By Jamie Jiang, Deaf Teen Quest
“I don’t know how to pray. And I don’t want to learn.”
“Julie’s” resistance to God has been painful to watch. The shame she feels from past choices, the rejection she experiences from a family who won’t learn to sign, the self-hatred she interprets as God’s view of her, and the resulting suicidal thoughts are unbearable to witness in such a young person.
But God’s commitment to His pursuit of her has been a relief to remember and experience.
“What must this woman have been feeling, as her choices have brought her to public humiliation, her community has turned against her, her religious leaders are communicating that God condemns her, and she prepares to be killed?”
Julie participated thoughtfully as we discussed together the story of Jesus meeting the woman caught in adultery.
“Fear. Anxiety. Nausea.” Quickly, she identified that feeling in the pit of your stomach when everything is wrong and there is no hope left.
“What must she have felt after speaking to Jesus?”
“Do you think we could experience the same thing if we talk to Jesus?”
“I don’t know how to pray. And I don’t want to learn. Because God can’t speak back.”
Fearful and angry, Julie quickly struck out against Jesus’ invitation to talk to Him. But she halted when I softly challenged her, describing objectively how she was turning down His offer to experience relief. Through encouragement from the other leaders present and stories of God speaking and bringing comfort, her resistance melted. And at the end of our time, when I again invited her to pray, she simply said, “God, please respond to me.”
Please join us in praying that God would speak to Julie.