Decades ago, while talking to a friend about God, they patted my hand gently, and, with a condescending wink, said, It’s okay, Sherry. I don’t need the God-crutch. I can take care of myself, by myself.
I’ve pondered that statement many, many times through the years.
When you’ve grown up hiding in your room, it’s a given that you might be just a little stuck emotionally in some areas of your heart and mind. Even in these later years, I tend to be a bit idealistic in my thinking. Reality has a real sting when I crash into it sometimes.
But hours spent all alone isn’t totally a bad thing, and I was never really alone anyhow. I didn’t go looking for God, but He came looking for me!
I have no idea when or how long ago it happened, but when He found me, I learned very quickly that I could talk to Him about anything, and He would tell me the truth. If you ever find a friend who will speak truth to you, hang on to them. It’s real treasure when you find that in another human, but having that kind of relationship with the King of the Universe is on a whole other level!
Whenever I’ve had statements thrown at me like the “God-crutch” statement, I just run it by Him: Is this relationship real? Or is it just another fantasy my lonely heart dreamed up to comfort myself?
I never got a Yes nor a No on that one. The answer I got was, Watch for the evidence.
So through the years, I’ve watched ... and the evidence has stacked up. Not even my creative brain could conjure up all the ways He’s grown me up, picked me up, and carried me through. Walking through life with God is all about faithfully following Him step by step into the unknown. There’s plenty of evidence stacking up, but it’s usually only discovered in my rearview mirror.
Eventually, I grew up and moved out. Time to make my way in the world …
When the big blow-up with my parents happened, it blindsided me. They didn’t care for my husband, Bill, and said he wasn’t welcome in their home anymore. Of course, they still wanted and expected me to come around …
I was so young … I had only been married 3 years. I was naïve and immature, a bit spoiled and very sheltered, and had no clue how to handle a situation like that. But I had a wonderful Resource: my “crutch” if you will. I had always discussed everything with Him, and this was no different. What He told me shocked my emotionally immature brain: It’s time to make a choice, He said. Choose Me and go forward, or comply with your parents’ wishes and stay stuck.
Well, duh! Of course I choose God! I was a smart cookie and I knew all about leaving and cleaving. Maybe my mom didn’t, so I decided to just explain it to her … I’m her first-born … she’ll understand!
I’m not so great with talking, but I write good, so that’s what I did … I wrote her a letter. I explained that I totally understood if my hubby wasn’t her favorite person on the planet, and that’s okay! Not everybody likes everything about everybody else. I didn’t expect her to adore him, but I needed her to at least accept him, because I can’t continue going to a place where he’s not welcome, and where I have to pretend I’m okay with not talking about my marriage and pretending my marriage doesn’t even exist. Why would I even consider going to a place like that? So, please, Mom, just tolerate him for my sake, or else I can’t come back.
My mom and I had a good relationship … I knew that all I had to do was just clearly explain my side of things and she would surely meet me halfway ... and she certainly would if it meant not losing me completely … surely …
Alas, it was not to be. She refused, the relationship was severed and that was that.
The pain rolled over me like a flood, but in the midst of it all was a profound peace. I had made the right decision, and just like God had promised, I moved forward.
My relationship with my sister was interrupted and I missed out on her high school and college years. When she moved out on her own, she was shunned, too, when they discovered that she and I had resumed our relationship. Over the years, she and I would at least try and send cards on birthdays and anniversaries, but 10 years ago we each received a certified letter telling us to stop and please leave them alone. So we complied.
Over the years, whenever the pain got too hard, there would always be a person or a book or a situation pop up with counsel and comfort. And always, of course, lots of sweet time spent with Him.
There’s a passage in Psalms that declares Him to be a father to the orphan, a husband to the widow … and it’s so true! We can have gaping holes in our hearts, and He fills those holes with good and right things. He never leaves nor forsakes us.
Doing life God’s way isn’t a guaranteed easy road. Life might even get harder, but it won’t matter. Inside our heart and soul is where the real magic is happening …
Let the storms on the outside rage and howl all they want, peace and joy can reign on the inside anyway. Peace and joy that can’t be understood with our natural minds, but the kind of peace and joy that will carry you through those storms …