Nearly two years ago, I wrote a post based off a quote of Bonhoeffer’s that expressed the turmoil of wondering who he really was—one person says one thing, I feel another. He closed his poem with the simple line—“whoever I am, thou knowest, O God, I am thine.”
If I can be gut-wrenchingly honest, I am in this place. The questions swirl though my thoughts, tug on my very soul, and stir the water behind my eyes. I am in a season of transition and change. My heart fully believes that the same God who called me to this previous journey has, again, whispered to my soul that this is the path he is setting before me.
But, goodness, it hurts like a root canal. Incredibly painful while also being incredibly good in the end. Friends, I do not even know who I am anymore. I feel broken beyond words and aged beyond my time. The depths of my soul ache. I hardly know anything anymore, except for these things.
1. God is still God
Even in the pain, the questions, the doubt, God is still the same. He is still reigning and nothing in all creation could ever take him by surprise. Even when we don’t know who we are anymore, he never has that question. Who he was thousands of years ago is who he still is today (Heb. 13:8). The wonder-working God of the Exodus still does miracles today. His arm has not gotten weak, he is not tired, he has not changed (Num. 11:23, Is. 59:1). And when God asked that rhetorical question of Moses all those years ago, the space following should still be filled with a resounding, “No! This God has not changed. He still does all things well—even in brokenness, pain, change, and loss.”
2. Love has a Name
And his name is Jesus. The entire story of the Bible is one of the great love of God to his broken, lost, sinful people. Jesus came to die for us, so we could be with him (2 Cor. 5:18). This God loves us with a love too vast, too deep, too consuming for us to understand. His love is everlasting and will be forever lasting (Jer. 31:3). Nor does it wane with the day-to-day cares of life. In the darkness, his love brings light, hope, and comfort.
3. Jesus won’t break us except to heal us
It could feel like the worst thing to ever happen to you, but Jesus wants you to trust your very breath with him. He will not blow out your flickering candle, even in the bleakest situations of your life. He will make your light shine again—with Him. He may break you, but he will heal you—even if it never looks like what you would have chosen for yourself (Hos. 6:11, Job 5:18). He will carry you in his arms (Is. 41:11) and the very pieces of brokenness will one day sing for joy (Ps. 51:8).
4. God knows who we are, even when we don’t
This is something to rest in. The Potter sees what his piece of clay is turning into, even when the clay is being squished, spun, and burned. We only feel the great pain, the incredible discomfort, and anxious uncertainty in all of it, but God sees our very end from the very beginning. He will finish what he has started in our lives (Phil. 1:6), even when we can’t see where we are going, who we are, or why we’re even here. He knows. Hands of infinite tenderness caress and carry our broken vessels. He is with us. And he knows us intimately.
There is much I do not know about this season of life. But these things I do know: God is still God, he loves us deeply, he will heal our brokenness, and we are completely known. I may not know who I even am anymore, but Jesus still does. He died to make the sadness happy, the confusion clear, the broken whole. This life may split us in two, but Jesus is never divided in his great love for us. This God can be trusted with the questions, the tears, and the change. He will not rip the rug out from under us, except to pull us into his arms.
Who we are—Jesus knows.