Letting Go of Fear

What do we do with disappointment? What do we do with our pain? How can we choose to love when our hearts are broken?

I certainly do not know the answer to these questions, but I have learned a great deal from walking through each of these things; here’s a bit about that.

Disappointment doesn’t cut it. To be frank I saw this year draped in white lace and wedding invitations.

I felt that the walls I had so painfully erected around my heart were finally being dismantled once and for all. I felt entitled to happiness. I entered into 2018 with a deeply rooted hope and found pain, heartbreak, fear, anger and sorrow instead.

The problem with pain is that it re-awakens demons we long thought were dead.

I am still sifting through the ashes of a relationship that crashed and burned. How could my heart have been so wrong? I am still unsure of why our relationship took such a dramatic turn- but…

I am thankful it did.

I had two months to clutch my chest. To feel each and every gut wrenching wave of grief. To cry and to invite people into the deepest valley with me. I had two months to pray that he would choose me again; those prayers felt the most confronting, because even then- I wasn’t sure that’s what I wanted.

The more distance I found from our relationship the more I realized that we were not good for each other. I required love in all of the ways he couldn’t provide. His silence and slowness in processing the hard parts of my heart, filled me with anxiety. I spent 7 months trying to convince myself that if I held on tight enough everything would be okay, but we were speaking different languages. The truth is we both deserved more than we could ever give one another.

I wish I could tell you that suddenly I had the answers- or that I could say that it completely stopped hurting over night or that I had one of those cinematic movie moments where the heartbroken girl climbs a mountain during the sunrise and she finds God in the golden rays and all of her problems dissipate as the credits roll.

The problem with pain is that it isn’t formulaic.

You can’t wish it away. You also can’t pray it away.

Pain: It’s alive and it has a lifespan that we can suppress- we can stuff it in drawers and under beds, but no matter how hard we try to deny it- it comes back up again. God allows us feel pain- so it must be a good thing- or at the very least, there must be a reason for it. When we lean into it- we grow- when we run away from it- we die. So I simply chose to feel every -single- bit- of -it.

I started going to counseling and unpacking 24 years worth of baggage. I read scriptures in a desperate way because I needed to hear Gods voice- I knew this was not a wilderness I could face alone. It simply hurt too much.

After weeks of crying and screaming at God- I found a profound silence within me. I spent my birthday in Spain- hopeful that the cobblestone streets  would literally be enough to outrun him- but somehow he was there too. He was everywhere. I buried my face in my shirt sleeve on my birthday. Huddled in a corner of an alleyway sobbing on the phone to my dad. That night I chose to let go, because it finally hurt too much to hold onto.

I deleted every trace of T from my phone and social media. I’m sure it sounds naive and perhaps in someways it is- but it felt like the biggest physical move I could make to literally shut that door. I have not cried since that day.

The problem with pain is that no matter how much it hurts today- we know that one day we will have to love again… and thats terrifyingly beautiful.

One sleepy Sunday morning I found myself at Monarch Coffee in the midst of a beautiful conversation about life, loss, dreaming and heartbreak. As we talked my heart began to beat again.

I didn’t know it at the time- but now I see he was the reason for all of those unanswered prayers. I don’t know what the future holds for us- but I do know I finally feel like me again. I’m thankful that I tore all of those walls down before I met him. I don’t feel afraid of not being enough or of being abandoned; because even if I don’t ask him to- he tells me everyday that he is choosing to stay with his actions and his words. I don’t feel broken when I am with him- I feel seen and I feel deeply loved. And for once- I’m not afraid of what comes next. This is me stepping into a season of vulnerability- into the unknown- because I finally understand whats on the other side of fear; love.

And thats worth all of the pain in the world.