I didn’t understand. From age 11 through to age 14 and beyond, I didn’t understand how people who claimed to follow the same God as me could have such a radically different view of His purpose and plan. God stood, distant and cold, behind a dark cloud of resentment, anger, and confusion. And I gave up on Him.
When we lose those we have loved – when they die, or move, or we move, or we break up, or are cut off – there is a loss: an emptiness. Part of ourselves is gone.
I’ve learnt that while God is sometimes silent, He is never absent. He chose to remain silent over our prayers for a child, but He was always present with us—even when we couldn’t feel it. And I’ve learnt that a greater tragedy than a broken dream is a life forever defined by one.
The darkness that threatens to overtake me? The clouds that seem to suffocate? I am getting close to him. Over and over I am told that God is near to the brokenhearted, He saves the crushed in spirit.
I would tell you that God’s story for your life is always bigger than your most painful chapter, or even the one you are in right now. Just because you’ve suffered incredible loss does not mean that your story is over
I don’t know many people who are eager to take medication, especially for those “invisible” psychological needs. And in the church there is often a peculiar bias against mental unhealth, an implicit or explicit message of “If you had enough faith, depression would not be an issue.”
I heard pastors and church people tell me that loneliness was a sign that I don’t quite love God enough, that I need to try harder to be satisfied by Him alone. That the cure for loneliness is to draw closer to Jesus. I think they were wrong.
The Bible, which talks of the God I know, is full of people who struggle, who get it wrong, who misunderstand, who get depressed, who are far from perfect. I fit into that crowd. I can know their God.