So he waited.
And, I ignored him.
During this period of emotional pouting, we both had some work to do. If I have discovered nothing else about healthy relationships, I know that two people cannot make each other whole. Jerry Maguire was the the first movie that Lucas and I saw in a theater together. And while the line, “You complete me” is an adorable sentiment, the truth of the matter is that we can make each other better but we will never be the filler of soul holes. And boy, did I have holes.
Fasting and arguing and fussing and yelling became staples of my life. For the first few months of this new journey, these moment came out at people. The more that I spent time studying things like discipline and contemplation and pastoral caregiving and accountability, the more that I came to terms with the fact that people were only part of the problem. I was really, really mad at God.
I can vividly remember sitting in the prayer chapel at the seminary with a friend after a very real tantrum of the spirit when she looked at me and said, “It’s ok to be mad at God.” WHAT? I would NEVER be mad at my precious loving Creator. And she just kept looking at me. It was seriously uncomfortable. Like so irritating that I wanted to crawl out of my skin. Until I didn’t.
You know how I described Lucas’s lack of anger? Imagine the complete opposite of that reaction. You know the one that includes passionate sh-words and fu-words? Yep, that was the next step. When I finally trusted that God could handle all that I had to say, I was voraciously using all the vocabulary to describe some things that I wan’t sure God had any concept of understanding.
I would like to tell you that my time in seminary was a beautiful picture of faith confirming truth. The reality was that this short two semester school year was a time where, for the first time, I scratched the surface of what it meant to deconstruct and question and prod and not have all the answers. The number of hours that I spent speeding through the back hills of rural Kentucky with Chumbuwamba and Dr. Dre assisting in my fits of honest prayer were significant.
A few good car rides did not fix all the things that I had going on my heart. Not even close. But just the ability to approach my Creator in honesty, and not be afraid of scaring or disappointing or alienating, was life changing. At a time when young adults often push far away from all that is faith related, this opportunity to safely and honestly talk to God was critical.
On a side note, there were many aspects of seminary that I hated. But there were a few that changed me forever. As with all things in my life and story, people were key. Asked today, I could not tell you much that I learned from a book. But I saw lived before me struggle and passion and seeking and discovery. One of the main examples of this impacted my life for decades, so there is no way that I could even know the importance my short time at school would play in my life.
And then there was the tall Aggie. I came home for weekend in the late fall to return to Baylor and visit my family. We had not talked for weeks. As he said, he gave me space. Up to that point all of this breaking up/not talking/quiet was over the phone. He asked if I would stop in College Station on my way back to Houston and have a face to face conversation. I was sure that there was nothing he could say that would make any of this any better. I had convinced myself that he knew nothing about my journey as a developing SPIRITUAL leader. I mean what could engineering at A&M have to offer in the eternally significant department???
I begrudgingly complied. And, as Dorothy Boyd said so well, “You had me at hello.”