• Bethany Bell

The Day After The Night Before

Happy Valentine’s Day for yesterday friends.

Have you ever had a “day after the night before” experience? I’m guessing we all have some kind of a story.


The thoughts of ‘I wish, I hope, imagine if, I shouldn’t have, why did I say that, why did I do that…’ dreamy eyes or broken hearts. Many have stories that we love to remember and many have stories we’d love to forget.


I remember being home after one particular night. I was telling two of my fave people about my night with a certain someone, you know what I mean… I found myself excusing everything this person did as “kindness”. When one of my people spoke up, indicating that maybe it was a bit more than kindness… I had this massive ‘Ohh… you mean…’ moment whilst standing in my kitchen. And then the seemingly inevitable… ‘oh wait what, why did I think that, say that, do that…’ and so forth. I must say… I’m convinced I pretty much nailed the being awkward thing. Thankfully one of them reminded me that this is all part of the fun. And so that night is going in the history books!


I remember another day after the night before. I had been out for dinner with a few friends, but the night hadn’t really been what I had expected. In fact, it had been indescribably difficult. My sister text to check in as I arrived home, my replies were brief. I got ready for bed and went to sleep as quickly as possible to avoid thinking too much on it.


The following morning, I lay heart-broken on the lounge room floor curled up in the foetal position, my body shaking with tears streaming down my face. After a good length of time, I pulled myself together, packed the car and headed off to another event. Have you ever had one of these experiences?


The day after the night before can be full of elation as you follow up with a text or eagerly wait for one, it can be filled with hope, even certainty of hopes fulfilled. However, it can also be filled with sadness, remorse, grief, shame and so on.


Maybe last night (or recently) you had one of those experiences… Or maybe you‘ve been feeling emotions of another kind... of waiting, hope lingering or disappointment… Or maybe you just flat out hate Valentine’s Day. I’m not here to pass judgement. But I do want to say that if your heart has been hurt or broken into a million tiny pieces, I am so sorry. And if you’re thinking ‘what a duffer’ (I’ve been there!) I’ll laugh with you as we try and recover from our awkward selves. Or if you’re carrying hope in a new way, know that I am rejoicing with you.


Whether your heart is hurting from recent days or times long ago, maybe you were met with ridicule, humour, damaging words or behaviour in the midst of personal vulnerability, I am so sorry.


If your heart is broken, you'll find GOD right there; if you're kicked in the gut, he'll help you catch your breath. Psalm 34:18 MSG


Another version says “God is close to the broken-hearted...”

Whatever your story or emotion is this weekend, may you know that God is close to you.


If your heart is hurting I encourage you to talk to God, tell a friend and do something you enjoy! Sometimes our hurt can feel so deep it’s hard to wade through it all on our own. I understand that feeling. Can I encourage you not to be afraid to reach out to someone with wisdom and experience, a counsellor or mentor, they can make a significant difference.


Here’s to being brave enough to risk our hearts, bold enough to learn along the way and humble enough to laugh at ourselves. There’s fun adventures to come (let’s just hope we all get less awkward as we go)!


Much love, Bethany


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© 2019 by Bethany Bell, photography by Ken Cheal and Nathanuel Williams