My heart is struck down like grass and has withered;
I forget to eat my bread.
Because of my loud groaning
my bones cling to my flesh.
I am like a desert owl of the wilderness,
like an owl of the waste places;
I lie awake;
I am like a lonely sparrow on the housetop.
Psalm 102: 4-7
It may have happened suddenly, or perhaps we saw it coming. And when it did we were devastated, barely able to breathe for the wind had been completely knocked out of us.
So we kicked and we cried. We grieved the loss and felt great pain – whether from an unwanted divorce, death of a beloved spouse or a child’s substance abuse – forgetting to eat and unable to sleep. Especially in a cold and lonely bed now half empty.
And we hugged ourselves to ourselves, and thought that we might die.
But we didn’t.
And one day we realized that we had to get up off the sofa and dry our tears and start moving forward. Especially if our babies were little and they needed us to be fully present each day.
Daytime was doable because the hours sped by full of activity, but in the evenings, as night fell and the house settled, the places in our soul deeply wounded start to scream, and everyone falls asleep.
But not us.
We lie awake, or we shed tears in the shower with hot water soothing muscles tense from the sad and sorry burden we shoulder each day.
And we can feel deserted, like a solitary owl lost in a vast wilderness.
Cold and all alone, bereft of hope or joy.
Yet we are never alone. The Lover of our soul is always with us.
He has promised never to leave, never to abandon us. And all of His promises are yes and amen.
And this is where we find our hope. This is the way out to a new beginning.
This is where strength soars. And it is there for the taking and He gives generously, as gently He prods us to take the next step and do the next right thing in a life we never wanted yet now have.
And His word says all the darkness is being worked for good, ultimately, even though our eyes cloud with tears and we wonder how that could ever be possible.
So we choose to trust.
We hold His hand.
Wait to see if new dreams might come true.
And in the still place a single sparrow, uncoupled like us, is truth in motion. Our Father loves every single one of them that has ever spread its wings across the sky.
He loves us so much more.
He is our greatest comfort and truth heals.
We look to the hills.
Help has come…
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