I am running out of words.
Maybe it's because I'm tired, or busy, or whatever.
But the more and more frustrated I become, the more difficult I find what it is I need to say.
Or maybe it's the other way round.
I like my ability to find the right word.
These days, I'm not coming up with it.
Because, you see, I am starting to get -- not mad, but I have...
I have come to the end of my rope.
I and all my hangups are sitting in front of God and refusing to look Him in the eyes.
Because guys, I can't.
How can I?
I have been wounded.
2016 hurt me.
I can hear You saying to me, Jesus, with all the gentleness and tenderness in the world, Sara, I love you. What do you want? Tell Me what you want.
And I can't, because from where I stand, it looks like every single time I told You what I wanted, I got it taken away.
When I wanted to get into graduate school, I didn't.
I gained weight my senior year of college and begged for it to come off. I thought I did everything right (I didn't, but that's beside the point). It didn't work.
How can I ask You for things when I'm afraid that if I ask, You'll take them away?
How can I tell you what I want when what I want feels so... unholy?
Like Christians shouldn't ask for these things.
I can't ask for the body I want or the voice I want or my dream to come true or for a guy I'm interested in to ask me for my number or whatever the heck it is that I want.
How can you ask for it when you're convinced you won't get it?
Somewhere, someone is saying, "If you don't ask, you'll never know," and a large part of me wants to tell that person to sit down and shut their stupid face, because honestly, what do you know?
What do you know about the way my life has gone?
It seems like a stupid hope, to hope to get something that can only make me happy.
I've grown up hearing that God does not care about my happiness. That He cares about my sanctification and bringing Himself glory.
I believe those things.
(Do I ever.)
I know I believe them because I do not believe that God would give me something that I want just so that I can be happy.
He doesn't care if I'm happy.
And guys, even now, when I'm ranting more than a little bit, I still know that when I'm the most lucid, most joyful, I do believe that God's main concern is not my happiness.
It just isn't. If it were, life would look super different for all of us.
And deep down, I think we don't want the kind of happiness we dream about.
If we can dream about it, that kind of limits it.
But all this is not the point, and I don't want to get into a theological thing over here (for once).
Because, quite frankly, the point of this blog post is that I'm praying and trying to tell God what it is that I want and I'm getting madder and madder and madder because for the LOVE of GOD, I cannot communicate to You what I am trying to say!
The Bible says that the Spirit of God communicates for us in groans that words cannot express. That's good, because I definitely sat at my desk this morning and just kind of grunted and cried.
I tripped over my words and searched my mind for the right one but there isn't a word in English that I know to describe what I obviously believe God is.
It's this strange mixture of vindictiveness and spite and loftiness and holier-than-thou. It's an "I know best and you don't know what you're talking about" kind of personality. There's a fear involved that it's all a fluke and all fake and that I'll wake up one morning and all the good things that have ever happened to me, all the joys and all the gifts, will be gone.
Like the wind.
I'm picturing a stark white wall empty of art. I'm picturing the dreary winter days when the snow is no longer brilliant, just dull chalk in the cold.
Even now I can't find my words.
I can't find my words to say that this is the concept of God that I have, and I don't know where it came from. It's some lethal combination of a culture I grew up in and my own personality and fears and whatever the crap the Enemy is doing.
Y'all, this is gonna sound super dumb, but I always forget the Devil is a thing.
I always think it's all my doing.
Newsflash: sometimes it is.
This is a super honest blog post, and I don't have any idea where it's going, because I don't have my words, but I have to tell you:
I am longing for the vision of God I see on the horizon.
The One Who gives gifts and does not take them back when I love them.
The reason I have not my words right now is because I have spent mornings sitting in front of God and wrestling with the fact that people in the Bible ask Him for what they want and then they get it!! How is this a thing?
And when I go to ask Him for what I want...
I dry up.
I almost can't tell Him.
And I have to force myself, be a little rough with myself, to speak, to say it.
A lot of times it's come out kind of demanding, kind of arrogant.
