Stay Awhile

Tamara Carpenter - Ezer + Co.

Tamara Carpenter

Guest Post

What does it mean to be an Ezer; a warrior, a strong helper? I’m still learning.

My progress toward wholeness is advancing in fits and starts. I’m learning that by owning my whole story, even the unseemly parts, I grow stronger. With help from God and friends, I also gain courage to face my fears instead of bolting. Forged under the pressure of scarcity, my shadow life is gradually exposed through vulnerability and it surrenders haltingly to real desires, interests, and passions. As time passes, I feel stronger, freer, and more joyful.

I’m learning that strong women never travel alone. I walk in the company of women and men bent on becoming all they were created to be. In this safe space, we are vulnerable; we show up; we cheer each other on. And God is pleased.

I am growing up into my original design. Like layers peeled away over time, the child within is timeless, embodying all I was meant to be and created for. She is powerful, brave, distinct. Her voice, muted since birth, grows stronger each day as she embraces her true identity. A rising force that cannot be denied.

This is how my journey began…

Safely curled in a fetal position, I lay motionless.

In the dream, I am encased in an egg-shaped capsule with thick, opaque walls. I see shadows of people passing, but no one sees me. It is a refuge. Predictable. Controlled. Protected.

From there I can observe without showing up; critique without committing. From an early age I learned to survive this way. Just follow the rules and figure out how to make everyone happy. Fly low. Never dream. Stay quiet.

Many years, and a myriad of circumstances, led me into this pallid existence. Release, however, arrived in an instant.

Someone cracked an opening in the encasement just large enough for light to penetrate and color to invade. A hand entered my darkness and beckoned me forth.

I had a choice. There is always a choice. I could accept the offer and follow color, or remain in the shadows.

It takes only a little faith to move a mountain. I mustered enough.

Emboldened by hope, I strained against the wall and it yielded to the internal pressure. My feet exited first coming to rest on warm, rich soil. As the remainder of my stiff body unfurled, I breathed in the sweet scent of a thousand blossoms and relished in the playful song of Spring. Freed from constraining walls, the sun’s warmth coursed over my chilled body and vibrant hues washed the remaining scales from my eyes.

I saw we were in a lush meadow, my Rescuer and I, surrounded by impenetrable, rugged mountains that pierced the heavens. The valley overflowed with wildflowers and rushing streams. Only an occasional oak tree interrupted the lush turf carpeting the expanse.

We stood in silence. It was exquisite and untamed. Fertile and wild.

Releasing the hand that delivered me, I stepped forward in wonder. Instantly, the joy of my newfound freedom was slashed by a cold blade of fear. This expanse was resplendent, yes, but also formidable. Where was the control? Where the safety?

Instinctively, I turned toward the shell I had vacated. Although still resting on the meadow floor, it was clear I could never return to its safe confines. Somehow, I was larger now.

Scanning the horizon for another hideout, my eyes came to rest on the hand still extended by my Liberator. Her hand was meant to be my security. God’s presence my fortress.

If I accepted the offer, together we would walk. Explore. Discover. Conquer.

Reaching out my hand, she enveloped it in her and led me away from my past. In time, fear gave way to trust. Trust created room for peace. And peace ushered in rest.

As dusk fell, still hand in hand, we ascended a knoll. Gazing down onto yet another meadow, I saw hundreds of great boulders strewn haphazardly as far as the eye could see. When I asked why the landscape had changed, she urged me to look more closely. Suddenly, I realized these were not boulders, but egg-shaped capsules. Each containing a person, curled motionless in a fetal position.

Tears flowed unrestrained and a mere glance was enough. Together we moved toward the nearest pod. Easing next to it, she whispered, “Stay with them awhile as I work.”

We are all meant to shine as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
— Marianne Williamson