Transparency with God

Where do I start with this one? This is a very personal topic but I believe that in sharing your experience with others, there is liberation – both for yourself and for those who can relate. So today I’m going to talk about the current state of my relationship with God..

I actually planned to write about this months ago but I’ve been continuously postponing it for no legitimate reason. It’s like I’ve been running from the truth rather than just facing it. Because confronting the truth is a lot harder than just pretending it isn’t there. It’s so much easier for me to pretend and lie to myself that everything is fine and I’m okay and my life is going perfectly well. But maybe, just maybe, it isn’t.

I’m a runner. That’s how I like to describe myself when it comes to my relationship with God. I run. A lot. If there was some sort of athletic competition that existed where the starting line was ‘God’ and the finish line was ‘Elsewhere’, I would place first every single time. And I don’t quite know why. Or maybe I do, and I’m avoiding it. But I’m going to try and figure it out as I write this blog post, and if you can relate to being a runner, maybe you should try and figure it out too.

I have the conventional ‘saved story’. Some of you already know the one I’m talking about – the “I grew up in the church but never really knew God but one day in my teens I finally gave my life to Christ and it all changed there” one. This happened to me at 14 after a very long and rough period where I was in borderline depression, but not depression. It was a very deep and disturbing kind of sadness that made me absolutely miserable. But Jesus came into my life, saved me and turned everything around. But here’s where my conventional ‘saved story’ isn’t so conventional. You know how usually people say “and I haven’t turned back since”…yeah…cannot relate to that. I have turned. 180 degrees, 90 degrees, 270 degrees, upside down, backwards, sideways, upwards, diagonally, horizontally, vertically, NAME IT and I have done it. I am a professional turner. The only thing about this job is I don’t get no income from it, rather I find it thieves me of income. It thieves me of a wealth of joy, love and peace, and the worst part of it all is this theft is self-inflicted. Can anyone relate?

I sometimes feel that this running comes from a lack of understanding of who God is and of his love. And not just a lack of understanding, but maybe a lack of acceptance of it too. Because this is usually how my 100m race pans out: I go to one Christian event that touches my heart. I make more of an effort to pray and read my Bible after it. Things are going well and I generally feel more joy, Then one day, I don’t make the effort, either because I’m lazy or ‘too busy’ or just don’t feel like it. And then the next day I don’t because I feel bad about not doing it the day before. And then it just continues until I no longer feel connected to God at all (and yet I still know that he is there waiting for me with love, where is the logic?). It’s weird because it’s like I know that God isn’t condemning me, but something in me still doesn’t let me go back. Something in me believes I am too unworthy and that God doesn’t deserve a servant that is half-hearted rather than really into it. This is genuinely one of my biggest shortcomings and I don’t quite know how to fix it because it stems from my mentality. The story of the Prodigal Son pricks me every single time I hear it because I know that I am the prodigal son, and yet even after I hear it, I dismiss it for a reason I know not. It’s a big problem to be honest.

But I do believe that God wants transparency with us. I believe that God wants us to come to him when we feel absolutely undeserving and to tell him just that. It’s so silly that I can say this and yet wonder if I will change anything after I finish writing this post. But I really do believe that God wants me to be 100% honest and vulnerable and transparent with him, meaning I should say to him when I don’t feel like I measure up. And say to him that I feel lazy and I feel inconsistent and I don’t feel like talking. I don’t think he just wants us to be honest with him when we have something positive to say but also when we have something negative to say, because either way it’s communication and that’s what every relationship, big or small, should be based on. In fact, after thinking about that for a few minutes, maybe I will try that. And maybe you should too. Let’s do this together.

There’s another aspect to my struggle, though, where I convince myself that I don’t really need God. Right now, you see, I’m not really suffering emotionally or mentally. I’m in a good place, I think. I don’t get sad too often and I don’t feel miserable and I have good friends etc etc. A lot of the time, it makes me think, what can God really add to me? What am I really missing out on if I’m happy as things currently are? But as I write this, something is telling me that there is always more. And that ‘more’ is found in God. I think we limit ourselves when we say that we are content and satisfied with the current state of affairs, because there is always more. If the creator and source of limitless joy and peace is accessible to us, why shouldn’t we at least try, if not for pride? Pride is definitely something I struggle with because I don’t like being dependent, but like I said earlier, it is self-inflicted theft. This is such a weird blog post because there’s so many things I’m only realising as I write this. This is lowkey why journalling your feelings down is important.

Plus, all these things that are satisfying me now are very temporary. That’s the thing about the satisfaction that comes from outside God, it is all temporary. And although the poetic side of me wants to say “temporary things are still beautiful”, they are not fulfilling. It’s okay to have things that make you happy that will come and go, as long as you have something that is unmovable too. And God is literally the only person or thing that I believe is unmovable. And he is love (1 John 4:8). A lot of temporary satisfactions actually leave us hollow and empty in the long-run, because they are full of deception, but satisfaction that comes from God is there to stay as long as you believe it is. Just have faith.

So this is my current struggle and it’s something that I struggle with quite often. It’s kind of awkward to talk about but I am speaking about it because I do believe there is power in transparency – both with God and with people. I hope this could help at least one person, not even by advice but just by knowing you are not alone in this. All I want is to experience this love and peace that I see other people who are firmly planted in Christ have. And I pray that I and everybody else reading this who desires this will have that soon, in Jesus’ name, amen.

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