I told him that I was doing better, starting to feel more like myself again. “Good,” he said, “I’ve been waiting to hear that for a while now.”
C. S. Lewis wrote, “Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art.... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.”We need other people, right? Isn’t it true that good community is good for the growth of our souls? Best friends aren’t our best friends because they are essential to our survival, but they are supposed to make us laugh and loop arms with us along the tough journey. Right?
Well the boy with blue eyes had been my friend for eight years, and let me tell you something: there are best friends and there are oldest friends, and we need not get those two things confused. Because he knew. He knew the whole time and just stood back to watch it all. He watched and let me walk it alone. And there was rain and wind, and I got mud on my shoes and slowed down a lot to breathe.
So they told me to learn how to be okay with being alone with myself. My mom, my friend in New York, the girl who lives up the street, my boss, blogs-- they all agreed: I was in a season of solitude, and I needed to learn how to sit in it.
For too long I looked at the people around me and thought that they had saved me from the chaos another heart had left me in.
So I ate lunch alone.
I watched movies alone.
I went to church alone.
Because no one was going to fix me.
I had to learn how to do that.
There were some things I needed to do first before I could be okay again. Why am I friends with this person and not that one?Why is my knee jerk reaction to go to sleep when nothing goes right? Why do I have to have ketchup on eggs?
What things from the past have I held on too tightly to?
And the only person who could answer these questions and make my world spin right again was me. It was like enduring a twelve step program without having an accountability partner. Sit with myself, figure it out, stop depending on people to save me. Sew up my own cuts, ice my own bruises.
Isolation is the key to fixing yourself.Right?
I missed the part where being the one to fix me was where I was going wrong.
And it made me tired. It made me mean. It made me miserable and lonely and rebellious.
It didn’t matter how long I sat alone: everything stayed confusing and it all still hurt.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation. // 2 Corinthians 5:17-18
There was no amount of sitting with myself that would restore me; I could go on a hundred lunch dates alone, and none of it would make things right again.No amount of solitude would end with a “Eureka!”Yes, I learned how to eat fries without having an anxiety attack just because I was sitting at a table alone; I learned to stop talking about people like they had saved me.
But I was never suppose to cut myself off just so I could figure myself out.I was never meant to be the one to save me just as much as the people in my life were never meant to come swooping in to fix things.
God did what I could not do-- He made me new.
And there was rain and wind, and I got mud on my shoes and slowed down a lot to breathe. But there was a lot of sun and laughter and golden hours, too
.It was me, and it was God, and God did it all.