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Monday, January 19, 2015

Riding the train

Back and forth goes the train. Back and forth. 

South Station, Back Bay, Ruggles, Hyde Park, Route 128, Canton Junction, Sharon, Mansfield, Attleboro, South Attleboro, Providence. 

Back home. Away from the loneliness. Away from binge-watching TV and binge-eating M&Ms. Away from the classmates and the roommates I bring myself to connect with, away from the church I half-heartedly attend. Away from the lifestyle I can't really afford and the change I'm coping poorly with. Headed back home.

Providence, South Attleboro, Attleboro, Mansfield, Sharon, Canton Junction, Route 128, Hyde Park, Ruggles, Back Bay, South Station.

Back home. Away from the dirty bathroom. Away from the heart-achy conflict between people I love. Away from the church in transition. Away from the boy who dumped me. Away from the binge-watching TV and binge-eating Nutella. Headed back home. 

I spend a lot of time feeling miserable on the train. 

On the train I caught the breaking news about Ferguson, read about human rights abuses in North Korea, watched footage of Boko Haram aftermath. On the train I blew chunks, my breakfast in the train toilet in the darkened car, nervous about my new job and how I would fare. On the train I breathed deep, willing my stomach to stop twisting on the way to meet a boy for coffee. On the train I wiped tears away, sing-whispering to myself, "So pull me a little closer, take me a little deeper, I wanna know Your heart."

I step off the train and the world grows so much wider. Here international students are consulting a map, there roommates are reuniting with a hug. There's a young family doing a head-count, and a couple tightening their shoelaces and adjusting their backpack straps. The state house looms majestic on the grassy hill, or else the smell of the ocean blows in across the traffic. Tall buildings and clogged walkways remind me how small I am. I feel like my life's a catastrophe, but as they say, feelings are not facts. 

I'm going to ride the train sometimes. And sometimes I'll be escaping from what I don't like about my life in Boston, and sometimes I'll be avoiding what I don't like about my life back home, and sometimes that train ride will make me cry for the weakness of my heart, because I'm a little bit stuck with who I am. But at the end of the train ride is always perspective. The problems are small but His love is great. My God meets me in the mire. My God fights for me. My God lifts my chin to carry me through another week. His is a wide, wide world and His love fills the whole horizon. 

4 comments:

Nicole said...

This is amazing, Hayley. Also I just love you and how you see God and seek God. You're one of my heroes.

Catherine Mullaney said...

Hayley, I love the train and I am sorry that it has been filled with misery for you. How about the T? Is that a happier train? I appreciate your transparency. The life you are living out loud in the world and before our LORD is a precious and treasured life. Keep on keeping on. Keep all your limbs in the "car" while the train rolls down the tracks.

Maggie said...

hayley, God has a long history of meeting us on our journey. Balaam and Jacob are 2 ot examples that come to mind. in the nt there were the two disciples who encountered Jesus on the road to emmaus and Saul had his rather dramatic facetime with the Savior on the road to Damascus (which may be analogous to your example in more ways than just physical distance between the two cities). He's on the train as well as your bases. Find joy in the journey.

rebecca said...

Hi there Hayley.

I'm grateful we got to speak yesterday. On my way around to finishing a paper and beating back grief/confusion at transition, maybe, I found this blog post of yours. I think our lives are quite similar right now, if your life is anything like what you wrote about here in January.

I've been comforting myself with hymns and prayer as much as I can lately, though I find myself asking why I still feel so strange. And I am remembering today about how the Lord has entered in the past and thanking Him for that.

Much love,
Rebecca