be gentle (with yourself).

you,

are a life made of seasons.

do not apologise for

the starkness

of your winter.

— be gentle (with yourself).

© Liezel Graham 2018.

It takes a great deal of courage to live transparently.

We are encouraged to put on a brave face, a happy face — think positive, pray more, hand it to God.

But sometimes, these things do not lift the burden.

And, this is ok.

Learn to be gentle with yourself and the season you are in.

Learn to be gentle with others and the season they are in.

Sometimes, a kind word and quiet companship are more powerful and more healing than (well-meant) advice.

walking each other home.

and,

perhaps

you were broken,

splintered,

by the twin gifts

of loss

and

grief,

not

because heaven took its

eyes off you

for a year,

or ten.

a holy turning away

when the force

hit your chest

and

the air was driven

from your lungs

with a shock

that never

seems

to

end.

it feels like that, some days,

doesn’t it?

but,

you are not alone.

you

are

not

the only one,

take heart.

all over the world

there are

others,

further back.

searching.

the blessed ones who mourn

in the dark,

seeking desperate comfort.

the sick ones who fear

the dark thing with teeth,

seeking fresh hope.

the incarcerated ones who carry shame

like a disease,

seeking one more chance.

the different ones with DNA

that didn’t follow the rules,

seeking just to belong.

the hunted ones who hunger

for peace,

seeking a safe place to breathe.

all over the world

we

are

broken.

and, someone needs to

shine

the

light.

to hold the lamp

on the journey

home.

to whisper gently,

not long now,

be strong,

we’re almost

there.

—walking each other home.

© Liezel Graham 2018.

I have sat with this one for a while, and I have rewritten it and deleted it, and polished it, and now I am going to leave it as it is.

I think it says what it needs to say.

Liezel xx

advice to the drowning.

on a cold, winter’s day,

a man

carrying a heavy load, lost his footing and

fell

into a deep, icy

river.

exhausted

from the

cold

and

the weight he had been

trying

to hold

he struggled to keep his

life

above

the

blackness

below.

on the banks of the river

there were,

fortunately

for him,

several others

willing

to help.

and a rope.

‘keep your head above the

dark and look towards the light’

and

‘i am praying for you. this battle is surely

spiritual

and you can,

indeed,

you

must

win this fight.

have you tried fasting?’

and

‘this despair is all in your mind,

just think positive.

do not give in to the

negative thoughts that are

swirling,

they are false

and you have the power to

overcome

this water’

and

‘i fell into a similar river once,

the water was warmer

and

not

quite

so

deep,

but i got out.

and

so can you.

if you try hard enough’

and

‘i shall throw you an apple and

some

organic carrots.

eat yourself

from out of

that

dark space’

and

‘what weakness is this?

i wish that i too had

the luxury

of

letting go of my

load.’

and

‘if you only knew how many

people all over this world

have prayed

for water

like that

which you are

so

fortunate

to be in.

so

just

swim.’

but

the man

was tired.

worn out.

ashamed.

defeated.

and

nobody

had thought

to throw

the rope,

and

so,

surrounded by

advice,

he drowned.

and all the helpers

walked away

muttering,

carrying their

thoughts

and

prayers

and

holiness

to

find

others

more worthy

to save.

— advice to the drowning.

© Liezel Graham 2018.

#WorldMentalHealthDay

(Even in this) My Grace is Sufficient (for you).

How

many

times

have

I breathed

Your Name,

a desperate

holy

declaration

at the

faceless

terror

that

roars

in the night.

Only

to watch it

limp away,

subdued

but not

(yet)

crushed,

because

it knows

the

map

to the

darkest

corners

of my mind

and

it

does

not

give

up,

but

God.

— (Even in this) My Grace is sufficient (for you).

© Liezel Graham 2018.

For those who battle fear and anxiety — especially that faceless 3h00 am terror that threatens to strangle the life out of your faith, but for the grace of a very big God.

Keep fighting.

I see you.

xx