A few weeks ago, I posted a piece from a friend who's borne deep sadness and regret in the wake of getting a divorce and seeking an annulment. Truly, there is suffering and, God willing, redemption in the brokenness of a marriage that has ended.
For today, maybe you're reading this from another side of heartbreak; the side of having not yet found the man you'll marry, and the cross of loneliness and dashed hopes. My friend Carolyn, a gorgeously poetic writer if there ever was one, shared this with me and blew me away. Maybe you, like me, will recognize pieces of yourself in her wake of a breakup and, like her, will find your peace in the divine lover of your soul--read it all the way to the end--the one who is always, always beside you.
I know it's been a while and you think that I may have healed, and you could be right I guess, but that doesn't necessarily mean that I have the strength to become friends again. Not yet anyway, and I can tell you why. But first, you need to know how much I miss you and still love you, but it can't be simple anymore.
You left me when I needed you most. I must have checked my phone every five minutes up until the plane took off. Sweet man, that silence was crushing. I never felt so much like nothing to someone, and i'm sure that was largely because I thought you were everything. I thought the world of you, sir. Yeah, that was dumb. I know that now. I made so many mistakes, in when I told you, how I told you, but not how I felt for you. That love will never be a mistake, and that love is still so alive.
I admired those hurricanes you contained, the worlds behind your eyes, and those secrets in the creases of your face. And yeah, it's effed up that we were our only friend in that small town tucked in the valley of the mountain. That little place that was founded by my ancestor three hundred years ago, and where I spent Saturday morning brewing your black coffee at the cafe where I worked. Where we would go out late at night to diners or drive to the nearest city for concerts. We were safe there.
And now look at us. After we fell apart, we are not both suddenly living in the same city far away from that small town, and so different from where we became friends.
I'm not going to try to understand our Holy on this one, but because of this, you suddenly want to be friends again.
But what if you leave again. I don't have the time or the money to fly off to Uganda to allow myself to break. To hide. To sit with our Holy and stargaze at foreign constellations south of the equator for hours on end, crying softly with a baby in my arms. I'm in this foreign city now, where you grew up in the shadows of these skyscrapers. I'm no longer in my childhood neighborhood where you stole my damn heart. This city is nearly as foreign to this small town heart as the wilds of Uganda.
Sweet man, how can I believed that if I let you back in my life, you will stay? And how can you expect me to be close to you again and not be scorched? How do I know that you won't hurt me again?
I'm okay. I'm lonely here, yes, and I can't sleep most nights, but this feels right. Living here. Don't worry about me because I'm going to be fine. I'm surrounded by good, wholesome people. But can you please just answer my texts when I ask if you're happy? They aren't a trick question. For once in my life I'm being simple.
But you need to put your fight into something you're passionate about now. Remember how Eve was all dumb and took on too much, thought she could handle the world on her own? How I did? And how Adam was literally right at her side, watching her fall, unmoved, hesitant to act, unwilling to fight? He saw that she was hurting herself, that she was falling, and he did nothing. God works through the man and rests in the woman, but we got it backwards, you and me. Just like they did.
You made it clear when you left that you couldn't find any fight in you. To keep me, I guess. It will always hurt knowing this, sure, that I may just never be worth it for you or to you. Not worth your time or the effort. And I get that you are worn, but I'm not just here at your convenience. Hey, I know you need to put your heart first until one day you make that vow on the altar, but sweet man, I have to do that too, and I'm not strong enough to see you just yet.
I learned something in Uganda, though: now I know that I love you enough to let you go. Not enough to stop praying rosaries each night for your heart, not enough to stop writing your name in my journal, not enough to check chapel tears or this sap or this gnawing in my stomach, not enough to stop gazing at some of those nearby skyscrapers and try and guess which one you may be working gin now. But enough to let you go. I can do that. I promise. But just let me.
Let me, or fight for me. It's that simple. And you don't have to decide right now, but don't drag me into your uncertainty anymore.
I love you sweet man. And because you don't feel the same, I'm not sure you would have anything to say in response. If you could say anything. I'm tired of guessing at your silence, so instead I'll let your silence speak for you. So go do great things, one of which will not be pursuit of me. But please just allow me to let you go.
But in this paralyzation, He moves. It's a rumble at first, but it quickly escalates. He roars to life, unafraid to show the distance He would go to keep me, to fight for me, to tell me I'm wrong…to save me. He breaks, through all of this brokenness in a great clamor, a whirlwind, a dashing avalanche. He tears down the temple wall, cracks through the earth, damns the serpent. He shivers and shatters and splinters from the depths of His grave, rallies a legion of seraphim, performs out mighty wonders, damns the chains, and in my sweet man's silence, He thunders: YOU ARE WORTH DYING FOR.
Carolyn blogs for and edits The YoungCatholicWoman, "a place of feminine insight into the joy, companionship, frustration, heartache, and autonomy on this beautiful road to Calvary." They have a sweet magazine and are planning a mission to Costa Rica, and you're invited! Visit her here.