I’m Melanie. I’m a wife, a mother, and a lover of words.
If you could take a CT scan image of my brain at any moment and somehow translate all the bumps and lights and shades into words, most of those words would already be written down somewhere. I think a million thoughts a day, but none of them feel like my own until I put them on paper. So I did, and those writings, that encompass virtually every day of my life, collected into diaries and journals and prayers and to-do lists that, compiled together, show me God’s redemptive work in the story of my own life.
Had I not had the compulsion to put all those words onto all those pages I would have no reason to hope and trust in the God who placed the stars in the sky and the pen in my hands. When I looked back on all those pages I could see that God was faithful. His character and His love were constant and unchanging, whether I was 6 or 36. When bad things happened and I pitied myself, I questioned Him, but years later those journals reflected that no situation was ever hopeless. In every loss and every hurt, God had taken that pain and used it to create joy. Joy had been his plan all along (Romans 8:28).
And right now I need joy, and I need hope, and I need faith in a God who is big enough to save the world, yet small enough to live in my heart because He chooses to. I’ve never needed proof of God’s existence because I knew He was there all along. In truth, though, the world scares me, and the only true antidote for my anxiety is faith in the blood of Christ as the source of my own value.
I live in the overwhelming stress that comes along with memories of past traumas, life as a military wife and mother of four, struggles with chronic physical and mental illness, the joys and fears that come with raising two children with autism, the ups and downs of our blended family experience, and the general weariness that seems to have become the plague of my generation. Without God’s offer of freedom from the cares and hurts of this world all those words I’ve written, all that I still have to write, and all that I choose to treasure in my heart alone, would be meaningless babble.
Father God, let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to You, and may those who read them hear Your love. Let the dirt from which You created me become the fertile soil in which the revival of my heart can take root, and may all Your people, grown from Eden’s dirt, find You as their source of hope through despair and faith through fear.
Photos by Marc-Olivier Jodoin and Conner Baker.