yesterday, i put my heart on my sleeve for all of social media to see when i wrote this post:
IT’S BEEN A WEEK, Y’ALL. emergency rooms + doctor’s offices, car breakdowns + mechanics bills, grad school deadlines + the end-of-year blur. long days + short nights, weary bones + achy souls. it’s been a week of gritting my teeth + digging in my heels, of emotional highs and lows (mostly lows, if i’m being honest), of frustrated tears + counting down to the weekend, to this very moment. every part of me needs a break, needs to take off my life for a little while + simply rest. i need to stop + look + listen + wait for everything to come into focus again. i need to remember the light.
it wasn’t really an easy thing for me to post. i don’t like to be weak. i don’t like to let others see my struggle. i want to be looked at the as the girl who can hold it all together, who knows how to take care of herself and still roll with the punches.
the problem is: sometimes we just can’t do this life thing alone.
in response to that moment of sheer vulnerability, i was overwhelmed with comments, messages, texts from people who wanted me to know they loved me and were praying for me. it was completely unexpected; i didn’t write it for the response. i wrote it because, quite frankly, i needed to word-vomit. but in that moment of weakness, i was reminded yet again that i need people. i need people to reach out and pray and console and encourage. i need people to stay.
so this one is to celebrate all those who stay. you know the people i’m talking about. the ones by your side when the going gets tough. they cook you meals, bring you coffee, let you use their cars when yours is in the shop. they sit in waiting rooms, and they remind you to breathe. they stay up late because they know you need to talk. they let you sleep in because they know you need to rest. they don’t give you easy answers because they know that’s neither helpful nor healing. they point you to the light. they pass you the tissues when you can’t stop the tears. they love you instead of trying to fix you. they let you fall apart instead of putting you back together before you’re ready. they hold hands, hold hearts, hold secrets, hold their tongues, even. they’re simply present.
they put aside their own schedules, their own agendas, their own to-do-lists. they make space. they start conversations. they ask the hard questions, like “how is your heart?” and not “how are you doing?”, and they don’t pressure you if you don’t know how to respond. they nourish your body, your heart, your soul. they see all your messy parts, and it doesn’t scare them away. they get right down there with you instead; they make your hard places their home. “i’m with you,” they whisper. “i’m for you.”
and until the storm passes, they hold your face in their hands, and they remind you that is really is going to be alright.
because it’s all messy, after all. “the hair. the bed. the words. the heart. life…” (w. leal) and if we’re all glorious wrecks when we get right down to it, maybe the best thing we can do is just to grab somebody’s hand and pull one another along.
in the end, we always remember the ones who stay.
may we know them. may we love them. may we thank them.
and may we be them.
[photo credit: flickr, creative commons]