**Because I’ve become a terrible blogger and haven’t written as often as I planned to (even though you good people are still visiting my blog), here’s a draft I found hiding away in my folder. Why I didn’t post this months ago when it was written, I’m not sure. But since I can’t seem to write these days, here is the old draft. Please forgive my long absence**
It’s rare that you find people who are always eager to remind you of the truth, and as loudly as you need to hear it too. My roommate is one of such people. I’ve dubbed her my unofficial therapist and our therapy sessions almost always happen in our little kitchen with its homemade curtains and mismatched dishes. She yells at me, I bury my face in the counter or my hands, and at the end of it all, I have a little more perspective.
Our impromptu therapy session a few nights ago was difficult and loud – so loud, in fact, that I wondered what our poor neighbors were thinking. I was bemoaning the pitiful state of my heart recently, telling her about how I feel like God wasn’t doing enough, how he wasn’t answering the big prayers and how I feel purposeless and forgotten.
“What is wrong with you?! How do you forget so quickly how much Jesus loves you?! One day you’re so in love with him and the next your questioning if he’ll take care of you! You’re like a spoilt little three-year-old who’s never satisfied! Are you going to tell God how to do his job? He’s GOD! Don’t you think he knows what he’s doing? People complain about God not doing anything in their lives, about him being distant, and here you are complaining that what he’s doing is not enough!”
I tried to explain away my childish tantrum, blaming everything from my unchanging circumstances to this romantic (read: depressing) time of year. But really, she was right. I was blaming everyone but my selfish heart and forgetful mind. How quickly I chose to forget the innumerable times He has romanced my heart in the past few weeks. The many times my whispered prayers were answered with such accuracy and care. The quiet mornings when I’ve cried in frustration and in the way only He can, He comforted me. How quickly I chose to forget.
Perspective is hard to hold on to in a season of waiting. When everyday’s the same and you’re nowhere near where you want to be, it’s easy to forget who you are and whose you are. I, then, become a whore, giving my heart away to worthless substitutes that offer a short-lived thrill. I make the creation greater than the Creator and fuss when He takes it away from me. My heart is fickle, and He knows it.
So he hedges me in on every side, blocking every way of escape till I’m forced to deal with this desert. He tries to teach me to invite him into my brokenness, to stop playing the martyr and ask him to fix me. He speaks tenderly to me about restoration, about turning this valley of trouble into one of hope. He teaches me to be faithful, even though I’m a sluggish learner who still wants to play the whore. He gently forces me to ask him what he thinks of me, so that I may be affirmed in the places no one’s been before. He yells at me through my roommate when I’m throwing a fit and doubting his love. He caters every Sunday morning sermon to the very thing he’s been trying to teach me that week.
He won’t relent until my understanding of him grows from Master to Lover. If at all possible, I’ve become too comfortable in my reverence of Him, in my contemplation of His greatness and splendor. Instead, He wants my heart to accept Him as my Lover, my Husband. The intimacy characteristic of such a relationship is foreign to me, and that is what He longs to show me. He knows my immediate tendency is to run from intimacy. And so he hedges me in until I’m forced to completely bare my soul, and then He romances me in ways I’ve never dreamed.
How can you put such a One in a box? The Almighty, yet a lowly servant? My Lord, yet my Lover? A Warrior, yet a Healer?
And if I am indeed made in His image, I can embrace my complexity as a reflection of His. I can appreciate the valley as a place where He withholds everything I want, except the very thing I need – the gift of His presence. I can be thankful for people who won’t let me wallow in self-pity and doubt when I’m called to so much more. And I can live with eager anticipation, knowing that desert isn’t the entirety of his plan.