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Even if you can’t find heaven.

I’ve heard,
“This won’t last forever.”
and
“Keep leaning on Jesus and it’ll get better soon.”

and other such “advice” in that vein

so

many

times, from

so

many

people.

I used to try to tell myself, “It has to end someday, it’s never lasted forever before, this time is just longer than the others.”
Recently I’ve been asking myself, “What if it doesn’t? What if there really isn’t an end?” and that’s led me to wonder lately, “What if ALL of my friends eventually give up?”(because someone dear to me recently admitted that they’re intentionally distancing themselves from me due to my issues, which is making me doubt everybody)
These kinds of thoughts lead to scary kinds of days. I thought I was better enough to never have another scary day.

Then on Tuesday night, my friends pointed out, “The light at the end of the tunnel might not be on earth. It really might last forever…on earth. But even if it does, you still get Jesus, on earth and later. And we’re all still here.”

And it was then that I realized that those are the magic words my heart has needed.

Not, “You’re so brave! Keep fighting! This too shall pass!”

But, “We will ALL still love you even if you never get better.”

I think I’ve been assuming for a while that the people who love me only love me because they think I’ll eventually be a normal person again. And I think my other “friend” who can’t love me anymore made me worry that the rest of my friends have similar unspoken limits to how long they can continue to wait for my mess to be cleaned up.

But Jesus gave me eleven friends who want to love me the way that he loves me. He put me in a family who won’t give up on me because he isn’t going anywhere either.

I get Jesus in the good days and in the horrible ones, and then someday I’ll get an eternity of good days with him. Even if I never see another good day down here. Even though I hope I do.
And even if they never get to know the Linda who’s always the loudest and funniest person in the room and isn’t afraid of anyone and never needs to sleep…my friends will still be my friends.

One final note.
I love metaphors and Jesus loves me, so Jesus most often talks to me in metaphors.
He gave me this one on Sunday afternoon.
nugget mess
Ever since I got back from the World Race I’ve been trying to clean my room. By which I mean once a month or so I get motivated and attack a shelf or a couple boxes of junk and then get overwhelmed and give up for a few more weeks.
So, I was standing in my doorway surveying the mountains of clutter I recently dragged out of my closet, and my cat walks over to the corner of my floor that she likes to lay in. Finding it covered in stuff, she looks at me, blinks defiantly as if I was trying to keep her out, then lays down and makes herself at home on top of the mess.

My room is a mess but my cat still wants to take a nap in it.
My life is a mess but Jesus still wants to be in it. So do my friends.

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