This restaurant, this table, knows all our worst heartbreaks.
If the walls around it could speak, they would repeat back to me some of the hardest words I’ve ever said, attached to some of the strongest love I’ve ever felt.
One day when we’re older and have maybe learned what it means to let go and let God, I hope that our daughters find a spot like this to console them. Especially on nights woven with the kind of pain that you wish a good Taylor Swift lyric and a bite of cheesecake could cure.
But pain like this—it’s not a thing we can scream out, sing out, shake out of our systems with the volume turned up and the windows rolled down, not this time. Not tonight.
Tonight we will do those things, but we will know that tomorrow it will still hurt. It’s going to hurt and the two girls who used to make plans about how long we would let heartbreaks last, tonight we lay down our pens. Because we know that tomorrow it is still going to hurt.
Let it hurt.
Because the thing about pain that I have learned from all these years back and forth at this table is that it helps you find the people who stay.
Pain breaks us, pulls out all our worst pieces. It puts our worst parts on display, drags out all the mess and presents it to whoever is standing at the door.
It also makes us, teaches us how to pick up those pieces, look at our mess, and decide what part of us isn’t something we want to keep hanging around for another rainy day.
The people who stick around through that, who are still standing by the door when you’ve finished breaking and making sense of it all, those are the people you end up back at the table with again.
Let your heart break. Learn the good things. Let it hurt and find out who stays.
Someday when we’re older and we’re happy, (I know I said that happiness isn’t the point, but I still think we will be happy) I hope that there’s still a table that can hold our heartbreak. That you will still be there to remind me of all the reasons why my heartbreaks have made me worse and made me better.
That you’ll be the friend that fights to remind me that we all are human. We all falter. I might try to have all the pretty words, but I will still get it wrong. That it is okay for me to mess up too. But grace keeps coming back to the table.
We keep coming back to the table. That’s grace. True grace says, “Even if we have to keep having this same conversation a hundred times, this seat is still open for you.”
I hope that someday when we’re older, we move to a bigger table. I hope that our little two-seater doesn’t fit all the love that we’ve been storing up. I hope that all the years of grace we’ve been learning to grow finally finds its home in people who will show up with some of their own. I know it will. I know they will.
Someday when we’re older, even though we feel old today, we’ll look back on tonight and maybe we will still cry. But I hope we cry only for tonight’s girls who didn’t know just how big Grace really is. For all the plans He has and had. That there are walls around us that speak, but not in the ways we think. They are the ones He put up to save us, to stop us, to keep us from places our grace-filled hearts thought might be our destiny.
Someday when we’re older, we’ll talk about the night that changed everything, about coming back to the table, about the grace that we didn’t see coming, but God knew we would need.