A certain song…..
A warm, caressing breeze…..
Or some particular small beauty…..
These can crack the scars.
And I clutch at my chest, pressing my hands desperately to my heart in hopes that the old and new and familiar grief won't spill over again.
The thought that, okay, I'm fine, I'm up out of that dark pit, my feet are secure and everything now is sweet and bright and well….and the whisper comes, again…
"How much sweeter, how much better, how much more joy would there be here, if….."
And then the questions come, rushing in and overflowing like a storming and out of control river…..
There were days when I craved physical pain. There were moments when I would try to press myself into the earth under which my babies' bodies lay, wanting to sink into the cold, silent ground just to hold them again….There were nights when the dreams would torment and tease, and they would march, unbidden, on my weary and devastated mind…..
There would be a little girl, smiling, tiny and beautiful in a dress of light blue, with bows in her dark and shiny curls, and she'd be giggling a musical sound and she'd hold out her arms to me, and then, with a knowing and wise look in her eyes, she'd turn and run away, just when I would be about to touch her…….
And later, many years later…..
I'd see a blonde sweetheart with Pennie's face and eyes and the same heart-shaped birthmark on her other foot, and she'd grin a baby-grin at me and she'd blow kisses and she'd tell me to take special care of her sister's heart…..
I'd have to force myself to breathe! I'd wake up and clutch at a reality that was far more uncaring than the dreams to which I so deeply wanted to go back……
Those were dark days, days which seemed, to my tormented and shattered mind, like a seamless blend of never-ending agony…..
Where was the sun? When would I ever again be able to open my eyes without punishing shards of anguish piercing them? Would I ever experience laughter again? Would my heart ever get to experience true joy and blessing, ever again, without breaking?
The answer is….
Through hard-won victories, my frame is put back together. That frame is crooked. It's bent and worn and so much different from that girl that I was, oh those many years ago…..
But I'm alive.
I'm standing again.
The stitches remain. Under the dark, thick stitches are a jagged network of scars. These scars will never go away. The stitches will never dissolve…..
But now, there are good days!
The trauma and the torture and affliction have shaped me. They've made me into who I am today.
Even when I wanted to deny that there really was a God, and even when I wanted to forsake my faith….
He held me fast! He was always right there, weathering the hurricane with me!
I didn't want Him to!!
I wanted to break fee from this one whose eyes were so compassionate yet Who I thought, in His great and sovereign wisdom, was going to kill and condemn me…..
I've said all of this to say that the only reason I'm winning the next breath today, the only thing, the Only One Who holds my every shred of sanity……
Dare I say that I'm a better person today? Yawning, desolate anguish either destroys or makes a soul….
And I'm made!
I'm fiercely empathetic. I can internalize your pain so much better, and after all…..
Isn't that the very essence, the heart, of being a follower of Christ?
Sometimes I don't want to follow Him!!
But He's there, right there…..
Closer than my skin…..
He shoulders my broken heart, and when I can't carry the heavy burden of it anymore….
He takes it for me!
And I can say with assurance…..
That if you ask Him to, He will shoulder your load too!
He WANTS yours too!!
Oh friend, give everything you have and are and desire to Him, because, hear me now…..
You CAN trust Him!!