this soul of mine

by Kayla Raymond

This little soul of mine seems to be bursting at the seems lately. Tears well in my eyes as we sing an old hymn. Butterflies flutter in my stomach as I turn the keys open to my new business. My heart skips a beat as I kiss my children goodnight. My list of thank you’s to the Lord grow longer each night. Some days seem so hopeless, yet there are so many moments that I wish I could hold on to for forever.

The day will come when I know I will look back and say “those were the good days” – what if the days we are living right now are the best that we will ever have and we are taking it all for granted. What if the problems we face are our biggest lessons and the tears are the glue to our broken lives. What if all those worries that swarm deep within are there for us to remember how wonderfully ruined we are. I draw closer to our Creator as I witness his miracles. His healing and His wonderful grace.

I embrace one of my favorite Haitians on the dirt path. I can feel every bone in his back; he’s near 70-years-old and walks with a cane bent over with terrible arthritis. He laughs and calls me “sweetheart” and I see Jesus shining in his eyes. He’s lived all his years in a dirt hut and his only real possession is a donkey. Sunday mornings, he stands in the back of worship with his wrinkled hands raised toward the heavens. I want to stand in the dirt path all day. Holding on to this moment, with a man who has more to teach me about life than my college professors ever could have. I want to love life like this man.

I want more of that joy that comes from some mysterious place deep within. I want to look a desperate mom in the face and say “it will be okay” and believe it. I want more love. More grace. More peace.

And I search for these things. I make an honest effort to live joyfully. I dance ridiculously with my children just to make sure I haven’t lost that innocent joy. I hug a little tighter and dream a little bigger just to make sure my faith is still in check. But, in my most vulnerable moments the devil knows right when to find me. He whispers lies, telling me, “it won’t work, it isn’t good enough, you aren’t brave enough and it won’t make a difference.”

My heart and soul wrestle with these lies. I long for contentment. I long for answers. I long for solutions. And when I think I have found these things, all those lies fill in the gaps. So, I make an honest effort to ignore them. I search for more joy and grace over and over again.

I try to enjoy the day as the Lord blesses me with it. I try to recognize this journey as the best days of my life. I want to be more like the donkey man in our community. I try to sing a little louder and worship a little longer. Pray a little harder and stand more confidently in the Lord at the end of each day. For He blesses my soul and I have no reason not to love every moment of this ridiculously complicated, hard and beautiful life.

Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name

The sun comes up, it’s a new day dawning
It’s time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes

(It’s my husband’s birthday today and he’s my biggest inspiration for this post. He makes me a better person and never allows me to stay discouraged. He’s so wise in his years and I have so much to learn from him. He also lights up every room he walks in to with his distinguished smile and genuine joy. He always makes my days brighter.)