To the Lonely Heart on Valentine’s (to a sister)

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Oh, sweet, sweet sister.

I know. If you are reading this right now, I can sense it.

Maybe you feel it too, the soft breeze that exudes from the white flag that waves, the quiet one above your heart. It has taken so many hits.

I can tell, just by what the look in your eyes speaks about the heaviness in your heart, that we are connected in a profound and desperate way. Tell me you’re lonely this day too, even if it’s just a little. Let it escape like a slow exhale, like a quick confession. Don’t lie. Don’t hide. Don’t be ashamed.

Today, we are the women in the trenches together- the ones elbow to elbow, pulling ourselves out with every fistful of dirt and grass and roots. If you’d take my hand, I’d help you; I’d pull you up, clean out. One swift motion. I’d promise not to drop you. My grip on your arm would be steady and sure like a lifeline, like a promised way up to a brighter tomorrow. We would claw our way out of that dark awful pit together, finger nails grimy and scraped knees. All sweat and dirt, but we would finally taste the sun. And we would help each other out of this heartache.

Today, already, you have thought about compromise. You have thought about lowering the bar. You’ve gone over all your fatal flaws one by one, nitpicking every fault and error. You’ve attempted to comb out the mistakes of your life, to tease them free like messy tangles. Today, the most desperate call of your heart goes unanswered, echoing back the lies you’ve tried so fiercely to hush. Tonight, the walls of your dreams turn over, painted in shades of regret.

I know how rejection can come in a thousand different flavors, so pick your poison. I know rejection when it’s not even rejection; the kind of rejection that never was and shouldn’t be, because there was nothing to ever begin: the silent, unrequited rejection, the rejection of a million unspoken no’s and never’s. I know it, sister, and we can climb out of it together, sharing a million times ten yes-es and always-es. We can search for God’s face and find it, the One who turned our worst absolutes upside down. We were lost, but now we’re found. We were guilty, but now we’re free.  

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I, too, know what it is like to be romantically alone on Valentine’s day. I am sure, sister, that we are the same ones. I know we are not alone in this. I want to hold your heartache, and you can carry mine; we will switch back and forth like buckets, sharing the burden of broken dreams and harsh realities, of all the longings yet unmet. I would take your hands and pray for you, and you would pray for me, and we would use only the sweetest, most honest words. We would pray through tears, out of our deepest wounds, and it would be searing and vocal and unrestrained. We wouldn’t bother with eloquence or formality. We wouldn’t pretend to feel okay. For once, we would take off our masks and feel fully– for God knows the state of our hearts, and He bleeds with us. I am so thankful He bleeds with us.

Sister, could we knit our souls together? Just for this moment, just for this day. We could keep each other innocent company on this lonely night. We could lay out a blanket for our souls, and stretch out our legs. And we would. And we would rejoice together, in our beating and battered hearts, the ones that keep drumming persistently although they are injured. We would laugh and cry and remember all that God has carried us through, not just in love but in life. We would crack open a bottle of red wine and marvel at the stars, how not one of them falls from the sky without His word. We would tell stories and secrets, slipping gracefully down roads of confession and kindness. We would be the lips to speak God’s forgiveness over each other; we would be God’s voice for one another in a too loud world. We would climb out from under the lies that crush us. And there would be healing and truth.

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The sweet heaviness of the night would prompt us to acknowledge God’s presence, and we would remember Him somewhere between the stars and the confessions. But we would feel him most in the healing. God is always felt most in the healing. His light would pierce the dark, brighter than the big dipper or all the belts of Orion. His radiance and glory would flood us with hope. We would soak it up and drink it, like the thirsty travelers we are. And we would delve deeper into the refuge of His unending love, letting His unshakable admiration float away our most stubborn insecurities.

We’d let His love make us lovely.

We would leave that night-tonight-full and content, reminded of our infinite worth and incredible impact. We would remember our identities, and where they lie. We would recall the innate validation of our worth, one that we don’t need to reach or strive for. We would stretch out our legs and our arms and laugh at the sheer impossibility of it- the bliss. Then we would shake off the crumbs and the dust to rise, acutely reminiscent of the One who first rose for us. We’d remember His rising, His pierced palms, and how His pain bought us our freedom. We would stand up tall and wear our scars in a different way, more like beauty marks and less like wounds. Our eyes would awaken to a few more long-lost colors, ones once forgotten and shrouded in gray. Tenderness would be restored to our hearts. Slowly, mending.

Sister, don’t leave tonight without knowing you’re not alone. Don’t walk away from this moment, only to forget, to crawl into bed sad. Remember always the stars, and how they burn. How they looked so tiny and yet so near, you could almost pluck them from the sky, to hold in your pocket or wear on a string. Remember the cool, dark air and the way it gave your arms pleasant goose bumps. How it was crisp, and cleansing. If you would, remember the sensation of the blanket’s cotton threads on your bare calves. Remember the red wine and how the first sip was bitter, but how it sweetened up with time- for, this is how life is. Life can make you pucker up and cringe, until you develop a taste for its sweet undertones.

If nothing else, remember how God chases you. How even when you turn to run, He extends His hand and reaches for you. How He cradles you and lets you sob into His shoulder, getting tears and snot everywhere. He is not afraid of your ugly, and He can handle you at your worst. He can handle you right now. I don’t know how long we will have to wait for this longing to be over. I know I feel a longing to give love and I know it is real; to diminish this desire or to downplay its intensity would, I think, be devaluing. It is not wrong to yearn for marriage. Marriage is beautiful, for it represents something far greater, something far more mysterious.

Eve was made to be with Adam.

But both were made to be with God.

fancifullove

 

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