He loves me....He loves me not...

The other day I started reading a sample of Mark Batterson’s book Circle Maker.  Several pages in I came across this quote:

‎"It is absolutely imperative at the outset that you come to terms with this simple yet life-changing truth: God is for you."

I stopped.  Read it again.

‎"It is absolutely imperative at the outset that you come to terms with this simple yet life-changing truth: God is for you." 

Then I closed my computer and stared into the dark.  Reading the rest of that book would not do me any good.  Why?  Because I did not believe God was for me.  I do not believe God is for me.  I do not know if I have ever believed that. 

I have tried to believe that he is for me.  I have pretended like I thought that he was for me.  Occasionally I even thought he was for me, but 99% of the time I have not believed that he is for me.  And is it even important whether or not he loves me?  Isn't it more important that he be glorified and I fade...

Do I believe God exists? Absolutely. There is not a doubt in my mind, but I do not believe he loves me. 

I am being brutally and painfully honest…with myself and with you.

Those verses about God loving.  I have hung them over my room.  I have read them multiple times a day.  I have said I choose to believe these even if I do not feel they are true.  I have confessed believing lies.  I have asked God to reveal truth to me.  I have begged.  I have pleaded.  I have shed many a tear.  And no I still do not seem to believe.  I have prayed.  I have asked for prayers.  I have recorded lists of things for which to be thankful.  I have praised.  I have sat still.  I have waited.  I have listed out sins... and several years later I still do not believe God loves me.

So that's where I am today.  Broken.  Hurt. Bleeding.  Bottom.  Leper. Unclean. Unusable.  Hanging onto a thread of Jesus' hem begging him to not turn me away.  Pleading with him to cleanse me of my sins.  

And trying to make it one more day.

Worst Fears: Part II

When I returned from Togo I was in no mood for life.  I felt overwhelmed and alienated.  Not to mention I was completely exhausted.  It had been over a week since I had slept more than four hours a night (with most nights being between zero and two hours).  There was this constant fear that something would happen and I would completely lose it.  I knew that my grip on reality was held together by a thin thread.  I was ill.  That was it.  I wasn’t happy.  I wasn’t sad.  I was just plain ill.  Unfortunately that soon gave way to anger, bitterness, defeat, discouragement, rage, and pain…  Never in my life had I had such intensity of emotion.

"Instead of bread I get groans for my supper, then leave the table and vomit my anguish.  The worst of my fears has come true, what I've dreaded most has happened.  My repose is shattered, my peace destroyed. No rest for me, ever—death has invaded life."
Job 3:20-26 MSG

The months leading up to Togo had been rough but not unbearable.  A medical diagnosis coupled with a couple other random events had me struggling with questions of value and worth.  Before this diagnosis I was doing better than ever before.  I felt like my feet were finally starting to find solid ground but for some reason the medical reaction knocked me right back off my feet.  Unfortunately there was not a simple take this and three days you will be better for either of my issues. 

My first few weeks back I needed Jesus and I needed people…desperately.  A note went out that said “We are looking for people who would be able to stay with her, especially overnight…at her family's home ...”  At first I tried to pretend like I never saw it…because fact was I wish I never saw it.  I wished I had never asked for people…because no one came…and that hurts more than no people coming when one has not asked.

Part way through the week when things took yet another turn for the worst in an act of desperation I wrote a status that said I didn’t know what I needed, but I did know I needed people.  That may have been one of the hardest things I ever wrote.  I was begging God for help.  I needed it and did not know how to get it.  Again no one came. 

I felt unloved and abandoned.  I already felt completely abandoned by God…this was just icing on the cake.  So I retreated far into my cave.  Very far.  Pretended I didn’t need people…that I liked being by myself.  Fact was I hated it.  Hate hate hated it.  Twenty-four hours a day for over a week I was alone.  Tears were my most frequent companion.  I would lay down at night and soak my pillow in tears only to wake up the next morning and soak my pillow in more tears.  One morning I came across Psalm 30 where I read “Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.”  At which point I hurled my bible across the room and proceeded to cry even harder.  There had been no joy with morning’s light in days.  It was the start of the worst months of my life.

Also, to be clear I do not blame anyone for not coming.  And I know that my communication skills are awful, which definitely played a huge role in the problem.
Anyhow, thankfully I made it through the first few weeks.  Without a shadow of a doubt I know that I would not have made it through that week without the love of handful of people reaching out to me from all over world.  From north, south, east, and west there was at least one person who contacted me that first week and to me their actions said our role may not be to be there next to you, but we are there for you and we are praying for you.  They had me covered in prayer on all four sides.  And it kept me from completely running away from Jesus...