The shoreline

November 2017

But I have calmed and quietened my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me. Psalm 131:2

For four years I have grieved. I have cried. At times I have basically raged like a tantruming child. I have questioned. I have despaired. My heart has been broken.

But now it seems, all of a sudden, I’ve run out of puff. The energy behind all those raging emotions is waning. The waves of frustration which had been whipped up to enormous heights, which had surged into a violent storm, with force and fury, rising and falling, rising and falling has inevitably, with the passing of time, finally reached a shoreline: succumbing, surrendering, fading peacefully and gently with hushed resolve into the soft sand.

There is head and heart in small griefs like these and, could I have chosen, I would have willed myself to grieve quietly, sensibly, unobtrusively. The sheer force of my breaking heart has been embarrassing.

And yet, try as I might, enormous feelings persisted and bubbled over inconveniently, embarrassingly, insistently. Head could not win over heart.

Eventually, worn out with fighting, I put my will to one side and let my feelings roam, pretty well as they wished, like hyperactive and stressed out children on a rainy day, finally let out to play. Ugly, snotty tears were cried freely in public settings and I didn’t much care what anyone thought any longer.

Deciding to relinquish control, deciding to withhold judgment over those emotions, deciding to instead simply feel my feelings and let them be, was a confusing and painful and awkward experience, and yet it has been for the best because now they have lost their force entirely and I feel better. I finally feel at peace.

That might sound like I’ve given up hope. I haven’t. Nor have I completely accepted my lot. 

I retain hope, for God can give children as easily as withhold them. I do accept the situation as it stands and am overwhelmed with the gifts already given me. And yet my heart still longs, perhaps selfishly, perhaps greedily, for what it does not have. This I assume, will never change. Should there be no more children, I think my heart will always ache a little. And for that, I think I may need to allow myself a small amount of grace.

But I think the greater grace for me is being freed from the furious force of my initial grief. To no longer have that tumultuous sea of emotions wrecking constant havoc with my head and my heart. It is a good feeling to be free from that.

Thanks be to the God of heaven and earth who calms the sea of my soul until, like a weaned child, I can rest peacefully without madly grasping for what my heart desires, for what it is yet longing.

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