Gugu / 20 Feb, 2019

How many of us are feeling like the year has already gotten ahead of us? Listen, as I type this, it is 17 February and I already feel like I have lost all the hope and confidence I had at the beginning of the year for the great and wonderful things that were going to be for me. Yes, I am zapped, emotionally and spiritually. And if you feel like this is going to depress you, I give you permission to tap out at this point. Ok, toodles. 

And if you’re still with me, then OK – let me break it down for you with regard to where I’m at. Coming into this year, the level of my faith has been sky high. And I know that a lot of Christian believers will say that the reason that we experience spiritual attacks and blows to our faith is because the enemy sees what’s on the horizon for us and wants to do all that he can to ensure that we don’t receive it. It is also said that God tests the faith of His people in painful and strange ways, ways that can leave us wondering about His goodness and actual presence and existence. Ugh. How many times have each of us been here? I for one know this is an all too familiar place. The faith crisis place. Ugh, next. The “whys”, the confusion and the downright anger. And through it all, we are supposed to put on a brave face, swallow our tears, “smile”, and keep on believing that God is good. Whew, it’s a lot. And then you feel like such a loser for even being disappointed and angry with God. Because everything that is faith-based keeps repeating the whole “He is omniscient and loving”, “His plans for you are for good and not evil” and “He will never leave you nor forsake you” narrative. So you feel like a loser cos you couldn’t last until the end, where His supposed goodness is eventually revealed. You feel weak and like a punk – an angry, tantrum-throwing baby, one that’s totally self-indulging in a pity party. Yeah! Way to go 2019.  And then, if you decide to stick out the phase, and keep walking in this Christian faith, you know for a fact that you’re going to encounter another brutalising attack to your faith again, somewhere down the line. Because the aim is to NOT break down and die. Apparently, the aim is to be like guns of steel and to stare crushing disappointment, loss or pain in the face and say “God is for me and is with me, even in this hell hole I am in”. Yeah, that’s the aim, and until you get to that level of self-denial, basically you suck at “Christianing”. Whatevs. I think I am pretty over trying to pass these kinds of tests. 

So I am in a state of “God will do what He does and life will be what He has decided is my lot”. I am pretty OK with a mild-mannered ‘faith”, because it seems that too often, when we raise our faith, we get sorely disappointed. Either that or I fall into the 99% of the earth’s population that’s just not one of God’s favourites. And I know that looking in, people can always dispute this, because they see all the things in your life that are seemingly great, mostly material life conditions, and they think you are indeed in the 1% that is God’s favourites. LOL. Never have been and doubt I ever will. I just push through and often times it just feels like I am getting by on the merit of my actions and not so much God favouring me. Yes, my life conditions are better than a lot of others’, but is that the only measure of whether one is #blessed? What about the perpetual existential crisis I battle with? Feeling so unaccomplished and so uncentred, like I’m just making it all up as I go? Because I am just wanting to know what on earth I am here for, and 36 years later I still haven’t cracked it? Because my life just feels purposeless and thus that feeling of being uncentred? Because I still don’t have the blueprint? Because I hate doing things “just for the sake of it”? And because it always just seems and feels like I am doing life just because I had the misfortune of being born? That is no life. That is certainly not a happy or blessed life. And so, I am not one to diminish someone else’s misery just because they have “nice things” or a “nice life” or things seem pretty together for them – not until I know the true condition of their inner life or heart. Maybe they’re just silently dying and being crushed under the weight of a pain I don’t see or sense and so I don’t have a right to say “But you’re so blessed/lucky, you have X or Y”. And so when you experience disappointment that is linked to purpose, or your pursuit of purpose, you just wonder what it’s going to take to crack the code because nothing in your life (in that regard) is as you’d like it. Nothing you do feels or seems like it’s the way it should be in terms of smashing actualisation goals. You’re just middling through your adulthood really, never really experiencing that high of “sheer excellence”, or having found your “thing” or purpose.  

Given what I feel and am currently experiencing, I am just ready for God to appease me and give me just what the heck it is I want. Like I said, I won’t be going through the maze and jumping hurdles (whatever those may be) in order to ‘prove” myself. No. I will just keep it moving, with or without Him. Because that’s life – you just have to keep it moving with all of your baggage and hopefully, somewhere down the line, you get some reprieve. But why is it “seemingly” easier for others and not so much for others? And why is the latter group of “others” always believers? Like, are we put through our paces for after-life purposes? Cos me, I am yet to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living – certainly not in a way that speaks to and directly addresses my biggest needs and wants. So yeah, I guess it’s all for after-life purposes and then we must just grin and bear the “temporary” suffering. Hoorah! That’s the answer. 

