Monday, October 16, 2017


Note: I wrote this post during a flashback a couple weeks ago and later edited it for clarity. 

I should be going to bed right now. Today was long, and I need rest. But instead, I think I need to face something head on, to stare into its ugly eyes and describe what I see. 

Though I’m sittting here with my bags packed, I’m not going on a trip. That’s not why I shoved some of my favorites clothes, shoes, and journals into a purse. That’s not why I will stick my laptop into its case, along with my charger, after I’m done typing this. 

No. My landlord is burning a pile of wood. It’s a large pile of wood, but he is a smart man, and I should trust him. I know that there’s no wind tonight and that the fire is a relatively safe distance from the house and from my car. I know that when I wake up tomorrow, this roof will still be above me. I know this in my head. But the seven-year-old inside, the girl who had already lost everything and had to lose everything all over again, who had to twice pick and choose what little she could keep after her town became a warzone, that seven-year-old only knows that she doesn’t want to live without her Doctor Who t-shirt, her stuffed Heffalump named Woozle, her writing, her shoes, her car keys, her letters from her dead friend. 

I keep telling myself to unpack, to put everything away because I need to trust God. Maybe that would be the best course of action, an exercise in control over these flashbacks that have me forgetting where and when I am. On the other hand, what if this is a reasonable, albeit dramatic, precaution? I realize I have no compass for these situations. All I can be sure of is that it will bring me some measure of calm to know that I will at least be able to save something, should the worst happen. 

Normally, I wouldn’t be able to let you join me in my flashbacks, because I am never this aware or verbal. I don’t know why I am tonight. Maybe I’m supposed to be writing this down, so you can see whatever it is I can’t. Maybe there’s some greater reason why I’m fighting the urge to sleep in my car tonight, with all my books crammed in around me. 

I tell you that God is good, and I believe that—evvery day I work to believe that, even when it's my greatest struggle. I have trust issues, with God, with others, with myself. It’s a very lonely, scary place to call home. Too often I catch myself saying, “God, I will trust you, but only if you promise not to let bad things happen.” What sort of trust is that? That is the assumption that he is against me, not for me, that he is just waiting for me to let my guard down so he can hurt me. That is me living every day, bracing for a blow. 

I drank a Kool-Aid Burst last Friday, because I loved them when I was a kid. But they are disgusting to me now. Time takes and takes; it leaves rope burns as it slides through your fingers. You cannot change what has happened; you are not supposed to. God gives and God takes away, and we are supposed to hold everything with open hands. 

In Isaiah, the prophets tells of Hezekiah, who was meant to die but was allowed to live another fifteen years when he begged the Lord to spare him. Had he died when he was supposed to, his son, Manasseh, would never have been born and much evil would have been avoided. That is not to say, in concrete, that Hezekiah ought not to have lived those extra years. That is only to say that sometimes the horrible things God allows are meant to grow us, but sometimes they are meant to spare us. 

I have lived with this spider inside my head for so long, I can barely remember what it was like to walk unafraid, to wander out into a crowded Ivorian marketplace because I was curious, because I wanted to say hi to people. Sometimes I catch myself wondering who I was supposed to be, in those words. But God is sovereign, and who I am today is who I am supposed to be. Nothing sneaks around his will. He is not up in heaven, looking down on me in anger, saying “How dare you not trust me?” He is right here, right beside me, holding my heart and letting me know that it’s going to be okay—that even if I lose my home tonight, it will be well with my soul.


  1. *hugs * It's good to know I'm not alone with trust issues with God.

  2. I don't have much to say. But I can kind of relate to this? I personally hope that you're doing much better and are eating well. I also hope that you are succeeding in your writing. You can do this, Liz, Fighting! (korean phrase for you can do it!)

  3. I think your faith is really amazing. Sometimes we do have to keep telling ourselves what we know, that God is faithful, even when we can't feel it in the least, and I think it's incredible that you continue to do that and let all of us see it, even when it's hard.

    Keep fighting and keep growing, sister. I'm praying for you. <3