We all have something for which we remain postured in hopeful expectation. Waiting is often that anguished “pause” between absence and abundance that causes us to drop to our knees and cry out to the Lord for our longing to be filled.
It’s been four months since my three-year relationship died in a pile on a Tuesday. I neither knew it was coming nor know now how to adequately navigate completely out of these waters of grief.
Yes, I still grieve.
But based on the unsolicited general consensus, I should be over him by now and well on my way to moving on. “Forget him,” they say. “Find someone new,” they add.
I will! Sheesh.
Give Me a Minute
Please give me a minute to grieve, for “God’s” sake!
I don’t want to miss what I’m supposed to hear in this uncertainty.
After all, I believe the Lord has me in this hurt so I might better understand loss; He has me in this darkness, so I might fully sense His presence; I’m experiencing this pain so I can recognize what it is to be held by Jesus.
Why are we all so quick to try to pull each other out of this place of discomfort when it is smack-dab in the middle of this anguish that God reveals Himself more fully?
And why, oh why, do we assign a timeline for grief based on that which was lost?!?
If a woman miscarries, she is allowed to mourn the loss of that baby forever. If we lose a loved one, we have permission to grieve in different ways for the rest of our lives. Your house burns to the ground, and a GoFund me page is deemed completely appropriate, even if you caused the fire.
But lose a pet, lose a significant other, or lose your ability to bear children and “Come on, get over it already!” – Just “get a new pet,” “find a new boyfriend/girlfriend,” or “adopt a child!” It seems society decides when it’s appropriate to shorten or lengthen grief’s scope.
If you ask me, it doesn’t matter if you lost a hamster or a husband, there is still hurt and loss involved.
A loss of any kind requires that the individual re-purpose a dream that carried joy and hope for them. Not for you. For them! What’s more, it also means they are now required to start over.
And it is there, in the “starting over,” that we encounter the grief.
As I sat around a campfire with friends last weekend, one of them asked me, “Debbie, when was the last time you were completely and totally in love? Like, this is the one, I’m all in, kind of love?”
My heart sank in acknowledgment of what I already knew, as tears began to stream down my face for what I didn’t want to admit out loud: “I’m still in love!”
I then started to cry even harder – partially because I felt embarrassed to admit to a group of married couples that I’m broken over a breakup that happened four months ago and partially because my mascara was pooling up in my lap.
“I don’t want to talk about it,” I said. “It’s too fresh and I’m still processing everything.”
“What happened?” he said. “Why did it end?” he continued. “Was it mutual?” he persisted.
“I really don’t want to talk about it. I really don’t.”
“…But I will say this: You know you really loved someone when you don’t hate them for breaking your heart. And I don’t hate him, even though I’m clearly still hurting. I will never say a bad thing about him. Ever. And I’m grateful to have experienced the kind of love that’s not easy to get over.”
In the Waiting
If I’m honest with myself, some of those tears are as result of “still being single” and not knowing why. Some of those tears are as a result of having to “start over” again now and needing to muster the strength to do so.
But most of them, okay, almost all of them, are as a result of being back “in the waiting” –back in that place where I must fully surrender my own hopes and desires to the Lord and trust that He has it all figured out. I need to trust that one day He will answer my prayer to be a wife.
We all have something we’re longing for — a baby, a job, a heart transplant. Do not give up on the prayer. He hears you and He will lift your anguish — just as He is lifting mine a little more every day.
It’s always difficult when you have someone/something in your heart but you can’t have it in your arms.
So until then, focus on seeking Jesus, not a spouse (or whatever that one thing is that you’re longing for: (insert here: _______________________).
The latter is not a guarantee, but Jesus absolutely, ALWAYS is!