I am treasured.
I am overwhelmed.
I am overwhelmed by a treasure.
The treasure treasures me.
It is overwhelming.
Every human heart is a treasure.
And this treasure weighs a great deal.
When you're not feeling the weight of it, you're experiencing the vastness of it.
Human hearts are so alive but can be so deadened...
Human hearts are so delicate yet they can survive so much...
When I had just barely turned 19 a certain painful event took place in my life where I was publicly embarrassed and shaken off by an older friend I looked up to and trusted. I was stunned, felt very betrayed and it changed me forever. To me, it made no sense, was completely unfair, and was just WRONG. "Not right" and "wrong" were the only terms I could find for it over and over as I tried to put myself back together while being flabbergasted by the pain. What I hated even worse is that I was made to feel like there was something wrong with ME. Later, this person offered an explanation that they had felt extremely pressured by my relationship to them. But there was nothing remotely apologetic; in fact an earlier letter I'd hand-written and delivered saying I forgave this person was responded to with a brief email saying that I'd gotten it all wrong. To add insult to injury, I had not initiated this friendship...
Here's the thing...
I can now understand much more of this person who hurt me, though that situation has several differences to my current one.
Not all my new understanding that is bubbling up softens my view of this past event. While I initiated - as a student missionary - this situation that now overwhelms me, I have not made any promises or said anything that future actions would betray. I've been a clear communicator and rather than making this precious person feel that there's something wrong with them, I've patiently sought to teach/enlighten about the concept of boundaries and I've lovingly shared ugly truths when necessary. I have never acted as though it's a breeze to me to do what I do - I've been very clear to relay that I'm no angel. Sometimes I feel like a jerk for doing the right thing, but I remember it's helping the other person's health and it keeps me from being completely depleted.
It has not been easy to keep this up. My inner reactions look nothing like my outward appearance, but God helps me keep going and I've sworn that I will not cause the sort of pain I was forced to experience. I've come to grips with a lot of the crap that's happened to me because I've deliberately sought out the lessons to be learned from them, but that doesn't mean a lot of what happened to me was not wrong. I've sworn that I will not let what's happened to me change who I am into what I despise.
The difficulty peaks sometimes, because as I get older and experience new things, I see the logic in other people copping out & cutting moral corners. Logic is very attractive to a brain like mine, but the heart has reasons that reason knows not of. I don't care that Satan's sugar-coated lies make SOME sense. They don't lead you home. And so I'm committed to the hard road. Plus, just because I was proactive in the aftermath of being emotionally wounded doesn't mean everyone who gets wounded will do what I did, which life has taught me very clearly.
And so I have a responsibility to CHOOSE patience when I'd rather scream and lock myself in a tight space to calm down. Choosing patience doesn't mean you feel patient. Oh no it does not...!
Here at Stanborough, it needs to be considered to be careful how much you encourage attachment, since we SMs leave and then teens have to deal with loss. I definitely haven't been encouraging the attachment that has overwhelmed me since it bloomed, but just because I'm leaving in less than 2 months doesn't mean I'm going to slack. It's a tight-rope to finish out my remaining time here without a landslide of sorts...
I struggle sometimes between being grateful for closure about previous situations when other people allowed me to blindly adore them and dealing with the resentment at realizing previous older "mentors" weren't all they seemed and were in fact unbalanced with wrong priorities while acting as though life would line up for me if I'd be like them. I'm grateful for how God has sustained me through past scenarios and for how He is sustaining me now. Like I said already, being patient doesn't mean feeling patient. Choice is indeed a powerful thing and the power looks like this:
You choose to control your expression, you choose your words carefully, you choose to maintain a loving demeanor while not going overboard "lovey-dovey" while also choosing to not be chilly. On the other side of the wall that is your face, you are crying on your knees to God, begging for what it takes to make it through the next 5 minutes. And every 5 minutes you repeat this process. And people think you feel as patient as you look and that you're as calm as you let on. This is how you build true strength, because on our own we are all leaky vessels. Even the people who love each other the most want to strangle each other sometimes. But though it's a nearly irresistible feeling - especially when it spikes - it's not an enduring one and with God's help the feeling becomes controllable; the choice to not indulge it more & more easy to make.
'See, there's nothing WRONG with the person who has latched on to me that isn't wrong with all of us. There's no "outstanding sins" and nothing to be ashamed of. There's heart matters, there's struggles, there's need, there's emotional scarring and unhealed wounds. That is simply life. It's a different "w"-word: weight. It's not wrong, it's weighty. There was nothing hideous about me when I was 19. I wasn't a criminal or a crazy person. I was human. My heart was heavy and it had struggles. I see a lot of myself in this person I've been drawn to help, which is part of what tugs at my conscience & heart strings. The weight has to be handled carefully with God's help and the help of older people. And part of this correct handling is to teach - not force - this person to be more independent and wise. When you're forced - like I've been - to become more "independent & wise" it isn't that simple. Rather than truly independent, the result is to become more solitary and the source of the neediness isn't really addressed - the method of coping just gets more creative. Rather than learning godly wisdom, there is one more convert to the acidic, cynical worldly wise crowd. Undoing these ripple effects is not easy. Frankly, I'm still struggling with the results of what other people's insensitivity pushed me to acquire, though I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and I'm pursuing wholeness.
In the interim, I'm grateful - and kind of in awe - that God has made it possible for us to impart what we only partially possess. He's a Genius Creator and Generous Comforter & Counselor.
I know God treasures me.
I'm so grateful my heart doesn't overwhelm Him...!
I'm so glad for the treasure of getting to feel overwhelmed by how GREAT our God is...
...so thankful for those moments of beauty that hit me just when I'm feeling calloused or exhausted...
Being treasured by God is to be protected and taught.
Being overwhelmed by God's beauty is receive rest and renewal.
I'm tired right now, but I'm still thankful.