I’m having a moment. An eternal breath where suddenly my past, present, and future combine and I realize that nothing is as simple as it seems.
I tend towards poetic speech. To try to make beauty and resonance from the unhinged nature of my thoughts and emotions. Sometimes the beauty cannot be put into words.
And on days like today, pain and its sharpness cannot either. I don’t have words for this kind of moment.
A moment when I shudder under the weight of watching someone I love choose willingly a path with much hardship. A path I cannot keep them from taking if they choose it. A series of choices that is only theirs to take.
I cannot keep this dear young person from her journey. I understand I can pray. I can hope. I can model and teach and impart. I can point her relentlessly to Christ.
But I can’t live for her. I cannot save her from all the knowledge I have about her past. I cannot keep her from making her own choices: good or bad. I cannot save her from all the pain of this life.
And I watch her and I know she’s not ready. Not at all ready. To face this world. It’s hardness. It’s brutality. It’s cutting ways.
After all, I was her once. The little girl that couldn’t see past herself. That didn’t understand what her series of choices would reap.
Or what it would sow.
I sit and listen to this small struggle that is a foretaste of so many struggles to come.
I am a watcher on the edges of the pain that is coming. A watcher that knows. That has tread this path and felt the wrath.
But not just a watcher. A pointer. A guide. Because I know that the pain makes it all real. Makes it possible.
To see the wonder of my God. Of Jesus whose pain was greater than mine. He made a choice. A CHOICE. That redeemed all of my choices.
He must know what this is like. He stood on the edges of my coming pain. And allowed me to make the choices. To take steps that would mire me in darkness. And infinitely more than I do right now for this loved one, He wept for her sorrow that will come. For my sorrow that He went to the cross to bear.
He bore those sorrows. He waited on me during my pain even though He’d already suffered for the sin that caused my pain. The victory was already won.
Her victory has been won. I pray she turns with awed humility towards that Victor. That in that moment when she realizes that “this can’t be it.” This pain can’t be all this life is made of.
It isn’t. No.
He who waits on us to see Him through our choices and our pain. He promises that this is not what this life is made of. Not what it’s made for.
I’m not going to live like the pain has the victory. The pain she has coming. The pain I have coming.
Jesus has the victory. In Him, I find the freedom to see past pain. To see past bad choices and self. And to see clearly…