i hear it in my voice. i feel it in my heart. and i wonder about this woman, this wife and mama who watched her whole world be ripped away from her.
i wonder about her spirit as she heard the life-crushing words brokenly telling her that her children, all ten of them, were gone.
did she wander aimlessly for a few moments, too dazed to process the news? or did she collapse immediately with the knowledge that was too great for her feminine frame to bear?
was it any wonder, as she watched her life be taken from her one piece at a time, then to watch her husband suffer with painful boils all over his already heart-broken body that she uttered the words, "do you still hold fast to your integrity? curse God and die." (job 2:9)
i imagine her words dripping, not with sarcasm, but with pain.
deep, deep soul-wrenching pain.
where do you go with that kind of pain?
he whispered the words to me this morning "remember, one day you will look back on all of this and see only one set of footprints...".
he said it to make me laugh.
but i said, with my words dripping with pain and hurt and confusion, "yes. yes, there will be only one set of footprints and they. will. be. my. own."
yesterday, i stood in my entryway, frozen. the phone in my hand, listening to his voice; to the pain and the confusion that had finally reached a head after 2 months of wondering.
and then i was surrounded, by three little ones who sensed, i'm sure, the instability of the moment.
and they surrounded the only source of stability they know.
and instead of drawing them close, to show them how to trust Jesus in the midst of uncertainty, i yelled for them to leave me alone.
and i found myself alone, curled up under my desk. broken at the pushing away; of my children, of my Saviour. broken at the confusion, at the never. ending. onslaught of pain. tired of trying to do the right thing only to have life get harder. worse.
and i found myself facing two of me.
one, bent over and haggard. a face etched deep with lines of anger and bitterness. one with her fist raised to the Face of the Almighty God in accusation. alone.
or one, bent over yes, but bent over in service to others. a face etched deep with lines yes, but lines of laughter and wisdom. lines that spoke of joy and compassion in the midst of uncertainty. one with a hand raised to the Face of the Almighty God, but not in accusation but in worship. surrounded, not alone, by family and friends and lives invested in.
i had heard it, that tiny root of bitterness entwining its tantalizing fruit around my words gritted out, "they. will. be. my. own.", and i saw my choice laid out before me...
she was blessed again, job's wife. even after her statement that has some pointing at her with fingers laced with condemnation.
again, her womb was blessed ten times. after experiencing the death of her dreams, of her children or her life as she knew it...she was blessed again and gave birth to life.
He longs for us to be honest with Him. He longs for us to come and lay our burdens on His back that was beaten and bruised for us.
i'm learning that it's okay to bring pain filled words to His throne room.
but there is a moment, a holy moment, that waits expectantly. yes, yes, bring your honesty, bring your questions and your pain...but there comes that moment that waits for your decision.
how will you rise?
december 22nd brings an end to the long, dark nights. by january the days will be getting longer, the sun will linger to kiss the earth's floor for those extra few moments before whispering it's slow goodnight. april, may and june will find each one of us struggling to remember the cold, fading light in the late afternoon of the winter.
there is hope. i don't know what day it will be. my calendar doesn't have a day specifically marked for the moment of turning...but He knows. He knows when the long winter of this past year will close and this burden of pain and sorrow will begin to lift.
but may i still remain bent over with my hands raised in praise and thanksgiving and in the full knowledge that yes, there were my footprints but they were never, ever alone.
the light of Spring will make His clear.
and so i wait and i trust. i may not be able to see too much right now outside of the swirling mass of hurt, but He's here.