of whales and laughter.

shoesr

I.

My friend Kristen and I went to lunch together today, partially because I always neglect to bring anything to work, but mostly because God is hotly pursuing me and looking for any chance he can get to whisper truth over my heart, and he knows that my love language is chips and guacamole. As we drove through the rain, she recounted last night’s small group, and how we all laughed until we nearly peed our pants, and she said something that deeply moved me: I’ve been praying that God would help me laugh. I told her simply that I loved how she prayed. I’ve never prayed about something like laughter.

Most of my prayers have been simple lately: God, help me to want you. I want to want you. 

I sit down on my bedroom floor with my journal, scripture, and a worship album and repeat it, God, help me to want you. It takes less than ten minutes for my mind to begin to wander and my feet to fall asleep. I think about the next episode of whatever I’m binge watching on Netflix. I think I need to do the dishes and the laundry. I think about texting someone and making plans. I think I need to go read someone else’s prayer journal that actually knew what they were doing when they approached God. The sitting and the stillness make me uncomfortable, and as quickly as I kneel, I get back up in search of something to occupy my wringing hands and fickle thoughts. Perhaps at this point, the most honest thing I can say is this: I want to want him, but all of this overthinking is my vice of choice when it comes to avoidance. 

Kristen described me as being “open on the table.” Maybe, but I think she might be a tiny bit ahead of me. Truthfully, I am beaten bloody from the tooth and nail fight against stillness. After all this time, I am simply trying to let him in for good and for keeps.

II.

There’s a stark contrast between what I feel and what I know:

I feel lonely, but I know that God is here.

I feel like this is crazy, but I know that he turns earthly wisdom on its head.

I feel like this is too big, but I know that nothing is impossible for him.

I feel fear at the thought of being vulnerable, but I know that this is holy ground.

I am trying to take my wild thoughts captive, I promise. What’s more, I’m starting to understand on a soul-deep level that it is okay to say that I’m struggling with it.

III.

I am struggling. 

It goes both ways: this doesn’t feel like darkness, but I know I’ve been craving the light.

For months, before we moved to pursue ministry, before this strange haze took over my being, I was craving something I had no idea I was actually missing from my life.

I have never found comfort in the darkness. Only ever fear and chains.

Kristen asked the question clear and pointed: what will it take for me to not be afraid? I tried not to audibly gasp as her words delivered a heavy blow. The darkness reaches, trying to grip tighter. I say I don’t know, but maybe I do.

IV.

My soul twists and untwists, like my hands in my lap, and I pray these words: God, make me a worker. 

Give me a heart that stays on its knees and in the fight. 

Give me a whale, if that’s what it takes for me to just stay still long enough to hear you. 

Help me to trust you deeply enough that I can laugh at the days to come. 

Give me a willingness to get my hands dirty building your kingdom, and let’s start with my own heart surgery.