I cried on the way home from Wal-Mart today.
Not only did I cry, but I spoke to God in a very real way.
Here’s the thing: last Easter, God let me know I’d put Him on a shelf. For years, He and I were in one rough spot after another. It felt like a struggle was always going on–saying goodbye, standing still, listening to silence, having breakdowns every time the wind blew.
It was a hot mess and I was a hot mess. But we survived. Miraculously, God didn’t quit me. He changed my heart and gave me perspective and we aren’t in a perfect place at all, but we’re finally in a place where I don’t doubt we’ll make it.
I don’t know if you’ve ever been there with God. Honestly, it’s been the most exhausting, rewarding, frustrating, heartwarming relationship of my life. I feel like we have fought like crazy to get to where we are today.
And I honestly love Him so much more for it.
Which is why I put Him on a shelf, high above everything and out of reach. So our relationship would stay shiny and lovely and good. It wouldn’t fall and shatter. I wouldn’t have to piece my faith back together if I could keep it from ever being broken.
So regardless of how I’ve felt in the last year or so, I’ve always been sure to bookend my complaints and whines with, “I’m not mad at You, God.” Like we couldn’t handle it if I was, indeed, upset. Like we were so fragile, we couldn’t deal with my big emotions.
I denied myself the ability to be real with God. And in turn, I denied Him the ability to meet me where I truly was.
Until today, in my car, with nothing but my sniffling and sharp intakes of breath as a soundtrack. No words. No prayer. Just an overwhelmed heart pouring out in tears. And finally, I simply said, “I think I’m mad at You.”
It’s the most peace I’ve had in weeks. And ironically, just a few short hours later, God feels close. I think it’s because I’m no longer hiding from Him, holding Him at a safe distance so we can survive. I was real with Him. He can work with that.
A shiny faith is nice, but it isn’t enough. Not when I’m living this real life with a real heart that needs a real God to come through.
I put my real God on a shelf like a trophy and I refused to reach for Him. I wanted only to admire Him.
But faith isn’t meant to be admired. It’s meant to be lived–in all of its messy and scary glory.
So I cried on the way home from Wal-Mart today, but I’m crying now because I am well-loved despite my humanity, despite this terror at not understanding His plans.
I can be real with Him. So can you, friend. Will you please take Him off the shelf?