To you living deep inside overwhelmed land.
You have made so many hard decisions in the past couple of years. Just about every area of your life has been rearranged. So many of these decisions have been made in the overwhelming midst of fear because you knew you had to—despite the fear.
Each decision you have had to make has given you a sense of control over your life. Because it was YOU making the decision. Because you couldn’t depend on anyone else. Because you didn’t have to depend on anyone else, which is one of the reasons why your life is gladly rearranged.
Yet here we are. Despite these many decisions, you still don’t have any control over the outcome. Life still hurts. Love still hurts. Your house still breaks. Your son still has problems. You still disappoint people, especially those in authority. You are not protected from the tirades of that person who wants to keep you small.
(Notice you are not alone here.)
Your first response when you are overwhelmed again is to find some sort of control again. You turn to yourself to think of the next hard decision you have to make. Because you have to make the decision. You think and overthink about your next plan. You think and overthink how you can counterattack the tirade. You think and overthink how you can live your life full of joy.
You have had moments of joy. You have noticed them. You have appreciated this new part of your life because it had been a long time since you felt joy. So now you want to plan your joy.
(Something about that last sentence shouldn’t look right to you.)
You can do all of this planning—all of these attempts at control—and the outcome still is not guaranteed. Something still happens that hurts like hell. That triggers every fear that you know. And the fears you have yet to put words to.
So you think and overthink and plan some more. You must do something. Because only you can do something. This is the lie you believe you are comfortable with.
Then you seek confirmation that you are able to do something. Sometimes you seek it from social media. Sometimes you seek it from those select few who you trust. You hope that hearing this confirmation (or counting the likes) will give you some guarantee that your life will stop being so overwhelming. Only we don’t have any power to guarantee you a safe outcome either. (I wish your gift of people did have that power.)
So here you are trying so hard to do the right things, stay two steps ahead of every possible outcome so you can stop being overwhelmed by life. And life still wallops you.
Because the truth is you cannot control your outcome. You are doing everything to try to control life and you still can’t prevent what overwhelms you.
There is one who can—God—and he is not. You are so angry at God but you would rather be angry at people or at yourself than be angry at God.
So you do this next. When you grow most exhausted at the failure of trying to control your outcome, instead of turning that anger to God, you turn it on to yourself. You create the scenario in your head that you are not good enough for anyone. That you will never be good enough for anyone. Of course, this is based on a lie too. It is easier for you to be angry with yourself than to be angry at God.
There was a time you trusted God to lead you to a way out but God was silent. Or aloof. Or maybe God just doesn’t care that you are suffering so much. This is where your trust in God’s goodness broke.
In response you decided you had to take control over your life because no one else would. Nor God.
This is the better alternative to you than to be cussing, screaming, and mad at God. You would have to care about God to have that many emotions. And you don’t. God has so disappointed you.
You say to me, I was taught to not be angry at God. I was taught to trust and have faith.
To trust and just have faith has made you a liar to God. Or a bargainer with your promise of trust so God will deliver on the promises he is supposed to do. There is no honesty in that.
You haven’t been honest with God in a while. How could you? God has broken your heart.
So tell God that. Try those honest words. But they are going to cause you to feel. You are going to feel that disappointment. And anger…so much anger. So many scary and uncontrollable emotions.
And there it is. Uncontrollable emotions. Your world already feels out of control enough. Why can’t God be someone you can count on? Why can’t God be reliable?
I wish I could answer those questions for you.
To be angry at God would mean you would have to trust God again. And you would rather not. You think you are doing just fine. Your life is better than a couple of years ago. But your gift of people see you growing more and more exhausted and bitter. That bitterness scares us.
Your freedom, peace, joy, and healing (and probably some other good things) will come when you are honest with God. That means you put words to your anger and your long list of disappointments and let God have it.
I have done this with in my life. Thrown full-blown honest and angry conversations when I’ve stopped making my deals and stopped my supposed-to beliefs. These have been raw moments and I have always received my answers. I now walk with a limp though, metaphorically referring to Jacob story in Genesis 32. Which has become my favorite Bible story.
Psalms repeats often how “the Lord is our strength.” Such a trite saying yet it holds deep truth when studied and not used as a platitude. David learned this from all of the emotions that he shared with God. Which makes for some uncomfortable psalms. He felt those emotions and ended up with that truth again and again and again.
And trust me, I’m mad at God too on behalf of you. But I also am not in the position to give you answers that will bring you strength. This is for you to find.
May you find the Psalms to be your dear friend. For me, it is Psalm 18. It is my gift to you. I also believe there are more personal words in those uncomfortable psalms for you to find. Start here. Feel these uncomfortable emotions by reading the Psalms. Use those words to start your honest conversation with God.
If you dare to make this one big brave decision, you will find this bigger and lower God.
Spoken from experience.