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Even When it Hurts
Hillsong United - Even When it Hurts
Some time ago, I woke up every day and was overcome with what at the time seemed like the worst manifestation of sadness I would ever experience. The term "heartbroken" gets thrown around a lot without a proper understanding of what it really entails. When you feel heartbroken, whether it is due to loss, disappointment, or grief, the burn and break you feel in your heart is literal. I remember clasping my chest begging someone.. anyone.. anything.. to stop the pain I felt. I felt really desolate and lonely and at times fought with the existence of a higher power who would allow me to feel like that. I thought, that I am a guy who has his faults but despite that I wake up every day and work hard to make the best of my life. "I don't deserve this", I thought. So, if there was a higher power, I felt a huge sense of resentment. You see, for the past several years I have been battling a serious bout with anxiety disorder which had left me as a shell of who I was. A shell of the person that my friends and family loved. It has affected significant parts of my life, especially when it comes to developing romantic and personal relationships. From being the most confident and exuberant of my friends, I felt like I was transformed into someone else. Someone vulnerable, someone weak, someone I was ashamed of, needless to say.. someone who I did not want to be. So, there I am: a young guy feeling like I have everything in the world to offer. Feeling sorry for myself because I know that I deserved better in life.
That's all okay to feel sad, normal even. But my problem was this: I put the spotlight on me. The focus of my pain, the focus of my heartbreak, was me. I failed to recognize the power of the world around me. What I mean by that is this: My life is bigger than me. My life is bigger than my problems. My life is bigger than the people who come in and out of it. My experiences and my pain are a footnote to the larger existence of what we are why we are here. The world where there are people who are faced with such incredible obstacles to what we classify as happiness... People who can barely find a means to live, people who are faced with the pain of incredible loneliness, or people who are dealt with cancer.. with terminal illnesses.. knowing that they will only be around for a limited period of time. There are people like that who find meaning to get up and keep one foot in front of another and keep going. I guess it is called perspective, but I like to call it transcendence. Every breath I take, every second that goes by in the day, transcends MY heartbreak. In that we find a reason to go forward.
I believe in God. I won't get too specific in terms of what I actually believe because I want to express myself as secular as possible. But there are a few foundations of my faith that I think a lot of people regardless of what faith they belong to may agree upon. I believe that there is a higher power that hears my prayers. I believe that there is a right and wrong way to conduct yourself. I believe in graciousness, kindness, humility, and I believe in the power of sacrifice. As a believer, I can personally say with not one ounce of doubt in my heart that the biggest test of my faith was finding spiritual resolution through all of the things that I have went through; through the pain of loss, pain of disappointment, pain of heartbreak, and the pain of anxiety. Others consider myself to be strong through what I have been through, but I am to here to say that I haven't been. And that's okay. A mark of me maturing as a man is to have humility and say, no, I have not been strong. I have persevered, but the weakness in my ability to overcome my anxiety, regardless of whether its innate or something I can't control is irrelevant to me. It has caused me to be hurt and hurt others, and that is not okay no matter if it is something that is beyond my ability to control. I guess I hold myself to higher standards when it comes to personal conduct, but the pain of not living up to the person I want to be has given me such heartbreak. I think for any person who has gone through any type of major heartbreak or hardship in life, most people would agree that to give praise in those moments is the most gutwrenchingly difficult tests of your faith. No doubt, for some it is a catalyst to actually raise their hands to the sky and ask for absolution and deliverance... but I guess I am wired differently. It tested my faith to extreme boundaries. I felt like I had to almost be born again to really believe that there was actually a power out there that was saying, "Tyson, don't worry, I will look after your heart". I guess, that's what the definition of "trust" is. I heard "Even When it Hurts" by Hillsong United long ago, which was actually my inspiration in writing this article, and one message stands out to me from that song more than any other "Lord my heart burns only for you, you are all, you are all I want.. And my soul waits only for you, And I will sing till the miracle comes". My problems and my issues are not bigger than me.. Because my heart only burns for something that is bigger than me. That is all that matters. There is a world outside of me to experience. There are people to help, inspire, and love. There is still enough of me to give, and that is what matters. That is what will get me through. And no matter what, even when it hurts, I have the trust that no matter what, my soul will wait and my miracle will come.
There have been people that I have loved that have come in and out of my life. Like chapters of a book of my life, they have been an integral and memorable and dear part but transient. I have often struggled with the meaning of why that is. Why there are people that drift in and out.. Or why there are people who have been so important to me that have been snatched away. Again, I know that God always provides us with a bigger picture that we can't see. My anxiety issues have caused a dent in relationships with a lot of people who I am only beginning to mend and rebuild, and some that I will probably never be able to mend. Shannon Alder is one of my favorite authors and blog writers, and she says "There are no coincidences in life. What person that wandered in and out of your life was there for some purpose, even if they caused you harm. Sometimes, it doesn’t make sense the short periods of time we get with people, or the outcomes from their choices. However, if you turn it over to God he promises that you will see the big picture in the hereafter. Nothing is too small to be a mistake." I guess in many ways, that is at the crux of the relationships we build and then lose. Whether it be through death, or anything else, loss is inevitable.. and we will all experience it.
I know for a lot of my friends reading this, you may have learned for the first time that I have gone through anxiety problems over the past several years. I won't get into specifics of why that is and what causes it.... But, I want you to know that I will be okay. And I wanted everyone else to know, that even when it hurts, there is meaning and a reason to get up every day and keep going. Sometimes we have to find it, and sometimes it finds us. Ultimately, I want to be a gracious and kind person to the people I encounter always. Life is too short. And I wanted to say thank you to all the people that have supported me. And to those who I don't know who may be going through their own heartbreak or pain, I hope you always remember your worth and realize that there is a world outside of you that is so much bigger than what you are going through. God bless.