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Missing God today

I miss God today.

I know he’s here, but I can’t feel him. My favorite feeling is his presence, and it’s been a minute since I felt it. So I miss him.

There have been times in my life when it seemed like he was with me every moment – times when he seemed to be protecting me, when every move I made felt guided by his divine hand.

I know God was present with me during my first serious attempts at sobriety. I heard him tell me I would be OK.

I know God was with me when I finally stopped running from the realities of my mental illness and got help. I heard him tell me I would be OK.

Long before those moments, in the darkest, loneliest parts of my childhood, I know God was with me. I know because I heard him. He told me I would be OK.

It seems silly to me that I could get through all that and still find myself feeling apart from him, but that doesn’t mean I don’t. Life is hard lately. There are struggles with health, struggles with family relationships and struggles with the hours I work and the distance I commute.

I need to see it all as grace. I need to think about the footprints in the sand. I need to pray. I need to meditate. I should pick up my guitar and sing “I Surrender All,” until I surrender all.

Instead I turn on the news and get lost in the chaos of our country. I turn on the PlayStation and shoot aliens until I’ve saved the world. If video games brought you closer to God, I’d have more tablets than Moses.

When my son was old enough to think he should go in the gas station and get a drink for himself, I let him. He went inside, and I got out of the truck and walked to a window and watched him. He needed to be able to do that on his own; I needed to know he was OK. I was there even when he thought I wasn’t.

That’s what these times feel like. Like there are things I need to be able to do on my own, so God is at the window watching.

I read somewhere about an exercise for people who don’t believe they can hear God. It said close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and then ask God for one word saying what you should be working on. I’ve done that several times since.

There have been many different answers along the way. “Kindness.” “Patience.” “Self-Control.” For the past couple years, the answer has been the same: “Perseverance.”

So for now, that is what I will do. I will persevere, whether I feel God with me or not. I will persevere until we meet again.

I know that I’m OK. God’s always had me, and God always will. But until I feel his presence again, I miss him.

Stults is a performing songwriter from Russellville.