Monday, July 17, 2006

My pain, His plan

Note, before I begin:this is a ridiculously self-centered post. I needed somewhere to get it off my chest. And hopefully the end, at least, will be of worth.

I am so sick of emotional pain. I'm tired of all my efforst coming to naught, of every ounce of blood and sweat I pour out being for nothing. No results. No change. Just the same indifference and lack of even so much as caring how difficult it is for me. No response. Saying, "I don't want to be that close of friends at this point; I don't really want to hang out one-on-one" - and then turning around and becoming very close friends and spending inordinate amounts of time hanging out with my best friend.

You know what? That hurts. A lot. And I'm kind of sick of it. I'm tired of being an emotional punching bag for people; I'm tired of this person just not giving the time of day to me. Yesterday, I barely got hello, and didn't get goodbye. Saturday, they went hiking, just the two of them - didn't even think to invite me, which of course made me feel quite wanted when I found out. It's not that their hanging out one-on-one bothers me... it's that they're doing so more than she and I were when we were dating, and yet I'm supposed to not feel any kind of hurt in spite of the flat our rejection on a purely friendship level. It hurts.

And I don't know what to do about it anymore, because I just want the hurt to go away. I'm sick of putting forth effort and getting no results. I'm so incredibly frustrated it's not even funny. I just don't know what I'm supposed to do.

I'm trying to find God's wisdom in the midst of this, struggling because I just can't seem to get it right, to be in His will. Am I supposed to just be content with how things are, stop working for something better? That hardly seems right. Am I supposed to just somehow stop being hurt by the way things are? I've tried... it never seems to work. Nothing does. Nothing seems to dull the stab in my heart every time something like this happens. It's not like it's a single event, it's the cumulative effect of a summer adding up, making me scream out to God, "WHY?" I'm left asking what I've done to deserve this, what she sees in him that isn't there in me, what it is that makes me worthy of this kind of rudeness and inconsiderateness. I know these are questions that probably have no rational answer, that have no answer other than the vagaries of the human heart. I'm full aware of all the difficulty caused by our past. But I can work to get past that; indeed, I have been for a long time. Why can't she? Why is it that every time I try to talk to her or hang out with her she tenses up and goes all distant? Does the effort I've spent over the last 8 months working to slowly but steadily repair the damage from the past count for nothing? Is it simply irrelevant? And if so, why should I continue trying, when there is simply no fruit?

I do it at this point just because God says to, but it makes me angry at Him in ways that I can hardly describe. I know that He keeps HIs promises, and He doesn't require things of us needlessly. I know those things in my head, and sometimes I know them in my heart. Right now, I just want to yell at Him, though, because I'm so frustrated with the way things are. This isn't what it was supposed to look like. I'm left saying, "God, where are You and why aren't You fixing this?" I know it's a foolish question; I know His plans for me are good - far better than mine - but right now I'm having a hard time grasping onto the reality of that, because I can't see it. Things are getting harder and worse, not better. Every time we take one step forward, we take another two back, it seems. Am I simply destined not to have any better friendship with her? What is the point of the anguish that God has taken me through regarding her in the last 8 months?

And all of this simply feeds the sense of absolute inadequacy I struggle with in general - the general feel that I can never measure up to people's expectations of me, much less God's, that I can never be enough, especially for the young women around me, because all I see is time and again them seeing me as "just a friend," and falling for some other guy; all I see is my own inability to be anything besides just a brother. Why did God give me these desires only to have them so frustrated all the time? The only time I've ever had a relationship, it fell apart and led to the above mess. Why? I know all the reasons, in my head, but it doesn't keep the heartache away. I just want the answer to that question.

My humanity is so frail, so unable. I can't do this on my own. And I'm having a hard time trusting God with it, because it seems like the more I let go of it into His hands, the more screwed up it gets. I know that's not true. I know Jeremiah 29:11. I'm just failing to walk it out. I don't need the answers to the questions. I just need to keep trusting God, and believe that His promises are true. I need to stop being so caught up in myself and take joy in others' gain, even when - perhaps especially when - that gain comes at my loss. That's the servant's heart that God is calling me to. That's the place where I'll be at peace: when my trust and my hope are fully in Him, not in what I see and understand. Because, as I've noted many times before, what we see and what actually is are often two very different things. They are sometimes related, but they are different. God knows what He's doing in my life. I don't. I don't know the purpose or the reason behind His plan. But it really is His plan. My pain is nothing compared to the greatness of His love; it's the palest reflection of the ache in His heart when we reject Him. The simple reality is that reality is what matters. Not what we see. But what is.

Your prayers would be appreciated.

- Chris

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