. So this is my hope. Not that we toss out every bit of hair dye or spurn any chance to look younger, but that our focus would increasingly shift to the the great renewal taking place inwardly day by day and the amazing views these tents allows us – not as we look at them, but from them – upon the diverse and glorious terrains and people the Lord leads us to. 

Inside Tent

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  2 Cor 4:16

 

Photo credit: Rob Hammer


Responses

  1. This is SO beautiful. So eloquently put and so very true. Something that can only be said by someone who has walked a bit of this journey of life and felt a bit of its weight.
    Thank you. ❤️💫👏🏼

    • Thank you, my dear fellow traveler! You are a true beauty to the depths and I love you ❤️

  2. This is beautiful Kara! You are beautiful! Love you…❤️

    • Thank you, Kelly! You are beautiful too, inside and out! ❤️❤️❤️

  3. You are AMAZING girl! Have I told you that recently? Beautifully written, as usual. I’m crying, as usual. You Rock, as usual! God truly did have a plan for your life and I’m so thankful you answered the call. ❤️ You!


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