The Pain in the Parking Lot

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Yesterday I sat in my car in a pre-school parking lot and I watched people walk their daughters in to school.  One little girl was a tiny bit chilly and she shivered and rubbed her arms up and down.

Would I have thought to bring a sweater for Ellis Grace?  Or would I have given her the tough line I often give her brothers. . . it’ll warm up later and she’ll be glad to not have a jacket. . .

Where is my daughter?  This simply shouldn’t be.  I should be adjusting a backpack, tying girlie laces, and giving one more set of hugs and kisses. . .                                                                                                                                                               Would we hold hands until she got to her classroom? Or would she want to be independent and walk alongside me?

In truth, she would be 2 ½.   She would not be in preschool yet.  She would not go to this particular preschool. And it would not be possible most days for me to walk her there if she did go.

But as I watch these other mothers.  The ones who get to keep their girls.  The ones who surround me on this cool morning.  I don’t understand why I don’t get to do any of it.

Their joy shines a big ol’ magnifying glass on my longing.

I feel forsaken and left behind.

I feel punished.

Where is my daughter?  Why do they get to share these moments with theirs?

That’s simply not true, I tell myself.  You are loved and chosen and perfectly planned for.  You’re not missing out on anything. . .

But it’s hard to believe that as I sit where I sit and see what I see.

And it’s so very clear that I am.

I’m angry at you God, I tell Him sharply.   I’m hurting every single day and you know it. . . as the tears roll down my face.

I’m not telling Him anything that He does not know.  He knows every hurt. He’s as much a part of my heart as the hurt that lives there.

All parents would do just about anything to keep their children out of harm’s way. . . to rescue them. . . .to save them. Look at the lengths He went to just to save me.

That’s true and I know it’s true. And if it’s true.

And It is.

And if I know it. . .

And I do.

Then this  is very, very necessary.  Can’t be avoided. Not in my best interests.  As sure as every earthly Father I know would throw himself in front of a car to protect their daughter, my God is more protective of me.

So I do not understand.  Like a baby screaming from the pain of a shot designed to keep them healthy,  I writhe, and cry, and ache.   I am a child of God. It’s true.  But I am not God.  There are certain vaults that won’t be open to me.  Certain types of prescribed pain that I am to endure. . . for my strength, good, endurance, and purpose.

Can’t see it this morning through my blurred vision.  Can’t feel it because the pain dominates all the strength, endurance, and purpose I’ve been given.

Everything has changed. And nothing has changed at all. He must have His reasons for doing, causing, and allowing all that He does.

And I certainly have my reasons for trusting Him.  . .

I turn back slow and place my head on His chest in the secret place that exists between He and I when there is no space between us at all.  The roaring lion is only breathing softly as his mane catches my tears and they roll down His beautiful golden hair.  As my tears hit the ground, they turn into feathers that look like crystals.  And He blows them away as kisses that will return to me later. Soon they’ll grace my path as a knowing remembrance of our love.  And I’ll need to be sure and keep looking for each one. . . For ever feeling of forsakenness, a feather of some sort is promised to me.

The pain is real but so are the promises.  I release my desire to understand for now. I release my bitterness toward the moms who have no way of understanding their privilege.   And I embrace what I know. What will always save me. Find me. Right me. Anchor me. Hold me. And then I lace ‘em up and keep running.   We’re gonna be doing this for a long time, I fear.

But I don’t need to think about that right now. I just need to run until I need the next break or see the next feather. . .

He is faithful. And I. . .

I am reconciled again.

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