We sat together among the aftermath. Empty boxes, shards of shiny paper, and lime green curly ribbon strewn on the floor of the living room. She looks up at me from her spot on the couch and sighs deep.
“What’s wrong,” I ask.
“It doesn’t feel like my birthday,” she replies.
I warned her days before that this might happen, that she might feel this way. We celebrated two days earlier with dinner out and presents over red velvet cake with the gooey icing that makes the eyes close and the mouth exclaim yummmm, when you swallow.
Her Dad had a trip on the actual day and our celebrating milestones together, it is more important than the calendar or the clock.
On the heels of anticipated celebration; triumphs experienced after the long haul; winning the prize upon days of disciplined training; comes the ache of empty. The let-down after anticipated joy celebrates her glory.
This empty ache cloaked like a blanket the day I carried her home from the hospital; after the last person left the wedding reception under the luminous tent in the back yard; when I moved the tassel to the other side on my graduation cap; and after the new year with all her confetti promise ebbed mundane.
And I realize that the ache of empty will never be truly satiated until we fall into the embrace of the one who fashions us with love and celebrates over us eternal. Jesus, the one who knows how to fill up the secret longings of the soul, so that we never have to know what it means to be empty again.
Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Psalm 73:23-26 ESV
Joining Lisa-Jo’s Five Minute Friday community with the one word prompt: Empty.