We lost a dear family friend unexpectedly a few days ago. It was a heartbreaking shock, one that I’m still not sure I’ve processed. I began to overthink on the way to the funeral (#ClassicCourtney), worrying about how to grieve. I called her “grandma”, but figured our closeness wouldn’t matter when real family was around.
I was wrong. So very wrong. Her family embraced us like we were as dear to her as she was to us. Like we were family. Nothing but love and heart and grieving together.
For over a decade, I’ve believed that people couldn’t love me like that. Not the lasting, across years and miles, open their arms and invite you in kind of love.
I could name several people who would say they loved me, which is a gift in and of itself. And I believed they would feel it, this tethering between souls of love and friendship. But I thought I knew that they’d always turn away in the end. That at some point, they’d choose against me. They’d find I wouldn’t measure up.
Yesterday as I sat among this dear family with a broken but full heart, I wondered if maybe . . .
Maybe I could be wrong.
I’m trying to heal and trust, no longer playing the sad movie from my past. But I think the more I let God into my mess, the more I realize how much of a mess I truly am.
Whether we realize it or not, the things we’ve been through change us. I trace the puckered edges of scars along my heart and I learn that the hurt or trauma can be long gone, but the way we’ve learned to live with the aftermath stays.
So if you’re healing and you still find flecks of hurt, or if you’re growing and you discover that you operate from self-preservation on a fundamental level, please be kind to yourself. And keep fighting for the good things–things like hope and healing and forgiveness and love.
Growing and healing and trusting is hard, but I have this crazy feeling that it’s worth it. May God be glorified and may we rest in the peace that comes from trusting our messes to Him.