this morning i finally opened my eyes when the sun became too much to hide from underneath my covers. i stretched - gingerly - because my stomach still resists the skin pull. i hesitated, and then turned over toward the empty side of the bed. it's amazing how much the ache of loneliness can overwhelm you when you least expect it. i felt it rush over me sweeping the floor, the hyperventilating nuisance of the cobwebs not coming loose. i felt it in the escape to somewhere, the mindless purchase with a gift card given while in the hospital. i felt it in the suffocating quiet of a home minus the laughter of two.
but mostly, i feel it in the realization of story being lived without me. this is what's been the hardest about russ being in africa while i'm home. we are two made one but he will experience something altogether separate from us in a land that's haunted me for six months. he will come home different. broken made whole through the Master's hand. and it's absolutely maddening that i won't be there to see him fold under His wing.
i was the first one he told when david gave him breakfast in kibera - a sacrifice we will never know because food is never a question. with tears in his eyes he struggled with words, but he didn't have to say anything because i knew. adah had just asked me if i would forget about her once returning to america. both shattered, we grabbed the other's hand. together, we could process. together, we could heal.
i know this may not make sense to some. these past few days have opened up a myriad of trust-lessons where i am the two year old with clinched fists and angry tears. when i least expect it, the sorrow runs deep. it's the hardest thing i've ever had to reconcile. i know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, russ needed to leave. i know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, my surgery was God once again showing me His protection.
i know this, but i also know the ache of watching russ leave without me. it's a hard pill to swallow: him living a different story than i will ever know creates one that we both can live in order to bring glory to the King.
he's waking up right now. dawn breaks in a land i may never experience. i close my eyes and say a prayer and know that even if i don't hear from him until sunday morning, our King is weaving a story so delicate through him loving on orphans and praying over new friends. my clinched fists slowly find their way open - because really, this is the only place i'd want my love to be - in the presence of One who knows the story.
even if the story doesn't include me.