It was once said, “Writing is the painting of the voice”.
With that thought in mind, let me introduce a beautiful friend of mine, Janet Hines !!
Janet’s voice, Janet’s writings have recently been captured, threaded together and bound for public view in her new book:
And, this is what Janet has to say about it:
There are times in our lives when
we experience the lonely and empty roads.
Going through the process of identifying my audience – my reader – I kept thinking it was everyone. “NO Janet – keeping searching” I was told. “This book may meet many at some point and bless them, but who is your specific audience?”
I connect with more women but keep reading guys! You are welcome here too. “Not narrow enough – still” they said. (Guys still welcome!)
I worked through every story one more time and there I met them – the people who look a lot like me. And I know, I’m not alone on this path. These are not telling you how to “get over it” stories – these stories invite you into my adventures, experiences and my journey through grief in death, divorce, addiction and mental illness in our family.
Even in the big cities like New York, as seen in this picture
I took from the Empire State Building, loneliness thrives.
Many travel with me but often our heads are hung, gazing at the ground, alone and lonely, walking with blinders beside our eyes, not seeing the fellow travelers shuffling alongside us. My journeys have taken me to the high mountain peaks, the below sea level paths, the badlands and deserts, fording rivers and being lost in the forests. But, most of all my journey is about moving – moving and learning with God as my Guide.
In the process of moving, I find scriptures like this that encourage me.
“…and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
Experiencing God’s forgiveness empowers us to extend forgiveness to the world we live in and we experience a freedom we never before knew.
And it’s not the face in our mirrors that connect us but the broken hearts we hold in our hands with a death grip. We are certain if they break one more time, there will be no hope, not enough pieces left to hold in our hands, and fear and helplessness shoot another root into our souls.
This is a story of redemption. This is a story of great hope. A story where the roads merged and I quit living my life half in and half out of relationship with God. The place where I came face to face with the reality there is only one way to become whole again.
A story that invites you to join God and begin a journey down a new road, one walking with Him as His hand lifts our chins and we discover the immense love He has for us. Watch as He puts the pieces of our hearts back together again, the scars becoming a beautiful reminder of who we once were but recognizing who we have become. We are learning that we have nothing to fear when we find ourselves alone and everything we need to reject loneliness, helplessness and hopelessness.
We learn to reach for Him in our empty beds and find Him in stillness, in the early morning hours when we don’t sleep. We learn being still is beautiful because we no longer carry the weight of our brokenness. We learn there is beauty in being alone and not being lonely.
I lift my hands in praise to God our Father, the one who loves us, the one we find when the paths merge and we walk the path leading to Him. So, here is my hand. Come walk with us as our community gathers, moving through what would break us, we will live redeemed!
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Let’s close with this tender word and I thank you for being present here with me on this journey.
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
“Lord, please forgive us when we forget how real Your love for us is. Please help us turn to You when our pain is unbearable. Help us turn to You when we only need a bandaid. Keep us turned to You in all things of this life. We love You, Lord. Amen.”
Janet, my friend, your voice is soulful, your photos inspiring and your new book is simply engaging. I invite all to purchase their copy of –
Between the Valley and the Mountaintop: Glimpses of God in the Middle Places by Janet Reeger Hines