This is where I am today, four hours out of restlessness and driving all over Georgia for the dozen reasons I can’t list here.
To say that I am weary just doesn’t do it justice. I keep thinking that maybe my God should not be my junk mail folder, where I send all my unwanted forwards, but this morning, circa three a.m. that’s kind of how I acted. I dumped my heart silently at his feet, all my tiredness and fear and feelings of vulnerability pouring out of me… but I never said a word.
And I guess that’s a little strange because I talk at Him a lot.
But in that silence, broken and breaking, filled with confusion and fear and hope, He spoke louder than I’ve heard in a long time.
God brings out themes in my life the way a seamstress uses ribbon on a sleeve, the way I used to use theses in a research papers. Clarity, I find, comes in these little “coincidences” that line up with their almost perfection, little tin soldiers standing at attention holding bayonet-tipped rifles, prodding each other into action. Last night was a night like that. Everything that’s happened in the last two weeks has led to this:
I’ve been afraid to get comfortable with God. I’ve been afraid that secretly, I’m not really safe with Him.
Safety has been the big theme in my life in the last few weeks. The combination of watching friends make unsettling decisions along with a myriad of other things moved me into this feeling of emotional insecurity.
I know I can’t trust my own strength, but can I trust God’s?
I spent yesterday overwhelmed with panic and dread and the anxiety that sometimes sweeps over my spirit like the fog. There was a period where I stared, helpless, at my backpack, half full of nothing helpful. I kept thinking,
“What do you take on a rescue mission?”
At around three thirty I looked at that backpack, steel framed and tempered by many months of world traveling, shadowed in the patchwork light of so many leaves on so many trees, and knew that it didn’t really matter what I’d brought with me. There’s no way that I am strong enough to save anyone or to keep anyone safe. No amount of clean clothes can keep a heart from breaking. No amount of makeup can cover up the hurt that’s been caused.
The conclusion I’ve come to in all of this, the product of two sleepless nights and one very patient lakeside companion, is that my God is jealous for me to know his strength, to trust in his ability to protect and defend me, to be my champion. I can’t think of another reason for the amount or pervasiveness of the attacks I’ve faced in the last days.
If nothing else, I see His hands guarding me and mine.
I don’t ever like to give Sunday school answers. I don’t ever want to walk away from something I’ve written thinking that I’ve maybe made it too simple, tied it up in a pretty pink ribbon and walked off, leaving felt flowers in place of home-grown ones. But this is the verse that I keep coming back to; this is the hope I can’t live without.
“The Lord, Your God, is with you… and He is mighty to save.” -Zephaniah 3:17
When faced with a situation out of your control, what do you do?