By Julia Amting
Guys I am so unqualified to do this work. This work of writing posts to inspire people to love Jesus more, to love their lives more, to fully embrace everything that they were created to be (as goes the mantra of this blog.)
I am unqualified to act like I have it all together, telling you what to do in order to be the an exemplary Christian, to tell you to give all that you are to Jesus because he brings true fulfillment and happiness.
I am unqualified to do that work because I am so broken. I often wonder how in the world I’m supposed to inspire people and lead souls to the open loving arms of Jesus when I can’t seem to inspire myself, and constantly wander away from Christ’s loving embrace.
The other night I had a breakdown. I was angry with God. I was just irreversibly bored with life, and felt like every time I trusted the Lord to fill me He left me empty. I felt like I just couldn’t meet His expectations, my life and my spirituality feeling like a list of “should do’s” I felt like God was holding out on me because I was trying my best to be close to Him and felt nothing. I felt lonely and unloved, and the future seemed gray. Sound familiar?
This may seem dramatic. This may seem like I’m whining when I don’t have much to complain about. After all, I am a middle class, white American with a loving family, some amazing friends, and a great community. I have food on my table every day, and I live in complete freedom. I have amazing opportunities to learn and to be educated.
Furthermore, I KNOW that He died for me. He suffered all of my sins and doubts and pains already. He died and He conquered death. I am already victorious because of the Resurrection. I know that He knows the plans He has for me, plans for my welfare and not for woe, plans to give me a future full of hope. I know that all things work for the good of those who love Him. I know that no pain is meaningless, that all suffering has meaning in Him. That He causes no pain without allowing something new to grow.
So I felt guilty. I felt awful for feeling so awful, because my crosses are so small, and my God is so Good. I felt like I was offending Jesus by being mad at Him. That I am a further failure by telling Jesus that I actually don’t trust Him, that I feel like He owes me something more.
But if there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that it’s as dangerous to belittle our crosses as it is to let them define us. When we do that, we begin to view them as illegitimate, and we begin to think that they are illegitimate to God. The devil uses this lie to separate us from God, because we begin to think that our crosses are so small that we should be able to handle them ourselves. This results in pride, and more reliance on ourselves. This results in us hiding our true feelings from God, because we are ashamed of them. Upset at ourselves for being upset. Angry because we are angry. These are real feelings, these are things that all of broken humanity feels every day, no matter how small their problems, no matter how big the cross they are called to carry. And we don’t talk about it enough.
How do we get out of this?
What I did that night was write. I wrote pages and pages. I told the Lord everything that was going on in my heart. How I didn’t trust Him, how I was ashamed that I didn’t trust Him. I wrote all the ugly things in my mind, the lies that I didn’t even realize that I came to believe. I wrote about the jealousy in my heart. The hypocrisy of my writing inspiring things on the internet while living a life of bitterness, boredom, and always feeling like a failure, never feeling like enough.
Brothers and sisters, we CANNOT sugar coat our relationship with God. It is the most ridiculous thing to say things to God that we don’t mean, because He already knows all that is in our hearts and minds. Our Father wants us to be honest with Him, no matter how ugly it is, no matter how sinful the thoughts might be. All He wants is to enter in.
We hear the story of the crucifixion, we watch The Passion, and we wonder “How on earth can we repay Him for this?”
The answer is to trust Him. To actually honestly trust Him. We love the crucified Jesus best by trusting him on a deeper level. Trusting Him with our mistrust, trusting him with the honesty, trusting Him with reality, not what we wish reality could be. Trusting Him with our brokenness. Trusting that He loves us anyways, because that’s what He came to do. To love us, to save us. Satan does not want us to be honest with God, because he knows that he can with his lies attempt to fill that space inside of us that we refuse to fill with God. Here’s a TB Laberge quote that communicates this more eloquently than I can:
So what I challenge you to do today is this. Write down all the conflict in your mind. All the doubts. All the negative things. All the things you are ashamed of. And give it to God, the God you are angry with. I was once told that when we wrestle with God, we know that He will always win. He wants to wrestle with us, because He wants to win. To fill us with His life.
This is probably the most scary blog post I have ever written. Because it is probably one of the most vulnerable blog posts I have ever written. Why did I do this? Because there is a ridiculous lack of honesty and realness in this world. There are so many problems that I think everyone has that no one wants to talk about. This world of selfies and inspirational quotes and #goals has a craving for realness and vulnerability.
Go be authentic, and throw yourself into he arms of your Father, who wants nothing more than to hear what’s going on in your heart.