I lay beside my boy last night and watched the tears roll softly and quietly out of the corners of his eyes and down his beautiful little cheek. I couldn’t help but take my finger and wipe every single drop away each time they started to fall. I couldn’t just leave them there flowing down his face. I needed to do something. Capture them. Take them away.
As if wiping away the tears could wipe away a bit of the sad, the hurt, the confused.
Of course I know it’s not that easy and the pain doesn’t lessen with a simple finger swipe across the face but I’m a mama and I wasn’t going to stand by and do nothing. Because that’s what we do, right? Not nothing!
Life has been a bit uproarious around here lately. You know the season. I know you’ve had it yourself. The specifics don’t matter at all but rather the feelings that we can all relate to, the moments we’ve all lived just the same.
We’re making decisions we don’t feel qualified to make and plans are changing before our very eyes. We’re ending our days in completely different ways than we started them and we’re all feeling it. The daunting feelings of, “Is this the right decision,” the overwhelming thoughts of, “What if we do this wrong?” You know the ones.
There’s an ominous air in our home. One where none of us feel quite right and we’re not sure how to get around it. You know this one too, don’t you. Where our minds say we’re choosing joy and we want peace, but our bodies don’t feel any of those and so our words don’t reflect the things we want but rather the truth. We’re a mess.
A mess of hurts and a mess of tired. A mess of questions and frustrations. We’re a mess of I don’t want to’s and it feels too hards. A mess of aching bodies and weary souls. A mess of feeling like the only one’s.
But you know it too, right? If not now exactly, then you have. These same feelings as the ones we’re having.
So I lay beside my boy in bed and I don’t assure him that all will be just fine because if you’ve been here you know that’s just a straight up lie. But I do assure him that God is good. Because that much I know to be true. He wrestles through this one wondering why a God who is good, a God who is His protector would allow these feelings and I let my tears fall too, not because of the wounds but because of what he doesn’t even know he’s learning right now amidst all of the muck that he feels. He’s asking all of the right questions. He’s pressing deeper into the character of God. And while he doesn’t get it all just now and may never completely, he is learning big truths.
I tell him that God is good. He nods. And sobs.
The beauty and the pain. The sorrow and the joy. The shackles and the freedom. The limping and the running. The questions amidst the trust. The frustration amidst the peace. The deep longings amidst the temporal. They aren’t separated when we know Christ. One doesn’t fall away because of the other. Rather they are both there and both real and it’s only the root of each that changes when we place it in Him.
When the root of all we are runs to Jesus then the beauty and pain aren’t separated but we see one through another. We don’t simply become runners when we’re rooted in Him but we find something glorious in the limp we walk with. Because it’s His and we are His and it’s all for Him.
I tell my boy that whatever he needs I am here for him. I tell him I can’t fix it but oh I would if I could. I tell him that I won’t fall asleep before he does because I will watch over him until he finds rest.
I hear my own words and I know that God won’t fall asleep on me until I find rest, too. It doesn’t make it all better but it does make it bearable.
I watched his eyes flutter closed and heard his breathing get deep and rhythmic. It’s what we all need. The peace of knowing that a parent is lying beside us and holding our hand. The comfort that comes when someone catches every single one of your tears while letting their own stream all the way down. The joy of knowing that you aren’t in it alone but that someone is watching over you, rubbing your back and saying, “I know. And I’m here.”
He does and He is.