When Jesus Doesn’t Feel Like Enough
“Jesus simply can’t sit next to me in the doctor’s office.” Sister, I’ve heard you say this to me and I know where you are coming from. Sometimes, Jesus just doesn’t feel like enough.
Today, I sat on that navy-blue sofa awaiting the nurse. Most times I talk to Him while I’m waiting. I make small commentaries about my day, I ask him for more faith, share with him my concerns, but today I just looked at the laminated diagrams of the human body.
They mean well, sister, when they say Jesus is enough but the reality is:
Sometimes you go to the doctor’s alone.
Sometimes you board the plane alone.
Sometimes you’re at home alone and the jar of jam won’t open no matter how hard you try.
I’ve been sitting here at my desk wondering how to explain to you dear sister that Jesus is enough even though he can’t help you open the dead-locked jar of jam. It doesn’t feel like Jesus is enough when you’re driving alone to that doctor’s office, when you receive that 3am phone call or when you’re by yourself in that airport after the man you loved broke up with you before your flight. There have been times when the words “don’t worry, Jesus is enough” didn’t comfort me or make the loneliness better. Sometimes those words made me want to shake the person saying them to me because it didn’t resonate.
Recently, a dear friend passed away, and as the autumn leaves shook outside the window and the sunshine pierced through the clouds, you could hear the loneliness whistling through the trees.
And that’s not my only experience with loneliness:
It’s been 5 years since I stopped eating refined sugars, processed foods and deep-fried pickles (or at least do my best to try). The moment the doctor told me my diet would affect my disease, my health, well-being, my future and well, if I could ever have children. You and I Jesus, we went on drives together to the grocery store to pick up sugar-free candy and organic applesauce. I cried to you as I went summers without ice cream, days without coffee and months researching new recipes. I declined desserts, knowing, it was for my good. I declined when I saw little toes, little fingers and held little bodies. I learned, to force myself, to politely decline, even if it felt embarrassing, and lonely.
That’s how long it was waiting to be taken out on a proper date. When I was 15 I cried to you in my loneliness that I wanted an honorable man. I told you again at 16 I wanted a prince. Someone who would be as passionate for you as I was. I told you then that I didn’t want to settle for an illusion because all I wanted was true love and to chase you with my prince. I cried to you on the bathroom floor at 18 when all my friends seemed to have found their happily ever after, posing in their Facebook profile pictures and changing MSN statuses. Have you forgotten me? I asked you in the loneliness. I was 23 when you saw me on that grey-white tiled bathroom floor again, curled up into a ball when I fell for the illusion and a man I swore I never would.
It’s been 18 months that I’ve lived away from my family and friends. You’ve found me on all sorts of floors and couches since then, as the tears fall and loneliness penetrates my heart. You were there with me, as I learned to adjust to married life, to change countries, to learn to cook meals. You were there on the couch with me when the loneliness was too much from missing so many friends milestones and important events– engagement parties, weddings, funerals and birthdays. You’re there, while I wait, tear by tear, month by month, for the desires of my heart to come to pass, to return to the place I call home.
All this time
All this time, you’ve been there. Looking at me on the bathroom floor while I cried. You were screaming “I LOVE YOU! Don’t you know it!” even if I couldn’t fathom your love. You’re not intimidated or put off by my loneliness or by how many times I cry to you. You pick me up, rock me and hold me in your arms. You continue to bless me and shout from the rooftops “how Iong to bless you!” You’re not mad when I decline to feel my loneliness and choose to ignore it. Yet, you invite me into it, beckon me to realize you’re there, in the thick of it.
Truth be told, I am the one that doesn’t want it. The loneliness. Isn’t that how it is with all of us? Pushing it away, locking it up and ignoring it. You, Jesus, tell us again and again not to fear loneliness, to step into it, to see you in it. You bid us to see that you are doing something in us through it.
I’m slowly learning it’s not about escaping the loneliness. I’m learning that you are familiar with it. I think of your loneliness in the Garden of Gethsemane, how abandoned you must have felt. You teach us, that through it, you will help us enter deeper into the Father’s heart. No, Jesus, you don’t want us stuck in it, but you show us that we can’t outrun it. Dear sister, the reality is, in this life, even if we had all the people loving on us and things in this world in our possession, we will feel lonely, because this earth is not our home. Yes, praise God he gives us seasons of consolation, but let us draw near to Him in our loneliness, because through it, he will draw us closer to himself.