Have you ever read the Psalms or Ecclesiastes? What about Job? Have you paid attention to the words Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane? I don’t know that we’ll ever see anything more honest or raw than these words. That is unless we’re brave enough to be as honest and raw with our own prayers. For some reason, there’s a common misbelief among believers that we can’t be honest with God or each other. We can’t share our real feelings. Our hard feelings. Our questions and our doubts. Ask any Christian leader or figure if they’ve ever hidden their feelings from God and others. They will admit they have. I know because every true Christian leader I’ve ever followed has shared the same story. At times in our lives, we’re afraid to be honest. We’re afraid to share our feelings, questions, and doubts. Why is that? Why do we have this impulsive need to answer, “I’m blessed and highly favored” when asked how we’re doing? When the truth is we don’t feel blessed and we certainly don’t feel favored? We’re human. We don’t like being vulnerable and transparent. It leaves us feeling exposed and open to attack, criticism, abandonment, you name it… but what if we stopped fearing the vulnerable and transparent? What if instead of being afraid, we were hopeful? What if we were honest and real and believed that we would be loved and accepted and held in that? I think… no. I know we’d all be better off for it. Think about it. David is a man after God’s own heart. Solomon is the wisest man. Job is known for His extreme faith even in extreme loss. Jesus is Jesus. Perfect and without sin. God Himself sent to earth to save us.
You might be thinking, “Come on Brittany, those people are thousands of years dead. And are we even sure their stories are true? What if it’s all a story and not history?” That’s fair. I’ll allow your doubt and skepticism here and counter you with a modern and personal example. Let me warn you first. If you don’t actually want an answer to your prayers, then don’t pray. Because like it or not, God will answer. When He does it’s up to you to respond or not.
About a month or two ago, I felt God asking me to do something I wouldn’t have chosen to do myself. So, I was honest with Him. “I don’t want to do this. If you want me to, I’m gonna need you to have someone directly ask me about it. I’ll take that as Your sign.” A week or more later, someone directly asked me about it. So, now I’m doing the thing.
A few weeks ago, I wrote out several pages worth of frustration into my journal. I was brutal and honest and raw. I did not hold back. I felt like I was doing all the talking and all the work, while God sat back and watched. He was providing, don’t get me wrong, and I told Him I was grateful for it. That was and is true. Still, I felt like God kept asking me to do the big things that required a lot out of me, but was doing the bare minimum on His end. I journaled about this for a couple of days. I know God is a good God. I know He loves me and provides for me. I also know He doesn’t have to do what I want Him to do. I know that His way is always better than my way. That said, I have trust issues. And sometimes I find it hard to believe God wants to bless me when I’ve spent the past several years not knowing if or when or how my daily needs would be met. I know He loves me. I know He always provides. I know that over and over again the Bible calls us to worry about today’s provision today and worry about tomorrow tomorrow. It would be nice to have some cushion though. It’d be nice to know if something happens tomorrow, then I’ll be covered. I understand I have it a lot better than most of the world does. I know I am blessed. And I know that if He wanted to, then God could provide more for me, but He hasn’t. And sometimes I feel like He doesn’t want to. Sometimes I feel like He cares, but not as much on this side of Heaven as He does in Heaven. Does that make any sense at all?
I journaled all these feelings out and got super specific. I was honest and raw and real. Over the next several days, God answered my prayers. I didn’t know it then, but it started on Sunday when the pastor asked our worship leader to sing a song she wrote called “You’re Calling Me.” At first, I liked it because I like our worship leader and have yet to dislike anything she sings, especially if she wrote it. But then she (Shelby, who doubles as my best friend) and I were talking to some friends at church about “plan B’s.” I said I didn’t have one and I was fine with that. She reminded me I have a CDL, so bus driving is technically my Plan B. I responded with an emphatic, “NO!” to that. It’s never been my plan to go back to bus driving after leaving in summer 2020. God likes to laugh in the face of our plans, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
Most mornings, I go to YouTube and watch/listen to the saved recording of our worship service from the week. Every day I was listening to Shelby sing “You’re Calling Me.” On Friday, it was stuck in my head and I was struck by a line that says, “You can do whatever you want to do. Whatever it is I’ll do whatever you ask me to.” That got some good journaling out of me because I was singing it, but I wasn’t sure if I meant it.
