The Moment God Shows Up
by Z Zoccolante
This week I am reminded with intensity how vital it is to process our emotions.
As we get older life throws more at us. The thing I once thought was the worst thing of my life (my eating disorder), paled in the pain of my divorce. And maybe there will be something more in the future. Something else to bear.
In the Bible, it says that God will never give us more than we can handle, and if he does he will provide us a way so that we stand up under it.
I used to scoff at that verse (on the inside, or course), because when you’re going through it, you kinda want to punch anyone in the face who would have the audacity to suggest that God would never give you more than you can bear. Because sometimes life has felt like it was too much. Sometimes we all feel like we want to give up.
And my friend, who returned from visiting her elderly mother tells me that her mom wakes up every day excited that she awoke and has another day to live on earth.
Put that in contrast to hearing myself say this week, “Why did I come to earth. What’s the point?” And then my friend who tells me tearful after some difficult news, “I feel like giving up friend.”
And yet earth is this beautiful playground where God gave us all these emotions to feel, even though sometimes we wish that we didn’t.
And the truth is, sometimes life sucks.
This week I had a person I really care about take a metaphorical pin and poke my metaphorical sorrow balloon.
It took me 3 days where I sobbed, not about the person with the pin, but first about the trauma that their pin had triggered. And later about the the new potential loss.
I allowed myself to really be in it fully and then when the balloon was empty then I had space again for clarity, to see the pin instead of all my past baggage that it pricked.
I was deeply, deeply sad and I had to make a decision to choose me. The truth is that I didn’t want to. I wanted to be a chameleon, to pretend that maybe it was ok being in a connection that had so much of what I wanted but only a single flaw. The problem was the flaw, or difference, was in a core value of mine. If I don’t choose me then what do I become?
And so I chose me and cried after, tears down my face. And my friends hugged me, one on either side, arms around me as they leaned their heads into mine.
And I realize that the fear is what we all must go through, the fear of losing something that we care about.
And maybe this is why we don’t choose us. Because it’s easier not to, because it’s easier not to sit and sob and empty out all our old balloons when someone holds a pin.
But the hard work, the junk feelings don’t last forever. When we sit with them and clear them, they move and shift. They create space for something different. They create space for joy.
And today at the grassy knoll with my dog I listen to music in the dark as I throw the ball for her, and I click on a Christian song that says, “In the spirit of heaviness put on the garment of praise. This is how I fight my battles… It may look like I’m surrounded, but I’m surrounded by you.”
And like that beautiful magic, I feel God again rushing through my skin like a wind and the joy fills me like a feather whisper. The same joy I felt when my heart was being shattered when my marriage was no more, and yet God gave me joy.
Superhuman, unexplainable. Because of God.
Because the truth is that why are we seeing ourselves as anything less than perfect, than loved, than so connected to the source at every moment?
Sometimes we feel it more than others. But I know the feeling of God’s joy and I know that he’s got my back. And I’m reminded once more of His peace that passes all understanding.
If you’ve felt it, you know.
Our experiences are a gift. Like the girl in that poem that was once given a box of darkness and it took her a while to realize that this too was a gift.