“Am I broken?”
“Is there something wrong with me?”
“Is there no one who understands?”
“Why even try?”
What do you do when your desire for God leaves you empty-handed?
When your search only creates more questions than answers?
How do you respond when the people you look to for help or guidance seem to never understand?
When they only grow impatient?
When they look at you that certain way that says to you,
“You’re crazy, and you don’t know God at all.”
I know what you do.
You give in to the voices. You allow all these thoughts and more not only into your head, but you let them sow roots and make a home in your heart. You let them become part of who you are.
You are crazy.
You are different than everyone else.
You are wrong.
And you are dangerous.
God just screwed it up when He made you and He doesn’t even care.
In fact, you are almost convinced that He regrets ever making you.
Well, it’s time to stop that bull$#!%
Please forgive my vulgarity if it upsets you or distracts you from the point…but I truly cannot think of a better word for it.
It is bull$#!%
(except that manure can be used to serve a purpose)
You feel like you are different,
like you are unique in ways that make you unwanted by the common Christian circles.
You feel like you are messed up,
Like there is a cog or a wheel or a bolt missing that others have. It helps them make sense of God and life and church and struggles.
You feel like they get it, but you never will.
And because your search for God only leads you to more questions than hard and fast answers,
you feel like you are considered dangerous,
A disappointment to God and a disease to His church.
Let me tell you a story.
I had just turned 22 when I met and started dating a girl named Emily.
We had been friends for a few months and every minute around her was sweet. She was fun. She was kind. She was a mystery.
I was adrift.
On our first date, I unloaded a slew of questions on her.
It was rapid-fire excavation
turning and churning up every world-changing artifact.
I was determined to find out every single detail about her that I was able to:
- Her favorite color.
- Her favorite flower.
- Her favorite kind of music.
- What she hoped to do professionally.
- What her deepest dreams were.
- Why she was in her area of study.
- What her favorite memory as a child was.
- Where she wanted to live if she could live anywhere.
However, to each and every question that exploded from my mouth, she calmly and thoughtfully responded,
“I don’t know.”
It was infuriating for me.
I wanted to know!
I wanted answers.
I wanted control.
You see, I really did want to know as much about her as I could. I was fascinated by her! But beneath most of these questions was a game plan;
an ulterior motive.
I wanted to know as much as I could so in the coming days, weeks, months I could do everything in my power to sweep her off her feet.
I was already forming plans for leaving her favorite flowers in carefully planned places they would just happen upon her.
I was secretly preparing outings to local galleries complete with artwork in her favorite color and ambient music from her favorite band.
With every question I asked, I was forming a greater and greater plan to make sure this relationship went well AND went where I hoped it would.
But all she could say was,
“I don’t know.”
She didn’t even know her favorite color…that is no lie.
I’m so glad she didn’t
I’m glad because now our relationship has become something so much more than simply reaching a goal.
It is more complex and mysterious than simply winning the girl,
more intricate and beautiful than a marriage certificate.
It is a journey.
My lack of answers forced us to travel those questions, and many more, together. It set us on a journey with no promise for the destination.
All it really promised us was the assurance of the other’s presence
In this way, we were able to discover these things about each other in the most subtle of ways.
I learned that she loves the oldies (even though I hate them…it’s okay though).
Her responses in flower shops told me she loves hydrangeas, peonies, and bougainvillias, but we were also able to create a new joint love for lilies!
Her clothes and color choices showed me her addiction to everything gray (the elegant gray…not boring gray),
AND we eventually realized lavender represents her spirit…
It is beautiful, feminine, creative, and unique;
a deep breath in the world.
You see, when our questions begot more questions,
when answers lost their way behind the trees that lined our trail and blocked our view,
We learned to travel our own road together.
We learned to let the destination lie where it will, and to be present exactly where we were…
With each other.
We uncovered great and magnificent truths about each other and about ourselves in the tiniest of details.
Most importantly, we became grateful for the warmth of another who loves you.
We no longer need answers, for we know we will find our own way. The important thing is that meet each challenge, celebrate every joy, and rest in every moment in between
This is life with Jesus.
It is not a life of knowing. It’s not about uncovering every ancient fossil of truth so we can manipulate the relationship to our liking.
It is about traveling the unknown roads together.
It is about presence.
Your questions are beautiful. Don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise.
And never let the answers become more important than the warmth and companionship of The One who loves you.
Rather than looking at the destination,
where is God trying to meet you on the road today?
Blessings on your journey, my friend. Though we walk different roads,
we travel together.