shotgun

This past October, my life became so stressful that I had a mini-meltdown while driving around and talking to God.

My family felt like it shattered apart when my dad checked into the hospital. Exciting work opportunities slipped away from me. I found myself at odds with someone I truly care about. The prospect of stepping down from leading youth had made me physically sick that morning. And, most of all, I felt ignored by my friends.

I let my overthinking coupled with my imagination script my friends’ *real reactions* when my name appeared on their phones. “Oh jeez, it’s her again.” “She’s too much for me.” “I wish she’d leave me alone.” My own absurdity and unworthiness added to the weight of all I carried until I snapped and, yup, pulled over in rural Gilbert and freaked out for a good forty minutes.

With smeared makeup all over my face and no clue which road I idled on, I felt truly brokenhearted for the first time in almost two years, and absolutely shocked.

Why was I feeling so empty when just a month prior my cup looked like it overflowed? Why was my heart breaking yet again?

God is meant to dwell in our hearts. Whenever we edge Him out, we leave God-shaped holes that need filling. Careers, education, family, and friendships all promise to fill that hole and bring purpose. But eventually, everything loses its shine, and hearts despair because they long for so much more. Do that long enough, and you become a blubbering mess on the side of the road.

Luckily, someone rode shotgun with me the whole time and heard my brokenness. He spewed no condemnation for forgetting He was there. He didn’t shake his head when I chose not to lean on him through my father’s illness, or look disgusted when I ran back to him yet again. He, the voice that spoke light into existence, spoke louder than all else in my imagination: “It’s me again. You’re not too much for me. I’ll never leave you alone.”

I don’t recommend waiting until you lose it in the middle of nowhere. Crying might be therapeutic but you’ll spend an hour trying to get back home when your GPS stops working. No, I recommend going to Him now.

He’s right there, riding shotgun, feeling your pain deeper than you know, before you ever felt it.

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