Do you ever struggle to understand the way God made you?
I’ve felt that way most of my life, actually, having been a pretty introspective character for as long as I can remember. So serious. Always thinking about the deeper things. Wanting to know the heart of people.
Truthfully, it felt pretty lonely, being this intense from my youngest years. Why didn’t the things that preoccupied me seem to matter as much to others? How did my peers live so carefree? I envied their ability to just live the age they were, even as I didn’t understand it.
But as I got into my mid-20s, continuing to stick with the honesty of my unfolding journey, I came to understand that the way God made me means something. It matters.
This seriousness? This concern for the deeper things? This care for the heart of people? It’s what makes me the writer and spiritual director I am now.
I think not understanding the purpose behind the way we’re made is the hardest part. It’s what often makes us feel like the odd duck — at least it does me.
I’ve been experiencing this struggle of not understanding the purpose in the way God made me lately in the way I respond to brokenness in the world. Truthfully, it makes my heart break.
Want to know what I mean?
I took myself on a solo date to see The Butler a couple weeks ago and bawled my eyes out in the theaters — just like I did on three different occasions of watching The Help in the theaters a couple years ago. In 2009, when the Iranian government cracked down on its citizens who were staging peaceful protests? I curled up in a ball in my bed, wracked with inconsolable sobs for a whole afternoon. The same thing happens every time I read about Guantanamo Bay.
All the brokenness looms so large, and it presses down on me. Being unable to fix anything, all I can do is feel it. And it hurts.
This aspect of the way I exist in the world feels strange. I feel like such the odd duck, taking things in so acutely, feeling them so deeply, hedging toward despair with them sometimes.
I told Kirk last night that sometimes the only thing that brings me solace in this place is the thought of heaven, where all will be restored and made new, where there will be no more tears, where love and goodness will reign supreme, where all will be made right and we will live in persistent joy.
I so long for that day.
What am I to do with the visceral way I respond to these kind of things? I pray, of course. And I write sometimes. (See more on this below.)
But is there something more? I don’t know. I’m still living inside this question. This is one of those places where I’m still struggling to understand the way God made me.
Are there ways you’re living inside questions about who you are? Can you relate to struggling with the way God made you?