Thanks God, That’ll Be All.

It’s okay for God to make suggestions.

Emma, you might want to pick up the Bible more.  Maybe read outside the Psalms. 

It’s okay for Him to challenge me on a couple of areas.

Talk to me. What’s with the shoe stockpile?  

However. There’s a limit – a point where God needs to cut me some slack and stop interfering.

Why does He keep prodding the same old wounds? The soft flesh that splits and bleeds at the touch?

Why do I have to go beyond my comfort zones?

Why can’t God just let me be?

Look, It’s not that I’m not grateful. There have been times when I needed Him.  In the past.

You’re dying of anorexia. 

Crisis points, when He took charge and told me what to do.

I love you, but I will not leave you this way.

But here’s the thing God: those times are gone. Seriously: No more crisis.

Not to be rude, but I’m sure you’ve got plenty of other jobs to be getting on with. Show’s over. Thanksverymuchcouldn’thave doneitwithout youthere’sthedoorhaveabiscuitfortheroadandlistenI’llcallyouifIgetstuck. Click.


And then, God safely on the fringes,  I get to claim back my house and my life.

So what does it look like: the world that I manage?  Well, let’s take a quick tour.

The bathroom.

With the broken bowels and the screwed-up stomach and the embarrassment and the sickness and the guilt. Don’t face it and don’t think about it. Lock the door and keep God out. You can handle this alone: Don’t do too much, don’t leave the house, don’t travel or stay with strangers.

Don’t and don’t and don’t and you’ll be fine.

The bedroom.

Fertility and womanhood and intimacy and thefactyoumightnotbeabletohaveababyandisityourownfault.  The longing and the anger and the sadness and the guilt that chokes you as you swallow.  The hard shell that stops you connecting: and stops you being hurt.  This is private God; you’re never coming in. You’ll never see me naked.

The living room.

Sorry, but it’s appointment only.  Take off your shoes and don’t stay too long.  Don’t disrupt my routine. Get off the carpet.  No fingers or sticky marks. Don’t share and don’t ask too much.

The kitchen.

Some big battles fought in here, let me tell you. It’s one place I let him in – at least, for a time. He moved me  from eating nothing and coming close to death, to just being seriously underweight. Then, I dragged my heels all the way from underweight to slim. But enough is enough. Job done Lord – and there’s the door.

To my bedroom. To my bathroom.  To my kitchen.  To my basement. The places even I don’t know.

This far Lord – and then no further. No more questions.

But He won’t be silenced.

How about facing up to the scariness of not having children? How about being curvy instead of slim?

How about becoming the woman you were made to be – not the one you think you are? 

How about sharing your home and your life with other people?

How would you feel about giving me total control?

 Not just your body. Not just your mind.  Your heart.

All the areas you want to handle by yourself. All the rooms in the house.


Will you trust me now?  Will you let me be your Lord?





12 thoughts on “Thanks God, That’ll Be All.

  1. Thanks for the total vulnerability shown here – I’m going to be now too so sorry if it is too much! ;D You are so not the only one who would, at times, like God to back off and leave us alone! Life can be so hard and we can feel like we can take no more. Like today for me – God really broke into our meeting yesterday while I was worship leading. It was wonderful to watch people being touched by Him but I spent the whole time giving out at a time I felt exhausted. Still, I was thrilled by it all – and on a bit of a high. Until the end of the meeting when I ended up having a run in with my best friend over a pastoral issue. As the pastor’s wife things can get really difficult at times and this was definitely one of those times. Topped off by an afternoon of ‘fighting’ to get my daughter’s homework done. I know in my spirit things aren’t right and I now have to deal with the fact that I feel a failure as a mum, wish I could run and hide from leadership as it is too hard and too lonely. So I have to meet with my friend, accept my responsibility and try and explain the rest with grace. And try and parent with compassion and uncompromising love through the times that my daughter is less than pleasant to be around. Man life is hard – and when God gets on our case it is even harder. BUT we know He works all things together for our good – we just have to cling to that when we’d rather not!

