I Knew A Girl


It was many years ago

More than thirty, I would say

That I knew a little girl

Who was learning how to pray.


ďThank you for this day, Lord,

and thank you for our food,

Thank you for protection

We know that you are good.Ē


Then out she went to play

This carefree little one

But little did she know

Her prayers had just begun.


Then around the age of eight

As her heart began to break

She prayed a different way

This time for safetyís sake.


ď Thank you for this day, Lord

But it hurts so bad tonight,

Iím confused and so ashamed -

I was too afraid to fight.Ē


Time went by and she held on

Eight more years went by

She hurt too bad to pray now

Too numb to even cry.


But she never did forget

When life was safe and good

And the words that she had prayed Ė

ďWe know that You are good.Ē


And she wondered where Heíd been

And if He ever heard

Her silent screams of pain

Though she never said a word.


Had He been there all the time

Though it happened just the same?

Does He know how much it hurts

To carry all this shame?


Is God at fault for what goes wrong?

Can we blame Him for our pain?

Is it really all Godís fault,

When evil causes shame?


That little girl has disappeared

A woman takes her place

Searching for some closure

And praying for Godís grace.


What happened to the girl

Who was learning how to pray?

The carefree little one

Who ran outside to play?


I think sheís still here somewhere

Hidden deep inside

The one who still holds on,

To tears she never cried.





Broken to Bless


I dreamed I saw him working

The Potter and his clay

Molding, forming, sculpting

It seemed to take all day.


He patiently sat working

With love and tender touch

This clay was something special

He loved it very much.


When He was almost finished

And His vessel was just right

I saw someone in the shadows

Hiding from the light.


I peered closely in my dream

To see who it might be

This one spying on the Potter

Who could this person be?


I heard him mutter to himself

As he reached out for the clay

Iíll break this wretched vessel

That He sculpted just today!


Iíll break it all to pieces

And throw it in the dump!

Iíll defile it with filth

This ugly little clump!


Then I recognized the devil

As he broke that fragile clay

Scattering the pieces

What would the Potter say?


Then the Potter came along

Picked up His broken clay

Held it closely to His heart

And I heard the Potter say. . .


Broken vessel, you are precious

I have never left your side

I have power to restore you

With Me you will abide.


I will put you back together

Make you clean and whole

For although he broke your clay

He did not touch your soul.


I will bless you now, my clay

Through your scars

and through your tears

Broken vessels I can use

To serve Me all their years!




God, You Are . . .


Lord, you know I cannot speak

Or say things very well

Yet sometimes my heart is full

With things Iíd like to tell.


I donít have a gift for speaking

But this one thing I can do

I can write my thoughts on paper

Then give them back to you.


You are my source of strength

The collector of my tears

You are my Great Physician

You restored my wasted years.


Youíre the mender of my heart

The healer of my mind

The giver of new hope

When hope I could not find.


Youíre the comfort of my soul

My balm for tears that flow

You took all my broken pieces

And created something whole!


You hold me when I cry

In the dark, distressing night

Your presence fills my room

Youíre a Father who hugs tight!


You gave purpose to my life

When I did not want to live

You gave a reason to go on

To accept and to forgive.


Youíre the reason that I sing

The Healer of my past

Youíre the answer to my questions

That I cannot even ask!





He Giveth More Grace


I asked the Lord for strength

To make it through my day

Lord, calm my anxious heart

I need your peace today.


My heart feels heavy, Lord

From the burden on my mind

Though Iím trying to be strong

I feel nothing of the kind!


While Iím working hard to smile

And not to show my tears

I feel overwhelmed, dear Lord

You know my anxious fears.


ďMy child, I am here!Ē

I heard Him gently say

I will give you what you need

To make it through your day!


I will give you grace and strength

The courage that you need

The peace that you have asked for Ė

Yes, Iíll give you all you need!


And when that grace is gone

I will give you even more

Your strength will be replenished

From my all- sufficient store.


You will not run out, my child

My grace will not run dry

For I hear each time you call

And I see each tear you cry!


So take my hand and trust

When your fears begin to grow

That my grace is all sufficient

Rest assured I love you so!




How Can It Be?


As I fell asleep last night

I saw a painful sight

A nightmare of the past

Invading yet another night.


Now wide awake I lay

My eyes quickly filled with tears

Lord, how can it be? I cried

This has lasted now for years!


Iíve asked you to remove the dreams

To erase them from my mind

Though Iíve prayed for them to heal

Youíve done nothing of the kind!


I just donít understand it Lord

How can it really be?

Why must this linger on?

Oh Lord, I just donít see!


As I lay there in the darkness

Hurting now too much to pray,

God ever in His mercy

Reached down to me to say . . .


ďMy child, I donít mind

A few questions now and then

Itís okay to ask me why

And to wonder where Iíve been.Ē


But let me ask you this

And help you to recall,

The blessings that you have today

Where did you get them all?


