Sunday, July 19, 2015

All will be well!

Dating is hard! That shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. But why is it so hard? It's hard because you have to totally give of yourself emotionally and always be at risk to have it not work out. You are at your most vulnerable point when you're dating. You risk everything. Or at least you should be willing to risk everything. You have in your grasp the opportunity to gain the world, a loving relationship. Yet you are always one conversation away from losing all of that. More often than not, you end up not gaining the world. You break up.

I have heard that breakups can be emotionally as difficult as a death in one's family. For when a family member, or even a spouse, dies you still have the promise that you will be with that person again. You can still have the same relationship with them in the next life. With a breakup you have NO promise of having the same relationship with that person ever again, assuming it's a permanent break up. That relationship is lost to you forever. All the goodness and love is...gone. What consolation do you have? That the experience served to make you a better person? That you can maybe find another relationship with someone else somewhere down the road? That isn't super comforting in the immediate wake of the loss. It's hard to accept that you will find someone else mainly because you don't want to find someone else. You still want the relationship you just had.

So you move on. Or at least you try. But you still don't know how to fill that void in your life. Where there was love, service, and purpose you now have emptiness. The pain of that seemingly bottomless void hurts so bad. What is worse yet is that you still don't want to fill it. Somehow you feel that by filling the void you have truly ended the relationship. Your life was about someone else and now it is about about you again, which is far less satisfying. Single life is inherently not as fulfilling as a life devoted to someone else's happiness. Sure being single can be fun and adventurous and one can find happiness there just feels lacking.

How do you go back to your old single life? How do you go back to first dates and nights watching netflix alone? What do you do with your time that used be spent serving another? Where do you redirect your thoughts, your energy, and love? How do you go on? I don't know. I wish there was an easy answer. It's hard to go on when deep down you still don't want to accept that you must go on. You vainly hold on emotionally to that relationship. You simply don't know what else to hold on to.

"How do you pick up the threads of an old life? How do you go on... when in your heart you begin to understand... there is no going back? -Frodo Baggins

Is Frodo right? Is there is no going back? No! You can't. You are forever changed by that relationship. You are never the same. For better or for worse you have been changed. You can't go back to who you were.

Hopefully you have been changed for good. Hopefully the relationship taught how to give of yourself and how to love another person. Hopefully you experienced joy, honesty, kindness, and mutual respect. Hopefully you learned how to practice patience and faith. Hopefully you were able to live beyond yourself.

Even if the relationship was good and the break up was right, the first few days, weeks, months, and sometimes even years are not easy. There is still pain. The pain of the loss is palpable. Sometimes it seems too much to carry at times. It sucks! Plain and simple.

"How can we love days that are filled with sorrow? We can’t—at least not in the moment. I don’t think my mother was suggesting that we suppress discouragement or deny the reality of pain. I don’t think she was suggesting that we smother unpleasant truths beneath a cloak of pretended happiness. But I do believe that the way we react to adversity can be a major factor in how happy and successful we can be in life. If we approach adversities wisely, our hardest times can be times of greatest growth, which in turn can lead toward times of greatest happiness." - Joseph B Wirthlin

In the time of deepest pain, sorrow, and loneliness, you have the opportunity for the greatest growth. How you react is so important. Will you remember the phrase, "Come what may, and love it!"? Will you take comfort in the Lord's promise that all will be well. I promise you that all will be well!

Why will all be well? How could it ever all be well when all seems broken and lost? Because you will CHOOSE to make it well. You will choose to love yourself and sometimes even more importantly, you will continue to love the one who broke your heart. You will choose to be kind, positive, hopeful, and supportive. You will choose to go to the Lord and seek his guidance and you will recognize the hand of the Lord guiding, supporting, and comforting you. He will give you peace and comfort. You will choose to be grateful that you have experienced such a wonderful relationship. You will choose to proactively find new and uplifting ways to use your new found time and energy. You will choose to see the small glimmers of light protruding through the dark tearful clouds of your soul. You will choose to see that this experience will serve to make you better. You will choose to remember Christ's love for you and his immense capacity to comfort and forgive you. God will always love you. Even if someone else no longer does, God still loves you. It's your choice to recognize that love and accept it. It's your choice to make the best of so much pain. It's your choice to be well. That is why all will be well. Because you will choose to be well.

"Each of us will have our own Fridays—those days when the universe itself seems shattered and the shards of our world lie littered about us in pieces. We all will experience those broken times when it seems we can never be put together again. We will all have our Fridays. No matter our desperation, no matter our grief, Sunday will come." - Joseph B. Wirthlin

Yes Sunday will come. Maybe not as soon as you would like but it will come. All will be well!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Lead thou me on!

My last published blog post was very hard to write for me. In it I delved into some of the questions I have feared asking. My friend pointed out that I made it seem like I was convinced I didn't need Christ or that I could simply do things by myself. He had a point. While I still believe that we are more capable than we often give ourselves credit for, I no longer believe nor would I want to overcome life's challenges by myself.

Christ, our ultimate example, when going through his darkest hours in the garden of Gethsamane and on the cross didn't go through those experiences alone. Even He, the son of God, requested and needed help. So why would I want to do it alone? Recently I have been reminded how hard and difficult life can be. There are many things in life that cut us deep. Experiences that go to our core. They leave us wondering how much pain can be suffered. As the Princess Bride wonderfully said, "Life is pain". I am so grateful that even though at times my pain seems too much to bear, I have people around me to be there with me through the pain. I would not want to go through the pains of life without them. It's reassuring to talk with someone who understands my pain. It doesn't take away the pain but it does make it more bearable. Having someone you can talk to, who will listen to you, and who can comfort you is a reassuring idea. I would never want to go through life with out that. As much as I want to be independent, I don't want to go through life's experiences alone. Which is why the doctrine of the atonement of Christ is so reassuring. Having someone who will always be there for you in your times of sorrow is a comforting doctrine. Man was not meant to pass through the sorrows of this world alone.

In my time of pain, I have found comfort in friends and family but I have also found comfort in God. It was He who I first went to for peace and solace. Peace and solace was given but it didn't last, nor do I think it was meant to. God gave me what I needed in the time I needed it. Certain thoughts, feelings, and words were needed in my life at certain times. Those were given to me recently. They gave me enough strength and courage to go past the crest of the next hill. Nevertheless, I still had to walk up that hill. This experience has humbled me to realize just how much I need God and others. While I am still sure I could have gone through this experience alone, I would never ever want to. I don't know if I would come out whole on the other side. With God and other support, we can cope and learn. We can be reassured and be given some brief solace. We can not only come out whole on the other side but can come out better for it.

So when it comes to the question of my last blog post: Lead thou me on? Please do! I don't want to wander through the desert of life anymore without you. Forgive me for the times when I was cocky and thought I no longer needed you. As I go through some of the agonies of life, it gives me more respect and awe for the sacrifice you willingly did for all of us. I may not understand it, I may not have the greatest testimony of it, but I do recognize now that is is foolish for me to not want thy support.