It usually starts with a twinge in my stomach.
Whatever I have been thinking about or doing
races immediately to the background, off into hiding.
“No time for you, Menial Tasks!
Go away, Logic!
Off with you, Rational Thinking!
We’ve no place for you now!”
Panic Mode yells as through a megaphone—
the kind that shows that you are really the one in charge,
despite any arguments to the contrary.
From there, it’s a slow escalation
accompanied by various signs of physical distress—
sometimes a racing heart,
tension in the jaw and shoulders,
Where is God in this whirlwind of anxiety?
When Rational Thinking eventually comes back from hiding,
it tells me that of course,
God was there all along,
But I couldn’t feel Him,
I say. It felt like He was just…. absent.
Like maybe every experience I ever had with Him
was made up—
a coping mechanism for my brain to deal with the stress,
an attempt to provide myself with a sense of purpose.
Of course, now that Rational Thinking has returned,
I know these doubts are not uncommon.
I don’t feel threatened by them any more.
I know my God is as real as the back of my hand.
I’ve had trouble seeing You lately, I pray.
Please, let me see You,
see something You are doing.
Menial Tasks are back.
I look in the mirror,
applying my makeup mechanically,
not thinking at all about my own reflection.
Sometimes, you have to make the decision to trust Me,
You whisper into my thoughts.
Sometimes it’s not about feelings.
Sometimes, it’s a decision.
I pause, considering Your words.
Will you choose to trust Me?
I do not take your questions lightly.
…but please help me.
I don’t know.
Maybe part of me still wonders if I’m just making it all up.
I’m sitting in my favorite spot to just Be with You,
Timer set for five minutes so I don’t try to
wiggle my way out of the quiet too soon.
pops into my mind.
When the timer goes off, I reach for my phone to pull up the Bible app.
I have three favorite Bible translations that I alternate between,
but You knew
which version I would reach for today.
Today is Amplified.
Still wondering if I made up the thought myself
Or if it came from You, I begin reading Your words.
My mind moves over them like a character in a cartoon—
you know, when the mouse runs fast past some amazing anomaly
and then races back to see if he really saw what he thinks he did.
My eyes move quickly at first
and then dart back.
Did that say…?
”Whoever has decided to trust.”
“Decided to trust.”
Maybe I’m not a victim of my trust issues.
Maybe distrust doesn’t have to define my spiritual life.
Maybe the feelings don’t have to dictate my actions.
When the whirlwind begins
and You seem so far away,