Somehow, I've lost myself.  And not in the good way, where you shed the skin of selfishness and invest yourself in love.  I've managed to numb myself so spectacularly that if I begin to feel any emotion that I find unpleasant or exhausting, I automatically shut down. 

How do I justify this action?  In reality, there is no justification.  Even to me, my reasoning sounds superficial and petty.  I've been waiting on God for two years now.  Anyone who has had to wait on God for a long period of time can testify to the restlessness that comes along with the journey.  I, myself, have written numerous times about my struggle to find worth and defeat the lies of the enemy as they beat against my battered heart.

Two years of not knowing who I am or what I should be doing.  Two years of not living up to the expectations of others or myself.  Two years of smiling and crying, of praising and struggling.  Two years of desperately trying to avoid the question, "So what are you doing with your life now?"  Because when you don't give the proper response, you grow used to the looks and comments of disapproval.  Even if three people before understood and praised your obedience, all it takes is one person's kindly misguided words to throw your whole heart into chaos.  So you learn to just sigh and shrug and pretend like the judgment of others doesn't terrorize you at night.

I know, I know.  I shouldn't desire man's approval.  And that knowledge only makes me feel worse, because in the deep corners of myself, I just want to not disappoint people.  For once, I want to answer that dreaded question with a response that inspires others.  Not with a response that leaves me lost for words as I am throwing up a defensive wall. 

There have been times where I have considered turning back.  My foolish flesh declares that it has spent enough time waiting; if God can't decide how to use me in two years, He never will and I am a fool for allowing so much to be at stake.  But my spirit wages war, busting down doors and calmly reminding me how important it is to be obedient.  So I stay.  I don't turn back.  I continue answering that question the same exact way, building walls that are never quite tall enough to keep the fiery darts of the enemy from stinging. 

And because I keep getting the same answer from God and it's not the answer I am begging for, I simply quit asking.  I begin avoiding Him like I avoid The Question.  But when you avoid your Creator, when you push away the Love of your life, it creates this hole.  This emptiness.  I am not complete.  I am numb.  I have not lost God; He never leaves and I have not turned from Him.  He is still the greatest desire of my life.

But just like a foolish teenage daughter lashes out at her father for lack of understanding of his decisions, I have kept God at a distance for lack of understanding of His decision to keep me here.  I never consciously intended to, but I realize now that it was my way of "punishing" Him for not answering the way I desired.  That's a very dangerous game to play, even if you don't realize you're playing it.  I have been a foolish teenage daughter to my Heavenly Father and I, in no way, deserve His forgiveness for being so prideful and arrogant.

Yet He offers it.  With arms of love stretched wide open, He calls to me.  Restore.  He offers to restore my heart, my faith, and our relationship.  Even though it has been my lack of faith and my doubting shame that has pulled me to this place of spiritual desert sands, He saves me.  He owes me nothing, yet offers everything.  Why would I run from a love like that?

Why would you run from a love like that?  Whether you're unsaved or have had a relationship with Christ for thirty years, it doesn't matter.  We are human.  We struggle against this traitorous flesh.  Even as Christians, we lose our way.  Sometimes we just have to humble ourselves before God and admit that we haven't been the person we should have been.  And although we don't deserve it, He forgives and welcomes us back.  No matter where you are, no matter why you're running, God opens His arms of love to you.  I think it is about time to take root in that awesome love.

"...that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge..."  Ephesians 3:17-19.

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