There is no way through this without losing. I knew that when I first faced this path. I knew I would lose a lot: friends, family, community, people, my church even. I knew it would test and fracture my hope, peace, and faith. I knew so many of the connections I’d built over so many years would be gone. I knew people would make a choice, and that I was, more often than not, not going to be that choice.
There is no way to continue down this path without acknowledging and feeling the loss. I feel it in dozens of plans made without me. I feel it when people close the door without reaching out to ask me how I am. I feel the loss when what people think takes over what is true – whether because they are afraid to ask, or they don’t know what to ask, or they don’t want to feel like they are in the middle. I know I have disappointed and confused people. I know people think differently of me. I mourn the loss of all of that.
There is no way to describe the feelings of being lost throughout these next few weeks. There is a fog of expectation that is over everything I do. I feel left behind, left alone, ostracized, forgotten. The silence is deafening because it is pointed directly at me. No one prepared me for this road. There is no roadmap for how to do this without loss. There is no way to not feel like I have failed people.
There is so much to feel. I hope someday people will come back. I hope it won’t always feel this way when I think of that part of my life – a part of my life that built who I was for years. I hope that eventually I will be able to feel some measure of happiness and some measure of peace.
But in the meantime, the reality is this – I have chosen this loss. I have chosen to lose one part of my life. I have chosen to feel quiet and isolated and lonely. I have chosen the storm.
Because after the storm, the parched parts of my soul will be saturated with beauty again.