I think I’ll take a cue from one of my favorite writers, Annie Downs, and say that I’m going through my “the broken crazy” phase right now. I look back on my last semester of college and I see so many irrational decisions, so much money spent, and so much running from life. And It was the best semester of the past four years.
It wasn’t the best because I was super happy because I wasn’t. That’s pretty blunt, but I wasn’t. I was a hot mess and I still am today. It was the best because I did everything and felt everything and said yes to a million things even when I wanted to lay in my bed and cry or binge watch Netflix. Change is inevitable and a lot changed from January to May. I had to make a lot of big adult decisions and no one could make them for me or tell me what to do.
I was running hard and fast and I couldn’t be by myself for more than an hour without losing my mind. I sat in Prevail Union every single day and slept at friend’s houses 80 percent of the time because I was in such a weird and lonely place. While it sucks and it’s still not over, I’m grateful for every second of it because being in a valley right now only means that a peak is coming.
I read the coolest book in February and If you haven’t read it, you HAVE TO. It’s called Captivating and is about how God designed women to be emotional and to love really hard. The most reassuring sentence in the book says:
“Grief is a form of validation; it says the wound mattered. It mattered. You mattered”.
Is that not insane?! Its so true and comforting and makes every bit of this past semester feel not so bad. I am allowed to be freaked out about all of the change and weird stuff that happened because I put my heart into a lot of situations and got a little bruised in the end. Those situations mattered, they still matter, and I’m not crazy for being sad or bummed out.
Throughout every single bit of this I’ve known one thing: God is SO NEAR right now.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalms 34:18
I can’t tell you how true that is. I’ve gone to church and said my prayers my entire life but it took a rough semester to see just how REAL He is. There’s a place in the floor of my room in Auburn that I would sit in and cry pretty much every day. I remember sitting there and crying and praying so much one day and seeing everything I’d prayed about play out almost immediately. It didn’t play out like I wanted and that’s where this whole phase started but I’m astonished by the ways He’s loved me since that day. I’ve seen my entire life flipped upside down and the people who weren’t supposed to be in my life leave, and the ones who are supposed to be here have shown up. Every single day. I never really leaned on my faith until now and I think that’s exactly why all of this happened. To show just how much He can do. Since then I’ve realized just how much God longs for our entire hearts and what great lengths He will go to to get our attention and show us just how much He loves us.
In saying all of that, I don’t mean to let you think that I’m not still struggling and my heart doesn’t still hurt. I’m human and I’m weak and worldly and just thankful that God still loves me despite all of it. I don’t have Prevail Union anymore and I have to move away and be by myself in a new town in 3 weeks. Am I terrified and very sad? Yes. Don’t laugh at me, but I cry just about every day at the idea of it all! But, how cool is it that God planned this just for me? He knew I would be broken and crazy and I truly believe He knew I’d need to move away and start fresh. It definitely won’t be easy, but I know that a new and happier season is coming.
Probably the most relevant thing I can say about my life right now is it’s very bittersweet. And I know I’m not the only one who has ever felt like this, and I know I won’t be the last. Shauna Niequest wrote an entire book on feeling this way. I re-read that book this semester and it’s totally relevant and I highly recommend it. My favorite part says this:
“I believe that suffering is part of the narrative, and that nothing really good gets built when everything is easy. I believe that loss and emptiness and confusion often give way to new fullness and wisdom”.
So suffering is inevitable. Heartache is inevitable. But fortunately, I truly believe one day we’ll all have a moment where we look back and say “Ah, God was right there in the middle of that season”.