Every morning that summer, I stumbled from
sleep, dragged my tired bones off the
bed springs to dig my calloused knees
into chapel wood. Between waves of utter
exhaustion I sputtered out prayers of frustration,
begging the Creator, the calmer of storms, to halt
the thunder. If I woke up believing He existed
at all, I told God I was mad at Him
but at breakfast everyone spoke of His goodness.
They sounded as hollow as wind. These friends saying
words I’d tumbled in my mouth so many
times, the color had been washed out.
They said His power is made perfect in your weakness
so I waded through the quietest sacrifice, made an offering
of my faltering flesh. I hushed every fear.
They said God has a plan for you so often
the path ahead flooded, my muddied
plans getting smeared across clean church walls.
It was too simple to drown in the watered-down
devotions of my past, to buoy my faith
on song and praise, to pretend I was a saint.
More healing, I found, to let the struggle
see the sun. I had to hang the tired and the unbelief
out to dry. So I spoke what I hadn’t said before:
God, where are You? The search hurts. Do You
even exist? I know, sometimes,
even a believer needs to be convinced.
And in the questions, warmth.
And in the pauses between the rain, light.
And in reaching out from the current,
I am breaking the surface.
I am coming up for air.
Finally, finally, my lungs can fill again.