My Heart Is Not Steel

We drive home from her counseling appointment, the first one with the new therapist. I merge into late afternoon traffic, cross over the lanes and head home. The sun is out, the water on the lake blue-gold. Crew boats from the University are visible, sleek and swift.

I desperately want to cry, but she’s in the car with me. I focus on her words as she sings with her beautiful voice to the music she’s selected.

I don’t know what to do.

The cost of her therapy is more than I think I can pay. It will involve me driving her there, across the water, two hours out of my day. It will require me to bill the insurance company for what I have paid for in cash, to wait it out until the reimbursement arrives, emptying out what little cash I have on hand. It will mean that I will need to explain this all to her dad, and I know what he will say. I will hear the words and no matter how hard I try to steel my heart against them, my heart is not steel.

And yet, she connected with this therapist. My daughter told her the hard things about her life, our life. She felt listened to, cared about, and a small seed of hope was planted. I cannot tell her it is too much money for me to pay to help her find herself again. Her freedom is worth so much more to me than how much it will cost.

And yet, it will cost.

I have learned that her healing comes at a price. It impacts me, the truth she tells. I do not always want to hear it. I do not always have capacity to bear her truth.

The sun on the water is a balm to me. It always draws me to God. I am so small inside today, wanting only to crawl into bed and cry. I silently talk to God about all of this as we drive across the bridge.

“Lord, I cannot pay for this, for her well-being, for her healing. And yet, I must. God, please make a way for me to do this. Please show me how. Please let her find peace and freedom from the chains that bind her to the past.”

I ask God to protect me when I talk to her dad. To stand between us and keep the arrows from hitting my heart of flesh. “In all my weakness, God, be my strength. Give me the voice I need, to say what I must, to make him understand how important this is for his daughter. And if he says ‘no,’ give me the grace to find another way.”

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