I’ve not kept my recent spiritual struggles a secret. Anyone who’s read this blog will most likely recall a few spiritual temper tantrums. I’ve been a bit of a party animal lately- a PITY party animal (and there ain’t no party like a pity party!). I suppose this makes since, however, since the past year and a half of my life has been a bit of a transition process, and as any good musician will tell you, transitions are often marked by harmonic instability.
I suppose the transition that God has expected of me has been rather tough as well. He COULD have just moved me to my dominant key, or to my relative minor, or any other near related key (I should stop with the musical analogies. I may lose some of you), but no. He’s God, and if you know anything about God, you know he rarely wastes his time with easy journeys. Though, when God called me to start this journey back in the summer of 2009, I half expected it to be just that- easy!
That summer, God said to me, “Hey, I’m going to make you face the past that you think you’re over. It’s going to be tough, but I want you to cling to me.” And I said, “Sure God! Bring it!” But, when the time came for “clinging,” I ran to my church instead (not that going to the church is a bad thing, but I had gotten to the point of “Who needs God when I have church?”).
So, God said to me, “Hey, I’m going to throw some disillusionment your way, which will completely destroy your faith in churches for awhile. It’s going to be tough, but I want you to cling to me.” And I said, “Alright, God! I can take it!” But, when it came time for clinging, I ran to my beloved Grace College. I hid in my Christian bubble, wrapped my comfort blanket around me tighter, and pulled my head back into my turtle shell.
So, along comes God… “Sarah, you might as well come out of that Christian bubble on your own. I’m going to pop it soon. You’re going to hate it, but you know who I want you to cling to.” And I said, “Silly God. You don’t have to do that. I always cling to you, don’t I? I don’t NEED this bubble. I can quit anytime I want. I just don’t want to.”
I’m not sure if God rolls his eyes at people, but I always imagine him doing just that at this point.
Then I imagine him coming down from heaven to Winona Lake, Indiana, with a giant needle and *POP*. Goodbye Christian bubble. Hello, world. I believe I clung to God for awhile at this point, but as things got tougher, and the bitterness grew stronger, my faith dwindled. Dwindled? Is that the right word. No. Let’s be honest here. It shattered. This became a typical prayer: “I’m done with you, God. You don’t love me. You don’t even care. You’re not even listening to me, damn it! Just leave me alone. Just stop taking things from me!”
And I clung to my long time boyfriend instead. Without God, or my church, or my Christian bubble to cling to, I clung to ol’ boyfriend so much that I ruined our relationship. And we broke up. And I wanted to hate God, but I had nothing else to cling to, so instead, I crawled back to him.
And I didn’t even have the strength to hold on to him at this point. So, he clung to me instead. And he hasn’t let go. And I know he never will. And this is what security feels like. This is what peace and stability feel like. In a transitioning life, God remains the same. And I only wish I would’ve crawled back sooner.
The dust that God kicked up in the past year and a half seems to be settling (for now…), and things do not seem as bleak now that the sky is clear again. I’ve been going to new churches, I enjoy my new school, and I’ve formed new friendships, but they have not become my strongholds. Someday, I will probably forget this entire lesson and I will probably start clinging to something or someone besides God, and God will probably have to pry me off with a crowbar again. Such is the life of a finite human. Perhaps next time I will be less stubborn. I hope that I have at least learned something from this whole ordeal.
But, even if I haven’t, he’ll be there, ready to cling to me when I finally run out of strength to cling to anything else. A beautiful thing, is it not?