I want to preface this by saying that the below words are just me being brutally honest about where I am and what I’m struggling with right now. I make no claims to being correct in my logic or beliefs. This is just a little heart pouring that will hopefully be received without judgment.
I am a follower of Christ. I am a believer in the one God. And I believe that He wants me to reach out to Him through prayer. But guys, praying has not been my forte lately.
I’ve felt this resistance. I think, “Prayer, oh yeah, I should be doing that…” But then when I do pray, I feel my chest constrict and my eyes start to water and I’m like, “Oh no oh no, I can’t cry right now.” And I switch my thoughts and focus to something else.
I’m realizing this: prayer pulls the hardest, ugliest things out of my insides. It’s pretty hard for me to pray and not be honest. Because, I mean, He’s God...I can’t lie to Him. And the stuff that’s inside me right now isn’t always rainbows and butterflies. A lot of it is pleading for something wrong to be made right. It’s questions and frustrations and overwhelm and anger and hurt. Stuff that makes me emotional and causes me to lose focus for the day-to-day things that need to get done. In case you’re not aware, I am incredibly emotional person. And once my emotions get triggered, I can be completely derailed. I don’t have a lot of time for derailment right now.
Praying immediately brings to my mind all the people in my life who need His help, comfort, peace, or healing. This includes my oldest son with his severe anxiety and depression and fears. My younger son with his rare food allergy disease. My husband and myself with ongoing health struggles. My friend who lost her husband, my other friend with cancer, my friends who have lost babies or other loved ones, all the people around me who have felt judged or hurt or are struggling hard with something. It’s overwhelming and it guts me.
And then I ponder: I’m thinking about all these things anyway, even though it’s often below the surface. I’m crying about all these things anyway, although I’m always fighting the tears. So if I’m going to think and cry anyway, wouldn’t it be better to be dumping it on God’s lap instead of trying to manage it all on my own? Would that give me some relief? Would it help me release control? Or would I just devolve into a total meltdown as I expect?
Don’t get me wrong. I do pray. If I’ve told you I prayed for you, I did. I pray for friends when I think of them, when their struggle is brought to mind. I pray before meals and at bedtime with my kids. I pray at church when someone else leads it. But the prayers are as quick as I can make them without melting down into tears. And I’m not doing daily, focused, individual prayer. Because to do so would be to subject myself to daily crying and focusing on the hard things. And I just don’t feel like I can right now.