If I Had Known
I awoke after another restless night of agonizing loneliness. My senses heightened by constant waves of sorrow undergirding my every thought and breath. He is not here. My love, my Tyvin.
Wrapped in a heavy blanket of grief for nearly 12 months it seems to have developed a life of its own. Some days it covers me with feelings of abandonment, isolation, fear, and desperation, its weight I can hardly bear. But other days its familiarity blankets my broken heart with an unexplainable tiny fiber of hope.
My girls and I sat by the fire and cried. The absence of their dad, my lover and best friend has made us keenly aware of the preciousness of life, but even more so our lack of control. I grappled with honest vulnerability swallowing hard before expressing the preoccupation of my thoughts that night.
“Would I have still married him if I knew?”
They stared back at me with both compassion and wonder as I dared ask the question again.
“Would I? If I had I known then what I know now? That I would be the one left here to face the outrageous swells of sadness and unquenchable longing?
I went to bed, lifted my voice to God and answered my question with another. “What made you think I could bear this agony?” My mind was made up. I whispered “no,” closed my tear drained eyes and drifted off to sleep.
The next morning I was met by a man standing beside my bed. He gently lifted the blanket of sorrow swaddling me and spoke words permeating my soul with warmth and light.
“Would I have still come had I known? Would I have faced the dark-night of the soul had I known the cost?
The lump in my throat grew as I squeezed back tears answering, “You did know. You did come. For me. You came for us all.”
I fell to my knees and began weeping. My mind raced to catch up with my vivid imagination displaying in graphic detail the horror of the cross. Revelation flooded my spirit as I encountered, love – not as an emotion, but as a person.
“Love, You risked it all,” I stammered. “You surrendered your rights gave up your glory exchanging your robe of royalty for the blanket of grief I now wear, even though I didn’t deserve it. For the first time in my life, I understood what his unquenchable desire for us felt like, and why Love would not be satisfied apart from us. The painful reality that I will never hold Tyvin, kiss his cheek or hear his voice again this side of heaven is only a shadow in comparison to the insatiable desire that God has for us. He grieved for his bride long before I grieved for my husband.
As I write these words, I am weeping messy tears flowing from the deep pain I must continue to endure along with overwhelming gratitude for the pain He did endure, my Savior. I can’t explain how the depths of my suffering has drawn me closer to Jesus, but it has. I get it.
“For God so loved the world, He gave His One and Only Son…”
The words now jump off the page, and I picture God like me wrapped in a blanket of grief unwilling to accept that even one of us would die apart from knowing His love, His Son.
“Did you wail like me Father, when sin and death entered the world? Did your heart break like mine because of the separating of our souls? The severing of our identity as one?”
I thought of Tozer whom Tyvin read. His words more eloquent than mine would have resounded in Tyvin’s heart, and so I share them with you on this Valentine’s Day, for my love.
“It is a strange and beautiful eccentricity of the free God that He has allowed His heart to be emotionally identified with men. Self-sufficient as He is, He wants our love and will not be satisfied till He gets it. Free as He is, He has let His heart be bound to us forever. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. He goes on to quote Julian of Norwich, “For our soul is so specially loved of Him that is highest, that it overpasses the knowing of all creatures: that is to say, there is no creature that is made that may know how much and how sweetly and how tenderly our Maker loves us.”
I gazed at the man standing beside my bed as He helped me wrap my blanket around my trembling body again. Sobbing, I nodded silently, yes. Yes, I would have, and yes, I will allow you to dress me in this blanket of sorrow because I know that You will one day exchange it for a new one.
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket-safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.” ― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves