Monday, April 2, 2012

Seesaw

God holds us in the untamed moments, too.
~ Ann Voskamp


I have been wandering through the days somehow, a quick peak in the morning as I pluck myself from the bed, shoving back thoughts of why bother, there's no one here to care if I don't get up till noon. A surge of energy, of productivity, and I go for runs and I study homework and I cook meals alone. Bedtime looms empty. His absence keeps me awake.

It chafes, the Pilot being away. Even with friends, with phones and Facebook to bring family close, still the loneliness closes in at the end of the day. I half-thought it might be easy, compared to fourteen months of long-distance engagement. But something has changed. We're married now, and the heart, the mind, the body knows the difference. I am a child on a seesaw and my playmate has had to leave, and instead of the two-person rhythm I am stuck lumpish at the bottom. It takes two to let both soar high.

He is in the field now, out of reach by phones, and last night the dam broke and I called my older sister so she could tell me that it was going to be okay. I thought I would be okay. I thought I wouldn't have any difficulty. You're not super-woman, she told me, and you don't have to be. It's okay. It's okay for the distance to hurt.

~

"When a man is newly married, he shall not go out with the army or be liable for any other public duty. He shall be free at home one year to be happy with his wife whom he has taken." ~ Deuteronomy 24:5

Impossible or impractical in this day and age, and the Air Force doesn't consult Deuteronomy to make its training schedules, but I feel better just knowing that God loves us to be together too. The enforced distance is necessary but that doesn't mean it's good. It's okay to mourn.

"You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!" (Psalm 30:11-12). Ann reminds me that "mourning and dancing are but movements in His unfinished symphony of beauty." The tears are not shame, and He promises they will be transformed. Even in untamed moments, when the heart rebels and the spirit is infested with doubt, He is there to hold me, my "Lover who never burdens His children with shame or self-condemnation but keeps stroking the fears with gentle grace," (Ann). Might sometimes the caress feel like the chafe of this distance? His hand holds my soul, gentle motion repeated to clean off the dirt of self-reliance, of pride, of pretending it's all fine, to let me see what it means to need Him. Needing Him is all He asks of me.


Come to me, He whispers, you who are weary and heavy laden, come to me and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28) Not the super-people. Not the people who are "fine". No, He wants me not fine. I am free to bring the doubt, the sleeplessness, the loneliness, the weakness, the tired of being apart. There will be no shame. No "why don't you just pull yourself together?" No "get over yourself, it's not that long." Only love.

Isn't that what we really want? To drop the mask, and feel no fear? The freedom to be not fine? The echoes of childhood when we ran to to our mothers with skinned knees, to bury our tears in warm love, that is what we long to return to, to drop adult pretense of self-sufficiency and find acceptance of our own weakness.
~

All fear is but the notion that God's love ends, Ann says, and the reality is that it doesn't. Ever. Not even  when I'm a lump at the bottom of the see-saw, feeling half of myself.

Open my eyes and see: fear holds me down. It's the Love that sets me free and lets me soar.

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