Tag Archives: hope

Missing you.

We make assumptions in life. And some days, you wake up and an assumption that you’d grown used to, suddenly isn’t so stable anymore.

It’s been over five years. Five years, nine months, and thirteen days if you want to be exact. Years that have changed me through heartbreak, transition, and opportunity. And I know they’ve changed you too.

Almost six years of silence.

I woke up this morning with an assumption firmly set in my mind. An assumption that told me there was no hope. An assumption that promised I would never again hear your voice or your laugh, I would never again see your face, I would never again have your friendship.

I woke up this morning to a very subtle change. And I could feel, can feel, it reaching for me. I can feel it’s thin, cold fingers, I can feel the brittle nails, wrapping slowly around my heart. This monster called ‘hope.’ Begging me to give in.

But I know hope. And hope is not to be trusted.

Didn’t you teach me that?

It was probably a mistake. It probably meant nothing to you. You probably thought I wouldn’t notice. You probably didn’t give it any thought at all. You probably didn’t mean to cause my assumptions to waiver.

Five years, nine months, thirteen days, and I’m still…

Missing you.

-Melissa

Letter.

To the fixers:

Maybe you don’t know what else to do, so you give a suggestion. Maybe my problem seems easy to you. Maybe you can’t relate. Maybe you see an easy solution and you can’t imagine why I haven’t seen it. Maybe I have. Maybe it’s not as easy as you suggest. Maybe I can’t do what you can do. Maybe your solution is just a step in the right direction, but that same solution is surrounded by obstacles in my life. Maybe I don’t need a solution. Maybe I don’t need you to fix this. Maybe you want to help and you want to take control and fix this. Breathe. Just take a breath and be here with me. This can’t be fixed so easily.

To the challengers:

I see my flaws. I know there are many things I need to change. I’m probably more aware of them than you are. You challenge me to have perspective. You challenge me to think in different ways. You challenge me to think passed this. I can do those things. And nothing you are saying is wrong. But you’re invalidating what I’m feeling. I’m in a vulnerable place and you’re telling me, “Hey. I know what you’re feeling. But stop feeling that. Because you haven’t thought about it in this way. You just need some perspective.” I am allowed to feel what I’m feeling. You make me feel like I’m bad because I’m feeling this way. Just stop. Just hear me. Empathize with me.

To the uncomfortable:

You asked me why I was crying. So I told you. So you made a face that said you understood. Then you looked away. And you looked back and talked about something else. You tried to make me laugh. You ignored what I said. I know you’re not comfortable. I know you don’t want to help me carry this burden. Then please don’t ask. If you can’t handle it, please don’t ask me why I have tears in my eyes. Please don’t ask me how I’m doing. Because watching you see my pain and then ignore it? That’s something I can’t handle. So if you want to engage in my pain with me, then please do. But if you don’t want to–if you can’t– then leave me alone.

To the distracted:

You heard me. You not only heard me, but you said all the right things. You are the closest I’ve gotten to feeling a bit of relief from the sadness inside of me. You have gotten my hopes up that maybe, just maybe, I’m not alone. But you are busy. And the hours and the days and the weeks pass by and you seem to forget everything I said to you. When you see me, sometimes I can see you still remember, but you’re hurried. You have to move on to your next task, your next meeting. You say we’ll connect again soon as you pass by. Or you are so busy and distracted that you never follow through. In any way. You don’t even ask how I’m doing. Either be one thing or the other. Either be my friend, or don’t. But do not get my hopes up.

To the listeners:

Where are you?

-Melissa

Fog.

When I was in early high school, I was still riding the bus because I couldn’t drive yet. I remember some mornings, I would walk outside to wait for the bus driver and the air would be thick with fog. The kind of fog that covers everything. We would ride to school and I couldn’t see anything. I couldn’t even see the school until we were pulling into the parking lot. And it seemed like it was popping up out of nowhere.

I think fog is pretty fascinating. I don’t know why. It’s always just seemed to contain some sort of mystery to me. You see, I think there are two sides of fog.

The first is comforting. It wraps itself around you; keeps you to itself. It’s inclusive. It welcomes you in and forms to fit you. It envelopes you with it’s presence and you’re safe.

