Monday, 24 April 2017

Heart Transplant

Every moment of anguish vacuums the joy out of the corners of my heart. Tears come or worse, they don't.  Pain gets deeper, breaths get shallower and I wish I had the words.  Any words, dammit.  

It feels empty.  But it isn't, is it?  My grief is not the absence of joy, it is the overwhelming loss of it.  The greater the joy was at the one end of the spectrum, the more encompassing the sorrow is at this end.  I want to wish away the pain, but I fear it would take with it the memories.  Maybe I can't live without either.  Because what-was was wonderful and what-is has to be.  

Truth be told, this isn't the first time I have wondered at His goodness.  Not the first time I have doubted His ways.  I didn't like it last time either or the time before, but oh my soul, did it tangle me up in my Father's love.  

Driven to my knees, sure that this time it was too much.  This time I might not see His glory again, His grace again.  How I long to be proven wrong by His faithfulness, because this time the only thing worse than being wrong is being right.  

It is hard.  Too hard, in fact.  But it is not over.  I refuse to believe this is the one situation He cannot redeem, that this is the one where He washes His hands of me and says 'you're on your own.'  

Most days I beg Him to take this burden from me.  To give me His yoke that is easy and His burden that is light.  Yet I know, in my heart of hearts, that He lets nothing go to waste in the shaping and perfecting of my faith.  I know because of the whispers.  Somedays I barely catch them as they float by on the rhythms of Your glory.  Somedays they arrest me in Your presence and I am known.  

The whispers find the cracks.  Lord, they pour and trickle and puddle in all the right corners of my heart.  And I know that this sorrow today, this is yet another fissure into which You spill Your whispers.  I know it even as I see that my words have morphed into whispers back to You.  

I don't want a heart transplant, I want to see what You do with this one You're cupping in Your hands.  

Friday, 3 March 2017

Goodness

I follow three bouncing flashlight beams through the woods and I soak in this gift, consciously breathing in the tingly refreshment and calling it His goodness.

I lean back on the strong chest of the one who has chosen me and we swing, giggling that what is supposed to be fun just makes us feel dizzy and old - and it is good.

Was it only a few weeks ago that I struggled to sing the truths of His goodness, because my tears belied my words?  Stepping into yet another Sunday, both yearning for and dreading what was ahead.  The power in proclaiming things I knew to be true but that did not feel to be true, melting me into a messy puddle - again.

As I walk the sidewalks to school and the hallways of home, I breathe out His words and find I am breathing in His presence.  In time with my feet, my lips quietly recite God whose thoughts are higher than mine, God whose ways are higher than mine, God whose desires are higher than mine, God whose plans are higher, God whose love is greater, God whose grace is greater, God whose joy is greater, God whose goodness is greater.  The power in proclaiming things I know to be true making a crack for the God of those truths to settle a little deeper into my hesitant heart.

Between straining my eyes to make out the edges of His goodness and practicing praise despite my skewed perceptions, I discover that He has let me ease my way back into believing that He is not just good, but also good to me.  

I thank my Father that there are moments of overlap, in which what I know to be true also feels true.  I thank Him that His goodness also feels good today.

And I thank Him that He doesn't leave me there.  Even as those moments of overlap become more frequent, I feel Him reminding me that He isn't finished.  He has broken my heart for what breaks His and even as He heals it, He weaves into it the thread of His goodness that needs to be shared - again.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

God Who Hears (Gen 21:17)

Day in and day out, I question whether I did enough, said the right things, guided without crushing their spirits.  I don't want to be a good enough parent, I want to rock this.  I want them to know love and be able to give it, know empathy and be able to show it, know respect and be able to bestow it.  I want them to find the things they are good at, the things that bring them joy and ignite their passion.  I want them to care for themselves, each other, and the world.  I want them to know and be known by their Creator.  I want them to ride the waves of joy and grief, blessing and loss, and feel securely anchored in God's love and mine.  All of which sounds awesome until I find myself in the midst of tantrums and meltdowns and the mess of day-to-day.  And then He interrupts.  What is the matter?  Don't be afraid: I have heard the boy crying as he lies there.  You are the God who hears, and I am so thankful that you are attuned to the cries of my heart.  But, You are also the God who hears my boys, and I am unburdened as I place them and all their needs in Your bigger, wiser, stronger hands.

Monday, 6 February 2017

A Week Without

Day One: Her mom's joy and her dad's pride are enough to carry me through this weirdly anticlimactic day I've been dreading and waiting for for months.  I am not her momma anymore.

Day Two: Texts from her new home fill some of the emptiness in my heart.  As do the countless expressions of support and prayer from family and the reminder of the Truth on which I stand.  I am not alone anymore.

Day Three: The missing grips me and I bury my head in another novel; maybe someone else's story will hurt less than mine today.  I am not strong anymore.

Day Four: I know that only time can heal, but time is not cooperating.  It crawls lazily and nothing I do succeeds in hurrying it along.  I kick it once more anyway, because I have to try.  I am not gracious anymore.

Day Five: It aches below my ribcage but above my stomach.  How does it feel like both a mass and a vacuum all at once?  I am not whole anymore.

Day Six: I slow myself down on the outside, trying to live in each moment.  Maybe if I soak in the goodness of the precious ones around me, I won't dwell on the one who is no longer mine to hold.  It almost works.  I am not calm anymore.

Day Seven: Is it a bit better today or is it just the chocolate talking?  Either way, distractions start to distract and joys start to bring joy.  I am not absorbed anymore.

Monday, 19 December 2016

First Birthday

It's too bad I'm ready, because when I was up to my eyeballs in scrubbing toilets, doing dishes, and sweeping floors, I was just busily preparing for my baby's first birthday party.  Now the house is neat and tidy and my heart has time to unravel into a selfish mess.  Every milestone is a reminder of the ones I will never see.  Every smile a countdown to the last.  This celebration just points to all the years of parties I will never be invited to.  Because I can love her like she's mine, but she's firstly someone else's.  It's not us or them.  It's them and then, if need be, us.  This daily lesson in being second is more like having my heart trampled on than I would like to admit.  And it colours every moment, making it more difficult and more necessary than ever to behold His glory.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Grey

Don't put me on your side, but don't assume I'm against you either.  Don't paint my with your broad black brush, but don't try to scrub me white either.  Haven't we all been around long enough to dwell in grey?  I am in the fortunate position of not actually having to decide this baby's fate, so please don't make me choose.  I am, oddly, more comfortable in the uncertain than picking a side.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Fraction

If I carry just a fraction of your grief today and you carry just a fraction of mine, perhaps our loads will be just a bit lighter.  And if not lighter, at least they are a different shape for a few hours.  So yes, tell me about your mother's alcoholism, your debilitating depression, your son's classmate's leukaemia, and the nine years it has been since your daughter was stillborn.  I will hold your hands and your grief.  You will hold mine and we will all pray for something outside of the normal loop we are stuck in.  We may not feel stronger because we have loved and lost, but we are more gentle, more kind, more empathetic, more aware, more open, and most definitely not alone.