I remember it like a candle flame being blown out.
Sometime in mid-November, I was sitting inside of a restaurant with some friends in Edinburgh, Scotland eating chicken and spicy french fries. The unsettled feeling inside my stomach told me something I was not ready to accept.
My best friend left for the bathroom and there was a moment I opened my mouth in a state of complete vulnerability. We were talking about relationships and I shared about the moment I had an “almost.” But the lie took hold in my tired and weary heart quickly. Before I spoke, I knew something was terribly wrong.
I felt broken, rejected, and unchosen. All things that - when felt together - rush in like a tidal wave and leave me wanting to build bricks higher than jack’s beanstalk.
The rest of that day consisted of battling my weary mindset with the truth and losing. It never felt like the right time to open up, so I kept quiet, the lie sticking to me alongside comparison; jealousy crept in like an old friend.
My light had been covered by a basket I willingly put there, and by the time we got to the train station at peak hours, I was an absolute wreck and hiding it like a pro.
A couple hours later, I spoke with my friend on the bed we were sleeping on that week. But I honestly felt like I couldn’t share everything. I used the past and “processing it” as an excuse, even though I’ve taken this subject and used it as an excuse many times before. I felt unsatisfied, but I joined everyone in the common room, sassily sitting down. I ate leftover pizza from the day before, made awful and uncharacteristic remarks, blamed it on “hanger,” and laughed about it with everyone around me.
But I know myself better than that.
What happened was not hanger. It was the result of something I had refused to own for months and human acceptance of the fact that maybe I missed my time by running away. I reacted like a kicking and screaming child.
Most days, I am okay in this season of waiting; but on that day, I was impatient and definitely not the definition of okay.
— — — — --
Right now, I am learning to own who I am, what I want to be about, and who I want with me. That can mean a lot of different things based on the day, time, and moment you catch me.
I am learning in deeper ways that my actions carry beyond just me. Self-care and time with God is a huge component of my influence being carried out in a healthy manner. At the time of my trip to Scotland and Rome, my general health was lacking greatly due to my schedule being so overbooked at home. During the trip I, admittedly, was far from God the entire week and lacking rest and alone-time I deeply needed to feel at peace. My first fault was keeping Him at arms length. My second fault was not voicing what I needed and furthermore, taking things that I could not control by any means personally.
An explosion erupted and overflowed like the bomb of Hiroshima that night. I was watching as my friends were forging connections with special people and it immediately made me feel like there was nothing for me (because watching others connecting on a deeper level relationally at the time hurt. When it wasn’t happening to me, too, I got jealous).
This really bothered me in a way that it hadn’t up to that point and only plummeted me into the mindset of rejection despite knowing my place as a good friend to the people I was spending that week with. On that day, however, I was done. I reacted in a way that landed me in a bottled up place of feeling very isolated and alone. The casualties from that day were luckily few and I’m thankful the people that know me better gave ultimate amounts of grace and love that I did not deserve at the time.
When I got home from my trip, I was able to physically and mentally separate myself from that day and night, recognizing all of these things as time went by. I began to dig deeper into the pain (and let myself feel it to an extent I normally would numb myself to). This was the first step toward climbing out of the dark pit I willingly put myself inside that day in Edinburgh.
— — — — --
This is what I know right now: I know that God has promised me a “one day” where I will be doing life with someone by my side, in a place where I know that I am chosen both by God and someone special that He has planned for me. I know that I will one day have a home with someone that breathes welcome with food and wine parties, and that we will travel and do amazing things together. I know that I will one day step outside the picture that is my life and I will breathe out a steady and peaceful “thank you” to God. Because He deserves it, even now.
I know I am loved, I am accepted, and that I am whole when I am spending time with Him on a daily basis. My worth (and knowing that worth) as a loved person comes through consistent time in the word. Walking in these truths is difficult because being human, I like to believe I know better. In a very roundabout way, my week in the UK rudely awakened me to the fact that I do not know better. God is oftentimes something I take for granted without even realizing it. I despise that I can allow myself to take His unconditional love and deep intimacy, then throw it around like it means nothing.
But God still loves me when I am lost and taking His love for granted. He is still chasing after me, His one. The promise He gives me every day, without fail, is “yes and amen.” Being in the light He desires for me to be warmed by, however, is just plain uncomfortable for me.
But we are starting slower now and I am learning the importance of enjoying these single years of waiting for His best “yes” as each day passes.
He promised me and showed me something good in a vision years ago. It will not do to dwell on it happening in my timing, though. Until “one day” comes, I am learning in the midst of my own broken journey to rest in His arms. I am learning to love the comfort of them more than any other embrace. And I am learning to step out into the sunlight that promises to never burn me.
I am chosen by Him. And that is enough.
I remember it like a candle flame being blown out.