i looked up. trying to look through the salt burning my eyes. i wasn’t gonna let the tears escape.
sometimes, our tears have a mind of their own.
i sat on our back porch, as the rain started coming in. i watched the clouds tumble and roll, mulling the storm over and deciding whether they were going to break open and release their wrath. i decided my mind kind of felt like this cloud.
heartbreak. anxiety. loss. failure. fear. the future. this was the big grey cloud in my head. and it was breaking open.
“i can’t handle anymore,” i told my mom’s big blue eyes. our last cup of coffee before i headed back to school. (who am i kidding, i stopped at a gas station and got another one!!)
twenty-seventeen. the year rang in my head. this was MY YEAR. my relationships, my grades, my running routine, keeping my room clean, my calendar checked off. this was my year.
little did i know i would be entering into one of the hardest semesters i would endure.
all-nighters. never-ending studying + bad grades to result. a broken heart. a move. lost friendships. illnesses. watching people i love leave, change, and move forward. the unknown.
sometimes, life just flat out stinks. theres no sugar coating the pain we feel. the hole in our chest when our hearts are broken. the anger that rises in our throat when we look at that failing grade after pulling all nighters so often that our friends start to wonder if we are even alive. the uselessness we feel when we realize that we have failed at making everyone around us happy. for those of you who wear your heart on your sleeve like i do, your grey cloud is going to get too full.
i got into my car in the pouring rain; the tears streamed down my face. if God is who he says He is, WHERE IS HE? what is his purpose? Hellllooo? why does he make me like this? why can’t i stop caring? why he is not being MY God?
the answer? He’s right beside me. in my passenger seat. being God.
“How To Live Through A Bad Day” with the voice of Chris Hodges turns on my podcast subscription. one that I had heard a few Sundays ago. i wanted to press next. there had been too many bad days, i had heard this, & i didn’t want to again. not today. but my hands didn’t move from the wheel. my ears started burning. i knew i couldn’t turn it. because this time, i was going to hear what i had been avoiding the past few months.
“It is finished.”
This bad day is finished.
Your heartache is finished.
That test you stressed over is finished.
That illness your loved one is suffering is finished.
It was finished before it started. All of it. Because your hardships were carried on the cross, where Jesus took them for you. He carried the biggest heartache, the biggest burden of all. There is a finish to every single thing that is happening in your life. Do you know what it is? No. Is it easy to trust that? Not at all.
Sometimes, you just have to learn the hard way. Like me.
I looked in my empty passenger seat. I couldn’t see Jesus. I couldn’t hear him. But I knew that my aching heart was longing not for those things that I was suffering from. My heart was aching because it had been missing the one who created it all along.
I am emotional. I don’t use my head a lot of the time. I love to love. But when I ache, I ache. Hard. My mom looked at me before I left. “You can’t expect perfection from other people. You are so un-perfect.” (thanks mom!!) “But when you can give grace to those imperfect things, you learn that Jesus fills those voids.”
It’s okay to be scared of whats to come. To not know where you’ll be after you graduate. To not know where your job will land you. To be too emotional. To feel that hole in your chest when you are in the middle of a painful heartbreak. These things are what makes you human, and what makes Jesus, well, Jesus. If we weren’t flawed, what would we look to Jesus for?
So in the meantime. Love who you are. Someone else will someday. Will they fill every single crack that you want filled? Not all of them. That’s okay. Jesus can.
So in the meantime. Apply to that job that leads you away from where you thought you wanted to be. You never know what you could find waiting there for you.
So in the meantime, be patient with yourself. Not everyone else will be. But you are doing the best you can.
In the meantime, love each other. The good and the bad. Embrace the messy. Because what makes us flawed us what brings us closer to the gospel.
& in the meantime, if you forget who you are? That’s okay. Jesus didn’t. Don’t you forget that.
There is so much suffering. But there is also an opportunity for grace.