i wondered if i was losing my best friend.
a year or so later, i was pretty sure i had.
i spent all that time in between then and these last couple of days mourning that loss.
because in many ways, it was like a death.
no, my best friend didn't die. she simply went to middle school. she moved on. she made other friends. she became a different person.
but she was my only friend. and for the longest time, it felt like she had taken all of me with her. because forever after that, i couldn't find myself. i didn't know who i was anymore. and i thought becoming a hard-rocking goth would give me a new identity to believe in. but it didn't.
and because of her- after her- i refused to let anyone in.
for the longest time, i thought it was because i didn't want to have my heart broken again.
and i still believe that's the reason why, but i also think it was because i didn't want anyone replacing her.
and that is one thing i have learned this week. it's time to let people fill in her shoes. her role as best friend. but this time, i need many people filling in those shoes.
* * *
for the last little while, i began believing that only Jesus could own my heart. i thought maybe some day i would find myself a husband who could own it, too, but no one else besides them would ever touch my heart. no one was hurting me again. not like before. i just couldn't go through that again. i thought i just had to settle for never trusting anyone anymore. and i was beginning to believe that lie. it was becoming something i lived by every day. i was closing off my heart. building up high, high walls. pointless walls.
but as a new friend sat across the table from me last week over coffee, giving me a chance, i learned how wrong i was.
i have learned now that Jesus, He will always be first in my life. and He must be. but i can love again. i can have dear friends again. i can let someone love me again. and i can be okay again.
* * *
truth is, this journey of losing a friend and spending years feeling forgotten and alone were the roughest years i've been through thus far. they hurt me every single day. and not a day went by that i didn't think of her. didn't feel like my heart wasn't ripping at the seams.
but i'm ready to place that set of years on the shelf and stop looking back at them, wondering if they'll be okay up there. i'm ready to let something new come in and make me more free.
because during all those years i missed my friend, i hated myself, too.
and now that i am letting people in again, i'm learning to see the beauty in who God made me to be. i'm learning more about who He has made me to be. and what He's got planned for me. and how valuable and treasured i really am.
so i wouldn't have had all that i went through any other way.
and those are words i thought i could never say. in all the grief, they seemed impossible to even think of.
but He knew that thing, that big, terrible thing, would turn out to be beautiful and it would make me so much stronger. it would make me know who i am. it would force me to be alone, and to know who i am even when no one else is left to tell me i am wonderful.
because a smooth sea never made a very good sailor.
and i am glad the journey has been hard.
"then you will know the truth,
and the truth will set you free."
// john 8:32