“You broke a promise.”
My son’s young back view, shoulders sloped, walking away across the bridge.
What could I say? Yes, I did break a promise but… but… but…
And this was just a small promise. A small disappointment. But when I tried to remedy it, when I produced a solution, he refused. He wouldn’t let me solve it. He didn’t want me to make it all right. He was mad and he wanted to hit back. Of course he did, there’s so much to hit back at.
And this, this momentary exchange, proved to be the Jenga brick that – once knocked – collapsed the tower right onto my maternal heart. I was furious.
For the love of God, couldn’t these children see how hard I was trying to make everything all right? Didn’t they have any idea what all this is like for me? Do they think I find this easy? “WHAT ABOUT ME????” I wanted to scream.
But they’re kids. Really really lovely kids. It’s not their job to worry about me, to be concerned about my feelings, my pressures, my sorrow. It is mine to take care of theirs.
It was just critical mass.
I stormed off to the car. I’d had enough and I wanted to rage at someone, at anything. I wanted to be Sally Field at the end of Steel Magnolias just losing it in front of a group of girlfriends in my rage and despair. But no girlfriends were around, just my two struggling children.
I wish I could be the Mom Blogger on-the-farmstead-in-Iowa-who-married-my-high-school-sweetheart-and-has-a-beautifully-calligraphied-chalkboard-on-my-kitchen-wall.
But I’m not.
People ask me how my faith makes a difference in the midst of it all. I can tell you.
In moments like these – breaking moments – I can scream at God. I can sob at Him. And He can take it. All my grief. He can take it, and He does.
I lay it all out before Him. The no-answers nature of it all, the rock and the hard place, the forsakenness and the loneliness, my own faults, the sorrow and the shame. All of it.
He’s right there and He’s not shocked. He’s already got it covered.
And He loves me even so.
I have discovered that in my breaking, I meet Him most closely. When the Jenga tower collapses and I can no longer make any pretense at holding it together or being any good at any of it. He’s right there. Never left, won’t leave. He’s come for me.
And He’s the only one who knows it all and can make a way through. Is making a way through for me and the kids.
My alabaster jar is broken. It’s all I’ve got so I place it in His hands.
Miraculously, He receives it as gift. Fragrant even.
My kids and I forgive each other and go for a lovely walk. Easter season.
Resurrected life goes on.