Today has been the hardest day I’ve had in a very long time. This month has been hard. The past several weeks have been draining and I’ve been struggling and not feeling like myself. And today…well today took the cake. Today was brutal. The details are personal, but I am in a lot of pain. I cried all day. I wept, is actually a better word. I wish I had words adequate enough to express what I’m feeling. I’m not sure I have ever hurt so much. Today wrecked me.
When everything first happened, I ran and called my sister, and after sufficiently swearing her ear off, I played Ever Be by Bethel and I sobbed. I listened to worship music the rest of the day because it was the only thing keeping me from losing my mind entirely.
I remembered my favorite quote from a monologue by Joanne Tucker.
“And I started thinking that maybe the state of having nothing and feeling just so used up, well maybe that’s sort of the state God wants me in. You know, not so full of all my ideas about myself and how much of a rebel I am. But just sort of ready to listen.”
Today I screamed and swore and cried and worshiped and fell on my knees and threw up and thought I was going to have a heart attack. Even now as I write this I am in denial, I am afraid, I am aching, I am suffering.
I am empty.
I realize that I have been pushing God away for far too long. I have done things the past couple months I know I should not have done. I have made huge mistakes. I have given my tiny heart away and now it’s broken. I know a part of that is my fault. I wanted my own way and I didn’t want to wait. I rejected a lot of boundaries that people in my life warned me about and of course, it’s now I see how much those choices hurt me. How they are hurting me.
And I have nothing left to cling to.
There is so much aching in me and so much pain.
I know I had to come to a decision. I could either succumb to this pain and let it kill me. I could never get out of bed again. I could cry and not eat until I died. Or I could let this pain make me stronger.
I’m not saying this to be poetic or cute. I’m saying that today as I was on my third hour of nonstop crying, I decided I didn’t want to live this way. Because there has got to be a reason all this has happened. I did not go through all those terrible things in my past just so I could relive them. I was not made to be in this much pain.
Really, its times like this where you can really see where your trust is in.
This time, I’m ready to put my trust in God.
I think I’m finally ready to listen.
There’s one thing I haven’t been able to get out of my head all day. It’s that God is teaching me to be soft. I swear, that has come up so many times. My heart doesn’t want to be open anymore. I don’t want to love people anymore. I am not sure my body can take any more pain. I have been through too much. But God wants me to be soft. God wants me to be kind. To love. Love without fear.
At this point, I am too broken to object.
And this is where God wants me. Humbled. Rid of myself and all the stupid notions and ideas that I have about how great of a person I am. Two months ago I had it all together and I didn’t need God and I didn’t need anyone and now I don’t want to get out of bed and I can’t lie to anyone and tell them I’m okay because I’m not okay.
But I will be.
I will not become bitter. I will become soft. My pain will not distort my vision so I see a cruel world. Today I saw people and I loved them for the first time. Today I realized how empty I am. Today I craved church, I craved fellowship, I craved honest worship time. I wanted church to be every day because my soul is such a wreck I know that’s the only thing that can give me rest.
“Your praise will ever be on my lips.”
I keep coming back to that lyric. I’m remembering all those things I learned in 2014 about needing God and having faith. I keep reminding myself that God is good no matter what. Whether or not I ever feel better. Even if my heart breaks a million and one more times. Blessed be the name of the Lord.
I guess this is where God can finally use me. When I’m not so full of myself and can actually admit that I’m a mess.
I don’t know what’s going to happen. I probably won’t feel okay for a very long time. I’ll probably hurt more. I know I’m not strong enough to face this, but I don’t have to face this alone and that makes is better. I think God is trying to teach me to trust in Him even when I’m in pain. His grace is sufficient.
I re-read the epilogue to the NaNoWriMo I wrote in 2014, the book that changed my life, and it spoke to me.
“On days like today I thank God, through clenched fists, for my suffering. Because all that pain made me soft.”
All this pain made me soft.
I wrote those words like 8 months ago, before I knew what those words really meant.
What I’m trying to say is that pain is inevitable. But when we’re in pain we have two choices: let it break us or let it grow us. And I think the misconception about that is what we think it looks like to let pain grow us. We think it looks like smiles and being Okay all the time and not letting our suffering effect us. I don’t think it looks that way at all. I think it looks like screaming and sometimes cussing and admitting you feel like you’re dying; but holding on to Christ all the more during that process. It’s being willing to be vulnerable and let Him mold you.
“I will extol the Lord at all times. His praise will ever be on my lips.”-Psalm 34:1