It used to be lots and lots of prayer.
But now, I pray sometimes.
I think it's because prayer feels futile. I think it's because I know His timing is great, but I'm impatient. I want now. I want in a way I didn't know I could. I want Him to say He hears, to nod His large, gorgeously-haired head up and down with knowing, to be affirmed. But I don't have a face-to-face meeting with Him scheduled any time soon, so I have to be willing to feel.
Sometimes I pray and try to feel Him listening or
talking or paying any sort of attention to me.
But there's nothing.
I think it's because I felt ignored for the better part of seven years. And now, here I am preparing to beg Him once more. But this time, I don't feel the same hope. This time I feel bitterly aware of the way the world works. I know how He works heart break into redemption, how He unfolds our future like a comfortable quilt upon which we get to picnic with Him after our guts are spilled over the grass that's life. But, I don't know if I can withstand a good shattering any time soon.
Sometimes you don't get what you want.
Sometimes the answer is no.
And sometimes those facts nearly snap you in two.
I've been tentatively opening my bible to 1 Samuel. I turn there because it's a book about knowing Him, but being defiant. I turn there because it feels like I might be in good company with the rebel-children of my Father. I turn there knowing that He works it all out for His prophet and His people. And, in knowing their stories made it to glory, I find myself covered in the same shade of hope that falls over 1 Samuel.
Sometimes we don't need light, but shade.
Because hope can feel too bright and shiny.
And I want to flee like a bird that sees metallic ribbon in His Eden.
Sometimes the light is too bright for those coming out of dark seasons. The light comes suddenly like a blinking strobe, not slowly like the day's dawn. And the surprising shift disorients us so that we're confused instead of relieved, annoyed instead of anointed, terrified instead of encouraged.
For some of us, the Sometimes are actually a lot of the time
because faith is often overwhelming.
But overwhelm isn't an excuse to walk away or give up.
In overwhelm we can do one thing: keep on keepin' on. One foot in front of the other. One minute after the last. We keep on in the direction He's laid forth until we see our burning bush. And so, I walk the path He's laid out. I walk faithfully -though sometimes I walk terribly slow. I walk as though I'm on a lease -sometimes tugging, other times comfortable at His side. I walk carefully -acknowledging I'm good at mucking the whole thing up. I walk with defiance and love, with an adventurer's heart and a child's obedience.
I'm still learning what it means to walk this way.
But that acquisition of knowledge comes with a blessed truth:
Sometimes I can walk and in those other times when I can't, He carries me.