The worst break up I ever had wasn’t from a man. It wasn’t a romantic one. The break up that left me devastated, unable to breathe, wandering through the world broken and confused was a friend break up. A friend (ex-friend? former friend? what do we even call that?) is the one that got away, the one I still wonder about, the one I don’t look up on Facebook but kind of want to. I just hope she is happy. Even as I hope that she knows how much I miss her. Even as I know it is best that we have both moved on.
I guess I figured after my one serious boyfriend and my very early marriage, that I was sort of immune. I guess I was sort of naive. Romantic strings aren’t the only kind that bind two people together. Mutual need, mutual dreams, mutual vision. Sometimes you just need to look at someone who has done something you are trying to do. Like be a good mom, or work from home, or write just because they love it. Sometimes you need an employer, or an employee, or a housekeeper, or a babysitter and you both just really like each other. Strings are tied around hearts before you even realize it. Sometimes you love the organization, the Girl scout troop, the church, the school, and you love each other and you love what you are doing and those strands form bonds stronger than you thought possible. Sometimes it is a tragedy, or being in a terrible place that forms bonds not easily broken.
I’m string tie-er by nature, a bond builder. I jump quickly and easily into the deep end. I give a lot of second chances. And third and fourth and fifth. When people tell me something I believe them. I believe people can change. I believe it CAN be better next time around. I believe in staying. This means that I am able to build bonds quickly. I love that. It also means I am burned more often than almost anyone I know. I don’t love that. But I don’t quite have it in me to give it up. I don’t have it in me to not tie the strings, to not build the bridges, to not believe that people can change.
People can change, things can get better. I think that is part of the gospel. I think my belief in the resurrection manifests into every day life. I know these things feel like death, these breakings of bonds, these shatterings. I feel the death, and mourn the loss. My grief as big as my hope once was. But I can’t stop hoping for the resurrection. The new growth. The miracle.
I used to just think that I was naive. That I was stupid or I couldn’t learn. But I don’t think so anymore. I think heartbreak is, for me, a spiritual discipline. The act of putting my heart out there, risking it, is a matter of faith for me. Do I believe this is worth it? Do I believe, even if this dies, ultimately in resurrection?
I do, for now. I still choose hope. I still choose to risk heartbreak, and when that risk doesn’t pan out, I choose to believe that this broken heart can beat again.