Day 43 | Gabriele Hickman
Reading Psalm 77 felt like I was reading the same words I have been writing to God for seven years now, so I thought it may be a neat experiment to go through my prayer journal and find words that matched these cries from Asaph. Blue words are things I have written to God in the past. Please keep in mind that, like the Psalms, these are raw emotions given to God. It’s not the truth of who God really is, simply the truth of the human condition. I think it’s important that we all feel less alone in that.
1 I cry out to God; yes, I shout. Oh, that God would listen to me!
I know this isn’t true, because it doesn’t quite add up with your teachings, but emotions are vicious liars, and mine are telling me that you stopped listening a long time ago. All of this crying out to you with no reply is making me feel rather foolish.
2 When I was in deep trouble, I searched for the Lord. All night long I prayed, with hands lifted toward heaven, but my soul was not comforted.
You are love. So why don’t I feel that? I’ve cried to you on so many nights, and I still feel completely shattered. I’m trying to hearten, to refocus and not attach meaning to everything, but I don’t feel any closer to you. I don’t want to give up on you, but I’m really confused as to why you wouldn’t want me to feel your love. I’m afraid my words do not rise like incense to you. I wish so much that my words could be fragrance to you.
3 I think of God, and I moan, overwhelmed with longing for his help.
Whether I draw close to you or hide from you, it’s all the same. I hear, feel, see nothing of you in this haunting prayer. But I know you’ve been busy talking with everyone else. Leave it to me to compare even the most private of relationships, the one between a person and God. But walk with me a bit here and show me that you haven’t been ignoring this prayer for 7 years. I know nothing of you anymore.
4 You don’t let me sleep. I am too distressed even to pray!
I don’t know what to say to you anymore. Perhaps one day it will all become clear, but for now you’ve kept that clarity from me, so that my entire life is a feeling of waking up from a nap–each morning the emotion that exhausted me to sleep is felt tenfold.
5 I think of the good old days, long since ended, when my nights were filled with joyful songs. I search my soul and ponder the difference now.
What happened to us? We used to be so alive and compassionate. We used to write– man, we used to write– and we used to read and sing and laugh and cry. I miss the inside jokes and the little daydreams and the way you would breathe in every word. I don’t know how many ways I can say that I miss you.
7 Has the Lord rejected me forever? Will he never again be kind to me?
Sometimes when the pen doesn’t work I see it as a sign. Not a sign that the ink has run low or isn’t quite marrying with the paper right, but a spiritual sign that you don’t want to hear me. And here’s the thing: it’s way easier to accept that you don’t care than to have faith that you do and receive zero evidence that you do. It’s disheartening. A loneliness from you is a heartbreak I can’t bare.
8 Is his unfailing love gone forever? Have his promises permanently failed?
My heart wants to learn and grow already so you can say “well done” and hold me, but I guess the immature in spirit don’t receive that type of affection from you. We’re too busy growing, trying to build boats, wondering if anyone will ever love us, trying to please you through our confusion and bitterness.
9 Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has he slammed the door on his compassion?
Pease, Father. What have I done to create such a distance? And why do I see no signs of repair? It’s as if my seven years of waiting has not even aroused any kind of grace in you.
10 And I said, “This is my fate; the Most High has turned his hand against me.”
Maybe this is a side-effect of not finding you. Maybe this is a side-effect of seeing what’s real. Maybe this is just a side-effect of who I am.
11 But then I recall all you have done, O Lord; I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago. 12 They are constantly in my thoughts. I cannot stop thinking about your mighty works.
I’m so in awe of your blessings and mercies. And though my heart does break, I know yours breaks more.
Thank you for loving us and believing in us so much that you would provide a way for us to be with you. Thank you for writing the most beautiful love story. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of it.
I have been receiving so much heartening this past weekend, and I thank you so much for that. What a brilliant finally.