Our home has been been forged in memories, tears, laughter, sorrow, hope…and yes, even heartache. My load is heavy tonight, the sorrow is in every exhale. I hold the box too heavy to bear, and I shove it to the darkest corner that I can find. This is how I feel. My muscles ache from the load, but my arms are alive with the pain.
I shut the door to the closet I hate, the place I wish to tear from the house, but it’s the room that has to stay. I find more hard things to box up and put away. I cram, I shove, I stuff…I hide it all from view.
The closet door shuts again.
And it opens.
And it shuts.
Again and again and again.
She asked, Where did the time go? So I took her to the prettiest house on the block. I opened the door and I told her to go before me. We found time in the small living room with worn blue recliners and an ugly brown couch. We saw time in the conversations that could only be heard in memories.
We saw time sitting in the six chairs that surrounded the dining table. We saw time in a marriage that was faithful and sure. We saw time in a Christmas tree that was put up and taken down so many years that we still can’t remember every Christmas holiday lived. We just know they all happened.
She asked, Where did the time go? So I took her down the hallway where there were childhood dreams and a bedroom both covered in tears and laughter. I took her to the bathroom where time became hard-working responsibility. I took her to the closets, the desks, the drawers, the coffee table, the kitchen, the laundry room, and every little corner had time stuffed in between. Time that couldn’t be touched, but somehow it could still touch us. Read more
She knew the right words, of course. She had drowned in grace upon grace and known the joy of a surrendered heart. She was seeking God with her whole life
And yet there were days in which she found herself lost in a desert place. Her world cracked around her, and lakes of grace became as a mirage. The shadows fell like heavy fleece blankets in summer, and she was weighted down by the impossible. Weary, lost, and hungry, she flattened her body against the hard dust.
Her blistered hands grasped at the dirt, but her eyes could not make the tears. So her body shook for the despair, and she lay defeated face-down in the desert. She could barely admit it to herself, but she was exhausted enough to say that she was mad at God.
Not just mad, but angry.
Angry at God. Read more
I had wrapped myself in yards of beautiful white. I would be beautiful. I would be something to treasure. And so I wrapped and wound and tightened each bit of fabric to myself. I walked to him, clothed in strong beautiful fabric. I had worked hard to wear all of this.
I walked down the aisle and we said I do. My beautiful white fabric was rippling, flowing, flying in the wind. It was a beautiful sight, a picture of womanhood I had long cultivated. The first few weeks were lovely. My fabric stayed tight to me. It was– -in every way—the strong beautiful fabric I had made and cultivated.
But as the days wore on, the fabric wore out. It began to unravel. Seams plucked loose and rips widened. I lost pieces of my once strong fabric to the wind of time and life. I could not stop it. I could not grab it again. It was gone, and with it so much of what I had considered worthy.
The fabric fell away to reveal a charred and cracking heart beneath. I grasped at the white, flowing material to hide what I deemed bruised and ugly. I was frantic. My hands pulled and tightened, but the once strong and beautiful material would not submit. Read more