Afraid to Cope

I will begin this post with a warning to all who read this,

This is as sincere a journal/blog entry as they come,

With all the self analyzing and thinking that journal entries include.

Continue with that knowledge,

or leave and save yourselves from a 19-year-old girl’s rambling thoughts on her life.


We all cope with things throughout life.

We all having coping mechanisms, little things we do and say that help us cope.

According to Google,


The psychological definition of coping is the process of managing taxing circumstances, expending effort to solve personal and interpersonal problems, and seeking to master, minimize, reduce or tolerate stress or conflict.


That seems the best definition in regards to what I am writing on today,


Summer break for a young dating couple in college is interesting,

To ‘adults’ it is seen to be a very good time,

a time to be apart,

a time that should be looked upon with the understanding that it is important

a time that should not be wished away, but enjoyed and looked well upon.

It is not really ever mentioned and never really thought to be a time of coping.

But, it is.

Usually coping is talked about when there has been a tragedy,

When there is an enumerable amount of stress upon a person,

Emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually, etc…

And summer break does not usually fall under that category…

and so,

How strange it is, to cope with something that I feel so deeply,

Yet doesn’t seem significant in the larger sense.

I so badly want to be okay with Justin not being here,

to be able to always say

‘the time apart is something that I look forward to and enjoy as a chance to learn about myself’

but I just can’t

in all honesty

I can’t.


I am very much

a combination of mind and emotions,

which wage consistent battle since I am both quite logical and emotional,


if I think on something enough,

I begin to feel it,


I think of Justin so often,

and it is so difficult

not to feel like there is an element missing in the days,

because he is not here.

It is not so dramatic of a feeling,

That it makes actually living life difficult,

but rather a feeling, an emotion,

that seems to quietly hang over me,

like a forever reminder.


How is that for dramatic?


Just wait,

it’s not over yet,

the internal turmoil continues.

As I feel so strongly,

My mind and logic begin to come into play  as well,

I know that summer is supposed to be the way it is,

I don’t think the time Justin and I have had to be apart is a very difficult or numerous amount in comparison to so many others,

And I don’t regret it,

in my mind…

…though in my heart,

I feel an ache and a frustration with the long distance and time apart.


So, here I am

coping with this seemingly insignificant, yet deeply heartfelt, heartache,

and then I read this article about the Colorado shooting at the midnight premier of The Dark Night Rises

THIS article, found on Yahoo,

 tells that among those killed,

four were boyfriends who died while protecting their girlfriends from harm.

I think about what those women now have to cope with…

…the brokenness and the pain of having lost, forever, someone they care so much about.

And I wish so badly,

that I could consistently realize,

that my ache for Justin,

cannot nearly compare to the feelings of those women,

and that I could gain a bit more prospective in regards to what I have to cope with.


The article not only makes me wish for perspective,

but also reminds me of another emotional battle.

Since the time I was young,

I have struggled with the

fear of being left alone,

I would lay in bed at night sometimes

and just start crying,

because I felt so deeply in my heart,

that some tragedy would come

and take away my whole family from me,

the people who I loved the most,

the people who were so connected to my spirit

that it broke my heart to think about trying to cope without them.

I would run into my parents room,

in tears

because I had to be comforted,

I needed to be with them,

I couldn’t be alone.

I don’t remember how many times it happened while I was young,

but I remember Dad giving me a note card,

with the verse

Hebrews 13:5b

written on it,

“Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you.”

I would put it under my pillow,

and finally sleep,

reminded, and so comforted, by knowing that no matter what this life brings,

Christ will never leave me.

I will never be alone…

…As I grew older,


as I grew in faith and relationship with Christ,

the fear subsided,

and I rested in Christ,

and then

all of a sudden,

about 2 weeks before my planned visit to see Justin in Florida,

the fear came back.

I suddenly felt so afraid that something would happen to him or me.

Something unexpected.

And that I wouldn’t be able to be with him again,

hold him again,

or tell him again how much I love him…

…Fear is something that can make you feel crippled and chaotic,

it can deceive you,

and make you feel empty and alone,

even if the fear has no basis of truth.

The shooting in Colorado set my heart towards fear again.

Fear of the unexpected.

Fear because  I know I can’t fix or change the unexpected.

Fear that I can’t control the circumstances of the unexpected.

Fear that the unexpected would leave me,



I have realized,

when this fear comes to my heart,

that there is nothing else that helps,

except prayer.

There is no comfort found in anything other,

then in the knowledge that I serve and am cared for by a God

who knows the unexpected,

who is in control of all of the unexpected,

who will never leave me alone.


when I remember this,

as I feel this fear,

and as I pray,

I can’t help but cry,

because I just stand in awe of the care and control that God has,

and the peace that He allows my anxious heart.



as I cope,

with all of my thoughts,

crazy and numerable,

and my emotions,

dramatic and heartfelt.

I feel jumbled inside,

I desire clarity so badly,

but can’t seem to clear my mind enough

to look at anything objectively,


I plod along through the days,

through my mess of emotions,

through my struggling thoughts,


just like when I was young,

find the purest of rest in knowing that

Christ will never leave me,

and that He is in control,


knowing that

gives me strength to cope.

5 thoughts on “Afraid to Cope

  1. Your honesty is a balm to the soul!

    “Adults” who tell you that time apart “should be looked upon with the understanding that it is important a time that should not be wished away, but enjoyed and looked well upon” are not addressing the deepest desire of your heart – the desire to be with Justin! So, they are not addressing you as a whole person. Oh how my heart empathizes with you! Don’t reason away your feelings even if people tell you too. You do not need to be ashamed of your desire to be with Justin. No matter what these ‘adults’ or your head tell you. The desire you have for him is a wonderful thing; truly a gift from the Lord! Feel it! Live into it! Trust that God is directing you – cause he totally is!

    Remember, those who have never felt the deep things of love have a difficult time speaking to these particular situations.

    Love you Beth!


  2. I identify with this strongly, Beth. I had to leave a boyfriend at the airport to go home for Christmas break once and that was one of the worst months of my life — to be away from people I loved and be somewhere I didn’t know — alone. That’s why I married Stu in November, so I’d never have to spend another break apart from someone I loved. (Not the only reason, but that was definitely one of the reasons we got married before I graduated) I had a dream once that I was in a concentration camp and I was going blind, and the thought of never seeing Stu’s face again broke my heart. I even cried about it when I woke up.

    I think it’s good to feel so deeply and let yourself. God gave you a gift in Justin and it’s beautiful to see you together.

    I’ll be praying for you, and thank you for sharing this. Sometimes it helps to know you’re not alone in your experiences/feelings.


  3. I so empathize with this whole post. Being apart STINKS. It just does, and there’s no getting around it. I cried many a night, and the two summers we spent apart were the worst, especially when I was in Canada and we could only talk TWICE A WEEK.

    Part of love is desiring the other person and wishing to be with them, and no logic or good reason can makes those feelings get any better. Even though we shouldn’t be ruled by our feelings, don’t forget that they are an important part of life and decisions.


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