In three weeks, the fall semester will be over. In five weeks, the year 2013 will be over, and we will embark on another semester and another calendar year. Looking back, I can only pray that if this next year is filled with as much pain as this past month has had, it also comes with the abundance of joys.
You see, as suddenly as I fell deeply in love with a man ten months ago, I tumbled headlong out of it this month, lost and confused and really, really hurt from the fall. My sense of purpose was gone and with it, my motivation and my joy.
By God’s grace, I was caught in the arms of friends who knew exactly what I needed. I realized that I didn’t have many of them – being so thoroughly invested in one person will do that to a soul – but the ones that I had were invaluable and they were truly His gift to me.
One friend spent well over six hours by my side in the deepest part of my pain, listening to me say more than I knew I had inside me and only speaking when necessary. Others distracted my vulnerable heart with precious “girl time,” reminding me that I didn’t lose everything good in life. Yet another friend flew across the country to bear my burdens alongside me. A package arrived in the mail filled with thoughtful gifts from a friend on the opposite coast who cares more than I knew. Constant messages and texts from a few other friends reminded me that I’m not alone.
All that happened in the past twenty-three days of this month.
I see even more clearly now that in grief and in sadness, God’s love can shine brilliantly through His children. You see, I have witnessed firsthand in November 2013 that God moves when His people obey Him and have Christ-centered communion with each other. He binds up wounds, he mends broken hearts, and he comforts distraught spirits. And he does it through community, because that’s how He made us.
Can I be honest with you? (Too late? Okay.) For about a week after my heart shattered across the floor, I didn’t open my Bible. I made no eye contact with God. I only cried out to him with the word “why” as I crumbled from a broken heart. I had lost touch with Him so completely that I didn’t want to lean on Him in my hurt. I wanted to hurt, and I wanted to lean on myself. And where did that land me? Suicidal dreams, complete loss of motivation, and emotional unavailability for the people in my life.
Let’s face it… Even when we’re mad at Him because we don’t understand, He knows better than anyone how to patch up this heart that He created. Hint: The cure He has is filling it up with Himself.
If you’ve been reading my blog for very long, you know that I learn most everything the hard way. If there’s a way to learn a lesson by making a mistake, I’ve probably done it. And then I’ve told you honestly about it. Right? Right.
And this is one of those times.
Hard times? Trust God. That was in my head all along, but I didn’t put it to good use. Sadly, the measure of a person’s faith often becomes evident in how she reacts to the hard times – not just the good times.
So I’m not there yet. I’m still wrestling through the mistakes and the learning experiences. It gives me a lot more to write about, after all. It keeps you coming back to see what stupid mistakes I’ve made now.
But where do I go from here? My future plans are a mess because I just lost a major component of them from my life. My relationships are shallow because I haven’t been investing in them properly – with joy and love and selflessness. My relationship with God is honestly faltering, and I’m truly blessed that it hasn’t faded away.
Well, I guess I trust. Trust that God has a plan for my life, trust that He can heal my wounds, trust that He will guide my path, trust that He will use me where He needs me.
That kind of sucks, guys. It really does. To have your (seemingly) free ‘n easy life and future turned upside down, and to actually have to trust God? It’s just not that easy, and I don’t wanna do it.
But I need it… and I think the Lord knew that. He’s teaching me to take my eyes off of idols and focus them on Him. And when I ignore His teaching, He gives me a gentle push.
Maybe now, I’ll go where He pushes me.