Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Despair and Revelation

"The lord is near the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit." -Psalm 34:18

"Trust in the lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make streight you paths." -Proverbs 3:5-6

"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." -Romans 12:2

In my journal a couple days ago this is what I wrote:

“Breaking up with someone you love deeply is like being severely punished as a child, or being thrown in jail for a crime you didn’t commit, or like being kicked out of your own home with nowhere to go. It feels like an anvil was dropped in your lap, or a sledgehammer taken to your chest. It feels like being stuck in a desert with no water, or in a room in which you just cannot get warm. Hope is pointless, anger is pointless, eating is pointless. I do not yet see the light at the end of the tunnel. I now know afresh what agony and despair are.”

-This one of a couple of dark reflections I conjured over the roller coaster of emotions I have experienced over the last couple days. After breaking up with John, I have found myself in a constant wrestling match with my thoughts.

Thank God for family and friends. While going through this- I have found it most helpful when people are proactive with me. They drag me out to do something or directly initiate some sort of support without me having to ask. So much better than “Let me know if there is anything you need.” At this point in time I don’t know what I need; much less have the motivation to ask. Even though I have been here before, I forgot how tragic a breakup can feel. It truly is similar to experiencing a death. Writing helps, praying helps, talking helps, music helps. Here is one of the many songs that has really resonated with me. Sara Groves-Mystery
The last week feels like an eternity. I have talked with many, thought millions of thoughts, and learned a lot. I really have gone through the ringer, and for awhile I felt like I was in the darkest of holes. This has been and continues to be a real trial- a real test. I often have found myself asking where is God in all of this? Sometimes I have felt very intimately close to him- other times more distant than ever.

As the amount and intensity of Sadness over the last couple days has been great, so has the presence of revelations. I have had three major turning points in this journey so far and they can be summed up in the following:

1-      God is first not other people/your relationships

2-      God comforts you through people/others

3-      I am worthwhile and God loves me

These are all very simple statements- that might not strike any reader as that extraordinary. But their true realization for me has been very miraculous. To learn something as a feeling, beyond words, and then have it become a part of who you are. Or recognize it was a part of who you have been all along. That what it was like to absorb these new truths.

The first one I received when praying with my sister at the St. Olaf Chapel. Really an affirmation of what I wrote about in my last blog post. This was a necessary perspective shift for me, a necessary hard lesson on priorities.

The second one I received through listening to the below sermon sent to me by my good friend Lydia. One of those messages that came at the perfect time- here is the link to the sermon and I think a really important lesson on despair: Sermon: God and Despair

From this I understood that God is working in my life through other people, and I understood how lucky I am to be so supported and loved from several angles. We say often we are grateful for those in our lives- but we learn a new intensity of gratefulness when these people come and help us through times of trial.

The third one I received just yesterday. I think we Christians hear almost every day that God loves us. But to grasp at what that means is a whole different story.  I realized through a conversation with my dad for a long time I have assumed I am not a worthwhile individual- and not enough. Because of this, I walked around assuming this to be true and constantly trying to earn the approval and value of others. Today for the first time I considered myself as truly loved by God and actually a worthwhile human being. What an amazing relief and change. Seeing myself as worthwhile took away much of my sadness, and some of my lack of motivation.

Today I still feel the weight of the world. I still don’t know what the future looks like. But I have survived a true bought of despair, and now am starting to discover the glimmer of light ahead. And most importantly God is with me, now closer than ever. I pray for patience, reassurance, love and truth in the days ahead.


  1. Oh, Kelsie, hang on to hope. My heart hurts for your struggle, and although I have not gone through what you are experiencing, I have suffered loss in a painful way in losing a sibling and the grief is so deep and I fear forever will be this way for me and my family.
    But the true hope for you here, that although right now it hurts and feels like a kind of axe at your throat, at some point in the future that you are getting a glimpse of, like a light at the end of a tunnel, you will move on from this particular grief and there will be far more light and far less darkness. At some point in the future you may not think much about this particular grief, other than a lesson in heart ache and healing. Hang onto hope. Prayers for healing, reassurance, peace and hope as you move through and forward in this painful process. So many have gone through this, seek them out, they are a source of comfort and strength to you!

  2. I am also a Sara Groves fan, and I so like the lyrics and music to Mystery. I turn continually to music and the arts, as well as to the Psalms of lament, to speak to my grieving heart. I know you are finding comfort and beauty there as well. It is all mystery, isn't it, how grief destroys us and also can make us more than what we had been. It doesn't just "happen" to us randomly, but rather has potential to bring us closer to the unseen world and get us in touch with the reality of our great need for God's continuing intervention in our lives. I look forward to our time together next Saturday at the MIA, and will hope that the timeless art will speak to you as it does to me.
    "When I can't hold on, You hold me" (Colossians 1:17).