Not long after I moved into my new house I bought a bottle of wine. I mean, why not? I was old enough and it couldn’t hurt anything to try it, right? First impression: it was gross. Now it’s been ten months and it still sits in the back right corner of my fridge, one sip removed. Wasted.
Sometimes I feel a little like that bottle of wine. A tiny bit empty, but mostly full. Alone. And if I’m really honest I would say that sometimes I feel like this to God. Bought with a price, left alone to grow stale. I bet a bunch of you can relate, am I right?
It’s been almost a year since I moved across state lines.
Almost a year since I left a community of believers I held more tightly to than I realized.
Almost a year since I have invested in others and let others invest in me.
It’s been almost a year up here on the mountain I live on and it’s beginning to feel like it’s been much, much longer. But why? Why do I feel alone? Why do I feel like I’m unable to find suitable community? Why do I feel like I just can’t do enough to find those people who I can invest in and who can invest in me?
Being completely honest, I have asked God these questions much too often during this season. God, why did you bring me here to abandon me? Why did you drop me off on the corner with a torn paper map? Why do I still not have any community?
It’s been months of asking these questions. Months of reading, looking for answers. Months of blog posts and failed attempts to connect with those around me. Months of me flinging my arms out of the water I feel like I’m treading, reaching, desperately grasping for a hand to hold. And after months of praying and reading and trying, I got an answer.
Do you want to know what God said?
He said, “You trust me, but you don’t trust me to be enough for you in the silence. I need to be everything to you.”
Let’s back up here for a second.
When God said that to me I was driving my car home. I was thirty minutes into my journey when it hit me like a wave. Literally. The wave washed over me and down my face, leaving little salty tracks behind. I remember being so overwhelmed with the love He has for me; I was overtaken by the love He has for us. He loves us enough to send his son to die for us. He loves us enough to give us more than we need, to provide for every single need.
The needs I had yesterday, the needs I had today, and the ones I don’t even know I will have in the future.
He loves me enough to give me friends that would drive hours to see me, and that I would do the same for. He loves me enough to calm my deepest fears and my most paralyzing anxieties. He is there at night when I can’t sleep. He is there with me when I can’t seem to connect with the new people around me. He is there when the dam breaks and all of this pours out of my soul like a tsunami.
He is there.
For whatever reason, I don’t have much physical community here. I don’t have people I can invite over and I don’t have any adventure partners closer than two hours away, but I have him. That day in my car I won’t soon forget. He altered my perspective and gave me new breath to keep trying, to keep searching and reaching out for those people. He showed me how I let the doubts and fears creep in and set up camp in my heart.
He is enough.
That day in my car I also heard him say this: “I brought you here to grow with me, this time alone isn’t wasted and neither are you”.
I couldn’t grow with him when I was so tightly clinging to the community around me. Relying on them meant I wasn’t fully relying on Him, and thats what I most desperately needed. God brought me down here, and he has a place for me here. In the midst of the aloneness meant for Him, I allowed the doubt that didn’t come from him to take up residence in my heart.
But not anymore.
You see, that day in my car when my perspective was altered, so was my desire for Him. I desire community, but I desire him more. I desire closeness with others, but I desire him more. He never brought me down here to leave me, he brought me down here to pull me in closer, to renew my strength. He wanted me to see that he is the hand I can grab when I feel like I’m treading water. And I’m so thankful for that. All the hours, days and months down here aren’t wasted. Not at all. They are being used to change my perspective and desires and to pull me in closer to the one who is the creator of our eternal community.