A Face on a Train

She’s just another face on a passing train,

searching for a smile when she reaches her station.

But there’s no destination on her ticket,

there is no one waiting for her on the platform.

You see, she’s on the one way train that never stops.

She’s on the one way train that never stops.

 

She sits on the train going nowhere.

The blank ticket is clenched in her fist.

She struggles to remember that far away name

of that station from where she came,

and to where she’s going

on that train that never stops.

 

Her face flashes past station after station,

Never slowing down,

Never speeding up.

Different Strangers claim the seat next to her.

Different Faces claim her heart.

There was the freckled-face girl and the sun-kissed boy.

She laughed with the girl and giggled with the boy.

But sooner or later, as they always do,

That freckled-face girl and that sun-kissed boy

Found their stations and on the platform was the smile.

 

And she sits on the train going nowhere.

The useless ticket clenched in her fist.

She struggles to remember that far away name

of that station from where she came,

and to where she’s going

on that train that never stops.

 

The tracks stretch endlessly before her.

The tunnels are forever dark and bleak.

The empty seats surround her,

every one of them filled with ghosts from her past.

Broken promises crackle over the speakers.

Fresh wounds cause pain to her back,

as the train speedily carries her away

down, down, down its rusted track,

and she finally realizes that

her metal train can never stop.

 

Anger furrows her brow as she

rips the false ticket to bits.

One tear for the cowardly boy.

Two for forgotten promises hanging in the air.

Three for the ghosts suffocating her.

Four for the friend who forgot—

That wily freckled-faced girl who forgot.

 

Alone she sits on the train going nowhere.

The useless ticket shredded to bits.

She’s forgotten the name, ‘cause it’s so far away,

of that station from where she came,

and to where she’s going.

She’s on that train that can’t ever stop.

 

With a loud cry she sinks to the cold, hard floor

joining that ruined ticket on the ground.

Resentment, Bitterness, Pain swell up inside her chest,

and come bursting out in the form of lonely tears.

 

And the ghosts press forward,

And the secrets grow louder,

And the tunnels will never end.

She cries and cries and cries among

the ruins of her ticket.

Salty, thick tears flood her face.

Hot, painful tears blind her eyes.

Wet, thick hair sticks to her hands.

Yet she sees every face and feature

of the Faces and Strangers who left her.

 

She was not wrong for crying for so long.

She was not shallow, whinny, or weak.

For she stared every Face and Stranger in the eye

and and them “Why?”

 

Why did you leave me on the one way train going nowhere?

You knew this ticket was useless in my fist.

You knew I struggled to remember my own name.

Could you not look at me and see?

I promise to no longer hide.

Will you stop and stay with me?

 

How long she must wait for an answer she’ll never know;

maybe someday her soul might heal.

The Faces of the Forgetting can never fade from her sight,

but each new tear heals her painful heart.

 

Raising her head, she looks at her ghosts.

They return to their empty seats around her.

Their vocal secrets become a background noise

as the throbbing pain in her back fades.

With tired arms she pulls herself up and picks a new chair,

the empty one whose back used to face her.

Tired yet determined, she gazes out her window

as the barren landscape flashes passed,

and thinks that this one-way train,

that barrels away,

it will, someday, stop.

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Five Minute Friday: Fill

I want to be filled up with God.

That sentence sounds funny at first glance, but let me explain myself.

God is love. God is the purest and truest form of love ever to be recorded in the history of the universe and even outside of time itself. His love is so powerful that it can bring the dead to life. I want that love, I want to be that love so I can share it with the people around me; not just my friends and family but also with Chris, who I met once at the FedEx store, and the checkout clerk at Whole Foods, and the mom with two kids in the seat next to me on the plane ride home. I want to be so full of God that when people look at me they don’t see me, but instead they see God’s love for them.

And I know that if I am full of God’s love, then I will be better than okay because I will be living every moment of every day in God’s love. And even though I have no clue what my future looks like, being filled up with God is the best life I could ever dream of.

 

Five Minute Friday is when a group of us write for 5 minutes without editing to make us look perfect on the internet.

Asbury Musings part 1: Finding Strength in His Spirit

Two weeks ago I walked across a temporary stage in the gymnasium, received my diploma, and got my picture taken with Dr. Gray as a college graduate. I said goodbye to my friends, packed up my car, and left Kentucky. College has been a crazy ride, full of good times and not so great ones, but through it all I learned a lot about myself. Over the past two weeks I have been processing what exactly I learned over the years and how I have changed. So, I thought I’d share my “Asbury Musings” with you.

I first thought about the drastic difference between my underclassmen and upperclassmen years. My freshman and sophomore years were a lot of fun and not that challenging. I hung out with my friends and we made a lot of crazy memories together (Sophomore Musical anyone?). But everything changed when junior year came around. My classes got harder, I was easily overwhelmed, and had to stop hanging out with most of my friends just to get my work done. I knew over half the people on campus but I couldn’t focus on all those friendships and pass my classes (example: I had DFP and Screenwriting that semester). But the worst part was that I started having back problems that forced me to sit on the sidelines more often than I wanted to and watch my friends have fun.

