I got a text last night at 1.08am. And I texted with the individual until 145 when she said she was going to try and get some sleep. I was in and out during those thirty-seven minutes. I was praying, but sometimes those prayers seemed to turn into nonsensical mumblings because I was so darn sleepy. I re-read the texts this morning. I was surprisingly coherrent for the fact that in between my responses I was usually struggling to be conscious.
It was the second time someone has texted me from a situation like that. The first time was over the summer when a boy drunk texted me throughout the night. I remember that I alternated between being incredibly frustrated with his stupidity and being worried that he’d get in a car and kill himself and anyone else on the road because he was so far gone. I remember texting in all caps (something I generally avoid) and demanding to know where he was so that I could come and pick him up. I never actually left my bed. I finally got a text around 545 that said he was safe at a mutual friend’s.
Last night my friend wasn’t drunk. But it was a bad situation. All I could think was that I was going to have to drive at least half an hour, maybe more, and pick her up. I was comfy in bed. I didn’t want to leave. How selfish is that? But I knew that she mattered much more than my desperate hours of sleep. So I told her multiple times that I would come and get her. Just tell me where you are. I didn’t end up going out there. She turned out to be fine. It wasn’t dangerous, in a sense. No one was fighting, no belligerant drunks. It was just bad and uncomfortable and at 130 in the morning those sensations combine to create an aura of fear. I mean, those are the darkest times of night–the wee hours of the morning. She was putting on a brave face, she said, being strong for a friend in a bad spot but she was exhausted.
She finally said she’d try sleeping. I myself turned into my pillow and sighed a breath of relief. I texted this morning and she said they are okay, headed home now after a long and restless night that had started out well. I took a deep breath and settled in to the Daily Office. I wrote Sarah yesterday (my Token Episcopalian) about where to find it online and how it goes with the Lectionary, the church calendar and a million other little questions. She is wonderful and wrote me back within a matter of hours.
Last night I told my friend that it’s okay to admit when things are hard. I know what that’s like. My father recently lectured me that I don’t need to always put on a brave face and be the strong one. It’s what leads to burnout, he said. He’s right. It has led to burnout. Like the summer I went to counseling because I came home from college so emotionally exhausted that I had no feelings. So, yes, I cannot always be the perfect brave individual who holds everyone else together. I get that. But then I read Revelation this morning and Isaiah 35 and I was so enthralled by the hope of a new city, a new world…it made it easier in a sense to be the strong kid here. I have people with whom I let down. I have Liz now, and she is a grand listener though I think the stories of my non-believing friends sometimes startle her. I have my Adullam community which is comforting even when I am silent and listening to others.
The leaves on the tree in the new city are for the healing of nations. Ghena’s kiddos are sick. But they won’t be sick there, they’ll be healthy, forever. My many friends with alcoholic parents will get to meet THE Father and he’ll hold them like their messed up dads always should have. My friends with divorced parents will see the wholeness of love that is a commitment deeper than momentary feelings. My friends with addictions will feel the release in the light of the Lord. There are so many things that will be healed. The City will be so good.
It was refreshing to read the Daily Office. I think I’m going to like this.
And in the meantime, I can put on a brave face where it’s needed. After all, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.