The second is terrifying. It blinds you to everything around you. It steels your senses from you and forces you to go in blind. It isolates you. It offers no warning for the danger that could be lurking just out of your sight.

I kind of had a family emergency this week. That’s a lot more like the second side of fog than the first. It settles upon you without warning and catches you off guard and, senseless, you fumble through the blinding mist trying to find something familiar. When this happens, if you and your friend and family are Christian, people tell you to pray. And you should, they’re right. But sometimes, I just can’t. It’s hard for me to focus on anything because my mind is either spinning or it’s numb. And, especially at the start of it, I could barely talk about it. My words were slow and I left long pauses in between them because my thoughts weren’t… there. I can’t think. So it’s hard for me to pray, even though I really need to.

And you know what? I really think that’s okay.

Because I think God’s presence can be like the first side of fog. I think He surrounds us on every side and becomes as close as our breath. I think He wraps us in Himself and becomes a think blanket of comfort. In the midst of confusion and chaos, He’s there, holding our heads up or sitting next to us as we stare blankly into space, not being able to think. And, truthfully, in those moments, I think it’s enough to invite Him into that numbness with you. To simply utter, “Could You just sit with me for a while?” and rest in His presence. I think He has more than enough grace for that.

I also believe that, in distress, it’s the responsibility of others to pray for you. I pray for others a lot and so I hope when I can’t pray, they’re stepping up to pray for me. I just think that’s how it’s supposed to work.

“What can I do with my obsession with the things I cannot see? Is there a madness in my being? Is it the wind that moves the trees? Sometimes You’re further than the moon, sometimes You’re closer than my skin. And You surround me like a winter fog; You’ve come and burned me with a kiss. And my heart burns for You. And my heart burns… for You.” // David Crowder

-Melissa

Christmas.

Yesterday evening, I had the privilege of holding a baby who was only two weeks old. The tiny boy was only seven pounds and a few ounces. Carefully, he was handed to me. Asleep and totally, completely helpless, he lay in my arms. I rarely looked up from his beautiful face. His eyes were closed peacefully. He had a little scratch on his nose from his nails that needed to be cut. His lips, so small, were absolutely perfect. A miniature Santa hat covered his dark, black hair. It had probably been years since I’d held a baby this young. His beauty left me awestruck.

As I let myself become captivated by him, my mind thought of my King. My Lord. The God of the universe. His Son, filled with power and might, set it all aside and humbled Himself so that He could come into the world just like the rest of us. He trusted us enough to lay down His crown and put on our humanity and come to this earth as a baby. A tiny baby, helpless and completely reliant on those around Him. Too young to form words or even real thoughts. Too young, too weak to even lift His head on His own. This is our King.

Pregnancy. Birth. In themselves, they are miracles. But when you think about the fact that God came down to be one of us in that way? It’s mind blowing. A tiny little thing.. A head that fits in your palm. A hand that can’t even completely wrap around your finger. A body the length of your forearm. This is how the King of the world chose to present Himself to us. This is our Lord, willing to be born among us. Willing to put our life in His hands. Willing to be raised on this earth. Willing to take the first trying steps in learning to walk just as we did. Willing to befriend us. And ultimately, willing to die on our behalf.

This is our King. This is Love.

This is Christmas.

-Melissa

Three.

Once.

You had me at hello

Once

I can see the moment

Perfectly held

Perfectly preserved

Once

To stay indefinately

Oh, honest?

Much longer

But he, in that image,

Ceases to be

And me, in that image,

Long gone, my dear

You have become merely a whisper

Of worry once held

Laughter now is laced with freedom

Once, it was with longing

Once

But yesterday is more distant

Today is tomorrow

Once is a memory

And once was enough

Refuse.

Just a whisper

Not heard, but seen

I embrace anxiety like an old friend

Warm and inviting

Your pain filling my chest

Spreading through each vein

Until every bit of me is shaking

You ask for words

I have none

Nothing to ease this moment

Nothing to stop your pain

Or this shaking

My breath soon leaves me

Unbearable worry to blame

I refuse to be consumed.

So I fight for breath

I fight for words

I’ll fight for you

Your pain as an effective fuel

Helpless in reality

Nothing to offer but presense

Nothing to offer but prayer

(And I’ve heard prayer moves mountains)

Fool.

