I had been trying to be good about it. That’s kinda my gig, be the good girl. Don’t complain. Just get through it. Endure. Show faith. Believe. I was making every effort to not give in to the soul-crush and anger, to be patient, to wait for the good.
I was spent.
It was my second time on hemodialysis. This time, I was supporting myself, working a full-time job that included over an hour commute each way. At this point during this go-around, I had been going to dialysis for about a year. Three hours on the machine, three times a week. After a full day at work.
I didn’t always tolerate dialysis well. Sometimes I didn’t clot and would have to sit in that chair forever after the needles had been pulled. Too many times I got headaches that rivaled migraines. One time the tubes carrying my blood exploded off the “kidney”, spraying my blood all over the place—which should have been completely expected because that’s just how I roll. Every once in a while, I made it through ok, but most days, I simply felt wrung out.
I was tired. I was sick. My freedom was gone. I was chained to a chair. I wanted to be free.
Please let me be free.
I handled the situation as well as I could for as long as I could, but then anger showed up to my emerging pity party. Lots of anger. I couldn’t push it away one more time. This is too much. I can’t take this anymore.
Pointing my finger toward heaven, I growled through clenched teeth, “It’s your fault I’m like this. You made me this way.”
The temper tantrum was picking up steam and I was ready to go toe-to-toe without a care in the world about whether I got smited/smote/smitten. He was just going to have to deal with me being angry. At Him. Oh yes, it’s totally all Your fault. You’re God. Deal. With. It.
“I have been waiting for you to say that.”
Suddenly I felt soaked in peace.
I remind myself of this moment as I wade through difficult times much like the extended pity party I recently threw in my honor. Everything was going fine, I felt good, had a little energy, and then it was like I ran into an invisible brick wall. I wanted to collapse from fatigue. It just got a little tough to pick myself up and keep going a few times.
In response, I had a hissy fit or three or ten. Who’s keeping track at this point? I’m just tired of running into the same problems, thinking we should be done with whatever the issue is.
Like debt. We should have our debt paid off by now, but every time we reach a certain point, things like the washing machine, dishwasher and oven stop working. One right after the other. Semi-expensive car fixes need to be made. New tires need to bought. One right after the other. Work gets slow. Money gets tighter. Medical problems happen. And the fatigue, I can’t take the fatigue.
It’s very, very frustrating.
Then I got really ticked when I read that verse about how God disciplines those He loves. Oh man, this triggered a spectacular melt down in me. When I say spectacular, I mean it was unprecedented.
I’m so tired all the time. I’m so tired of all this crap, all the time. You are too harsh with me. Why are You always so hard on me? What have I ever done that You would treat me this way? You know how I hate not being heard, why then would You—especially You—act like You don’t hear me? I want to be free. Please let me be free.
I went on and on and on. I heard myself cursing like a salty sailor while pouring out my selfish little hurt heart before Him in anger and frustration. I don’t necessarily recommend this, but good grief, the junk has to come out somehow.
That dialysis moment was the very beginning baby steps of shedding the I should pray this way way and learning to pray whatever was actually, truly, really in my mind and heart. To talk to Him like He’s real. Since that time, many, many thoughts and feelings have tumbled out of these lips and a good many have been far less than upstanding. Yet, somehow, I’m still standing. That’s just how He seems to work with me. He knows I’m not confrontational, so I think He forces it out of me. Others may need to go a different direction.
I believe to the core of my being that our great God doesn’t want players, He wants real. He wants love. He wants relationship. He wants us. He wants a real relationship with us. A real, genuine, non-fake, non-formulaic, warts and all, go for broke connection. With you. With me.
When you feel the heat turning up and it’s been hot a long time and you’re sick of it and not sure what to do, is it possible God values and desires honesty more than faithy words? Is it possible that He’d prefer to hear me use bad language than talk in flowery prose that is faker than fake? That it doesn’t really matter to Him in that the heat’s-too-hot moment how awful, rude, crude, disgusting or whacked my words may be before Him, as long as the truth is finally being uncorked?
When truth is faced, then freedom can begin its work.
What you desire is truth from the inside out. Psalm 51:6 (MSG)