But I'm reminding myself not to judge what comes out of my mouth when I'm talking to God.
So much of my life is editing.
Finding just the right thing. Just the right word.
How many times a day do we self-edit?
Some of it is good. A good portion of the time, no one needs my honest opinions.
But how come I am self-editing in front of God, Who knows everything I'm thinking anyway?
I would rather run out of words because I can't think of them rather than because I have nothing to say.
Because I have a TON to say.
I have so many things to talk to You about.
But I am afraid of You.
There, I said it.
I am afraid that You will come to me when my life is good and throw a lightning bolt in the middle of it all, à la pagan Zeus, to stop me from getting overweening pride or from loving anything more than You.
The other day my friend told me God wasn't like a jealous boyfriend, demanding all my love, forcing it. My private thoughts were I don't think I see God that way, but maybe she was more than a little bit right.
Usually when I get to the point in a blog post where I've run out of words, I sit in front of the screen with my cup of tea and stare at it and think, K, I'm done.
And then I have to finish out the post.
Because I've caught you up. We are up to date. This is where I am.
I have no solution yet.
Slowly, though, the God I can see on the horizon -- the real You -- He is coming closer.
The dawn is coming.
I am practicing telling You what I want, both with and without the right word, and I am finding that You listen and -- what's more -- that You adore me.
I am finding that it is Yours to judge my requests, not mine.
My word for this year is childlike. Children come and ask. They don't judge whether the request is good or bad; they don't assign quality.
And You tell us to be like little children.
My thoughts are going round and round and round and every day You chip away at me a little more, at the stone of my heart, and I and all my hangups start to glance up toward Your eyes, because in all honesty, y'all, it seems too good to be true.
Why would the God Who cares about His own glory (because He really, really does, sports fans) also care about me? My hopes, my dreams, my fears, my desires?
I've taken a look at 2016 as we pass into 2017, and I have seen that in ways I never could have written for myself, I actually got what I wanted.
I lost the weight (praise God).
I am still singing -- better than I ever have -- and I believe more than ever that God has called me to this thing.
All the times I've been afraid He will take my voice away and He hasn't.
On the contrary -- He's made it prosper.
What is this.
Who does that.
That is really what I've been left asking: How is it possible that You can give me something that makes me happy?
Not just once, but over and over and over and over again. Ad infinitum, etc.
I still don't really know.
I am writing in circles because I don't know.
But maybe even if I did know, I wouldn't be able to define it.
Maybe words aren't what I need.
In fact, I know they aren't.
I don't really know what I need, to be honest.
Well, maybe I do.
I need desperately to believe that God is not the way I've always thought He was.
I need to know He's not vindictive, not cruel, not looking down on me from up above.
He is looking at my profile, because I cannot look Him in the eyes, and He is crying because He loves me so.
And I am weeping, too, because I scarcely dare to believe that it is true.
He looks at my face turned to the side, thinking about how He made my nose, how He loves it and every bit of me, even the parts that I can't give words to, even the parts that are afraid of Him.
And I am looking at the ground to the side of my knee, because I want so much to look at Him and see the generosity and expansiveness of God -- but I cannot believe it is true.
That's really what I need.
I need to believe it.
My wonderful-amazing voice coach always tells me that my brain gets things really fast; it's my vocal folds that need to be convinced.
Similarly, my brain is starting to get it. Barely. There's a the tiniest chink in my very strong mental armor. But my little lacerated heart can hardly bear the pain of being loved when it knows it hasn't earned it.
But it's true, and I'm ready to stop trying to earn my gifts.
I have not the words, but I want to have faith.
I have not the mind to comprehend, but I want my heart to be healed whether I understand it or not.
I want to look You in Your eyes, whatever color they are (in my mind's eye they're blue -- like my own, only bluer), and see that what I thought was too good to be true is still just as good -- better, even, than I ever could imagine -- but also super duper true.
You are gentle and generous and have no limits, on Your grace or gifts or patience or Self.
May we believe it, with all our lacerated, salved hearts.