It’s Okay to Hurt

I have the gift of terrible dreams. Gift- because they remind me of the things I have yet to truly trust God with, and because they never leave me without a lesson. Would I like to get lots of sweet, peaceful sleep? Sure. But not at the expense of what God is teaching me. I need these dreams, otherwise God wouldn’t choose to give them to me. I need them so I can perservere. If you don’t believe me….go ask Halim to explain. ūüėČ

This morning I woke up the last time at about 6.¬† I had a terrible dream that a person very important to me kept turning away from me, I pursued her and tried to love her and care for her and time and time again, my greatest love wasn’t good enough. Not because I failed, (though human love ALWAYS fails, and trusting in it is a curse *) but because she had chosen not to allow it to be enough. She would not be satisfied. And I would not stop trying. I would not give up. It was utter turmoil.

But in all of it, I had another concern.¬† I was concerned that I hadn’t spoken to my boyfriend during this long journey I was on. Didn’t he know I was in pain? Didn’t he know how hard this was? That I loved him and missed him? Bound to give him space should he need it, I refused to call. And thus, in the dream, I was¬† paralyzed with fear and pain but moving forward for lack of any other option. I was harassed and helpless, like a lost sheep with no shepherd. Like real life, before God took my heart of stone and gave me a heart of flesh.

So when I woke up, since I’d been woken up several times already, I didn’t realize it had been a dream. I reached for my phone to call —

and then I realized it was just a dream. And it wasn’t. The specific events of the dream were something made up in my mind, or wherever dreams happen. But the circumstances were true. I am trying to love someone who will not let me love her. Or who will not be satisfied in God’s love first, and my efforts second. (She reminds me a lot of myself.) And I haven’t spoken much to my boyfriend in the past few weeks of a rather intense season- because he’s not my boyfriend anymore.

My sleeping fears were my waking truth.

I woke more and instead of calling C, turned music on from my phone, hoping to drown from my brother or any other curious listeners the sound of my weeping.¬† I knew, I know, when I am awake, that God suprcedes circumstances. That his love is steadfast and all I need. That anything I lack is because I need to lack it now for God’s will to be accomplished. I trust his plan and I love him. So why so much pain? Shouldn’t His truth overcome my tears?

Not always.¬† A favorite verse to quote¬†around Christian American culture is “His mercies are new every morning.” Here is the actual text:

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; 
his mercies never come to an end;
 they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

You know where that is found? LAMENTATIONS.¬† Lamentations 3:22-23.¬† We can simultaeously bemoan the broken and sinful state of this world while rejoicing in the truth and beauty of the one to come. We can know that God’s perfect¬†kingdom doesn’t have broken hearts and this land riddled with them is not our home. Long story short: It’s okay to hurt. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to stumble into the shower, notice that an extra-ordinary amount of hair is falling out, sit because you start to black out, and have a good long sob.¬† It’s okay: just remember that it’s not forever. And that God is with you through it all.

And that someday, when he comes back, he’ll make everything sad come untrue.

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