I was sitting in church this past Sunday, listening to Jeremiah sing “In the Valley.” If you haven’t heard it, its a moving song about how we see God most in the valleys of our lives. I felt my heart start to move as his words resounded within my soul, I felt tears start to fill my eyes, and suddenly I felt myself slamming the heavy metal door that separates my emotional and rational self. It brought to the forefront what I knew had been happening in my spiritual walk of late, without being able to quantitate it.
I still believe in God, our Father. I still believe in His ability to work miracles in our lives–to heal the sick of body and soul. I don’t doubt Him or His power or His lovingkindness. I still not only know but feel the fact that losing Mom has been part of His plan to bring about the most glory. Despite all this, it still hurts too bad to be near Him. Its easy to go through the motions of Christianity–going to church, talking in Sunday school, even having devotions most mornings–without ever really experiencing Christ. My prayers consist of all talk and no listening. When I worship, I shut off my emotions, unwilling to stir feelings that might make me cry–I feel like I’ve had enough tears.
As I listened to Jeremiah sing, the picture God gave me was that of a child, laying all their hope and trust in their father. A child who cried out to the bullies all around, “My Daddy can beat your Daddy! I will not be afraid of you!” And as that little child, in all their faith and vulnerability, stared down their oppressors, rocks started pelting, slowly at first, then faster, until she became reduced to a little heap with her arms thrown over her head, pleading for mercy. The father stood to the side, allowing it all to happen–knowing that the child needed to accept a few scars from the world. Scars that would make her more wise, more humble, more, more…
So now I’m leery. Afraid to make myself vulnerable again. I miss my Father. I miss his friendship, his instruction, his love, but I’m scared to get back up and the bruises are still healing. I don’t want to make myself vulnerable again, because I’m scared of those hurtling rocks.
Then there’s the other side. The side of me that wonders if the reason I’m having trouble renewing my relationship with Him, is because this is the first time in my mature Christian walk that I haven’t had something tangible, driving me to my knees over and over. Mom was diagnosed with cancer when I was 13, and since that age there were very few times that I went into His presence without beseeching Him on her behalf. So now there is this strange question in my heart, “Will you still seek Me in earnest, when you aren’t pleading a life and death cause? Is it really ME you wanted, or was it just what you needed from Me?”
I hope and pray that what I want and need most is Him. That’s what I claim…I just worry that I’ve been wrong about myself.
I don’t know whether I’m feeling hurt and vulnerable, or unworthy, or…but I do know that I miss Him, but I just can’t.