beef jerky soul

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.

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - APRIL 02:  A chef prepares traditional Biltong before guests arrive at the Grand Opening in the lobby at the new One&Only Cape Town resort on April 2, 2009 in Cape Town, South Africa. Tonight is the Grand Opening of Sol KerznerIn 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.

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4 Responses to beef jerky soul

  1. Alyssa says:

    >It's hard sometimes not to feel shriveled up and empty on the inside, especially when you feel like you've given all you can! God will carry you through those times though, no matter how tough and jerky-like you feel!

  2. Anonymous says:

    >So sorry to hear that Elle, hang in there, Julie O.

  3. a girl says:

    >You are so NOT beef jerky! You are bright and you are beautiful. I am so very sorry that you are in the miscarriage 'club' too. It's the worst club in the world. Ever. And I feel beef jerky-like some days with my empty uterus too, and I post about it. And then someone leaves me a comment, saying they understand, and I'm not totally shriveled, and I'll make it… and I feel like they hugged me.You are designed for nourishment. You are like beef stew – full of goodness and warmth! Consider yourself hugged.

  4. Motherly says:

    >ElleSo glad to have met you a few weeks back! You are a gifted and eloquent writer! While I don't think you are beef jerky, I do so very well understand how you feel! And I pray that your soul will be replenished with the joy and love of this Christmas season! I look forward to hanging out with you soon – and when I see you next – I giving you hug! Thanks for sharing! Anna from Motherly Law

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