It has been a long time.
Not necessarily since my last blog (though over two months is a long time). Not since the last time I sat down and wrote. But since the last time I actually wanted to write about God.
Whoa, Jaymie – you might say. Are you saying you didn’t want to write about God anytime in the recent past? The reason for your blog? What you have always preached gives you meaning?
Yes, I am. I haven’t wanted to think about Him. To be around Him. To talk about Him. Whenever His name came up in conversation, I could feel myself tense. Especially with friends who didn’t quite realize where I was at. People who weren’t super indulged in my day-to-day struggles and frustrations.
I would pray. Yes, to God. I realize this doesn’t make sense, but even in these ‘darker’ times I have known my need is there. I try to listen for Him. I ask Him questions and let the Spirit guide me. That’s one of my personal favorite things about God. He doesn’t push us away. Even when we aren’t living with Him, He’s there for us and living alongside us. Literally, thank You Jesus Himself. I would read my Bible and try to soften my heart. But it only grew harder.
Why? – you might ask.
I don’t know. It’s easy to blame myself. And it’s also easy to use Christian language and say it’s a “season” of my life. But the truth is that I don’t know. Maybe some of it is my fault. Maybe some of it is stuff God is trying to teach me. Maybe some of it is learning to not rely on feelings for my faith. But nothing feels like all of it.
I’m writing this to be honest. I try to hold myself together, but I can’t. I can’t do it anymore. I can’t continue on telling people that I’m “100% into” my Christian faith, when it hurts me to even think about Christ sometimes. When I try to change the subject when someone asks me how “my walk” is. When the bitterness in my heart raises its ugly head…
A few months ago for my birthday, my friend from New Zealand, Brydee, sent me a Shauna Niequist book. I was excited because I kept meaning to read that Cold Tangerines one, but hadn’t. Niequist has spoken at my alma mater (lol omg I have an alma mater) every year. But I never went. I never woke up in time for those chapels. So the book stayed with my stuff and I intended to read it.
Last week, Serena called me. “Let’s read Bittersweet next week,” she said at some point during the two hour FaceTime. I agreed, not realizing what I was getting myself into.
I’ve read one chapter. I’ve read less than twenty pages of written words (and the font is kinda big.) But already I feel like I’ve been tackled.
The plan for my life… for this next “season”… is not something I have access to. I am weak. I am tired. My heart is heavy. My limbs weigh me down. I have been fighting for all the things I don’t want to lose. My hands have held onto people and things that I can’t see myself without. I am down and under the waves; I am being wrecked by them.
So today… not tomorrow, not later this week… today… it’s time to, as Niequist puts it, “unclench [my] fists, unlock [my] knees and also the door to [my] heart, take a deep breath, and begin to swim.”
It’s time to be open to what God has done, is doing, and will do in my life. It’s time to open my heart to Him again… to resurface from where I’m drowning in the ocean. It’s time to float. I know things will not get easy. They may even get worse. But God has got this. And it’s time for me to start believing that.