One of the hardest discoveries of motherhood must be that “knots in the stomach” really does feel like knots. Knots being untied and retied and having the frayed ends burned. Repeatedly. Significantly unpleasant. Being a mama means struggling through those knots, though, however often it is necessary. This would be one of those times.
Her heart and mind are in a bizarre spot this morning. She birthed that boy who is nearing manhood, and watching him leave this morning for one of the hardest meetings of his life was no easy thing for his mama’s heart. It hasn’t been easy for any of the family, watching his first and only love become a jolting whiplash injury that is likely to take a long time to see past. She knows one day he will, but the mark this leaves will be profound. She isn’t dismissing God’s ability to turn it all into something that will bless his life in some way; in fact she is counting on that like she’s counted on few things in her life.
She’s having trouble shaking the unfairness. She knows life isn’t supposed to be fair, but he has done everything right. Honor above all, in everything he says and does. Above reproach. Godliness. Strength. Integrity. Complete respectfulness. No one on the planet could or would say differently. And this boy who has given his heart completely for the past two and a half years packed it all up in a box, closed the lid, picked it up, swallowed hard, hugged his mama, and walked out the front door. He doesn’t even know yet what he will do with it when he gets there. If anything remains in the box when he comes back home it will likely be sealed and packed away. It won’t be anything he will want to see for a long time. Maybe ever.
She couldn’t go with him. She’s thinking maybe it’s good that it’ll be a father-son task, at least up to the point of the actual meeting. His dad will be there right afterward to hold him. She hasn’t seen him cry since the night the girl said goodbye. He sobbed in his mother’s arms that night and the world tilted weird and she felt sick in a way she has rarely felt. Fighting tears of her own, she wanted to snatch his world back and return it to him and tell him everything was okay. All she could do was hold him while he cried out the shock and pain and confusion and loss.
He begged just to see the girl, just to hear it from her own lips, the why, the agonizing how in the world things could go from beauty to ashes within weeks. And he doesn’t even know yet how long it’s really been that it was a lie he was living without knowing it. Finally, and only through the aid of a good friend, they will meet this morning, one last time. One last time for the truth told in person, face to face. It’s what he needs. It’s the very least of what he deserves. It’s the only thing that will allow him to break open and feel and then with God’s help to begin to process and heal.
He did everything right. First love, only love. How could he have known.