Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Hope Lost

Some of the greatest heartaches can happen when you're not even in a relationship. 

Someone recently told me how foolish they felt that their first broken heart was not because of a tragic break-up. Instead of pain over a romantic relationship ending, it was the pain of it never beginning. We don't feel like we can really mourn these losses though... at least not publicly. In addition to the stabbing pain we feel over our broken-heart, we are shamefully aware that the love was never reciprocated...which seems to make the ache that much more unbearable. 

We label ourselves as fools. Unworthy. Unwanted. 
How did we get here? 
We're more aware of our singleness than ever before and our hopes have been crushed. 

And, I think this is really what it comes down to... a loss of hope. 

A friend of mine recently put it all out there with one of her best guy friends. While she no longer even had feelings for him, she felt it necessary to let him know the ways in which their friendship needed to change because of how the intimacy had often sent conflicting messages to her heart. I'm not entirely sure how the conversation went down, but I know that it left a gaping hole in her heart. Not because she still liked him, but because for the years that she did like him, there was always a the thought that he had probably felt the same way. It wasn't until this conversation that she realized there had never been interest on his side. And while there's no rational reason for the pain that comes with such a realization, it doesn't change that it exists. 

She texted me: 'I think maybe I have a broken heart. Though I don't really understand why. Losing something I never had?' 

And in that question, I realized that she had lost something. She had lost the hope of what might have been. As long as there was ambiguity, there was the hope that something could change, that something could develop. The second it was clear that it wasn't ever going to happen, hope was stripped from her.

Unfortunately this seems to be the cry of many a heart these days. Unrequited love. In the lack of returned feelings, there very easily becomes room for the questions about our worth to take root and to grow. What maybe start off as small seeds of, 'Why wouldn't they like me?' eventually transform into a crisis of believing that we will always be counted as worthless and undesirable to the opposite sex. We find ourselves feeling broken and defeated... hopeless that anything could ever be different. 

Hope is lost. 
And sometimes I think we need to mourn it. To allow ourselves to feel the depth of the pain that comes with rejection and with loss. But then we have to push into an even deeper...the deeper that reminds us that our true hope isn't dictated by our love lives. We have to push into a deeper where we beg that our identify wouldn't be rooted in what man thinks of us, but what the God of the universe has said about who we are. 

Children. Co-heirs. Desirable. Worthy. 
On some level, especially in the midst of the pain, the truth about who we are can go right in one ear and out of the other. It's easier to believe the bad, to feel sorry for ourselves, to remain hopeless...

But I urge you to, yes, mourn. Mourn the loss. 
And then remember that there's a God who loves you deeply and that there is much to hope in because of that. It might not mean that you'll end up dating all the people you think you want to, but I pray that you would trust the Lord (who knows you infinitely more than you know yourself) to take care of this aspect of your life. It's better. I find I've been so thankful for the times of unrequited love in my own life...because I've chosen to believe there's a better for me than I can pick for myself. 

Ultimately, I pray that I our hope not lie within the desire for a life-partner...but that we would thrive in the hope that we have in Jesus Christ and we would be ready and eager to go wherever He leads us, trusting that it's always better. 

Mourn the loss.
But don't let it be what defines you. 
Reevaluate where your hope lies, and let the hope of the Gospel remind you of what truly matters. 

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