I stood there, stunned, and stared at the cool waterfall beside me. It was an eerie sound…the silence. No more voices, or demands and shrills of contempt. I breathed in the silence and felt relief. The weight on my shoulders felt empty, no longer a dead weight that I carried around. There was no one around to prove myself to.
I recalled the daunting memory of the battle. Still dizzy from it all, I couldn’t believe it was gone. What now, I wondered. It almost felt lonely without the beast. I didn’t know what to do with myself. Every movement felt awkward. I was so adamant to take it on, but now in this moment of solitude – true courage was kicking in. Life without the Monster. The Monster had taught me everything I knew. Even as its prisoner, the beast had fed and clothed me. What had I done?!
But it was just me now. And being fully alive meant there was nowhere to hide. I sat down and listened to the Waterfall, the hum of the rocks and water colliding. It felt safe here. And I realized what I had been fighting for all this time, the one thing that the Monster could never provide for me, was love. I had always heard of this love. But it was just a distant friend, running one step ahead of me that I had been chasing my whole life. I had even begun to wonder if it was real at all ~ or merely an illusion.
But here, in this place, I felt Love all around me. As if I had climbed inside of the word itself. The sound, the smell, the taste; all felt surreal. It was the safest place I had ever been. I melted inside of its arms, as if the entire scenery embraced me.
The battle had wore me out. I looked down at my blood stained clothes and could feel the surge of emotions coming. It was all real. I chuckled at the simplicity of the battle, and then cried for all the years I had lived under the beasts spell.
The sounds of love began washing over me, like a waterfall. The voice of kindness came close, and whispered gently. It felt like a warm blanket over my soul. I felt so valued. In the beauty of the moment, I stayed there and soaked it all in. I couldn’t move, it was like every cell in my body was being nourished for the first time. The monster had always taught me to mistrust this much goodness, but here without its fear – I let myself be immersed. The love felt fierce, with intention. It was unrelenting, captivating, inspiring, and igniting.
After a while, I stood up, and could feel a song rising up from deep inside of me. My arms reached out at my sides, and I found myself twirling – spinning – dancing. With arms wide open, I gazed up to the sky and felt free. I really was free. I spun and leapt with tears in my eyes, as I cried out a song of joy. Hesitant at first, per my cautious self, but soon remembered there was no one around to hush me any more. I sang, and shouted, laughed and cried. Messy and beautiful, I let it all out.
With all the walls coming down, I realized there was more space in here than I knew existed. I got up and began to look around me, to see this new land I now lived in. It was vivid with colors, beauty, and oh so unexplored. I saw new life as far as my eyes could see, miles of unchartered land. Paths, trails, mountains and valleys… the landscape was breathtaking. I couldn’t see fear anywhere. And I wondered if I could ever belong in a place like this.
I had a tug of doubt, wondering if there was a catch. There has to be rules here. It is so unknown, everything is wild. I didn’t want to lose this place. I didn’t want to mess this one up. I began to look around for someone (in charge) who could tell me how. Tell me how this place works, what do I need to do to stay here, to measure up. I couldn’t possibly just enjoy such a land for free, right?
Just then, a swarm of butterflies fluttered by me, shimmering their colors, and dancing with their wings so radiantly. As I stood there awestruck, I watched their uninhibited freedom of being created. They had no reason to hide their glory, they were designed to glisten and take flight freely. And I realized that in this land, it wasn’t really about me.
The more the butterflies flaunted their beauty, the more praise and adoration I felt for the Hands who Created them. I was here to shine, to shimmer and display His creativity. To exist freely for His glory. Oh the contrast felt so overwhelming! Flashes of shame and contempt were colliding with this new invitation to freedom. The monster had always told me to hide my beauty, for fear of being prideful. Compare, adjust, assess, and appease others it would say.
I shook my head as if to let the old images and lies fall out of my ears. No, things are different here. This is a new life. And I belong in beauty. Love has been telling me about this place for years, but the monster never let me go.
It’s gone now, I reminded myself, no more rules to pin me down. I checked my hands and feet, and saw that it’s true – the shackles were gone. In this place, rules were replaced with an invitation to become. To be free, to display His glory, to find Truth. I longed for courage more than ever before, as I got up to explore. And with each step, I felt a little stronger. I knew then – that I could never go back. The taste of freedom had changed me forever. Love was calling my name now. And I was alive.
“Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls…”