They’ve been asking, you know. Those that know me best have drawn in close and asked the question with profound gentleness.
“Are you still writing?”
The answer catches in my throat. Each and every time, the part of me that aches draws a sharp breath and exhales pain. I have yet to find words to capture all the things that rip through my heart each day, each cry that fills my prayers, the tears that fall in the shower and while I’m driving and when I reach for my phone to text my mother and I remember that she’s not here.
The short answer is simple: yes. I am writing. Words in my journal and scrawled notes in the margin of my Bible and quiet, careful reflections in my Bible Study workbook and whispered prayers over the snuggling rumpus of puppy curls. Words of a life: in steps pounded out on a treadmill and meals prepared in a quiet kitchen and time spent with friends and cozy evenings sipping tea in a mug once held in hands I dearly miss.
In the actual writing, however, exists a rawness I cannot escape. Cannot voice. The repeated loss over the past twelve months have not robbed me of my joy, hope or comfort, but the steady grief of this human heart lifts in swells of naked sorrow that – even now, writing this – leaves me feeling exposed. Helpless.
Yesterday after lunch, he questioned me, “Why? Why is it too raw?”
“I miss them.”
“Everyone keeps leaving,” he said. Ever so softly. So knowingly. With the weight of compassion that spread fresh cracks across the fragile surface of my heart.
These past months have been ones of reflection, learning and growth. My Heavenly Father – He who is incapable of leaving me – has been faithful in holding my heart close beneath the steady burden of grief. He has protected me from bitterness and despair; he has refined my joy and is gently freeing me from my bondage of fear so that I can learn to trust.
But I miss them.
And I’m sad.
I don’t want to write sad. I know you’d read it, because you’re awesome and your faithfulness in this space has always been a gift undeserved. I just really, really don’t want to.
He wants me to, though. He wants all of us to, actually. We, the redeemed, must tell our stories. Not just the good bits, but the hard, the sad, the broken, the ugly. So I’m going to try. Not for myself. Not for the dearest friends who have broached the subject quietly, knowing that silence on my part means everything’s not okay. I’m going to try for Him.
For He who is my anchor, my hope and my salvation is worthy of whatever messy offering of words I can manage.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever.
Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story. ~ Psalm 107:2 (NIV)