“Hi Diana, could you see if Pastor Reaves is available to meet with me today, please? I really need to speak to him.” I pleaded to my best friend’s mother, whom was the church’s secretary in my hometown. My heart was battered and my spirit was beaten with demonic thoughts and I needed my pastor’s help.
“If there is a God, why would he take the young? If there is God, how come my prayers are left unanswered? If there is a God, why do I feel so much anger and hatred towards him? Shouldn’t he be comforting me? I need him to comfort me. I need him badly. I need him to take away the pain and mend my broken heart.”
I was afraid of my pastor’s response as I sat in his office with tears flowing down my face. I had no idea how he was going to react. I wondered he if would pull out the holy water and sprinkle it over my head to release what seemed like a demonic spirit within me.
But he didn’t. He didn’t even respond with scriptures, instead he gently said, “I understand, Carissa.”
I was confused–the pastor had just told me that he understood my anger towards God. How?
“When I was in my twenties, I lost my best friend to a virus. I was broken. I was angry. And here I was a man of God having unwanted thoughts and questioning God’s work, as well. I’ll tell you this; the pain won’t ever go away. But in time you’ll understand it better by and by. And when that day comes, you’ll be able to cope with losing your friend.”
I stared at him with tears refilling the creases of my eyes, trying hard not to release them. I was in disbelief that I wasn’t alone. He had once been in my shoes and understood what I was feeling inside too. Pastor Reaves reached over to hug me that signaled, let it go—so I did. I cried. I cried. And I cried uncontrollably. I released the pain, the hurt, the confusion, the love lost and every bit of piece of me in his arms.
Once I calmed down, we were able to further discuss my feelings and reminisce about Julian’s and I Sunday visits to church when we were in college. My pastor and I laughed together and a few times, laughed while crying. The most powerful moment in our meeting was his prayer for Julian, his family, his friends, and me. His words were comforting and I left feeling a lot better.
I went home that afternoon and decided to do a few things that would continue my healing. I accepted the invitation to join a Christian based Sister Circle; I got the courage to register for a 10k Marathon that benefited individuals with breast cancer; I got a sleeve tattoo; I quit my job; And surprisingly, I accepted the opportunity to teach in China that summer. All of them were out of the norm for me because I don’t normally share my business with everyone, I hated running and never ever ran a marathon, a tattoo on my forearm wasn’t my ideal conservative image, and it would’ve been my first time traveling across the world alone. All of that no longer mattered.
I was up for the challenge because I wanted to do things that I’d never done before. If I didn’t remember anything else that Julian left, I’ll forever embrace his strength to live out loud.
Life is too short and unpredictable not to live it as you please.
I could care less what other folks thought of me. Their opinions didn’t matter, at that point. It was my life–not theirs.
In the midst of all of this, everyone became very curious and was dying to know, “how does your boyfriend feel about all of this? How does he handle you crying over your ex-boyfriend?”
I answered with silence because it was far too complicated to explain; but I knew eventually I would have too. And I would have to face my boyfriend’s broken heart, as well. But I wasn’t ready. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know what to say. Selfishly, I was only concerned about my feelings. At night, I cried because I was hurting from a loss. Day and night, he cried because he had lost me.
What was a gal suppose to do?
TO BE CONTINUED.