As I sit here writing this, I am surrounded by perhaps the brightest, most elite minds in the world. Sipping my latte from the little nook I have carved out for myself, amongst the stack of books of this incredible bookstore which sits just adjacent to the university itself, I watch the hustle and bustle of these brilliant people. And I find myself wondering about their lives. It is a most satisfying way to wait for my Husband to finish his second day of formal interviews. Perhaps it is this amazing atmosphere that prompts me to put pen to paper-- or, as is my case, fingertips to keyboard-- or perhaps it is the fact that after today, I will have very little time to write again for a while. Or, maybe too, I just need to write what's on my heart.
Please do not continue reading this with the expectation that it will be a masterpiece of blog literature. It almost certainly will not be. As I have said before, I am simply a real person. And, today, I do not feel like editing. :-)
God has provided a lot of opportunities lately for me to practice my Lenten promise of giving of myself and loving until it hurts. I have not been able to receive Holy Communion since returning from South America due to a combination of having run out of my special low-gluten hosts and traveling. And the 'loving until it hurts' bit includes having to suffer through a very liturgically abusive on-campus Mass I attended with the friend I am an RCIA sponsor for this year, for her Rite of Sending. *sigh* ;-) Even more recently, however, I was given an opportunity to truly love until it hurt, and even still, to continue loving...
Several days ago, I received a text message and then a missed call, from an important figure in my past. I blanched when my Husband read off the number. This person was the last in the world I had ever expected to hear from, and, in truth, was the last person I had ever hoped to hear from again. Imagine a cross between a very dark version of "Phantom of the Opera" and the legend of St. Maria Goretti, and you will understand why I was shaken to the core. The message itself simply said, "Help." I had to sit down and try to hold myself together. Eventually, I did obtain permission to write back. I explained to this person that I could not speak with them, but that I could communicate via text. Subsequently, within the course of an hour, I learned that this person's life had fallen into dire straits. Certainly, I knew this intuitively, for they would not have contacted me if they had not been absolutely desperate. Not after the "goodbye" letter I had sent months back. Nevertheless, the extent to which they had fallen broke my heart.
I am a very forgiving person. This individual had taken advantage of my being young and nieve, back when I left my parents' home. They had hurt me in every way that a person could possibly be hurt, over the course of a couple of years, and I was left a broken, shattered soul as a result. Nevertheless, we had ended up being something of friends in the end. I would like to think that I had helped them get their life back on track to some extent. This person was at my baptism and confirmation, and they were also present at my wedding. However, I could not keep living half in the past while trying to forge ahead into my new, married life. I realised, too, that I was also suffering from many unresolved post traumatic stress issues. And so, after beginning therapy for that reason, I had to write my long goodbye. At long last, I had finally felt free! Free to be myself, free to melt the protective layers around my heart, and free to start allowing myself to be loved by my Husband.
And now this.
I took a few days to think things over. I was blessed to be able to have an emergency meeting with my therapist. I hadn't realised, until afterward, the extent to which I was shaken up by the communication. If you can imagine the impossibility of the most calm, collected emotional wreck on planet Earth, that was me! Outwardly, there was little indication of suffering, save for a constant chill and trembling. Inwardly, it was a very different story. I could not sleep, I could not eat, and all I wanted to do in the whole world was run away where I could never be found. I was physically in the present, but not much more. I could not even be home, alone. I finally realised the extent of things when my Husband called me one day, and as I was talking, I broke down and started sobbing, begging to be allowed to not have to complete my list, begging for him to understand. Praise God, he did.
It soon became apparent what I had to do. The answer may seem rather paradoxical. In my very core, I wanted to reach out and help. I wanted to find a way to offer this person all that they were asking of me. I wanted to fulfill my Lenten promise of loving until it hurt, and even then, to keep loving. My therapist, though, helped me to realise something very profound. Sometimes the most loving choice is not to save someone from hitting rock bottom. You would be interfering with God's grace. How can a soul ever truly turn to God, and straighten their life around, unless they first reach the end of their rope? Only then can they let go and allow God to completely reign in their lives.
This is certainly true of my situation. And so, even though it is killing me, I have had to break all contact with this individual. I have also had to change my phone number-- something I was sad to do, because it was the same number that I have had my entire married life-- and I have had to take down all personal information from various sources, change my passwords, security questions, etc. I know what this person is capable of doing, and it frightens me. Although it is the most difficult thing to do, I am really and truly loving them. I am offering up prayers and sacrifices for their soul, which is all that I can do, the most perfect thing that I can do. I am loving them even though it hurts.
And, even still, I must love. :-)
God bless you,