I woke up this morning feeling pain. Not physical pain… sometimes I wonder if that might be easier to deal with because at least its measurable… treatable in a lot of cases. I’m talking about deep pain, the kind that constantly plays in the background…the embarrassing kind… the kind you don’t want to tell people about because you don’t want to be seen as the guy who is always throwing a pity party. I laid in bed, telling God about my pain, asking him to heal my heart, asking him to free me from it, to give me hope and energy and joy. I have to surrender before I ever get out of bed or I literally won’t make it through the day.
Its become somewhat of a regular occurrence for me in the mornings. Vivid memories of things people said, of stabs of rejection and loneliness, and of seemingly unshakable guilt, sorrow, and regret. I glance at my phone hoping someone might have texted me encouraging words in the middle of the night randomly, but the screen of my iPhone simply shows the time, laughing at me and telling me that my hope won’t be found in friends. I used to be able to count on my phone for encouragement… texts coming all the time, people wanting to hang out, friends surrounding me like space heaters in a freezing cold basement, but nowadays there is no one. The nights of scrolling through my contact list looking for one person who will listen and maybe even understand have become too numerous to count. There are moments where I work up enough courage to be the pursuer but my attempts are met with quick answers, dodged hangouts, and cold busyness with time for everyone else but me. I’m the leper. The unclean one. Why would anyone want to be around me? Nobody wants to be around hurting people… people whose hope and energy is diminishing by the day.
I hear the voice of people I respect: “hurting people hurt people.” The book I’m reading about “Safe People” accuses me too… am I an unsafe person? Do I have character problems? Its not so much what people say that accuses me, but what they don’t say and do.
I hear the imagined voices of those around me “Luke you need to figure yourself out so that you can be healthy in your life and in your job,” “You need to quit being selfish…you’re making this all about you.” “Quit playing the pity party and go live your life.” “Get over it…don’t be insecure…you’re second guessing yourself: that’s insecure thought patterns…” I counsel myself over and over again with the right answers, but I’m at least wise enough to know the futility of seeking the right answers to the wrong questions. My heart cries for company, but deep down I know company won’t heal me…it definitely didn’t for Job. I long for connection, friendship, a tribe to call my own. I have a history of failed attempts at vulnerability and I’m a withdrawer … two things that work together to cripple hope. And who posts all this stuff on a blog anyway? Shouldn’t you just tell people you trust and pretend that everything is okay in the public eye? Desperation drives men to do drastic things.
This is a hard one to post. I’m hurting, really bad…maybe worse than ever before. And what compounds it is how alone I am most of the time. The only hope I have is the glimmer of a feeling deep down that this is a necessary chapter in a grand plot, and not the end of the story…