This post is not Salvation – Part 2. I’m still working on that one. I had planned that to be my next post, but last night found me writing this instead. It was a rough night – it wasn’t just that I couldn’t sleep; I was beyond sad. It’s been a while since I cried that hard and it reminded me of how far I’ve come, because not so many months ago I cried like that every night. And as good as I seem to be with words and sharing what’s on my heart, I never really told any of my friends how sad I really was. Sure, my closest friends knew that I was struggling, but I never opened up and let people know just how much I was suffering. But now it’s all coming back in waves of memory and emotion and I’m reminded that I’m writing here to share the journey of my heart… and this is part of it. And perhaps you won’t really understand what I wrote last night… I might come back in a few months and find that I was rambling. But perhaps there is someone reading this who is broken hearted and in need of these words:
There are times when you wish one could simply die of a broken heart. When the grief is so great and the sorrow so deep that nothing good seems to matter. The blue sky means nothing. Smiles hardly touch your heart. All laughter sounds artificial. Nothing good, nothing special – none of it can penetrate the sadness.
That’s where I’ve been for a while now. Going through the motions of life and striving to remind myself that serving God isn’t about how I feel, but about the truth, and that truth is true no matter what. I’ve learned that lesson. It’s been hard, but it’s finally sinking in.
And now, it seems I am nearing a season of mending my broken heart. But coming away from this sadness, I’m… confused. How can one come away from such grief without losing some of the joy that they had before it? Is it possible to laugh and smile after all this? How can you when you’ve cried so hard? And the many times I cried myself to sleep, I told myself I would never be truly happy again – it just didn’t seem possible. Because somewhere along the way I lost my smile. Somewhere in the pain, it all became fake and I thought it would be that way for the rest of my life.
But suddenly I’m being proven wrong. The Lord is sending me little blessings here and there to teach me to smile again and as I learn, my heart goes back to before. Before my life turned upside down. Before my world got jumbled. My mind probably twists it to seem better than it actually was, but with all I am I just want to go back to that little girl. The one who made a game out of smiling at strangers in the grocery store. Who adored dresses that poofed out when she spun around in circles. Who climbed trees and played in mud puddles and insisted on keeping up with her brothers in everything. Who saw the world through big, brown, simple eyes. Innocent and unaware of how painful life could be. I miss that little girl. She had her flaws – her temper, her arguing – but she had so much vibrance, so much joy, so much wonder and curiosity. I miss her ability to see the best in everyone.
How I wish I had known, as I dreamed of growing up, to just enjoy where I was at. Because life moves forward and for all the wishing we can’t go back.
And the truth is, I can’t expect to be the same person I was before all this came to pass. I can’t expect to experience this without any change. I’ve seen the pain and the bitterness that this world holds and it’s changed the way that I see it all. It’s changed me.
To be honest, it has made me afraid to continue. Fearful of going on. There’s so much more in this world that I don’t understand and I fear it will all be this painful to learn. But then I look at the scar on my hand. A dog bit me there when I was little. It was hard for me to trust dogs after that. I didn’t like to pet them. I was afraid I would experience the same pain. But not all dogs are like the one that bit me. With time, I learned how to carefully approach new dogs. I learned that there are dogs out there who don’t bite – who are fun and loving.
And maybe that’s what I’m dealing with right now. As I recover from my wounds, I’m afraid that every opportunity to learn will yield the same results. But I have to learn that every opportunity is different and it’s all about the way that you approach them.
This pain was deep and I don’t expect to be the same person I was before I experienced it. The truth is, I’ve grown – matured – and I see things from a new perspective. But that doesn’t mean I’m a different person than that innocent little girl. She may have had an easier time of seeing the best in everyone, but I still have that ability. With time and the help of the Lord, I will find that vibrance again and that joy will return.
As I learn how to laugh and smile and joke once more, I still remember the hurt, but it’s beginning to make me cherish the laughter even more and truly appreciated those who share it.