Thursday, August 16, 2007

My Big 'Ol Wrestling Match with God

I'm in a funk. Have been for a long time.

Life hasn't been kind to me or my family for the past five years.

I prayed and prayed. Had other people with "direct connect" pray... and the trials, pain and suffering continue.

God hasn't been on my list of favorite people lately.

Throughout the summer, I've been going through Beth Moore's Breaking Free Bible study with my BFF Stinky. Beth sure digs in the ickiest places, bringing up memories, habits and behavior I'd rather forget.

Yesterday's study was about betrayal. She posed the question, "Have you ever been betrayed by someone you believed loved you?" Chewing on my pen top, I dove into the sewage sloshing around in my skull. I couldn't think of a person... except...


Flashes of me lying on the floor of my bedroom sobbing over devastating news or lying in a hospital bed, victim of stupid trauma flickered behind my eyelids. "I have tried to do what's right since I was six years old! I chose to obey you and be tormented and teased through school. I stayed pure, I (fill in the blank)... and this is how you reward me? Why am I a Christian? God, I feel betrayed!"

Nothing hurts more than feeling betrayed by God. Not even a dislocated elbow with a triple fraction.

Before you judge me and call me a whiny butt, let me point out this is how I felt. Feeling and truth are NOT the same. Betrayal was my human explanation for what God was/is allowing in my life. Yesterday I discovered I still feel that way!

Lighning flashed over the eastern plains, and the trees dripped with recently fallen rain as I shuffled through my neighborhood under the cover of darkness. Settling on a playground swing, I opened up and let God have it. No holding back. No trying to be a "nice little Christian."

I told God I felt he didn't give a damn about me. Such language is very un-Darcie-like. But it was the pain of my soul speaking.

As I cried, yelled, did a flip-de-do on the swing, I realized how much in bondage I am to this sense of betrayal and fear of attempting, well, anything for fear of failure.

Rabbits scuttled in the grass underneath the huge pines. It hit me. Dreams. Almost every dream I've ever dreamt for myself has gone down in a blaze of humiliation and crushing sense of failure.

Since age five I dreamed about being a doctor. Made it through two years of pre-med before I failed. Literally. Failed math and chemistry. Had to make sudden course change w/ no time to think.

Dreamed of becoming cinical psychologist. Completed a whole new major and minor in four semesters with a 3.7 GPA. Planned to go to Wheaton for my PsyD. Failed. Got rejected b/c of GRE scores.

Dreamed of becoming a teacher. Wracked up 56K in student loans. Dreamed of making a difference in kids' lives. Couldn't succeed in broken system. Had to bail b/c of heath. Failure.

Uncovered dream of wanting to be a writer... four years later I have $7 in my business account and few paid assignments, lots of rejection letters. Failed.

And I'm only highlighting the major ones. The root of my betrayal lies with my belief that everything I touch or attempt fails or breaks (don't get me started on the breakage thing...).

Faced with having to find a "real job" - one that actually pays money, so I can pay back the $56K I borrowed in pursuit of failure, I panic. I CAN'T see myself doing anything BUT fail.

Add to that the dynamic of being a wife and mother... how badly can I ruin all that?

I've begged God for answers. Silence.

All around me folks speak of answered prayers. Big prayers. Like, thousands of dollars showing up in their mail box to pay off a debt. Healing from some bizarre medical condition. Needs being met month after month after month. Instead of rejoicing with them, I get mad. I feel betrayed. By God.

I know Jesus said that life will be rough, especially when we follow him, but won't a little relief make the ick easier to swallow? Ya think?

Big Picture.

What next? I need to let it go. All of it. But this part me of clings with whitened knuckles to this crap. Yes, crap. Why? What is it about human nature that makes us cling to the things that render us ineffective and impotent?

Beth Moore says the hallmark of the work of Satan is guilt. Satan attacks us to send us to the bottom of the ocean, or make our testimony benign. After all, he can't take us to hell with him.

I wish I could tell you I had an epiphany. That I'm pullin' myself up by the bootstraps (spit-TING!) and gettin' back on dat dere hoss.

Rather, I'm tired. Clueless. Wondering if He'll ever answer. Hanging on.


David Rupert said...


The wrastling with the Big Guy is an interesting card. I remember a guy named Jacob coming away with a limp.

Your frustrations are real and yet your honesty refreshing. God is listening. He is acting. He is moving. I just pray that He does so in a way that you can see him.

David Rupert
(Great imagery, by the way, in your post)

WordVixen said...

I think I really get the title of your blog now.

I really think sometimes that those "big" answers to prayer are the result of people who really can't make it on their own- or who the attempt to do it would draw them away from what they're supposed to be doing with their lives. Sometimes you're only allowed to see the next step because seeing farther would encourage you to try too hard on your own and screw it up, or become overwhelmed. Sometimes we don't even get that, and I don't know why.

I'd say that struggle only makes you stronger, but I always thought that was a bit of a cop-out line. Just know that we're with you, even if we're not near enough to cry on.

C.J. Darlington said...

I wish I had something to say that would encourage you. But I know sometimes saying nothing and just being around is better than words. Only we can't be around physically because we're so far away. But we can be with you in spirit.

Please know that you have friends like Tracy and I and Wordvixen who are rooting for you. We love you. Exactly like you are. No being perfect or having all the answers.

Right now through this time of doubt and struggle, you can know that for sure. Maybe it'll help.

I read this blog post today and thought of you.

And can I just say one thing you already know? God loves you so much. Even if you can't feel Him, even when it seems He's further away than Pluto.

I hope that doesn't sound like a pat answer, because I don't mean it that way. But sometimes dwelling on that simple fact helps me.

"The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18