Recently, I have heard a beautiful story told to me over and over that I want to share. There is a jar with a candle inside of it, a light. The more cracks and holes there are in the jar, the more the light, the most important part shines.
We are the jar, and Christ is the light. The more I share my brokenness and my hurts, the more Christ’s light shines through me. It is only because of Him that I am able to be known for my joy in the midst of my depression, be confident and share boldly, though my personality is to be timid. May I not try to cover the cracks of this jar in order that the light may shine more brightly and evidently through me.
One of the lovely people who first shared this story with me was my roommate. She encouraged me to share my blog with others, despite my persistent asking if it was too vulnerable and too exposing for the world to see, she encouraged me to not lose an opportunity to share of God’s goodness and faithfulness.
I would like to take a minute to brag about my roommate. She is incredibly beautiful, wise, and kind. She loves to dance, corny jokes, and is the most wonderful friend I could have ever asked for or imagined. She is the most loving and wonderful person that I have ever met. And most importantly of all, she delights in the moments when I tell her how I feel hurt by her, and when I share with her my brokenness, as she is able to point me towards Jesus Christ.
This might seem little, but to me it has meant the world. I have long prided myself in being the encourager, the good friend, and the one who is never in argument or conflict with others. I thought strength and love were acceptance and not saying things that bothered me. But love is instead sharing the hard truths, and being honest and vulnerable in order to help one another grow and be better, and encouraging one another to be more like the Lord. Love is pointing out the flaws and sins in one another’s lives and holding one another accountable in love, so that we may be made more like Jesus Christ each and every day.
Here’s a little story of a moment where Christ showed me His inexplicable love through my roommate. The day before I left to return home to Virginia, my very last day with my dear, sweet roommate, my parents came into town to help me pack up. I had made a few plans for the day, and she and I had gone to Five Daughters to get some of the new May flavored donuts. We had also planned to go to the worship night at a friend’s suite, and I was so excited. However, I was secretly hoping that she would be there the whole day, waiting in the room to spend time with me whenever I returned. This whole year, a deep struggle of mine has been wanting to be wanted, to be someone else’s first, to be the one that she admired and adored as much as I do her. But, she was, as it was her right to be, busy in the afternoon.
A little later into the evening, I had seen a friend towards whom I had poured a lot of my heart into. I had prayed for him, loved him, and poured into him with all of my heart. Many tears were shed over my desire for him to know Jesus Christ, and I, still, have this hope that someday we will worship the King together in Heaven. However, I needed someone else to listen and show me from an outward perspective how poorly he had treated me, and how much I needed to let go of trying to, in my own efforts, win his heart towards the Lord, and surrender that burden to Jesus Christ. It is not my job to make him believe in Jesus, all I can do is love him and be faithful as the Lord leads me. This was kind of a side story, but I promise it ties in!
The point is, while this was, in many ways, the most wonderful day of all with spending time at Five Daughters with my roommate, having lunch with my dearest second grade teacher, and having Jeni’s ice cream with my sweet grandbig, there was a deep feeling of rejection and being unwanted that filled my heart.
That night as I was packing up my side of the room, my roommate asked me if I wanted to do something with her for our last night together. Pitifully and feeling hurt, and regretfully I admit, wanting her to feel the same pain that I had felt, I said no, I’d just like to pack. She said okay, and I continued to get ready.
When she came in later that night, my heart was in such a deep conflict: to share with her my heart and hurts yet again, or to hold them in and bitterly hold a grudge out of pity for myself. And, unfortunately, I chose the latter. It hurts my heart to think that on our last night together as she begged me to share what was bothering me and what was wrong, I simply turned away and refused to speak because I was afraid and too focused on my own pain to step out of it and love her in the hurt I was causing her.
The next morning, I arose early and went down to the balcony to read my Bible. I only lasted a few minutes before I went back into the room. “We need to talk about last night,” she said matter-of-factly. It is sometimes hard to humbly accept the words I need to hear, as my pride gets in the way and says that I need to be better than her, I need to have it together because just like with the friend I mentioned before, what if someone who has loved me so well ends up hurting me, and I cannot be hurt like that again, I tell myself. But, love hurts. Yet it is so worth it.
I couldn’t quite seem to share with her what had so hurt me, but to say that I still felt less than, insecure in our friendship, and unwanted as her first. We stood there, hand in hands, as tears began to stream down my face and well up in her own. And she said the words that cut to my heart. She said, “I still love you.” Though I had withheld from her my hurts, caused her pain in not sharing, and been so deeply unkind towards her on our very last night together, her love remained steadfast and constant, and in that moment, it was as if it was Jesus Christ standing there, holding my hands, telling and reminding me sweetly, gently, and deeply, that despite everything when I turn away from him, when I refuse to cast my cares upon Him as He asks me to, and when I am absolutely awful towards Him and even as I build up walls around my heart of pity and fear of hurt, He still says, “I love you, Mimi.” And the same is true for you, my dear friend. Through it all, Jesus Christ loves you.
Through this heartbreaking and broken circumstance and in my selfish prideful mess, the Lord still showed me His gracious love in the most beautiful way, and for that, I am eternally grateful. May I continue to see more of the beauty of simply receiving grace and of God’s genuine and deep love, for He is very good. And may we draw ever nearer to our Father, that He may also draw near to us (James 4:8).
Thank you, dearest roommate, for showing me a glimpse of the deepest love of our Father, a love like none other. ❤