How can it be I love you?

In your sorrow I was there!

How come youíre still alive today?

How can it be I care?


Where did you get your joy?

How come you have a song?

The healing of your mind and heart,

In spite of what went wrong?



Itís because Iím in control

And youíre always on my mind

I know about these nightmares

But you see Iíve still been kind!


Itís okay to ask me why

When itís hard to understand

But my grace will be your answer

Your life is in my hand.


ďHow can it be?Ē you say

When your heart is torn in two

It can be because Iím able

To forever see you through!



If I Could Sing


If I had a singing voice

If talent belonged to me

I would write a heartfelt song

Of a mind and heart set free.


I would praise God for His power

To take a broken heart

Pick up those shattered pieces

And give a fresh new start.


I would testify of love

The persevering, faithful kind

Which a starved and lonely heart

Knew not how to find.


How it changed a broken life

Created hope out of despair

Transformed a hurting mind

Assured me God was there!


I would do my very best

To encourage and explain

Just what His grace can do

With a life of tears and pain.


He can give you peace of mind

In spite of tears still there

He can put a quiet joy inside

A comfort you can share.


He can take the tangled mess

Of your brokenness and tears

Give you beauty for your ashes

Make up for wasted years!


Though I have no voice to sing

My heart is full of song

For a God who still gives victory

In spite of what went wrong.


I could choose to live in sadness

It would not be hard to do

But Iíll choose to have the victory

His grace will bring me through!




Take It All


Lately Iíve been wondering

Why it takes so long

To repair the damage done to us

By those evil and so wrong.


Could it be we try too hard

To hang on and to be strong?

Could this be the very reason

Repairing damage takes so long?


We keep going day by day

We hang on when hangingís tough

But could it be what really matters

Is to say ďIíve had enough?Ē


Enough of my own effort

Enough holding back the tears

Enough guilt for feeling anything

Related to those years.


God, please take it all . . . . .


Take all my painful memories

The ones that I still see

Take these nightmares and these dreams

Take them all away from me.


Take my confusion and my pain

My questions without end

The ones that have no answers,

I thought I needed them to mend.


Take these tears that I canít cry

Give them liberty to flow

For this just might be a reason

Repairing damage is so slow.


Take the anger of injustice

Lord, Iím so ashamed to say

I still struggle to forgive

Take it all, I pray.


Thereís no reason to pretend

We are strong when we are not

Nor any reason to give up

And say this is my lot.


Since God has spared my life

Gave me hope when hope was gone

Then I know He will repair

Though repairing takes so long!




My Dream


I dreamed I heard them talking

The devil and my Lord

I couldnít help but overhear

It pierced me like a sword.


My life had all but ended

I was feeble, old and gray

They were discussing who had won

And I heard the devil say. .


I tried to get her as a child

I wounded her but good!

I instilled a ton of fear

I did the best I could!


I tried to kill her as a teen

And almost had her then

I removed her will to live

It was the worst sheíd ever been!


I was winning, yes I was!

The fight was almost oíer

She was shackled to my chains

Wounded to the core.


I rejoiced with all my demons

We had snatched another life

She had no hope for victory

Her life would end in strife.


Then I heard the precious voice

Of my Savior chiming in,

ďYou did not win at all,

I saved her soul from sin.Ē


I saw her pain and suffering

My heart ached for all her grief

I poured out my special grace

And gave her heart relief.


I embraced her in my arms

Restored her will to live

Put a song within her heart

Gave her all I have to give!


So tell me who has won

Was it you or was it I?


I heard this question posed

From the lips of my dear Lord

As he stared upon the devil

His eyes piercing like a sword.


ďIíd say that it was Me,

My Father gently said

For sheís still serving me

Sheís more alive than dead!


She finds a way to praise me

Though you scarred her deep inside

She loves Me more than ever

Despite the tears sheís cried.Ē


The devil hung his head

And slowly walked away

He knew that he had lost

There was nothing more to say.


Despite all his attempts

To destroy this life of mine

My Lord comes out the Victor

His grace is mighty fine!




Strength in Silence


If I could speak like any other

If words came easy for me

I would testify of something

That God has shown to me.


I stopped talking as a child

When my tender heart was crushed

When emotions are depleted

It is then that words are hushed.


Often weeping silent tears

All alone, I cried in shame

Confused, I thought for sure Ė

I must be the one to blame!


Years went by and life went on

Sometimes you have no choice

When the heartaches of this life

Hurt enough to take your voice.


But God gives me a song!

There are words inside my heart

I may not speak like others

But His grace gives me a start!


You can sing when you are hurting,

You can praise in spite of tears

You can thank God that He cared

To help you through those silent years.


