Voices of Purpose

The wind swirls
as its taunts
hit the weathered wood.
The hail
throttles the walls
that hold her in
and is a thunder
in her heart.

She struggles
to hear anything else—
wind, hail
hail, wind.
She shivers,
not from cold,
but from what is
within her.
She shakes
with a purpose
that will not let her be.

A scream leaps
from her
and for a moment,
it is all she hears.

she hears
screams that
rival the wind;
screams from
others’ lungs,
from outside these walls.

Voices of purpose
declare their presence
over the wind,
over the hail.
She rises.
She strides
to the door,
and with a strength
that is not her own,
turns the knob, and
steps out.

The wind pushes
to drive her back.
The hail stings her skin.

She raises her chin,
turns her head—
she’s not alone.
Brave hearts
confront the storm.
Strong voices
reach her
despite the wind.

She runs
through the wind and hail
to meet them.
They gather,
clasp hands,
and share hope.
They are poised for action,
ready to take up space,
devoid of shame.

She hardly feels the hail.

Bethany Howard writes to motivate others to step into all they were created to be. She inspires brave souls, and those who feel less than brave, through her book, Permission Granted: Embrace Who You Are, Cultivate Courage, Impact Your World, to pursue their passion, purpose, and possibilities. She takes up her space online at www.bethanyhoward.com and on Instagram @bethanypermissiongranted.