Hopes and Doubts, Fear and Love

Healing-Broken-HeartWhen someone’s arm breaks, we all know they need immediate medical attention, right? Accommodations must be made for the arm to heal properly and be used as little as possible until the healing occurs, yeah? A cast. A sling. Restriction of movement. Protection. My arms are important. I need them to do the things I love to do. Play guitar. Write. Type. Hug.

Why is it that when someone’s heart breaks, we pay far less attention to the need of healing? How does one heal? What do we do when we feel like a shotgun blast has just completely obliterated our chest cavity? How do we stop the invisible flow of blood we feel pouring all over the ground in front of us? The pain. How does it stop?

My arms are important. I need them to do what I love to do. My heart is more important. I need it to simply live.

There’s this amazing book that I love to read. It’s actually a collection of 66 books in one volume. One of the books within this amazing volume of literature proclaims a statement that I’ve been pondering for the past several days:

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick; but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.”

There are lots of times I’ve allowed my hopes to rise, only to have them fall back down, shattering on the ground beneath me. There have been other times, when my hopes have risen and the very thing I desired became mine and it produced a sense of fulfillment. I’ve been wondering lately, though – what is the point of even hoping at all? My experience tells me that, more often than not, my hope is in vain. What’s the point? Pain? Disappointment? Why?

I’ve been questioning a lot of this stuff. Of course I know that my heart is in the hands of my Maker. His Love is the only thing that can satisfy. His Love is all I need. I know. He’s my Dad and we talk about a lot of things. Why is it that certain things people say, although well intended, leave me with this urge to say, “Shut the fuck up! I have heard that before… it sounds nice but you’re wrong!” Of course I don’t say it quite that openly, but the anger arises from the pain. My heart knows it has to be different. It has to be better than this. I search for the words to express what my heart knows to be true. Days and weeks go by. Frustration. A deep dissatisfaction with where my life has brought me. How did I get here? Why was it so sudden? I was so happy just last week. What the hell is going on?

I know I’m not alone with these thoughts. These questions. Most people are just afraid to ask them out loud. We all have them.

If you’ve ever been involved with Christians in a church culture, you’ve probably heard something along these lines: “You don’t need a man or a woman to fulfill you. You just need the love of God.”

Yeah? I agree with this statement… partially. It sounds great. It sounds so noble. Of course a woman in and of herself will never fulfill me. And of course the Love of God is all I need. But there’s a problem here. God is invisible and it’s not necessarily easy to wrap my arms around him. God expresses himself through human life. When I see you, I see the face of God. Yes, he lives inside of me. Yes, he satisfies my need for affection. All of these things are true. Yet at the same time, how do we know that his affection isn’t expressed through other human beings?

I love to cuddle. I love hugs. I love kisses. I love hand-holding. I love chick-flicks and love stories and fairytales… and for some reason I have an unexplainable obsession with unicorns. I sometimes wonder… Why? I’m a man. Why do I enjoy things that seem to be so associated with what society tells us women are into? Why am I so sensitive? Why do I desire to fully give myself away to one special person so passionately? Why can’t I hold myself back? Why does it hurt so badly to keep my feelings to myself? Why do I spill my guts every time I feel a connection at a heart level? Why are my feelings not reciprocated? Heart break. I expose myself so willingly. I give and I hope for some kind of gratitude on the other end.

I am confident that God loves me. I know he says I’m valuable and I’m worthy of love. I’m desirable and I have what it takes. Then why is this so difficult? I don’t know how not to give everything when giving anything at all.

All or nothing.

Is this even okay?

In the depths of my heart, all I hear in the stillness is, “YES! You are beautiful! You have what it takes! You are the way you are because I made you that way! You are loveable! Desirable! You are passionate! You are contagious! You are influential and full of life! You affect people deeply by your transparency! You have already changed the world and will only continue to do so! “

Dad, help.

I’m still processing all of these things. I don’t understand it. There are times I’d rather not exist at all than feel the chasm of the aftermath of explosions in my chest. Why?

Why?

This is the question that burns in me.

