My head pounds, swimming in the remains of drowning my sorrow the night before. I hear the garage door as my husband leaves for work. I hear the kids laughing downstairs. The day is grey and my bed is a sanctuary of warmth and protection that I don't have the strength to leave yet.
A call from a friend goes unanswered and I lay and plead with the Father, asking for strength, for wisdom, for something I can do.... and the answer is, "let go." "Let go of the guilt you feel for lying here instead of engaging with your kids. Let go of the fears and the what-ifs of tomorrow. Be present with me in this moment and accept my love within it. Be present and humble, accepting without shame that this is where you are; it doesn't mean this is where you'll be tomorrow. It doesn't mean this is where you'll be an hour from now. This is where you are at in this moment, and you are fully loved."
So I text the friend who called and accept her offer for a cup of coffee. I connect with my grief and reach out to another I know is grieving today. I accept where I am and who I am in the moment and find that I still have value, even as I lay staring out from under the covers. Within the radical act of trusting that I am loved and in accepting this moment, I receive grace, and the strength to arise returns.
I descend the stairs and can laugh at the puppy whose hair wasn't meant for a rainy day. I give thanks for the laughter of my children who delight in being with one another today and the fact that they have not even noticed my absence. I whisper gratitude and hope to the Father that our little family will be healed and whole because of His great love; that my children feel safe and loved today.
This is the eucharisteo Ann Voskamp talks about. "Take your broken heart, your shattered heart, and give thanks for the heart of God who bleeds with yours and this is how your broken, dis-membered heart is re-membered – when you remember to count the ways He loves. Count, like you’re taking your own pulse, like you’re determined to keep breathing."
So today I count the ways He loves and my hope is restored.
- coffee and a hug from a friend
- a ridiculous wet dog
- the laughter of my children and their beautiful friendship
- a day to be home and let go and rest
- the love of friends who are safe to share who I really am with and the hope it inspires
- facetime with a friend on the other side of the world
- a warm, dry house on a grey rainy day
- a delightfully cozy bed with sheets and a duvet I adore
- the ability to grieve in the moment, which enables the healing to begin
- The presence of the Holy Spirit and His unwavering love for me
Where are you striving today? Is it time to let go and feel His love in your broken places? He will meet you. He will strengthen you. He will prove that His love is enough.