I’m so f***ing invincible

Because I have to be

Powerful, able

I can’t be overcome

Strong, I stand firm

Unyeilding

Able to lift and then

Carry along the weight

Of the world

Without breaking

I don’t even come close

Nothing can hurt me

Nothing can touch me

I’m unreachable

I am quite aware

I’m not fooling you

I’m probably not fooling

Anyone

But let me fool myself

Let me believe I can’t be broken

The hope is when hurt

Surrounds me on every side

I won’t feel it when it hits

-Melissa

Missing you.

Someone asked me the other day how I ever could have been friends with you.

For once, I tried to put myself in his shoes. Really, in their shoes. Because I know he wasn’t the only one. I knew how… hard you could be. I knew, vaguely, how other people saw you.

And I listened as he tried to explain why it never made sense that you and I were friends. How it never made sense to anyone. He said the same about another one of my friends too. Honestly, he doesn’t see much clearly. But I understand what he was saying. I mean… sort of. I understand what he thought he saw.

But that’s just the thing. He didn’t see you. He thought he did.

But he didn’t see the first time you spoke to me. I sat there quietly, just like I always do, and you made conversation with me. You know, I don’t remember the moment I first meet someone. Most of the time, you just wake up one day and you’re friends with someone and you can’t remember the moment it started. But I remember you. Because I could tell you…saw me. Do you know how rarely that happens?

He also didn’t see the time I had to deal with a death surrounded by people I barely knew. You were the only person here that I could tell. He didn’t see the way your face fell when I told you. You had no reason for your face to fall. You didn’t know them. But you let yourself feel my pain.

He thought he saw you. And maybe he did. But it wasn’t the real you. It was the hard you. The you others couldn’t see past. The you people were afraid of. Who pushed people away. Who constantly built up your walls, higher and higher. But he didn’t see that crack in your walls. Just barely big enough to let a grain of sand get through. And I got through.

I just… I didn’t know how many layers of walls there were. Not that that would have changed anything. Okay. Maybe it would have. Because I do hope I would have fought a hell of a lot harder than I did at the end.

What terrifies me now is that I know you’ve pushed me out. And you repaired that crack in that one wall. And your walls got higher. Stronger. And I’m… terrified you won’t let any one else find another crack. I’m afraid you’ve repaired them all so perfectly that no one else will even be able to think about getting through to you. I’m afraid you wake up every morning and take a walk around the wall, a bucket of mortar in your hand, and fill all the cracks, even add another layer of cement where you think it might be weak. And then, when you get a chance, you go out an buy a few more bricks and make the wall thicker and taller. And it’s just this ongoing process where you make sure that no one sees you.

Which… I don’t even think you see you. Actually, I know you don’t. Because you choose to see the you other people see in you.

Ha.

Not me. Other people.

Because you never believed any of what I told you.

Oh, what did I tell him? When he asked why I had ever been friends with you?

I told him he never saw the you that I did. He didn’t see the way you talked to me. The way you cared for me. The way you were literally there for me whenever I needed you. I told him about the time when, at four in the morning, you were begging me to come outside to talk because you knew how badly I felt. Because you knew how much pain I was in and you knew I needed to talk about it.

I told him he didn’t actually see you.

Missing you.

-Melissa

Innocent.

I was driving, my mind jumping from one thought to the next. Before I knew it, I thought of you. Tears were unbelievably quick to fill my eyes and spill over onto my cheeks. The wound you left inside me festered painfully.

I’ve always hated being helpless. I’m not sure anyone likes it. And I have felt helpless at so many times in my life and I am sure there are many times to come. But knowing that doesn’t make this any easier.

It just isn’t right though. It isn’t right that I had to leave you there and hope someone would step up and truly care for you. It isn’t right that I couldn’t be that person.

I would be that person if I could. I wish you knew that. I wish you knew I would take care of you and show you the love you need if I could. But maybe if you knew, it would be worse for you. Maybe, as you grew up, knowing that would make it hard to accept where you are.

But then again, I hope you don’t accept it. I hope you know how much you are worth and I hope you decide you will break the cycle you’re in and make something of yourself. I hope you are given the power to fight against all the wrong in your life. I hope someone can take you from that.

I wish it could be me.

My innocent, I will always be yours.

-Melissa