How did I get over my first love? Somewhere between truth and lies, between seeing him for who he was then and seeing him for who he is now; I faced reality. All my hopes and dreams were wrapped up in history – the past. I was in love with a memory long gone…and the day I came to terms with that was the day my heart finally walked away.
How am I getting over this other guy today? This other guy who I had hoped in and it just didn’t work out? Somewhere between illusion and logic; somewhere between high hopes and reality. I’m not there yet, but something changed today. I don’t know what it was – maybe it was when I woke up and realized the sun will still smile through my window, maybe it was when I heard the empty silence where his words used to be or maybe it was when I thought I’d cry again but no tears came this time. Or maybe it was nothing. All I know is today I felt different; I felt peaceful. I felt alive and I felt that dreaded thing again, that thing I try to kill every time but it always springs eternal: hope.
These three things remain:
Faith – belief in what I can’t see. This is that stubborn belief that it’s going to get better, even when everything around me is telling me otherwise. There are so many voices out here telling me so many different things, showing me all the ways I could try and fail, giving me all these rules to live by without which I’ll be doomed to fail. Marriages are not celebrated anymore. Marriage these days is pain. Relationships are always ending in heartache all around me; it’s enough to make me throw in the towel once and for all and choose to believe that this reality is a universal truth. Faith states otherwise; it calls me to believe in what I cannot see. I cannot see a happy marriage, I cannot see a good relationship…but to have faith I have to believe that it’s possible. For me.
Hope – this is what keeps me believing. I have always dismissed hope as the weakest of the three, but it could very well be the strongest, the most resilient. I don’t know what keeps hope going even when everything is telling it to die. Hope renews faith when it falters. Hope keeps love alive. Hope keeps fighting and forces me to keep believing that something is going to work out this time, all the time.
Love – there are so many explanations for this one. Love is the greatest of them all. Love never fails. Love endures all things, believes all things. Love is patient and kind and all those other things. Love is God. God teaches us how to love: Him, ourselves, and others. Love takes me as I am and says that I am good enough. Love also produces the other two: hope and faith. We have faith in what we love and we have hope for what we love.
Where was I going with this?
This post was about discouragement. When our faith falters, our hope is dying and love is burning seriously low, we need some help. There are too many situations around us that cause us to die inside. There is so much evil happening in our world and it’s hard to believe in beauty and truth and love at all. We are called, however, to listen to Truth and tune out all the other voices out here.
The sheep know and recognize their shepherd’s voice. They know it so well because they are attuned to it. They are used to hearing the shepherd call for them and speak to them. They can recognize his voice anywhere.
Likewise, the Lord is our Good Shepherd and we are His sheep (John 10:1-7). We are tuned to His voice if we are used to hearing it. We are familiar with the words He uses if we have heard them over and over again. We know his voice from hearing Him speak to us.
If we could tune out all the noise that is around us and focus on that one voice, we would hear different news. We would hear a Shepherd who lovingly calls us His own. We would hear good news about our lives, about our health and wealth and great plans He has for us. We would hear about love and hope and faith. He knows us so well, because He even knows when one of His sheep goes missing. So we trust that He knows the deepest longings of our hearts, and longs to fulfill them. We listen to depressing statistics and terrible stories, not with the fear that it will happen to us. We listen to radio shows where married people tell of woe and choose to believe that we could have something different. He says so. His Love speaks and tells us not to fear because there is no fear in love.
The Shepherd’s voice is familiar to those who hear it constantly, so I’m going to tune my ears to hear from Him more often so I can always tell when He is speaking, because in this world that we are living in, we need Someone to hold on to. We need Someone to revive us. We need Someone to keep us alive. We need Someone to heal us…and He is healing me even as I write this. I hope that He heals you too.