I can feel his warmth in my arms. Feel his heart near mine. His soft breath on my skin. My mind tells me he's here safe in my arms. Cradled in my love.
But there is darkness in a corner of my heart. A place of terror that keeps repeating, "I watched him die".
I can't make sense of it. Can't make the reel stop turning. The pictures of his lifeless face. The wrenching of his tiny body. The vacant stare in those little windows of love.
The pieces of me are broken, disconnected. Scattered across this floor. This room I cannot enter without trembling.
I understand now the word trauma. The space that holds you captive. The terror that won't let go. The unending fraying of your heart.
I can't stay here. I am not free. There is no joy, no strength. Only fear.
I cannot Love here. And I cannot climb out.
Words pour out. Pleading, fragmented words.
How do you pull yourself up with broken arms? How do you find peace in a nightmare? Where is the switch to turn off this horror?
By going back. By walking through. Slowing it down. And seeing the Grace.
And again I am there. Standing in his room, watching him turn blue. Watching the life draining from his face. But I am not alone.
His little body slumps in my arms. And I can hear my heart crack, feel the panic crawl in. But I am not alone.
He is jerking. Unnatural, wrenching movements. Ripping me into pieces. But I am not alone.
Again, I am searching for him. Desperately seeking him. And his eyes are flat. Like pieces of glass where once there were diamonds.
I am swallowed by the terror. The rivers running down. My body turning inside out. But I am not alone.
Time stopped here in this pain. My heart was frozen in this place. In this fear.
But God has been here waiting. Waiting to walk me through. And I was afraid to go back.
Afraid to feel these wounds.
The burden is no longer so heavy. The movie plays less often. My mind tells me he is safe. And now my heart believes.
Pain is rough and jagged. It consumes and suffocates. We will never find freedom from it in this world. But we need not fear it.
When we pour ourselves into it. Take His Hand and walk through it. Then pain becomes Holy.
Filled with Grace and Beauty. Full of Life.
Then it cannot extinguish our fire.
For if we take Him there. Down deep into the darkness, into the spaces we don't speak of. They become filled with Him. And there is Light in our darkness.
When pain becomes Holy it no longer belongs to us. It belongs to God. And we are free.
Free to trust. Free to breathe again. And free to Love.
I am still fragile. Still weak. Still gripped by fear at the sound of his deep cry. But I know Goodness. My life is full of Grace. And I continue to cling with my hands open.
"Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed." - 1 Peter 4:12-13