“Behold, now is a very acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” 2 Cor 6:2B

The timing of God is impeccable. This spring I find myself with more free time than usual – being a part-time student and employee. Given ample time and space, I can slow down to look at the aftermath of a long-term romantic relationship.

I find myself uncomfortable in this empty space after being shaken up by a significant event. There are many unwelcome guests, like loneliness, that let themselves in without warning. Usually, I feel its full weight late at night or early in the morning. I would deal with it by distracting myself, denying its existence, and misinterpreting it as sadness. In the end, the loneliness is still there waiting for me because I have not learned how to pay attention to it. 

Two things have been helpful in this struggle. First, it is the company of a trusted human friend who listens, understands, and does not try to fix the situation to make me feel better. In her comforting and safe presence, I am free to name my loneliness and embrace it at my own pace. Second, it is the image of Jesus waiting for me in the heart of the loneliness. Jesus' patient waiting in the place where I do not want to go is an invitation for me to follow him there. He promises that when I consciously choose to face the difficult parts of myself, freedom and self-acceptance will be waiting for me.

Jesus, you have been there before. Help me see and feel in my heart that you are my friend – someone I trust to go with into the depth of my humanity.

Van Nguyen