She’s trying to find her way. I know this. I know this. I keep telling myself that this is OK, this is her truth, this is her healing.
I close my eyes. I see a big red heart, a Valentine heart, a heart of flesh. My heart. I know that her healing requires her to take her knife and cut out a piece of my heart. She takes it, and puts it on her own wounded heart, hoping that somehow it will patch the hole.
Its clear that my heart has had this done to it before. Scars, pits, the seeping wounds. It’s all there, clearly visible to anyone who takes a closer look.
Hope. I keep thinking I will find it again. But so far, no. And so I make my judgments. About me, about the world, about God. I recognize the raw honest truth of what she says, that in trying to keep it all together I lost sight of her, and left her spirit bewildered, alone, vulnerable, and without hope. So much so, that now, as a young adult, she is divorcing me. And though my heart is breaking apart, this step, for her, is what she finds she must do to heal.
And so, I let her go. I release her from me. I set her free – to cut my heart, to use my flesh to heal her past, to find her way.
I wonder, in the heartache of this season, if I will ever find a place to land. A safe place, away from all this pain. I wonder if I truly trust God to be here for me. I continue to ask God to rescue me out of this, to bring peace to me, to no longer require atonement from me for the wrong choices I made and the ensuing havoc. And yet, atonement continues to be what is required.
I consider my options. Suicide. Self-harm. Leaving. Bankruptcy. Those are the big ones. They tempt me in the dark night. I keep them in the back of my mind as possibilities, but not probabilities. Surely there is something else, less dramatic, that I can do to ease this pain. To atone for my past and present failure.
In the early morning, I light a candle. Hopeless, I yearn for hope. Broken and bleeding, I yearn for relief. Never having known that I was good enough as I was, I yearn for God to tell me that I am enough as I am. Inside, where I live with all that I failed to do for her, for all of them, I yearn for forgiveness, for cleansing, for my own setting free. For absolution. For peace.
My heart does not know a way through this. Not this time. No words to say, no place to go, not this time. I cannot find a salve strong enough, a word powerful enough; it feels like death is the only thing that can fix this one. And I do not choose to die.
So rip away. Shred away. Cut away.
My Valentine heart is yours.