you have called me my name

In the midst of my shame, 
You have called me by name, 

Cutting through the black,
even though I had turned my back.
Breaking through the scars,
slowly unlocking the prison bars

In the midst of my shame, 
You have called me by name,

Piercing through each tear,
slowly releasing each and every fear.
Unravelling every built up wall, 
holding them carefully as they fall.

In the midst of my shame, 
You have called me by name,

Speaking mercy, love and grace, 
until I can lift my head to see your face.
Looking into those beautiful eyes, 
I hear You say ‘its time for the ashes to rise’

In the midst of my shame 
You have called me by name.

© Helen – 28/2/14

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This is for YOU

This is for YOU.

I dont know if you are a friend, some one I say hi to once in a while, or some one I have not yet met, but this is for YOU.

I don’t know if your a friend of a friend, or a tweeter that just happens to pass by, or maybe this just lands in your lap because its meant to, whatever the case may be, this is for YOU.

I dont know where you have come from or where you are going, but this is for YOU.

I dont know the intimate details of your desires, but this is for YOU.

I dont know the deepest darkest secrets that you daren’t reveal, but this is for YOU.

I dont know why tears fall from your eyes like a never ending waterfall, but this is for YOU.

I dont know what hurt you hide behind the smile, but this is for YOU.

I dont know what the scars on the arms represent, but this is for YOU.

I dont know what the slashes that you hide behind clothes mean, but this for YOU.

I dont know the story behind your tired and weary eyes, but this is for YOU.

I dont know what it is that makes you curl up and want to die, but this is for YOU.

I dont know your story, but this is for YOU.

This is for YOU.

YOU are wonderfully unique.

YOU are valuable.

YOU are special.

YOU are good enough.

YOU are forgiven.

YOU are strong.

YOU are courageous.

YOU are brave.

YOU make the world a better place.

YOU have a purpose.

YOU have a future.

YOU are important.

YOU can hold on.

YOU can make it.

YOU can live through the darkest night,

YOU can rise up from the ashes.

YOU can lift your head high once again.

YOU can live in hope once again.

YOU can learn to laugh once again

YOU can learn to love and be loved once again.

YOU can dare to dream once again.

YOU are not a mistake.

YOU cannot be replaced.

YOU matter.

YOU are being thought of, right now, right this very minute.

YOU, yes YOU, beautiful YOU.

YOU are on someones mind, my mind.

YOU are precious and YOU are loved.

‘The whisper’

Foundation, false lashes and make up covering the bruised eye,
A weary body, waking up every day with a sigh,
Stories to tell, from behind those closed doors,
Of a life so unfulfilled and full of wars.

The days go by, turning into weeks, months and then years …
A body crying out for help, a loud plea, which no one hears with
Pills in one hand, alcohol in the other, it feels like there is no way out
But all of a sudden her mind is consumed with a whisper of doubt.

Looking upwards, reaching out her arms and lifting up her head,
Slowly, standing on her feet, she walks away from where she bled.
With her one small bag packed and a coat over her shoulder
On she walks, and walks until the day comes when she is older.

As the years pass by, the scars never go, but begin to get lighter
She sits down, and watches life go by, and the sun getting brighter
And as she confronts all of the things in her life she fears
In the stillness the previous whisper of ‘I love you’ is all she hears.

© Helen

hold on, for such a time as this

hold on, for such a time as this. 
 

hold on to hope, 

hold on to grace, 
for such a time as this. 
 
hold on to forgiveness, 
hold on to mercy. 
for such a time as this. 
 
 
hold on to truth, 
hold on to peace, 
for such a time as this. 
 
hold on to love, 
hold on to Him. 
for such a time as this. 
 
hold on, for such a time as this. 

© Helen – Feb 2014

I’m ‘going back’ to go forwards.

To be able to move forwards I’m going back.

Towards the end of 2013 it was something I thought about. But it was not the right time.

Now is.

Now is the time.

And so, next week, on the 1st of March I’m going back.

I’m going back to the place where a part of me died when in 2007, already a fragmented person, all that was left was taken away by strangers. The tiniest bit of me that didn’t die that day was left there when a week or two later I packed my bags and left.

Life was tough before. It was tougher after.

And it’s never been the same again.

It never will be.

But I’m learning that life can be different to how it has been and is now. I’m learning that there is the possibility of being released from the things that hold me captive.

