The day I’ve been trying to ignore for five months is finally here.
Having to go to a wedding – especially one this important – after breaking off your own engagement has got to be one of the more painful experiences in life.
It’s something akin to being starving and being forced to watch someone else eat a delicious meal. They have what you wanted so badly and now can never have.
I am truly happy for them, my brother and his fiancee. She’s such a great addition to our family and the best possible person for him to go through life with. I can’t wait to see the happiness on my brother’s face when she walks down the aisle in a few days.
But at the same time, it’s so bittersweet. I can’t tell if I’m getting choked up because my brother’s getting married or because I don’t ever see that happening for me.
I’ve tried the “being on my own and loving it” thing, the “wrapped up in work” thing, the “busy every moment” thing, and even the dating app thing. I’m still lost. I still feel empty, like I’m grasping at lifestyles that I never wanted before and still don’t really want.
I’ve been forced to live this life that I didn’t ever ask for. I’m often tempted to look back with nostalgia about how simple life used to be, how comfortable I was. But God doesn’t call us to a life of comfort. He calls us to a life of courage (and persecution, and pain, and hardship) where He alone provides our comfort.
I remember months ago when I was writing out all my pain and sadness about being left so alone so suddenly. I was angry at God, asking why He wasn’t giving me the comfort I needed.
I turned to my Bible, randomly, and it opened in 2 Corinthians 1 – a section entitled “The God of All Comfort.” I thought to myself, half-rolling my eyes, I see what you did there, God, but that still isn’t helping me.
I read, “He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” (2 Cor. 1:4) Oof, that’s a punch to the gut.
He doesn’t just comfort us to comfort us. He comforts us so that we may be able to comfort others.
I read something somewhere with the same sentiment – Pass on the blessing. When God blesses us (even with something small like a good attitude, new perspective, joy, hope, comfort), we are called to share that with others, not just hoard it all away and have warm-fuzzy feelings kept to ourselves. We enjoy, and we pass on the blessing to those around us. We bless others from our abundance of blessing.
There I was having a pity party for myself and wallowing in my sadness, when God interrupted and asked me to lift my dogged stare from my own two feet to see the pain of others. Look around you, I heard Him say. There are so many people in this world with anguish far greater than yours – and they don’t know Me. How dare you feel sorry for yourself when there is so much in your life I have blessed you with.
What a conviction.
What I wasn’t seeing was that the Lord does, in fact, provide comfort, in the form of the many loving servants He has placed in my life. He will lift unseen deadly burdens from the shoulders of each of His children – if only we’d be willing to let go of them. And the comfort He gives to me is for me to give to someone else, out of the overflow.