some people find God on a mountain peak.
others in the power of a waterfall.
i find God in heartbreak and sorrow.
it’s one of the reasons i was so disoriented when i first got married. so much of my closeness to God during my single days was during times of disappointment, frustration and loneliness. i didn’t know how to relate to God during good times.
now that i’ve been married for over 20 years and have three kids, i do savor life a little more. mainly because i want good things for Jennifer and my boys.
but i do enjoy a “good” sad song or movie every now and then. i like to feel the weight of that sadness for a while. i’m weird.
but God meets me in those desperate places.
it’s where He met me one night when i was a junior in college.
i was with some friends at an event on campus. it was a pseudo-talent show—back in the day before all the reality shows—where, instead of having one person vocally berating a contestant, we just all nodded our heads and criticized them in whispers or after-show conversations.
on this particular occasion, i had a plan. there was a girl i liked and we had made a tentative arrangement to hang out after the show. i was really excited. to her this was hanging out, to me, it was a date. we were all going to go out to eat in chattanooga, which was only 20 minutes away.
i went up to her after the show, and asked her if she was ready to go.
“where?” she said.
“uh, i thought we were going out to eat?”
“i already made plans. i didn’t know if that was for sure.”
“oh. okay. no big deal.”
it was a big deal. to me.
i turned and walked away, trying to hold it together.
you see, it wasn’t just about this one girl.
it was about every girl.
it was about my desire to have a girlfriend, and how it never seemed to work out.
i was about feeling that there was something wrong with me.
i turned to my two best friends who were part of our group, and said “why don’t you just ride with me?” they agreed, and i chauffeured them to dinner.
on the way, i popped in a cassette tape. (for those of you who don’t know what that is, please consult wikipedia.)
it was a mix tape of all my CCM favorites, and the song that came up was bebe and cece winans’ “love said not so.”
“I was left all alone – My heart was breaking
Thought was my own – Soul was aching
Tears covered me – Weeping through the whole night
And I need some relief – Joy comes in the morning
I’ve been searching for – Many years now
The key to life’s door – I need to know how
Brought to my knees – Savior can you help me
And was led to believe – A failure I was to be
Well His love showed me, love said not so
Even with the odds against me
Love showed me, love said not so.”
i started crying. an ugly cry. a soul cry. a vomiting every emotion cry. and the Holy Spirit comforted me. for those of you who aren’t use to talk like that, it was as if God Himself held me and told me it was going to be okay. i didn’t just know about God, i felt His presence. it filled my little Mazda GLC.
i’m not sure how i drove on the expressway and to the restaurant that night. when i arrived, i found out that my friends in the car were doing some praying of their own—that we would stay on the road.
but in that song, God reminded me of His love for me, and even allowed me the privilege to feel it.
He showed me that His love said “not so” to every lie i believed. every hurt that was shouting in my head.
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image courtesy of flickr.com/creativecommons/by photosteve101