It never leaves, this ache.
I can press it down, punch at it like bread dough, pat it into a nice ball, and cover it up.
But still, sometimes it spills.
I think of Elizabeth, barren in her old age. Heart and arms heavy with the ache of it. As time passed, maybe she stopped praying. Accepted the thought that, though she was known righteous, some silent sin sealed her womb. Accepted that childless was her lot.
I remember that pain. The wondering at what choices I had made that kept my arms empty.
Yet God had heard Elizabeth’s prayer. And He answered it in His time. She would give birth to a boy who would bring her joy.
Would she have asked God to change His mind if she could see into the future? That her only child would be imprisoned and beheaded? Or did she find much delight in knowing that he was part of a larger plan? In somehow knowing that true joy is not temporal.
God didn’t answer my prayer in my way or in my time either. And once I accepted that childless was my lot, He filled my arms–though not my womb.
Never my womb.
But my heart ached with the love of it. With the love of them.
I wonder if I would have asked Him to change His mind if I could see into the future? If I could see the damaged dreams, the anxiety, the fear, and the tears–mingled with the joy. If I could see how my heart would ache with the pain of it.
Or is there still some hidden delight? A larger plan that’s not yet come together?
Because true joy is not temporal.
And my heart aches with love for the truth of that.
In the stillness,
Originally penned in response to the word prompt “ache.” Retrieved from the archives today to let you know I’m still here as I continue to rest from many words and consider future words.