The Beauty of a Circle

Today I get to share the words of a creative soul sister, Lindsey H.: she’s a writer, photographer, pianist, and lover of Creation. All the photos shared in this post are her stunning work. 

She writes…

When I saw the Facebook post that I had been randomly selected in Kristin’s drawing, I actually chuckled out loud. Was is for delight in winning something? Why yes. Was it because Kristin is an amazing author and person and I had planning that very day on purchasing a copy of my own? Most definitely. And yes to probably a few more reason for the chuckle. However, as any writer can appreciate, it was the blatant irony of the situation that really tickled me.

The themes of “full circle” have unintentionally surfaced in my life this past year, with returning fifteen years later to my childhood home in Wyoming…like a circle…the surprises and twists and turns in this path have been interesting to say the least. So when I received in the mail a few weeks ago, my “random” copy, nothing felt spontaneous about this event. It was pure irony.

Let me back up a bit. {To read an official bookish analysis click here on Goodreads or my Amazon review. Before I say more, I hope that the fact I am personally connected to this author does not make this too subjective in scope, because I, as a creative and writer myself, can appreciate Kristin’s skills and writer chops, from a professional distance and would have been equally excited to read her book!}

I have known Kristin for over a decade. Yet, it has been the past five years that I have had the joy of not just knowing her but understanding and loving her more and better. She was one of four women in Missouri who had ministered to me during my painful, devastating divorce. While I struggled with my own emotional ocean of deep fear, abandonment and guilt – she and those women did not try to fix me or make it better. They let me feel what I was feeling, then gently reminded me that God was there with some loving words and prayer. It was the best kind of medicine for my broken soul.

So one hot summer day, when Kristin approached me poolside with a book on breaking the chains of bondage, I readily accepted AND read it. What by anyone else might have seemed a pretentious gesture, I recognized in her heart as sweet kindness and trusted that God was using her sensitive perceptions to help me see something I needed to see. That book ended up changing my life.

In the same way, when diving into Navigating the Sea of Emotions chapters, I felt swept away by the timing of the words. They washed over me in compassionate waves from Kristin’s freestyle pose of personal story-telling that points us with gracious honesty to the One most familiar with human suffering. Moreover, as she covers topics, such as fear and anger, Kristin accomplishes the balancing feat of not becoming too self-analytical in her reflections, while at the same time, providing helpful doses of the Truth she has discovered in riding out these lifetime emotional experiences. Even better, she as an author steers her dialogue from a tale of wallow – less we all sink into our own personal despair -towards the Lord of our soul AND our thoughts and emotions. Indeed, Kristin does all this just as she did so many years ago, encouraging me to return to what I knew to be true about God – That He is with us all along.

Fast forward, to now and in another state and all the time between that has healed my wounds, Kristin still remains an important influence as we have become virtual pen pals of some sort – although our poetic intentions have always been to write old school letters on pretty paper and stamps (oh I love stamps!) Perhaps, our similar background and personality traits and quirky children draw us to each other, but I ultimately default to this constant commonality – a desire to serve God with our passions and gifts and creative endeavors. Thus, here lies in the irony – her book, like the one she handed to me that summer in Missouri, appears at just the right season of my life. I am learning to accept – no, embrace – the emotional intensity and sensitivity that characterizes most of my personality. On the other hand, I am learning to release the enormousness of my feelings to the care of Jesus, who was and is much more successful at these things – you know, like walking on water and taming the raging storms, raising the dead….

Except this time, the transforming words in a book do not appear on pages from a stranger’s heart, they come from my friend, Kristin Hanley.

I love irony.


All photo cred: Lindsey H. Lawson

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