A little while later, a song by FM Static called, “Take Me As I Am” played over my shuffled liked songs on Spotify. I was struck by the lines, “I was too scared to start now I’m too scared to let go.” Could that be for me? Am I too scared to start now but will one day never want to let go?
Later that same day, a third song struck me. “New Wine” by Hillsong popped into my head. So, I listened to it and was caught by the line, “When I trust You I don’t need to understand.” ’nuff said.
Y’all, when I say God had me journaling my heart out for days after this, I mean it! It’s like I couldn’t stop. I was still caught on the feelings I’d had before, but I was also struck by a new faith and a new trust. I’m not made over yet, but I’m being made over and I have further proof of it.
Remember how I said I wasn’t planning to bus drive ever again? And how God laughs at our plans? And how if you don’t actually want the answer, then don’t pray, because He will answer? Yeah… well… I’ve been driving for UberEats and DoorDash for a few years now. In the summer, I took it on as my only source of income. I was loving it. Then, for the fifteenth time that day and at least the fiftieth time that week, I drove past a school bus on Tuesday. It was a little over a week after my emphatic “NO!” to bus driving being my “plan B.” Surprise, Surprise. God used this bus to say, “That’s the answer to your prayers.”
“Are you sure?” I asked. He didn’t answer. I knew. “Aww, man… Okay…” So, I finished the delivery I was on and went straight to the bus station.
I grumbled the whole way there. “If You want me to do this, You’re gonna have to make it abundantly clear,” I prayed.
And guess what. HE DID. I went in and no less than five people asked if I was coming back. The station manager offered me the station computer to apply immediately. The hiring manager told them to interview me on the spot. I was hired the next day, went through the hiring process the next few days, and started the very next workday. It was the fastest process I’ve ever experienced. Even the station manager was surprised it happened so quickly. God made it abundantly clear He wanted me to work there again. He made it abundantly clear He is in the business of answering prayer and providing in big and insane ways.
So, why did I share all this? Why have I written yet another insanely long blog post that maybe no one will read? Because I care about you! Because I want you to know you’re not alone. I want you to know that no matter how long we’ve been in church (my whole life) and saved (since I was six) we all wonder and question and doubt. We all ask God for another way. We all ask if He’s even listening. Seriously, read the Psalms. David was a man after God’s own heart and asked quite a few times, “Why are you ignoring me? Why aren’t you listening?” God doesn’t ignore us. And He always listens. He always provides and He always answers. We have to listen and we have to respond even when we don’t want to. Even today God wants us to be honest with Him. He wants us to run to Him and cling to Him and face our fears and worries head-on. He’s willing to hold our feelings, answer questions, and even provide signs of what He wants from us. Three songs and a school bus told me He was listening and providing. What is it He’s using to speak to you? Are you listening? Do you need a sign? God is willing to prove Himself, especially when you’re honest. Thomas doubted Jesus was Jesus, so He let him touch His wounds. A father in the Gospels admitted, “I believe. Help me with my unbelief” and Jesus healed the man’s son as a sign the father’s faith wasn’t in the wrong place. Be open. Be honest. Be real. Be raw. God is big. Bigger than you’ll ever know. He can handle your feelings. He can handle your honesty. He is listening and answering every day!
Thanks for reading! Let me know if you need anything! Like seriously. I’m here for you!
Find me on Twitter and Instagram – @ogbrittanyalex
Find my podcasts “The Mask; Her Aid” and “Obsessive Girl Podcast.”
You can also buy my book “The Mask; Her Aid” by Brittany Alexandria on Amazon for Kindle.