Love can be a very strange emotion. It can be wonderful and bring you happiness and pleasure, driving away all loneliness and depression, and just give your life a sense of meaning and purpose. Having someone in your life that you can love and will return those feelings is one of the very best things that a person can have in this life. We humans were created by our Creator to be social creatures, and most of us have this deep longing within ourselves for socialization and closeness with our fellow human beings. These relationships can range from our interactions with our coworkers to the most intimate relationships that we have with our mates.
And yet at the same time, love can also be our greatest weakness. Love can utterly destroy a person. No one can hurt you like a loved one can. Someone could insult you and it probably would not bother you that much, unless it was a close family member, or your girlfriend/boyfriend, or your husband/wife. Then it hurts. It hurts really, really bad. This is because you really care about that person and you value them and their opinions. And so when a person who you love does something to you, it cuts deep inside and can often leave scars that take years for them to heal, if ever. Love has this funny way of sneaking inside of you and making you extremely vulnerable to another person, which can be a very uncomfortable thing to think about really. I will use myself as an example, because this is my blog about my memoires after all.
Last year I fell in love with a girl who was also in college. She was a few years younger than me, about six and a half years to be exact. I was a little worried about that, but she assured me that our age difference did not matter to her. We started talking in the summer and we dated and spent time together. We texted each other every day and talked to each other on the phone every night before bed and in the early morning as I made my hour drive to the university. I had liked girls before, but I actually loved this girl. She was everything that I had wanted in a companion. She was intelligent, beautiful, with a great sense of humor and an awesome personality, and she liked a lot of the same things that I did. I truly believed that I had finally found my “soulmate” after so many years of waiting and disappointment. Sometimes she would call me in between her classes just to tell me “Hi!” and that she loved me. She was the first girl that I had ever really kissed in any romantic sense, and every time that she wrapped her arms around me in her loving embrace I felt as though nothing else in the world mattered and I was in heaven. We were together for five months. I was even beginning to think that maybe we would get married if things continued like that, and we had actually talked about that possibility. I did not really discuss my relationship with anyone besides my parents, because I am normally a very private person about these sorts of things. Our relationship was like a dream come true. I had always heard about how wonderful love was, but I always told my self that love was not for me and that I was probably going to be celibate. But now I had discovered love for my self, and I was addicted. Love is truly a drug you know? But all dreams come to an end and, sadly, so did mine.
When December rolled around my love told me that she still had feelings for her old boyfriend and that she felt bad because she did not want to hurt my feelings. She did not want me to hate her and told me that she still loved me and hoped that I would be ok. I told her that I could never hate her and that no matter what she decided to do, that I would always love her and that I just wanted her to be happy. And so our relationship ended, and we said that we would still be friends. I was sad and disappointed, naturally, but I really hoped that my love would be happy. This is the sad part.
After this I would run into her sometimes during the week. I tried to speak to her, to show her that I was not mad at her and that I still wanted to be friends at least. She always seemed like it made her uncomfortable to do so, however. She stopped answering my calls. She stopped answering my texts. I was worried. I saw her one day and tried to talk to her, and she told me that she was ignoring me because she could not handle two things going on in her life at the same time right now. I was crushed. I could handle the breakup. But never being able to talk to the person that had made me so happy again? Never hearing the mellifluous voice of my love that always made me smile? Knowing that the one who had told me how she loved me more than all others now wanted nothing to do with me? I would have rather someone taken a knife and cut out my heart than to have heard those words. Depression and loneliness came rushing in like a flood in that moment, as I realized that the person that I had desired to spend the rest of my life with was throwing me away like a pair of used shoes. “Why?” I kept asking myself.
“What had I done wrong?”
“Was I not nice enough?”
“Did I not love her enough?”
“Was I not good enough?”
“What did I do to deserve this?”
“I am a failure.”
“She hates me now.”
“I don’t want to live anymore.”
“Is God punishing me for something?”
A lot of questions pop into your mind during a time like this I suppose. Honestly, I felt empty inside. It was like someone had punched a hole into my ribcage, ripped out my bloody, still-beating heart, crushed it in their hand, and then shoved it back inside of my chest. It would never work the same again. I did not want to live anymore. Oh I did not think about suicide. I do not have the nerve to kill myself. But I honestly did not want to go on living anymore. I could not enjoy Christmas with my family, because I was dying on the inside even as I faked a smile with them. I hoped that going back to college would help me because I could throw myself into my studies and get my mind off of my lost love. It has been over two months, and you would think that I would have gotten over the hurt by now, but I have not. I think about her every hour of every day. She is the first thing that I think about when I wake up and she is the last thing that I think about when I fall asleep. Sometimes I even dream about my beloved. I only see her rarely now, but even when I do see her around, she does not speak to me. She avoids me like I have the plague. So if I have sounded depressed as of late, I apologize. I have small feelings that I cannot seem to control sometimes. Things will get better, so I am told. “There are other fish in the sea,” some tell me. Maybe, but I do not think that I can love again right now. Maybe later in the future I can, but not right now. The wound is still too fresh. I have kept my promise to her, however, about not hating her. I really do not hate her. I have tried to tell myself that maybe she has to ignore me in order to handle her feelings. Maybe that is how she copes with her emotions. I hope she is happy in life with her boyfriend. I hope they have a happy life together. I hope he is able to give her everything that I will not be able to give her, and that she will always have that beautiful smile upon her face.
Ok, now that I have vented my soul it is time to talk a little bit about theology. I believe that Jesus Christ is God incarnate. He is both God and Man. The author of Hebrews informs us that we do not have a high priest who cannot empathize with our weaknesses (Heb. 4:15). As a human being Christ has experienced many of the things that we have and so he can empathize with us and help us during these trying times in our lives. I am hurting right now, more so than I have ever hurt in my life. I am hurting because I feel rejected and I do not handle rejection well. The Son of God empathizes with me because he too has experienced rejection by those that he loved. The gospels tell us that Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem because he desired to save them but they were not willing to come to him and be saved (Lk. 19:41). He was the cornerstone that the builders rejected (Matt. 21:42, Ps. 118:22). He came to his own people and his own knew him not (John 1:11). If anyone knows what it feels like to be rejected, it is Christ. He knows the pain in the heart of the person who has been rejected by someone that they love. He knows the tears that you cry. He knows the sting of being ignored by someone that he loves. He knows and he cares about you. The great thing about the love of Christ is that he does not change his mind about who he loves. He always loves you. He never tells you that he loves you and then leaves you later for someone else, or abandons you. His love is perfectly consistent. And with his love he is able to comfort those who are lonely. The Psalmist sings that “He heals the brokenhearted and binds their wounds.” (Ps. 147:3) And so my current prayer has been “Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.” (Ps. 25:16).
I am not over my loneliness. I am not over my broken heart, and I do not know if I ever will be. But what I do know, and what I want you, dear reader, to know is that in spite of our loneliness and heartache, Christ understands the suffering that we are going through and that he truly cares for our souls. He will never leave or forsake us, and one day “he shall wipe away every tear.”