Some days – far more often than I would like to admit – I feel like God has pulled the rug out from under my feet. Or better yet, that I am Charlie Brown and God is Lucy, who’s just swiped the football away from me, again. I try and try and try and no matter what, I miss, I fail, I fall. And there I am, lying flat on my back, staring up at the sky shouting, “Really? Really?!!”
Oooohhh, can I get angry. I mean the breaking-things kind of angry. On my worst days, you can find me shaking my mental fist at God, silent screams reverberating in my gut, “I am doing my best here, God! I am trying! Why…do…you…keep…making…this…so…impossible?! Do you want me to fail?!”
But on the very worst day, I spat out something pretty much exactly like this: “You know what, God? That’s it. I’m done with You.”
Yes, I actually said that. (I shudder every time I tell this story.) And there’s more….
“You and me, God. We’re done. I’ve had it. I’m sick of you bailing on me, on my kids, on my family. So that’s it. No more. No more quiet times. No more prayer. No more me relying on you for anything. We. Are. Done.”
It’s awful, I know. Horrible, dreadful, treacherous. What was I thinking?! Well…I wasn’t.
In mother terminology, I was what we call OUTOFCONTROL. And I knew it. But that’s the thing with being OUTOFCONTROL, you can’t really help yourself.
I immediately braced for the death blow. Any second I would be struck by lightning…or hit by a bus, at least. I mean, you don’t say things like that and get away with it. In more mother terminology, I was cruisin’ for a bruisin’ and the cruise was over. Somebody get the wooden spoon, already!
Well, a few minutes later, still alive and breathing, I realized that my new plan actually had some practical implications. At the time, I was leading a women’s Bible study and co-directing a kids program at church. Oh yeah, kids! What about my kids?! I quickly determined that I would put up a good front; I would take the kids to church and perform all my nice, Christian duties. I would “pretend.” I would “play Christian.”
And so I did. I went on. I went on asking nothing from God. Giving nothing to God. Expecting nothing good because I deserved the worst. And surely the worst would come.
Several days passed without any catastrophic acts of divine retribution and I suddenly understood that such a fate could hardly be God’s worst. No. His worst wouldn’t be a bolt of lightning. His worst would be to just leave. And so I waited for Him to leave – for Him to leave me ALONE.
And so I waited for Him to leave – for Him to leave me ALONE.
What would it be like, I wondered? Would I know He was gone? Would my mind and soul, once awash in Light, suddenly go dark? Would my heart, once warmed by His ever-presence, turn cold and barren? Surely life without Him must be like life without air.
The days turned into weeks and still I waited.
Raging waters from angry clouds beat violently upon the earth, overflowing banks and uprooting trees. But after the storm squeezes dry the clouds and the wind runs out of breath, the waters begin to slow. Smoothing out and away, moving almost imperceptibly, they find their way home, around rocks and through mountains, over fields and through the rush, back into the lap of the ocean.
So too, riven lovers find themselves pulled again, as if by lodestone, into that familiar embrace.
And even the rebellious, petulant child, once again finds her little arms wrapped around her daddy’s neck, though his strong arms do the holding.
And so weeks later, to my own surprise, I found myself resting quietly in the lap of my heavenly Father. Perhaps because my own father left me so easily – and more than once, too – I wondered at the strangeness of this God who stayed even in the face of my betrayal.
Then He answered the question I dared not ask:
“You see, Nichole, you were done with Me, but I am not done with you.”
Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits– who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s…
The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love…he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust…but from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him…Praise the LORD, O my soul! Psalm 103
© Nichole Liza Q.
Thanks for sharing this. Makes me love Him more, and you too!
There might be no sweeter thing in the blogging world than to know your words helped someone love God more. It is a privilege to be used by Him in that way. Thanks for sharing, Jenny. ❤
Thanks for sharing not only from your heart but also from your “gut”- where things are often darker and so ugly you don’t want them to see the light of day. Been in similar situations a couple of times. The 1st time, God came to me almost immediately once I stopped my “temper tantrum”. On a later occasion He let me stew for awhile before helping me to understand that He had Not abandoned my teenaged niece, who loved Him wholeheartedly, while she died a painful, prolonged death from cancer. Through the course of several tearful days He led me in taking a close look at Christ’s death on the cross and what he suffered because he loved us. In the face of such love what can one do except fall into the arms of the One who loves us more than we can fathom.
I remember when you sweet niece was sick. If ever there was a time for a person to be angry with God, that was it. Thanks for sharing how God walked through that with you. ❤
I love how you express yourself Nichole! I can relate to this post very much. I have been there as well. I keep going back to the Prodigal Son and am just amazed at the Father heart of God. Just awesome…and fiercely loyal. I love Jacquelyn’s pic too…where did she take it?
Thanks for sharing, Andre! She took the photo at the town beach near Gordon college. Isn’t it amazing?!
Great blog. Been there, done that! The amazing thing is that He just kind of waits for us to get over ourselves and then He draws us back to where He wants us to be. No lightening bolt followed my tantrums either I’m glad to say 🙂 Love what you are sharing, always.
His affections and thoughts toward you (us) out-numbering the grains of sand on a beach – we get the nature of God spectacularly wrong a lot of the time. He is a dancing Father! Great post and, refreshingly, great writing! By the way, you may be interested in finding a UK TV comedy series called Outnumbered. The third series is currently being aired here in England – I’ll say no more. Cheers, NF
Thank you so much for your comments and for the show recommendation.
I have felt this way for awhile. I had a heart to heart with God and there was 0 reply, comfort, guidance, love. Just a realization I cannot trust in him to comfort me or really help me when I open up. Maybe he is sovereign even in our own choices? I have no idea. I feel like our relationship is over. Like I did something wrong. I have no idea what to do. I have no one to listen to me or help either.
Hi Jonathan. I am sorry to hear that you’re going through this difficult time. If you don’t have a pastor that you trust, perhaps I can connect you with someone. Let me know if you would like that.
I’ve reached that point, myself, yesterday. We’re done.
I’m sorry to hear that. It’s a difficult place to be.
Every time Im close to God life sucks! You can have a great life w/o him you just dont get Eternal life Im so beat down and tired of going with no happiness Im Game
I am saddened to hear that this is your experience. I wish I had something more helpful to say, or a way to make it all right.