Dear younger me,
Oh beautiful, I’m so sorry. I could’ve saved you from so much. So much pain, so much regret, so many painted smiles.
You’ll write in blood for quite a while. There will be times when you think the bleeding won’t ever stop. Know it does; God heals all wounds. Even these.
It’s as though I’m bleeding, all the time.
Bleeding out, but never dying.
You have a rather high pain tolerance, my love. The spirit God has given you will withstand oceans. But some days, you’ll scream for it all to stop. The pain, the imagination, the thinking. You’ll even scream for the hope to stop. Those are the worst days. You’ll beg in words that are inaudible and breaths that rack your rib cage. You’ll beg. But it’s not the hope that’s causing you pain, my dear, it’s not the hope. You must believe this.
And not only that, but we rejoice in our afflictions
because we know that affliction produces endurance,
endurance produces proven character,
and proven character produces HOPE.
There is a purpose to the pain. This has been my consolation through every dark night and bleeding day. Every despised breath and lying smile. I think it’s one of the best answers I’ve ever received from God. Every scrap, every tear, it has a purpose. You will not cry in vain, my love. God holds every tear you’ve ever cried. He has a purpose for every moment of suffering and doubt and hopelessness. And He knows. Life is not felt in vain.
Sometimes you find out why. Like the circumstances that moved you to baptism. Sometimes God will answer your questions and you will understand, if not in full, at least in part. But sometimes you will beg and plead and scream to know, and the explanation doesn’t come. Trust God even then. His ways are higher than our ways, and His thoughts higher than our thoughts ~ Isaiah 55:9. God is in control and you will not suffer alone. I know I’ve written this countless times, but He knows, He really does. He is a personal God. Even in times of pain and heartache, you cannot stray so far that God cannot reach you.
Your life is in God’s hands. And trust me, it’s much better when you leave it that way. God’s got it. He is the promise keeper.
It is through all of this pain that your walls come down. Again, not crushing and raging and bludgeoning. But bit by bit. You become vulnerable, you become real. And this is the most beautiful version of yourself that you could ever be. It is through all of this pain that you learn to let people in. This is the paradox of pain. The relief like butterfly wings of crying on your best friend’s shoulder for the first time. The lavender warmth of accepting a hug with tears clinging to your eyelashes. The earth-shattering calm of letting him see your eyes, your heart shredded by anxiety, and drawing on his strength for comfort. Pain makes you imperfect. That finely tuned façade cannot withstand every shadow of death. After all, paint chips, props break, glass shatters. However, it is that imperfection that drives you to deeper, stronger friends, deeper, wiser thoughts, deeper, closer to God. And you need all of those. So you need pain. You need pain not to reach rock bottom, but to rise from it.
Even through pain, there is still beauty.
There is still love, joy, hope. Life is beautiful, my love.
All my love,
Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass.
It is about learning to dance
in the rain.