Lately my soul has felt shriveled, dry, and tough – like all the life’s been sucked out of it. More or less, I have beef jerky soul.
I can’t pinpoint how it got that way, though there are probably a zillion little reasons that waltzed through my life, each sucking just a little of the moisture, the vitality, away. Sad little vampires like finances stretched thin and three year old tantrums and bathroom mildew. And then the big ones came along in the midst – mortgage misery, disease, death.
In September I suffered a very early miscarriage. Truly, the desire for another baby has been mostly submerged, barely visible at times, but it was never so evident how deep it went until then. Until a couple of weeks of nausea and tenderness and exhaustion ended crazily, emptily, in nothing. Then I knew what I wanted, in that visceral tangible way that pierces the soul and heart and body like lightning.
The constant barrage, the incessant shelling, has eaten me away, left me covered with ash and debris. Every sip of my soul stolen by these leeches still, it seems, is gone. It hasn’t been replenished. There is no water.
There’s a verse in the Bible that I’ve always loved about how your soul shall be like a well-watered garden. So here I am, beef jerky, looking for a watering hose so I can, hopefully, turn myself into some compost to start the growing season.
Because beef jerky is tired, and stiff. Beef jerky doesn’t laugh or smile much, or see much hope. Beef jerky snaps at her hubby and can’t respond with love to those who hurt. Beef jerky slams cabinets and sighs and doesn’t play with her daughter or take her to the park, to play in the snow. Beef jerky is empty, tough, sharp.
Beef jerky, you see, stinks. It’s not enough to nourish, to nurture, to give sustenance.
And it’s not who I want to be.