On Fridays, I often like to participate in a Five Minute Friday writing prompt over here at thegypsymama.com. Today’s prompt is Ache“. 



... who walks with you?

A friend posted this on her facebook status yesterday:

“I walked a mile with Pleasure;/ She chatted all the way;/ But left me none the wiser/ For all she had to say.
I walked a mile with Sorrow,/ And ne’er a word said she;/ But, oh! The things I learned from her,/ When sorrow walked with me.” ~ Robert Browning Hamilton

So much truth in that poem.

In my own private journal, I’ve written of companions like these. Sorrow. Loneliness. Pain. And how they teach. I’ve even called them “companions” because their presence, of one, or another, or sometimes several, is pretty constant, teaching, and instructive.

And how it conforms.

And how it hurts when it does.

God’s hands, though, are gentle ones. He cradles the ache, transforms it. His ways are righteous. He is patient and kind.

Love does not seek its own, but rejoices in the truth.


It aches, doesn’t it, to love?

Without love, there would be no ache. There would be no ache of letting go, no ache of losing someone, no ache from someone’s death, no ache from loss, no ache from severed relationship, no ache from distance, no ache from illness…. it’s love… that’s why it hurts. So much. We love… we hurt.

When I was younger, I heard an expression: “It’s better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.”

In my youth, I agreed.

As  I’ve gotten older, it is not so simple anymore. I still agree, deep down, I do. I know it’s true. We are called to love. And it is the better way, even though there is an ugly side. The aching side. The painful side. Our love could be thrown away. Cast aside. Used. Abused. Taken advantage of. Neglected. Forgotten. Unwanted. Rejected. Misunderstood. In our complicated adult lives, it is not so easy anymore. I know it wasn’t meant to be easy. Love isn’t easy. It is hard. God had to send his son to die for us to learn about love. It sure isn’t easy or comfortable or painless. Love aches deep.

But in the end, no matter what, boil it down, sift out all the other things, and it doesn’t change — we are called to love. And that often means losing.

Losing. Ourselves. Bit. by. bit.

We are called to be alone in so many ways and this is one of them. In many ways, love is a lonely journey. And it aches. It aches. It aches all the more because of those who are close to us. The path of love is a lonely  journey in many respects, even with fellow pilgrims who are journeying along with us. Yes, when I give love, of course, I want to receive it back. But it often doesn’t happen like that. I’m wondering if the norm is actually to get nothing back. If we happen to be loved back… then… is that a gift? How much can we truly expect, should we expect? So much of what we have is just a gift… just grace. Most of what we have, in fact, is grace. Anything good is grace. How much do I really deserve? I know what I deserve. Jesus took it for me on the cross. The death I deserve. He took. And it ached for him to go through that, but he loved and that ache he felt was a deep love for me, so I wouldn’t have to go through it myself. So he could draw me to himself. So I wouldn’t have to be alone.

And that is enough to make me stop and cry right now.

I do believe in the power of God’s love to overcome. Supersede. Forgive. Release. Rejoice. Remember. Nurture. Develop. Grow. Overcome. Give. Serve. Forget.

“Love makes it possible to believe the impossible.” — Anonymous.

Above is the quote I had chosen for my high school senior quote in the yearbook. I believed it then. I believe it now. Impossibilities can and do become realities in God’s economy. He specializes in impossibilities. And, love? Sometimes it, too, can seem impossible. To give. To receive. To believe in. But with God, it is possible.

And it aches.

yes, it does. {Expect it to ache, dear friend}.

Because I know what love cost God.

I know what it costs me, and will continue to cost.

Love is a curious, mysterious, beautiful ache.


Note: I went way over my five minute limit on this one. I just kept on going… words kept pouring out. I’m not sure how long–  honestly, I stopped looking at the clock and kept writing. Usually it’s five minutes and I stop. Not today. I ask for grace? Sometimes, I guess it’s like that– the words keep coming… but just maybe someone needs to hear some of these words, needs to know that if there’s an ache, to know they’re not alone in it and that Someone loves them so much it aches.