I think of you.

I think of you when I wake up.
It’s been every day so far.
Often it’s from a dream of you.
I feel angry that I woke up from the bliss.
Then sadness overwhelms me.
I fear going back to sleep. I fear dreaming of you again.
I fear waking up.

I think of you when I get dressed for the day.
You picked out my favorite clothes.
I wear the memories on my skin and keep them close.

I think of you on my commute to work.
I wonder if your back still hurts.
If your nightmares still occur.
I pray in case it does. For strength, relief.
I pray that Foster Pants was a good boy, and that he peed on the mat.

I think of you when my day gets busy.
When my hustle was inspired by your hustle.
I stop myself from texting you.
I’m learning to pray for myself when it’s hard.

I think of you when the day winds down.
My mind still daydreams of date ideas.
I now refrain from adding them to a list I never wanted to show you.
It would’ve ruined the surprise.

I think of you on the way home.
I remember the Valentine’s Day instagram.
You couldn’t wait for me to drive you and take you anywhere.
Our Six Flags passes are still good until March. Date #5.

I think of you when I get into my room.
The paperback of your headshot greets me.
The jar of memories turned 180 degrees.
Your 6 month gift facing the wall.
I still have to frame your movie poster.
I don’t want to throw anything away. I’m not ready yet.

I think of you when I go to bed at night.
I imagine my pillow is you.
I pray to it.
I ask for healing. Forgiveness.
I pray for guilt to be removed from you as you move on.
I struggle with thoughts of if I ever mattered.
I give them to God each time. I know I mattered.

I think of you when I want to move on.
I feel guilt for asking for the strength.
Like I have thrown in the towel, given up hope.
I wonder why this prayer will never be answered.
My faith is weak. My prayers need to shift toward trusting in God more than ever.
He is the author.

I think of you, often.
I wish I could tell you.
I pray for you, often.
It is now the only appropriate act of service in love I can give.

I dream one day for reconciliation, friendship.
To be in your corner. To celebrate with you.

I think of you, and wish you the best.

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Hope and Reconciliation.

The Spirit is a reconciliatory Spirit.

Despite the pain and brokenness, I am immensely hopeful.

Right now I’m excited. I am mesmerized at the bigness of God. Convinced that His plan is a reconciliatory one. It may not reconcile romantically, that’s unlikely, however it can reconcile relationally, and it could be an amazing story. It could become a film, a book, story worth retelling across multiple mediums. We could be business partners. I could be a producer. There’s no limits!

I feel quite bipolar in this heartbreak and brokenness – sometimes the heartbreak is immeasurable. Sometimes the hugs are awkward. But we’re in this, doing this, healing separately but nonetheless together through tribe. We have good people in our corner. We are friends. Our friends are friends. It has the capacity to be quite beautiful in its time.

My challenge is to be present where I am. I love living in the future, but I am realizing my motives for being future-minded is because sometimes I am unhappy with my present; I live there because living in the world of “things will get better” is more encouraging than encountering the reality of “but I’m not there yet.”

I share here unapologetically because I can’t contain it — I want to write. I must write. I want to create. I want to write. I have rediscovered it in this brokenness. I love it.

I can’t wait to reconcile… not because I want to rekindle romantic passion and kiss her again (that wouldn’t be all bad), but because I want my friend back. She agreed to let me pursue her romantically; now that that phase has been experienced and completed, now I want to pursue the friendship. When I met her I knew she would color my life, shape me for the better, and through those possibilities she has immense value in my life still. Her status as my girlfriend wasn’t the reason why I wanted her. I wanted her in my life because she was a fascinating human. Discovering her and relating with her was an undeniable pleasure; unpacking her mystery and wonder brought me joy that God would create a story within such a human. I wasn’t scared of anything that was unearthed. I kissed every scar she let me see, covering the scar tissue with the assurance that I wasn’t going anywhere. And… So what if she doesn’t want a romantic relationship — there is still so much life to live. The story isn’t over. There’s plenty of work to be done.

