What Do Breakups, The Question of Why, and Adele Have To Say To Us?

12 Dec

me asking why in my younger years

I’m sitting here on my couch and outside it’s pouring rain. It’s 10AM and I’m supposed to be at work. I can’t work. I’m too busy listening to Adele’s “Someone Like You” which rivals James Blunt’s “Goodbye, My Lover” for one of the saddest breakup songs in the world, in my opinion. As Adele croons, “sometimes it lasts in love and sometimes it hurts instead,” I get it. Oh how I get it. I’m here again. At the end of something and yet at a new beginning. An opportunity? I am faced with the question of “What am I going to do about this?” Perhaps you’ve been there too. Something you wanted to work out didn’t. A relationship ended. A job turned out to not be what you’d hoped. A friend chose to not be your friend in a moment you really needed them to.  So many other times when maybe you’ve been disappointed or felt sad about something not going the way you wanted. Oh how I know this.

Yesterday morning I sat on a bench at this children’s memorial park near my house and it read, “Every exit is an entrance to something else.” Those words are true but I wish they weren’t. I don’t want to exit. I liked it.

How many times have these words been true for me before? I even wrote last week that you have to let go of something to create space for something new.  I believe that. Part of me doesn’t want to let go though. It was so good for such a short time. Why? Why are things the way they are? Why does love last sometimes and sometimes it hurts instead? WHY?!

Simultaneously, I’m also being asked to live out what I’ve been talking about on this blog for the better part of a year.  I am currently watching friends date and break up in community and then date again. It’s so painful to watch sometimes. It’s tricky to navigate friendships with people, walk the line, and then have your words to them about sacrificial love suddenly apply to you.  I’m finding now that I have to step up and practice what I’ve preached in a new and difficult way. It’s really awkward. It stings. If I’m honest, I don’t want to do it and I resist, especially yesterday fresh off my own painful experience. Why? Why now? Why is this happening? What’s with the timing?

“Why” is a dangerous question because it can suck you in to a pit that is almost impossible to get out of. The reality is, we don’t often know why. If I spend my time asking why then I’m probably missing the point. There aren’t always reasons for things that we can see from our position. In time, the why’s might be answered but if I spend all of my time wondering why then I could be wasting it when I could be moving forward. Instead I want to look back and remember all of the ways in which God has been faithful to me in my life. The times He has showed up in my darkest hour.

I was praying this morning. I felt like I should read Psalm 116 aloud. It’s actually really encouraging and perfect.  Here’s a portion:

For you, LORD, have delivered me from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling,
9 that I may walk before the LORD
in the land of the living.

Beaches are the number one place where I process questions. Here's one in North Carolina I visited

And then I remember. Yes, he has done these things! And he will do them again. He helped me walk among the land of the living.  I have walked. And wallowing in my why’s didn’t help. I just had to keep walking one step at a time trusting that that would be enough. In thinking about my past, it has been enough.

If you had told me a year ago that people would be dating partially because of my words on this blog and through life, I would have laughed at you. If you had told me that I would be advocating for my friends to date the people I’ve dated before, I would not have believed you. But here we are. And I don’t know why. But what I do know is this: Our God cares about us. I know this because he cares about me. He sees me in this dark hour. He loves me when I don’t love myself. He knows my own shortcomings. He knows why so that I don’t have to. All I have to do is trust that he knows. Easier said than done, but then I remember his faithfulness this last year in my own life. I see it in the life of my friends who have faced their own sad endings but still choose to walk in the land of the living. I see it in the success stories. I remembered it when I saw the look on my friend’s face yesterday as her baby was getting dedicated and thought about how faithful God was after the traumatic birth. I don’t know why things happen. I don’t have an answer to Adele’s song about why sometimes love lasts and why it hurts instead. But instead of asking why, I will choose to trust that God is good. And that’s all I can do today.

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