I lie on my bed, unable to move from the ball I have curled myself into. The numbness slowly creeps into a bitter ache and I begin to feel the tears slide slowly down my face. I fight back the cry screaming to be free. I want relief from this pain but I hold on to it with all my might. My will to fight does not last long. The cry erupts from my mouth with such force I cannot breathe. My body shakes as I let the emotions flow from the depths of my soul. I cannot say your name. I feel only shame. Remorse. Guilt. I cannot bring this weight to you. You already know. And I cannot imagine how you could possibly ever love me again.
I said you were a liar. I said that if you created this order of things then I do not want anything to do with you. That if I am limited by the mere biology of my human body then I don’t want you to even love me. The weight of my words loom over me like a shadow I cannot escape. The familiar darkness envelops my being and I can no longer feel your presence. I begin to believe that you never loved me, that I never loved you, that this was all a lie. I let the bitterness take over and hope for sweet relief from the anguish of my crying soul.
I cannot live outside of your presence. I begin to doubt the things you have done. As I watch the husband grow in you I begin to resent him. I allow myself to say things I don’t mean and treat him in ways I know will push him far from me. His very presence in my life is a stark reminder of who I am…who you are…and I don’t want to be reminded. I am done. Done with you, with the people I love, with this life I chose.
Yet, my stubborn soul will not relent. It cries to you with every ounce of its being. I’m trapped with a mind that wants to hate you and a soul that cant do anything but love you. The conflict is more than I can possibly bear. In desperation I turn to the book.
Ever since I laid eyes on the husband, he has read this book. He longs for more hours in the day to read it, understand it. He tells me that in the pages he finds the Father. I only hear words from my childhood that bring a raging fire into my heart. I only hear the words that told me day after day how much I sinned simply by being born a girl. The husband tells me that I will find the answers to my questions if I’d seek the words in this book. I try but all I find is more questions.
My crying ceases and I lay there. Feeling relief. Thinking that maybe things will be better. I become more aware of the worship music that has been playing during my time of lament. The words dive into my mind. I pick up my pen and begin to write…
When did I forget you’ve always been the king of the world? When did I forget that you are the one who loves me, sustains me, defends me, fights for me? I cry, for the pain of my sin is great, but I turn to others and punish them. I don’t turn to my Father who can wipe away tears and heal the things that plague me. I am like Gomer. Unfaithful. Wicked. Always seeking others. I am stuck in my shame even though I know you are righteous and loving.
In the book is a story. A story of a woman who would not remain faithful. A woman that a prophet named Hosea married because the Almighty wanted to show the heart of his people Israel. I haven’t actually ever read the entire book of Hosea. I open the book and turn to the beginning. And somehow, in the words written by a man so many years ago, you speak to me. You answer my accusations and my doubts and my lamentations. In the words you spoke to your people Israel, you speak to me.
Oh, How can I give up on Israel?
I stop. My heart pounds. And somehow my brain recognizes the truth. And I begin to write what you say so gently…
How can I give up on you? You are my daughter. I know you turn to your sin and idols because they bring temporary peace but they really bring you death. I alone can bring you life peace, joy, love. I alone am the only one who can fill the void and ease the ache and make things new.
I ask you to prove this true. And you speak through these words. And I know they are true.
…My heart is torn within me, and my compassion overflows. No, I will not unleash my fierce anger. I will not completely destroy Israel, for I AM GOD and not a mere mortal. I am the Holy One living among you and I will not come to destroy. For someday the people will follow me. I the Lord, will roar like a lion. And when I roar, my people will return trembling from the west…And I will bring them home again.” Hosea 11:8-11 NLT
Home. I want to go home again. I want to be in your presence and stay there. I no longer want the doubt and fear to control my reality. I want to return again to my Father’s house. I want to crawl into your arms and stay there, sheltered safe. I want to be your daughter and you to be my Father. I determine in my mind to find the way back.
And so I turn the pages of the book and begin to read.