i'm going to be real with you today.
i don't mean hurt as in people in love hurting each other. not at all. i mean the kind of love where you want things so badly it hurts when they don't happen. wait, let me backtrack. all of this comes from a place long ago...
eight years ago, my dad passed away from colon cancer. i'll be honest with you and tell you that i don't remember many of the details surrounding the weeks and months after it happened. i remember the anguish and deep pain i felt on the day. i'll never, ever forget that. and i realize now how much that day changed me on the inside. i often tell people that i grew stronger and learned so much about God's faithfulness. all of that is true. but that day also broke my heart.
before that day, i was not a very sensitive or emotional person. i thought it was absolutely ridiculous when people cried during movies. i never cried about things like that. i didn't have a lot of compassion on those weaker than me. i wouldn't describe myself as sympathetic or empathetic. i was a bull-headed girl who breezed by others. i was bossy and critical (and i still am, a little bit).
at 12 years old, that day broke my heart, and it hasn't really been fixed since then. most people probably still describe me as strong, joyful, the 'have it all together' girl. that's the girl i try to be, because really, losing my dad did make me stronger, and it brought me a deep joy and reliance on the Lord that i would have never known before. but most people probably don't see the girl who tries to hold back her tears when she is overwhelmed or hurt. that's me too.
suddenly, i became the girl who cried in movies and shows. i cry when characters lose someone they love. i cry when i see people celebrating moments of sheer joy. my heart aches when i see people suffering, rejected, alone, or lost. i so desperately wish they could know the deep love of God, his healing, and his faithfulness. that alone is the only thing that makes me who i am today.
despite all the loss and the grief though, i'm still a girl who hopes and dreams with all her heart. this morning i realized that on that day, 8 years ago, i lost the person my little twelve year old self loved most. my dad was my hero, my comforter, and my protector. in the years following, i often resented God for taking away the strongest male influence in my life. my mom, my two sisters, and me, had no man to lean on anymore. but we slowly learned to lean on God, and we learned that we are strong ourselves.
then, a year ago, God gave me a new protector, a new comforter, and a new hero. the hole in my heart was suddenly filled. nothing could stop me from loving him with everything i had. he was, and still is, every answer to all of my prayers. and every day, i wish he and my dad could have met in this life.
but big love also means big hurt. as a little girl, my dad was the man i loved most. and when God took him, my heart hurt more than it ever had before. now, as a grown woman, T is the man i love most. but that also means that he's the one i miss the most, always, the one who has the potential to break my heart unlike anyone else, and the one i have the biggest hopes for. i think that's the risk in love. by giving all of your heart to someone, you're accepting the risk that they could hurt you more than any other human on the planet. but i can undoubtedly say that the risk is worth it.