I’m writing my heart tonight, tucking it away into this little glowing box that will pop up on your feeds today and disappear tomorrow. But tomorrow isn’t important tonight; tonight was built for honesty.
Today was a day in transition, the feeling of spring in the air as the rain poured over the earth. The funny thing about rain is that you know it will bring something good…but it’s still raining. And the funny thing about winter is that you know it will bring spring…but it’s still winter. And promises don’t mean much when you’re cold and sopping wet and miserable. You know tomorrow, metaphorically speaking, will be beautiful and full of everything spring…
But today it is winter. Today it is raining.
We drove all over today, him talking, me listening. It’s what we do: we sip on coffee and watch the world pass by. It’s simple. Well…until he told me that God was laying on his heart to mention that God was waiting for me with arms wide open.
I froze, growing angrier as he spoke, coolly responding,” Maybe the next time you talk to God you should mention to Him that in order for me to come to Him He has to meet me halfway.”
“He meets you all the way.”
Angry, angry tears flowed, “No He doesn’t. Not when your prayers bounce off the ceiling. Not when you beg Him to save you and you don’t even feel like that gets through. He.doesn’t.show.up.”
The lecture started and I grew angrier, “You know..you talk a lot about things you don’t understand. You don’t know how much I’ve tried.”
“That’s fair enough,” he said, “But sometimes God tells you no.”
Tears fell like rain, “Oh, yeah. Right. ‘God, save me.’ ‘No.’ ‘God, give my dad a job.’ ‘No.’ ‘God, listen to me.’ ‘No.’ Is that what you’re saying?”
The conversation continued until I put on the brakes, crying so steadily that I asked him to stop talking about it. Because didn’t he know that I was hurting?
I was six when I first tried to ask Jesus into my heart. I was 19 when I stopped asking. But I went through the nights of terror, wondering if I would end up in hell. Because you know. Life’s a vapor.
I was 7 when we entered the Independent Baptist church that was our home for 13 years because we’d tried other churches and we didn’t fit in there either and sometimes it’s easier to be the black sheep at a church where everyone knows your name than to simply be the nameless black sheep tucked in the back row neatly. I was 17 when I sat on the bathroom floor crying because I felt the unfairness of everyone having a place but my family. Because my dad was a bum in their eyes and my sister’s skirts were too short in their eyes and my brother had a rebel streak in their eyes.
I was 2 when I started learning the rules and 19 when I laid on a bed in physical pain because I felt so guilty over stretching the truth in a class and I didn’t know if I should tell my professor or if I even made a mistake.
I was 22 when I said, “To hell with the rules.”
And I discovered that the F word can be a wonderful adjective in any given situation and vodka tastes fantastic in a slushy and being drunk is no fun at all and bars give me anxiety and driving fast blaring loud music gets old and running from God is tiring…and He never gives up. And I learned that even in spiritually dead seasons you can still learn things without your heart absorbing them. And I learned that I’m not over the impact legalism has had on my life. Not even a little bit.
That’s what I learned. I’m just being honest.
I’m telling you this for two reasons, though I’m already experiencing anxiety over this post and I haven’t even shared it yet:
- I want you to know this part of me. The searching, grasping part of me.
- If you’re going through anything like this, it’s okay to get help. If something hurts, it matters. I get it: people can hurt you badly. You can hurt yourself badly too.
I have no further message to relay, no hope to give, just this raw post because I needed to be heard, because maybe someone reading this needs to know they’re not alone. And because maybe someone out there needs to put on the brakes and go get some help. I know I am.
Because in spite of me, I know God doesn’t want any of us to stay floundering in our past. Go. Deal with it.
And if you need anyone to listen, email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll be there.