The walls are a minty green, and I taste the sweet peppermint sherbet on my talkative tongue. The couch is comforting and feels like home. The cover reminds me of my Nana's bedspread, and I sink into the far-left corner across from a kind face with a soft voice and the uncanny knack of making me stop and breathe.
Just breathe and be.
Be in the evenings of anger that turn into scalding tears.
Be in the snippets of time I am standing alone, at the door, watching my firstborn gleefully say "Bye, Momma!! Wuv you!" as the car disappears to his other bed for the weekend.
Be in the moment of feeling like I've been punched in my gut's gut, as I see a picture my child drew. Scribble scrabble to us, but in black permanent marker, the teacher has written what he has created. "Daddy and me playing football". "Momma at door".
Momma at the door. Am I coming or going? Is that where he always sees me? Waving goodbye and welcoming back? Where is the home behind the door? Momma and Daddy are never mentioned together at the same time. Not in his 2-year-old garble. Not in pictures. Not at all.
Be in the moment of echoing houses and lifeless toys. Silence sometimes a dear friend, letting me go to the dark place that scares me. Letting me yell and cry and then remember a precious golden hour when I first saw my baby's eyes and the last time I felt like a true family.
I sit with legs crossed, feeling like I've got to keep it together and survive. There really is no other option. I've been told I'm strong, but I know this is not true. I am a weak excuse for strength. But for grace....But for grace. Where would I be?
In a moment of brief letting go, my head falls back to the couch and my eyes lift to the ceiling as I sigh. There. I've let my guard down. I'm no longer laughing, and I begin to talk in circles and squares and sometimes parallel.
She listens. Always listening and fluidly writing on a yellow pad. Taking notes of my story that still has so many chapters left.
Finances have dwindled, and moving to a smaller space is crucial. Inside, I am just like Eve. Wanting more, not satisfied with what has been so graciously given. I am ashamed to admit it, but I must. And so I mourn the loss of a front porch with rocking chairs. I mourn the Greenville house that I loved and made a home. I mourn the monograms everywhere. Why on earth does one person have so many? I ache for friends who I never talk to anymore. Neighbors who were like sisters. Girls who prayed with me, shared early morning yard sales, and welcomed my little one to the neighborhood with a gigantic homemade sign. Oh, how I wish I could have treasured those moments more. I can't even begin to mourn the finality of it all. The forever dormant moments that will most likely never live fully again. Not on this side of heaven. Small visits here and there, yes, but it is the humdrum of day-to-day that I miss so.
And here I am. On the white couch weekly. Tasting peppermint on my tongue and wishing I could just be held and hugged and needed.
It is so lonely sometimes.
I know the truth. I know He works for the good. I know his mercies are new every morning, and his grace is sufficient. I know.
I also know He cried. Lazarus, dead and gone. He cried. He wept. He was in the moment and all its grief. But the story didn't end.
We all have a Lazarus. Maybe more than one. We all have buried hopelessness that needs restoration. When He heals, the old no longer remains. The grave clothes are gone. Life appears.
And so I sit. And wait. I see part of living is being in these Lazarus moments. But He is still there. And it will be for His glory.
And the grave clothes will no longer remain.
Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”
When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.” John 11: 40-4