When You Ask to Know God Better


I’ve started a new blog at www.droppingtheact.com. Check it out for the latest content.

When my counselor, “Jane,” looked at me and said she thought that God was giving me a gift in the midst of all of the pain I was experiencing I thought, Hmmm…this lady might be a little bats!   But she seemed so sincere that I figured I would hear her out anyway.

As we talked, she ferreted out the memory of a prayer that I had prayed several years back; one in which I asked to know God better.  She looked at me and said, “This is it.  This is your chance.  He’s taking you up on that prayer.”

Now I had a decision to make.

Was I interested in knowing God better anymore?  Because, at this point, I had pretty much decided that he couldn’t possibly be good, with everything that I’d seen and everything that was happening in my own life.  And if he wasn’t good, then I didn’t want anything to do with him…

But something about the idea that God was giving me a chance to know him better was appealing.  I couldn’t escape the urge to find out what he was trying to show me.

During this initial evaluation with Jane, she took me to a new doctor, one that took some time to talk with me and really listened to what I had to say.  I came away from that appointment with a different diagnosis than the one I received in Bangkok.  Anxiety and PTSD.  I thought PTSD was for combat veterans and people who had endured extreme violence–and I didn’t have any physical scars or visible injuries.  What I didn’t realize was that my environment had been warring with my mind and emotions and, so far, I had been on the losing end.

Jane also encouraged me to read.  So I started reading…a lot.  Disappointment with God, The Ragamuffin Gospel, to name a few of the best ones.  As I read, and found some rest from the mental assault that had been taking place in India, my mind began to make room for something besides mere survival, and I was finally willing to reopen the communication lines between me and God…



2 thoughts on “When You Ask to Know God Better

  1. ilanagrace

    I’m not one to read blogs, but I followed your link from your comment on Relevant’s article “How to Trust God with Disappointment.” Can I just say that I feel like this is written for me? I also was involved in volunteer overseas mission work, but that me feels like a different person. I’ve been stuck in this place of distrust, & for a long time anger, doubting that God is really good, & really love. How can he be, when there are so many terrible, horrifying things going on in the world, happening to the people he created? I don’t know the answer, but I want to work through this. I need to. It’s been a few years since I’ve kind of opted out of having a relationship with God, & I feel empty.
    Thank you for sharing your story, & I hope I come out on the other side, as it seems you have.

    • Oh gosh! I’m sorry I don’t have any easy answers for you, and I’m sure that’s not what you’re looking for…but I’m so glad that you’re still searching! I am confident of one thing though–that God is still reaching for you. I’m still working through it all, but I have finally come to a place where I know that God is good. I’m sorry I haven’t gotten to the end of the story yet, it’s kind of a work in progress, because there’s so much to share. But I will keep blogging and I hope it helps you find some answers. Please email me at erica.barthalow@gmail.com if you want to continue a conversation or just need someone to listen.

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