The Other Side

I sat down for a 4 hour dinner with a beautiful precious friend last night. We have similar gifts, hearts, and now similar stories of heartache. It was a gift to have uninterrupted time to catch up with this dearheart who I haven’t seen in over 4 years. Maybe we needed an hour for every year we spent apart, who knows. All I know is that God was present with us in the tears and the encouragement and the sharing.

A few friends from grad school have walked through romantic heartbreak just since our Christmas vacation commenced. I’ve sat on the phone and texted with these beloveds, through prayers and tears, who have been given the run around (to put it mildly) from men they invested in and trusted. My heart has mustered everything I know to encourage them they are not just “enough,” they are more than sufficient and are precious people worth fighting for. And all the while, I have been asking to be fortified with those same words myself.

I have enjoyed my several weeks away from my Master’s program, and am not totally psyched about starting up, but I feel like I’ve also learned a lot about myself as things I was processing this last trimester of school have begun to really sink into my soul.

I am a bottomless pit of longing. From my earliest days, I remember feeling like a bit of an outsider, a stranger, and always wondering if I’m missing something . . . something that surely everyone else possesses. It only eludes me, because I am the problem. I am learning more where some of those messages came from. And honestly, I believe my longings have been used against me, without me even realizing it. I’m not saying all of my longings were good, but deep down, I have so much longing for good, at the core of who I am. I want better for people, and better for myself; it’s much easier to believe that there is better for others than for me.

So, all of this longing keeps bubbling up, and along with it, pain and confusion. What have I been doing with my life? Who am I anymore? How do I function when my roles have shifted or disappeared completely? Where is my identity centered? Do I have hope for my future anymore? Can God be trusted? Can life be trusted?

One of the things the friend I mentioned earlier and I have both been wisely counseled about by trusted others is this: keep wrestling with God. We have been lovingly urged, “bring your hurt, your anger, your anguish, your confusion, your agony, your rage, your depths of sorrow, your fury and your paralyzing fears, and battle it all out as your true self with the God Who loves you. Jesus will meet you there.”

I still don’t have answers. I still feel doubt and fear creeping in, and by some miracle, I’m quicker now to use healthier self-talk and prayer to normalize my feelings, reassure myself that they are not permanent, and to rest that I don’t have to solve or heal instantly, that God is caring for me and with me.

I wrote this song over break, thinking about how much I LONG TO SEE and how little I actually do see . . . and how I can somehow trust that it will be good. P.S. I am not a producer or engineer or very skilled with even the limited equipment I have, so this is raw, like my heart, but it is my hope, that we keep holding on to the other side.

What are you hoping to be on the other side of? You’re not alone. None of us have it all figured out. You are loved exactly where you are, even if it’s in the midst of the mess, like me.

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