Desparate for Answers
by Mandy Steward
Here’s the crux of it all: my God has not proved to be safe, and my Christian answers have not proved to be enough. There have been times where doing the “right” thing and playing by “the rules” most certainly did not land me in the place of a thriving and vibrant life to the full…
The playing field has been leveled, and I don’t want the answers I’m supposed to have. I want the ones that actually work. Or perhaps I want to know that there actually are no blanket, black and white answers for cleaning up the messiness that I face. Namely, I want to breathe again. As Anne Lamott says,
“There is a lot to be said for desperation…The main gift is a willingness to give up the conviction that you are right, and that God thinks so, too, and hates the people who are driving you crazy.” I am desperate.
And maybe you are too…
Maybe you’ve been secretly whispering questions, but covering them up with answers you’ve been told will work if you just believe hard enough.
And you’re tired.
You’re tired of pretending.
You’re tired of building walls around your heart.
You’re tired of spitting out right answers for others when your own well has gone dry. Bone dry.
You’re tired of thinking the dreams you long to step into aren’t holy enough to warrant action.
You’re tired of doing the Christian thing. You’re tired of religiously giving and sacrificing and having nothing left to feed yourself.
But you’re also terrified. Terrified that coming clean means admitting you have a selfish, sinful Ego like everyone else. You’re sure that your buried truths negate your appreciation for a Savior that died for you. Said Savior that was supposed to set you free. And you whisper, really quiet: “Where’s my freedom? Where’s my life to the full? Where am I in all this living?”
I want you to know, what you are doing right now is brave. Really and truly brave…Sometimes you have to rage against the machine before you can make your peace with it, and you’ve been quiet and scared and polite for a really long time. I just want you to know, there ain’t nothing wrong with a little bit of soul-searching.
We get up here, together…to drown out all the other voices. The shoulds, the have-to’s, the musts that others shout at us. We can’t hear them up here. We get onto the brave business of digging into our own heart’s questions. Of asking God, “Why is there so much to be afraid of? Why aren’t you safer?” Of listening to the fears and furies that have been waging war on our insides in a battle to be heard. We give those voice and we find that when we do, when we step into the darker, unexplored sides of God, the mystery does not swallow us like we dreamed it might, but it opens up a whole new world of wooing adventures.