I have gone silent for a bit. Literally and figuratively.
I have withdrawn and I have shut the door. I have closed the curtains, the blinds, and forced closed the windows. I have drawn in within myself, within my mind. My soul is torn and battered. Much like the season after losing my parents, depression has clawed its way through and now rests squarely on my shoulders.
Unlike that previous season, I am fully aware of what this is. Although I do not always fully understand it, I know the triggers. I know their names. The enemies that taunt my soul. I know them, and I hate them. And, yet, here I am with darkness as my companion.
God has not been absent. In fact, He has gently and compassionately been waiting. As I wrestle through what I now know and recognize as anger and resentment towards Him-He waits compassionately. I question a lot of things about God’s sovereignty and His purposes, but I don’t question His kindness and compassion especially in our sorrow, anger, and sin.
The thoughts and doubts I wrestle with would be considered foes of a righteous God, and yet I know that in the greatness of who He is - He simply waits and continues to draw me.
He is not scared or overwhelmed by my doubt. He doesn’t get insecure and He does not lack any confidence. He doesn’t have to compensate for any sort of insecurity or lack of confidence. He doesn’t need to rush me or push me - He simply fights for me and He waits.
Yes, I am angry and I am resentful. In my surrender to His purposes and in my yes, I have found myself overwhelmed with inadequacy. Never before have I been living and working so outside of ability, temperament, or experience. Never before have been stretched and pulled and yanked to move in a foreign world that I don’t seem to fit in. And, yet, I am so certain this is where God led me. It wasn’t a mistake on my part. It wasn’t a misunderstanding. He took me out of my well manicured garden and threw me into a field of wild flowers.
This phrase was spoken to me by someone who does not know me and is not really aware of what is fully happening in my life. Her words were, God wants to tell you. I have turned that phrase over and over in mind. In the moment, I knew exactly what she meant. And, yet, in my wounded soul - I said no. Even though I have always believed that God can speak through people this way - I said no. Simply because doubts are big. And because I just didn’t want to hear it.
Do not tell me that this is part of God’s great purpose. His sovereign plan for my life. The struggle is so powerful. And I am tired. He is asking for too much. He has always asked for more than I could give. He up’d the anti and He begin to ask for more and more.
I’m tired. So very tired. Everything in me wants to be like the prodigal son - leave everything - forge my own path.
And, yet, one thing stops me. For the longest time I believed it was because I like to play it safe, be the rule follower. I could never really leave my faith in God. I could never fully walk away.
And maybe that is a little part of it, but I’m beginning to realize the fullness of my hesitance.
It’s because of the characteristics of the God I have served my entire life. The one I have given everything for...I have seen Him and known Him.
And, although, sometimes I hate His purposes and His plans. His compassion, love, and kindness brings me to repentance and trust. It moves me to surrender every time. It moves me to comfort and solace. And when nothing can assuage the wounds in my soul - when no one understands or “gets me” - He has and He does.
I am so angry and I stubbornly refuse to let go of this anger. But I am fully aware that in my anger, He is patient. And He is fighting to break through, to tear down every lie, to kick down every wall - to storm through the anger and resentment to draw me back to Him.
This Pastor, this leader, this broken and normal person reminds you today that God is greater and can fully handle your mess, your sin, and your brokenness. I am reminding you He is slow to anger, rich in love, compassionate in all He does. He is fighting for you and with you. Don’t walk away, don’t run, and don’t give up. He will continue to as long as it takes for you to wrestle and fight through all of that mess and brokenness. He is and always will be fighting for you, and patiently waiting with open arms.