Beauty, Loneliness, & Eternity

I never feel more lonely than when I’m surrounded by absolute breathtaking beauty such as gazing at the sunset over the Sonoran Desert from the top Mount Lemmon. Beauty has a way of reminding us of the Eden that we have never known but somehow always knew we were meant for.

“Every experience of beauty points to eternity.”

-Hans Urs von Balthasar

I know it’s not as lovely as hearing it in person, but if you’ve never heard the haunting, melancholy wail of a loon, please listen to this video clip.

Laying awake at night in the cabin on Bear Lake in Waterford, Maine where I spent every summer with my family, I would be startled by this long, wistful howl that awakened a mournful longing within me. Sometimes the beauty was so great it stirred me to tears and made me feel desperately lonely.

A deep pang of painful yearning similar to my experience in Maine has been pulling on my heartstrings as of late. I could not name the empty place inside me until I picked up the book “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp, a birthday present from my sister.

“Our fall was, has always been, and always will be that we aren’t satisfied in God and what He gives. We hunger for something more, something other.”

-Ann Voskamp

Yes, this is exactly what I’ve been feeling. Instead of being thankful for all I’ve been blessed with, I start to believe the serpent’s hissing lie whispering in my ear that God must not love me enough because He’s withholding good things from me. I try to fill the emptiness by putting on my dancing shoes as often as possible, devouring poetry, and crafting pretty things but always, always I feel the ache.

It’s not really my fault though, is it? The gaping hole in my soul will always be there until I am restored to glory and present with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We were never meant for this dark, lonely world. We were created for a loving relationship with God.

Strangely enough, there is one person with whom I feel at peace. One person who makes the hole seem less cavernous. When I am in his presence, the hollowness melts away and I feel safe and able to rest. His company is inviting, nourishing, and comforting. I never want to say “good bye” but I am not allowed to be with him forever. It seems unfair that God would tease me with everything I’ve always wanted so close I could touch it but hold it just out of my grasp.

I think the grief I feel over this is natural and healthy. The sadness I feel because I am alone is due to living in a sinful, broken world where people don’t keep their vows and abandon their spouses. The sadness I feel because I am unwanted and rejected means I know my worth.

The wound of grief says, “This is not the way life is supposed to be. You were created to be dearly loved and cherished. You were never meant to be alone.” And the beauty in the world points me to hope. The loon’s cry sings, “There is still beauty in this lonely world.” It is an echo of what once was before sin spoiled its perfection. It is a mere shadow of the glorious beauty that will one day be revealed to us when Christ returns for His bride.

I am looking forward to that marvelous day.

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Heartbreak

So much has happened! I dated the gentleman from the previous entry for about a month.

Our relationship is incredibly easy. We get along like two peas in a pod. He has many fine qualities I am looking for in my future husband. I enjoy his company immensely and think highly of him. We remain very good friends but decided it wasn’t going to work romantically because I wasn’t feeling what I needed to feel on my end. He’s still in my life and I still care very deeply for him. I have nothing but positive things to say about him. The only thing missing was that X-factor… that intangible essence some people call chemistry.

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Then I got myself into a long distance relationship that had chemistry off the charts. Literally, we both stopped dead in our tracks when we saw each other and felt instantaneously attracted to one another. It turns out we both had tons in common and most of our values, beliefs, and future goals lined up perfectly. How often do two people gravitate toward one another with intense enthrallment? After only one hour of talking to one another when we first met he asked me to be his girlfriend. That’s never happened to me before and I thought, “Well, I’ve tried everything else, what have I got to lose? I might as well see what happens.”

On his way to come visit me for a couple days from New Mexico, he got into a car accident and had to go to the hospital. Our time together was canceled while he recuperated. When he was healing, he did a lot of evaluating and praying. If he was really ready for a girlfriend with his busy lifestyle, if he was ready for a long distance relationship especially since his love language is physical touch, and if he could handle a woman like me with such a larger than life personality.

He didn’t call me for more than 50 hours after I texted that it was VERY important to me that we have a conversation at his earliest convenience. Those 50 hours felt like the most torturous wait. The longer I waited the more I realized I can’t be with someone who didn’t respect me enough to send a little text saying something like, “Hey Babe, I haven’t forgotten about you, you’re important to me but I’m a little tied up at the moment but I promise to call you at such and such a time.” Instead it was dead silence for two long days.

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The waiting to talk to him for me was exhausting and all the talking to me was exhausting for him and so we both chalked it up to a difference in personality types and relationship styles. We mutually agreed to remain friends and, in his words, “See what happens in the future.” I’m so incredibly disappointed because I haven’t been that attracted to a person in a very long time. I was fire and he was ice and together it was an explosion of awesome because we were completely opposite.

It could have been something beautiful but it was not to be.

I think it is going to take a VERY special person to deal with my fiercely passionate nature. Some men just aren’t ready for this jelly what can I say? Haha

Who does God have in mind for me? I have no idea. I feel like I will recognize him when I see him because I know exactly what I’m looking for. I thought this man could possibly be the one. We seemed to jive so well. I tossed out the proverbial fleece so-to-speak and asked God to make it wet with dew while the ground remained dry.

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But maybe God’s answer to that prayer was to allow the car accident because He may have been protecting me from something that wasn’t supposed to happen? Have you ever seen the movie “The Adjustment Bureau?” You know how one little kiss sealed their fate as lifelong lovers? Maybe this man coming to visit me would be the incident that began the road to a destiny God did not have in His plan.

I will say this to comfort myself in these times that try the soul. (*Said in Anne of Green Gable’s voice*)