he held me

October 28, 2014

I am weak.

I wanted to let you know… not that I expected you to think otherwise.

See, the thing is, today was great. I hung out with friends, ate chocolate ice cream, watched little snotty kindergarteners screech with excitement at science.

But now I sit in my dorm room, and I’m trying to be strong and hold back homesick tears. And I don’t want anyone to see me crying, but I don’t want to be alone because I fall to pieces when I’m alone.

But I have to face the pain because holding back only makes it worse.

Because now the tears fall onto my cheeks, and my nose sniffles.

I miss home. I miss my family and friends and knowing people.

I miss saying “hey, I know so-and-so!” and “Look, there’s so-and-so; they got married last month!”

I miss my hometown and my people.

This world is big, and I miss the small simplicity of hometown, Mississippi. I miss having a backyard and a kitchen. I miss singing to my dog and making my little brother dinner.

And that’s okay. Because the thing is, I have to remind myself that it’s like going college a year early, and I can’t expect to be strong every single day when I feel alone.

So today, as I pray that Jesus uses this time to prune my sinful heart, I am reminded that He felt this pain.

He knows alone. He knows longing. He knows desperation. He knows heartache. He knows sickness. He knows weeping. He knows oppression. He knows persecution. He even knows those pains that I do not know.

He knows the pain of being human.

And He will use moments like these to bring me closer to holiness and closer to His heart, which is closer to joy. Because I am completely dependent on Him, He is using this moment to remind me that I am weak. I am more than weak, and He is more than strong.

And, really, I don’t face it alone. Because He knows pain, and He will use this pain to bring me closer to His heart.


I wrote this a few months back, during a series of weeks when the world seemed so dim and lifeless. And homesickness (more like security-sickness) might not seem so hard to some, but for me, it was definitely difficult, more than I let people know.  I had moved towns, schools, and what seems like lives in some ways. As a result, I missed security and familiarity. (Apparently I don’t do change very well.)

And here I am, six months later, thanking Jesus for letting me experience the pain of homesickness and the sinking feeling of seventeen years of familiar faces and places out of sight.

I thank Him. Because without knowing that pain, I could not comfort next year’s juniors, who come to me, glassy-eyed and homesick. I could not appreciate the place I came from and the childhood Jesus blessed me with. I could not be as thankful and joyful as I am in this moment. I would not be able to say “He held me during that time.”

And, guys, that is part of this joy. Not just to say, “Today I am okay” but to say “I am okay because He held me during that time.”

He held me during that time. And He will continue to hold me.

And I am so thankful.

– Mary Madeline

And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perserverance; perseverance, character; character, hope. – Romans 5:4

The poor and needy search for water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. But I the Lord will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs. – Isaiah 41:17-18