As I have decided to unpack some of my ‘buried treasures’, I also felt the need to reflect on some of the lessons I learned through the years. I will begin at a point when I first remember ‘walking through something’. As a young teenager, I met a boy who captured my heart. He held a place in my heart for many years. Here’s a snippet of what I penned in my diary at different times:
I’ve been staring at your picture, wondering where you are at today. I love you without expectations…not because of anything you possess – but I love you because of you. I’ve seen things in you that I don’t think anybody else has seen. For these reasons I want to be near you – but who am I to determine what is best for me or even you. So I’ll listen to the Masters voice as He knows what’s best for us.
It’s been approximately 3 months since I last saw you. I had a feeling that I was going to see you tonight. I wanted to see you so badly – but still I feared the moment I would meet with you. I wanted to look at you just one more time…I wanted to see your smile. I wanted to see your beautiful eyes again – I wanted to hold you in my arms…to tell you I love you…just one more time. But still I was afraid…afraid because I knew I could not do or say what I wanted to. I was afraid of the way I would react towards you. I wanted to be with you yet I wanted to run away from you. Probably you wouldn’t understand but it pains a lot whenever I see you and I know we can’t be together.
That was deep- Right?? As a teenager, I wrote many pages of letters/notes like those over the years. Some to ‘that boy’ ( he never saw them) and some to God. I still have these diaries; tattered and torn but a beautiful reminder of how life can be like a cactus. Beautiful but prickly.
Yes, that was me – a teenager who loved a boy who I chose not to be with. Why? The ‘right’ answer. It wouldn’t have honored my Father. Well, honestly I don’t remember if that was truly the driving force behind my thoughts at the moment. However, that was part of the story. The truth is although we were so close; I knew we were very different. We both knew it. There were ‘places’ I wasn’t willing to go and he didn’t ask of me. I became his ‘safe place’. He told me every and anything.
Somehow I thought that if I had relationship with Christ and I desired to please Him, I would have been shielded from these ‘situations’. Was there a time that you embraced this fallacy too? How could I love a boy who’s faith walk was nothing like mine. Let me clarify this part of the story. I actually fell for him before I decided to have a committed walk with Christ. So, what was my expectation after my decision? I expected God to swoop in and rescue me from my heart . He was supposed to barrel His way into my life and change my emotions. He didn’t. What a shock! My resolve to follow Christ never changed the longing in my heart. I had to make a decision as a young teen. That boy or this God.
Life, like sentences, has punctuation marks. Their purpose is to bring clarity and help us read or interpret correctly. Periods (.) signify the end. Commas indicate a pause and question marks…well, we hate those! Especially the unanswered ones. We hate the things we don’t get answers to. Those seasons, situations, and challenges we don’t quite have answers for. Scriptures remind us to get wisdom and understanding (Prov. 4:7). He does want us to discern those situations and make informed decisions.
We can trust Him to guide us through those unwelcomed moments in life. This is what I can share from my journey. Never put a question mark where God has put a period. Do not confuse a comma with a period. Learn how to leave your question marks with God and exhale. Job had some questions for God when his world imploded. This was the response from the Omniscient One: “Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorant words? (Job 38:2)
Don’t misunderstand me ; I am not saying to never ask God questions. I encourage us to do so. He invites us to ‘come and let us reason together’ ( Isaiah 1:18). I have been reminded in the past that there is a difference between asking God a question and questioning Him. Questioning His character. We will not always understand everything thing we walk through in life. Job never really got an explanation for the traumatic experiences he walked through. He however was able to say at he end of it all, ‘I heard about You before but now I see You with my own eyes’ (Job 42:5). We can get to know God better through life’s ups and downs. That is purpose by design. He reveals Himself through those situations He allows.
Years later in our early twenties, we had grown past the butterflies and stars but still had a great connection. ‘That boy’ was walking through a very dark season and needed me. He would call me a few nights per week to talk to him until he fell asleep – he had temporary insomnia. I don’t think I had ever prayed for someone so much in my life during those years.
There was never any romantic involvement between us. Our lives had taken different trajectories and we went our way. There is no desire for ‘what was’. Today, we still talk a few times a year. Ever so often we still wonder about this mystery call ‘us’, we laugh and wish each other well. We still love each other but from a different place. I still pray for him. What was that all about? Those years of intense emotions. I don’t know and it’s okay!
What is ‘that thing’ you have been questioning? That season, loss, delay, friendship, or that unfulfilled dream. For me, years ago it was ‘that boy’. Can I invite you to leave those question marks in the hand of the One who loves and knows you best. You may never get an answer and that’s okay. He does nothing without a purpose and promises to go with you on that journey called life. He will never leave you nor forsake you (Deuteronomy 31: 6). As He walks with you and the chapters begin to unfold, it will begin to make sense.