She squinted in the darkness to see the time. Three-thirty-two in the morning; had God woken her to pray again? Or had tragedy struck at that exact moment to someone she loved? She always feared the latter but chose the first. And so she prayed. Secretly she hoped that the praying would calm her and send her back to her slumber. That was not the case this time – four, five then five-thirty ticked away and she stayed awake…wondering why.
She was weary. The despair wasn’t what one would think…it was deeper, darker…suffocating. There was that thumping noise again…what was it? David’s Psalm was echoing in her heart somewhere, “My soul is in anguish. How long, O LORD, how long?” Again, the tears came,” I am worn out from groaning; all night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears.” Thump, thump, thump, crack! It was the sound of her breaking.
Her minds eye replayed the scene again. Her hopes trampled on, her dreams squashed, unrequited love. How could this be? She could see him, his pack on his back—wordless. His six-foot-three frame didn’t hide the boy she could still see. His gate and the back of his head looked the same to her as it did when he still loved to climb into her knee and snuggle into her neck; when his smile never left his face, even when he was sleeping; when all her hopes and dreams for him and his bright future still lived. Then the memory vanished into the darkness. “My eyes grow weak with sorrow; they fail because of all my foes.”
How could this be? Didn’t he used to love her? How could the very child she gave birth to and nursed so lovingly and nurtured and taught the best she could, despise her so deeply? And how could it be that both of her boys could make her feel as worthless and disgusting as their father had? Didn’t she raise them to be different? Didn’t she do anything right?
She fought to see his sweet young face again. Smiling mouth and twinkling eyes that said I love you mommy. That is where he would stay in her heart forever.
Despair…the result is weariness—deep, lonely, frustrated weariness. This is the gift of motherhood.
Hope in the midst of despair…no matter how hard to grasp—is the Gift of God.
“The LORD has heard my cry for mercy; the LORD accepts my prayer. All my enemies will be ashamed and dismayed; they will turn back in sudden disgrace.”
If only she could erase the despair.
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