Friday, October 4, 2013

Tears and Prayers

Tears and prayers. They’re both powerful things. I realized that on the night of October 2nd.

This isn’t the normal sort of blog post I write here. Usually, I take a topic and expound on it, sometimes with my own opinions—but rarely do I have anything that happens in my life worth actually telling about.

But the night of the 2nd… while nothing happened physically, I believe I grew a little more spiritually. And that’s why I want to share the happenings of the 2nd with all of you.

I had been having a rough day. College had me stressed out, and not only that—the internet was down all day. That meant I had to be behind on schoolwork (I need internet access to the courses), and I couldn’t talk to my friends to calm myself down.

I was on the verge of tears most of the day… but none of them fell. For some reason, I refuse to let tears fall when there’s a danger of someone seeing me.

Finally, the internet was back on, and I proceeded with the evening as I usually do. I chatted a few friends, and asked questions to another friend about a trip they plan on taking over here (we were trying to figure out if they could stay overnight at my house when they visit). And I talked to one friend—an adoptive older sister—about my fear of losing the people I love, whether it be now or in the future.

Well, I was feeling slightly better when I shut the computer off for the night. I asked my mother about this overnight stay before she went to bed—and she said no (she has changed her mind since then, however, but that’s not important to this blog post).

Her saying no, I suppose, is what finally drove me to tears. I cried quietly (not too much sobbing) for about fifteen minutes, curled up on my bed and hugging my stuffed panda bear extremely tightly. Eventually, the tears stopped.

But then, for some reason, I decided to read through that conversation with my big sister again.

It hit me like a tidal wave. Within seconds, I was sobbing and I couldn’t stop. It went on like that—with me trying to stifle the sounds—for about ten minutes. It didn’t slow down, but despite that fact, I suddenly started to talk.

Just talk. No formalities, no trying to choose the right words—I just started pouring all of my emotions out into words, ignoring the fact that I was speaking through the sobs.

At first, I had no clue who I was talking to—at first, it seemed as though I was just talking to myself. But that made no sense, because I was begging Someone to help me. I was talking as though someone was sitting right beside me, listening to every word I said.

I eventually realized that I was praying, sort of—not in the traditional sense, but I was pouring everything out to God in a rush of repeated words and trembling half-sentences.

And, for about forty minutes, I just talked with Him. At first, I simply told Him how much it hurt, and how afraid I was of losing the people I loved, and how lonely I felt. I said I knew I shouldn’t feel lonely, because I was never really alone, but I couldn’t help it. I asked Him to help me be strong.

A realization randomly struck me, a sudden rush of clarity in my muddled mind—I realized, sharper than I ever had before… that God is huge. He is bigger than… than everything.

He is bigger than the tallest tree you’ve ever seen. He is bigger than the forests. He is bigger than the deserts, the mountains, the seas. He is bigger than this planet we’re all on.

And I realized that last night (the 2nd), while I cried.

I told Him for a few minutes longer how I was feeling; I think I said, at one point, something that went a bit like this: “And… I know I shouldn’t, but I’m scared of losing the people I love. I shouldn’t be scared, but I am, even if they won’t be gone tomorrow, they will be sometime in the future, and… and I’m going to miss them so much.”

A thought ran through my head—almost as though someone or Someone else were saying it to me—that said, “But it’s not forever. You’ll see them again.”

And then the confession of the doubts came.

Yes, I doubt. I struggle with doubt every single day; not just of things and people, but of God Himself. It’s not something I tell people, because I’m not proud of the fact.

But last night, in a rush of words and tears, I confessed all the doubts. That sometimes I doubt there will ever be an end of endings—or a new beginning, the terms are interchangeable for me. That I doubt I will ever go Home to Heaven. That sometimes… sometimes I even doubt that there really is a Heaven.

I never doubt the existence of God. But somehow, for some reason, I doubt the existence of Heaven. I don’t know why. But I do.

I confessed those doubts first, and then rambled about other doubts I have—the doubts I have of the truthfulness of my friends, the often-appearing certainty that they’re lying and don’t really care about me at all. The doubts I have that anyone really loves me (including God Himself). The doubts I have that I’m really worth anything.

I felt guilty about all of these doubts, and switched from letting all of them out to pleading with God to forgive me, and to help me banish all of the doubts I was feeling—the ones I have about Him and Home, the ones I have about my friends, and the ones I have about myself. And after pleading with Him to do so, I felt a small flicker of peace somewhere deep inside.

I wasn’t finished, though. As my mind dwelled on thoughts of Home, another sudden realization, clear and sharp in the haze of my mind, hit me—the true meanings of the words ‘forever’ and ‘never’.

You see… I pin deadlines or time limits or what-have-you on things all the time, and I think subconsciously, I had always assumed that even Forever had an ending.

But last night in the midst of the tears, the true meaning of the words came to me. I finally realized that ‘forever’… it means ‘forever’. Always. There… is… no… time. Time simply does not exist. The same with ‘never’—when you go Home, you will be there forever (no ending, always, eternity) and will never have to hurt ever again. Ever.

And I finally realized what that meant. That when I go Home… time will cease to exist. Forever will really be forever.

The spark of peace inside of me grew to a small flame. But it still didn’t end there.