Donít be afraid of silence

Sometimes God hugs you tight

When you take time to be still

In the deepest, darkest night.


One lesson I have learned

As Iíve gone down through the years

God gives grace and we are blessed . . .

With peace in spite of tears!




Shame Healer


Sometimes it comes in heartaches

Or a burden that you bear

A trust that has been broken

A pain you cannot share.


The feeling youíve been used

In ways you did not choose

The sense that you are worthless

Alone, and so confused.


Itís a burden that is heavy

And this burden has a name

For I carried it for years -

Itís the pain of toxic shame.


You can try to wash it off

Or push it way down deep inside

But no matter what you try

Toxic shame you cannot hide.


Itís on your mind forever

Pierces deep inside your soul

It affects your mind and body

You never do feel whole.


But . . . .


I found an answer for this shame!

Itís the grace of God above

He who heals my broken heart,

And wraps me in His love.


He looks beyond my shame

And sees me white as snow

Heís the answer to my burden

To Him I am still whole!


Heís my confidante, my counselor,

The healer of my pain

His grace has been my answer -

Shame Healer is His name!






Beauty For Ashes


I dreamed I saw the Lord

Hands outstretched to me

Pleading for lifeís ashes

What could the meaning be?


ďThese ashes that you wantĒ

I asked him quietly

ďI know theyíre all I have

But what good are they to Thee?Ē


Oh, you donít understand

Was His reply to me,

Iíll make a trade with you

Trust me and youíll see.


Iíll trade you . . .


Beauty for those ashes

Joy for mournful tears

Praise instead of heaviness

To make up wasted years.


Peace in place of pain

Grace to get you through

Balm for flowing tears

And assurance I love you.


Blessings for your bruises

Healing for your heart

Give Me your shattered life

Iíll give you a brand new start!


A reason to go on

When you feel like giving in

Joy in spite of sorrow

And victory to win.


I take ashes from your life

Recycle them like new

Turn it into grace

Then give it back to you!




A Perfect Rest


Have you ever wished for rest,

When rest you could not find?

Perhaps it was for body

Or heart or soul or mind.


You toss and turn with fear

Or your mind will not be still

Your desire for peace and calm

Seems to be an upward hill.


Help me, Lord! You cry,

I need some rest tonight

Touch my mind and heart

Tell me itís alright!


Oh, Iíd love to give you rest

He whispers to your soul

Give Me all your pieces

And I will make you whole.


Iíll give you rest from sorrow

Iíll give you rest from fear

And along with that Iíll give

Assurance I am near!


I can rest you from a heartache,

Lay you down in peace

Rest your weary body

Cause anxieties to cease.


You ask me to give rest?

Then rest you shall receive

But rest from fear and sorrow

Is what you really need.


For with it comes a peace

Which will give your body rest

So whichever way you ask

Iíll give you what is best!

By J. R.


Under His Wings


Itís dark in here, Oh Lord!

I cannot see my way

Just shed a little light

And I will be okay.


My heart cried out in prayer

As my fears began to grow

What had happened to the light?

How come I did not know?


It may be yesterday

Your burdens were so light

Your heart, it had a song

Things were going alright.


But then the bad news came

Or a tragedy occurred

And suddenly itís dark

The light has been obscured.


Please, Oh Lord, you cry

You must take this cloud away

Itís way too dark in here!

Give me back the light of day.


Oh, itís not a cloud, My child

That blocks the light from you

It is my mighty wing

That completely covers you!


You are in a perfect place

Though it looks so dark to you

Stay underneath my wing

And I will see you through.


The sun will shine again

And youíll have cause to sing

But for now you must stay calm

Under cover of My wing.

By J.R.


What Is Grace?


I pondered late one night

The meaning of Godís grace

What does it really do,

With sorrows that we face?


Does it make your mind forget

The heartaches that youíve had?

Obliterate your burdens

Transform all thatís bad?


Does it numb a hurting heart

Dry up every tear?

Make you never lonely

Remove all trace of fear?


Can they live together,

Grace and sorrow too?

Or does one erase the other

What does it really do?


This question bothered me

So I asked the One who knew

The answer to my question

Just what His grace can do?


My grace is all sufficient

He kindly answered me

I know you love my grace

That much I clearly see.


So this is what it does

And what itís meant to be

Iíll give you now the answer

That you have asked of me . . . 


My grace is all you need

Though scars it wonít erase

It does provide a cushion

For pain that you will face.


It medicates your soul

When nothing else will do

Brings joy in spite of pain

Yes, grace does this for you.


It blooms the best with tears

Grows wider when you weep

Opens up your understanding

Till you know My love is deep.


In sorrow itís your balm

In darkness itís your light

Takes the form of My embrace

In the darkest ever night.


Yes, they co-exist

Your heartaches and my grace

Just keep the grace on top

Thereís enough for all you face.

By J.R.