One thing I know FOR SURE, that I (and I believe many others too) am living proof of, is that this walk is NOT easy.  Enter at own risk. And I also don’t like to perform the faith – performative Christianity isn’t my thing. When I am conflicted, angry or disappointed, I will be just that: an angry Christian. If He says He is what He is, then why would we hide ANY aspect of ourselves from Him? I am expecting to be rescued from the miry clay, temper-tantrum throwing and all. Simple. That’s what He said He would do right? Then, yeah, that is what I am expecting. I am expecting Him to heal my broken heart and I am expecting Him to make good on His promises. And I am expecting Him to fulfil the desires of my heart. And I would like some explanations too. Why didn’t certain doors open or work for me? Why did you allow me to go down certain paths when I had asked you to guide my footsteps and you said you would? How then did I end up in a shit-storm I never invited or even saw coming? I know these are the kinds of questions you too have at times. Ask them. Feel what you’re feeling. PS: In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a feeler. I love my feelings. But I guess that doesn’t make for the stoutest Christian. No, you will find me where my feelings are at in terms of my “faith”. But hey, work in progress here. They say He isn’t offended at our questioning, even when we are spitting flames. He says “Bring me into remembrance”. Whew, chile – I’m there like a bear. And if it’s a good talking to I get, a la Job, then so be it. But that is the living, breathing, REAL relationship I signed up for. Come as you are – even if you are a tad bit of a spoilt brat my girl. Whatevs. I’m His spoilt brat and His beloved to teach, mould, heal and strengthen. This is what I believe for.  

Also, I have been told that I am being entirely too hard on 2019 – like that it has juuuust begun and God could still pull some fantastic tricks out of His bag. Well, I would sure hope He will! Also, this is me – I am extremely hard on myself and so I take the crushing disappointment personally. In addition to God not pulling through for me, this is proof that I am not good enough, that I suck at life basically. Wow and it’s only February. So in what other ways is God going to disappoint me in March, April, May, June, July, August, etc? And in how many other ways am I going to be exposed for the incapable, non-achieving loser that I am? This is what my present looks like from my perspective – these kinds of questions and that kind of feeling demoralised and utterly useless. Also, what I believe I lost out on looked like just the best opportunity ever. Ever, ever! I don’t see anything better coming along. And I guess if God is still invested in me, He has got a lot of showing out to do.

And so I guess my challenge remains faith. To suffer what is a seemingly great disappointment so early on in the year, miss out on what looks to be the best thing I’ve have ever seen career-wise and still have to believe that God can and WILL top it. Oh yeah, and all this while you’re in literal hell otherwise and dying to escape and have been praying to Him for 2 years for a way out and left, right and centre, other people are prospering, many through nefarious ways, and yet dololo for you. All this while your life for the past couple of months has just been one huge rollercoaster of loss. Issalot. But whatevs. Like I said above, in life, you just keep it moving and hope for the will, reason and strength to not tap out prematurely. Because, issalot!

And also just disclaimer: I know that it’s said He wouldn’t withhold what was good from me and that if I didn’t receive it, then it wasn’t mine and He has better. Yeah, sure. I’ll be the judge of that by the time 2019 is out. Feel free to watch this space to see what He will do – because I did definitely declare 2019 the year of the #EstablishedMiracle.  So, it’s going down in my life this year. Free show for all – hopefully we get to see lots of miracles and answered prayers. And also, other disclaimer: the Bible is full of stories of people who went through the most before their promises were delivered. Waiting years before they could experience the “promised land”. I get that. A lot of walking with God is waiting, and developing patience and an enduring faith. Christianity is an endurance thing – you hope that your faith can endure the tests, trials and tribulations. Hebrews 10:35 says “Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.” I know that receiving the promises of God sounds like the key takeaway from that verse, but it’s really the doing the will of God that is. If we agree that with our without Jesus, life is hard because fallen world, and we recall that He (Jesus) said that in this life we will know pain, sorrow, troubles, etc., and that He didn’t come to remove those things from our earthly experience, but to give us a hope for a better future life and the power of a mighty and miracle-capable warrior in our tribulations, and a helper (Holy Spirit) to get us through (emotionally and mentally) those difficult times, then we realise that the confidence and endurance referred to in that scripture are the real takeaways and they are by definition, the will of God. Getting through this life in the way that He has instructed us to and relying on the resources He has provided us is the doing of His will. And His will is that we go through the trying seasons as “good sports” who don’t throw their toys out of the cot or curse God at the first sign of trouble or tribulation. That is what we have need of great endurance for. To be able to withstand the paths, roads and places that we will find ourselves with God, because these won’t necessarily be pleasant. 

