I want so very much to dish it all out here, in this one single post, but I feel as though I must take it in small clumps, somewhat ambiguously, of course, so as to protect not only myself but those involved as well.
(my beautiful church--St. Paul's Cathedral, Pittsburgh, PA)
Do you know that I went to church every single day except Saturdays, for six weeks, and knelt before the Blessed Sacrament (that's the Eucharist, for you non-Catholic lovelies out there), on cold marble, my knees aching and burning from the discomfort, and prayed that my heart would heal from the pain and trauma it had recently endured?
Yup. I did.I was all, "Hey, Jesus? Um, things are, like, really bad right now. Seriously. 'Member that time you brought the most wonderful man into my life and things were, like, really good and pure and full of love for four whole years? And then, out of nowhere, that man did and said some stuff that was really hurtful--all in the name of you--and, um, left? And it was all completely out of character for him? And it didn't make any sense because there weren't any signs leading up to it? And you let him leave? What the hecks was that all about? Because I'm, like, reallly, really hurtin' here. Like, sorta wantin' to die. Yeah. I know. That's pretty serious stuff to say to you, isn't it? Well, it's the truth. And I'm all about sayin' the truth to you, because, well, you're you and all. So, um, maybe you could help me out please? Because I really don't know what else to do or who else to turn to.
"Do you want me to let him go? Is that what this is all about? If it is, then I'm askin' you to help me let him go. Is he not the person you've picked out for me? Because I sure thought he was. Like, for reals. I mean, you're all mysterious and stuff in your ways, so I'm not sayin' I understand what you're doin' and all, but still. What is all of this about? I'm havin' a hard time believin' that something you'd want would cause this much pain. Because really. I am not okay. I really am not okay. And I don't know how I'll ever be okay after this."
And that was what I prayed every day for six weeks. On the cold, hard, white marble of St. Paul's Cathedral. Right in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Jesus, right there in front of me, listening and weeping in unison with my pain.
Do you know that on one occasion, I was sobbing so loudly that it echoed through the entire cathedral? And the woman praying in the first pew stepped out into the aisle, walked up to railing where I was slumped, and knelt down beside me. She said, "What can I do for you, sweetie?" Between my heaving sobs, I replied, "Nothing." And she put her hand on my shoulder and said, "Well, you're in the right place." And then she went back to her pew, where I'm almost certain she prayed for me.
I was in the right place. As much as I hurt, as much as I felt betrayed and abandoned and confused, I knew I was in the right place. And I kept going to that place. Every day except Saturdays. And I knelt on the cold, white marble. And I prayed. Sincerely, deeply.
And then he came back. The love of my life came back.
There's a lot to work out, a lot to figure out. But love is a decision, not just a feeling. And sometimes, even when it hurts, you decide to see what will happen. You decide to love.