When I first started this blog, it was really a dumping ground for all the pain and hurt I was growing out of. But as my sense of community IRL grew, the less I felt the need to write.
I wish I had written more this year.
For background on what I’m about to talk about, you can read it here. Nothing I say here will make any sense if you don’t have the back story.
So I fell for my boss. I can tell you the specific moment I realized I had gotten myself into a bit of trouble. November 2019. End of the work day. He smiled at me and I knew. I knew I was falling hard. Not fast, mind you. It felt more like a slow cooker, brewing under pressure. I could’ve lasted a long time in that place, had the pandemic not happened. And I thought, I truly believed, when I asked for a new supervisor, I knew the story that lied ahead. I was single-minded, thinking God had one plan to bring us together. I was blissfully unaware of what I was headed towards.
About eight weeks after I had found myself on a new team with a new supervisor, I had started spiritual direction sessions with a woman my pastor knew from seminary. Now spiritual direction was outside of the realm of what I was comfortable with but I knew that there was a war happening in my spiritual life that counseling alone could not resolve.
Spiritual direction sessions are directed by the Holy Spirit, not the person and engages different disciplines to get through the heart issues you need to work through. It became abundantly clear through these sessions that God wanted me to wait for this man and that He had a plan in the waiting for my heart. There was never a moment where I audibly heard that I was going to marry this man. There was just the feeling that things would come together.
And it has been a hard year plus of waiting. I was treated poorly by multiple people in my workplace and there seemed at every turn that my reality was saying that the Holy Spirit was a dirty liar. I imagined being gaslit by God, led to wait for the fulfillment of nothing and yet in the midst of turmoil and strife, there was an unshakeable peace in my soul and fruit being produced in my life. I was becoming less afraid of what the world (or HR) could do to me and more concerned with what God thought of me…and what I thought of myself.
I faced false truths in my heart like a warrior battling a dragon. I lamented past lives and habits. I developed spiritual gifts I never knew I had. It became apparent to me that the suffering in my waiting had very little to do with ending up with the guy and everything to do with stepping into my identity as a daughter of Christ in ways I never had before.
But did God hear me? Did He hear my petitions to be freed? Did He hear my fear? What if He was lying to me this whole time? What if the point was to heal my heart only to have the rug pulled out from under me?
I realized in my cries of fear and anxiety that I was refusing to accept that God loved me. That He truly loved me. That in the bottom of my heart I truly believed that the only way God knew to love me was to hurt me, to blindside me, to discipline me. Part of that had to do with life experiences and part of that had to do with evangelical Christianity. Because churchy Christians will tell you that life is about either/ or, not both. That it is not in God’s character to both heal the heart and give good, tangible gifts like marriage or good credit. And so, with that, I believed that if God healed my heart, He certainly wouldn’t give me the desires of my heart. He would want me to prove myself, prove my loyalty and dedication.
To live outside the doctrine of grace is devastation, no matter how holy or right you believe your logic is.
It was in this lamenting to my spiritual director that she said simply, God loves you. That’s it. That is the only reason God gives good gifts.
I started to see a light at the end of the tunnel. God loves me. So I can trust Him. I can create all the logic I want for why I believe that God has not been gaslighting me but the only reason that matters is that God loves me.
I am still waiting. Not because the guy is perfect or because I’m desperate. Everything in me wants to run away. The amount of grief I’ve gone through at the hands of other people would be enough to say, this isn’t worth it. I wait because that is what God has asked of me. He is my father and my authority.
And He will love me through this.