i promised myself i would start trying harder to put things in the past.
put my heart on the line.
have a bit tougher skin.
i also promised myself that no matter what i get in return, i will love with everything i've got.
* * *
yesterday afternoon a friend and i sat down and had a chat.
he told me that he'd been struggling so much over the last week.
well when we went our separate ways, i had this unsettled feeling at the bottom of my stomach. i tried and i tried, but i couldn't explain it. i didn't have a reason to be unhappy or upset about something. and so i spent the rest of yesterday, and a bit of today wondering why i have been feeling the way i have.
and then it clicked.
it's the seeing my friend in pain. it's the seeing him hurt like i have hurt so many times.
and i don't think i'll be quite settled until he is.
hope is a funny thing.
i used to hope for someone to come along and fill up all the places, all the gaps in my life, that i needed filled.
now i hope for God to break my heart over what breaks His.
which has been hard, because sometimes letting my heart break for someone completely can be vulnerable. it can mean stepping out and loving them with everything i've got. and loving like that is a risky sort of thing.
but you know what's risky, too?
leaving someone by themselves. alone, and at the bottom of a deep dark pit. the kind you feel like you're not getting out of this time.
i remember being a younger, depressed me. and i remember a handful of people knowing i was hurting, but yet refused to do anything about it. refused to hug me, because they were worried i might cry. and then that might be a little bit awkward for them if i did. if i cried.
so i never cried with them. i remember being confused and hurt over it all. and today i understand it better. but i'll never forget that kind of hurt.
and so i don't want to leave someone alone ever, ever again.
i want to willingly give what i didn't get. even if it means being in pain when they're in pain, too.
even if it means laying my heart out on the table, just waiting to see what people choose to do with it.
you've gotta love.
and you've gotta love with everything you've got, or don't love at all.
because sometimes i think i'm proof. living proof that He loves His children far too dearly for words. the fact that i am still alive today is the proof. or at least, it's proof enough for me.
because i was down to my last two percent.
i almost gave up.
i almost gave up on hope.
i almost gave up on life and friends and my future.
but something changed.
and it was never immediate.
it was slow, and it was gradual.
but, God held tightly onto my hand through it all.
He held it long enough to get me to a place where i wasn't wanting to end everything anymore. and only after i could finally see, after it was all over, i realized He'd been holding onto me through it all. so that in the end, i decided i was never letting Him go ever again.
* * *
hope is a funny thing.
it's so much to wrap your brain around sometimes.
and you know, sometimes i don't even quite understand it.
but hope is all we are ever looking for.
it doesn't matter if we are glued to Jesus, we all still need that hope. that reason to wake up in the morning sometimes.
hope that it will get better.
hope that i will be forgiven.
hope that i will heal, and that the old pain will go away.
hope that the relationship might mend.
so if someone needs hope, i think it is better to let them know that they aren't hoping alone.
i can't say much with certainty, except for Jesus, and except for this:
everyone wants to know that they surrounded, and that they are loved. that they are needed. that there will be a day when the pain fades away and they are happy. because we all face temptation. and we all face sin and shame and guilt and pain and hurt and loss and grief. so that when it's all over, we need hope. but we also need people- we need love that doesn't fail or give up, to hope with us when we start to wear thin. because we will wear thin. that's a promise. but you know, hope is something promised, too. Jesus promises it.
and Jesus heals.