Editor’s Note: Aletheia Schmidt is the author of today’s story. Learn more about her in the author bio at the end of this post. We hope you enjoy.
I left the bonfire in a tizzy. Like flying embers and crackling wood collected from the surrounding forest, my insides too were out of control and hot.
I was on fire, and I certainly couldn’t settle down.
I went for a run.
After a few minutes of trying to find my rhythm, my feet finally fell into synch, one followed by the other–heel, toe–on the soft, damp, white sand.
Then came the questions, accusations, anger.
Really, God? Really! WHEN will this end? This is freaking ridiculous! I can’t believe I am here again, that we’re talking about this AGAIN!
It doesn’t matter how hard I try, or what my intentions are. It doesn’t matter where I go or what I do–It seems like no matter what, there’s always a guy, there’s always going to be a guy, and there’s always going to be heartache attached to that guy. I can’t do this anymore.
As the images of past relationships and past crushes, past me-liking-him-and-him-not-liking-me-back weaved in and out of my mind, I had to stop running. It was too much and I was overcome by disbelief, then grief, then a whole heck of a lot of shame.
I guess I am guy-crazy. I guess this will always be my ‘lot.’ And I guess there must be something horribly, terribly wrong with me. What’s wrong with me?!
I stared out at the dark water for a long while and then squatted in the sand. Although it was almost eleven at night, the sun was still shining and I noticed several stones near my feet. I reached for one. It was a little larger than a dime and smoother than marble. I turned it over in my hand and exhaled loudly. I felt defeated.
Then it came. Ever so softly.
“There’s nothing wrong with you, Aletheia. Do you hear me?
There’s nothing wrong with you. The story’s not over.”
I wasn’t sure what to think. It continued:
“What if this, this you and men business, this guys-are-always-coming up, what if that is purposeful? What if instead of being something wrong with you, because you can’t make sense of it or because you can’t control it, or because it isn’t producing what you thought it would produce, what if all of this has to do with me being after something so much bigger?
What if this very area, this area of such difficulty, such pain, such shame, what if it is this specifically that I have been using to speak to you? What if this is the area in which I have been most after your heart–not because there’s something wrong, but because I know how very important it is to you?
What if my intention is to bless you and not curse you?
I liked the way the conversation began (although I had trouble believing it). But the latter part? The part about God using my relationships with guys to speak to me? To bless me?
That was a bit off. Crazy, even.
But something about this felt right. Something about these words deeply resonated with what I had been desiring.
I thought some more: Yes, of course there were some poor decisions that I had made, but was it possible, (could it be possible) that God had allowed or even brought certain guys and relationships into my life in order for me to hear Him more clearly?
Was it possible, (could it be possible) that He knew me and my desires well enough to use this specific area as a springboard into deeper relationship with Him?
I had never thought about that before.
I looked down at the rock again and tucked it into the mesh pocket of my bubblegum pink raincoat. Really God? Really?
A few days later, as I made the day and a half journey from Juneau to Baltimore, I pulled out my journal and wrote until I arrived. I highlighted every significant guy in my life I prayed that God would show Himself clearly to me–where He was, what He was up to, and what God had been speaking over me and to my heart, in all of those years.
It was amazing how the Lord was woven into every strand, how God had been there in it all.
Like a 3D film, He popped out everywhere, calling me, directing me, loving me. The pain and confusion had distracted me from the truth of this relentless pursuit all along.
As I look back over my life
–it’s hard not to think that the most significant theme that has called me to be different has been these relationships.
And most specifically, the way that the Lord has used men in my life to speak to me–about God’s self, about them, about me. Seeing God in all these things has changed me.
Now, as I interact with guys–those I am just friends with, attracted to, or dating, I’m on the lookout for how the Lord might want to remind me that God’s in all, after all, and loving all.
I’m especially reminded of that on rainy days, when I don a pink coat and my fingers find their way into the pockets. The stone speaks loudly: Remember the God of Alaska. And remember how this God speaks. This same God is here, now too.
What has God taught your through disappointment?