I talked of Home to God for a while. About how sometimes I wished I could just go Home now; not necessarily end my own life, but just to skip ahead to when He decides it’s time to take me Home, so I can be there and stop hurting.

I, still sobbing, told Him how much I wished with all my heart to be able to skip ahead to the time where I can be Home, with my friends and family and the ones I love forever, and never have to hurt again. Never have to miss them, never have to worry, never have to feel lonely, never have to say goodbye.

I have such a fierce longing for that time… it sometimes conflicts with the doubts I have about there really being a Heaven. But the longing is always there.

Then I talked of how I understand I can’t end my life to go Home now, because not only can I not leave my friends… but also that there is a journey I have to complete. I have a long road to walk yet.

I really said that—I used those words. Journey. Road.

Then the sobs came harder, and I confessed the pain. I whispered that sometimes this Journey hurts so badly, and oftentimes it feels like I’m trudging down an abandoned, desolate Road, surrounded by shadows and mist. Alone… so alone. Chased by painful memories, unable to run and escape them because, after all, how can one escape themselves?

I cried that it hurt, and that I don’t even know where I’m going; where the Road ends. I don’t even know what my Journey is! I don’t know what purpose I’m supposed to fulfill. I whispered that I wished I could know.

And then something occurred to me, almost as though a Voice murmured it to me. Then I said in a quiet voice between sobs that I understood what I need to do. I understood that I need to simply walk the Road and let God lead me to where He will—that I simply need to let Him lead and not worry about my destination or what will happen at the end.

I talked of that for a while longer, and then stopped crying briefly. I lay there on my bed, staring at the ceiling and trying to steady my breathing. I thought it was over—that I had stopped crying, and that I had poured my heart out to God, and that it was finished for the night. I would have no more realizations or tears, and would just attempt to get to sleep. I felt restless, though, and had a hard time relaxing.

Suddenly, like a splash of icy water in the face… yet another realization struck me, and it was the most powerful of all.

As I lay there, I realized something I have known all my life, but never truly understood, appreciated, or realized as sharply until last night. It hit me so hard, it felt like I had truly, physically been shaken awake.

I realized in a sharp way I had never before, that Jesus was mocked and beaten… for me. He went through unimaginable agony and torture… for me. He was utterly alone, forsaken by even His Father in the end… for me. He died a horrible death… for me.

Not only did I realize that, but another fact slammed into me—I don’t deserve any of it. I don’t deserve it at all. Without Him, I would be nothing but a worm that lives and then dies and fades into nothingness, having had no purpose in life. And even with Him, I am still nothing but a sinner saved by the grace and love of One greater than all.

And as those realizations pounded into me, I started sobbing again. Yes, the full-on sobbing. I kept whispering ‘thank you’ over and over again, that I didn’t deserve any of it, but He had gone through it anyway. I must have said ‘thank you’ at least fifty times within five minutes, but I didn’t care. I just kept saying it and crying.

And the burning embers inside of me became a blaze—the flames of hope, the fire of gratitude, and surrounding it all the glow of peace.

I stopped crying again, and this time it was final. I lay there, quietly staring at the ceiling with nothing but the sound of my own breathing breaking the silence, and I thought about all that had happened—all the realizations I had come to.

Then I whispered ‘thank you’ one last time, turned out the lights, and went to bed.

And the reason I wanted to share all of that with you… is because it had a huge impact on me, and I hope that it will have an impact on all of you as well—even if it only has an impact on one of you, then that will be a blessing in and of itself.

Not only that, but all of the realizations I came to… they can apply to you as well. Especially this—Jesus went through all of that pain and grief for you. He died… for you, my brothers and sisters.

I had one last realization before I went to sleep.

No matter what happens, God has it all under control. He knows the end of your Road and the purpose of your Journey, even if you yourself don’t understand them.  He knows every single thing that will happen, and He will work it all together for the greater good.

He holds you in his arms. And even if you stumble on your Journey… He will never—never—let you go.


  1. *Happy tears again* Love you, Renna. I'm so glad that God reminded you of those truths. <3 It was such an encouragement to hear about this from you.

    1. *smiles a bit, hugs tight* I love you too, Ophelia. And yes... I'm glad too. Even with the stress of the last few days, I still have that feeling of peace... I don't think it'll leave for a long time. <3 And I'm glad this was an encouragement for you to hear.

  2. Thank you for posting this, Renna. I'm glad no one can see my face right now because there are tear stains all over it >.<
    God certainly knew I needed to hear that. I'm so proud of your courage to post something that real, that true.
    Love you, Teddy.

    1. *smiles a little, hugs tight* You're welcome, Susie. And that's okay... tears aren't a bad thing. I'm glad that this blog article helped you in some way, and that you needed to hear it at this time.

      Thank you. It did take quite a bit of courage to post it... so I'm glad it was a help to you and Ophelia.

      I love you too, Susie. :)

  3. I sat here and read this and in the middle of reading it, started reading it out loud so that your brother could hear. I started crying in the midst of the post though. It was hard not to.

    I NEVER like to think of you crying, feeling lonely, scared or hurting. It breaks my heart even though you may not realize just how much.

    You always manage to post something positive at the end though and that is more than I could ever do. I'm so proud of you, and I love you so very much. <3