That One Worth Hell

I can’t be sure anyone has even noticed. I had started a blog, I started a comic with a blog and a Twitter-feed of its own. Then, around August-September 2011, things went silent. A few of you, if you’re reading this, know why. But that’s in the past. I had resolved to draw more, to get to writing, and even started editing old short stories in an effort to make a compilation I intend to sell on my own. Then, a couple weeks into this new year, my world was crushed. But that is also in the past.

The past is a funny thing. It can be a place we want to return to, many of us look at certain turning points in our lives and muse on how we might do them differently, or hope quantum physics will work a miracle and we’ll wake up suddenly in the past with all forward knowledge still intact. That won’t happen. The only thing the past can do for us is be a tool to learn from for making the future a more bearable destination.

January and these first couple weeks of February have been a waking Hell for me. I have been faced with trials I’ve been told my friends, co-workers, and family they would not put up with, be able to handle, or even understand. I wonder after my own actions. But I can tell you two things that have helped me through this: love and God.

Yes. I have found God, or rather, God found me. In my life I have firmly believed in God, wondered after His existence, felt sure He had gone away, became certain He didn’t exist, wondered after His existence again, after my own existence. A girl I loved once made me think, God must be love, a name we’ve given to a shared experience and desire among humans. But I was never certain. When my mother passed, God was a back burner thought. I worried about what she had gone through, where her essence was now. During that, thanks to a video game no less, Final Fantasy X, I became afraid of death. Horrified by it. Still am. Then God began to whisper to me, but I had no idea who it was or what they were saying. I hit the worst point in my life, marched straight out, and as things began to turn to shit, my one and only showed up.

Our romance was hot and fast, love exploded into us, racking our brains and hearts, and as the dust settled from a love bomb, we still LIKED each other. Our major differences were religious and political, issues I believed I could ignore. And we did, and made it for a good long while, but faith and my misunderstanding of it made her worry and troubles arose, simmering under the surface. We moved into a new house and as troubles seemed to fade I believed things had calmed down and we were good. I took advantage of her bitten tongue, I continued to ignore signs that had been staring me in the face.

Until this last August. Asked to move out with an uncertain future on the issue of faith, I stayed with my Dad. My Dad has our old bed, a bed we shared a lot in, including the first “I love you.” I was lying in our old bed in my childhood bedroom, a room where I had asked if God was there and He shrank from me. I had always assumed God wasn’t there because I felt nothing, but God had tried to tell me, I am here, but I am silent. And lying there, weeping after my broken heart and the woman I knew I desperately loved, with all these little things running through my head, I realized I had been given the most massive miracle and gift from God ever: love; a family that I loved and that loved me in return.

I swore I would change my path, devoted to a newfound faith, but words are cheap, and even though I tried to impress her, impressing isn’t what she wanted or needed. Things did clear up for a little while, but, as already stated, with the new year came new troubles. I won’t go into what happened, that’s still painful, and if you do know yourself, I’d appreciate a respectful quiet. The past is past and I am on a good path so what had happened remains in the past. Through these new troubles, I struggled with what I felt like was a living death. My heart was breaking into so many pieces I thought I could never fix it. I felt my family was fading, shattering, blowing away on a storm that struck with such terrible ferocity that I became wrecked and powerless. I went to church.

I was touched by what was said, as though, this church, on this night, with what was being said, were directed directly at me. God spoke to me with great clarity, You have ignored my gifts. And as I continued on with church and speaking with God, I realized Christianity isn’t being a holy roller, it’s not quoting scripture every day, it’s learning to forgive, to trust that life goes on, and to love. God is love. I had almost had it so many times, was so close, but ignorant and selfish.

There are many people in our lives we consider close, or that we love, but finding that one you’d be willing to go any length for? That’s special. Who did what doesn’t matter, I knew that this woman that has been in my life for almost seven years now was that one. And the suffering that I was going through only strengthened that resolve. I knew she was the one. I knew that one touch from her hand was worth fire my hand would have to pass through to get that. I knew that the tears and heartache that crushed the air from my lungs would be worth it in the end because God helped me through to grab tightly onto the one I love.

Hell is a concept, a place, an adjective for stuff that sucks. Hell is the lack of love. I thought, believed for certain, that I was now in Hell. But I would suffer it if it meant finding my love again. So in the last month, I have reaffirmed my love for not just the one, but for God. And the both of them together have made my life worth living, but I could not have one if not for the other.

So, God? Thank you for the AmberLynn. Your gift to me is far too great for all the time I have had my back to You and for all the bargaining I ever tried to do with You in the past, I know now that she is the answer to those prayers.

And, Amber? I love you. I’d say I love you more than life, but you are my life. You give me the life that I love to live. Thank you so much for wanting me in your family.

Step Right Up