And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9a)
I always thought that were I ever to encounter romantic love—in myself for another, in another for me—even if it meant turning my back on God and all his being, I would choose love.
Love over God.
I am spiritually gifted. Magnificently so.
And I live on Earth.
Where other’s rejection of me because of this giftedness is as natural as rain.
But my isolation wasn’t only a result of my mysticism. There were everyday causes for it, too. Family friction. A house on an unpaved road that led into the woods.
As I attempt to resolve my rejection of all this aloneness—rejected, in spite of it giving me the time to be with God—and I ask, Why this? The answer that comes aligns with so many others:
Because I wanted your attention on me.
And, looking over my life, I see that, indeed, my attention was on God.
Even those years as a young woman when I went out to find out what it was like to be normal, my attention was on God.
Books on miracles.
Books on peoples’ encounters with Jesus.
Books on spiritual places.
Books about people who live through their faith in God.
Although I thought I was walking away from God, I was really just spending time studying him from an impersonal perspective.
I was studying him. He wasn’t teaching me.
Or so I thought.
But even then I could taste my isolation. Like something that was rubbed into me that my tongue could savor when it slid across my lips.
I am Julia. I am alone.
It was at this time that I realized that I wanted to know what was on the other side of the horizon.
And that is all I really wanted in life.
That, and the end of the aloneness.
So I talked with people who seemed to live lives following God and being joyful.
But, more importantly, leading their lives with other people.
Invariably when I told them about myself, their eyes would become moist.
You are so blessed, they would whisper.
But I am alone, I wanted to respond.
Can you tell me how to stop being alone?
I never asked.
I never found the answer.
Instead, I found my life again.
Or my life found me.
Breathtaking, this time.
Lessons from God.
The pounding of God’s anvil in his beginning to shape my resisting metal.
Day after day. Minute after minute. Hammer strike after hammer strike.
I was in there somewhere, he knew.
And he was going to pound me out if it killed me.
Which it nearly did, a number of times.
And yet, all this time, with every breath, I said, I am alone.
So, I thought that were I ever to encounter romantic love that I would reach out, and no matter the breach that this reaching would cause in my relationship with God, I would reach.
I would become my own creation in the world—a real person, not a hammered-out human figure.
I would reach until I touched. I would reach until I was no longer alone.
And that time came. And I reached.
But I did not touch.
And, to my shock, I did not break with God.
I did not choose love.
I chose God.
Naturally, you might even say.
And in that choice, God’s Creation (me) came into being.