Dear Heart of Mine

Dear heart of mine,

I never told you that you were allowed to feel this much pain. I never gave you permission to take the sunshine out of my day, or to trample over the only fragment of happiness I have left. I try so hard to fight against you. I exhaust myself trying to please you. A few months ago, when my entire life changed, when my world turned upside down, and all I’ve ever known was ripped from me, I told myself I could handle it. I looked my fears straight in the face and told them they wouldn’t defeat me. I forced myself to look at the future and imagine that it was bright. I told you everything would turn out right, that it would be okay. And when that fateful, terrible day that I had dreaded for so long, finally showed its ugly face, I barely survived. I had to say goodbye to everything I loved most, to everything that ever meant anything to me. That morning I could already feel the pain crashing into you like a relentless wave, and I just knew you couldn’t bear it. So I put you in a little box and hid you away. I didn’t want you to feel the pain that would come. Because, oh… would it come. That day, I did the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I let go of the house that watched me grow from a baby to a lady… And I hugged and kissed the people that stole pieces of my heart years ago and never quite gave them back. I drove away from the only life I’ve ever known, but never once did I look back. I didn’t dare look back. Not when I knew life and all its games…how it lets the constant memories replay in my mind, and how it slowly –but oh so painfully– rips time from my life.

On that last night in my childhood house, I tried to sleep, but wouldn’t let myself for fear that I would miss a single moment, lose a single breath, forget a single memory, of the life that I knew so well. As I laid in my bed in the rare quietness of my life, I whispered silent thank you’s to the bedroom that had been with me through so many of my important years. The years that I learned so many of life’s hardest lessons, where I learned to ride my bike, where I learned how to stand up when so many things pushed me down, where I came to that age when boys became everything to me, when I learned what God’s love actually meant, and when I learned that all my life struggles were there to make me stronger. This was the room that had watched me grow, these were the walls that had heard all my silent cries in the night, this was the place that had known all my joyful moments. This was my sanctuary. And I was leaving it. This place where I had uttered so many broken prayers to God year after year, begging Him to tell me why life had to be so hard, and never really ever getting an answer in return. Every day leading up to this point, I had asked myself: “How are you going to find it in you to say goodbye to all this? All this beautiful life that surrounds you? This place that knows you so well? These people that stole your heart? This world that you created for yourself? This life…the only life you’ve ever known?”. And to this day, I have never found the answer to these simple, yet so complex, questions. How I left that day, and kept going until I got to here, I have no idea. How I boxed up my heart, and let go…I’ll never know.

Dear heart, I know you mean well, and that you just want to keep me alive, but with every mile that took me farther from home, I felt you slowly breaking. You’re not supposed to break, you’re supposed to stay strong. To never let hope outrun you in this race, until you lose sight of it completely. Letting me feel this much pain is completely unfair.My days aren’t supposed to feel like this…so dark and so cold. I never asked for this… I never wanted this. This wasn’t my idea..This wasn’t my plan. Everyday I fool myself into thinking it will only get easier from here on out, that it has to. But everyday, the jokes on me. It only gets worse. The pain only deepens…the hurt only grows stronger. And with every passing day, with every fake moment, with every smile that has no meaning, and with every laugh that is so vacant of joy, I feel my strength leaving me. I feel my determination to get through, weakening. We were supposed to get through this together, you and I. You were supposed to keep me going…To always remind me to keep my chin up and let the future blind me with its brightness. But here I am, feeling more alone and empty than I’ve ever felt in my life. It wasn’t supposed to be this way… I was supposed to be happy.

Dear heart, I know you’re sad. And that this life hurts more and more every day…But I want so badly for you to be happy. I know that watching your old life live through pictures and videos is almost more than you can bare, but God has provided you with an entirely new life to fill with memories. You’ve been given a second chance, a new beginning. Not many people get that, so don’t screw it up.

Though someday’s it feels as if the pain might conquer me, I refuse to be brought down. Though it sometimes feels as if weakness is my only option and that joy is only something that I used to know, I refuse to give up. I may have left my life behind in California, but I didn’t leave myself behind. I was never one to give up, or to let life be the winner in this fight. And I’m still not.

Dear old terrible life, I have a message for you. I will keep going. I will keep breathing. I will keep living. I will keep waking up in the morning. Because with Jesus on my side and the sword of the Spirit in my hand, you will never be strong enough to bring me down. I will stand up, and I will conquer you. Even if it takes me a life time. Even if it breaks my heart.

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.”-Ephesians 6:10-18

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