The rain battered and tugged on my umbrella, I tried to talk myself into calm as I walked down the traffic congested road. “Breathe Sam, deep breaths in and out, you’re going to be ok, life will get better,” I said. I could feel my face was hot and the tears threatened to pour out but I was determined to hold it in.
I couldn’t hold them; the tears just flooded my face as I lost control over my emotions. At that moment I felt everything, all the disappointments and frustrations that I had talked myself into dulling down before suddenly shot through to my heart like deep stabbing pangs and for the first time in forever I was vulnerable to my emotions.
I was crying deep and heaving sobs, my heart and mind in agreement with each other, leaving me powerless to pull myself together. I rubbed my eyes dry and tried to smile as I walked into the office, but I must have looked in a really depressed state, as every person ignored my very fake but wide smile and whispered: “are you okay?” I ran to the nearest bathroom, dropped to my knees and decided it was time to talk to God.
I know we’re not supposed to question God or demand answers from Him, but, I remember a conversation with a friend who told me that I don’t have to pretend with God because even if I fake it – He knows every thought and every emotion that is raging within me. So I decided that it was time to get real with Him, my Creator. I asked God, “Is this it, God, is this all you have for me, is this my best life, because I’ve got to tell you that it sucks right now. It sucks that it’s been 10 years since I got my drivers’ license and still have no hope of getting a car, it sucks that I’m 32 and I’m working so hard but going nowhere – everything just sucks.”
Was this appropriate? Was it necessary? Was it disrespectful? Now I don’t know all of the theological answers to that but what I do know is that Jesus loves me, He knows me and if I can’t pour my heart out to Him, who else will care enough to listen to the deep, dark and ugly that lies in the crevices of my heart? The hymn writer wrote “He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock” so why have we conditioned ourselves to believe that the same God who hides us in the cleft of the rock does not care about what is really going on with us? Why have we told ourselves that “everybody else’s problems are worse than yours”?
We’ve been conditioned to believe that prayers are to be said in a certain way and with steps to be followed and whilst that may be true and required in certain circumstances and social gatherings and yes, there are other people around me with problems but I matter just as much as the next person. My problems are real too and they do matter to God. He is interested in knowing what’s on my heart and mind just as much as He is in knowing what’s eating you up. This belief has led us to dull our feelings to the point where we are scared to feel what we feel.
I personally believe that personal prayer time is our opportunity to talk to God. To really “talk” to him and be truthful about what we are feeling. Sure, He knows it all anyway but imagine how pleasing it is when He realizes that his child is not coming to Him wearing a mask of perfection; you know the “I’m fine”; “I’m blessed” etc. because if we’re truly honest with ourselves, we realize that we are not always “fine”, not always “feeling blessed”. Some days I just want to run to God with a wet face, messed up mascara and a box of tissues. Some days we feel like we’re dragging our feet out of the gutter or we’re trying to dig ourselves out of the rubble after being hit by the earthquake of life and running from flowing lava of sin and shame that threatens to diminish us.
I believe it is in moments like this that we truly hear that still small voice or see His glory pass by because it is in this moment that we have truly opened up and laid our hearts bare before God. We are without primer, foundation and all the cover-ups and we allow ourselves to be vulnerable in His presence. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says that His strength is made perfect in weakness, how comforting it is to know that we have a God who loves us in the weak and hard places of our lives.
Published by Guest Blogger – Thiloshnee Govender