So according to the Chinese, 2013 is the year of the black snake. It’s meant to symbolize steady progress and attention to detail, and emphasizes on focus and discipline being necessary to achieving what you set out to create. I don’t see why they had to pick a black snake though when they’re so many other nicer looking and less creepy creatures on God’s beautiful earth.
Anyway for me, 2013 appears to be the year of confessions, because I have yet another one. You know how you think everything is ok until one thing brings your whole world down? I’m at that point. It’s strange how you can think you’re in control (and I love being in control), and then one moment changes everything. Here’s the thing about me: I’m rarely emotional, I have the rare gift of compartmentalization (very rare in women) and I know how to block things out. I’m an expert. These are talents that have been honed through years of practice. But they failed me last night.
There I was sitting in someone’s house trying to pay attention as Mr. Nice Guy comforted her after the loss of her husband. I didn’t want to be there. I was just offering support and being a good girlfriend. Then I had someone mention that guys were coming in for fellowship. I don’t remember the last time I went for fellowship. Heck I don’t even remember the last time I went for praise and worship in church. I always time my entrance to coincide with the beginning of preaching and offering.
I was pissed! I didn’t want to stay for fellowship. But Mr. Nice Guy did. So I stayed. I wasn’t going to be the one insisting that we leave. I was going to sit there and smile politely and try to look interested when all I wanted to do was go home, shower and crawl into bed or watch some TV. I was going to zone out. I’m pretty good at looking like I’m listening when I’m really not.
I remember the preacher talking and me wondering whether he was Kamba or Nigerian because his accent was confusing me. I remember looking at the girl seated across from me and recognising her from a music video shot by some random guy I used to talk to when I was young and he harbored ambitions of being superstar. I remember looking at that chick and wondering how she made that transition from booty-shaking video chick to happily in love with God. I envied her.
You see in high school I was very religious. I didn’t go for CU or speak in tongues but I read my Bible (almost) every day and didn’t cuss. I was close to God. But I wanted to be like everyone else. I wanted to be able to go out and drink and have fun and not care what anybody thought. I was curious, so I ventured out to explore. I partied hard, I cussed, I did things I never thought I would do. And it was great. I didn’t care. It was my life right?
Wrong. Because I’ve been having this nagging feeling that my life does not belong just to me. It’s a gift, and I’ve been mishandling it. I find it hard to explain how I could have been blessed in so many ways yet feel so far away from God. I enjoy a healthy life (though I think about losing weight every single day), my family is great, I’ve been fortunate not to have lost many close family members (only my cucu that I’m named after, and I was a child so I don’t remember it very well), I have a job I’m growing into that offers so many opportunities, I have fantastic friends and a wonderful boyfriend. So how can I say that I don’t feel like God loves me? How can I say that God doesn’t care about me? What more do I want from God?
Truth is I want more from Him. I want to feel His warm embrace. I want to feel that He is here with me, that His presence surrounds me. I want to hear Him tell me that He loves me. That no matter what I’ve done, He still loves me.
Yesterday while we were wrapping up the fellowship, we began to pray, and all of a sudden I couldn’t hold it in any more. I cried. I couldn’t stop the tears. I wanted to howl like an injured animal but the little pride I had left wouldn’t let me. So I cried softly, but not soft enough to avoid being heard, because before I knew it the lady next to me was holding me and praying over me. When we were done she asked her friend to come and pray for me. And this friend just kept saying to me that God was telling her to tell me that He loves me. That whatever pain or guilt I had been holding onto was gone. That He never stopped loving me. And I cried harder.
Mr. Nice Guy could not believe it. I do not cry in front of people. He knows that. And I don’t let strange people touch me. I’m that girl who asks people why they’re standing so close to me when there’s space, and here I was being held by two people I’d never met before. He was so worried. He didn’t even want to let me drive home alone. But I insisted. I wanted some time alone.
On the drive home I finally let it out. I cried all the way home. And let me just tell you, crying while driving is not easy. I was like: girl you know you gotta be careful with this crying and driving thing or you’re gonna die crying, at least wait ‘til you get home! But it felt good. I let it all out. Man I was howling, then crying like I was going into shock, then whimpering, it was like a crying medley in my Mini-Me. I told God I was tired of running; that I was tired of trying to reach Him and not feeling like He was there. I told Him I was tired of being told He loved me when I couldn’t feel it. I told Him He could do whatever He wanted with me because I was tired of trying to do things on my own. At that moment I surrendered.
So in the middle of 2013 I am starting a journey. A lot of things are going to change. I can feel it. I don’t know what to expect yet, but I know that I’m doing what I should have done nine years ago when I started drifting: I am finding my way back home.