Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Empty room. Empty heart.

There is an empty place on the floor of my bedroom. A week ago it had the sum of the world's possessions for a young boy, minus the bed and the bike at his grandma's house. Three boxes. Two held his clothes, socks, underwear, shirts, pants and shorts. Some were given to me by his mom. Some had belonged to his cousin. Some had belonged to my sons. One box had his pictures from the airshow, the drawings, the AWANA store.

But there are no boxes on the floor of my room anymore. There is no boy, saying, "Mrs. Jaeger." in his 5-year-old slur that could not pronounce Rs or Ls. No one has awakened me in the night with a bad dream this past week. No one has enticed my youngest into pouring soap all over the counter of the  pink bathroom. My 6 year old has not enticed anyone to throw wet chalk at the back door this week. There's been no biting or wrestling or sandbox playing.

It is cleaner in my room. And in the boys room where the sleeping bag has been put away. My house is cleaner. More convenient. Easier. This week.

I can clean the floor of my room and the boys room. But what do I do with this place in my heart? Do I clean that, too? But how? Because having him here was cleaning my heart: revealing my selfishness, requiring me to think beyond my own inconvenience.

What do you do when you don't want to go back? But you weren't sure how you would keep going forward? What do you do when life has changed and it wasn't your decision for him to come or to go?

I didn't like having nothing left of me. It felt terribly uncomfortable to only be able to rely on the grace of God. But yet I don't really want to go back to relying on me and my strength.

How do I live like I need Jesus all the time when it doesn't feel like it quite so much?

Nine weeks he came to live with us. One day we did not know him. The next he was here sharing our lives whether we liked it or not. He shared our airshow, our cousins, our clothes, our food, our grandparents, our bathroom, our tree house, our sandbox, our swimming excursions, our excitement of riding in the new 'swagger-wagon'.

Sometimes we didn't mind.

Sometimes we did.

Now, there is no one sleeping in the bag in the middle of the boy's room. There are no boxes in my room.

And there's a big gaping hole in my heart left by a five year old boy who doesn't live here anymore.

Oh fill me, Lord, with You and not with me. Fill me afresh today with You. Fill Yourself in the places that you pushed away in my heart, revealing my deep selfishness. Fill it still with your wonderful, matchless grace. 
Keep me in the palm of Your hand as you did when  I could only rely on the grace of God and the prayers of the saints to get me through each step of every day. Amen.
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Linking up with Jen and Emily.


  1. Nine weeks is a long time .... praying for your transition and your heart.

    1. Thanks for the prayers. I still need those prayers of the saints to get me through each step of the way. Thank you very much.

  2. My mind goes back to that thought we shared many weeks ago. "Why would God risk our hearts" in these places we are walking? I only have more questions than answers at this point. In my own circumstance, pruning seems to be part of this process for me so that I can produce more fruit. My heart aches for you. This grief process is so difficult. Love you.

    1. My thought has been that God risks our hearts because He did! He gave it all and this process gives us a chance to die, to be like Him in a tiny miniscule way. To think of someone else's highest good even at cost to ourselves....someone taught us that as the definition of love. I think we are walking that out.

      Thanks for the love. Appreciate it. Need it!

  3. So beautiful, Kathleen. Matt and I want to open our home for children in the future. I have followed your stories with interest. Ann VosKamp wrote today about how the only true way to live happily is to invest in relationships even though they are risky and cost you much. It is what we were meant for. Everything else remains behind when we move on from this earth. Blessings, fried.

  4. I am saying a prayer that all the Christ he saw in you and in your family is magnified for him, now that he is absent from your embrace. That he will remember that love always and seek more of it from Him. That he would seek His face this very minute. Your family may have reflected Christ imperfectly at times, but it doesn't matter. He perfects our efforts for His purposes. Praying for your comfort as well. Beautiful post!

    We were witnessing to a neighbor girl who was staying temporarily with her grandmother. I am sad today to see that she's gone and we couldn't pray with her one more time, or give her a goodbye gift. She is a very broken little one and her mother too. We are given so little time to make a difference sometimes. I've learned to embrace every opportunity and know that though our efforts are pathetic at times, He magnifies and perfects the message.

  5. oh, feeling this pain here. hoping love fills every single one of those gaps.

  6. So very grateful that you opened your heart to this precious child...our God is doing and will continue to do wonderful things in your life, as a result, and also in the life of this special little boy.

  7. Kathleen--this is so beautiful...I can see you have a big heart, so the loss is great. Isn't it funny how the chaos of small children (I have 5 grands) can be so intense and then they're gone and the silence returns and you think, "I miss all that chaos?"

  8. A very moving post. I'm sure you will have made a huge difference to his life...

  9. oh my dear friend. you wrote my heart. this is how i feel, and what i dread, all of the time. and the hardest part is knowing where they go back to, and wanting to "save" them... trent reminded me the other night that only God can save them, and yet, i want to keep them forever. even if it kills me.


Thanks for being part of the conversation...I love hearing from you. Kathleen

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