I had a CD on this morning before leaving for work. Many of the songs on this CD are ones our church sings during worship. Although I don’t regularly attend church right now, the songs were as fresh in my memory as if I had been part of singing them just a few days ago.
Only this time, there was much more cynicism in my heart as I thought about the words flowing from the speakers of my CD player…
“It’s your heart we’re searching for,
We want you and nothing more…
We surrender all to you,
Do what you want to…”
I used to sing those words and really believed I meant them. Now I know I didn’t really mean them. And I wonder how many other people are like that?
You see, it was easy to sing those words…”have your way in me…” as long as my life pretty much stayed the same. The bills were paid, I was warm on a cold day and cool on a warm day, there was food in my refrigerator and gas in the fairly new vehicle that sat safely in our garage…I could go on. But then, slowly at first, my world started to show signs of crumbling. A health issue that was unwelcomed, that limited some of the abilities I once took for granted. Then a life transition that I was in no way prepared for as my identity as full time mom disappeared, it seemed, in one full swoop. A daughter who took the last name of her new husband–meaning she no longer shared mine, and a son who suddenly, it seemed, had a new woman in his life. These events, of course, are wonderful and natural, yet they took so much more of an emotional toll than I could have ever predicted. Then a new title came. Grandma. Or Grammy as I referred to myself. A tiny, new, little life that captivated this heart and gave me purpose once again. I poured so much of myself into that tiny life. I cuddled and played and read and bounced and rocked and walked. I was available at the drop of a hat to offer all those services to this little boy and his mommy–the same daughter who once shared my last name.
Five months ago, though, it seemed as God took a sledgehammer and smashed my heart into thousands of tiny pieces as I said goodbye to that little boy who had grown enough to walk and to know which were his favorite books and to “cry” when just one more episode of “Little Einsteins” wasn’t playing on Netflix. My heart is still laying in thousands of pieces inside this shell that I try so hard to put on to hide the pain.
As I listened to those words this morning, I wonder how many others who sing them really mean them. What if God took your husband or wife or child or home or bank account or…the list could go on. What if God really did have His way in you and His way was reducing you to living on the street with nothing? What if God’s way for you was to move your only child across the country? Or your only grandchild, the one you get to see as often as you wish, to another state? Maybe you are all better than me and you would still sing and mean the words you sing. But maybe, there are others like me; others who think they really mean it when they say that God can do anything He wants in your life and it will be all peachy with you–until it actually happens. And when it actually happens, when God takes away something or someone that you love so much you would give your life for that thing or person, it takes you for a ride into despair so deep you are certain the darkness will never lift.
This has been a long, dry, lonely desert. For all the tears that have fallen, it should be a desert that is filled with pools of relief along the way. But it isn’t. It is a dry, dark, hell that sees no end in sight.
A coworker the other day was talking about something in her life, and she commented that she was glad that someday there would be no more tears. I very honestly told her that, at this time in my life, I can’t even imagine what a day without tears would be like.
I won’t sing words to songs ever again without thinking hard about whether I really mean them. Right now, I’m not sure that I want God to have His way in me. I want my way–I want my daughter and grandson living twenty minutes away again. I want to take him to the park and push him on the swing. I want him to bring me the “Thank God for Kittens” book and climb up on my lap so I can read it to him. I want to sing “You are my Sunshine” to him as he smiles at the words. I want to rock him to sleep and hold him close for a little longer than necessary before gently placing him in the pack and play.
My broken heart is nowhere close to healing, and I am doubting it ever will.