As I sit here at approximately 2:42am, suffering with a toothache, unable to sleep, and feeling incredibly sorry for myself, I remember a similar personal struggle almost exactly a year ago. I couldn't sleep then either. I hadn't been able to sleep at night for about two weeks...maybe three.
And just like I did a couple of hours ago, I cried with frustration. I prayed. I beat myself up. I wondered. I worried. I double-checked my certainty that God was getting back at me, or trying to teach me a lesson, or was giving me space, or was guiding me without me knowing it...all the things.
The difference this time is the fact that I'm not trying to live through an almost month-long panic disorder that I didn't know I had.
Tonight? I know it's just my wisdom teeth giving me the "old trouble" after a year's absence. What is the same though, is wondering where God is.
I talk to God about every darned thing. There's almost nothing He doesn't get to enjoy my silence on. Heck, I've asked Him about socks. I've told Him about my favourite things--like He wouldn't know. I've told Him how mistaken He's been about me. All the things.
But. I know He's still here. Yeah. I know it. I don't know why He hasn't done what I told Him I really needed Him to do for me immediately. But, I know He's still here. How do I know?
Because after the silence, no matter how long it's been, He moves. And He moves in such a way that tells me that even when I was telling Him exactly what He wasn't about--when I was sure He wasn't going to lift a finger for me--He was still there, listening, knowing, waiting for me to pass time, step into a new day (or a new week, or year) where He had something for me. And it's always regarding whatever I had been railing at Him about before.
It's very difficult for me not to be human. I feel bad about all of these instances. I feel bad for trying to guess His moves in advance and then telling Him there's no way He would do that for me because I'm always failing at the stupidest "life" things. I feel bad for telling Him about Himself and being so stupid wrong about Him all the time, while knowing He's never, ever treated me badly in my life.
As H.E.R. sings in her most succinctly surrealistically spot-on song "My Song", "Every thing You wanted me to be is everything I've prayed for"
I prayed for a bazillion things in my life and as I count, I see He's blessed me with darn near almost all the blessed and good things I've prayed for (that money prayer isn't going to be answered until I feel I don't actually need it after all. You know what I'm saying?!).
Years down the road.
In my 20s, in my car(s) I prayed and begged Him to let me be an author. He was so incredibly silent about it!
...until He dropped me right into my author's seat a decade later to my bewildered surprise. I realized I have been writing books since I was a teenager. I was meant for this. I thought I was the one driving the bus with my prayers. Not the case. He's been there from the beginning through all my confusion. Denial. Departure. Refusal. Fear. Self-condemnation. All the things.
Yes. He's here next to me reading what I'm writing about Him as I near 2:58am. He sees the tears I'm fighting. He sees that these aren't the tears of self-pity that I cried hours ago. These are the tears of gratefulness. Gratitude. Remembrance. Comprehension.
I remember what He's done before. I know I'll remember more things He'll do in my future on another night when I can't sleep, and I delve into my favourite-pity-party-with-whine some year down the road.
Although I've needed to wait longer than I feel I should ever have to wait for anything...ever...He's actually, always, around.
P.S. He was with me those three weeks a year ago when I couldn't sleep. He let me know that was there in through all of it. But He never answered the prayer I prayed in desperation for three weeks. He answered all prayers but that one. Why? Because without that prayer being answered, in my most desperate state, I actually, truly, talked to Him. I learned about the things in my mind, brain, and body that needed to change asap. After three weeks, I finally slept. I've slept better at night than I have since I was 26 years old.
He's there. He knows. He hears. He helps. We just have to catch up to Him, because He went on ahead to wait for us.
You made it! I watched you walk here. You're okay now. You were mad about that uphill walk, weren't you!