All day today I wanted to give up.
Even when I was sitting in IHOP with a bunch of writing majors, laughing and talking about how awesome the city was, I was inwardly dissatisfied with the state of my mind and my heart. I thought of all the reasons why I should leave, why it would be so much better for me if I went to a Christian school instead. After all, I want to write Christian fiction…I’m not going to learn how to do this here.
I sat in my dorm, reading Go Tell It On The Mountain by James Baldwin. At one point, while I was reading it, I suddenly became aware of my thoughts. My thoughts were secular, without a trace of God in them, and I became afraid. I tossed the book down, not bothering to save my page, and fell asleep for an hour or so.
When I woke up, I FaceTimed my mom. I cried, and cried, and cried, explaining to her that I was being absolutely inundated by vulgarity. I couldn’t focus on or talk to God…I was stuck. I felt alienated from the One I love the most, which is the worst thing that could possibly happen to me. I cannot be without God, and I don’t understand how other people live without Him.
Everything we read is about sex, drugs, and alcohol…everything. I don’t understand why we can’t read about things that have to do with grace, purity, and innocence. If the point is to read widely, then why are we reading so many stories that are the same? I told my mom I wanted to transfer. She said if I did then we needed to start applying now.
Bible Study tonight consisted of Zappora and I talking about everything under the sun. It seems to be that way a lot lately, her and I just chatting about life and about God. I ate a whole box of Dots….needless to say I wasn’t feeling too hot afterwards.
After talking with Zappora for two hours, I went to get dinner and then returned to my dorm. I began researching Christian colleges and looking at their writing programs, all the while talking to my friend, David (that’s not his real name, but that’s what I’m going to call him). I told him I might transfer. He told me he thought I was giving up too easily. I very sarcastically explained to him that he didn’t understand and that my predicament was so different from what he thought it was. Without hesitation, he called me out on being sarcastic, that he was just being honest. I felt like a jerk for the second time this week.
He said good night and I continued researching. Half-way through filling out an application to Colorado Christian University, I felt like I had been hit by a bus. Okay, not a bus, but words.
The pathway is broken, and the signs are unclear, and I don’t know the reason why You brought me here, but just because You love me the way that You do, I’m gonna walk through the valley, if You want me to. I’m not who I was when I took my first step and I’m clinging to the promise, You’re not through with me yet. So if all of these trials bring me closer to You, then I will go through the fire, if You want me to. It may not be the way I would’ve chosen, when You lead me through a world that’s not my home. But You never said it would be easy….You only said I’ll never go alone.
These lyrics are from the song, If You Want Me To by Ginny Owens. This song always makes me cry and it seems like God used it to tell me that I’m not done yet. This is hard….it’s ridiculously hard. It’s painful. I crave Christian fellowship in the worst way. I crave learning about the history of the Bible and about theology and about God like a flower craves the sunlight. Can you imagine what Paul must’ve felt like when he was in prison? He was sitting there, writing, with no Christian fellowship to be had. He was alone with God. God delivered him countless times….so why can’t God deliver me?
I am not done with this fight. I have only just begun. God isn’t through with me here; it’s not time for me to leave. Of course I want to give up; I’m human, a natural giver-upper. But God is not going to let me give up so easily, and right now I’m not sure if I’m happy about that. But when I signed up for this life, when I entered into this relationship, God never, ever said it would be easy….
He only said I’ll never go alone.