Saturday, October 20, 2012

When Your Heart Walks Outside Your Body

During our vacation, a month long visit to California from Spain, one of our sons (17) was assualted. He was fortunate to have only a fractured cheek bone, loose teeth and a serious concussion. He could have died from the blows to the head and resulting concussion. Both his injury, and the way it was handled (not taken to the doctor nor police report filed,) has caused me great pain.  Enrique and I took him to the doctor a couple of days later when we realized what had happened. We think about our distance apart from our California kids. I don't know if anything would improve by being closer, however, but the feeling of helplessness that comes from not being able to better protect one's children, even whey they and another parent make choices that are out of one's control, is overwhelming.

Elizabeth Stone wrote, "Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body."

That's it. Multiplied by four. Four, far, far away. I'm a living breathing ghost, a Llorona, who cries through the streets for her children. Empty nesting came too early. Ours were children who were unable to choose their family's dynamics, but able to choose paths of freedom too easily. And they are doing so. I am a mother and woman who wanted and still wants to shape and mold their future. Central in homeschooling 14 years and family life was that we have real relationship with God and with each other. That we love always.
I really wrestle with God, that this was a good goal, and yet it and I failed miserably.

That mission, my family, has been my life. I find I'm still, nowin a new and wonderful marriage and life, incredulous at the outcome, given that my understanding of God and His word was, and is, the unity of family. My inability to love a spouse away from violence, to create lasting traditions and haven for our offspring, and to overcome the odds with a victory that would be God's alone, has left me so wounded that I sometimes stop breathing. I'm a mother nursing her infant who is suddenly torn away from her breast. I once saw a video of a cow whose calf had been immediately taken after birth, a common stockyard practice. She cried and bellowed for her baby for hours and hours, days, until she was weak and ill.

Now, one might say, and I'm aware that God loves me and knows the solutions; that He can and is in the business of making our paths straight, but my question is, will He? Will He intervene? Will He still make new what is so broken? Will He continue a good work? Did he, after over twenty years of prayer? Why did I believe for so long that He would knit the right materials into the fabric of my family's life? Is it possible that my short-sightedness isn't allowing me to see His sovereign hand now?

And, of course, who am I to question God? What is really important in the end when one has lost so much? What can be done for one who has lost her hope, and with it her joy?

My mind drifts often to Ecclesiastes. I first read it after my grandfather and then dear grandmother's death. No need to copy and paste those words of disillusionment. But, I really relate to Solomon, one who saw the futility in life and humanity.
He, the wisest man on earth, in his final words said,
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear (respect) God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. 
Ecclesiastes 12:13-14
Lord, please give me sleep.
Give me peace.
Hear my prayer.


  1. my dearest mar,

    prayers continue without ceasing. this prayer was written by Jennifer Hatmaker and while my situation is different, I am trying to mean it. Hope it speaks to you:

    Here are my hands. They are yours.
    Here is my wallet. Take it.
    Here are my powerful prayer words. Direct them.
    Here is my comfortable happiness. Ruin it.
    Here is my sin. Transform me.
    Here is my heart. Break it.

  2. beautiful words, my dear mary.
    i am so sorry for your pain, and yet so happy for you for all the wonderful relationships and experiences you've had and are having now.
    may God continue to show you Himself in the midst of broken (and fulfilled) dreams, that He not only transcends it all but holds it all together, and loves you all the while.

    1. Hi dear stayathomemyheart - * So love that!*
      Thank you for visiting and writing!
      Yes, a big part of overcoming the giants in our path is focusing on where we want to go and choosing to see the blessings outweighing the pain. I treasure your words in the form of a blessing and prayer.
      Love to you!

  3. Espero que todo vaya bien!!! Un enorme abrazo para los dos, buenísima semana mis queridos amigos.

    1. Carlos, no sé si pudiste leer esta entrada en inglés. Era tan larga que no la logré traducir. A veces tropezamos en las piedras grandes en el camino, pero creo que el camino se me está enderezando poco a poco. Gracias, amigo.

  4. hi hola, see my note,ve mi carta

    1. Dear Kathy,
      Even though you couldn't publish your first time visiting my blog I have your kind note in front of me because you and Esteban took the time to bring it to us in the form of a visit from Ponferrada. What a beautiful surprise.

      I'll rewrite it for you here because it might be an encouragement to someone else:
      I hurt for you, Mary, also living in Spain with our adult children far away . And on one hand I understand completely the heart outside of one's body, but on the other I am working hard to turn them over to our Loving Father God since they have to form their own lives as adults. It keeps me humble and dependent more on God who loves them the most, especially when they make decisions that I know will hurt them later. Choices. . . You keep showing them how much you love them, and praying tons and God will do the same for them as they seek Him.

      Thank you for this message Kathy! Thank you for the visit to our home in Asotrga and for the chocolate, too :-)

  5. Oh sweet Mary, I've been a wreck diving into my own past this week, and missed this post. I ache for you. I have decades of wrestling with God behind me, surrounding me. Sometimes it seems his most faithful sparrows are the ones that get if flying closest to the flame results in burns. *sigh*

    Lie safe within the circle of Enrique's arms, know that the story you are still writing includes more souls than you know. Love to you, my friend.

    1. Chantel,
      No worries. After reading your post I'm surprised you did anything else this week, let alone read others' posts. I love this sparrow analogy. You have soothed my sore soul with these words. Thank you - Love to back to you.