The beautiful ache

August 13, 2017

The rumbling within me began this afternoon. Irritability encapsulated my heart, my mind and my body. In Renovation of the Heart, Dallas Willard paints the picture of all of these parts residing within our souls. It this is the case, then it’s accurate to say my soul feels like it’s been turned upside down and inside out.

It took me a few minutes to become aware of this rumbling. I was fine this morning and through the early afternoon. Then Dennis attempted to be playful…and I wasn’t playing. That was my first clue all was not at rest. As I grilled the burgers and sat through dinner, I felt a restlessness within.

Part of me wanted to clamor my way out of it. To stop it. The other part of me was curious. Curious about what brook was bubbling down deep, refusing to be silenced until embraced. That’s always my battle…to embrace the ache beneath the rumblings. It feels unnatural to lean into it, wrap myself around it, befriend it. Yet it is in this space, I have found Immanuel, my with God. So I leaned into the ache.

As I waited in the rumble, willing myself to not spill over onto everyone in my household (this is the deep battle of spiritual formation), my soul felt like Pop Rocks in my mouth. Then finally, a moment of clarity.

Our Keegan has been packing all day, completely cleaning out his bedroom. He returns to Gainesville on Tuesday to begin his sophomore year at the University of Florida.

Ding, ding, ding.

Pause. Exhale. Yes, that is what this is inside of me.

Cole will be moving into Keegan’s larger bedroom, which meant Keegan was completely moving out of his room. And purging. There was something about this purging and moving out of his room which was my undoing. He is entering into manhood, full of vision and passion for his future. I love being a witness to his unfolding story. I am so blessed he’s been mine to nurture for so many years. And it is Keegs living out of his design, which forces me to live out mine and open wider my hands, my arms, my heart and release him into the world. And this deep ache is beauty, and wrestle, and death, and hope all entwined into one woman’s soul.

My with God says He knows what it’s like to release His Son. He knows. All this goodness and ache He enters into and expands my soul to make more space for Him. He says His grace is sufficient for this ache, to hold me in it. So I will resist the urge to run from it ten different ways (i.e. shopping, eating, media, etc.)

And my with God says His grace is expansive enough to hold my dear neighbor who just shared she has breast cancer. It was only two years ago her young granddaughter was in the fight for her life with a brain tumor. And He was with them and held them there, in that deep place of ache of a completely different kind. And now He will be with Joanne as she battles for her own life. All these aches...some good and some brutal. Each one an opportunity to be more deeply entered by our with God.

His is an unusual kind of love. Perhaps this ache will expand me to hold more of this love, more of Him so I have more of His love to pour into others.

I miss you already, my Keegan. Yet in the same breath, It fills me to see you open your expansive wings and soar.