First of all, let me say this: I don’t know who needs to hear this. I am fully aware that I run a wanna-be fashion blog, and I’m probably the last person you’d expect to post a religion-oriented message. But He’s not letting this go, so here it is.
Last weekend, Alex said something that I had completely forgotten about until tonight. He made a silly comment, and I gave him “the look”…I know y’all know what I mean…the if-you-don’t-pick-that-towel-up-off-the-floor look. That look. He giggled and followed up with, “Am I the only person that you want to simultaneously kiss and strangle at the same time?” I smirked and responded, “You have no idea.” We laughed, and the conversation continued. Moment went on. The end.
Tonight, I was preparing for Monday with the typical routine: laundry, clean house, prepare school bag, etc. And then that question borderline hit me in the face. I could feel the compulsion that God was reminding me of that question, and I was literally standing in my kitchen with a scrub-brush in my hand, looking up, asking “what’s your freaking problem? I’m doing something.” And it happened again, and it was clear that He wasn’t letting this go, and that it’s time-sensitive. And then I started crying, because I realized what He was reminding me of: all of the times that I have simultaneously wanted to feel God’s embrace and then punch him right in the forehead… all the times that I have wanted to hurt God back.
You read that correctly. I have never “not believed in” God. I wasn’t necessarily raised in a church. I mean, I would occasionally go with my grandparents, but until about 14/15, I didn’t go more than twice a year. But I’ve always known He was there, watching me. I have always felt His presence. I have always heard Him. But honestly, I thought He was a jerk, and I resented Him…a LOT. Before I finally accepted Him and felt His conviction, I freakin’ hated Him.
My childhood was not “peachy,” but that was because of people. But in my head, it was because of Him. He allowed things to happen in my life that hurt me, and He made me endure these negative experiences, and He never provided me with an explanation. I talked to God all of the time. At times, He was the only one I talked to. And I literally begged. I would say, “I can handle this. This sucks, but it wouldn’t suck so bad if you would just tell me why you’re doing this.” Silence. And that made me angry and bitter and resentful and hateful. I stopped talking to him, because I couldn’t understand why He would allow such terrible things to happen to people.
Despite my resentment, we grew a kind of “mutual understanding” if you will. Around 15, I felt the conviction to accept Him, and while I knew He existed before, I had never accepted Him and His purpose, knowing that there would be times I wouldn’t understand Him, and I didn’t care anymore, because by that point, I felt His love, and I knew He would forever be my best friend (even if sometimes He said and did things that I didn’t like *sips tea*).
But tonight He really pushed me with a message – one I already knew, but sometimes forget: He puts us through really crappy situations, but those crappy situations make us who we are. I am proud of where I am today, more so than I would be if I had not gone through my own crappy situations at His hand. Nobody learns and flourishes when they’re walking at the top of the mountain. And you don’t appreciate Him when you’re in the valley. Rather, you appreciate Him when he knocks you off the mountain into the valley, and never lends a helping hand to get you back up – but you still do. He already knows who you’re meant to be, but sometimes He has to give us hardships to teach us lessons, so that we can become our best selves. People always say, “every day is a gift,” but it’s more than that: every day is a potential moment of growth in His plan for us. Had it not been for the hard days – the days that I hated Him for – I wouldn’t be me.
Again, I’m not sure who needs to hear this or how I should tailor this to speak to you, but I’ll end this here: trust Him. He is a loving God, and a patient God. And he is all-knowing, so he knows what you can handle. So if things are hard right now, and you’re annoyed because He threw another straw on your back, stop wasting time being mad, and start looking for the purpose. You’re growing in this moment at His hand; you just don’t know it yet.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. -Proverbs 3:5-6