His words were quiet but somehow they cut straight through the cloud of thoughts whirling around my brain.
Why don’t you just talk to me?
And I wasn’t sure. I’d had reason after reason for months now about why I needed to figure things out myself and why I couldn’t talk to Him right then and why this and why that… but none of them were legitimate and I knew it.
The preacher’s voice faded into the background as His question sunk in— and stilled me.
“Yeah, Jesus. I don’t know. I’ve had a ton of reasons but none of them are valid. I’m here now though.”
And sure, during a sermon may not be the best time for heart to heart conversations with Jesus but after months of words coming haltingly, this moment was a treasure and I wasn’t about to let it past.
Evening lights flickered off a few hours later and I sprawled out on the rug by the fireplace to carry on talking. He wasn’t done and neither was I.
The flames danced a flaming orange out the corner of my eye and as we talked about the preceding months a familiar peace settled around me.
I’d missed this. I’d missed Him.
It wasn’t that we hadn’t shared moments together or talked about situations over the summer. But ya know how life can blindside us and knock us around sometimes? Yeah, let’s just say that happened.
In the light of flickering flames I knew it all over again, though. There is never any good reason to stay away from Jesus.
Because yeah, we all get overwhelmed sometimes. We all get our feet knocked out from underneath us and don’t know how to stand up again. And somehow it’s then we tend to take our heart and bury it underneath layer after layer of distraction and turn our faces away from Him lest He catch our eye and see through to our brokenness.
But isn’t it then that He wants to love us most? And what if we don’t let Him because we’re too afraid it will hurt but it’s only that love that can heal us?
My journal has been unusually silent for a number of months. So has this blog. And there’s a time for silence but there’s a time to write again.
I’ve waited to write until I had all the right words to say but slowly the truth has been dawning that maybe that moment isn’t ever going to come. And maybe somewhere in a little dark corner is a heart battling the same demons I have.
And so I write again— whether the words are up to the level or perfection I expect of myself or not. Because this is not for me. This is for you. And Him.
Tonight I really only have one thing to say… one thing that He’s brought to my mind over and over again this summer and that is somehow still barely getting through to my slow brain.
Never let anything separate you from Jesus.
Not pain. Not loss. Not circumstances. Not despair. Not busyness. Not friends. Not abuse. Not dreams lost. Not depression. Not illness. Not school. Not work. Not idleness. Not self-hatred. Not pride.
Because what separates us from Jesus always ruins us.
I know it’s easier to watch that youtube video, snapchat story, movie, and scroll through the explore tab of instagram. I know. I really do. But it never satisfies. I know that too. It numbs the pain and frustration but only because it distracts. It doesn’t heal.
Only Jesus does that.
And yet He’s the One we stay away from when the dark closes in because it hurts to be real.
But what if it hurts more in the long run to let distraction monopolize our life and bury our hearts under a brick wall of okayness? What if in running away from our pain we also run away from the only One who can heal it?
And maybe it’s not always pain that distances us from Him. Maybe it’s change or busyness or just life in general. The result is always the same though.
No Jesus— no real living.
Oh we can survive alright. For awhile anyway. But that’s all it is. And eventually our desire to do even that may wane.
Months have passed and I don’t have all the answers but I know one thing with all of my heart.
There is never a good reason to stay away from Jesus.
As much as this little heart of mine needs breath, it needs Him.
And so does yours.