I’ve sat to write this multiple times now.
It is not that this is difficult for me to say, it’s just that putting deep heart issues into words perfectly can be tricky. I always want to be authentic with you. I never want to be preachy, or appear holier than thou, or act like one of those idiots who makes God look bad. But I’ve just been having some thoughts.
A few weeks ago now, I spent some time by myself in California. I think deep down, I knew my heart was tired and I needed a break. The weather was perfect as I guided my rental car up the coast to Malibu. If you’ve ever driven to Malibu, you know one minute you’re on a crazy LA freeway and the next, you round the corner and you see waves crashing and beautiful houses on the beach.
I wanted to be in a beautiful and peaceful space to calm the crazy in my head, so I booked an adorable hotel that was super minimalistic. The back yard bordered PCH and a bohemian hammock seemed to be set up for the perfect blank slate for dreaming.
I jotted down some self reflection question I’d googled earlier. I grabbed my journal and a can of wine (classy) and swung on the hammock until long after the sun had retired.
The first question I decided to answer was, “What is something I’ve given up on?”. I half expected my answer to be a dream I’d forgotten, or a goal I’d over looked. I took a deep breath to listen, but what I found myself writing was… “I’ve given up on God”.
Tears stung my eyes.
Is that true? Are we just… done?
The traffic was lightening up and the winds were calming down. I don’t think I’ve given up on God, I think I’ve given up on who OTHERS say God is; through their words, actions, passive aggressive social media accounts.
I made two columns in my journal. One column read, “Who God is” and the other column read “Who God is not”.
God is not hateful. He is not rude. He is not overpowering. He IS all powerful so why rule with an iron fist? He is not clueless. He is not closeminded. He is not single sided. He does not fit in a box.
I took a moment to consider the other column.
God is kind. He is hopeful. He is creative. He is just. He loves justice, but the older I get the less I believe I understand justice as God sees it. I think there will be people in Heaven that cause me to scratch my head because here on earth, according to my interpretation of the Bible, they shouldn’t be there. It doesn’t matter. I just want to run my race.
What does matter is that God LOVES people. His heart breaks for hurting people, but His heart breaks for the people that are hurting others as well. He intricately understands what brought them to that place. He loves with an empathy that I just don’t get.
THAT’S the God I still know and love. And that’s the God I haven’t given up on.