Letters to Luthien

Letters to My Future Bride

Spent

Dear Darling,

I have nothing left to give.

Not tonight. I’m empty. Drained. I feel like I’ve given every last ounce of myself to others. I believe it was the right thing to do, and I know that in the giving, others were happy, though perhaps not as happy as I hoped. But now I have nothing left.

I feel like I need a “me” day. Maybe even a week. I need someone to step up at bat for me. I desperately need someone who can get through to me, because I’m losing strength to reach out. The last two or three weeks have been difficult, and I feel like I’ve been fighting them all on my own.

I want to be selfish. For once. I want someone (you) to take my hand with both of yours, grasp it lovingly. You don’t even have to say anything. Just care. Just find a way to make me let you love me.

I need you to be here right now, just someone to help prop me up on my bad days, just like I’ll prop you up on yours.

I need someone to tell me they’re proud of me. Do you know, I think I’m the only one capable of being proud of me right now? Oh, someone told me they were proud of me the other day. He was a Bible study leader, and had no qualms about being direct in his admonishment to stay pure, and call him if I felt weak. I informed him I had waited all this time and had no intentions of throwing it all away now. He admitted he’d done a lot of sleeping around in his time, and very frankly admitted he’d probably slept with a hundred women before he got married and found God. (I can only assume he exaggerated.) Of course, that just gave me flashbacks to my sentiments about being the prodigal brother. Here was a gregarious and outgoing man, successful in his business, and now in leadership over me, who had failed his vows to God and bride dozens of times before finding either of them.

Does God have a habit of choosing the redeemed for his handiwork? Absolutely. Have I failed Him constantly throughout my life? Absolutely. Do I have the time to take on the work that God has called others to do? Of course not. But one wonders, if God delights in changing the lives of degenerates and exalting them in His kingdom, then why obey? The wicked are crowned with honor for the pasts they’ve been brought out of. What is the point of being loyal if the Lord rewards only repented disloyalty?

Would you like to hear what the last two weeks consisted of? I had two difficult exams to study for and pass, 36 hours of class and clinicals, roughly 50 hours of work at my two jobs, WHILE successfully contributing to or being quoted in three national/international news sources and conducting multiple interviews for my unpaid side job as a publicist for a national nonprofit.

As an aside, I managed to squeeze in a two-mile run, donate blood, plan a surprise birthday party, and counsel or listened to at least five friends going through very difficult situations. (Lawsuits, dying relatives, divorces, testimony in court, victims of abuse, etc.)

Darling…no one cares. They don’t ask me how I’m doing. They don’t ask me what I need. They don’t ask me if they can help, or how, they don’t ask me if I’m doing okay. The world is full of takers. No one gives. I seriously doubt many of these people would show up to my wedding, let alone show up to shovel earth back onto my grave if I died.

It leaves me wondering why. It sets up a perplexing dilemma of alternatives: Do I become like them, giving them what they deserve, ignoring them, letting them fend for themselves, or do I expend my energy and resources to give to them, lifting them up and setting them and others an example a better way? The former is not what our Savior asks, but the latter leaves me the way I am tonight. Drained.

No one has come up to me and said I’ve done well, good job, keep at it, or even “I’m proud of you.” No one says “Hey, I saw what you did back there. I just want you to know that it was a sweet, wonderful thing to do. It really made me happy to see that spirit in you.”

I tell people that as often as I can! Last weekend, a woman I know faced a particularly difficult situation, and afterwards I took her aside and told her how she impressed me, and how I gave glory to God because of her. She was extremely grateful to be told that. Is this some mythical gift of affirmation? Or is this just me doing as I wish to be done by? And if it is some rare gift to affirm and encourage, where are the other recipients of this gift for the times when I need it?

Maybe the problem is that a simple thank-you isn’t enough for me. But if I’m being honest, I don’t know what is. I keep people at a distance; maybe I don’t take what they say to heart. I am driven and compelled to earn the praise of others…and psychologically self-conditioned to reject it.

Longer-range, I do reflect on the things I try to do with my life. Missions trip. Donating blood. I remember once, after helping out with a week-long Vacation Bible School program and working with children, I stayed indoors and cleaned up an entire church sanctuary while everyone played and partied outside. Once, I replaced an entire floor for my parents as a surprise while they were out of town for a weekend. (My mother cried when she saw it. Yes, I have video.)

Why is there no abiding memory of gratitude? Do I have a faulty memory, or did no one realize the hard work and sacrifice some of these things required? Is recounting these memories arrogance or just needing to remind myself of the things I’ve done…to remind myself that what I’ve done and who I am matters.

But the question lingers: Who am I trying for? Is it God? I trust He is happy with my service, but it seems He is more pleased with the penitent whose graver offenses are expunged. My family? They are presently far too busy with their own problems to recognize my efforts. Friends? No, I am not earning the favor of anyone who steps up and feeds back into the cycle of encouragement, compassion or support. Strangers? Perhaps. Myself? Perhaps. You? Absolutely.

In the end, Darling, I think only you will be the only mortal who can reward me. Only you will be the immortal beloved whose affections and gratitude will reach into and my core and warm it.

Maybe I seem far too needy or weak to you by this admission. You will have to take me as I am. I promise you will seldom find me thus; worn, broken and spent. It’s like that scene from Superman Returns, where Lois Lane rescues Superman because he’s been wounded and is drifting in the ocean. Rescue Superman, and he comes back to rescue you, and the entire city.

Rescue me, bring me back from the edge of being weary, sad and spent, and I will rescue you and lift you up.

Goodnight, love.

-Beren

September 23, 2012 - Posted by | Sundry Thoughts

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