I’m learning that things can start to move forwards again.

I’m learning that the journey is not over.

And right now, I’m at the very start of a new one.

By going back, and being in that place again and then choosing to walk away I’m going to be closing a door. Closing a door that has not allowed anything to change because the darkness has been so great it’s been impossible to believe it can.

As I choose to walk away from that place, I’m going to be choosing to open a new door, of forgiveness, healing, restoration and freedom.

I’m not naïve to think it will all come instantly.

But I am intentionally choosing to go after them like never before.

For the last few weeks I’ve been thinking that by ‘going back’ it was going to be ‘the end’.

It’s not ‘the end’. Its just closing the door on something that has stopped me from moving forwards.

Opening a new one. Now is the time.

Starting a new journey.

That could be equally as tough and painful. But it will be different because I can see hope in it. And for the first time ever, God.

So the next few weeks and months could be really messy.

Who knows?

I don’t.

What I do know is life has changed, significantly over the last few months and is going to continue to do so in some shape or form over the next few.

I’d be really grateful for your prayers – thank you x

‘Let us be women who love’ by Idelette Mcvicker

I just started reading ‘Jesus Feminist’ by Sarah Bessey and the first thing you read when you open
the book is this amazing and incredible piece of writing by Idelette Mcvicker – @idelette http://shelovesmagazine.com

‘Let us be women who Love

Let us be women willing to lay down our sword words, our sharp looks, our ignorant silence and towering stance and fill the earth now with extravagant Love.

Let us be women who Love.

Let us be women who make room.

Let us be women who open our arms and invite others into an honest, spacious, glorious embrace.

Let us be women who carry each other.

Let us be women who give from what we have.

Let us be women who leap to do the difficult things, the unexpected things and the necessary things.

Let us be women who live for Peace.

Let us be women who breathe Hope.

Let us be women who create beauty.

Let us be women who Love.

Let us be a sanctuary where God may dwell.

Let us be a garden for tender souls.

Let us be a table where others may feast on the goodness of God.

Let us be a womb for Life to grow.

Let us be women who Love.

Let us rise to the questions of our time.

Let us speak to the injustices in our world.

Let us move the mountains of fear and intimidation.

Let us shout down the walls that separate and divide.

Let us fill the earth with the fragrance of Love.

Let us be women who Love.

Let us listen for those who have been silenced.

Let us honour those who have been devalued.

Let us say, Enough! with abuse, abandonment, diminishing and hiding.

Let us not rest until every person is free and equal.

Let us be women who Love.

Let us be women who are savvy, smart and wise.

Let us be women who shine with the light of God in us.

Let us be women who take courage and sing the song in our hearts.

Let us be women who say, Yes to the beautiful, unique purpose seeded in our souls.

Let us be women who call out the song in another’s heart.

Let us be women who teach our children to do the same.

Let us be women who Love.

Let us be women who Love, in spite of fear.

Let us be women who Love, in spite of our stories.

Let us be women who Love loudly, beautifully, Divinely.

Let us be women who Love’

I’m being totally unravelled.

I’m being totally unravelled.

Its taken a little while to come to that realisation. But I have.

I’ve yet to fully work out exactly why and for what purpose, but I’ve just recognised its what is happening.

I started thinking about this a few weeks ago. After I totally broke down, in the middle of the corridor at work. Its what I’m calling my ‘meltdown Tuesday’ day. (Thankfully I work for and with amazing people and I was able to have the time and space to spend most of the day crying, in one of the spare rooms or the office. Thats how most of my day went that day).

What set off this response, on that particular day I hear you ask? A piercing fell out. Yep. A piercing. My tragus one to be precise. One I’ve had in for many many years. When, after having had lots of piercings all over my face and in various places, I made the decision to lose a few I decided to keep some, and this was one of those that remained. And I discovered, when I went to the piercer to get a replacement jewel that its so close to the edge it needs to heal and be redone at some point. Which can’t happen at the moment because my immune system is not working properly and I’m prone to any and every infection going, so no piercings or tatts for the time being. So why was is such a big deal? Well, because as someone once said to me ‘you’re not YOU if you don’t have bright red hair and a piece of metal sticking out of you somewhere’.

