I traveled alone. Full bodied, but my heart remained in another place entirely.
I hit the open road. Full tank of gas, coffee hot in my hand. Freedom for the first time in years, but it was a false freedom, for I was bound to a place I could not be. Ties to what I could not physically see steadily holding parts of me back. Pulling me from the present, tethering me to the unknown. Eyes ahead, but blurred with what I was not allowed to wrap my arms around.
I viewed the scene through the lens of who I longed to have by my side. I had conversations with them at every sight. I stopped myself so many times from saying “Hey guys, look!”. Every picture that was taken was lacking and empty. It longed to have 3 little faces bring it to life.
My hands tied, my mind not fully present, and my heart. It broke. Into a thousand, million, billion tiny little pieces that I could not hold together. They each slipped through my fingers, and I had to release them.
Having to give your kids away unwillingly is some of the hardest pain this earth can bring. A mother’s hands being tied is gut wrenching in ways no words can describe.
So, I went. Feet heavy. Arms empty. I breathed, but not fully. My skin wrapped up in them from a distance. My mind wandered constantly to the what ifs and the sheer crappiness of it all.
And my heart? It continued breaking.
I drove and drove and drove to escape, and at the end of a very long day I landed at a lighthouse. An old lighthouse constructed after a deadly storm had taken the lives of multiple men lost on treacherous waters. A lighthouse meant to be a beacon to those navigating dangerous waters. A safe haven. A sigh of relief when fear rises nauseatingly in the throat. This lighthouse sat high on the cliffs with the waves crashing and constant below. It sat. Solid. Steady. Safe.
Just like my God.
The sun chased the other side of the world, and the days turned, albeit painfully slow. Eventually, He led me back home. More importantly, He placed my babies right back in my arms where they belong. I wrapped them up and tears of comfort fell on my cheeks, my body releasing the knowledge that the pain was over for a brief minute. The joy of holding them too much. My soul rested.
Days later, I was looking for a picture of something else, and I found this picture of me. I had not even looked at it. Arms relaxed, a smile. No one knowing the journey I was on the day that it was taken. It is the only picture I have of me from the entire trip. I remember thinking to myself that one future day I may want a photo of something more than a human-less scene or a horribly failed attempt at a selfie. Something of flesh and bone. Proof that I did this thing. A man felt bad for me as I attempted to prop the phone and set the timer. Alone in this world. A thing I am rather used to, but something he reached out to remedy for a brief second. I’m so glad he did, because when I found this single picture that stands proof to some of the hardest days I will have ever lived- it is me at a lighthouse. A stinking lighthouse.
And isn’t that just like God?
Don’t you forget My light, daughter. Don’t you dare forget it. Do not ever believe the dark will win. Don’t you ever lose sight of My beacon of hope. Set your eyes. Fix your gaze. My light never fades. Just keep driving, and you will find it.
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”