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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Passionate

via Daily Prompt: Passionate

Falling in love is terrifying and glorious simultaneously. If you don’t open yourself up and trust him to catch you when you fall, you’ll never fly. I’ve gotten to the edge of that precipice a few times in my life… it always seems worth it even when he doesn’t catch me.

In the words of Anne of Green Gables:

“When I think something nice is going to happen I seem to fly right up on the wings of anticipation; and then the first thing I realize I drop down to earth with a thud. But really, Marilla, the flying part is glorious as long as it lasts. . .it’s like soaring through a sunset. I think it almost pays for the thud.”

But that thud is starting to get exhausting. I have black and blue bruises all over my body from the countless times I’ve allowed myself to trust that this time it would be different. THIS TIME it would be forever.

The loneliness is starting to devour me. I told him I contemplated “friends with benefits” just to fill the aching emptiness inside. I don’t think I would really do it when it came down to it… I deserve the devoted commitment of someone who is crazy about me and will never use me or leave me, who is with me because he truly loves me and not because he’s lonely. And I’d never want to make someone else feel less than worthy of true love. Anyway, the body and heart are intertwined and one can only separate them for so long.

Him= I’ve written about him here before. My standard of excellence. The one no one else has come even close to comparing to. My steady rock of support. He loves me, he makes me feel special, he makes me feel desired, he makes me feel important. He makes me feel heard, understood, cared for.

After this, how can I go back to normal life?

A thousand times I pinched myself. Was it really happening? Yes, everything I’ve envisioned and longed for and prayed for came true, but it was a mere shadow. It was real, but it wasn’t real.

Restlessness consumed my soul for I knew this beautiful feeling was fleeting. My head knew the truth- this desire is a fantasy and these emotions are deceptive, untrustworthy. Meanwhile, the purest, deepest love filled me up completely. I  didn’t want to move or breathe for fear that it will all melt away like waking from a dream. I would take a bullet for this man. I would do anything within my power to make him happy. If he wanted me, I’d fight to keep him here beside me.

They say when you meet the person you’ve always expected to meet, that subconscious part of you recognizes your kindred spirit and you come alive like never before. Words seem inadequate and yet words aren’t even necessary because volumes are spoken in the expressions of the eyes. Time flies and yet time is never enough.

The spicy, intoxicating scent of his skin. The warmth of his embrace. The silent tenderness felt in his touch. Every fiber, every molecule, every atom of my being hummed with a radiant euphoria that slammed against a cacophony of torment making me feverishly sick in the pit of my stomach. Joyful butterflies coexisted with unease. But every moment was worth it and I wouldn’t change a thing if I could go back.

passion2

In case you think I’m a victim let me be clear that it was my choice to let myself fall and I knew what I was getting myself into. I couldn’t help but fall at the same time as being in control when I did. I’m an eternal optimist who never seems to give up hope… and so for many months I clung tightly to the dream that he might change his mind… but I can almost guarentee there will never be a dramatic kiss in the rain or a wildly passionte hand-written love letter. He’s always been forthright and honest. He’s never hid his intentions. The lines have always been clearly drawn. We are platonic and there’s nothing I can do about it.

“Because we are too similar,” he says.

Which is precisely the reason I love him. All my life I’ve yearned for someone like him who sees the world in the unique way I see it. We want the same things. Our personal experiences are very different but we experience the world the same way. We laugh at the same stupid humor and sigh sentimentally at the same beauty, almost as though we grew up as brother and sister with the same inside jokes.  It’s pretty rare to find someone you connect with that deeply.

“I need someone to balance me out, to be strong where I am weak. We have the same weaknesses.”

I get that. I respect it. But I can’t shake off the feeling that he’s my soulmate. I’ve finally come to a place where I am able to acknowledge that the feeling isn’t fabricated because I want it to be true so bad… but it IS true. However, soulmates can be just friends and that’s okay.

soulmate

I don’t have to guess whether or not he loves me because I know he loves me. I wish all men could be like him… honest about how they feel!

I’m tired of guesing whether a man is truly interested in me or if he just loves the excitement of the chase. I’m tired of swiping left on dating apps for days and days… I’m utterly exhausted from the passionate pursuit of charming, handsome men only to be left high and dry a few weeks later because the fire has sizzled out. That level of passion cannot be kept up by most people. Most people just want immediate gratification and they are only interested in serving themselves.

If we are really honest with ourselves, we all know deep down there is more to be had. We all really just want “the whole shebang.” The security of knowing he’ll always be there for you, the joy and comfort that comes with him being intimately aware of all your idiosyncrasies and accepting you completely despite them, maybe even because of them.

Let’s not settle for less than what we deserve: the wild, passionate, devoted love of someone who knows you inside out and will stick by your side come what may. I’m holding out because I KNOW it is possible. I also believe it’s possible for the “honeymoon stage” to never end. It takes work, but it’s possible to fall in love and feel more in love every day than the day before. This is how I feel with this man and I won’t settle for anything less than this feeling.