Monday, November 4, 2013


I woke this morning with a song on my mind, "Always" by Switchfoot.

This is the start
This is your heart
This is the day you were born
This is the sun
These are your lungs
This is the day you were born

And I am always, always, always yours

Today is the day I was born.

I've had a hard time lately, and I really can't put a finger on a reason why these past few months have seemed so heavy.  She's been gone over a year now, my mother, and I should be feeling better by now.  At least that's what I always thought, that something magical would take place at that one year mark and it will all just be a little easier.

But that hasn't happened.  Not yet.

Two weeks ago marked eighteen months without her.  A few days later was the day she would have turned 67.  And now my birthday, a day that seems so strange to even acknowledge without the presence of the one who gave me life.

I'm angry now.  I'm angry at cancer.  I'm angry that other people still have their moms and get to do the things with them that I used to love to do with my mom.  I'm angry that I can't talk to her anymore.  I'm angry that my kids don't have a Gammie.  I'm just angry, and I know it's just a part of the process, and I know I'm blessed to have so much to be angry about, and I know all the other right answers and responses like every good little Christian woman in the South does.  But I am still angry.  And still missing her.  And still in the midst of this terrible grief.

And then comes along the day I was born.

These are the scars
Deep in your heart
This is the place you were born
This is the hole
Where most of your soul
Comes ripping out
From the places you've been torn

And it is always, always, always yours
And I am always, always, always yours

Holes.  Holes in my soul.  There are the holes left by other people, things done to me, bitter emotional and physical abuse.  There are the holes I gave myself, stupid decisions, turning away from God.  And then there's the big hole, this unexpected one, the place where my mother always was, the place I will always want her to be.

Oh but my Father cried out to me this morning as I listened to this song... I am always yours.  Always.  He's the only one who can say always.  His always is always true.  And so I turned to my favorite Psalm, 139...

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb.  Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!  Your workmanship is marvelous - how well I know it.  You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in in the dark of the womb.  You saw me before I was born.  Every day of my life was recorded in your book.  Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. {verses 13-16, New Living Translation}

And then the anger started to melt, and the beauty of my life comes into focus.  That God put me there in her womb with a purpose, put me there as a big surprise to her and my father both.  And He saw me growing there, He saw the whole of my life in the darkness of her womb as the strands of DNA planned out every detail of what would become me.  And I see that I am a part of this big miracle, one on which I even have a birthday.  The miracle of life.  And she facilitated it for me.  For Him.  She brought me to life to carry out His purpose for me.

So the anger melts to thankfulness as this mother-less child comes to grips with the fact that I am His first.  Yes, I was hers.  I was born to her.  She was my mother, and I miss her so.  But this came as no surprise to Him.  No surprise at all.  And He watched me form, and He made me inside of her womb exactly who I am, nothing more, nothing less.  And He is always my Father, always mine.  And He is enough, always.

I'm caving in
I'm in love again
I'm a wretched man
Every breath is a second chance

And it is always, always, always yours
And I am always, always, always yours

To listen to Switchfoot's song, "Always", click here.


Erika Kaplan said...

Happy Birthday, my dearest friend! I'm so sorry that your heart is still so heavy. I can't wait to see you!

kellyostanley said...

Thanks for sharing. I'm sooo sorry that anyone else has to feel this kind of pain... and thankful that you're letting God in to comfort you. Hang in there, friend...