the ache

I sip my tea and the ache comes back (but then again, does it ever truly leave?). The ache that I know all too well; I know the back of its hand like my own and the smirk on its face taunts at me. The ache is my trusted companion throughout all my life, being there in the lonely times and the days when community bustles into my heart, planting flowers and tending to the rough soil.

Because this ache doesn't just come into town when my planner is full of dinner with myself, movie night with myself, coffee date with myself. And it doesn't run away when the dinners are spent with friends and the movie nights are spent in company and the coffee dates are full of deepest conversations and richest java.

No, this ache made a vow to me the first time these blue eyes opened up and saw the world: in sickness or in health, whether rich or poor, I will be there.

And night after night, month after month, year after year, I prayed for the ache to go away, disappear and be gone because the ache makes me realize how empty I am, even when life is full. And I asked of God why it was there, why it shadowed me like a kid brother and made itself known in all my outings and moments and conversations. And I look at my wrist to find no handcuffs connecting me to the ache, so why do I feel trapped? Because as fast as I run, as quickly as I try to flee, I cannot escape the ache I am bound to.

No matter how many friends I have, clothes I buy, adventures I go on, books I read the ache is still there, still present, still known.

Maybe it's because the ache is here to stay. Here to stay until I walk away from this world into the arms of my Maker. And maybe, just maybe, this ache is a blessing in ugly garments because this ache, as wretched as it is, never fails to show just how deeply I need a Savior.

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