By Chad West
She had just come out of a horrible marriage. Aside from emotionally and mentally abusing her, he’d been known to hit her too. After years of hoping he would suddenly change, she got out. She had to get a secret apartment because he was out looking for her. But, for the next six months, she would come to me, weeping, telling me that she wanted to see him. Just see him. Talk to him. Hug him. Maybe they could make it work. I sat with her for hours on end, helping her stay strong. Then, one day, out of the blue, she called me and said she was free. Everything in her that had yearned to be back in that situation seemed foolish and strange to her now.
She was on drugs. Not the hard stuff. And everything was fine until it slowly became the hard stuff. My beautiful friend started falling apart. She lost jobs, she lost friends, and she lost her way. Now she’s a sweet, doting mother of a child that was almost taken from her. Years clean now, she’s started life again, and actually excited about the future.
He was depressed. He would sometimes scratch his skin to prove to himself that he still had feeling. Sometimes he’d have to scratch hard. He could still manage a laugh, but the feeling didn’t last long. But he was good at pretending to be a normal human. Very few people knew he was empty inside, phoning in life. He felt like a bland mess of unidentifiable emotions inside. He couldn’t remember things. He couldn’t do his job well. He couldn’t believe that anything would ever change. Now he feels like the boy who used to feel everything again. The kid who laughed more deeply and actually wept when sad. The one who could have more than one emotion at a time. He feels alive again.
While we’re standing in the middle of a storm, it either seems like it will never end or it’s going to take us with it when it goes. But it does get better. There’s an other side to the pain. There’s an answer to all your prayers. There’s a realization that you’re not alone or strangely unique in your pain. There’s hope. And, sometimes, all you have is that hope. So, I wanted to remind you of it. I wanted to share the comfort with which I’ve been comforted.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-5