DEAR HEAVEN, I NEED A HUG
She was crying. I just knew it. There were these sniffling sounds coming from the other end of the line. “I’m a mess”, she told me. “I keep letting myself down. I’ve become almost suicidal. I have nothing because I’ve lost everything.”
And then the tears just flowed freely down my chubby cheeks. There was so much to say to her, I knew just what she needed to hear, and I was going to tell her, but at that moment I completely felt her, felt her pain and her frustrations, all of it. And so first I wept with her, even though I was in the middle of a very important meeting, and the last thing the man across the table needed to see was me weeping silently. But that’s exactly what happened. I excused myself, wept some more, and told her the words she desperately needed to hear, if she was going to heal. I figured the man would wait, and he did.
There are too many who have walked that road, who are still walking that road. I like to call it the Valley of the Shadow, because it is a very low and dark place. Its features are gloom, confusion, loneliness, depression and every type of low. I should know, I’ve been there. If you’ve never been just close your eyes right now and say a silent prayer of thanks, because it’s not a location for the faint hearted.
Right now, I’m asking myself why I have way more dark thoughts than the average young woman, why I’m attracted to people with stories like mine. I mean, I’m weird and proud, but sometimes like right now I wonder. Maybe it’s because my moments of despair somehow birthed my most treasured moments of exhilaration.
Somebody will say “She don come, this mad girl.” But yeah, it’s true. Inside it’s like there’s this huge hole right at the core of your being and you’re terrified because you know you should fill it but you have no idea how, or with what for that matter. It’s a defining season, because you either die or become better. Yes, what doesn’t kill you does make you stronger.
So this young woman, a crappy romance had left her with no wedding band and a son, and for five years she had tried to raise him the best way she knew how. At the same time, she would run a successful business and try her hands at romance again, this time hoping fiercely that those hands wouldn’t burn, but they did keep getting burnt, in the most horrible types of betrayal. But who am I telling? You must’ve heard these single parent stories before.
At this point I feel the need to mention that single parenthood requires some of those mutant hero genes. You know, the Superman and Spiderman and Wolverine heroes and their unimaginable heroic acts. Show me one single parent who raised unscarred kids, and I’ll show you one Superman or Wonderwoman. Seriously, single parenting is one of the hardest feats a human being can undertake, so if you’re one of those judgmental stereotypical people who criticize single parents, this is my plea to you: snap out of it. And no, I’m not a single parent.
Sitting in the dry tub of my office bathroom, my throat aching from the tears I was trying to hide, I told her: “Babe, you’re not alone. I need you to know it, that you’re not alone. It may not look like it just yet, but it’s all going to get better. Little by little, until you wake up one morning and there’s no pain left. Till that day comes, you need to hang in there, just determine to show up. The event is your life, and you will need to show up there every day, however hard it is, for as long as it will take.”
“There will be days when it gets too much, and there’s no strength left. Ask the Creator for a hug. It’s the greatest form of strength transplant, and you will feel yourself grow stronger. We might not be able to see God, but we can feel Him, and those hugs have gotten me through some of the worst times of my life.”
“Just say, “Father, please hug me.” And He will. There’s no relationship as important as the one with God, or as personal for that matter, which brings me to this: human beings are social beings, which means we crave relationships. We’ve pretty much gotten the hang of the physical relationships, with all of you sleeping with each other, lol. But the spiritual relationships are another matter. They have us all knotted up and running in circles. Sadly, because we do not see God, we cling to His servants, our pastors, who we can see, and sometimes crave a misguided sense of relationship with them. We think that if we were close to God’s servants, then maybe we’d feel closer to God.”
Nothing could be further from the truth. Nobody’s downplaying the role or importance of spiritual leadership. My pastor is many things, but he is not my go-between. I can feel close to the Father whenever I want, I just have to ask Him. If we all did this, maybe there’d be less robbers parading themselves as men of God today.
You will never know love that’s deeper, more liberating or fulfilling than God’s love. To not know it is to cheat yourself from experiencing the greatest and longest-lasting orgasm ever. Hehe. IJS. To reject it is to set yourself up for life in the Valley of the Shadow. When to do this? No time like the present.
Be great, do you. Always.
P.S. Today, that young woman is a fast growing beautician, and her 7 year old son is adorable. God be praised.