John 16:33 also says “be of good cheer”…like, quit the wallowing and do not be consumed by the sorrows of this life because He whom you have put your faith in overcame the world. That verse is layered. One interpretation could be, whether things go “good” or “bad” for you now, take heart, for it shall all be well for you in the final analysis. Because actually, a huge aspect of our faith is that we are headed to an after-life and THAT is where things will be perfect and good and THAT is what you must anticipate most. Another interpretation is that Jesus, having overcome the world, is saying to us, things of this world can’t hurt or harm us. Yes, they do physically and emotionally, but if we root ourselves in the new man, the spirit man, then no, they can’t. When we are in Him who has overcome the world, these things lose their power over us, the new man, operating in and out of the spirit realm. And that’s where He calls us to locate ourselves. Because yes, the flesh is weak and vulnerable to the pains and sorrows of this life. But there are rivers of living waters to those who drink of His drink offering and there is new life, different life, to those who are in His Spirit through their spirit and are increasingly becoming more spirit beings than flesh-rooted beings. Anchoring ourselves firmly there, come what may, is not easy – it is the Holy Grail of the Christian walk and all we can do is pray for more faith and His favour (and Spirit) to help us endure and eventually complete our journeys in relatively good form. 

As a parting shot, I leave this here for myself and anyone else who may just need exactly that word: Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfilment of those things which were told her from the Lord

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3 thoughts on “IT’S TOO MUCH!

  1. Yes it gets too much at times and unbeareable. But as believers in Christ, we are more than conquerors. I’ve been there and i am still facing those challenges but through it all God has proven to be the most consistent truth in my life in the most amazing ways.
    All that was meant for bad in my life He has turned it for my good and i know He will still be doing that. I’ve went through the most horrible trials in my life but what amazed me was/is that, all those trials have instead brought me more closer to Him. To be honest i wouldn’t even be writing this comment, i believe i was supposed to have long been gone BUT God.
    Pray for Him to give you the gift of faith. Yes faith is a gift and He will surely bless you with that. From what I’ve read, it sounds like there is a battle going on in you’re mind, trying to demean who God has created you to be. Dont listen to the negative voices planted in your head. You are more than a conqueror and you will surely rise above it all and be victorious. It is true that you’re hard on yourself and not being fair to yourself. Take heart.

    1. I am really happy to know that your faith has managed to get you through some challenging and tough times Lesego. Life is tough. Unfair and often painful. And it has no “quick-fix” so to speak. You just have to go through it, and the “solutions” God gives don’t necessarily take the pain away. Often, you kinda have to do the work and stretch yourself to believe that He is there and working for you. So that is work, and work isn’t very nice when you’re hurting or confused and just want answers or an end to what’s causing you grief. Through the journey, I am learning that having faith in God takes work. And often doubt can creep in and you constantly have to go back to the Word, pray/trust for fresh anointing and say to yourself “I believe. Help my unbelief”.

      When you say “All that was meant for bad in my life He has turned it for my good”, it is so encouraging. I have a similar kind of experience…and when the going gets tough, they say to go back to the times when God rescued you, turned it around and performed miracles on your behalf. Let that serve as a reminder that He can, He has and He shall do it again.

      Do the trials really bring us closer to God? I would hope so. For me, it’s honestly just a case of “I know no better alternative so I’ll stick with you God”. Within my faith-influenced thinking, I just don’t believe that there is a better God. The years of walking the journey have (either through default positioning or a real work happening inside of me) kinda just kept me where I am, even when I don’t understand Him; even when it hurts to keep trusting Him. I have conditioned myself to believe that He has good intentions for me through the mess. So I stay…

      The battle is raging and the enemy has put up a good fight. Presently, I am just tired. Sometimes I fear I have lost the battle. So I am just trusting for a miracle because I can’t help myself; I am unable to keep fighting, whatever that looks like. He just has to step in on my behalf for a while and cover ALL bases.

      You know, you are very right – I am (being) too hard on myself. I just don’t know any other way to be. Apart from feeling let down by God, I just feel like when things happen, they are a reflection of you. Maybe you’re not good enough or you didn’t try hard enough. Bleh.

      Disappointment sucks…but it shall be well. This I know. Thank you for this encouragement and perspective. My heart needs it.

  2. Wow Dee, such deep introspective honesty. Indeed we tend to look from the outside and make judgements about a person’s good or bad fortunes… forgetting that everyone has some inner battle, which can often be their make or break ‘faith’ crisis. But yay for your parting shot – blessed is she who believes, the reward and crowning of her believing is assured.

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