A conversation

Lord, am I being punished for what I did? Is this punishment for not following the rules, not waiting, for doing things my way? Are you mad at me?

Not mad, my child. Sad that you were hurt, that G let you down, that J wasn’t there for you. Sad that they didn’t see what I can see, that you can’t see what I see of the woman you are the woman you are becoming. Sad that we’ve grown apart, that you’ve lost your trust in me and in men.

How can I get that back, Lord? I feel like everything I’ve ever known is now being called into question.

Questioning is good. Questioning is okay. What questions do you have?

What’s right and what’s wrong? I used to think that if I put one toe out of line I’d be brought sharply back to heel, but sometimes you let me run with it until I run off the course on my own, and sometimes I am blessed nonetheless.

That’s what it means to be a grown-up: seeing the natural consequences of your actions rather than some unnatural punishment. I am not vengeful or vindictive; I just want to show you the truth. And then there’s grace, which trumps natural consequences the way I transcend the world that you can see and touch.

I feel as though I should be punished for my choices, though, and that’s why I’ve been punishing myself.

I’m not the IRS, Jennifer. I’m not going to suddenly decide one day to retroactively punish you because you didn’t suffer enough at the time. You have suffered, and I want to take you out of that, not make it worse for you.

God, please show me what to hope for. I know disappointment won’t kill me, but it’s very tiring and it keeps me from doing your work, being the best me I can be.

Focus on me. I will not let you down. I will not misunderstand you, or take you for granted, or leave you alone.


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