Dear Heartache

Dear Heartache,

When you visited me that night, I was hoping your visit would be short. I figured you’d move in, settle in for a bit, but once we visited you’d be on your way to the next home.

For awhile I pretended you hadn’t taken up residence in my heart. But one day I came home, and you’d unpacked your bags, changed the curtains, and settled on the sofa. I sighed with reluctance.

Still, I was sure that quick visits here and there would be enough. Every once in awhile we’d have a chat, some days ending a few hours after it had begun. Always, though, your presence was there. When I woke up, when I went to bed. You were always nestled away somewhere, as if I could feel you even when we weren’t talking.

I began to resent your presence in my life. I wondered how I could pack your bags when you weren’t looking. I wondered if I could somehow leave the door open, the place too draft-y, so you’d go find residence elsewhere. Hadn’t you had enough of me?

But until those long days, when I finally curled up on the couch with you, I hadn’t realized that you had something to say. You’d been whispering it when I was around, but I was too busy to notice. I was so focussed on figuring out how to get you to leave that I hadn’t even asked you if you’d had something to say.

But you did.

“Don’t rush me,” you’d said. “I have something to say to you.

If you let me, I won’t just remind you of the memories you feel have slipped away. I’ll remind you of what’s ahead, too. I’ll whisper to you your worth when you’re curled up beside me. I’ll remind you that hearts hurt because that’s what happens when love bounces back from the place you sent it off to.”

And finally, with a deep breath, you whispered,

“For so long you’ve been asking me to leave. But you’ve missed it: there’s room on this couch for one more. Heart pain,” you’d said slowly, as if for me to catch the words and hold them close, “always needs a healer. I can’t heal you. Visiting with me won’t heal you. But I can point you to the One who does.

And with a deep breath that I feel all the way to my bones, I see Who’d been sitting behind you on the couch. The only One who had the power to rush in, to turn a heart of stone into something soft. To heal the bruises where love had bounced back. The only One who could hold these broken pieces and make them into something beautiful.

Oh heartache – I am so sorry. If I’d rushed through our visit, I could have missed this.

Broken pieces

being healed

by the Broken. 

Lovingly,

A.

Safe

There’s going to be a lot of things that won’t make sense to you.

There will be plans set aside, a heart that feels broken, a bank account that’s mostly empty, and an unmapped future – except for those leftovers in the fridge.

You’ll sit on your bed, the elephant patchwork quilt underneath you, and you’ll sit in silence for awhile because a friend suggests you do it. It’s time to listen, she’ll say.

And your mind will keep wandering, and you’ll try to focus on the beeswax candle that is flickering in the corner. But that doesn’t work. And so you rub the frayed edges of the elephants, and you curl into yourself, and you whisper some words because silence is too heavy. And it’s a half hour of you struggling, of you trying so desperately to listen, until there’s only one word that’s whispered to you in the silence: safe.

Safe.

You realize a lot of the unknown, and the pain, and the unmapped future is all simply, unsafe.

And you keep putting a lot of your hopes, and your plans, and your hands cling to all of the things – feeling as if you figure it all out, you’ll finally feel safe.

Oh girl. That’s not how it works (although, you’re stubborn, and sometimes a little controlling, so I’m sure you’ll keep trying).

Unless you place it all in the hands of the One who is safe – you’ll keep wrestling. You’ll keep coming up empty. You’ll keep feeling frayed, and on edge, and lost. The only place you are ever fully safe is in His hands. In that silence. The only place your plans, and your heart break, and your empty bank account, and your unmapped future –

are truly safe – 

are in the hands of the Only One who is.

Keep wandering into the silence. Keep wandering into the unknown. Keep letting your heart break.

For it is in the unsafe places – 

we find that we are truly, always safe –

in the arms of the One who holds us close.

 

Redeeming the Time

The other day I found my first wrinkle. I mentioned this to a few people, and there was mostly laughter … after all, I’m only 24. Wrinkles? Really? They are a thing of the future.

But to be honest … I had a moment of knowing that, yes, I am dying.

We all are.

We are working our way to the end, to our final moment, and yet we’re always trying to fight against it.

We fight against the clock and yet it’s the only thing out of our control. We paste creams on our faces, we inject chemicals into our bodies, we stitch up loose skin as if those things will win us the battle against time.

Continue reading “Redeeming the Time”

New beginnings

Today, I woke up in my family home for the last time.
Something tells me it should be easier to move – afterall, I’ve moved to school for the past four years. But it isn’t just the moving that breaks my heart.
It’s saying goodbye to the memories that happened there. It’s saying goodbye to the last standing reminder that I once had a family, a family that included a mom and dad that loved and honoured one another, a family that was once as sturdy as the rock out front that portrayed our family name.
I know that those memories will forever be in my heart. But there is something about a physical reminder, the physical four walls that do their best to support the family that resides within.
But sometimes, those walls just aren’t strong enough.
Today I reminded of the lyrics in Chris August’s song “7×70”:
I’ve been living in this house here since the day that I was born.
These walls have seen me happy, but most of all they’ve seen me torn.
They’ve heard the screaming matches that made a family fall apart,
They’ve had a front row seat to the breaking of my heart.

This past weekend at home, I wandered through our home and memories flitted in front of me, memories I thought I had long forgotten. But it was that home that triggered those memories – the sight of the blue entrance tiles reminding me of our first puppy, the stairs making their way up to the second floor reminding me of the time Shelby fell and tangled her arm in the banister, the feel of the wooden floors on my feet reminding me of Christmases gone past where we sat gathered around the Christmas tree. How do I hang on to the memories, when everything in this world is trying to steal them from me? When time grasps at them, my parents’ divorce papers try to erase them, and the words, “forgive and forget,” try to grab them from me?
That house may only be a house, but it stands to me as a living reminder of what we once were. Now all I have are mere memories, memories that evade and escape me far too often.