I hear your story and my heart is aching for you right now. I know it feels like you are alone right now. At times it feels dark. At times hopeless. Mostly you feel trapped. Maybe you can leave. Maybe you can’t.
What if I told you it wouldn’t help? Moving, switching, leaving, staying. None of those will help you feel less alone or less afraid. No matter where you go two factors will stay constant. You and God will still be characters in the story. This can be both comforting and terrifying.
I love Psalm 139. There is nowhere we can go and not have God meet us and guide us. Comfort. I was recently reading Amos and was struck by the similarity,
“If they dig into Sheol,
from there my hand will take them,
if they climb up to heaven,
from there I will bring them down” (Amos 9:2)
It keeps going and is so similar and yet it evokes the opposite emotion in me. Terror. God is talking about the destruction of Israel. There is nowhere anyone can go to escape God. The difference between the two scenarios is not about God. The difference is the attitude of the people. David was writing from a place of authenticity and honesty before God. Amos was written to a people in rebellion against God. God met them both.
If the core issue is that you are not honest with God, there is nowhere on earth you can go to make that problem go away. He will relentlessly follow you. No matter what your attitude, his desire remains the same. He wants to draw you into an authentic and deeper relationship with him.
What if I told you God desires that your life be filled with joy? What if I told you he wants you to be healed and whole? I know I didn’t believe it. I was hoping for neutral. I just wanted the pain to stop. Having someone tell me I could be filled with joy sounded more like a cruel joke. Being healed and whole seemed impossible.
I still don’t know when things shifted, but I know that God took that little bit of honesty I had and began to slowly change me. Just as hiding my emotions led to more hiding, that little bit of honesty brought more and more honesty. With honesty has come freedom. I have been filled with joy. Laughter has come back. I have a renewed hope for the future. I just wanted a little relief yet God has healed my heart.
I wish you could see the tears in my eyes as I want you to understand that hope. It starts small. It feels tenuous at first. There are days where it feels harder and scarier than the reality you are already living in. It will start to grow. It will grow because it doesn’t depend on your strength and goodness. It doesn’t depend on your effort. This change depends on the transforming power of an unchanging God.
You are not alone. Many have walked this path before you and many will come after you. Yes, it is a lonely road and I don’t know if there is any way around that. You are not alone because you have a God who has walked with you through it all. He has seen you where you are and he loves you. He loves you and he will wait for you to open up when you are ready. Slowly, slowly he will help that hope of a joyful and abundant life to grow in your heart until it can do nothing but flow into all areas of your life.
Someone just a few steps farther down the path