This is a text message I wrote to someone, but never sent:

I’ve exhausted all my friends, so I hope this is okay. You’re busy and going through things too and I get that. So I’m not asking you for anything. I’m just hurting and need to talk to someone. To get it out. I’m really scared. And sad. Everyone is leaving. I miss Malarie so much. Soon I’m not going to have any more friends here, and I don’t know how to become a writer. I feel so stuck. Like God is moving for everyone but me. Selfish notion, I know. And I have a lot to be grateful for. But the loneliness is really getting to me. In the spring, I felt like I heard God tell me that I was about to go through a season of loneliness. I cried then too, knowing how crippling that can feel. But I don’t think I really knew how lost it would make me feel.

I do this a lot. I write people messages that I never send. It feels good to picture them reading the unsents like indulgent, empathetic warriors. In my mind they think, “Gosh, this is so hard. I must bring her food immediately.”

Of course, I never send them. It would be another problem to attend to. Another quarter life crisis. Another broken heart.

So I pray. I pray with the emotional fortitude of puffy eyes the next day. I pray with the resilience of country music and earl grey. I do this a lot.

But today, I don’t want to pray. I have puffy eyes from last night’s prayer, and I don’t want to do it anymore.

When the unsents pile up as high as your prayers, choosing to love God again and again is sometimes insurmountable.

You’ve asked me why I keep working for CCW when it’s so hard for me to stay in love with God. I do this because you are worth the fight. You’re worth every prayer and every puffy eye. So I will stay in love with God. And I will keep praying, even when I don’t want to. Because your connection with God is my perfect wish.

This is one of those blogs that I don’t have any answers or words. I found a blog that did, and you’re welcome to read it here. Love is hard. If you’ve read my “do no harm” and “do all the good you can” posts, you know I fear I don’t have much. But I always have prayers, even when I don’t want to. Here is one for you, Beloved:

May God see you.

May He read every unsent message like an indulgent, empathetic warrior.

May He bring you free food (I mean, might as well ask).

May you feel His love, care, and action in your life.

When it seems like everyone has left, may you know that God has not.

When you find it hard to stay in love with God, may He give you strength.

When you don’t want to pray, may God call someone else to pray through the distance.

May God always reach across the distance.

May God see you.

May you see God.

Gabriele Hickman
Assistant Director

November 28, 2018