On fear, pep talks, and searching for God in the popcorn ceiling

searching for god On multiple occasions I have asked Jesus to come to me.

On my darkest nights and when He has been painfully silent, I have asked God to come to me in the flesh, look me dead in the eye and acknowledge the mess made of my life.

All I am looking for is a pep talk of sorts, the ones I suppose they do during Halftime when the game has been perticularly brutal. A few encouraging words, a hopeful promise or two, and at the very least a hug or something before God smacks my butt and tells me to get back in the game. But its never happened. It likely never will. Interestingly, I still pray for it… it’s happened to people in the Bible and on Oprah so there can’t be any harm in asking.

This week I asked that God come to me while sprawled out on the living room floor. Picture: a person laying on the grass gazing up at the sky but minus the grass, sky and anything else that makes that scene look even remotely normal – Instead, like a maniac, I was lying on my back, smack dab in the middle of the living room and searching for God somewhere in the popcorn ceiling. I then proceeded to ask God a few questions:

– WHO AM I to walk the road set before me? …I am barely recognizable to the person I once was. This battle has scarred me and this heartache has changed me. God, I can’t do this…

– WHAT IF this doesn’t work? God, I am so afraid…

– WHAT IF it gets WORSE?!? No seriously God, It’s not allowed to get worse!

Then I spun off on a tangent about all the reasons God should probably just be done with me because case in point: I was crying out to God like a blubbering mess from the living room floor!

In the Bible, Moses did the same thing. Not by searching for God in the popcorn ceiling or anything too crazy, just protesting God via a burning bush. And like me, Moses had the same kind of questions for God: WHO AM I to walk the road set before me?  WHAT IF this doesn’t work? WHAT IF this gets WORSE? 

And like me, Moses proceeded to tell God all the reasons he was incapable of enduring the circumstances set before him. (Exodus 3:11-124:1-12)

But God simply responded, “…I will be with you.” I suppose we all have questions for God amidst our fear and uncertainty, And just like Moses,

Every question we ask in fear, is proceeded with a promise from a loving God:

“…I will be with you.”

(Exodus 3:11)

In over your head?… I will be with you.

Afraid you might let go?… I will be with you.

Uncertain of what lies ahead? ….I will be with you.

Terrified? Tired? Heartbroken? Anything in between? … I will be with you.

Jesus has never come to me in a dream, a burning bush, or while looking up at the popcorn ceiling, but He did speak to me though this passage in the Bible (and I imagine if He ever did come to me this is exactly what He would say…)

But now, listen to the Lord who created you… The one who formed you says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine.  When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord your God. …You are precious to me. You are honored, and I love you.  Do not be afraid, for I am with you.  (Isaiah 43:1-5)

God is with us.

He promised it to Moses, and He is promising it to you and I as well.

Because God is with us, we can trade our fear for security, knowing we are not alone even when we most feel like it. Even when our lives feel like a mess of catastrophic proportions – our circumstances are divine, our pain has purpose and we are here on this Earth for a reason!

Fear may have taken hold of our hearts, ‘…but now we must listen to the Lord who created us’ and believe He will do what He promised and be by our side every – terrifying – step of the way.

We don’t need God to come to us in our dreams, a burning bush or while laying on our back staring up at the popcorn ceiling, though I will likely never stop asking. The only pep talk we need is right here:

“You are precious to me.

You are honored, and I love you.

Do not be afraid, for I am with you.”

– God

…Consider our butts smacked.

Now let’s get back in the game.


2 thoughts on “On fear, pep talks, and searching for God in the popcorn ceiling”

  1. I’ve been in James 1 a lot this week. I’ve been taking it slowly, like 3 verses at a time slowly, but I’ve gained some amazing truths along the way. From verses 2-4 I learn that the trials produce endurance. God gives us the endurance to get through all trials, and when we remain in Him, and don’t bail out because we somehow think it’s more than we can endure, the final product of our endurance is knowledge that lacks nothing! From verses 5-8 I learn that I need to faithfully seek God for wisdom, trusting solely in Him as the source and in His ability to teach. I lack faith when I keep my options open, and effectually lack all faith by not completely trusting in God for the answer. From verses 9-11 I see how we all direct our lives toward Christ, and when we fail to do so is when it all starts to fall apart. From verses 12-6 I see that temptation in the trial comes solely from Satan. Satan is like the fisherman trying to bait and lure us away from the direction we know is safe and right with very enticing options, but if we get caught by the fisherman, it surely leads to death.

    I love your honesty. I have endured so much, but just not the same thing as you. I can rejoice fully shout that God reigns through it all! When I look back at all I endured, I can hardly believe that I am the person God raises up in His service today. But you know what, I can believe it, because the only one who can get me through all that mess and have me standing tall shouting yes is the God most high! Be blessed as you continue to write your truth!


  2. So thankful for the promises of God for you, Krista, and for myself! He loved and loves us so much that He provided promises in advance of when we would need them! That is the coolest thing to me! He is with both of us as we go through our different storms right now. His promise to be with each of us in the intimate details of our personal storms on this day in March is very comforting! Thank you for being used by God to encourage this weary sister who just needed to remember His promise of PRESENCE today!


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