I Just Have to Say It

i am perched, very properly,  on a grey streamlined couch.

the office looks the same as it always as.  white walls infused with just a pinch of grey.  glass table with the wrought iron cursive words – hope, faith, and love, i think- placed atop it.  shaggy white rug tucked beneath.  the most divine pillows: yellow and grey floral, and a cream one that strangely resembles a long-haired puppy.  she is lounging across from me, legs crossed, in a white leather swivel chair.  the pumpkin candle i bought her for christmas is resting on the impossible-to-keep-clean glass and chrome desk.

i’ve sat in this office hundreds of times.  for formal meetings, informal prayer sessions, and impromptu friday afternoon pow wows punctuated with far more giddiness than is most likely appropriate for mature women working in a residential home.  when i was pregnant i used to fling myself into that white swivel chair after teaching fitness and stretch my legs out, explaining “i just need a second” in heaving breaths.  and she would look over with a knowing grin and tell me to take my time.  i don’t think i ever told her how much i appreciated that.

but today i don’t quite recognize this space.  it feels unfamilar – awkward even.  like the time i accidentally wandered into the men’s washroom.  i sit on the edge of the couch, my mind wandering, staring at the laminate.  i don’t want to say it.

“you’re not coming back are you?”

i pause.  this is it.  i have to say it.


i tear my eyes away from the floor and look up.  her eyes are on me, patiently waiting, full of all the love and graciousness and familiarity i’ve leaned on over the years.

and i lose it.

i’d been holding in the emotion for days.  ever since my husband and i sat at our white ikea kitchen table, my maternity leave rapidly dwindling,  surrounded by a list of of expenses, work schedules, and a laptop open to seven different local childcare options.

the decision was glaringly obvious.  which is what i had asked God for.  flashing lights.  slamming doors.  lightning bolts from heaven.  and He delivered.

the next few days i numbly carried out the tasks that were so foreign to me ten months ago.  i engaged in full contact diaper changes.  got fully drenched during bath time.  felt my heart turn over as a tiny blond head nestled under my chin.

i didn’t let myself think about it at all.

but as i heard myself utter that teensy loaded syllable, the clouds of illusion parted long enough for me to see an anvil shaped dose of reality hurtling towards me.

i cried all the way home.  and a good chunk of the weekend.  the crying was really only interspersed with eating whatever sugar laden confection i lost a staring contest with.

i’ve moved past the sugar coma phase.  but i am still mourning.  those close to me are surprised.  my job has become synonymous with my calling, my passion, my heart.  it seems out of character for me to step away from it now.  it is out of character for me.

and so i feel like a piece of me is lost and i can’t retrieve it.  like i did when i was seven and my best friend and i would meet every day after school to ride our bikes and play superheroes and divulge our most outlandish secrets (the kind that only seven-year-olds can have).  we were inseparable.  then he told me his family was moving across town – practically an ocean away to my tender heart.  we promised to write, to visit, that nothing would change – all those comforting things you say when you know it’s never going to be the same.  and it wasn’t.  and it won’t be now.

i know this is the right choice for this season of my life.  and although God has closed this particular door, i feel a light breeze caress my face from the window He’s gently creaking open across the way.  He’s taking His time with it- He knows i need it.

my soul is at peace.

it’s just my heart that hurts.

13 thoughts on “I Just Have to Say It

  1. Awww – my heart hurts with you too my friend! But God is leading you and where God leads the pastures are always good 🙂

  2. why was I foolish enough to read this at the beginning of my work day?! Knowing I have to walk into that beautifully described office all day and knowing it was the site of your final word… drat.

    Megs, you are truly a brave woman and I have nothing but joy when I dream about all the possibilities for how God will take what is in your hand right now and help you use it to continue in your purpose.

    Hosea 6
    “Let us acknowledge the Lord;
    let us press on to acknowledge him.
    As surely as the sun rises,
    he will appear;
    he will come to us like the winter rains,
    like the spring rains that water the earth.”

    I’ll be praying that you see the day when places of drought in your life are met with long awaited rains.

  3. Weeping with you. It’s good to let yourself mourn the passing of a season, Meggers. Thankful that you are learning to define yourself by more than your job or your vocation or your season of life – if you’re like most of us, you’ll find yourself back and here and there, cobbled together again, nothing is forever. We are often surprised at the ways that God takes our “sacrifices” and makes them rich blessings Praying for you, always.

    • oh my dear, thank you for hearing my heart in this. i was staring at the words on my screen and felt they did absolutely nothing to capture what this ache feels like. i know you relate as you said your own goodbye’s a few months ago. thinking of you as you type furiously into the night! much love

  4. I’m I don’t know why I’m surprised that I teared up as I read this… I know you’ve made the right decision Megan, yet I remember so well the feelings of uncertain-certainty that come as you realize that you feel completely different about mothering than you ever thought you would and then the slow climb of figuring out how these new feelings fit in with who you really are. It really does get better and will feel more ‘right’ with time… probably just when its time to change things up again, but then you’ll have more confidence in His process for having gone through this. I’ll miss you. Our loss is Asher’s gain.

  5. Congratulations on making a decision I know you will not regret. Embrace this season of sticky wet kisses, arms that stretch for attention and afternoons of unscheduled chaos. Although I will miss you, I know that your son is giddy with the knowledge that he has you wrapped around his pudgy finger and will wake every morning to your smiling face and undivided atttention!! Love you!!

    • oh marina. you were probably grinning as you wrote that comment because you knew all along didn’t you!!? your wisdom has been a blessing in my life from the second i met you, and you have taught me far more than you realize. can’t tell you how much i will miss sitting on the other side of the wall from you.

  6. It saddens my heart that you won’t be returning to Mercy Megs, but, as Marina said, your son will be so happy to have his Mommy to himself. I can’t begin to imagine how much it must have cost you to say no to returning to work there after spending nearly two (?) years inspiring and encouraging not only staff but the numerous young women who came through the Mercy program. You were an indescribable blessing to me during my stay at Mercy. I specifically remember when you sat with me in the classroom and shared part of your journey with me relating to self esteem issues. You encouraged me so much that day. I will never forget your constant enthusiasm whether it was in fitness class, delivering the mail (the best part of every day!), tallying receipts after mall day, or just being there to talk if I needed a listening ear. Megs, you will be greatly missed by the staff and residents who knew and loved you but you will never be forgotten. Your impact was too great! Take time to visit when you feel ready and perhaps one day God will guide your path back to the Mercy home once more.

    • oh karla, i am tearing up. i so needed to hear those words, and it means so much to hear them from you. you are a truly beautiful woman, and i trust that you are realizing that a teensy tiny bit more each day. know that you are so loved and prayed over. i can only hope that my impact on you is a fraction of the impact you girls have had on me.

      p.s. your performance of ‘i can only imagine’ is still my favorite yet 🙂

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