It continued the same way in the following three semesters; less interaction with my friends outside of the classroom while my life gradually spun out of control. Then in the middle of my final semester at Asbury, I realized that I was so run down, physically and emotionally, out that I couldn’t continue, even if I had one month until graduation. I was in the midst of a horrible back spasm and was angrily questioning God why I was in so much pain. I thought He healed me but I hadn’t had any improvement in a long time. I never knew what could trigger a back spasm and so I was scared to do anything that might set it off. Everything I tried to do to heal myself wouldn’t last, a back spasm would always come again and the pain would leave me almost paralyzed for several days. Nothing worked and I began to think there wasn’t any cure for me.

While I was desperately begging God to make the pain stop, He gave me a choice: I could continue living the way I was (stubbornly on my own) and quickly end up with a bad case of depression and anxiety, or I could choose to live in the strength of God’s spirit and trust that He would renew my worn out body, and then give me strength to finish out the semester strong.

Then it hit me: I had been trying to get better by using my strength, not God’s. I did my best to find my own cure, and then push through my semester so it looked like I was fine. I wasn’t “fine,” but I thought I had to be. I realized that if I wanted to live I couldn’t continue in my own strength because I had nothing left and no way of healing my back. But if I chose to live in the strength of His spirit I had a chance to live life to the fullest again.

I chose to trust that He would provide the healing I needed to finish the semester strong; and He did exactly what He promised. He gave me the strength and rest I needed to finish all my projects and finals, and to walk across that stage and jump off the stairs in celebration as an Asbury University graduate with minimal to nonexistent pain. Praise the Lord!

Now that college is over, my back is not 100% (it has yet to happen) and I’m still recovering from college itself. However, I will continue to live in the strength of His spirit everyday because, even though college is over, a new chapter in my life has already begun and I’m not going to miss one bit of it!

A Third Wheel

Everyone knows the feeling when you’re with two other people who know each other so well that everything they say is an inside joke with one another, leaving you (intentionally or not) on the outside. From couples to a group of people who are best friends, we’ve all been there.

There have been a lot of times in my life where I feel like the third wheel.

While I don’t like believing people want to put me in that situation, it happens, and sometimes more often than I care to admit. I always leave wondering why I let myself into those situations, why didn’t I leave sooner? Typically the answer is, “They don’t really mean it; they’re my friends. They wouldn’t knowingly do that do me…. right?”

Unfortunately, I’ve been on the other side too. I’ve been in places where I make inside jokes around people who don’t know them, and then avoid giving an explanation. Usually it’s because I’m tired, or the story behind the joke is too long to explain, or I just don’t feel like it. I hate myself for it every single time.

That’s why I always make the effort to include the people around me, and make sure they know they are welcome in the group. Cliques bother me, there’s something not natural about them. They’re like a slap in the face; you think you’re welcome and then through people’s mannerisms you realize you’re not. It doesn’t make sense, but it’s something we do anyways. I even don’t like the term “best friend” because it sounds so exclusive, like no one else can be there for me ever in my entire life, so don’t even try. To me, the term “best friend” can be substituted for “closest friend,” because it’s a more honest representation.

I have two rules for myself: 1) If I don’t want to explain an inside joke, I don’t say it. 2) If I’m with a group of friends, and a close friend is there too, I will not focus only on my closest friend and shut the others out. I will include them in the conversation no matter what.

Those rules sound like no brainers, but sometimes I forget them. Sometimes I’m not in the mood to obey, which is wrong and I’m sorry for breaking them. However, I always remember the feeling of being on the outside, of wanting to be included and get to know the people I’m with and never given the chance to be a friend. That makes me want to make a friend and let them know someone is interested in their life, even if it’s for one conversation.

In my own life, I am beginning to realize that I do not have to be a third wheel. I do not have to put myself into situations where I feel left out and alone. I am important. I don’t have to live in “Third-Wheel Land” anymore. Yes, it will be hard but I know it is worth it.

So to the people who think they’re a third wheel, find me and tell me. I will be your friend.

Five Minute Friday – True

Not going to lie, when I first saw the word for today I hoped I was looking at the wrong post. Being honest and truthful with myself is very difficult for me to do, mostly because I don’t always know what that looks like. If you were to ask me what my “true self” was, I wouldn’t know how the answer. I hope I would answer “Daughter of Christ,” but who knows if that would be the first thing that comes to my mind.

When I tried to answer that question, I tried not to think about it.

I am not an open person. It can take me over a year to warm up to someone and trust them completely. Even then, it doesn’t always happen that way.

Maybe it’s because I’m scared of getting hurt. Of getting abandoned. Of being rejected. But mostly getting abandoned.

It’s happened before, I just can’t remember by whom. I just know the scars are there. People will move in and out of my life, as I get older I’m learning this more and more. but there is a difference between moving in and out and abandoning a person. The latter kind hurts more than anyone knows. But the thing is, I’m scared I do it to others. I don’t want to, I don’t mean to. But sometimes I think I get distracted by my own busy life and forget to care about the people around me.

And for that, I’m sorry.

 

 

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This is me writing for five-six minutes without editing and with honesty. It’s not easy; but I won’t stop being honest with myself and others.

Linking-up with Lisa-Jo and other fmf ladies is something I’m starting to look forward to every week. Enjoy.