I Drove by the Old House Today

 

By Michael W. Raley

I drove by the old house today.

The place formerly called home

Looked familiar, yet foreign.

A car that I didn’t recognize was in the driveway,

Reminding me time always moves forward.

Houses are built, love is shared, love fades, relationships end,

Houses are sold and someone else moves in,

Thus starting the cycle over again.

Survivor

 

By Michael W. Raley

Another year is coming to a close

And for a brief window of time,

The future seems hopeful and optimistic.

For a fleeting moment,

We take a deep breath

And reflect on everything that was,

Whether it was heavenly bliss or hellish torment.

These times serve as tests,

Which can make or break

Our characters and spirits.

As I look back,

One word comes to mind: Survivor.

By God’s grace, I’m still standing

After languishing in the throes

Of despair, loss, and spiritual torment.

I’m still here.

I’m still looking forward.

I’m still fighting.

I will not give up.

 

God’s Unending Grace

left hand
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By Michael W. Raley

My life’s path is littered with regret,

Where I had the best of intentions,

Yet things did not work out for the best.

I look back on those days with equal amounts of frustration and lamentation.

In the midst of this darkness, I try to hold onto the Light,

Though I can’t make any of this right.

My hope and strength are gone,

Sorrowful, seemingly unable to carry on.

The failed experiences have left me feeling jarred

And left me to play a hand of worthless cards.

In my mind I am broken and defeated,

Paralyzed with indecision,

For fear that the past will be repeated.

I once again fall back into a depression.

Then my spirit comes into a revelation

That there is hope, there is salvation.

I remember that God’s grace

Is bigger than any mistake I can make.

The past, of course, can’t be erased,

But I can go forward in grace,

If you will, a heavenly clean slate

Which gives me the opportunity to get back in the race,

Without the feelings of failure, self-loathing and hate.

As long as I have breath, it’s not too late

Thanks to God’s unending grace.

 

 

 

 

The Refiner’s Fire

fire wallpaper
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By Michael W. Raley

There is a time to grieve

And that time is over for me.

It’s time to put away the hurts, the slights,

The tears, the pain, and those many restless nights.

I will no longer be beset

By my thoughts of shame and regret,

For this season is my spring, where all is made new,

Born again like the morning dew.

I have suffered long and I am tired,

However, I have survived the Refiner’s fire.

My pain, grief, and loss

Has been removed like dross,

Out of the fire and into the mold,

What comes next will be a sight to behold.

Only Me

By Michael W. Raley

I live in community,

Yet I feel so lonely.

I can connect to people around the globe,

But I end each day alone.

I work to keep my thoughts and emotions steady;

Deep down I’m still not ready

To face the challenge of a new day.

I give myself the encouragement talk,

Only to fail following through on walking the walk.

The realization that I am truly alone

Makes my heart sink like a stone

Into an aimless sea-

No lighthouse, no flares, no ships, only me.

Yesterday’s Choices

choices decision doors doorway
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By Michael W. Raley

“If I had only known then what I know now.”

Oh how this statement keeps us tied down

To regret and our perceived failures of the past.

We go through life lamenting our choices-

Relationships, finances, and spiritual matters to name a few.

However, we fail to realize that we made our decisions

With the information we had at the time,

As hindsight was not available to us.

Even if we knew that we were making a bad choice,

It was still a lesson learned.

A hard lesson,

But we are wiser nonetheless.

As you go forward on this new day,

Realize that today is all you have

And it should not be wasted on yesterday’s choices.

Learn from it, seek forgiveness if needed,

And learn to forgive yourself

Another Restless Night

 

By Michael W. Raley

Another restless night of sleep

Brought to you by fatigue.

Too tired to make it to bed,

So it’s another night on the couch.

I wake up in a daze

And a slight panic

When I look at the time.

I’m awake and up early,

Might as well stay up and

Get a start on the day.

I will pay a heavy toll for this

When this afternoon comes around,

But I am ready for it.