Late last night I sat on the couch in the dark, staring up at the moon that shone through my second story window.
Jason is out of town, and Emily had long drifted off to sleep.
I had finished a movie, and then had scrolled through my pictures, looking for a particular one.
I found one of Emily, after the second time they had opened her chest, and the pain that hit me as I looked at the picture was unreal.
I couldn't stop the tears for anything, and after a few minutes I didn't try.
I was that way for a long time...watching the moon and wiping away the tears.
* * * * *
Not too long ago I became reacquainted with a friend from high school.
We haven't seen each other since high school, and thanks to the wonder of Facebook we reconnected.
We both believe in God, but we belong to different churches.
Not too long ago she posted something to Facebook that was derogatory to those of my faith.
In truth, I wasn't upset by the content of the comment as much as I was by the fact that she posted it, knowing that it would undoubtedly open a dialogue that others would use as an opportunity to slander something that I and so many of her other friends hold sacred.
In an email I sent to her, I told her why her actions had disappointed me.
That email opened a conversation between the two of us that lasted several days.
My friend tried in every way she knew how, and with every accusation she could find against my church, to convince me of the error of my ways.
And even after I told her that I would no longer have a conversation with her that spoke of anything religious, she emailed me again, with another list of reasons why she believes I'm being deceived.
At the core of everything, this girl is worried for my soul.
She won't accept me as a Christian because I believe differently than she does, and nothing will convince her otherwise.
She doesn't trust that I believe in Jesus Christ.
* * * * *
I thought of this girl...who claims to be my friend...last night as I sat in the dark.
And I thought of my husband, who is saddened by the fact that I carry such a heavy burden in my heart.
The words of an earlier conversation between Jason and myself played over and over again in my mind.
"Noelle, the only person who truly understands...and the only one who can shoulder the burden for you is your Savior. You need to give it to Him, all of it, and allow him to heal your heart."
* * * * *
Easter, and all that it represents, holds more meaning to me than it has in years past.
Jesus Christ's sacrifice is more personal to me now... now that I know something of pain and sorrow ...
And in case there was any doubt, I believe and trust in Him with all of my heart, as broken as it feels, and I know that He has the power to make my heart whole again.