heartache

He felt sick. Well, not really sick, it was more of that lonely, rejected, dark, silent feeling.

sn
It was a black August night.
As he sat behind the wheel of his old Chevy on the desolate plains of Nebraska he turned up the volume. It was some heart-achy Brantley Gilbert song that he hoped would drown out the voices in his head.

“Yeah she’s gone, but I don’t feel like talking…
you don’t know her like I do.
You’ll never understand.”

But those voices in his head just wouldn’t pipe down. They screamed out as they circled in his head. It was like a haunted carrousel in a bad dream…it never stopped. The same old memories and thoughts went around and around, driving him mad.

Had it been worth it?
He had savored those sweet moments with her under the cool summer sky. It felt like his heart was dancing on the breezes that played with her long blonde hair. They had been brighter than the most glowing stars on a midnight canvas. Now those memories were bitter sweet.
As he swallowed back some tears the taste made his stomach churn. Was the soaring bliss and blind passion worth this feeling of desolation now?

This is our poor friend’s question:
Is it better to feel fiercely high and then despondently low or better to remain constantly…average?

I have a feeling he’ll never know.
It just isn’t in his nature to be ‘average’. His highs are high and his lows are low. When he’s having a good time, there is not a soul in the world that is as full of happiness. But when he hurts, it cuts deeper and longer than most people ever experience.

It’s in those low, desolate moments when he thinks that no one will ever know how he feels. But, you know, I think a lot of people feel like that. And here is the secret to getting back up…

When its so dark that you can’t even see the hand in front of your face
if you can remind yourself that you’re not the only one in the dark,
you can find the light switch.

An owl swooped by his window and woke him from his trance. He unsnapped his seatbelt and pushed open the creaky old door. “How do I let myself get so attached? Why do I care so deeply?” he thought and then slammed the door shut in disgust.

dd

It’s going to take him some time to feel better, but I have hope for him.
People are so resilient. As I talk to people about the real life heartache that happens to them every day I’m amazed at how amazing you all are.

Every day people get dumped, divorced, and lose close friendships. And every morning these people get up, get ready for work and slap on a smile to get through the day. Then the weekend comes and they call their friends, fire up the Jeep, grab the fishing poles and head out to the water to shoot the breeze and enjoy life.

God has fearfully and wonderfully made us. Of that I grow more sure every moment. Even at our lowest there is something inside deep down that wants to find the light, the hope, and the joy.

In my limited experiences the one thing that has never failed me is that flicker of joy burning steadily in my soul. It’s always there. Sometimes it burns a little brighter. Sometimes I do things to extinguish it, but it’s resilient and keeps burning.

It’s God.
Jesus in my soul…

He knocked at the door many years ago and I answered. Since that day I’ve never looked back.
Never does He pester or hound me, as He sometimes should.
Always does He sooth and comfort me, as I don’t deserve.

I hope that if you haven’t ignited that flame of peace, you’ll at least think about it.
You know the story. Jesus loves us. He died for us. He forgives us.
He just wants us to accept that. Why is that so hard?
In your lifetime, how many gifts have you rejected? Straight up told the gift giver, “Nope. I don’t want that.”

gpThink about that for a few minutes. Maybe you’ve rejected a lot of gifts. Do you regret it? Ask all of the questions you have. If you want, talk to Him about it. Tell Him about your doubts. Tell Him how sad and lonely or frustrated and angry you feel. I’ve done it.

What’s the worst thing that could happen? If He’s not there and He doesn’t care then you wasted a few minutes.

But I tell ya, if you just watch the sun set with all of its vibrant hues or take some time to learn about the insanely complex anatomy of your body you’ll know that He’s for real.

He’s the one person in my life that has never let me down or disappointed me.

“And SURELY I am with you ALWAYS,
to the very END OF THE AGE.”
~Matthew 28:20

Oh, and before you assume, or ask, the answer is no. This story is not about me. It’s not about a particular friend either. It’s about everyone. We all experience these emotions in one circumstance or another. Some elements of the things I talk about are more real for me, which I am thankful for. I’m thankful for my experiences because they’ve given me limited understanding and compassion for the stories of others around me.

glow

mt

Recently I got to celebrate at not only one but two showers with Maria. At both parties all of the essentials were present: tasty snacks, a pile of gifts and doting friends and family.

There was much talk over cakes and coffee about what Maria and Andrew mean to us, and many pieces of
invaluable advice were imparted to the couple.
Between the two celebrations there was one common denominator – one thing stood out and made an impression in my heart.

It was their love.

Her eyes sparkle when she hears his name; she can’t keep a smile back when she gets a text from him, and she talks about his super-human greatness to every person she meets.
When two people truly love each other, you can see it in their eyes even when they’re not together. It is one of the most beautiful things on earth.

At the second shower, I was minding my own business and piling my plate high with candy and cupcakes when something shocking happened! I never imagined this happening but lo and behold, Andrew walked into the room!
Andrew! Everybody knows that the groom isn’t supposed to be at the bridal shower!
I’m not sure why he was there, but as I topped off my lemonade on my way back down to the party, that picture of his nervous smile and her giddy glow stayed with me.

644394_499766940089743_385337641_nI remember sitting on a ski lift over a year ago with Maria talking about her special man and thinking to myself, I really hope that they work out. It would be such a fairytale come true.
I see now, a year later, that true love isn’t really a fairy tale. It’s a lot of blood, sweat and tears. They both work all the time, Andrew is still in school and they don’t get to see each other much, but all their trials have only made them stronger. THEY are each others priority in life, bound together by their love of Christ.

This verse reminds me so much of Maria and Andrew because of their Godly focus, their passionate pursuit of each other and their fearless love.
“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’ So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?’ Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.” -Hebrews 13:5-7

This is the couple that proves that true love always finds a way.

image[26]

Nothing is as strong as that bond,
nothing is as hard to find,
and nothing is as beautiful.

So here’s to the radiant and powerful love that Maria and Andrew have found and the lifetime that they get to spend enjoying the blessing of their Godly relationship.