Yesterday, I found a journal entry I wrote sometime back in 2004 but it still so fitting today: ” Alone…when the world goes on all around you, but yet you still feel so alone. When time keeps moving, things keep changing but you seem to only see it from the outside looking in, with no real place it it at all. When all you crave is desire from someone else. Desire for a friendship, just a caring hug. A touch just tells so much, so easily. But there are days that go by when no other person touches me at all. Its like that is the way the hole of loneliness is filled inside me. Maybe….I don’t know exactly. I just sometimes feel there isn’t a place in this world for me.”
These thoughts, from my 20 year old self, are still strangely similar today. It is often that I still feel like I am on the outside looking in…a part of a world that I do not fit in at all, and am at loss to how to interact with it.
Last night I went to a party. It was a small party in a backyard, some people I knew, some I didn’t. All were connected by a passion for ultimate, and was an easy fun atmosphere. I went with a friend whom I have grown very close to lately and was so excited about being a part of this night. But as the night wore on, the more lost I felt, the more I didn’t feel a part. I don’t know what happened to me, what caused me to shut down and not know what to do. Maybe it was when the 4 people I knew best at the party went off by themselves to play a game that I wanted to be a part of, included in, and was left out that my defenses went up. Or maybe it was my insecurity over the other girl and trying to figure out if she liked my friend. I’m not completely sure…but for the last 2 months or so, this crowd has been the group of friends I have been spending most of my time with. They are a group of people I have finally felt like I belonged in, accepted in, wanted me to be a part of them. I have quickly felt accepted and liked. Sure, it didn’t hurt that one of the cutest boys in the group was hanging out with me and telling me/showing me he liked me. But this group…..they accepted me when my life held so many questions,made me finally feel like I belonged with a group, life was fun, ultimate was plentiful, worries were few and apathy was strong.
but last night, something changed.
I started feeling that “I don’t belong here” thought process and I never fully recovered. I tried harder to play the part, tried to pretend that life was good, talked to my friend and tried to get him to understand..I tried so hard…I just couldn’t. I didn’t know what to do. So I hid in the bathroom until I could be sure the tears were blinked back..and returned with the face that hopefully made people think I was a fun person. But I couldn’t shake the feeling….I didn’t belong there. While the people were cool, the games were fun, the conversations things that interested me, I just realized that I didn’t belong but didn’t understand the origin of the feeling or how to overcome it…so I just thought, deeply.
After the party, my friend and I went to the cool new bridge in Dallas. I wanted us to walk across it…but that didn’t pan out. I really wanted a chance to be about to walk and talk with him. He is a friend to whom I am not sure I have been more honest with anyone else. He gets me…even my doubts and fears. I wanted to be able to talk to him about these feelings I had from the party, but it never happened. However, we did stop on the bridge, get out and look at the massiveness of the structure. As I stood there, alone, looking up at the peak of the bridge and then out across the beautiful view of the city of Dallas at night, I began to realize some things. I slowly began to realize how small I am, and how big everything else is, how insurmountable I am. At the time, I didn’t realize God was a part of those thoughts, I just knew I wanted someone close. I knew the tears were about to come, the hurt and pain over the last month of rebellion were about to hit the surface, and I wanted someone to care. I wanted my friend to hold me and care about me. I wanted him to want to be there for me and let me know it would be ok. But as we got back to my place, he didn’t pull into a parking space like I wanted him to, and he didn’t read my mind and know what all was going on in my head, he read my emotions that I was hurt and upset, but he didn’t react in the way I wanted. I wanted him be there..to just hold me. A touch just tells so much, so easily. but it didn’t happen.
So i grew hurt. and angry. I punched the concrete floor and my car. and I cried. I cried that this guy that I used to like didn’t want to be with me any more, even though he says he likes me. I cried because he was the only one that understood me and would hug me, when that was all I wanted. I tried to place the blame on him, that it was his fault I was hurting. He rejected me, he didn’t want to be with me, he would rather have someone else..but that wasn’t it at all. I cried because for the first time in a very long time, I felt alone. utterly alone. and I cried.
But in the darkness of my bedroom, as I sat on my bed alone and cried, I began to see my rebellion, how I had run and how I had forced myself to be alone. I used to trust in the promises of God, trust that His ways were best, trust that He had a plan for me even when times were hard and lonely. I trusted Him and His ways. But 2 months or so..I started doing things my way. I started hanging out with the friends who didn’t love Him, started hanging out with the boy who was curious but didn’t know my God. The deep rooted doubts started to surface, but even more importantly, the rebellion in me took off. I didn’t care for the ways of the Lord, I wanted a fun life. I wanted to be liked, loved and cared for by a boy that was giving me attention that I was really attracted to. Differences in religion didn’t matter too much, it was all just fun and casual and I liked him. I wanted to belong and fit in with this group of people who made me feel so included where my church friends/christian friends never were that inclusive. Recently I had been deeply hurt by a group of christian girls..this group friends were showing themselves to finally be the group of people that I have desperately been wanting, friends that liked me, included me, made me feel like I belonged. But it was all falling apart and I was hurt and alone, physically and spiritually. I had run from my God and He was graciously letting me see that I did not belong in this world.
And so it began…it began several hours of me crying out for the Lord, for forgiveness for my rebellion, for thinking that I knew better than Him, for forgetting I needed a Savior, for repentance for my sin, and a desperate plea to please take me back. Please let me trust in Him for my security and joy, not in myself or other people. I had seen first hand what that did. And trust….that He had a plan for me that was far better than what I was trying to make for my life. Today in church, Matt spoke a lot that was directly pointed to me, but one like that hangs in my head, “Sometimes, because of His love and delight in us, the Lord will wound us temporarily in order to take something away from us that will cause a lifetime of unhappiness.” Right now, I am still unsure of what the “lifetime of unhappiness” would be. I think me and this boy could be great together. But, I have learned the hard way, I will trust in His plan for my life. I will trust that He is working in this broken time. I will trust that He has a plan that far outweighs my own. I will trust that He has a man for me that will love me rightly and will never let me go. I will trust that He will bring that man into my life in His time (and I pray that is soon:) ). But mostly, I will trust in Him, as my joy and security. My happiness and my substance. He is my strength. He is my redeemer. He is my joy. He is my illustration of love. He is my reason for living. And my new job outside of ministry, and my ultimate teams and these new friends I have…now have a new perspective, a better perspective. They do not define me…The Lord is letting them be a part of my life for me to delight in, enjoy and have fun…but not place my identity and security in, not allow to rule my life. He is my life.