I lay awake tonight (rather this morning) desperately seeking distraction from a headache that literally brings me to my knees. I fell asleep earlier amid tears and prayers, "Please God, I can't do this anymore..." This pain of head and so much more...Life that didn't turn out the way I thought it would...Overpowering memories, good and bad...Seeing my children hurting and growing up through the hurt. ...Sending son back to war...and the others back to the routine of everyday living when it's all but routine somehow...And remembering those moms who can't wake up at three in the morning and "chat" with sons continents away because their sons are no longer... "Please God, I can't do this...THIS! This pain of head AND heart."
Sometimes life makes us weak and fragile--I don't like this "fragile." It seems so silly and strange that fever and headache is what brings me to the floor considering the last few weeks. I want to be strong--invincible and non-compromising. I want to stand tall as overcomer. And as mother, I want to hold my fledgelings all safe and warm in the nest, though--as fledgelings grow--they want to fly.
So tonight, a headache is the wind that breaks this tender reed. "Please God, I can't do this..." And I seek solace in His Word and the words of others who love Him too. Earlier tonight, I put aside "blog assignments" because I couldn't feel less like taking risks...I want to hold all things precious and dear close to me. So in these twilight hours, in the midst of headache and tears, words invade and station themselves in heart.
"Let Your love, God, shape my life with salvation, exactly as You promised; Then I'll be able to stand up to mockery because I trusted your Word. Don't ever deprive me of truth, not ever--Your commandments are what I depend on.
Oh I'll guard with my life what You've revealed to me, guard it now, guard it ever; And I'll stride freely through wide open spaces as I look for Your truth and Your wisdom..." - Psalm 119:41-45 The Message
I reflect on the last few weeks and I realize that though I want to hold them close and protect them, my children are sometimes so much stronger than me as they take each step forward into life--not backward. I was too...until life AND death stopped me in my tracks and threw me behind old walls built of should'ves, could'ves, wishes, and why's. And my heart longs for those words, "I'll stride freely through wide open spaces as I look for Your truth and Your wisdom..." Another translations says, "I will walk about in freedom..." I want that--to walk about in freedom. That's the risk I want to take. I can remain "safe" (though not really) and hide behind these old fortress walls but I want the wide open spaces where grace is the air I breathe. I want to be brave enough and courageous enough to guard with my life what He has already shown me...what He has yet to reveal.
I visited an old friend this past week, frustrated because I needed his guidance and wisdom more than I wanted to admit. But his guidance has brought me a long way on my own journey. Why should I question or hesitate to receive it as I walk through this "complicated grief." I know that even now, I have to tear down these walls brick by brick. On my own, I would give up all too easily. Maybe the cause for which I strive will spur me on. And this time, maybe I won't fight against those who fight for me.
A blog-friend's words struck me as I found that "distraction" I was so desperately seeking: "To that which tears open our souls, those holes that splatter our sight, may actually become the thin, open places to see through the mess of this place to the heart-aching beauty beyond. To Him. To the God whom we endlessly crave." (p. 22, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are , Ann Voskamp).
So a risk worth taking is this pursuit of the freedom I have fought so long and so hard to gain. We sometimes take it too much for granted, but it truly IS a risk to walk in freedom rather than remaining confined behind by old hurts and regrets--walls we ironically consider safe. This present hurt doesn't have to undo what God has already done in me. It can shape me--even be my salvation...Don't we grow stronger in the broken places? So forward I go to the God whom I so endlessly crave to guard His truth in me with my own life.
"...And I'll stride freely through wide open spaces as I look for Your truth and Your wisdom; Then I'll tell the world what I find, speak out boldly in public, unembarrassed. I cherish Your commandments--oh, how I love them!--relishing every fragment of Your counsel.
Remember what You said to me, Your servant--I hang on to these words for dear life! These words hold me up in bad times; yes, Your promises rejuvenate me." - Psalm 119:45-50 The Message