Everything started to unravel one rainy night last November. In my mind, it happened like a movie. I slept through both morning services and though I didn't want to attend the evening service at the church I had been attending for a year and a half, I made up my mind to go. I was looking for answers and demanding God to speak to me that very day. I was finished with the lack of clarity, the frustration, the longing, and the discouragement.
As evening set in, the rain started coming, and my spirit was stirred more towards anger and resolution. I was going to that service, and God was going to speak to me. End of discussion.
I was late, and so I walked the 2 blocks from parking to the church in the rain by myself. As I stood across the street staring at the church waiting for the light to change, I could feel the pressure building, the creaks in the wood before the dam breaks. I think I even hated the sight of that building, and all it meant to me. All the struggles, all the trying and doing and wishing and tears.
As I stood there on the corner, the thought actually occurred to me that I shouldn't stand too close to the road, but my mind was fixated on my demands, my hopes, my hurt. Right before the light turned, a car flew by driving in the ditch between the road and the curb. Yeah. Right where all the water collects when it rains.
Standing there drenched, I threw up my arms, and yelled to the night, "Are you kidding me?" I look across the street to see the greeters, anxiously looking away, pretending not to see. I'm not sure when my spirit broke. Was it standing on the curb rain soaked and humiliated? Was it walking past the greeters unseen and disconnected? Or was it walking into the 1000 seat dark and crowded auditorium and hearing people sing about how much Jesus loves me, when the irony of my situation made me feel very differently?
If you hear one thing from my story, hear this. I never left God, and God never left me. But if you looked at my life over the months following that night, it sure looked like I did. There were people in my life who probably were worried I was leaving God, but there were also people who could see I was finding God in unexpected places, through unexpected ways....
Stay tuned for part 2