Think back to when you were a kid. You either were, or knew someone who was, disobedient at least once or maybe even rebellious at times. Question. Did your parents like it? (I’m gonna go with no). Did they hate you or turn their back on you? (Majority answer would be no….for the small minority…I’m so sorry).
I didn’t do anything big like sneak out or do drugs or drink or…idk any of the unseemly things I can currently think of growing up. My M.O. was more yelling (in anger), slamming doors, just generally acting a fool. I’m surprised sometimes my mom let me live to see adulthood, but she still loved me. She didn’t like me all the time (but I didn’t even like me all the time.)
I think sometimes that’s how we treat God….or at least how I treat Him. I’ve told you before that I don’t like to talk about things (I’m working on it) because I don’t like to work through emotions. I like to ignore them and hope they go away. But they never do. They become festering wounds like if you cut your toe and just hoped for the best.
God and I don’t talk about these festering wounds either much. Because, if you talk about it, you feel it. If you feel it you admit that your kind of angry about it. And you’re not supposed to be angry at God, right?
“You have searched me, Lord, and You know me.” – Psalm 139:1
I think it’s funny, if you think about it, that we try to hide our anger from God. The Bible says he knows us. Do we not think he knows we’re not happy? I mean my mom knows when I’m not happy because she loves me. And she wants to work to fix it if she can, just like God loves us and wants to help us through it. He’s not going to be shocked and dismayed that we don’t understand what is happening and we might be a little upset about it. So why hide?
In my desire to hide away from emotional work that’s so hard, I hid away from God some. I talked to him on occasion…kinda like Santa. Like 3 days a week when I was going to work I would say “God please make this a good day.” (Because in healthcare they aren’t good days a lot of times). If I didn’t say it I felt like I caused the bad day. It was like supernatural superstition. It was ridiculous now that I think about it. But that was our main conversation.
And it was one sided. I talked to Him. Sometimes He happened to talk to me, but I didn’t seek out a conversation cuz I was running.
From the outside I didn’t look to be running. Remember I told you I have been playing this game a long time and I’m an all-star. I went to church and volunteered and I can give you any Jesus word you need. (I also can give you other words you don’t, but I’m working on that.). I chameleoned up and fit in to my circumstance. I also got into a bad habit of serving at church and then skipping the actual service. “God I want to serve you, but hang on. I don’t want you to serve me back or anything. We good.”
Our church runs on community groups. For a long time I was like “well there’s no community group that I fit into.” I’m not married. I don’t have kids. Even when I was in college last year, I was too old for them. I’m not divorced. And really do I want to walk up to someone’s house in a big city by myself and hope for the best??
For a slow person, I ran pretty good and pretty long. And when I reached the point of utter exhaustion of life and the way it was turning out, God looked at me and said: “Are you done yet?” So, done.
“Watch what I’m gonna do then.” He said.
You see while I’d been running, he’d been right there. Rebellious as I was, I was still His child and He didn’t just wish me the best and let me go. He chased me down. And when I ran some more, he kept on. He’s persistent like that. He loves me like that.
But He had to put me at a complete physical (and mental) standstill to get me to stop running. And it was hard! If you’ve been following, you know. We are working through stuff! And we aren’t done. But, I’m done running. (Not that I’m not tempted to run again, but I think he’s invested in a spiritual leash like you put on little kids that run. Go ahead and picture it.)
So how did he chase me down?
The first way was He made a community group just for me. I mean those other people think it’s for them too, but it was for me. (They mighta needed it too.). Literally it started the week after I had surgery. Had it been in the busyness of life, I might have found excuses.
I didn’t go that first week because I was exhausted and sore and not supposed to drive. The next week (I think) they posted in the group that it was the last “open” week (see our church had open house for a couple weeks so you can shop for the group that fits you). And after that they were closing it. In the deep darkness I was in, something told me I needed to go. I had started reading the book and it was speaking to me in a big way. God knew I needed this.
So I took my broken self (body and soul) and drug it over there and timidly knocked on the door cuz I was afraid I was at the wrong place. No one answered. I wanted to get back in my car but something said to me, do you think they even heard that tap? Lol. So I knocked a little louder, and there they were.
It wasn’t weird for this introverted extrovert past like 2 minutes. They just welcomed me right in. I mean they might just be like that, but God knew too that I would use any excuse to not come back at that point. But it was good. I enjoyed them and the discussion and everything. I found people I didn’t know I needed. But I needed them in a big way.
See that’s how God got me. He knows me. He knows the way to my heart because He loves me. As an introverted extrovert (it’s weird. Look it up.), I like being alone, but I hate it when it’s too much of aloneness. God shut my social circle down (I mean it wasn’t that big and mostly was people in the trenches at work trying to survive.).
God surrounded me with people. But not just any people, specific people that he picked out just for encouragement and spiritual truth and just acceptance. He took away everything else. (Not that I don’t love everyone else, but He knew he needed to limit my interactions to only the ones I needed then.)
So my social circle became people at church, people at community group, and people at Bible study because I couldn’t go to work and everyone else’s lives had surged ahead while mine stood still. Do you see the theme? The only negativity I had left was the negativity I created for myself, and I’m a good creator of negativity. When I pushed these people away, they still came back…because God.
I was too tired to keep running. My heart wanted rest. It needed rest. My body got its rest a lot but my heart hadn’t. But He kept on because that’s what He does. I kept reading that book by Annie F Downs. Then I bought another one (even though I wasn’t finished with the first one.). Then I googled things she’s put on YouTube (or others had) of teachings she’d done. God gave me the words of a woman I’d never heard of because I needed them. They spoke to my heart….they told me how to find rest.
This point circles back to an old post where I talked about grieving the loss of the dream. And I did that. I’m still doing that. My daddy, God, held me while I did that and He still holds me when I need it. Just like my mom would if I’d let her. Because they both love me so much. Because I’m worth that to them.
So, I’m giving myself grace. Grace to feel. Grace to not be all things for all people. Grace to do what I need to do. And grace to be enough just as I am, while I walk through some of the toughest things I’ve walked through.
But in that grace, today was a good day. Today, I found joy in the everyday. Today, I was enough.
And tomorrow, me and my dad, God will do some more work on my heart, and everyday we’ll be one step closer.