Something Unpredictable

Inevitably life comes in seasons. Much like the four seasons that greet us at the door each year, we journey through a sectioned life. Seasons in our lives change. Change perpetuates more change. It’s not all bad… because we need that change to grow. People enter and leave our lives for seasons. And sometimes that’s ok… and sometimes it hurts terribly.

So how do you endure… how do you persist?

First, knowing who you are is key. You have to understand your passions, your personality, your body and then sanction all of the above. Learning to be kind to yourself is a necessity. You have to know that when you are on your knees praying, your voice matters. You matter.

Next, it helps to understand the following helpful (rather painful) lesson. Some people who you have given your heart to and love deeply just can’t give that back to you. Maybe it’s because they don’t have it to give. Maybe they still don’t know who they are. Maybe they are just stretched too thin. Maybe they are fighting a bigger battle than you can compete with. Or maybe you just aren’t their person (Grey’s Anatomy reference). Here’s the thing: you can’t force that relationship… as much as you want it to happen, you have to let them go. As painful as it is, you have to release them.

You have to let them go so they can be. Let them be. And be kind to yourself, knowing you’ve just created more room for the right person for you. Or just room for you to breathe again and keep growing.

Often when you let something go, something that matters greatly, you get it back again. Maybe it’s time to let someone go.

And last, you focus on those people in your life who do not change with the seasons. The ones who will hold you in bed when you are exhausted and the ones who will sit down at the kitchen table after their busy day to hear about yours. The ones who let you double dip. The ones who plop down next to you while you cry or confess your deepest insecurities. The ones who you can call 24/7. The ones who look into your eyes, and without speaking, tell you they’ll love you forever.

The ones who would be crushed if you weren’t in their lives tomorrow.

So thank those people in your life today because it takes a lot of bravery to love you like that.

For an INFP like me, this lesson may be one of the hardest I ever have to learn. But the learning of it, is also the path to freedom and hopefully, on the other side of the cloud, the sun’s just waiting to shine.

Have you had to let people go? How do you show those who love you that you appreciate them?

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Hurt

So I was listening to one of Johnny Cash’s last songs this week. I have a great amount of respect for Cash though I’m not necessarily a country music connoisseur. The song is entitled “Hurt” and here are the lyrics to the chorus.

“What have I become,
My sweetest friend,
Everyone I know,
Goes away in the end,

And you could have it all,
My empire of dirt,
I will let you down,
I will make you hurt.”

I have never listened to the song before (if you haven’t I’d recommend it with all due haste…listen to it while you are reading this) and naturally, I loved it. It seemed so heartfelt and raw. Raw was something I had been feeling… in the advent of my maternal grandfather’s sudden brain aneurysm and death in January. After the funeral, I had to immediately jump back into the whirlwind of all things graduate school and really didn’t have much time to process the “hurt” I felt… so upon hearing Cash’s song, it sank in. At the same time, I had learned of a friend who was going through a very difficult time and was bearing consequences that were not of her doing. I hurt for her… I hurt for me.

I began reflecting on relationships… people that I know now… that I have known… that I will know. It’s powerful stuff. The fact of the matter is that we will lose each other eventually. Think about people you’ve known and loved… people who are no longer a part of your life for one reason or another. That hurts. Even aches. To have loved and lost that which you loved. For me, it drives home the fact that life comes in seasons… people come into our lives for a season to teach us, to love us, to walk beside us, to change us… but part of living is that we eventually have to give them up… they “go away in the end”… eventually…they’ll make us hurt, like Johnny so eloquently conveys. And then what do you do?

You keep going. You keep loving. You let yourself be changed. They knew you, they loved you and hurt you, they are in your memory, they are in your soul. But you are in a new season now… you can’t become immobilized because of the pain of the past. You can’t shut down. You keep going, keeping your heart open to meet and love new people. This is the blessing of life… a gift of God. So as hard as it can be, you have to be grateful to have known that person and grateful for the memory that you carry.

Then, with all grace and strength… you rise.

“And I’d Ride on the Backs of the Angels Tonight”1

Though I have a blog, I rarely use it because I am not so great at expressing my feelings in a public manner, or private for that manner; however, I do have momentary revelations, though they may be few and far between. And since it is the new year, I feel obligated to journal it. Thanks for reading…whatever it may be worth.

I have become incredibly adept at making worry, fear, and irrationality my close friends. This semester started off on a terrible note, a self-induced one no doubt; it slowly progressed into something more beautiful though, thankfully so. I think this, coupled with the fact that anyone who knows me will tell you that I absolutely cannot stand the cold weather, created a bad mindset in me…a hard heart, unwilling to be moved by her Creator in Heaven.

So there is the groundwork that explains my current mindset. This is not life. It is not abundant life that Christ came to give. What does it mean to live abundantly? Well…I am still seeking it as well. But I know it is not what I have been doing. The joy, the peace, the hope, the hope is abundance. The grace given to me every day that is, in every way, undeserved… is abundance. Giving that grace to others is abundance. Giving your life to a cause greater than yourself is abundance. Loving others above all is abundance. And friends, this life is too beautiful, too short, and too precious not to live in abundance.

It is not about living in misery for the things and people that we don’t have…for there are too many things that are out of our control. It has to be about loving amongst whatever and wherever we are. For me, its extremely hard to let the guard down…the guard that seemingly protects me from the pain that comes as a direct result of loving with everything I have. Love IS messy. I have learned that. And it hurts. Like hell sometimes. When you lose someone you love, there no magic salve that heals. But I will die believing that love is the most incredible thing that we can give. It is the most incredible thing that we can experience… because it forces you to forget about yourself. In a world where selfishness pervades every crevice of every heart, Love triumphs. It’s our only hope.

This is abundance. Its the kin-dom of God here on earth. Though I have done an embarrassing job of it this fall, I will live in it because its also called obedience.

I leave you with these lyrics from an old Newsboys song called “Joy”; I cannot seem to expel them from my heart or my head. I think they are going to be an anthem in 2010.

You give me joy that’s unspeakable, and I like it, and I like it,
Your love for me is irresistible, I can’t fight it, I can’t fight it,
You carried the cross and took my shame, I believe it, I believe it,
You shine Your light of amazing grace, I receive it, I receive it

1) The title of this post is referring to a lyric from “Poughkeepsie” by Over the Rhine