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For passels of days, I can feel exactly the same. Not happier than yesterday. Not more sad than I will be tomorrow. I just am. It’s like healing stopped by for a visit but moved along before finishing its work in me. And it scares me to think I am as healed as I’m going to get. It scares me to think that I might carry around with me the same burdens for the rest of my life.
For instance, last night. I looked in the mirror and didn’t like what I saw. And it occurred to me that there is no one who cares what I look like. Now, don’t email me. I know I’m not supposed to care about my appearance and that God looks at the heart, et cetera, et cetera. I get all that. But I’m a girl. And I care. But I’m the only one who will, who does. Maybe that’s why, subconsciously, I’ve let myself go a bit. Because who cares really? I used to care too much, and now, perhaps, I don’t care enough. This all falls under the umbrella of my Texas-sized insecurity.
Which led me to this morning’s vintage revelation. I have never truly been pursued by a man. Which means I have never truly been known by a man. Which means I have never truly been loved by a man. Dang.
(Remind again me why I write stuff like this, why I say stuff like this out loud. … I write stuff like this because I know I’m not the only woman who has ever felt this way. And I know I’m not the only woman who feels this way right now. One of you reading this feels this same exact way, I’m just sure of it. And I don’t want you to feel alone.)
So what do we do with this?
Well, I start by acknowledging that it is my truth today. It’s a longing, it’s a deficit, and realistically, it just may remain unfulfilled for the long haul, married or not. So, it’s my actuality, it’s my reality, and it’s probably not going anywhere for a while, or, truly, ever.
Then, on days when I’m not a total train wreck, I take it to Jesus instead of 10 million other substitutionary devices that fill for a second and then drain me right back out again. This morning, I did take it to Jesus.
Here’s what I said to him ... What a cavernous wound that I can’t seem to get over. When will I learn to come to you; I mean really come to you? I am asking you, again, Jesus Christ, to fill my emptiness, to heal me and make me whole, again and again, to teach me to fully rely on you alone. I want to know you as my husband, my best friend, my one true love. Please do this in my heart and life. Please fix me and fill me.
I have asked him for this before. I will ask him for all this again. Maybe next week or so. Maybe in five minutes. Probably for the rest of my life.
So do I think he’s not answering me? Or do I think I just keep banging my head against a wall? Or, maybe it’s not either of these necessarily.
He already promises that he’s in me, that I have everything I need, that I am precious to him, that he pursued me before I knew him, that he’s especially close to those of us who are heart-broken, that he is my peace, my joy, that my Maker is my husband. So, he’s answered once and for all, and he does answer again and again.
And I know all of these things and I believe all of these things and I have experienced all of these things. But I’m human, I’m frail, I’m just a little girl (as a friend refers to herself during her vulnerable moments, even though she’s in her 50s). And I forget. I forget every single day what I’ve learned the day before.
And, let’s face it … this is a pretty big and painful thing to sit with and carry, a heavy thing to know about yourself. How does one get to be 41 without being loved? So, yes, it’s going to hurt and sting and make me walk slower on the days when it hits me again as if for the first time.
I’m not going to run from it. There’s no point in running … it’ll be here when I come back anyway. This is just part of my story. It’s what makes me love my friends better and deeper. It’s what makes me pray for my children harder. It’s what makes me splay myself open to each one of you, my unknown audience. And it’s the thing that compels me again and again back to Jesus, who knows and sees and understands and heals, and when I’m open, fills me.
Elisabeth Corcoran is the author of He Is Just That Into You: Stories of a Faithful God who Pursues, Engages, and Has No Fear of Commitment (WinePress), In Search of Calm: Renewal for a Mother’s Heart (Xulon), and Calm in My Chaos: Encouragement for a Mom’s Weary Soul (Kregel). All of her books can be purchased on Amazon or through her website at www.elisabethcorcoran.com.
Check out her book trailer for He Is Just That Into You.
Publication date: May 1, 2012
Publication date: May 1, 2012