Relationally, we base so much of our identity on the opinions of others. I find it so easy to think badly of myself just because someone else does. I didn’t think I had issues with self-worth, image, identity..until I came face to face with the single most important person in my life rejecting me(common theme these days, I know).
Dealing with hardships, taking time to myself helps me process without a million other voices telling me what to think. I’ve gotten very good at trying to handle everything on my own. The only issue is that when you’re alone, dealing with rejection or harsh words from others, you hear those words in your own voice. I was becoming accustomed to hearing and accepting things directly from myself.
Those voices tell you things about what you are, what you should see yourself as, and tell you what you should do. You listen because essentially, you’re listening to yourself. You accept it as the truth, even when it’s far from true.
We separate and distance ourselves from Jesus. I was reminded of this fact yesterday in church, and had a sort of breakdown in my chair. “Jesus knows”, my pastor kept saying. As we read through John 18, the scene of Jesus’ betrayal in the garden, I was reminded once again that Jesus offers himself to us in raw, relate-able ways. He isn’t distant, though that’s how we often think of him. The chapter goes through the many stages of his betrayal. He’s betrayed by those closest to him, misunderstood, abandoned..he knows injustice and heartbreak better than anyone, yet we treat him as a lofty, distant God who doesn’t understand our pain.
It was 28 degrees and windy in boston yesterday, but I found myself spending an hour in the commons walking by the river. Some of those spots held significance to the relationship I was trying so hard to process through. I realized that the whole time I was thinking about and processing my pain, listening to harsh words in my own voice, I had forgotten about Jesus’ voice. I try very hard to sort everything out in my head so that I can move on and be happy again, and I forget that not all things are so easily fixed.
This time around, I listened to hillsong instead of my thoughts, and for the first time in months, I felt at peace with my situation. I went to the place I went on my first date and remembered how everything had changed in just a few short months. For once, I wasn’t trying to hold onto old things, I was accepting the way things were in the moment. I hold on so tightly and forget that just because something is familiar, it doesn’t mean it’s healthy or meant for me in the season I find myself in now. Things change and sometimes it’s for the best. It had all changed but it was for the better, this time. Old memories, old places, new seasons, and new perspectives.
Sometimes all it takes is knowing that Jesus knows. We try so hard to find other people and situations to relate to when we’re having difficulty, and we push Jesus away, assuming he can’t “relate”. Pain is such a special thing, I’m finding. Hard times help us see the good times as even better. Pain shows us Jesus more clearly, because we see his faithfulness through our heartbreak. Even in times when everything seemed to be caving in around me, Jesus sent me comfort. And though he doesn’t promise to magically make everything better, he promises to not give us more than we can bear. On nights that I was mid-cry, I got a phone call from someone who cared. On days when I had accepted the pain as “what I deserved”, someone came along to make sure I knew how valued I really am. When I felt lame for even mentioning my relationship drama in a blog post, I met someone who went through the exact same situation and helped me along.
God works in such a way that I can’t grasp. But today, I’m trusting that he knows what I need and that he’ll continue to give that to me, bit by bit.

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