I don't know quite how to explain what I've been feeling lately. There is an ache inside of me that just plain hurts. It is so strong it is almost a physical sensation.
I have felt it before.
There was a season in my life when God called me to intercession, in a labor of love so personal, so raw, that my very being ached every time the Holy Spirit called me to pray. I remember it felt like I was the instrument of the Holy Spirit praying, and I could feel in my flesh and bones the groans of God's Heart weeping over and with my friend. Those kinds of prayers one doesn't forget.
But this ache that I now feel is so keenly personal.
It is my own.
It is the ache of commencement, one journey over, the new one yet to begin. I feel I am caught in the threshold of having left one life, waiting for a new one. There is pain in what is left behind. In a perfect world, that life would be over and done. Yet there are constant reminders of what I used to be. And people who knew me then seem to look at me with questions in their eyes: "who are you now?"
What is hard is that the seeds of who I will be were planted firmly in the soil of my being way back then. I carry them with me now as planted hopes, as yet, unrealized. But the questions people ask, and the only answers I can give right now, leave no room to even see her, that woman God created me to be.
In the last few weeks a song I haven't thought of for a long time has come to mind. It was my favorite song when my last child was born. We were so thankful for his birth, because it seemed to go well for him. After all, when the first baby wouldn't eat, and the second baby wouldn't breathe, we didn't know what to expect with baby number three. He just seemed to arrive on the scene happy. But my experience was difficult, for all kinds of reasons. I would lay in the bathtub at night and listen to the words of that song over and over--
All who are thirstyToday that song was in my heart, all over me. My thirsty weakness washing through me in waves.
All who are weak
Come to the fountain
Dip your heart in the stream of life
Let the pain and the sorrow
Be washed away
In the waves of His mercy
As deep cries out to deep (we sing)
Come Lord Jesus Come
Come Lord Jesus Come
Desperate for answers and encouragement, I was so happy a few moments ago when I saw my favorite blog's title for today: "What God Really Promises in Pain." I click over, ready to drink in words of comfort and wisdom. I'm astonished when I get there and see there are only 12 words on the page. Twelve. But here is what they say: "God doesn't allow pain unless He's allowing something new to be born." In smaller print, down the page is the scripture reference Isaiah 66:9 NCV. How could I not look it up? Here is what I found:
The ache eases. I read those words of scripture and they feel so personal, like the Holy Spirit has woven this story together in such a way that I know where the pain is coming from. It's not about mourning a death as much as it is the pains of something new being born.In the same way I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born," says the lord. "if I cause you the pain, I will not stop you from giving birth to your new nation," says your God. "Jerusalem, rejoice. All you people who love Jerusalem, be happy. Those of you who felt sad for Jerusalem should now feel happy with her. You will take comfort from her and be satisfied, as a child is nursed by its mother. You will receive her good things and enjoy her wealth." This is what the Lord says: "I will give her peace that will flow to her like a river. The wealth of the nations will come to her like a river overflowing its banks. Like babies you will be nursed and held in my arms and bounced on my knees. (Isaiah 66:9-12)