I knew of Rachel before I even met her. I was 17 and it was the summer before my senior year, and she was a college student working at a summer camp I grew up coming to. Everyone that I was friends with raved about the new TCU students that were working at camp that June and how cool this Rachel girl was.
Being a relatively shy person, I was nervous to go up and say hello to her when I came to see the show. The moment I saw her, I wanted to be just like her. You know when you notice someone in a room and you just think, “Wow, I want to be like them. The way they hold themselves, the way they dress, etc.” This was one of those moments for me. And then I discovered she had a blog…which sealed the deal.
I read a blog post that was titled something along the lines of “loving the chicken nuggets”. It was a post about her summer job working with the mini campers (AKA TINY HUMANS) and kids at camp and she talked about them as if they made her a better person. Because they did. And they make me one, too. From that moment on, I had a new role model; someone that wrote and seemed to think like me, who loved things that were important to me as well, and someone that lived a gracious life with the utmost sincerity. This is a moment I’ll always look back on… the moment I got Rachel Hurt on the blog. Enjoy!
If there is one thing I wish I could tell my 24 (and 23 and 21 and 19 and 16) year old self, it’s this: The world is not ending. You’re going to be fine.
If I could, I would line up all those younger iterations of me and hold their hands and say, “YOU’RE OKAY. This thing you think will destroy you–this situation that seems to have no silver lining–is not actually the end of the world. You will be so, so fine.”
And maybe you need to hear that, too.
When heartbreak comes your way, when something shatters you completely, whatever gut-wrenching season you’re walking through…you will be fine. I promise.
I don’t say that to minimize your pain. Far from it! Grief is a heavy burden. I’ve been there. I know how a shattered heart feels. I know what it’s like to ache all the way down in your bones.
David (who wrote all those psalms) gets it too and he is an excellent companion for when you want to scream and weep and feel ALL THE THINGS:
“How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart?”
(Psalm 13 has the angst, for real.)
And I don’t say “you’re going to be fine” as in, “just get over it! You’re fine.”
Sometimes, there is no just “getting over it”. It’s okay to sit with your grief and anger, to cry, to scream, to process. Emotional pain cannot be sidestepped. Well, I guess it can be, but probably not in a healthy way.
I think the best way to move on from something is to walk through it. Walk through the valley, as it were. But you won’t walk alone, sister. Your dear Savior will be there. The valley is hard and heavy work. But it is holy work, too. It is here that God is able to get His hands on your raw, tender self and begin to heal you from the inside out, by His mercy and grace.
There’s an old Puritan prayer called “The Valley of Vision” that landed in my lap at just the right moment a few years ago, and it has been a comfort ever since:
Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly,
Thou has brought me to the valley of vision,
where I live in the depths but see thee in the heights;
hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold
Let me learn by paradox
that the way down is the way up,
that to be low is to be high,
that the broken heart is the healed heart,
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
that to have nothing is to possess all,
that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
that to give is to receive,
that the valley is the place of vision.
Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells,
and the deeper the wells the brighter
Thy stars shine;
Let me find Thy light in my darkness,
Thy life in my death,
Thy joy in my sorrow,
Thy grace in my sin,
Thy riches in my poverty
Thy glory in my valley.
Here’s the beautiful thing about the valley, my girl: you will not be left there. God has no intention of leaving you to battle your monsters alone, or letting your grief consume you.
Your Savior is in the business of bringing beauty from dark places. He does it all the time in this shattered world.
So you WILL be fine. The world is not ending. Your days will get brighter, and the heaviness will go away. And, Lord willing, your heart will be braver, gentler, bolder, and more tender because of what He has shown you. And your soul will know her Savior even more intimately than before.
Feel all your feelings. Sit with your pain. But don’t be so short-sighted to think that God can’t work in and through your dark days. He can, and He will. Let Him sit with you in your pain. In fact, let Him have it completely. When you do, you will begin to find His light in your darkness, His joy in your sorrow, and His glory in your valley.