We were clean. We were innocent. I hold my head up high and in the light in the way that I treated her. She treated me amazingly. She respected me, even in the breakup she was honest! Our relationship was fun, holy, one I can be proud to admit. We proved it was possible to love and break up all in the light, in the witness of the ones we love. The communication, though difficult, was honest. Despite the brokenness, I am full. I AM FULL!

Also highly caffeinated as I write this, to be honest.

Regardless, I am taking every moment as it comes… celebrating happiness when I feel it, pain when I feel it, sadness when I feel it… It’s all part of the process.

I hope to read these words whenever I am down again, because this hope I feel is genuine. I can’t, I must not, let it go.

67 Degrees.

I’ll never forget the feeling of that frigid air.

It was right before 9pm when I walked out of that door and heard it close behind me. That was the second time. The first time was botched because as the door stayed open, her french bulldog made a break for it… begrudgingly I broke our intimate and possibly last ever embrace and chased him down the street making sure this dog was okay. Yes I wanted him safe and in my arms, returned back to her safely, but to be honest I wanted to be running for that dog forever, I wanted him to never stop, because I did not want to have to return to her and finally say goodbye.

But I caught him, returned him, and we hugged again, this time indoors, tears streaming from her face and warming my shoulder with an affection I hadn’t felt from her in weeks; tears streaming down my face and into her hair whose scent I can still recall on demand. I hugged her for as long as I felt allowed, pressing her into me as if to keep our promises and future from slipping through.

But I had to let go. It’s what she wanted.

I turned the knob and walked out. Normally, I would turn around at the last second, steal one more kiss, sneak in one more “I love you” and walk away fuzzy. I didn’t turn around this time. And I heard the door close.

And I felt that frigid air.

I couldn’t move — in fact I stayed. I sat down in their outdoor sofa, leaned my head back, and looked at the stars. It was such a clear night. Thoughts of us emerged. Things we’ve said. Futures we spoke about. All of that now an offering to the Creator of the Universe, the only source of hope I had left. Rivers of tears kept flowing.

I sat there for probably 45 minutes, leaving only because her roommate was walking up to the front door.

I couldn’t believe we were no longer together.

I am such a packrat. I keep everything. It’s cute when you’re in a relationship, and fodder for amazing moments to look back and be grateful. But it’s hard to look at it when it’s over. I don’t want to throw any of it away… but I can’t go into my room without stopping to look at it and then be overwhelmed by grief to the point where I have to hit the floor and sob. A year and a week. All summed up into one jar of ticket stubs and receipts.

Now as I write this, we would have been coming home from a play in Ventura. In this reality, I came home from watching the Lego Batman movie with my roommates, and she is out at Santa Monica Pier with her roommates. The loneliness must be mutual, and I am thankful for our respective friends.

But God, do I miss her.

She was my love. She still currently is. Letting go of her is climbing up to be the hardest thing I have ever done. Respecting her desire to end the relationship and to respect her request for me to stop pursuing her is the single greatest act of humanity I am trying to do. Her future happiness and success have been my sincerest prayers and the only ones that I ever want to have God answer. She was everything to me. And she’s gone.

It doesn’t feel fair. I treated her so well. I respected her body, her wishes, her desires. I was innocent in how I treated her. However, at least I had the opportunity to treat her that way. There have been plenty who may have tried but blew it. I had tried before with previous relationships and I blew it. At least I had the opportunity to treasure her. I didn’t leave regretting that I should have kissed more passionately the days before, because I treated every kiss that way. I didn’t leave anything unsaid, because I said how much I loved her every chance I could.

I loved her. And being able to love her was God’s greatest gift to me so far. I hurt this deeply because it reflects that love I never held back in giving.

I pray  one day soon to have the courage to love deeply again.

Breaking up, together.

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It is pretty crazy how collectively as a group there is some serious battles going on in the relationships realm of people’s lives.

Today is the toughest so far (only day three), but there is a sort of comfort in knowing that I am not alone. The ironic part of a breakup is that even though the relationship fell apart, you are not alone in that brokenness; we are both in that same space, and while we’re healing separately, it’s being done in unison, traveling at different speeds but nonetheless toward a shared hope that we find in Jesus. So there is still unity.

