It’s been an interesting six weeks here. We’ve had our second brush with suicide, and our second with self-harm, my Dad was diagnosed with melanoma in the lymph system, I’ve had two surgeries, neither big, but both resulting in plaster wrist splints for two weeks followed by braces for four more, a friend of our daughters’ was missing for five days resulting in an FBI search (which thankfully ended well. She was found safe and is home.), my Dad’s six hour neck resection surgery, and a call from my son who’d been in an accident which totaled two cars and badly damaged ours, but thankfully no people.
For weeks, my legs have felt like lead, physically exhausted, but my heart has been (mostly) calm. Not when we rounded the bend and saw the night sky swirling red and blue, lit up by four squads, four fire trucks, three ambulances, and two wreckers at the scene of our son’s accident, but aside from those few hours, mostly, unexpectedly calm.
Because somewhere along the journey through these past two decades since I became a mom, a deep faith has been forged, anchoring me to a strength beyond my own, a peace indeterminate of the circumstances. Somehow in the most chaotic, unexpected moments, I know deep in my soul I will survive, will make it through no matter what tomorrow holds. It may be what I least expect. It may be every kind of awful. It may be the hardest road I’ll ever walk, but I will not be alone. Not ever. Not for one, single second.
Because I am His, beloved child of God, held in His Hands, and headed for home.
And in that realization, I’ve discovered I can breathe. Because it’s not about me. I cannot take my children’s pain, cannot own their expressions of it. I can only trust the One who loves them beyond all understanding, who knows all, sees all, and can redeem all.
I cannot control. Cannot make something happen or keep something from happening. I cannot protect my growing-up kids or my parents, or keep them safe, or eradicate their hurt or fear or anger. But I can listen. And love. I can be there in the pain.
Expecting nothing in return. Not change or results or reconciliation or recognition. Just love, poured out, for Love’s sake alone.
And therein lies the freedom. Loving without expectation as Jesus did. He didn’t coerce or cajole or pressure or push or urge or expect. He simply loved, perfectly, completely. No strings attached. And it was enough. Because He is enough. All we need.
No, we cannot take our children’s pain, cannot own their expressions of it, but we can trust the One who loves them beyond understanding, the One who knows all, sees all, and can redeem all.
We love because He first loved us. And in that peace, in His deep and perfect love, our hearts rest.