Have you ever watched one of those horrible hunting scenes where a deer is standing in a field of brown grass, someone shoots it, it goes down, and then it gets up and keeps running? It gets shot again and falls, then runs some more, stumbling. Finally, a shot fires and it goes down for good but stays there, writhing on the ground, waiting for the death sentence.
That’s what happened to my faith in college. Hit after hit, wound after wound, until I was staggering around, wild-eyed and panting. Just wanting it to be over.
I stopped believing Jesus was real. If my religion was a home, this was the hurricane. I was left with total destruction, unable to recognize my own self amidst all the doubt and fear. My only hope was to sift through the shattered fragments and salvage the few pieces that still remained whole. You know the feeling?
One piece that I found to still be whole was the knowledge that I was not totally alone. Something was beyond the ceiling, something that had imagined trees and water, and maybe that something was even listening to me when I laid on my back and spoke. So that’s what I did. It was during one of those ceiling talks that I married God.
I told God, “I don’t know who you are or even if you care about me enough to be hearing me right now. But I’m not going to give up on you. I can’t survive without you, and you and I both know that. So no matter how hard this feels, for better or for worse, I promise never to walk away completely.” And God and I started rebuilding. Hour by hour, day after day, sometimes losing more progress than we gained.
Many years later, sitting on my balcony, I looked up from the book I was reading and realized, right there in the middle of a Tuesday, I felt like me again. I had swept away the last of the dust, and I had crossed the threshold. I loved God again. I trusted Jesus. I could handle the Bible. I had the old pieces of my faith back as well as a bunch of shiny new ones, like a love for liturgy and a belief that anything can be healed.
And God has never broken the vow. Always faithful. Always good. My heart is completely spoken for.
This is “You Have Me” by Gungor. It’s a reminder of the day I married God. If you need the reminder too, of the completeness of love and the wonder of grace, listen to the song, take the lyric photo, and put it somewhere you won’t miss it. Also, email me. It’s good to talk about it.
You Have Me background photo by my dear friend Brian Wolfe(y), who blows my mind with each new photo.