You looked around at us and said you were running, trying to block all thoughts of Him from your head. Your voice faltered as you tried to explain why and then you just gave up on explanations. In that moment, baby, I wanted to whisper to you stay. Stay and wait a while. I know you've gotta be hurting inside. I know there are so many reasons why you're trying to erase God from your life. But any reason that tells you to run from Him is a lie. It's not worth it, honey. Running from the One thing that will keep you going is only going to end in heartbreak and disappointment. So maybe you could stay, just a little longer?
Because that's what I've learned about relationships. If we all just walked away when the other person did something we didn't like, if we all just blocked each other out because the feelings have faded, we wouldn't have anyone left in our lives. And maybe that seems strange - comparing our God-relationship with human relationships but honestly - our relationship with Him is the most real, the most important one we'll ever have. Being in any kind of relationship takes commitment, takes holding on even when everything in us wants to let go. Commitment means pushing through the hard yards and always trying to go just a little deeper.
So maybe the moment you want to run, is actually the call to go a little deeper, push a little more into Him.
I know you know all the church songs, and what a 'good Christian' life looks like - but that's not what I'm talking about. This isn't a call to behaviour modification - to stay in church until you trust God again. It's a call to get to know God's heart. And yes, being surrounded by His people in a church or home group setting is a great help in that process of knowing His heart - but we can't believe for you. We can't teach you who truly God is without you also allowing Him to work in your heart.
Waiting on God brings a new level on confidence in Him. It builds a new trust, a new foundation of faithfulness. It doesn’t mean it’s pretty. Often it’s gut wrenchingly numb, filled with tears, desperate prayers and a sense of hopelessness. But He always comes through at the right time. I know, sweetheart, because I’ve been there. I almost took my own life when I was 15, because I hadn't felt God close in such a long time and there was just no point living without Him. I felt totally alone, even though I was surrounded by people. I went to church, sang all the songs, served, prayed all the prayers, and yet I cried myself to sleep every night, because it felt like God had abandoned me. And yet, when I reached my breaking point after months and months of praying for Him to rescue me, and running away whenever He tried to do anything, He found me. My breakthrough didn't come in a church setting, when I was doing all the right things and praying all the right prayers. My breakthrough came after spending weeks in Europe away from church, away from all my friends and my 'good christian' life. He meets us where we're at. And since then, since going through that ugly-beautiful season, I am more faithful than ever, because I believe He will always come for us. And I know despite how it looks at times, He has never forgotten us.
Baby-girl, it’s like that quote, like those words written on a prisoner’s wall during the Holocaust. “I believe in the sun when it’s not shining. I believe in love even when I do not feel it. And I believe in God even when He is silent.” He is real, my love. He is present, even when you can’t see how. He’s not trying to hurt you, my love, He is growing you. And yes, it might feel like more than you can handle, but that’s the thing – without Him it is. This battle is going to be won on your knees, in surrender to Him, His plan and His way.
So I know you’re running. I know you’re trying to block all thoughts of God from your head. I’m watching you pull away from Him and His Church in as many ways possible, and yet, I want to ask you to stay. Just a little bit longer. Be brave, it’s okay that you don’t have it all together. Be honest with us, let us carry you when you cant walk anymore. Let us pray for you and speak Truth into your life over and over again. And though you might still feel alone, know that you’re not. I’ve been where you are. I’m willing to bet so many of them have been there as well. Running is only going to break you, baby. And though God is the Restorer of all things, it’s more painful to run than it is just to stay.
Finally, I just want you to know that He’s got you. And really, in all of this, that’s all that matters. He sees you, He knows you, He has good plans for you. And if you’ll let Him, He’ll win this battle for you, too. It’s just a matter of surrender, baby. Over and over again, bringing it all to God. You might not hear the answer straightaway, you might not feel the breakthrough, or feel His presence for awhile longer yet, but keep bringing it all before Him. Keep being faithful. He’ll come, my love. He will come.
Don’t give up. Please.