The restaurant booth didn’t lend itself to intimacy so she slid closer to share her story. She searched her memory to find a starting place. Neck deep into her life trials, I found myself holding my breath as her difficult journey unfolded. Eyes welled up, she was intense.
“At that point, I went into my closet, shut the door and yelled at God. I put my fist in the air and said, ‘I know you are God and I am servant, but from this day forward, this is EXACTLY how our relationship will be. God. Servant. Yes, I will serve You but I’m no longer Your friend. The relationship ends here.’ I was very Angry with God.”
I marveled at her boldness. Some hold tightly to God in trials, others turn from Him and walk from their faith. But I’d never heard of anyone that continued to believe while redefining the rules. Sure, we have free will to run toward or away from God, but to bravely command, “I’m no longer your friend!” that made me squirm in my seat. Her logic said, I know there is a God so I must remain servant, but her heart felt betrayed— Why would a good God allow this to happen? Why? In her hurt and disappointment she had decided that this relationship thing, where I invite God in, to commune with me, to rule my heart, yea, well, that’s over.
This courageous woman looked intently at me. I didn’t know how to respond. “How’d that work for you?”
“Well, it went fine for a while but He pursued me, He wouldn’t let go.”
And that’s our great God. He gives us the space to be mad—really mad and He still holds tight to us. He searches the horizon for the prodigal son and daughter to return. His love never ends.
And while no one can give us the answers to life’s tough questions, one thing I know; He never turns from us.
As her story came to an end a fire lit up her spirit. “Do you know what Dawna? I had never felt God’s presence stronger than during those dark times. He was so near to me. Some day I will know why all this happened and it will all make sense. One day, I will see the grand plan and completely understand.”
I thought I had gone there to minister to her when all along, God sent me there so that she could speak life to me.
“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” Romans 5:3-5