I am finding comfort as I discover more about my value. Strength that I find through prayer I am happy to share with her. She no longer needs to be explicitly encouraged by me in the fact I pray for her, she just gets to feel the fruit of it. Conversely I believe that I get through my days without her in large part due to her prayers for me. So we are still relational toward each other, but on paper and officially we are no longer a couple.

I already know there are no shortcuts to the healing, only coverups and distraction. Me not fully going through this process will rob my future girlfriend of the best parts of me that will only emerge through this perseverance. My hope can only be in Jesus and the future He has for me, alone. To think that we may get back together in the future will only undermine the process. She has always needed the space that this boundary is now forcing me to give her.

I desire for her to be her best self at the end of this struggle. The world needs her, her story, her triumph, her future.

She is persistent, mighty, fierce, independent, inspiring, and a beautiful human – reasons why I loved her in the first place. She will always remain these things in my mind, and I need to be ready to accept a life that has moved on without me. I hope I get there one day. My comfort is that though separate, currently and in this moment, we are in this still, together.

That is enough for me.

I will never be mad at her.

I will never resent her.

I will refuse bitterness.

I will exercise gratitude.

I will pray for the God of the universe to pull her closer to His wonder, and that even though she no longer wanted to be pulled by me, that she will one day embrace God’s pull on her.

I have never loved God more than now, and it is because of the way I had been taught to love her. I hope on hope on hope that I don’t change this posture.

Listen.

“To listen is to continually give up all expectation and to give our attention, completely and freshly, to what is before us… to listen is to lean in, softly, with a willingness to be changed by what we hear.”
— Mark Nepo, The Exquisite Risk

I am by far having one of the hardest years of my life. And it’s only February.

The battle is mental, spiritual. I’m desperate to hear God’s voice, and I find myself teetering on the edge of wanting to end it all… I’ve never cried so many tears nor have I ever spent so much time on my knees at the edge of my bed praying, face flat into the pillow, asking God to show up, taking a break to look up at my phone to switch between social media and Google searches for for affordable therapists, then back to prayer.

It’s been chaotic in my soul, to say the least.

One thing I can appreciate, though, is the battle. I’ve never fought so hard for anything before. There’s something to be revealed in me through the way I have been clawing and clamoring, demanding answers from God, petitioning for peace within my soul, asking God to fulfill my need to feel loved, to matter…

Slowly I can feel myself discovering my worth. Discovering what God is up to with my story, and the character I’m supposed to be in other people’s stories. I never seem to run out of encouragement for others, especially toward my girlfriend. The real battle is for me to encourage myself, though. And sometimes that looks like me just needing to shut up and listen.

It’s not always clear to me when God speaks. I feel like I do most of the talking. And I find that I don’t have much patience for dead space. But maybe that’s exactly what I need to get used to — often in my boredom I desire to just fill up my space with tons of nonsense and distractions. I haven’t really learned the discipline to be still and listen. Even when God doesn’t speak.

The truth is I’ve been spending more time with God than I ever have, and I’m always convicted that it’s only during times of extreme duress like this. It’s pretty crazy to think that God feels so much unrequited, jilted love from so many of His creation. And how often I ditch him when things start to get better. I never truly include Him in my life – He’s only my center when  I cry out and let Him drive,  when everything spirals out of control as a result of me trying to steer my own life.

So I am just trying to listen more… to pay attention, to train myself to be alert at all times, to be ready for when the moment God does speak, I’ll be aware. Until then, I am starting to understand that there is no immediate rescue plan, that maybe God wants me in this turmoil a little longer, to make me a little stronger, and if I continue in that perspective I can’t help but be grateful.

Maybe an answer won’t come, maybe a great revelation or audible voice won’t dawn on me. Maybe God is just enjoying that I’m near and responsive to Him again. And truthfully, even when there is no answer, I do feel loved. And that’s the proof of God’s presence, after all.