Lounging there, I checked the text on my phone. It was a response from a friend. I read her message, responded, then tossed the phone back to the end of the bed. Except clumsy me didn’t toss it as soft as I had meant to. It skipped right off of the edge of the mattress and clattered to the floor. A brand new iPhone.
But I smiled. Because I could almost see him. I knew what he would do and say. He would have turned to me–a laugh in his eyes–and asked what was wrong with me. Or asked how long I had been tossing phones onto the floor. It would have been some cheeky one-liner that would have made us both laugh. Something about my lack of coolness which would have been utterly true.
Though alone, I laughed anyway. And I saw it like it was real.
So the tears came then, because it wasn’t real. I was there, alone. Just a girl chucking her phone off of the bed…where it clattered to the floor…then silence.
It’s a strange feeling–to laugh and cry all at the same time. Sometimes brokenness and trust exist in the strangest of ways.
Though torn in two, we can still breathe in and out. We can still rise and still carry on.
I still watch the sunset, and on rare mornings, the sunrise. I still walk into the bathroom and as the last step of the morning routine, slide the ring on my finger. It’s hard because I know it’s not really real anymore. The set of papers sent to the court said that I wasn’t needed as a wife any longer. But the court has a few more weeks until they are able to put their stamp on it and so I place the cold, metal band on my finger.
I didn’t spend twelve years of being faithful to stop now. I am a wife. I will see myself as a wife until the day comes that I no longer am. The lawyer tells me it will be this summer. July, most likely.
Until then, I pray. I cry. I laugh and I have friends around me. They wish me a Happy Mother’s Day and they still put casseroles in the fridge. Their husbands come to mow the lawn and my dad brings straw for the chicken coop. A neighbor brings over a ladder and takes down the Christmas lights in May.
My children ride their bikes in the street, and their laughter is good medicine.
I plant seeds in the garden and watch while they struggle to grow. I smile because I was brave enough to go sailing.
I accidentally lock myself out of the house and stand on a girlfriends shoulders as she insists I have the grit to climb the balcony. We giggle because we both know that I don’t, but with her cheers, I manage to scale the rail anyway. I grow up a little more and see that we will continue to grow up until God says we’re done.
A friend who has been where I am now, invites me to breakfast and it involves a walk through the woods. She traverses a log bridge with ease and even though I think I’m going to fall, I don’t. We celebrate with omelets.
When disaster strikes, we have no emergency plan for how to do this. No real readiness for how to navigate such loss. But there is the Word of God and He tells us in the Psalms and Proverbs–and a thousand other places–that He is sovereign and that He is Good. That He hears our cries and that He is the beginner and finisher of all things.
Through every moment of these days, He is teaching me about new beginnings and deep breaths. Of trust and knowing that it’s okay to curl up and watch a chick flick when there’s work to finish. Or to talk to myself in the quiet of evening when there is no one else to talk to. To begin a prayer journal and to grab onto hope that the future will be bright. It will be. So bright. It has been growing brighter every day and week since the darkness came and settled. Because God knows how to fight it back and He has.