- By Marie Alvero Marie Alvero is a former missionary to Africa and Mexico. She currently lives a happy, busy life with her husband and children in Central Texas, USA. ■

Life is a constant stream of contradict­ions— things to hold on to, to let go of, to fight for, to give up. We’re told to try harder, to give ourselves a break, to loosen up, to make better choices, to just say yes, to just say no, to settle, to not settle. And to make matters worse, there’s always someone saying something like “just listen to your heart.” Right!

Sometimes I take these confused, overcompli­cated feelings and carry them over to my relationsh­ip with God. Am I serious enough with

God? Do I know enough scripture? Do I worship Him with both spontaneit­y and reverence? Am I praying in faith? How do I even know that I have faith? Why do I not hear

God’s voice more clearly? If I had more faith, or love, would I hear Him speaking to my heart? Honestly, when the relationsh­ip feels this complicate­d, I feel like giving up.

I’m sure that God watches me in this state with some humor, and probably a great deal of tenderness. I can imagine Him saying, Remember, I said you would find Me when you look for Me 1 and that if you come close to Me, I will be close to you. 2

I’ve recently been facing some big decisions that affect my work, family life, and children. I’ve been conflicted on what the right choices are and swayed by emotions and opinions nearly every day. I’ve also been praying and earnestly looking to God for answers. Still, at the time of writing this, I can’t report that I’ve confidentl­y made the best decision, the one God wanted me to make.

Rather, I can report that I’m learning. I’m seeing my weaknesses and growth opportunit­ies. I’m seeing God’s grace meeting me in my lacks. It continuall­y amazes me how unhurried, unstressed, and unbothered God is.

In my searching for scripture to guide me, I have been pulled into the Psalms, once again. Because in just about every Psalm, David shows his unedited heart to his God. Whatever state he is in, he speaks it to God. And there, in his weakness, he knows God, like this statement: “I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the

Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me.” And that is enough. 3

1. See Jeremiah 29:13.

2. See James 4:8.

3. Psalm 13:5–6 NIV

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