I’m afraid that I will never know what it is like
to be whole and peaceful this side of heaven.
Whenever fresh pain enters my heart,
the remnant of a voice from the past comes back to haunt me,
“It’s your Good Friday, Anne, get on the cross."
I cry softly in the early morning hours of darkness,
desperately hoping God will hear me,
and release me from this pain,
but silence is the only reply.
Lonely, empty, long-lasting silence.
And when the help does finally come,
in the form of friends and family who really do care,
and put their arms around me and tell me that they love me,
I find that their love hurts, too.
I don’t believe that I deserve it.
Unworthiness and low self-esteem are my constant companions.
With a sigh, I ask God,
“This too, Lord? Do you want me to accept this pain too?
Do you want to take all of what I am, all of what I am not and all that I will never be?”
I’ve tasted resurrection; I’ve had joy after the sorrow of the past.
Now, I am here on the other side of that hill again,
standing before the cross that is waiting for me once more.
It beckons to me with the knowledge
that Jesus died because He loves me
and if I truly love Him in return,
I must also die to myself.
Like a child, I greedily beg to hold on to the joy for a little while longer.
I bite my lip to hold back the tears.
The blood dries hard on my lip like the happiness that is shriveling in my heart.
Lip biting is useless; the tears come anyway.
I walk the familiar pavement that leads to my cross,
face to the ground hoping my tears will go unnoticed.
Cold November wind stings my damp face.
I hear the Spirit’s reply;
"This too, Anne. I want all of you.”
I bravely surrender my desires and reach out for my cross.
“This too, Lord. I give you my all.”