I feel like I'm full of words today. This is really strange, because for the past week and a half, I've been in a fog, just sort of being a shell. Most of the time, I've been seconds away from crying, and not necessarily for any reason. I haven't been sleeping. I've been quiet. I've been angry. I've been distracted. And I have really not been myself. In all honesty, I haven't been in a good place.
But good things have been happening in the midst of (and in spite of) my circumstances.
Last night, I grabbed Starbucks (decaf for me) with a friend that I hadn't seen since finals week. Erin is a good friend, supportive, loving, a strong Christian, and someone that I admire in general. She is sweet and real, and I enjoy every minute that I spend with her. So, on our coffee date, Erin and I were catching up, sharing our whines and shines since this past December. I told her about what I've been going through lately (aka my current circumstances), and how I just feel abandoned.
Because here's the thing. I know Christ as my Savior. I'm saved. I strive everyday to become more like Him. I know that God has a plan for my life, and that all things come together for His Glory. I know that He loves me more than I could ever fathom. I know that all of my trust should be in Him, no matter what. And I want it to be, so badly.
But at the same time, I'm struggling. I feel like I've fallen and don't have the strength to get up again. Because a week and a half ago, I found out that something that I always thought would be part of my future, something I dreamed of and looked forward to, might not be. My mind raced through countless possibilities of why this might have been given to me. I wondered if God had given me this situation so that my family might recognize and be moved to seek Him (as I have so often prayed for them to do.) My mind raced over countless possibilities, and I grew increasingly anxious. My frustration grew, and it seemed like a huge chasm had opened and separated me from the rest of the world, from the people I love. I became mired down and caught in a fog. I felt robbed and cheated. I was (and still am) overwhelmed. But worst of all? I felt like I had been abandoned.
Have you ever felt like that before? Felt so isolated and alone, so hurt and empty that even though you knew better, you wondered, for just a fraction of a second, if God had turned His back on you? It's the lowest feeling in the world. We're talking lower than the center of the Earth, here.
So here I am, sitting in Starbucks and pouring my heart out to Erin, and sharing my pain. Because I so desperately wanted someone to understand. There were tears- plenty of them, even. And you know what Erin did? I'll tell you first what she didn't do. She didn't criticize me. She didn't throw Scriptures of me and wash her hands of me. She didn't tell me that my faith wasn't big enough. She didn't act like my feelings and my problems were insignificant. And most importantly, she didn't even try to pretend that she's never been hurt or frustrated in her faith before.
You want to know what Erin did, though? She offered me encouragement. She sympathized. She let me be stupid and cry. She let me have time. And she offered me advice. Real advice, though. Like, things that have worked for her. And she told me how she got through her dark times. She didn't tell about those times in an attempt to downsize my situation, but she said it all in a loving way so that I might learn from her trial and error process while fumbling through my own mess. Eventually, we got around to the truths of God and who He is, and just taking time to focus on who He is (one of the things that has helped her). And then, Erin said something that caught me by surprise.
She suggested that I ask God to show me just how big, and just how awesome and powerful He is. Because He wants to impress me and love on me.
She said other wise things, but it's not all sorted out in my head yet. But I can tell you that I had never thought of asking God to show me how awesome He is before. So you know what?
I went home, and I did. I asked God to show me how big He was, because I want to focus on that instead of how big my problem is. I didn't ask Him to prove that He is God-- I already knew that, and I do know that. Instead, I was asking Him to just show me. I didn't ask for instant healing, but instead to see Him, and for Him to show me just how wrong I was, and how amazing He is.
And He did.
This morning when I woke up, there was an email in my inbox from a blog that I follow. That's not necessarily anything unusual-- I get tons of emails about new posts from the many blogs I follow. But this email, this post was something different. It had "Here I am" written all over it. I've tried journaling before with my Bible reading and prayer time, but never had much success. But the SOAP method seems like something that I can do, and that I can keep up with and be consistent with.
It may not seem like much, but I felt God answering me in that. And I am so looking forward to the other ways that He chooses to show me just how big and magnificent He is. Because I want to stop telling God how big my problems are.
Instead, I want to tell my problems-show them, even-how big and marvelous my God is.
I'm not expecting things to magically turn around. If God wills it, then it will be so. But I'm not asking Him for that. Instead, I'm asking Him to keep showing me. And I know that through this, my faith will be made stronger. I know that He will use my pain for something so wonderful that I couldn't even begin to imagine.
For now, I'm going to do what I should have done a long time ago. I'm going to take things one day at a time. Plan as little as possible. And pray constantly. And day by day, by the grace of my Savior, I will get through. Because He has not abandoned me, and He never will.