  2. Oh Claire, what a beast of a day: I’m so sorry.Wish I could sit by you with a cup of tea and wrap you up.

    As I type, I’m sitting on the sofa with one of our cats. She’s purring contentedly and playing with a pen. A few weeks’ ago, she had a serious abscess. We tried to get close enough to treat her wound, but she howled and clawed like we were her worst enemies. She was convinced that she knew best, hiding under the stairs, getting weaker by the day.

    She didn’t know we loved her and why we were doing it. She wanted to be left alone. But if we’d done what she wanted, she’d have died. Instead, she recovered and now she’s stronger and happier than ever.

    I’m praying that I’ll not scratch at the Lord – and that we’ll know afresh His mercy and love.


  3. Another excellent post, Emma. Knowing that we are seen by God in every area, whether we want to or not, can definitely be a terrifying thought, even when we want to be seen – though only on our own terms. It reminds me of something that the theologian Mike Higton wrote in his book on Rowan Williams:

    What difference would it have made if I believed myself subject to a gaze which saw all my surface accidents and arrangements, all my inner habits and inheritances, all my anxieties and arrogances, all my history – and yet a gaze which nonetheless loved that whole tangled bundle which makes me the self I am, with an utterly free, utterly selfless love? What difference would it have made if I let myself believe that I was held in a loving gaze that saw all the twists and distortions of my messy self, all the harm that it can do and has done, but also saw all that it could become, all that it could give to others, and all that it could receive?
    And what difference would it have made if I had seen each face around me in that departure lounge – cleaners, businessmen, emigrants and immigrants, waitresses, tourists, even academics on university business – as individually held in that same overwhelming, loving gaze.

    That passage has really stuck with me because it expresses the kind of complete knowledge of us that God has; not the florescent glare of total dispassionate knowledge, but the intimate caress of a lover’s gaze, that looks and sees everything with complete love. Part of me doesn’t want God to know me like this because it makes a demand on me that becoming an object to an all-knowing “God” simply wouldn’t.

  4. That’s so helpful David – especially the distinction between being seen dispassionately and being known and loved . The God who wants in on me is a God beyond my control or imagination. And I’m terrified, not by His anger, but by His grace.

  5. Thanks Emma for your reply – it was a difficult day but then a committee meeting that normally takes 2 hours was over in 45 minutes so I was able to go and sort things out with my friend and we prayed and chatted and hugged. Then I got home and my husband had found a great article about praying in a particular way for your kids so we talked about that and then had a time of prayer. I’m totally shot now emotionally and physically – but can see God’s hand helping me sort out the mess! He does care so deeply about us and thank goodness he doesn’t give up on us – but sometimes facing the same situations and dealing with some massive hurts and fears does feel like it’s all too much. Keep writing about it all Emma – it is so helpful for others to see you working through your struggles and your victories. xx

    And David – that is a brilliant quote. I’ve pasted it onto my computer so I can ponder that one further! ;)

  6. Mine’s similar, but a touch different. Mine is:
    Thanks for the job, the fact I passed x,y,z. Thanks for the friends I had. Thanks for the £ I have, for the fact I have a place to live and a place I’d like to move to. If you can prevent the chain failing that’d be great and I wouldn’t mind a few friends up here.
    That’ll be all – you don’t need to get involved in the mess inside my head. The tears – well they’re mine and you don’t need to see them. The fears – I’m an adult I can cope.
    Thanx for all ur help though. I’ll be back when I need something.

  7. I love how you never use my real name… I don’t even have the site I used to publish stuff on under that name any more.

  8. Hi

    I always use the name people post under (some people want to comment anonymously). Unfortunately wordpress sometimes signs names automatically even when people don’t want them: hence me responding to breakslikecrystal instead of to you. X

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