The art of unbelief

I want to not be scared, nor anxious, as I lean into You. But some days the haze is so powerfully persuasive, and I am so easily persuaded.

You’ve never forsaken me. Never abandoned me. Never lied to me. These are the words I whisper to myself when panic claws its way into my mind. But those words, despite their truth, don’t seem to hold as much power as the emotion. And I am all too quickly overwhelmed.

Sometimes I wonder how often You will condescend to my lack of belief, how many more times You will lean in when I am poised to run. It seems unfair to keep expecting You to do so, but my weak and frail self needs You to do so desperately.

In the quiet and confusion, there is a part of me that wants to give up. Its voice grows louder in darker times, telling me that selfishness and mistrust are what I was born to do. And though I have yet resisted the alluring voice, my strength begins to wane.

I feel empty and wordless before You. Afraid to ask. Uncertain of what I would request even if I had words. I find myself staring blankly at the ground with no direction, no hope.

And then You arrive. Except it’s less of a coming and more like blinders have fallen off my eyes. I find that, all along, I have been unaware of the warm glow of light that surrounds me. It encircles us both, though the darkness around remains.

You look at me with gentleness in Your eyes. I have not the strength to meet Your gaze, but I can sense this. My head swims with accusation toward myself, speaking condemnation over my unbelief and failure to trust. In the midst of my vitriol, I sense a hand beneath my chin, lifting my eyes to meet Yours. In them, I see grief and sadness, though I don’t understand why.

The quiet envelops the moments. And then, You utter two words: “Child, enough.”

The accuser within me stops in its tracks. The fears begin to evaporate. All at once, the darkness seems less menacing–more like the final hours before the sun rises than a never-ending inky black. And slowly, surely, my heart calms its too-quick beating.

Words still fail me, but I manage to nod my head in submission to Your words. You take my arm and wrap it in Yours. And then, You begin to move forward. With certainty.

“Can You see?” I ask, immediately biting my unbelieving tongue.

But You simply turn to meet my gaze once more, with a smile like the one a father has when his child asks a question with an all-too-obvious answer.

“I can see,” You say, Your words bringing relief to my spirit.

“Yes, I can see,” You continue with the trace of a smile gracing Your face. “But more importantly, daughter, I already know the way. I knew this day would come, just as I know yesterday and tomorrow. It is already finished, though it has also just begun.”

I blink back tears at my mistrust, again staring at the ground in shame. But You merely draw me closer, steadying me for the long walk ahead. And as I take the first tremulous steps forward, leaning on Your steady arm, You lean in and say one more thing in a still, quiet voice.

“My child, I always know the way, and you will never walk it alone.”

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