Thursday, June 9

the unwritten letters.

Dear friend,

I spent the last half hour writing a really cool post about trusting God and knowing that He's faithful.

As I reread it for typos, my eyes filled.  With one swipe of the backspace, I deleted it.  It sounded so I was pulling words from a factory line.

Who was this woman who had everything together?
Who was this person that sounded so trusting?
 I, for one, would like to meet her.

Because it's not me.

But nobody wants to write that kind of letter, do they?

Nobody wants to say that things have been hard lately, or they don't know what to do.  I want to say, I'm fine.  God is good.  Everything will be okay.
With love, Elizabeth.  The End.

But the heart of my writing has always been honesty, and the day I stop using my words for the side of truth...I don't think I want to write anymore.  So I trade my eloquent words for the ones tucked away in my throat.

Dear friend, I don't have everything together.  And I write that because maybe you've felt this way before, too.

It feels as though instead of things coming together, they are falling apart.  The specific what's, how's, and why's are really not important- but my heart is tired.  And God feels far away.

A dear friend recently told me that sometimes God intentionally draws away from us to see how much we're willing to look for Him.  In this season of my life, I believe it.

So I get up in the morning and breathe.  I will look and seek and pray.  I pull out my Bible and remind myself of beautiful stories that have started out as shambles- stories like Job, Jonah, and David.

With shaky breath, I find myself in these words.  In these people who are honest with God, even when it hurts.  And you know what?  God never seems to mind.

It's okay to weep.
It's okay to shout.
It's okay to hurt.

God never seems to turn away the brokenhearted.  He doesn't seem to mind if we beat on his chest.  He never rebukes people who come to him with hard questions.  In fact, he seems to show up more in the painful questions than anywhere else.

I think he'd rather us come to him in pain than shrink away from him in silence.

And my heart takes comfort in that.

Even if it doesn't feel like he's near me, I am a child of God.
And I will wait for Him.  I will fight this.  I will be honest.
I will wrestle, knowing that walking with a limp is far better than running away.

This passage was written to Job, a man whose life was falling apart before his own eyes.  His wife and children left him, he was stripped of his land and possessions, and he became ill basically to the point of death.

More than that, I think it's a letter to anyone who has ever come to God with questions.  Dear treasured, wrestling friend- you are not the only one.  He hears us.  I really, truly believe he does.

With love,

3Behold, you [Job] have instructed many,
   and you have strengthened the weak hands.
4Your words have upheld him who was stumbling,
   and you have made firm the feeble knees.
5But now it has come to you, and you are impatient;
   it touches you, and you are dismayed.
6 Is not your fear of God[a] your confidence,
   and the integrity of your ways your hope?

 8"As for me, I would seek God,
   and to God would I commit my cause,
9who does great things and unsearchable,
    marvelous things without number:
10he gives rain on the earth
   and sends waters on the fields;
11he sets on high those who are lowly,
   and those who mourn are lifted to safety.
17"Behold, blessed is the one whom God reproves;
   therefore despise not the discipline of the Almighty.
18For he wounds, but he binds up;
   he shatters, but his hands heal.

-Job 4: 3-6, 5: 8-11, 17 & 18

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