After my dad died, I told almost everyone, with a smile and a shrug, I was fine because “God is enough for me.” Later I would sit alone in my car and cry because there was an ache in my heart. I would fight my emotions so hard to speak of the Lord with honor by repeating what I had heard in the scriptures. “My heart and my flesh may fail but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalms 73:26) I was trying to throw up the glitter I had consumed for breakfast.
You see, I had watched this video that talked about the prosperity gospel. It said that when riches and rewards are offered, those who said, “sure, I’ll take Jesus if my pigs won’t die and my wife won’t have miscarriages,” were wallowing in idolatry. That’s not the gospel; that’s not loving Jesus, it’s loving the gifts over the giver. This short video said “I’ll tell you what makes Jesus look beautiful, it’s when you smash your car and your little girl goes flying through the windshield and lands dead on the street and (through the deepest possible pain), you say, God is enough. He is Good.” In my mind, the “through the deepest possible pain” part wouldn’t ever register, nor would the paragraph in the video after this sentence. So I told everyone around me I was okay because God gives and he takes away (Job 1:21) and I should still be able to say, “bless the Lord.”
Oh how faulty my theology was at the time. I was so trapped in this inability to grieve because I was trying to be a witness for Jesus in my own power. I was fighting myself in attempts to show the world that I could hold it together when all around me gives way. I didn’t think I could honor the Lord if I was angry at him for taking away my dad. The sparkle in my witness had left me. I was living in dishonesty. Glitter is not pretty when its covered in vomit.
I didn’t think I was “good enough” to be acceptable to God if I didn’t welcome with open arms what he had for me, or didn’t have for me. I didn’t want anyone to turn away from God because I was angry at him, so I pretended I wasn’t. I ignored the problem in my own attempts to fix another and ended up causing more of them for myself.
When we fight ourselves, we make it impossible to commune with God. When we aren’t honest we build walls that keep us from real relationship. Intimacy is being fully loved and fully known but if we don’t allow anyone to fully know, they cannot fully love. God fully knows, and He fully loves but when we live in dishonesty, we build walls that keep us from seeing His full love. We keep ourselves at a place that doesn’t allow us to trust. If we don’t trust someone, we cannot accept anything from them as pure. When we fight ourselves, we rob God of revealing Himself to us. These walls keep us from the peace of being fully loved and fully known.
When I lost my dad, I kept everyone from meeting me where I needed them most. I didn’t allow anyone to see how badly I needed to be loved.
This was not Peace like War.