Last night I could not sleep due to Salbutomol and steroid induced awakeness. At about 1am, I put on some music. I’m a music lover, and have been known to sit and sob my through something that has moved me from being so beautiful. So, this music was that kind. Deep, powerful, beautiful, calming, soothing and spine tingly music. It was also what Im  calling ‘Jesus’ music. That helped me still my mind, and thoughts and focus on God. (I found this album randomly last night, via Spotify and its called ‘Spirit Sound’ by Alberto Rivera and Laura Rhinehart. I’m listening to it right now as I type actually. Worth a listen to)

As I listened to this music, and for the first time in my entire life intentionally laid, facedown, before God I felt this revelation of being unravelled coming back into my mind. The revelation and realisation of being stripped of everything I have been and am. And as I focussed on God, before God, the images of my ‘image’ flashed before my eyes.

Who I used to be. What I used to look like. Who I am and what I look like now. Pictures of the various ‘pictures’ of me over my life time. The blue hair, the pink hair, the bright red hair I’ve been known for for the last 8 years (with a black stripe, don’t forget the black stripe!). Pictures of when I was still tubby (always) but not quite as fat as I am now. Pictures of me with black makeup, full make up, long hair, curly hair, lots of piercings, less piercings. All sorts. And then images of my persona came to mind. How I acted, how I came across to people, what others saw, what I wanted others to see. Strong, confident, bold, feisty, bright, intelligent and many other words that people have used to describe me in the past. I was reminded of the ‘fragmentz’ image, and I was reminded of the ‘Helen’ who used to think nothing of, and would competently be able to stand up in front of 200+ people and talk. Lots of images came to mind. Of who I used to be, who I have been over the years, and how that has looked in character and physically. Reminded of all the former things.

And I’m reminded I am no longer many of them.

Towards the end of 2013, at the same time as making life changing decisions to do with my relationship with God, and some of the journey that has entailed (which has been quite traumatic in places) my health took a significant turn for the worse. And it has continued to go downhill. Life has had to radically change. I’ve had the longest period of time I’ve ever had in my entire life off sick, and I’ve very recently had to officially cut the hours I work. I’ve had to learn to take life at a different pace. I can no longer be the person who is out every night, who does everything, and is on every team and committee and whatever else you can name. I have had to stop all of the volunteer stuff I was doing out side of work. I’ve had to cancel being at many things, many events, many get together of friends, and am fast becoming known for bailing out of stuff because I’m unwell, because in my hopefulness I’ve hoped I might have been well enough and then realised last minute I’m not.

Its tough. Really really tough. And recently the toughest thing about this being unwell thing has been the impact it has had on me and my physical identity. At the same time as going through the process of unravelling emotionally as well.

Side affects from medications have been grim. My body goes through various stages, and I’ve ballooned in weight again. I’ve gone through being puffy and swollen, to my body breaking out in random hives. I have constant pain and itching which never goes away, and at times increases to intolerable levels where I feel as though my body is eating itself. As well as this crazy immune stuff that they can’t quite get a grip on and work out yet, the Asthma reached new levels of seriousness in October when I found my self the closest to death because I was having an asthma attack than I have ever been before in my life. And I appear to be triggered by and allergic to everything and anything.

Why am I telling you this all this, well, to try and give some background as to why I was on several concoctions of toxic drugs at one point which led to my hair starting to fall out.

Is coming out.

I covered it to begin with putting it up. Then I covered it with hats. And then I had it cut. And then the other day I had it cut again. To the shortest I have ever had my hair cut. I’ve also been advised to let it go/keep it to its natural colour. Something Ive not had/seen since I was about 12. Its felt like quite a big thing. Quite a traumatic thing. And at times I’ve felt stupid for making it such a ‘thing’ because I know in the grand scheme of things perhaps its not the end of the world, but …

Why is this so important I am writing about it? Why do I care so much about hair and piercings? Why did a piercing fall out become the final straw after weeks of  ‘holding it together’.

Because my hair has been part of ‘who I am’ for so long, just as my piercings have.

As I wrote above, I’m not ‘me’ without bright red hair, or without metal in my body.

Everything- absolutely everything that has happened in the last 6 months has been part of this unravelling. I’m convinced of this. And an amazing friend, who despite distance has been an amazing source of support over the last few months messaged me to share some stuff she felt I needed to hear, which matched my thinking.

