I saw a rainbow today. Barely. I stared at the sky for a long time, trying to figure out if my eyes were playing tricks on me.
God knows I am forever hunting the sky for rainbows. He knows what they mean to me. To me, they are a hug from Him. A reassurance. He knows that.
And after carefully scrutinizing the sky, I felt something well up inside of my soul. It felt like I was being hugged from the inside. And I knew that my eyes weren’t tricking me. It was there, a rainbow, in muted pink and orange and yellow, arching across the sky.
And I bet no one else even saw it.
But I did.
And that makes me think that God put it there for me.
I was praying when I saw the rainbow. One of those, “You are big and mighty and holy and I am in awe of You… But, Lord, please just tell me that it’s all going to be alright,” prayers. And then I saw it. And my prayer quickly became, “I love You, I love You, I love You, I love You…”
And I do. I do love Him.
But it’s also a prayer, a plea, because I know I cannot trust myself. I know how hard it is to hold on to a God I cannot physically touch, especially when this life feels disappointing. It’s hard to not give up seeking a God who cannot hold me.
And I don’t think I’m alone in that struggle. We love Him because He first loved us, right? Which is selfish and silly and honestly kind of sickening to me, and yet, it’s human nature. And so, I pray His love for me will overwhelm me in such a way that my love for Him continues to grow stronger and deeper all the days of my life.
And I know myself. I know that I am prone to drowning in emotion. If things go poorly, if they don’t go my way, no amount of filling my head with scripture is going to counter the ache that forms like a ulcer in my heart. I know it’s true that He is good, and I know it’s true that He has a plan, but that doesn’t make this moment hurt less.
It does, however, whisper an important truth to my soul: “Do not despair.” And that’s immensely helpful, it is. But as I said before, I am prone to drowning in emotion.
And so I pray that prayer, telling Him that I love Him, because I need to feel Him smiling at me. I need Him to know it’s true. And I need Him to hold tight to me. When I turn away or try to give someone or something else God’s place in my life, I need Him to pull me back. I need Him to consume my heart.
I cannot control anything. I cannot control how my life turns out or whether or not I’m okay. I’ve tried. I have nothing left to offer. I’ve tried to battle my emotions and thoughts with scripture. I’ve tried to begin each day smiling at the sunrise. And I don’t have it in me to try to be okay anymore.
I want joy that is genuine, not happiness that I hold on to relentlessly, even while it’s struggling to get away.
I think for a long time I’ve done life with my happiness like an umbrella in the wind, constantly turning itself inside out. I’m soaking wet from the rain and my umbrella is inside out above my outstretched arm, but I refuse to let go. I refuse to say this isn’t working. Instead, I hold on anyway, insisting everything is great.
I cannot do it anymore.
And, ironically, I think maybe that’s where God has wanted me all along. I don’t think God asks us to be stronger than our pain, I think He just asks us to trust Him.
And I want to. I want my love for Him to be the biggest, realest thing in my heart.
I read last night that sometimes it takes more courage and strength to let yourself fall apart, trusting God to catch you, than it does to try to hold it together. I think that’s really, really true. It’s much scarier to throw your hands up and say, “I can’t do it!” than it is to attempt to power through.
It’s much scarier to give in to gravity, to loosen your death-grip on the ledge you’ve been digging your fingertips into to keep from falling, and to just fall. To let go, knowing that you aren’t going to grow wings on your way down, and knowing that you cannot ensure that your landing will be a soft one. You fall and all you know as gravity pulls you towards the earth is who your God is, that He is holy and mighty and He has a plan, and that You couldn’t hold on anymore anyway. There was no other option but to fall and trust.
Where I’m at right now is really embarrassing. But I cannot hide it or pretend everything is okay or else I know that I won’t survive. So I have to be honest with the people in my life who I love and trust. And that is terrifying. Completely terrifying. Because… I don’t know how anyone could love me through this.
I have no choice, though. It’s either risk losing love or risk not surviving.
And, as a friend of mine keeps telling me, love isn’t fragile. I’m trying to believe that, which is hard because I don’t know that I’ve ever known a love that isn’t fragile or conditional.
My friend says, when someone loves you the way the Bible describes love, they don’t stop. They don’t change their mind. They don’t give up on you. The love of the Bible is strong and unwavering.
And so that is my prayer, as well. That something beneath my feet will be solid, that something in my hands won’t crumble.
I pray this time, this season of my life and the people in my life, are from God. Because if they are, I can breathe. People will always let each other down, I know. We are flawed and imperfect and human and I am completely okay with that. But if God goes before me, if He paves the way, if He knew this time was coming and I’d need someone to help me get through it, then maybe the people in my life right now are in my life for a reason, and maybe I don’t have to be afraid.
And, if not, if things do get worse before they get better–(dear God, please say they’re going to get better!)–at least I’m still the daughter of a King who puts rainbows in the sky for me.