Hope deferred makes the heart sick; but when the desire is fulfilled, it is a tree of life. [Prov. 13:12]
I once heard that God’s ways are not our own. So when we ask for a thing like healing, sometimes it takes longer than we hope and it also happens in ways we don’t expect. We whine about the things that need to be different in our society, our country, the world and even within us that many times we sound like broken records. I need to be accepted, I need attention, I need excitement, I need a miracle, I need to be loved. But life doesn’t always go according to plan. Like death and taxes, you have as sure a chance of life throwing you lemons as the North Pole does at having snow. It just must happen, no two ways about it.
I was twenty-one going on thirty-five. I felt old, heart-sick and psychologically tortured. Life didn’t look like it was about to give me a break. What I wanted the most wasn’t going to be handed to me on a silver platter. I either didn’t deserve it or I needed to work harder for it; or I simply didn’t want it badly enough. I loved, but the love was never reciprocated. I pleaded with God to help me be beyond average, to help me see myself as beautiful but alas! “You’re average” stuck like the glue on the back of a fridge magnet and every glance in the mirror reminded me of the horror I thought I was. I wanted to be accepted; to be loved; to be made whole; I wanted to feel like I was worth something, but I didn’t. Instead, there was a gaping hole in my chest which kept growing and growing and growing. Like a cancer, it ate away at all that was good within until I was left empty. See, the thing about life is that everything has a good side and a bad side. So even though the tunnel is dark, it has an ending and that ending may or may not have a light so we keep searching until we find a flash light; there’s a rainbow after the storm and the fat lady does sing at some point. The bad inevitably comes to an end.
My healing package came in the form of an unorthodox bunch of loving people. The ones who loved you even when you were empty and had nothing to give back; the kind that knew exactly what to say and when; the kind that introduce you to redeeming love. My light at the tunnel’s end was redeeming love and I wanted to stay under the warmth of that glow forever. Gradually the self loathing wore off and what replaced it was a sense of self-worth. That every time I picked up a razor, I felt more and more disgusted by it. I was worth more than just a penny to the One who saw fit to call me out. I was healing with every word spoken to me about the God who cares; the God who allowed me to be broken so I could be re-built and made whole. The One who taught me to love myself by His love through His servants. I was overwhelmed. The short skirts and drunken smiles only got me momentary satisfaction. This here was the real thing, the gold in the chest at the end of the treasure hunt. See, I did need love, but not the kind I had wanted and not the kind I thought I needed.
So I thank God that boy didn’t love me back when I wanted him to; thank God I wasn’t miss popular in high school or varsity; thank God I didn’t have the highest grades for the reason I wanted them; and thank God for every other definition of success that failed me – it became the undoing that led me to THE ANSWER, the One whose opinion matters most. I didn’t need the guy or the popularity to prove that I was beautiful. I was beautiful even before I got out of my mothers’ womb and shame on the world for their definition of beauty or success because it made me feel like I was not good enough. Hope deferred makes the heart-sick, but a desire fulfilled is like a tree of life. My desire was fulfilled in the most unexpected AND beautiful ways.
There is beauty in the mending of broken things.
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