Monday, May 6, 2013

she lied to me.

If you have spent time with me at all in the last 5 years, you know that I have a wee bit of a girl crush on Jen Hatmaker.  Okay... even if you've not... even if you've just read my blog, you probably know the same thing.  I discovered her several years ago when a group of us did one of her Bible studies... and instantly she became my fake BFF.

This weekend, I got to meet her in real life.

Move over, real BFFs... I think Jen just got promoted.

I'm not sure what was happening in this exact second,
but I know Jen and I had just had a moment where we shared our mutual love.
Or our one-sided affection.  Whatever.
Possibly because I'm already at Over The Top Stalker status, I had been in touch with Jen before her event to let her know how excited I was about our upcoming face-to-face time.  Her response to me was something along the lines of "You need to ratchet it down a notch. I'm no good in real life. I don't want you to be disappointed."

She lied to me.

Huge, gigantic lie.

(And maybe I even told her that.)

She was super in real life.  I mean, fantastic.  We share a snarcastic (it's a word) sense of humor... and there were moments I hurt from laughing.  And she shared truth.  Good truth.  Life changing/ world changing truth.


I won't bore you with the story of how my friends didn't get this picture on my phone.

But here's what also happened this weekend... I was able to hear that Truth.

I have- for nearly 5 weeks now- been in The Wilderness.  I'm actually still there... it didn't magically get fixed this weekend.  My heart got broken in early April in a way that it may take a lifetime to recover.  I've had friends help with my healing process- shopping trips and glasses of wine and cups of coffee and mix CDs and space given have all helped.  Dan has loved me well in these weeks.  Elizabeth has been a balm to my wounds.  But what has been so foreign to me in this space is that my usual Comforter has felt so distant.

Now, before you go all Bible on me, I am fully aware that He has never left me.  If anything, I've been the one on vacation.  Yet in this time, my standard responses- prayer, Bible study, journaling- have felt anything but standard.  What has once brought me great comfort has been a foul taste in my mouth... and that hurts.

I have shared this uncomfortable feeling with those closest to me... and with few exceptions, they have given me permission to ache and hurt and walk in The Wilderness.  What has been beautiful is that they have given my heart space to experience this time and have not rushed to "fix it"... because it has not been easily fixed.

What they have also done is fortress-ed around us and done all of the hard work of prayer on our behalf, knowing I have been unable to reach up in my pain.  (In fact, I worried about one sweet friend just yesterday.  As I sat beside her in church, I feared her head might explode from praying- and I'm assuming here- that I would be able to "handle" being back in church for the first time.)  We are blessed with good friends who stand with us and go before us.

I had prepared the girls going with me to hear Jen that I was nervous.  I was fearful I would have a panic attack hearing someone (not my fake new bestie, of course) say something so standard and cliche' feeling that I would run from the church.  I was worried of hearing those "God is always so good even in the pain" lines... which may be Truth, but have not been healing to my pain as they often get handed out so freely.

But you know what?  I didn't hear that this weekend.  What I heard was Jen reminding me of the person of Jesus... who cares about the same things that are my very own heartbeat.  He cares about relationships.  He cares about those hurting.  And that guy?  That guy I like.

I'm still not a big fan of the Band-Aid type of comfort that we so readily push onto hurting people.  Some of the things (cards, books, bumper stickers...) that are sold in Christian bookstores have been enough to make my insides churn over the last 5 weeks.  "Let go and let God", while may be filled with Truth, is enough to make me want to run screaming from places I have once felt so comfortable.  Please, people, when you see hurting people around you (even people you know who may have once handed you Christian-ese lines), please don't say things like this.  Please don't tell them that God clearly had a plan for their _____ ... their loss, their heartache, their pain.  Please don't assume that what they once knew without a shadow of a doubt has not created some doubt in their minds.  That's just it... don't assume.  Ask.  And wait.  And be willing for it to take time and even to look ugly.  Because it might.

Jen handed out Truth this weekend in a way that reminded me of who Jesus is.  She talked about Him... and not about how we should feel.  Those things- His nature and my feelings- can coexist in a tenuous space as I relearn how to trust and as I become what is next.  He is bigger than my issues... and He won't Band-Aid over my broken heart.

So, in a nutshell, time with Jen was awesome.  Except that she lied about 'not being good in person'.  But I guess we'll still be besties because I've invested too much at this point to walk away from our friendship.  That's what you have to do... you have to be willing to stick it out through the tough points.  And it's worth it when your bestie is a girl from Texas who makes you laugh til you hurt and did NOT take out a restraining order on me this weekend.  That's good times, people.

1 comment:

Eric Farmer said...

Love this post -- and you.