I threw a hissy fit on God yesterday. It’s not something I’m proud of by any means, but there it is.
I love water an unnatural amount. I don’t need to be in it–in fact, I’d probably drown if given the chance–but there’s something about being near a large body of water that settles a restlessness in me. I’ve long thought that my soul belongs in a small cottage overlooking waves lapping against the shore.
So when I discovered that our booking for yesterday morning was at a park right by Lake Erie, I was ecstatic . . . until I woke up to thunder and lightning. My heart sank. I began to pray, begging God to clear the skies so we could still hold the service outdoors. Each frantic prayer was met with a crack of thunder and punctuated with streaks of lightning through the curtains.
Tears gathered in the corners of my eyes as I listened to the storm brewing outside my hotel window. I had no idea why I was getting so worked up over this, and I felt several different shades of ridiculous and petty. Weather changes plans all of the time and I had seen Lake Erie before. What was the big deal?
Sometimes my heart arrives before my brain does. I have delayed understandings of basically everything in my life, so it comes as no surprise that I was feeling something I couldn’t quite put words to immediately. But as I began to question why I felt so strongly about this, the answer became abundantly clear: I needed God to show He could take care of this small desire of my heart. I needed to know He cared enough about me to handle it.
I’ve been experiencing some high-emotion days for a month or so. There’s no rhyme or reason to it, really. It’s just an ache, a longing, that settles deep and takes up residence in my bones. It’s not reaching for anything specific; instead, it stretches toward a whole life that seems forever out of my grasp.
It’s been in the midst of this yawning ache that I’ve felt God tell me to trust Him. I responded with, “Okay.” And this trembling heart has questioned Him every single day since. Isn’t that the way it goes?
I used to think that trusting God meant trusting He wouldn’t let you get hurt. I no longer have that innocence. After listening to lies and allowing bitterness to take root where faith should have grown, I feel like a traumatized child coming home to a good father and fearing his goodness will run out.
It’s hoping He’s in your corner and fearing He won’t be. It’s hoping He truly has a plan for you and fearing you’re just a side character in someone else’s story. It’s hoping He can be trusted with your heart, with your life, and fearing His grip won’t hold.
So it wasn’t about the weather and it wasn’t about the lake. And He would still be good if the storm continued and our service was held indoors. But we packed up the car and we headed toward the venue, leaving behind gloomy clouds and driving straight into sunshine.
We held the service by the lake, with the waves crashing against sand and stone behind us. The weather was perfect where we were going regardless of how it looked where we were. I wonder if my life is like that–if God is asking me to trust Him because the sky looks heavy with storms right now, but it’s beautiful and clear where I’m headed.
I looked out over the wide expanse of water after the service ended, feeling the sand beneath my feet and the breeze tickling my face, and I thanked God. I thanked Him for His patience with me because loving a skittish child certainly isn’t easy.
I may spend the rest of my life stuck somewhere between tantrums and trust, but with His help, I’ll choose trust more.