FMF: surprise

Joining in with Five Minute Friday and this week’s word: Surprise…..



A knock at the door. The police. Two of them. Huge, both of them. Telling me I’d been accused of having kidnapped my children (a false accusation). My children’s eyes wide, wondering what on Earth their Mum had done wrong, that the police were visiting at that hour of the night. The sound of fear-filled, but calm, steps across the entrance of that beautiful floor of the High Court, the Christmas tree lights twinkling ‘Merry Christmas’ (I now know how those people sentenced to death in the States must feel as they walk their last walk and, now, even Christmas tree lights, if I’m caught off guard, cause my trauma responses to flare). All these things…things I thought I’d never have to experience. Bad surprises. Very bad.

The failure of my marriage. The turning of my husband in to a beast before my very eyes. His illness set forth, Hulk-like, pouncing on me every chance it couldn’t be controlled any longer. The violence. The bruising. The taunts and thefts. The despair. Disbelief. Self-doubt. The loneliness. The vast loneliness. A whole other round of most definitely not welcome and certainly unwanted bad surprises.

But, with the bad, always comes good. Yin yang. Karma. Entropy. Call it what you will but I’ve found that if life takes something out of one hand, it’ll pop something back in your other hand. Maybe not right away but it’ll come. There’s a certain art to be appreciated, I’ve found, in this patience game.

I found my yellow brick road. My calm. In the very eye of the storm. I found I have a talent for seeing the beauty in an ordinary, difficult, life. For finding hope where none seems to exist, where the earth seems so bare nothing would be likely to grow. I have an eye for pleasant surprises.

And finding a whole host of small pleasant surprises – in the least likely times – leads one to think that maybe there’s something to this God lark. Maybe God is the raindrop shining diamond-like on the fresh born leaf, maybe he is the hope that filled my soul and guided me through it all. Guides me through it all.

And the biggest surprise of all? I’ve let go and I’ve never felt calmer in all my life. I couldn’t fight any more, couldn’t do it. Not physically (my body told me I should give up a while ago, all it’s systems so out of whack; cortisol turns in to a poison when it’s seeing so many ‘fight or flight’ episodes so frequently). Not emotionally. Not in any way (I’m not a fighter at the best of times, my way is the Ghandi way). And to fight against such evil on one’s own: that was too big a fight. So I let go. And when I’d let go of that, I realised how little control I have over anything. And, my, what freedom there is in that letting go. What joyous, joy-filled, freedom.

I see God. Every day. I feel him. I hear him, even, when I meditate. I see the vastness of everything and my surprise at it’s beauty, that surprise I feel every single time, at the perfection and simplicity of it, it stuns me to tears. Silences me before it so that I now understand those people who kneel and believe and submit and let go. I understand the Dalai Lama’s smile that was always so puzzling – so enticing – to me as a child.

You see something so beautiful, it’s all you can do to keep standing, all you can do to not want to smile all the time. But the beauty of it is that it’ll give you wings, give you strength, hold you up when you literally can’t stand up because the weight of it all is just too much. You see such beauty, you don’t have room for the evil that tries to visit you, you don’t have room for ‘petty’ or threats or violence. You’re above it. “You’re better than this, Mama” (as my son says to me).

Thank you, you, whatever, however, you are. Thank you. I see you, I feel you, and I want to thank you. For giving me back my life. For showing me how to stand up not just straight but tall again, head held high. Ready for what’s at the end of this yellow brick road.

Thank you.


[Thought you might like to read this beautiful piece from the BBC: What writing about death taught one woman about life]

24 thoughts on “FMF: surprise

  1. Barbara says:

    Just keep following that yellow brick road, my friend! HE IS THERE, guiding you, just as you are letting go…love that one from Frozen!!! So happy to read your heart here again! As I check e-mail, am always surprised, happy, excited to see that you are writing on your blog again. I continue…yet, some days feel as if there is no real purpose…yet, here I go!!

    Prayers for you as you continue your journey…


    • iwillbloom says:

      Hi my beautiful Barbara, thanks so much for your lovely encouraging comment…..(I am about to log out of my gmail accounts to see if I can somehow figure out how to leave comments – again – on blogger blogs)…Helen xxxx


  2. Siew says:

    A wonderful piece of writing! I’m so happy for you that you have found your beauty. And yes, I’m very sure you will bloom!


  3. Thank you for being brave to share your story and the honesty in your words. May God continue to draw you closer to Him in your healing and strengthening.


  4. sarasamomx5 says:

    You are a true survivor. In “Man’s Search for Meaning,” the author writes about how finding the smallest beauty in suffering, in his case a concentration camp, helps one’s mind overcome trauma. While it’s not unique to survivors, I find it is more pronounced in us. I pray you will continue to feel God’s presence, and that one day your joy will be complete.


  5. Tara says:

    Keep following that yellow brick rad indeed. I’m sorry that you had those not great surprises. I’m thankful God has been with you every step of the way. I’m in the 43 spot this week.


  6. Gabriele says:

    How excited I was to see your little bloom. It feels good to sink my teeth into your fine writing and I feel happy for you that letting go has brought an opening for you.


    • iwillbloom says:

      Thanks Gabriele, thanks so much…..(I *am* reading your blog but still unable to comment….about to log out of my gmails to see if I can log back in to be able to leave a comment…)….your encouragement is aways a great motivator for me. Helen xxx


  7. Helen, It truly is a good thing to be able to see God’s fingerprints, even in the hardships in life. To see the beauty He places around us is a gift. And you are an inspiration. May God continue to keep your eyes open to His presence in your everyday living and healing.


    • iwillbloom says:

      Hi Jeanne, love your ‘God’s fingerprints’ idea. Love it. Hoping you’re feeling better….heading over to you shortly (have been very busy with work and have only just had time to reply….)…Helen xxx


  8. m1cey says:

    Yours is a beautiful brave story. Thank you for sharing. ❤️🙂


  9. When everything but God has taken from us, we realize we have everything we need. Priceless. Blessings to you and yours!


  10. Carly says:

    Your writing is beautiful and so full of courage and hope. I’m so sorry you’ve had to face such hard and traumatic surprises but I love how God can surprise us with those little things even in the hardest times. I’m glad you’ve been able to let go and find freedom.


  11. Helen, you’re my hero.


  12. How you write is just so hauntingly beautiful my Friend. And I love that you’ve let go. I think that is the only way to find happiness after all you’ve been through. I firmly believe we’re not in charge and God is – so walking with Him, listening to Him and seeing with new eyes will lead you where you want to go. I’m so happy for you – that you’ve found that road!!

    God bless to you and the Littles. Have a wonderful Easter Lovie!! xoxo


    • iwillbloom says:

      Hia! Thanks so much. Your comments are always so much appreciated. For that I’m very thankful. Hoping you’re having a lovely Easter….Helen xxxx


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: