The summer before going into fifth grade I started reading the Christy Miller series and boy did it rock my middle school world. It’s a fricken awesome series all about discovering one’s faith, love lives, and problematic families – all while going through high school with the typical YA fun we all know and love. There’s a term the characters use whenever something absolutely crazy and unexplainable occurs, bet you already know what it is.
Tonight I had a total run-in the with the Lord – an unexplainable blessing – a God Thing.
Recently, I’ve been feeling overwhelmed and exhausted and all around pretty sad and worn out. I’d lost a lot of joy I usually had for life. It took a month of constant crying and panic attacks before I realized the effectiveness of my medicine had changed.
I usually get a little sad at night (I think it’s the darkness and the fear of everything feeling worse). But tonight I hit a huge h*ckin wall. I walked around target feeling purposeless, worthless, unloved, unwanted, and overall like a burden. But I knew it wasn’t true; I know what having a healthy brain feels like now (shout-out to when my medicine works), so I looked around the store for things that would help make me feel better. Two new toothbrushes, a pack of gum, and a watercolor set later, I left the store. I walked to the bus stop and proceeded to sit on the curb, with a child’s painting set being the only thing giving me some sort of purpose. I sent my roommate a text basically describing the heaviness of my chest, pulled up a beautiful video of my Dad singing Hallelujah, and cried on the curb in the freezing cold.
As the second chorus approached (and my Dad lowered his lyric sheet ever so slightly – but keeping it in sight just in case the words change on him!) a car slowed down beside me.
“Hey do you want a ride?”
She had that kind of smile that felt so genuine that it almost scared me. Like who is this happy at 9 p.m on a Monday during midterm season? I almost said no – because I live pretty far, but I was really cold and I was a little embarrassed crying in public like that. So I hopped in, hoping for a quick ride back to HoJo where I could go up to my room, listen to Hozier, and continue to cry over some watercolors. But something really freaking incredible happened.
My lovely driver, Sarah, asked me some questions about classes and whatnot – and somehow she brought up how she would be studying in Italy this summer. If you don’t know I LOVE Italy. It is a magical place where the spirit of the Lord can be felt everywhere. There isn’t a sight I didn’t fall in love with ((or a church I didn’t cry in)). So I gush to Sarah about all the beautiful churches and the paintings I cried over. At this point we’ve reached my dorm.
I turn to her and thank her, explaining how I’d had a bit of a rough night. And this girl, this absolute angel, takes both my hands and begins to pray for me. I know a lot of people that would probably think that’s super creepy and weird. But for me it was a total God Thing. This wonderful soul prayed for everything my heart needed whether I knew it or not. I could hear the passion in her voice – it’s that raw passion where you know someone is really speaking from their soul. By the time she was done speaking we were both crying – God created this incredible bond between our two hearts in that moment. This stranger hugged me (twice), cried for me, prayed for me, felt my brokenness, and reminded me that I was never alone.
I’ve heard stories like this before and usually think they’re total bs. Like no way you felt God moving in you, no way this random stranger made you cry, how could a ten minute car ride feel that powerful? How could a ten minute prayer from someone who knows nothing about you remind you that you have so much worth and a purpose greater than you?
Earlier this morning, I was thinking about how much easier life would be if I didn’t believe in a God – no one to hold me accountable for my actions, no one else to tell me my purpose. But tonight, he reminded me that there is nothing I could do to make him love me less or love me more. His love is steadfast and so present.
Sitting on the curb, my fingers numb from the wind, my tears irritating my cheeks, I wanted to cease to exist – wanted to just disappear into the world, and God saved me again.
“Not yet, Elizabeth. You have so much to do. You have so much to be. So many people to love. Your time isn’t up – not yet. Hold strong, keep your head above the water. I’ll be with you always.”
It’s a God Thing y’all.