it all started because I didn’t trust You.
didn’t? don’t? won’t? i don’t know. i know nothing except that I didn’t trust You enough.
I didn’t trust that You have a great plan for me. Well, not in every area. Sure, You have a plan for my career. You have a plan for my life. You have a plan for me to touch the earth, be called for such a time as this, blah blah Esther blah Deborah blah blah. Yeah. That plan. That I could believe.
But the other plan. The plan that I could be loved. Wanted. Desired. I didn’t really trust that.
And then all the engagements started popping up. Everyone was dating. Committed. Engaged. Married. Everyone but me. OR so it felt. I know, of course I know, that’s not true. All I have to do is look at my closest circle. Of the fourteen women I call close friends,* only four, maybe five, are married/engaged/in a seriously close relationship. I mean, the type of relationship where I should save for a dress/present. But still. Reality aside, I felt alone. I felt like I was standing alone. I felt like everyone else had faith for it. When I said anything remotely negative, the girls all believed. I felt ashamed to really say that I didn’t believe.
Didn’t? Don’t. Felt? Feel.
And I knew, logically, that I could only take matters so far into my own hands. I’d tried before to toss it to the wind and devil, and I truly believe angels stopped me. I surely didn’t take any of the 5million ways of escape offered that day. But, despite it all, I was stopped. Pulled back. When I was ready to turn against everything I stood for, preached for, encouraged others about, those angels made sure that I didn’t so much as hit my foot against the stones I set in my own way. Because at one point, in this very area, I said, “The Lord is my Refuge; the Most High is my dwelling place,” He put angels in charge of guarding me in all my ways – even when I wouldn’t guard myself. So I knew, if I actually tried to do this again, He would stop me. I don’t know why, but I know He would. I committed myself to making sure He didn’t have to, not ever again.
But after this week, these past few weeks, I pulled back. Something shifted inside, and I couldn’t see it anymore. I couldn’t see the faith, the purity, that had been my clarion call. I couldn’t hold onto it at the moments that mattered. So I deliberately didn’t answer my phone. I deliberately didn’t reply to texts. I let the voicemails build. I let the pain explode.
I was so tired. Tired of trying. Tired of believing. Tired of performing, being. I just wanted to sleep, and sleep, and sleep.
I walked out to my car, sat down, and cried. No, the tears didn’t roll down my face, but I felt the silence build up inside. When I returned home and crawled into bed, I knew that it was over.
The act, in itself, meant nothing to God. It’s what I believed…or didn’t. Don’t. It’s what I trusted. Who I trusted.
Today, I don’t know. I can’t hold out alone. I can’t do it in my own strength. I become Paul: that which I would not do, I do, and that which I would do, I do not. Oh what a wretched woman I am.
I feel tired of asking for forgiveness. Shouldn’t I know this by now? Be past this by now? Can I, I who know so well that we don’t sin that grace may abound, ask for that very grace? Can I, I who know so well that she who knows good and does it not commits sin, ask to be washed? I know the Cross is that powerful, that the grave is that defeated, but can I, I who in my very actions nullify the Cross, ask for the power to be resurrected in my own life?
I’ve been a Christian for 20 years. I’ve never really backslidden. Never really walked away. Can I, I to whom so many look, really be contemplating this now? I know the power of the Cross, but can the church accept the pain that brings me to it.
It comes to this: do I believe He loves me enough – not just to die for me, but to make me live again. Enough to make me live in Him.