Tag Archives: Christian

Daring to Think You Might Be Okay


I got a little irritated with God a few days ago. Not the first time, mind you. We have this cool-enough relationship where I am like a kite…bobbing around, way up there in the sky, surrendering to the whim of every breeze and care of life that blows my way; while He is below, patiently holding on to my kite string. Never taking His eye off of me; no matter how far away from Him I go.

It can get a little crazy up there, in this place I do life…sometimes I get a little sick to my stomach from giving in to every high and low the air current brings; my feelings as temperamental as sudden changes of weather. And sometimes I get frustrated; my kite string wrapped tightly around something I so desperately want resolved. I can’t get unstuck and free; too tangled up in another one of life’s worries.

I’m so glad He never lets go.

I know He won’t, you know. Well, in my head, at least. Lots of theology classes…Scriptures memorized…Bible reading…Sunday school when I was a kid…they’ve all told me that He will never let go of that kite string; no matter how hard the winds blow.

But, oh, my heart… Sometimes my heart just hurts too much and feels empty and alone, and I wonder if He’s not there anymore; especially when I’m being whipped around by another storm. And I’m looking for Him. And waiting for Him. And trying my hardest to hear what He is saying to me…

It’s at those times, that I question myself most: Have I created this storm? Did I do something wrong? Something to deserve this? Am I not seeking truth enough? Change enough? Honest introspection enough?

I am high up in the sky, being battered by the fiercest winds, and I look to God for answers… show me the truth that will set me free. Show me truth that will give me peace.

Like the other day. When I asked Him these very questions – and then waited for Him to show me what was wrong with me (like I often do), what I did to cause the storm, what I could do to alleviate it. I wanted, so much, to hear what God had to say to me so I could fix it. And I waited…and waited…and waited…and waited…

Nothing.

And so I asked Him again, please, show me what I’m doing wrong, God. I can’t hear you way up here. It’s cold. And lonely. Are you there?

And I waited…and waited…and waited…and waited…

Nothing.

This went on for a few days; my kite tale quite tattered and torn by now. Seeming to be almost beyond repair.

I begged God a third time. A fourth time. An umpteenth time.

Nothing.

Until, one day, I got real still. You might now what kind of stillness I’m talking about, if you’ve read the story of Elijah trying to hear God (1 Kings 19). It’s the kind of still that only comes after you’ve been exhausted by all that’s going on around you. And I finally heard God…barely…but I heard Him…

What if you’re okay with me, Sherri? What if I have nothing bad to say to you? Could you hear that?

Wait, what?

He spoke to my heart so softly, like a whisper, but as clear as day nonetheless:

Why do you assume I always have bad things to say to you? What if I’m pleased with you? What if you are okay? That is why you can’t hear me oftentimes. You’re always straining to hear the bad. The corrective. You’re constantly looking to hear what you assume is the truth; not always what is the truth.   

Gulp.

And then peace.

No wonder I sometimes have a hard time experiencing God. I assume, because I’m so hard on my own self, and because He’s holy and I am obviously way not, that His main objective is about correcting me rather than loving me; disciplining me rather than caring for me; improving me rather than celebrating me. As if the former can be separated from the latter.

What an ugly, distorted, untruthful, picture of God.

And I wonder…how many other people have a distorted view of God like I sometimes do? Assuming He mostly has bad things to say to them…afraid to spend time with Him, and get to know Him, lest He only affirm what a failure they are.

Oh, I know. Some people have the opposite problem. They can’t hear anything corrective or hard. It would pick a scab off a wound way down deep and assault the core of who they are, rather than what they do. I get it. I’ve been there too.

But I have a hunch most people are just like I was last week – ever-ready to hear the bad and ever-suspicious of the truth.

I am so sorry for us. I think we’re really missing out.

It takes a lot of bravery to search for what God is really saying to us rather than searching for what we assume He is saying; to look for truth rather than assume we already know what that truth is; to dare to believe God has great, affirming, life-giving things to say to us just because…well, He really means it.

