Resignation to Emptiness
To me, my teen years went pretty well from that point on. I found interests I enjoyed and thanks to my perfectionistic tendencies, experienced success in them. I had a couple of good friends that I spent time with and listened a lot to, but had no idea how to share anything deep about myself with them.
Although mostly legalistically, I did try to pursue God. I kept a mental checklist of what He must expect because I didn’t want to let Him down: read my Bible every day (it seemed He would require at least one chapter, but the more the better), go to church with friends regularly, pray for those around me, plan that He will require sacrifice of me. (Hide my real dreams for sure, because they’d be the first to go, I’d guess.)
Something wasn’t right and I had no idea what it was. I didn’t know how to find out, couldn’t even form my despair into words to ask for help. I knew God loved me and saved me but He seemed far off, unapproachable, uninterested. But, wouldn’t that make sense, I would think. We are all sinful and He is perfect. How could I expect Him to engage more with me? I am just lucky He saved me. He certainly had no obligation to do more.
God puts up with me, I would think.
He doesn’t stomp on me like He could. He was my Savior but not at all my friend yet. He seemed like a parent too busy for me. I just tried to be a good kid but my heart seemed to neither accept any more from Him or be able to give any more to Him. Just maintain status quo. Don’t rock the boat. Don’t make God unhappy for sure.
I went through life in this place for many years, going to college, getting married and starting a family. Decades passed. I accepted God’s aloofness. Life had wonderful parts like my family, being a wife and mom. I was trying so hard to let go of that uneasiness and just be happy with life as it was. Why couldn’t I figure out joy? What was this lingering anxiety and fear I constantly had to repress? My already melancholy temperament lingered close to depression, but Christians shouldn’t be depressed, I’d think. They should be happy, so I would try to be happy.
I couldn’t even fathom the thought that God pursues me, adores me, wants my love and adoration. That was the furthest thing from my mind. That wasn’t the God I knew….yet!
(Don’t worry, things start to get better soon! Part 3 is the turning point!!)
To be continued….