I’ve been married over ten years. I have considered myself a grown-up for about that long. Before I got married, I was just a college grad. working a job. But not a grown-up.
And I guess I have had this sort of misconception that grown-ups don’t really need friends. They have their kids to keep them busy. And who has time, ya know?
But a couple of weeks ago, all on the same weekend, several of my friends (both online and in real life) had girls’ weekends. Weekends where friends came to visit. Weekends where they went to visit friends. Weekends of flower markets and antique stores and good coffee and great food and laughing and secret-telling and acting like NOT-grown-ups.
I admit. I was jealous. I am jealous. Because many, many of my closest friends, the people who really “get me” are far, far away. Other states. Not within driving distance.
And while I’ve tried to convince myself it doesn’t matter because I’m a grown-up and grown-ups don’t really need friends, I realize after the last few months that’s just not the case.
And if I keep going at this rate, I’ll never be the old lady in the cupcake shop, laughing and indulging and sipping a hot latte with my very best friend.
And when those friends are far away, it can be lonely. It can be sad. And you cherish the friends who ARE close, but you miss the ones who aren’t.
A few months ago, I went through the darkest time in my life. Ever. The hardest ever place to be. And maybe it’s just my nature—that perfectionist in me—but as much as I struggle to be transparent, there ARE some things that you can’t talk about. And they writhe around in your belly and torment you because you can’t get them out. Nowhere is safe. And it’s painful. And it hurts.
And you struggle to find some courage—from somewhere—and somehow, you pull yourself up and manage to move forward. You put one foot in front of the other and press on.
But the pain is still there, eating you up inside. Deep sadness. Loneliness. Because darkness forces you to believe there’s no one within arm’s length, doesn’t it?
Sometimes…the dark place calls to me again. It tells me I am alone and misunderstood. And sometimes I believe it. Sometimes I feel different and odd. Sometimes I wonder if my dreams are too big or if I will ever feel safe anywhere. Sometimes, the darkness pulls and claws and tears…
And my courage is not within my grasp.
And I feel like collapsing. And the pressure I’ve placed on myself brings the guilt and the shame. And I care too much what people will think. And it becomes too great a burden to bear.
And I remember I’m not alone. And I try to rely on God. But sometimes I think we Christians make ourselves feel worse if we still feel these emotions. If remembering God hasn't forsaken us doesn't make it all better...then somehow we are "less" of a Christian.
And I try to force anger and bitterness far---far away---but they are ever-present, aren’t they? Waiting in the wings like an understudy praying for her big break.
God tells us to be “patient in times of tribulation.”
He’s working things out in us. It’s painful. It’s hard. I hate it.
And sometimes the darkness is just too dark.
And I can’t find the match.