In the last two weeks, I have had four conversations with people who have had to watch the love of their life walk away. Everyone is saying the same thing. “I was so sure.” Then they’re gone. I have to look at them and tell them, “I know the emotional pain that causes physical pain. I know what it’s like to fall asleep crying and wake up with clouds in your mind and darkness in your heart. I know the feeling of desperation and longing.” It’s like learning how to walk all over again. The feeling of loneliness is suffocating. Breathing comes in thick gasps and every step is hard.
But, I’m on the other side and my life is now a beacon of hope. In the midst of the pain I heard the Lord’s whisper, telling me it was about him. He taught me to turn my pain into his glory and in doing so, my life became a megaphone for hope. And the last few days I have been able to share it over and over and over. You see, something is happening in Athens and the Lord is going after the heart. He is raising up a generation of people who know true joy, learned through the great sadness. He is building a generation of lovers who know true hope, found in the deepest of despair. All over campus, chains are being broken and joy is being restored. Everywhere I turn, I hear people talking about how their life has changed as a result of meeting with this Jesus guy. It happens daily. An epidemic is spilling through Athens, Georgia. But, it all started December 3, 2007. The Lord went for my heart. And he broke it. And left me needing him.
Now, I smile. Not beacause I can or things are funny or amusing. But, because there is a joy welling up inside of me. Becuase I left my bucket at the well.
Don’t lose hope. Drink coffee. Learn to party.