I woke up with huge, painful bags under my eyes this morning. Why? I have been tasked with living authentically, so I confess that crying has recently become a normal part of life.
Also included in this delightful authentic-life package is lack of sleep, no direction, intense hurt, and a dab of hopelessness. Can someone please start playing a violin? But we have all been there, or will be there, right?
Sometimes I experience pain because of what someone has done to me, but sometimes the hurt is compounded when I believed God gave direction, and then didn’t come through for me. Abandonment. So how does one trust God? Who do I really have if the One who lead me down a path seemingly abandoned me? Trust issues are so hard to deal with.
I had a really good friend recently Vox with me (get the app, it will change your life) and she said something profound that gave me peace:
“Adrienne, I think you need to accept two truths right now:
First, you did hear God. Second, what you heard is not happening.”
Contradictory, right?! But it gave me freedom from having to understand everything. I don’t understand God’s ways. He gives and he takes away. He knows the future, I only know a fraction about this moment. He gives free will, but He also predetermines what is best. I don’t know how that all fits together, but I give up demanding to understand everything in this moment. And in a few minutes when I try to recapture my “right” to know, I’ll have to surrender again.
Last week I was hanging out with a young teenager in our local juvenile detention center. We were talking about Jesus and the subject came up about how Jesus was betrayed by a kiss from a ‘friend’, and even while He was being betrayed, He still healed the ear of one of the men capturing him.
The kid shook his head in disbelief and amazement. How could a man who did so much good, continue to do good after He had been betrayed and abandoned, by those closest to Him? I wondered the same thing. Jesus had been abandoned, and soon after, He cried out on the cross,
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?!”
This tells me that Jesus can empathize with heart pain. Do you hear me?! Jesus, Savior, King, can feel my pain because he experienced it to the ultimate extent.
While I have breath, I have reason to give thanks. I have chosen to follow a God that has experienced hurt too, and I will choose to trust him with mine. It is a daily, often hourly, choice. And believe me, sometimes I have to say it out loud, as a declaration, “I choose to trust You right now!” Because while I speak it out loud, my thoughts cannot contradict me. And for today, that’s what it looks like when I’m… just living the thing.