I tend to feel deeply and can wear my heart on my sleeve and in my eyes. This is good, in some cases, but in some situations, and I can usually see it coming, I end up in a line of people whose flights have been cancelled and I am the only one in tears. I hate that! And then the tears get bigger.
I had this experience recently on a trip to Cleveland to see my son Cole’s final concert. Cole had been gone for almost three weeks and my trip back to see his final concert and then bring him home was less than stellar. I walked off the plane in Chicago to find that my connecting flight had been cancelled. Being the rule follower that I am, I took the handouts and stood in the line that was rumored to be two hours long and called the 1-800 number. The nice woman on the other end of the line kindly said, the next flight we can confirm you on is tomorrow evening at 5:15. If that remained the status, then I would miss Cole’s quartet concert. The first fall of tears started. As I stood there and all these business travelers, of which I used to be one, chatted and bemoaned and giggled, I fought back the tears that I hated and could not control.
In that moment I felt so alone. It was like my experience in Chicago a year prior, when the awareness of being a single mom had set in and the fear threatened to take me down. But, you know what? In Chicago last year, I learned. The scriptures that I have read and taken in repeated in my head. I will not give in to the lonely and the sad and the fear. I leaned in and God showed up. Take a deep breath, He is with me. Do not fear. Isaiah 41:10 says, “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”
I like to be kept track of. I like to have someone I can lean on and call at any time that will help me problem solve and figure things out. I may be a strong woman, but I also like to be rescued. I have a number of friends who are right now saying to themselves, she can always call me, but it’s not the same, you sweet friends. It’s not the same as a person that knows you so deeply and understands exactly how to love you in the moment. At that moment in the two hour line, afraid I may miss the one thing I wanted most, I felt the one relationship that I can always count on, the one that makes me feel loved and strengthened and held up. The King of my Heart wrapped me up in his arms. He whispered in my ear that he would help me, that he would hold me up. When my human desire tends to lean toward the need for a person, I am learning that he is the ultimate lover of my soul and heart. He is enough, I am enough and He can hold me as no one can.
The disastrous travel continued, re-routed to Detroit instead of Cleveland, delayed by almost three hours, luggage in the wrong airport, made a two hour drive from Detroit to Cleveland at 1:00 am, and arrived to less than respectable lodging with only the clothes on my back. Tears came a couple more times during the ordeal, I can’t control it. But, the King of My Heart sustained me, kept me safe, listened to me, spoke into my ear and wrapped me in his arms. Again, He is enough, more than enough.
I read this recently: In the Politics of the Brokenhearted, Parker Palmer tells a story of a disciple who asks why the Torah teaches followers of Jewish law to ‘place these words on your hearts’.
“Why does it not tell us to place these holy words in your hearts?” the disciple asks.
The rabbi answers this way: “It is because as we are, our hearts are closed, and we cannot place the holy words in our hearts. So we place them on top of our hearts. And there they stay until one day the heart breaks and words fall in.”
I have spent a lot of time in God’s word. I have placed his words on my heart. And I have to say, that in the last two years I have never been more grateful, because they fall in and heal up the cracks that happen through disappointment, awareness of human failure, and the stuff that daily life is made of. He has never been more to me that he is today. I can honestly say, he is King of my Heart.
So my relationship is with the King of my Heart, my God, the one who in the midst of tears in the line, leans into my ear and says don’t worry, stay strong, it will work out. Someday I may have another, a someone to call and be my help tangibly. But no one, NO ONE, will ever, ever be the help that my God is. Seriously.
This song is my current love song, and it breaks me and strengthens me and restores me, every time.
By His Grace