This week I felt too tired. Too tired to sing, too tired to pray, too tired to move forward. About one year ago I felt I had hit a wall. I remember explicitly shouting to God when we were just one-on-one, “God, I’ve hit a wall!”. The moment I said it, I had this feeling deep in my gut that there was an abundance, a land of promise on the other side of the wall, if the wall could just be brought down. I suddenly very clearly heard that subtle voice of His that creeps in unexpectedly even though one is ironically waiting for a response, “Well, what do you do when you hit a wall?”. I’m not sure about you, but I’m always slightly baffled when God asks me a question. It feels too real of a conversation that tethers on trust that what you’re hearing is truly divine, but I almost feel shocked and curiously surprised that God would want to continue the conversation by asking me my thought on something. It was clear He knew the answer (of course) and was drawing me to seek it out. I almost scoffed and thought sardonically, “well if I knew I wouldn’t be stuck behind this wall…” but I was quickly brought to the walls of Jericho. I grabbed my bible to find the passage and realized that God was not asking me to fight or push this wall down; He was simply asking me to march forward and make noises onto Him when the time was right.
I committed to that. I stopped trying to figure out the answers or my next steps and chose to make declarations – noises – of God’s goodness in the mornings. I sang out loud in my car songs of praise without intentionally thinking about the declarations I was praying in them. It was only in that marching forward without knowing where I was marching that I suddenly discovered in my prayer life – I don’t trust God.
I didn’t have a distrust towards God, but simply a void thereof. I reviewed my life quickly and recalled that if I had been in a trapped situation in the past, I would figure how out to “fight” my way through it with my own resources or skills. If I didn’t have the resources or skills required, I knew someone in my life who did. The call to simply march forward and make noises was troublesome for me because I’d rather trust my own ability to fight than trust that an invisible Divine could fight for me. I tearfully repented and ended my prayer in a very quiet whisper (almost hoping that He wouldn’t hear me), “teach me how to trust You…. gently”. I knew that clause at the end was only further proof of my lack of trust, but hey, that’s where I was at. I’ve heard one too many people growing up say “be careful what you pray for!” and took it deeply to my anxious and fearful heart and made that quip a foundation of my prayer life: be careful what you pray for.
In the next few months I began dialogues that transitioned me and my family into a new home, a new community, a new church, a new job, and several other new news. I thought this was it, the land of promise, everything will be so wonderful now and pat on the back to me for learning how to trust, yay…
And yet I repent once again. This past month I’ve found myself in mourning and grieving for several things, several emotions, and several events in my life that were separate and yet entwined in how the darkness chose to taunt me in them and I quickly chose to believe that God has become distant. I quickly chose to trust in disappointment and my emotions rather than the promises He made so clear and walked me through for the past year. I way too quickly chose distrust over trust yet again as I’ve been scrambling through my mind how do I fix and fight this. And then I felt too tired. Too tired to sing, too tired to pray, too tired to move forward.
And just as He sent 2 friends last week to let me know they were randomly praying for me, He sent several friends this week to sit and pray and catch my tears as I confessed fears and disappointments I never said out loud. I am reminded yet again that He is so mindful of me and I’ve done absolutely nothing to earn it. I wish so much that I could earn it so I had some semblance of control over it but I don’t and I can’t and it aches and it aches that I am still in the spot of trying to prove I could be loved because I struggle to believe that He has sung a love song over me since my birth story. I repent that I take the promises that He spoke so clearly and I try to convince myself that I’m having conversations in my own head so that I don’t have to wait for God to move first. I confess that I in my own tantrums cross my arms and say I’m too tired to sing or pray or move forward… when He with His bleeding hands removes each brick of the wall in front of me and says I need to do nothing but march forward and make a noise when the time is right. And I say I’m too tired.
This week I saw Jesus. I didn’t expect to, didn’t intend to, didn’t even hope to to be honest, and yet I saw Him. I saw Him in the friend who decided hearing my heart was more important than following a schedule and sat and listened to me and felt for me when I myself only felt numb. I saw Jesus this week when my mentor coach and friend held me as a I cried and asked me the questions that I wanted to squirm away from while holding a mirror up to my own face. I saw Jesus this week when I sat with a friend and I myself couldn’t say or do anything to fix or fight for them but just weep tears remembering that I had asked God to let me feel a glimpse of His heartbeats when His beloveds ache. I saw Jesus this week when a friend approached me out of nowhere, put her hand on me, and said “you don’t have to hang on without hope” and I suddenly, so dramatically, felt the heartbeat in my womb leaped for joy. I saw Jesus this week when I confessed some of my deep dark fears and the sinister voices singing in my head out loud and realized in saying them out loud that victory was already coming. I’ve prayed almost every morning, “God give me eyes to see”. Yes, be careful what you pray for they said.
Because I had marched forward and made noises. I sang songs like “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders”, “where You go I go what you say I say what you pray I pray”, “so refine me Lord through the flames”, and “even when it hurts like hell I’ll praise You”. Without being loyal to my foundation of be careful what you pray for, I made noises boldly around my walls forever changing my spiritual DNA and destiny promising that I would go wherever He took me and I would choose to trust even if I don’t have a clue what that means. And I had the gall to cross my arms and say, “I’m too tired”.
So… I’m not going to be careful what I pray for anymore. I’m not going to be held down by curses of fear of what God has the ability to do, but freely embrace the blessings of what it is that God does do. I’m going to keep asking for eyes to see and ears to hear and look for Jesus. I’m going to choose to trust even when I don’t have sand beneath my feet as insurance, choose to sing even when I feel voiceless, and choose to shine even when I want to hide. I’m going to just keep marching forward… and keep making noises.
“Even when the fight seems lost I’ll praise you. Even when it hurts like hell I’ll praise you. Even when it makes no sense to sing, louder then I’ll sing your praise.”