It’s been a long time since I have felt so out of place. The last time I felt such a lack of belonging was my freshman year of college when I was surrounded by girls who were constantly “going out” to some unknown place and always talking about “rushing” somewhere.
It’s amazing how quickly a place that felt like home can become completely alien to you. You easily sink into a routine, and then one day you look up and realize things feel a bit off, as if maybe you don’t really belong here. What is even more amazing is the ease with which the Enemy shields our eyes from God’s presence in our lives during these times. We get comfortable believing that our lives are devoted to God in all ways, and then all of a sudden we can’t find Him. And we are convinced that He has left this place.
All of the logic and reasoning in the world can’t eliminate of the feeling of abandonment. You can say, “Obviously God hasn’t left me,” all you want, but without love and faith in your heart, the words ring empty. But how do you find the love and faith that brings substance to the statement?
I really have no idea. For me it usually goes on as a spiraling unsolved proof of:
Is He here?
Obviously He is here.
Are you sure?
He’s always here.
You can’t prove that.
…I thought He was here.
Is He here?
The other obvious point in the proof is the false belief that, “If God were really acting in my life, I wouldn’t feel so uncomfortable with where I’m at in life.” Yet, for me at least, it’s a falsehood that often lies at the center of my frustration with God’s [apparent] absence.
There are probably 60,000 blog posts on the Internet about how God doesn’t promise us perfect comforts in this life. I will not add to that well-established message. What I will add is what I often perceive as God’s absence is actually just a waiting period before change or transition. In situations where I have minimal to no control, I attribute my discomfort of the unknown to God not answering prayers. Naming this doesn’t lessen the discomfort, but it does help realign my thoughts and priorities.
All this to say, the unstable “in-between” period of being in your 20s can really suck sometimes. It would be much easier to handle if we could grab a crystal ball and see exactly how our lives would turn out. It would also be much easier to trust God if we knew exactly what was coming. But that wouldn’t really be trust and, alas, here we are, temporarily stuck in a time of many questions and no answers. What gives me hope is that God’s track record is pretty good, so I have no reason to doubt His goodness. You know, once I’ve accepted that I can’t actually know it all.