Distant emotions. Resentment. Hurt. Unenthusiastic in spiritual matters. Knowing I ought to please my Heavenly Father, but not wanting to be obedient or having the motivation to do so. What are the circumstances that have led me to this dreadful state of being careless before the Lord? The emotions that are locked inside a well so deep, trapped inside…so much that the tears can no longer be contained. The thoughts of my distance from Him and the reasons for my distance are enough to have me once again rattled in an emotional tremor because…hurt. I’m so hurt. And I’m keeping such a distance as to not get myself to feel what is really there…
Because whatever happened to the Lord inclining His ear to hear my prayer? Where is His closeness to my broken heart? And pray tell, how are these desires of my heart being given to me? Because the last time I checked, I’ve spent years holding lots of children and praying blessings over their lives, only to find these arms childless the next morning. The last time I checked, I’ve spent hours mentoring and praying with married women, teaching them what Scripture says about the blessing of submission, and watching them joyfully experience the love and affection of another while I cry myself to sleep at night with my pillow as a companion in this life. I don’t think I can be the strong woman of faith any longer. Why is this even being required of me? Has the Lord not seen how difficult and sad a journey this has been? The loneliness?
I feel like fixing my eyes on what the Lord wants or has to say will lead me back to feelings of sadness. It’s what I’ve experienced. Being faithful for over a decade in praying Scripture over a family and husband I don’t yet have and really might not get…Yes, sadness and loneliness are bound to come with that territory.
Have I been right in what I’ve perceived as His leading? I’m so completely tired, worn out, and emotionally drained over it. So drained. I don’t feel like I have a thing left to give towards His calling. His strength is perfected in my weakness. Well Lord, here I am, admittedly weaker than ever in this plight. I can’t do anything at this point and I’m barely successful in making myself at least obediently say my mediocre prayers. I want to do right. I want to serve others gladly. I want to hope audaciously. I want to pray with fervor and conviction. But right now I’m lacking the ability. What is the right thing to do now? What is the right way to pray now? Who do I pray for?…
And the tears start to make their attempt at brimming over the edge again. Because where I am is just scary, hard, and hurtful. I’m losing myself. No, I mustn’t. I once again push back the tears. I just can’t deal with what they have to say to my needy heart right now. I just wouldn’t be able to explain them. Too much. Hurting. Coping. Barely getting by. Silent tears…
I relish the small bouts of happiness that I get from focusing elsewhere. Welcomed distractions. Yes, even ministry is a distraction. I am one of many hurting singles among a community of believers trying to ease our pain by tirelessly serving. It’s what we feel we’re encouraged to do to “fix” our singleness anyway – “pour yourself into serving.” Because truthfully, no one has a painless solution to this cross-bearing life. It is after all, a cross. We were called to die to ourselves daily and this is me – dying to myself.
So with my tear-stained silk blouse, I pull myself up off the floor hoping the evidence of my hurting heart disappears on another Sunday drive to church, and I put away hindering thoughts in order to gladly serve. Jesus does actually get pretty close to my broken heart. There are joys to be found outside of my circumstances and if I’m going to endure this, I must persevere. I must believe that there is reason to hope. I must forget what is behind and reach for what is ahead. “Not that I have already reached the goal or am already fully mature, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus…But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:12-14)
Here are some verses that have helped me on this journey. I pray they will permeate your heart as well.
“The Lord is near the brokenhearted; He saves those crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18)
“But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
“If anyone wants to be My follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me.” (Mark 8:34)
“He satisfies you with goodness; your youth is renewed like the eagle.” (Psalm 103:5)