This week I decided to choose bravery. I dared to believe God had good things to say to me – without any bad. It was hard. But, man, what a difference it made! It’s amazing what can happen when you let a few life-affirming words enter who you are…and how much those words then affect what you do.

Your kite flies higher – and further – and freer than you ever thought possible.

I need to dare to believe God has many more good things to say to me, much more often.

I dare you to believe that, too.

 

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That Moment You Realize You’re Not Dead

It was a long five days. Last Wednesday, I packed my little bags and hit an early morning flight to North Carolina for the annual She Speaks Conference; an amazing gathering of over eight hundred hopeful writers and speakers.

Boy, was I in for some surprises.

For starters, the day before I left, I broke a blood vessel below my eye that was such a lovely shade of neon-red, I just knew it was sure to impress every publisher I’d meet; (into my suitcase went my extra-thick makeup concealer). I ripped my favorite black sweater on the plane before we even took off, got a migraine, and got sick on the second plane – praying the whole time I wouldn’t throw up on the poor, unsuspecting gentleman sitting next to me. I slept – and I use that term loosely – an average of 3-4 hours a night, experienced a six-hour power-outage one night that took out half the city, my lights, and my air conditioner, broke out all over my face (thank goodness for that extra-thick concealer), woke up in the middle of my three-hours sleep one night to a woman screaming, set my alarm clock wrong one day, left my much-needed coffee behind one morning, and waited patiently for my flight home which was delayed so that the flight attendant could get the things she had accidentally left back at her hotel. Oh. And got another migraine.

Yeah. Funny. Although I had very little expectations of the trip before I left, I certainly did NOT expect all of that. And all of that didn’t do anything to help make this trip any better because, well, I wasn’t feeling all that great in the first place.

Because, honestly? I didn’t want to be there.

You see, although I was excited when I had first booked the trip, everything in me that week wanted to cancel. And I mean, everything. But because I had already made a commitment, that wasn’t an option. And so, along with my luggage, I took a few other pieces of baggage with me that were weighing heavily on my soul:

• The thought that there are already a ton of amazing writers and speakers out there. I do not need to be added to the mix.
• The thought that I’m wasting my time. And my husbands hard-earned money.
• The thought that I’m not as good as them. After all, although I’m a hard-core Jesus fan, I don’t listen to Christian music much of the time. I like Aerosmith. And Heart.

Yup. All of that went on that plane ride with me. But as burdensome as those were, there was another, even heavier, piece of baggage that went along for the ride:

It’s too late now. I’m just too old.

That weight almost broke me. I carried it around with me the whole conference; into every breakout session, up and down the halls, breakfast, lunch, the bathroom…and all the way back home.

It almost did me in.

Except God.

I swear. If you ever need a pick-me-up or a better perspective, He’s the one to go to. And so, I spent some extra time with Him yesterday morning. And as I did, I felt a bit better. And later on in the day, after eating Chick-fil-A, something profound dawned on me:

I’m not dead yet.

That’s right. I’m still alive. I may be old. (Okay, older.) I may not have the energy my young-adult kids have, the curiosity my grandsons have, or the strength I used to have, but I am still here.

And as long as I’m still here, it is not over.

That means that as long as I have breath – and ability – and will – I can keep on keeping on. No. I will keep on going. Because, well,

why the heck not?

As God would so graciously have it, he solidified this in a conversation I had with my sister later that afternoon. See, she’s another one of those brave souls – feeling old as she enters nursing school in her mid-forties. And as we shared our struggles, she mentioned that a 76-year-old woman graduated from nursing school last year. Seventy-six! Dang, I just want to give that chick a high-five and tell her, You go, girl!

But instead, I say that to myself. And my sister. And you.

You go.

Because if you’re reading this, I’m pretty sure you’re still alive. And if you’re still alive, it aint’ over. And if it ain’t over, you’ve got something to do. Something to contribute. Something to share.

So go do it. And if you want, share with me what you’re going to do. Me? I’ll post this blog. And look forward to writing the next one. :)

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