Beautiful Between

living fully in the now & not yet

Dear God, thanks for not forcing wholeness on me

Dear God, you’re not who I thought you were.

You don’t want what I thought you wanted. You don’t treat me how I expect to be treated. Sometimes, I don’t know what to do with you. See, I spent years trying to be good enough, trying to be what you deserve.

Shouldn’t a king have the best of everything? That’s not me. I’m sick and I’m toxic. You can’t want me.

But you and I, we see differently. What I call strength, you call fear and self-preservation. What I call weakness, you call beautiful dependence. In your eyes, the best I could offer you was precisely what I wanted to hide. All I could give was myself, broken as I was.

So thanks for letting me cuss at you.

Why don’t you fix me? Why don’t you just wave that magic wand I KNOW you have up there? I called you a liar, told you I would slap your face if you showed it.

But you withstood my storms. You were patience and peace, never matching my explosions, just meeting me with ridiculous grace.

You knew it wasn’t about you, and you were willing to take it. Even now, I don’t think I would understand your steadfast love if I hadn’t given you every reason to walk away.

Thanks for letting me make my bed in hell.

You said you would just come down there after me – and you did. We spent a lot of time there, you and I – me in a fetal curl of panic and you patient, rushing nothing.

Darkness was my closest friend; it was the only one I thought I deserved. I never imagined another life. But I couldn’t escape you, even there. You would always sit with me until I was ready to take your hand for the slow climb out.

Thanks for your infuriating kindness.

I never deserved it and I knew it. I wanted to protect you from myself. I thought I could push hard enough to make you leave me alone, but you never budged.

You weren’t scared. My brokenness couldn’t shake you, still can’t on my worst days. I expected punishment, but you only showed mercy. I expected harsh tones, but you only spoke kindly.

It took years for me to listen, to stop pushing back, stop expecting you to set me up for pain. But kindness turned me to face you, called me from hiding.

Thanks for not forcing wholeness on me.

I begged for change, pleaded you to break my defenses by force, to stage the revolution I thought I needed. Why are you withholding healing? Why won’t you fix me?

You insisted on tenderness: I will not take what you won’t give. “Fixing you” would require intimacy that would feel like a violation. That process would be more terrible than this. I want you whole, but I refuse to damage you in the process.

Thanks for teaching me to cry.

I remember icy walls of numbness, years of not being allowed the luxury of tears. Your warmth melted me, like the slow thaw of spring’s first sun. It was compassion and pain, sharing your affection.

You insist the things that break my heart for others – hurts, betrayal, abuse – should break my heart for me, too. It took so long for the fog to lift. But I learned to feel the highs and lows, to cry when I should, to say I’m sad and come to you for comfort.

Thank you for the long road.

I hated it and screamed at you more times than I could count. I was so weary of the journey. How often did I want to quit?

But you proved your love too much for me to leave. Where else would I go? I know you’ve got the only words of life.

You knew I still wanted you and the long road to wholeness was the right one. Though the path was sometimes terrifying, I got to know the Healer as I was healed. I met the Comforter by being comforted.

I resented you for that long road, but I wouldn’t trade it now.

And that’s the beauty of our stories, isn’t it?

This long ugly road, my bed in hell, screaming and tears and fear – oh, God, I wouldn’t trade it for a second. You’re not who I thought you were – you’re better, infinitely better. See, now I know the one I’ve believed, a deep and real knowing I wouldn’t have without walking through this.

And now you’re teaching me to overcome with a story. And it’s not just for me. A million messy thanks can well up in my soul, and I can own this because maybe somebody else will gain permission to live their own long road. And that is worth every moment.

Love,

Sarah

This post was originally published on iamsteveaustin.com.

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About Sarah

Hi, I'm Sarah. I love coffee, pancakes and street tacos. I'm a learner, a traveler and a creative mess. I've got a thing for redemption and seeing broken people living beautiful lives. That's the story I've lived, and the one I want for you. Let's be friends!

7 Replies

  1. Mr. Me

    Wow, just wanted I needed right now. I think. Maybe. Part of me feels it’s too late. I know I am on the edge. Been broken inside so long the emotions are gone, just numb. I have tried talking to people. But I am always shocked how they avoid me after I share with them what is going on inside of me.

    I would really love someone to talk to. Ha, what I really need is someone to hold me for a long time, tell me it’s going to be ok and that there is hope. Now that would be amazing.

    I will read more of your postings. I’ve kinda given up on God actually caring about me, about ever finding love that last, about ever really being happy again. The pain is real. And there is something wrong inside of me that prevents me from thinking positively. The loneliness and isolation and rejection is taking it’s toll on me.

    1. Hey Mr. Me,
      I’m so sorry you’re struggling so much. Loneliness and pain and the dark thoughts that come with mental illness can all be excruciating.

      I know it can be so tough to find a supportive community of people – they just don’t know what to say and I think are often afraid of saying the wrong thing.

      I know for me, I found the most healing when I started seeing an awesome therapist (after trying 4 other counselors first) and taking medication. Those two steps helped me find enough stability and equilibrium to deal with the negative thoughts and learn how to think positively. I can’t recommend professional help enough.

      Praying for peace for you today!

  2. Amy

    Thanks so much for sharing this message.I have been in that dark place before,not that long ago.I’am still climbing up with some detours along the way. I ‘ve had to accept that God has always been there,yes even in the darkness. He has given me the strength to not give up which was a very real temptation.God will never reject or abandon us ,no matter how dark it gets.Thanks again for sharing.

  3. Louise

    Sarah, this post is so beautifully written that I am in tears. My spiritual struggle has been real and painful. Having been rejected by my church and found wanting. I have wandered in the deepest depths of depression feeling rejected by God.

    I had to learn that people rejected me because they did not understand mental illness or the power of God’s love to lift me up.

    I had to learn to forgive others for their ignorance. I still haven’t found a church to attend but I see God every day.

    I still battle with depression but the battle is easier because God loves me.

    I have one question. Do you believe that depression is curable? Or do have episodes of remission and relapse for life?

    1. Hey Louise, thanks for commenting and sharing. I’m grateful to hear you’ve found some strength in the love of God.

      As for your question, I think it depends on a lot of factors. Some people seem to have remission and relapse cycles for life. Others seem to have an episode – or a few episodes – and then don’t experience it again. Still others have a chronic form of depression that, outside of treatment, just sort of sticks around.

      I think that even people who have episodes of remission and relapse can find ways to lessen the symptoms during their episodes. There’s a lot of research emerging about how diet and exercise can help as part of a plan to control symptoms of depression and anxiety. I’ve also found that medication and therapy with a really good counselor have made a world of difference for me.

      1. Anonymous

        Sara, I have been on medication for years and I see a therapist. So that helps me. Please keep up this vitally important work. I’m going to share on Facebook and sign up for your blog. God bless you and your work.

  4. Linda Rebadow

    “You’re not who I thought you were – you’re better, infinitely better.” I am crawling out of a very long and painful journey. This is the biggest lesson I’ve learned.

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