There are a number of people close to me going through difficult things right now. This is for them.
To My Friends Who Are Struggling:
It has been my experience that the stories that seem the silliest on the surface hold the most truth. In Lord of the Rings, a story filled with walking trees and wizards and small men with hairy feet, Gandalf tells Frodo that in difficult times “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” In The Little Prince, the fox tells the little prince that it is worth the weeping to be tamed. In The Princess Bride, Westley says that “Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.”
You don’t need me to tell you that life is pain; you are feeling it now. And you don’t need me to tell you that it will all be worth it in the end, because, well, that’s just not a very helpful statement when you’re in the midst of the darkness.
I don’t know why you are having to go through this. I don’t know why my life is easy right now and yours is extraordinarily difficult. I mean, I know the “right” answers – the cliches, the verses, the platitudes. I’ve read The Problem of Pain and can tell you all the intellectual reasons why bad things happen to good people in a world created by a loving God. I could tell you those things, but I won’t.
Instead, I will tell you this.
I admire your strength. I admire the way you get up every morning and go to work and talk to people and exist in the world even when all you want to do is crawl back under the covers. I admire the way you are fighting against bitterness and hopelessness. I admire the way you do what needs to be done each day while also carrying a burden that not everyone can see.
I admire your weakness. I admire the way you allow yourself to cry and grieve. I admire the way you admit your own faults. I admire the way you are not trying to carry this burden on your own. I admire the way you recognize that you cannot do this on your own and ask for help.
Let me also tell you this.
I am in your corner. I’ve got your back. I am your girl. You are not a burden or an imposition or a Debbie Downer or anything like that. Whatever you need, whenever you need it – it’s yours.
I cannot make your difficult circumstances disappear. But I can walk with you through them, the way you have walked with me through so many things. I can distract you when you need distracting. I can bring you tissues when you need to cry. I can shut up when you just need everyone to shut up.
You are not alone.
I love you.