When I was younger, even as recently as my mom’s death, I believed I could get through anything as long as I had people who loved me.
I no longer believe that. At least not in the same way.
Because I’m realizing that, come nightfall, no matter how many people have loved me during the day, it’s just me. It’s me and my twisted up heart and my knotted up stomach and my spinning brain. And the “I love you’s” and hugs and all the holy, beautiful reassurances that I’m loved and not alone, they buoy me, but the pain is still there, giving me one of two options: endure it, ride the wave, trust the process… or fight against it, panic, suffer. And it’s my decision alone to make.
And so here I sit tonight, with loved ones a phone call away, and other loved ones sleeping in the next room. I am not alone. And yet.
So I do the only thing left to do: I turn my shame-filled eyes toward the One who can help. And I raise up a string of prayers- desperate, afraid, pleading. And in the same breath, the acknowledgement that I have no right. I have no right to turn to Him now, relying on my status as His child, when I haven’t been living like His child lately. How bold of me to go to the Creator of all things, who I’ve essentially rolled my eyes at and shushed for the last month, and ask Him for provision, protection, peace?
But that isn’t how our God operates. He doesn’t turn us away. He doesn’t make us beg and plead and suffer to earn back our right to call Him Abba. He is merciful and full of grace and ever-present.
And I can see the holy in all of this, the progression of my life. It’s good and it’s healthy to realize the love of humans has limits. It makes life worth living, but it cannot save you.
It’s good for me to not try to squeeze Jesus out of people, but to still live with eyes open to flickers of Him that occur naturally in them.
It’s good for me to know that at the end of the day, it’s Jesus. People can pray for me, but they can’t answer my prayers. They can’t be my solution. Only Jesus can do that.
And so I come to Him and I sit and I ask Him for things I have no business asking Him for. And He lets me talk. And then a shhh that I pay attention to, and He holds my head in His hands and His eyes aren’t filled with accusations or anger, but with love. And the shame? The fear that I don’t belong to Him anymore? It melts away.