2014. When will I stop whining about how bad that year was? I guess, when I finally am able to heal that spiritual hole that got left in me, I'll laugh, I'll tell the story like it was nothing.
That year I prayed so much. Hubby and I prayed for justice, for a way out, for people not to win by lying, for financial help, for the baby we'd just had. Mostly, though, I prayed for patience. I prayed for faith, I prayed for peace.
And the answers were pretty dim. Looking at it now, 3 years later, I see. . . we survived it. We got barely what we needed. The baby was pretty hearty. The financial help came here and there. We sold the house. We got out of what seemed like an insurmountable situation. God gave us new answers, and a new direction.
That faith I wanted, that peace, that patience. I begged Him to help me, and instead, it felt like we just fell into the mire. The justice, that never came. The liars, they still made us pay their legal fees when they lost. And the more those things happened, the more I wondered, "is there really someone, or am I grasping at straws?"
And it didn't help when we moved across the country. We had no church, no spiritual support. We were scraping by, and a new set of things I'd hoped I'd never have to deal with arrived. Slowly my prayers started to constantly contain "if it's your will" as if I was hedging my bets, giving God a way out if there was no answer, or the answer was the one I'd hoped it wouldn't be.
Tonight I heard someone speak about giving God that way out. It does seem strange to believe in something if you can't ask. Why ask at all? If I'm going to talk to Him, it's to tell Him that I still believe He's capable of delivering miracles. It's Biblical--He can be swayed. We should ask. We should keep his commandments, and He will keep His promises.
I'm still shaky. After watching a bunch of people who claim to follow Him figuratively go at each other's throats like animals over politics, culture, and what they believe were causes somehow worth abandoning the fruits of the Spirit like they never mattered anyways, I'm more challenged than I was back then.
My favorite thing to read in the Bible is the woman at the well. Jesus encounters her. He doesn't insult or accuse, but when she lies, he calls her on it. She knows it's not right. And the second he calls her on it, she goes right to one of those questions we ask "religious" people. She tries to set him up a little. He doesn't go for that. Then he says to her he's got LIVING WATER. And as I just heard someone say, you have to imagine what it's like to be thirsty. It's hell. It feels awful, you feel empty, you feel like you're gonna die. And water, it only lasts a minute. You drink, you're thirsty again. He says that to her. He says this is different. He says His water assures you will never go thirsty. EVER.
But I have to keep coming back, don't I? I have to walk up to that well, even if I'm still pretending and lost in my own shit. I have to hear Him say it again. That day, she prayed for water, essentially. She spoke to Jesus himself and she expected a little drink. And He, thinking so much further, had something so much better to offer.
The tricky thing about talking to God is you have to listen. He answers, he's always answered me. I just have to listen.