It’s not that I’m angry or bitter. I am in pain. My heart hurts. I feel the sting of rejection, yet I know I’m not a reject, nor am I rejected. It’s an interesting paradox.

I know deep within me that I belong. Something tells me that my outlook on life is actually okay, as crazy as I appear in my views of the world around me and relationships and people and how they work.

Everyone wants to know they are loved. Everyone wants to be wanted. Love hurts. Love also heals. Love brings joy. Love can make us do some really crazy shit.

I’ve been constantly reminded of how God loves me, the past couple of weeks.

The Creator of all things desires relationship. He decided to make humans for the sole purpose of relationship. To love us. To be with us. To give himself fully to us.

Somewhere along the way, the people whom God so desired to love totally rejected his love and went after other things. Other lovers. Lesser things that only left us feeling more empty than before and constantly wanting more.

How could we reject such a great Love?

God decided to express himself to his Beloved. To show her how beautiful she is and how worth it she is. How desirable she is.

God became human.

He risked it all. Love isn’t love unless it goes freely and gives a choice to be reciprocated or not. He gave himself completely. He went to the lowest of our hells and took every ailment upon himself. He decided to take the blame for all of the things we did that crushed his heart.

God is a wounded Lover. Yet he is so confident that his love is so good that when seen clearly, it is impossible to resist. God is the husband every woman wants. God is the wife every man wants. God is the Father every child wants. God is the brother, the friend, the lover that everybody wants, whether we know it or not.

He still risked it all. There was no absolute guarantee that we would return his Love.

He suffered. His heart was ripped out and stomped on and ultimately it killed him. We killed God while he was trying to express his love toward us. Love never fails. He is risen. He conquered death for us. He knew we would reject him. We had ravished his heart. We drove him mad.

People do really crazy things when they’re in love. Rationale goes out the window and we get all gooey and our focus changes. Love intoxicates us to the point of giving up ourselves completely for the sake of another. This is Love.

“I give you everything. You have the power to destroy me. You have my heart and you have the ability to completely destroy it because it is yours.”

That’s what Love says.

Jesus once said, “There is no greater Love than for a man to lay down his life for another.”

I die so that you may live.

So what happens when this Love is given and given and given… but not received. What happens when my heart is completely exposed and held out as an offering, only to be returned and not wanted?

The shotgun blast. The hole in the chest. The gnawing ache that seems to cause me to want to shut down completely and disappear forever. The pain becomes almost unbearable.

Questions arise: What is wrong with me? Am I not loveable? What did I do wrong? Am I ugly? Am I too immature? Am I not responsible enough? Strong enough? Do I not have enough to give?

These questions are painful. The pain feels so real. The rejection causes me to doubt my self worth.

But there’s a voice that speaks louder than all of this, yet it seems so hidden and distant. But it’s closer than the air in my lungs.

“You are perfect! You are beautiful! You are lovely! You are strong! You are amazing! You have what it takes! You can do anything! I love you! I love you! I love you! I love you! I love you! I want you! I want you! I want you! I’m yours! You belong to me! You are so worth it all! You are worth dying for! You are precious to me! I can’t live without you! I made you! I designed you! I gave everything for you! I will love you forever! Forever! Forever! I will love you forever!”

The warmth returns. Even if it only last a little while before the questions begin to arise again. The pain is slowly washed away. Confidence returns. The ability to Love is restored. Perfect Love destroys fear.

Our physical bodies were designed to heal themselves. The body will heal its broken arm.

We, as humans, are part of the same body. Love is expressed through human life. God is expressed through us each individually in a very unique way. We need one another. We were not designed to be alone. God created the woman from the man and desired that they be together and know one another on the deepest level possible.

Only Love can heal the broken heart. Apart from Love, a broken heart will remain broken. His Love is enough, yes…

Every act of kindness shown, I’m realizing, is a kiss from God.

Love. Love. Love.

Dad, help me to see. Help me to know. Help me to understand.

All of this is still in process. I don’t have it figured out and that’s okay. God is with me. He loves me. He will never let me go.

Abba, I belong to You! I’m yours.

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