I sit here, in the back corner of my favorite coffee shop, typing with fingers that feel like they’ve just returned from war. Moving them across this keyboard with the type of apprehension you would walk over landmines with. Pressing each key with ease and strategy, as if I am still walking across the battlefield, as if bullets are flying and I am ducking and dodging each time I press a key. But, I can say with certainty pulled straight out of the garden of my heart, that this is not a warzone, anymore. It is safer here in my body now. The ringing in my ears is fading, the wounds scarring. I am on my way home.

Many days, I feel like a soldier coming home, carrying this purple heart, this bruised and tired heart that I earned for trying. Trying to be okay. Trying to declutter the closets of my past, the toxins of my history. Trying to answer questions without crying, to confront memory without crumbling. I have been trying.

Over the years, I have worn three things consistently; freckles, poetry and expectation. Over the years, I bought into the narrative that I could not take any of them off. These last six months, I have been learning the art, or maybe it is better described as the war, of taking one of those off. I have been stepping into the war that is, being exposed.

I have not always known the power found in being exposed. I grew up surrounded by a lot of rugs, and early on, learned the art of shoving everything under them.

I have known the stretch, the strain, the held breath that it takes to be the hope where there was none, the truth floating atop lies. I have worn an identity stitched together by broken emotions and misunderstood promises for many years. For many years, I have walked with heavy shoulders, carrying the belief that I am the reason for my broken parts, for my strange hurt and my messy heart.

But these days, I am learning how to grip a hammer like it is a magic wand, and striking it against my history, my hurt, my heart. And I am uncovering what has been growing beneath the decay. I am finding the truths, chipped and scratched, but still there, waiting. And underneath all of this pain and all of this ugly, a story has been expanding, writing itself far more beautiful than my fingers could have typed - and He is grinning at the rubble, He is applauding the ache, because without it, I would not know this moment, right now. I think sometimes God just needs a little time to rewrite the story behind the scenes before He hands you the hammer for the new reveal.