And now I am in a place where I am learning to come back before God again, properly,  I sense He is saying to me, ‘come before me as you, the real YOU -with no mask, none at all’. And each time I do that, each time I come before God feeling as though I have given everything I am, and totally surrendered myself to Him as I truly am, He asks for more. And each time I get to a point where I cry out to Him and say ‘I have nothing more to give you’ I’m shown that there is still more to give. He keeps wanting more and more and more of me. More to surrender. More to unravel. Through the physical and emotional pain, He wants more, of me. The real me.

Thats never been more so than right now. Each time I cry that out to Him, He shows me something else. In months gone its been my ‘character identity’ especially all that was wrapped up in Fragz. My identity as a survivor, and it has been about and still is about unravelling and working through all the issues of abuse that has left my mind and body so scarred. But in the midst of all this, I’m starting to learn that He wants me. The real me. It feels bloody. And painful.

When I’m feeling more fragile than usual I often wear make up. I can put on a mask, that lets me look into peoples eyes and not feel as ashamed as usual. I’m aware of that, and always have been. I remember the first time I felt confident enough to walk into church again, the new church I’ve been going to for 6 months, without my makeup ‘mask’ on. I don’t manage it every week, but some weeks is enough for now. But I’m aware of it. Aware of what it means and why I wear make up.

But I never realised my hair/piercings were so much a part of this, until I started to lose it/them.

But it is. I’ve realised it now.

And so I’m being unravelled. Properly, 100 %.

There is no where else to hide.

I have absolutely no idea where this unravelling is going to go next but I have a gut instinct its not yet over.

 

‘I will climb this mountain with my hands wide open’

‘I lean not on my own understanding
My life is in the hands of the Maker of heaven

I give it all to You God trusting that you’ll make something beautiful out of me

There’s nothing I hold on to
There’s nothing I hold on to
There’s nothing I hold on to
There’s nothing I hold on to

I will climb this mountain with my hands wide open
I will climb this mountain with my hands wide open
I will climb this mountain with my hands wide open’

(Will Reagan)

there IS hope

Someone reminded me tonight that I wrote this, quite a long time ago, on Fragmentz. So I’m reposting it on this new writing space, now, as a much needed reminder to myself as much as anything, and to anyone else who might need to hear it.

 

there IS hope

‘Most days I sign into here and I often glance over how people have ‘found’ my blog. Its often by googling something, and then they land here. And often the things people type are relating to surviving abuse, depression, church, mental health, self harm amongst other things.

Sometimes people land at Fragmentz by typing something like ‘is there hope …’. Is there hope for … a self harmer? A depressive? A survivor?

My response to those people is YES. LOTS. And I really hope by stumbling across this blog that those people who are typing those things are able to find hope in this space.

And that those people are also able to find hope in the life they are living.

Because there is hope. Maybe it is small grains of sand shaped hope, and maybe it might be something bigger. Maybe it is something very quiet, or something very loud.

But however big or small, quiet or loud there IS hope.

Whatever it is you are facing, whatever storm you are in the middle of, keep hanging on to hope.

If you are unwell with depression or other mental health issues: there IS hope.

If you a survivor of abuse and/or rape: there IS hope.

If you battle with self harm: there IS hope.

If you struggle with suicidal ideations: there IS hope.

If you are fighting to stay above the water, for whatever reason: there IS hope.

I believe this for you, if you are a Christian. I believe this for you if you are not a Christian.

However some of the searches people have typed and found my blog with, related to battling issues and Jesus. I truly believe Jesus still loves you, whether you are depressed or not. Whether your self harm or not. Whether you battle with God or not. Whether you are a survivor or not.

He loves you. And has a hope and a future for you.

One of the most important bible verses when it comes to hope, and my own life, is this:

Jeremiah 29 verse 11 –  ’I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for’ (The Message)

Please know, wherever you are, whoever you are and whoever you believe in,

you are precious. 

You are valuable. 

You are beautiful. 

There is a hope. 

There is a future. 

As I sat writing this blog, the last verse of a poem I wrote called ‘the whisper’  came into my mind. It is this :

As the years pass by, the scars never go, but begin to get lighter
She sits down, and watches life go by, and the sun getting brighter
And as she confronts all of the things in her life she fears
In the stillness the previous whisper of ‘I love you’ is all she hears.

I dont pretend there is an easy way for life to happen. There isnt. Life is tough. But please know and live in hope that brighter days can exist. That even though the memories never go, they can be lighter, things can be brighter.

Please know you precious, your are valuable, you are beautiful. 

You are loved. Loved. LOVED.’