January prompt for the Lighthouse Short Story Contest
|I sit here on the edge of my bed. The morning was just beginning to bring the world back into focus after a night of fitful dreams. I am poised on the crest of a new year full of possibilities. However, with last year's darkness lingering and lockdowns and quarantines still a fact of life, I am finding it hard to be upbeat and motivated to create a wildly vivid list of this new year's opportunities.
'Breathe,' I tell myself, then pull in a deep, cleansing breath. "In with the new, out with the old," I tell myself as I breathe in and out several times, trying to find my center. I close my eyes and say a silent prayer of thanks, giving gratitude to my God. He is my anchor in times of the storm, and the Covid pandemic has been the storm of the century. In this moment, I feel my tension shift and my body relax.
"We will all get through this," I whisper, adding, "with God's help and guidance. He will not leave me. All things are done for my good...even if I can't see them now." This is my mantra, what I say to myself when I feel the world banging on my door and threatening my peace of mind.
I worry about others, particularly those who have not accepted God and who live alone... even those who live with others but refuse to see the beauty of having God in their lives. Those lives would seem so stark, like blinding light on a blanket of nothingness or perhaps dark, like the pits of hell. Hell on Earth.
I blow out a shuddering breath and say another prayer for them to find peace, for them to find their way into God's love and acceptance.
When my prayers are done, and I feel my body loosen, I open my eyes. I let my mind consider the day -- one step at a time.
What needs doing?
Where should I start?
Do I need to go out today, or can I stay closer to home and just venture out for a walk?
I let my mind move over the landscape of thoughts, making sure that I do not rush. My thoughts follow the ebb and flow of my breath.
I feel myself settle into a plan, then taking another cleansing breath, I stand and move into my day.
This is how most of my days start.
I wake with swirling thoughts, and worry clings to me like a bad dream. I have found this routine of re-centering and giving thanks to God helpful. It slows things down and sweeps out the cobwebs of lingering dreams that snag my consciousness.
I find beginning my day this way makes room for positivity, and I am able to face things with far more grace than I could if I were to jump from bed and go straight into the fire.
To me, this practice is as vital as taking a shower or brushing my teeth. It helps me meet my day with more confidence and hope. It makes me remember to protect myself and everyone around me. I am but one person, but my actions start a wave in motion, and I want that wave to reflect the face of God. Caring. Loving and full of Grace. I am his hands and feet here on earth. I walk through this world, shining my lamp and bringing hope and smiles to those I encounter. What more could I want?
God will provide... and I have faith that he will. I just need to breathe and remember I am a child of the most high God and I am wonderfully made. He doesn't make junk, and my purpose is to bring Him glory and raise His name whenever I can, rising above the world's worry and chaos.
As the day unfolds, I take moments to re-center. God smiles at me, and I bask in his warmth.
When the day closes, I shower and wash away the grime and the worry that tries to cling to me. I let the water wash away my cares, and I re-center my breath as I let feelings of gratitude flow around me. I think about what I have accomplished and how I practiced safe interactions with others. I let the day go, and as I do, my body returns to settle into comfort. I curl my faith around my shoulders, and I slip under the blankets to claim a well-earned sleep.
Until tomorrow, when, God willing, I do it all again.