Recently a blogging friend wrote about hollow responses to the “how are you” question that we love to ask, but rarely slow to hear the response. I can think of numerous times that I have said “I’m fine” when everything within me is quaking. Not too long ago I found myself in a very broken place. I recall praying as I was driving down the road and shouting at God in full-on ugly cry, “Fight for me! You promised me that you’d fight for me. So fight for me! Please!” I can still feel the emotions as I remember the breaks in my voice and the desperation in my plea.
Exodus 14:14 is hanging on my wall in my home and framed on my desk at work. It’s a cry of my heart and a promise to my spirit from His ancient and Holy Book. I love the promises He has breathed onto the pages, but I also love the raw, honest prayers of lament in the book of Psalms. They resonate with me so much. I’m not afraid to share my anger with God, even when it is at Him. I somehow learned long ago that He’s the best and most safe place to bring my anger, disbelief, disappointment, brokenness – laments. I am currently reading an Advance Reading Copy of Esther Fleece’s book, No More Faking Fine. It’s a raw and honest book where Esther shares some of the darkest moments of her life and how the prayers of lament assisted in her true healing and deepening her relationship with God. I’ve only made it through the first half and already highly recommend you check this book out! (click here) Especially if you are someone guilty of putting on an “I’m fine” face in front of God and your closest beloved. It’s okay to not be fine.
Sometimes holding on to hope doesn’t really look like holding on at all. Sometimes it looks like you’re face down on the cold tiles of your closet/bathroom as your tears spill beneath you. You play worship music as you try your hardest to battle this broken space with worship but literally no sound can leave your lips. You find yourself soundlessly mouthing the words with tears streaming down your face – and that’s okay. God still hears the worship you have offered. He hears the deep cry of your spirit as His Holy Spirit petitions on your behalf (Romans 8:26.) He is still near in that moment when your arms are outstretched and your face is to the ground. When you are here, it looks something like surrender…or perhaps an expression and admission that you are a mess, and in desperate need of your Savior. (We never stop needing Him.)
No matter how non-graceful it looks, your offering of worship is still received by Him. In
that moment you’re not alone – you’ve never been alone, His arms are wrapped around you (Psalm 139:7-12; Psalm 91:4; Joshua 1:9.) He draws near to you in the brokenness, the whole time He comforts you (Psalm 34:18.) The one who knows what is to come, is the one that’s with you in the dark (Psalm 139:7-16.) He’s the One that promised and delivers. Our joy will come in the morning (Psalm 30:4-5.) But as the night drags on, allow me to remind you: it’s okay to not be fine. He’s the strength you need anyway. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
See part 2, Saying I’m Fine When You’re Anything But Fine for my take on when you should respond “I’m fine” – even when you aren’t… Click here.