WHEN CLOSURE DOESN’T COME

November 16, 2018

I used to love Disney movies — especially the princess ones (I mean I still do… but I used to, too). I babysit a little girl who is starting to develop the same love for those Disney princess movies, which is kinda nice because it means I get to watch all of my old favorites and relive a little bit of my childhood every time I’m with her. We love watching The Little Mermaid and Snow White and Cinderella, but it’s really eye-opening to watch those movies as an adult. And the big thing that I see in every single princess movie we watch is that they allll have that “happily ever after”, fairytale ending that every girl dreams of (which is an issue that has addressed before, I know, I know, but I’m using it anyway).

I think for so many of us (girls, at least, in this sense), the love stories we’ve seen in movies and read about in books have instilled in us from a young age that our hard situations will have a happy ending — that they’re supposed to have a happy ending. This doesn’t even just apply to romantic relationships; it applies to whatever might come to mind as you read this. A relationship that wasn’t supposed to end, a “lifelong” friendship that didn’t withstand what you thought it would, a brief encounter with someone that you honestly just expected more from that left you trying to figure out why it needed to happen at all. I’ve been in all of these situations so many times. And in all of these situations I’ve wondered, “when will I have closure?”, because so many things didn’t make sense to me. So many things still seemed unfinished. In my mind, things were left unsaid. But in asking myself when I would receive the closure I’ve so desperately desired in so many different circumstances, the real question I wanted answered was when will I have that storybook ending I’ve always imagined? 

I always pictured closure to be a conversation. Clear communication. Coming to an agreement. The best closure would be if it all worked out the way I envisioned in my mind — I would get my point across perfectly, and the other person would understand and respond exactly the way I imagined they would when I had the conversation in my head beforehand. I would walk away from that conversation feeling confident that everything was for the best and that I would be okay, most likely because I got what I wanted. Sounds nice, right?

But honestly, when has that EVER happened in real life?

My idea (and maybe other people’s ideas, too) of closure has been all wrong. And that wrong idea of what closure truly is has caused me to believe that chapters of my life were unfinished simply because they didn’t finish the way I wanted them to. 

We equate closure with a happy ending. Him coming to his senses and wanting you back after the breakup just like you always imagined he would. That friend realizing how they wronged you and making it right. Whatever the case may be. We make up scenarios in our heads and assume that if this happens, then we’ll have our closure.

But it’s not real life. In real life, I really don’t believe that closure exists.. or at least, not the kind of “closure” that I’ve always wanted. I’ve been hit with this lately. I’ve walked through so many different situations within the last 11 months that have left me feeling so broken and confused that I’ve begged God for some type of closure for me to make sense of it all. Something to give me more peace about things. I never realized that in seeking “closure” I was choosing to put my hope in other people instead of the Lord — to provide peace for me. To bring clarity to me.

I’ve been disappointed time and time again in different people for not giving me what I felt I needed in order to have closure. Why did they not care enough to reach out to me again? Why did they never apologize for that? Why did they never try to have a conversation about what happened between us? 

What I’ve been missing is that maybe the Lord didn’t plan for things to end the way I hoped and expected they would end. Maybe the fact that I haven’t heard from certain people is my closure — whatever the reasons. Maybe the reason so many situations have felt unfinished to me is because I’ve been putting too much of my faith in people who are never going to live up to the expectations I have in my mind, and maybe that’s okay. It’s no one’s fault that “closure” isn’t coming. It’s my fault for assuming that closure means everything is going to make sense.

Because the thing about having faith is, we have to have it even when things don’t make sense. That’s the basis of what the Lord has been teaching me this year, because so much hasn’t made sense. So much of my anxiety has come from my false feeling of things in my life being unresolved. I’ve been waiting for answers to questions that may never come. I’ve panicked over the thought of answers never coming. Something God has been echoing to me recently from so many different sources (because apparently God is really trying to get it through my head!) is that we don’t need to know all the answers. Only he does.

Psalm 91:4 says, “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” Lysa Terkeurst made a post about this verse a couple of weeks ago, and it really stuck with me. She said, “God’s covering keeps us safe, even if we can’t see the full picture of what he is doing for us. Baby birds under their mother’s wing rarely know the full story of what happens on the outside. They don’t need to know all of the details, and I’m learning neither do we.”

My troubled heart asks a lot of questions out of fear and confusion. But God, in his grace and love for me, may allow some things to happen in ways that I wouldn’t have chosen. That doesn’t mean that words were left unsaid or problems unresolved. All it means is that there are details of my life that he is working in that I know absolutely nothing about. We can’t see past right now, but he is above it all and he sees everything. Because of that, we don’t need to turn to fear when things haven’t happened the way we thought they should. Instead, we can find peace in the fact that God has us under his wings in the midst of it all.

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