I've been thinking about this all wrong! God doesn't want to punish me. His perfect will is to commune with me. I keep asking, "Do you really love me? Do you really care about my happiness? Will you give me what I want?"
I am actually interfering with that communion. I am making the relationship dependent on my satisfaction. That is the very thing that prevents me from receiving the real blessing! I could get what I want, but I would still be in pain because I would not experience real communion with God. I would always wonder if he just did it to shut me up. I've been trying to please him all this time, and all He's wanted is to pour out His love! I don't have to earn it or arouse Him. His heart is overflowing with love for me; and if I would stop insisting that He show it MY way, I would find that His love is deeper and more passionate than I could ever dream. I would be free to respond without strain or worry that I might not be pleasing Him, and He would respond because He shows His love freely, not in response to my doing "the right things". What a concept: that I can please God simply by accepting His love on His terms, love that He gives freely!
I feel like this is sort of an epiphany for me. I was raised in a "Christian home". That's a nice buzz word, don't you think? A lot of what I took away from church was the idea that we are to live blamelessly. I, of course, interpreted this to mean that we have to be good and make God happy. But it isn't that at all! God wants us to be free from the cloud of condemnation and guilt! He wants it so much that He loves freely and gave up a part of Himself for us. He wants us to be free from the pressure of trying to please Him so that we can simply love Him and live within His heart! That's why it takes faith to please God. Without faith, I cannot accept His love the way He gives it. I would always be trying to earn it.
I want to tell my story, Father. I want to proclaim Your mercy and grace, to testify to Your love and faithfulness and truth! Please forgive me for ever doubting You, for failing to believe in the saving grace You showed through the death of Your son. Please give me faith and hope and strength to go through this pain as You cleanse my heart and heal my spirit. please fill up the emptiness inside my heart and help me to wait patiently for Your answer. Please be my companion, hold my hand, talk to me, put Your arms around me. Please carry me and let me feel Your arms. My heart just aches so much, and I feel so lost and alone. I know You're here. But I cannot touch You or hear You breathe. And I know You didn't make me intending for me to be alone. You meant for me to complete someone. Please bring him to me, show me to him soon. Please hear me. Please redeem my life from this awful pit!