I Just Wanted to Understand

It all happened so fast, I wasn’t sure it even happened at all.

One moment I am careening off the road towards a tree and in the next I am back cruising steadily along the road. In-between: I fiddle with the stereo, not paying attention to the winding road. I make one quick, frantic grabbing of the steering wheel that saves my life.

I breath in that sweet, terrifying feeling of relief. A indebted gratitude towards the not-happening of the what-could-have-happened. The I-almost-just-crashed collides with the I’m-so-glad-to-be-alive and the I’m-such-an-idiot. The inevitable scolding:  Mikayla, you moron. Were you trying to get yourself killed? How about you learn to look at the road when you drive?

All because I was fiddling with my stereo. All because I thought that maybe if I put the music loud enough, I won’t be able to hear my own thoughts.

But I almost got in a car accident and the country voice of Aaron Lines drawls on. He croons about his little hometown and and how it makes his world stops spinning around and how somehow everything just makes sense. I peer over my dashboard towards the moon, which was brilliantly full just two nights ago, but is missing a chunk out of it’s rightside tonight, and through clenched fists I ask God: WHEN DOES ANYTHING EVER MAKE SENSE?

How dare you sing that you silly Canadian country singer? How can you sing such presumptuous words?

And I remember: sitting on that rock two days ago, the lake water tumbling over me, painting my jeans dark blue. I decided I didn't care if the little girl staring at me from a rock 5 ft way thought I was a lunatic. And so I perched myself on that rock, in the blue lake, fully clothed. Not trying to hide the tears. Not trying to hide the fierce gripping of my hands to the rock, an attempt to keep myself upright as waves and obscure feelings of grief and confusion crashed around me. Not trying to hide that fact that it looked as though I was crazy, talking to myself in the middle of the lake. Oh but I was whispering to God and the afternoon breeze and partly to myself- hoping that one of the three would hear my question. HOW CAN LIFE BE SO CONFUSING?

And I remember: a night on a train when we sat it's tiny cabin and I spoke of things not making sense. Of feeling like there was this cloud of confusion hanging over me, and how I couldn't quite see past it no matter how hard I tried. In the middle of the night, surrounded by Russian men and women in nearby cabins, I screamed for no good reason at all and began to sob. After half a minute I was okay, and you prayed for my bizarre actions and confused heart. (and latter that night we laughed about the Russian lady banging on our cabin door and ordering us to be quiet)

And I remember: laying on my bedroom floor, clutching a pencil and tearing it into the surface of my journal. I etched three little letters across the page and I carved one giant question mark beside that terrible, haunting word- WHY?

I wanted to be granted a holistic answer to just one question. I wanted to take one of those collection of words, held together between a capital and a question mark, and fold it away into an envelope and seal it shut with something that I understood. A word, a theory, an explanation. Something I could use to stamp on the seal and enclose the prodding question within. Then I would take that envelope, toss it into a gush of wind and let it fly away. I wouldn’t need to include a return address because the envelope would never need to be re-opened. I would never need to come back to the question, for it would be satisfied forever.

Instead, it seems that the more I understand, the less I understand. Because the more you understand, the more you understand about how there is so little in this world that we actually understand. It is a wild circle of wonder-questions-understanding-notunderstanding-wondering again.


In my days, questions escape my lips and accumulate in the corners of my all-too-wondering brain. I ask and I ponder, but I already know.

I already know there is always, only, and ever ONE answer.

It lies somewhere in-between nail scared wrists and a love that bled for a world full of people who question everything about who You are and what You have done. Somewhere between that gentle breeze that tickles my arm and the roaring thunder that shakes my heart. Somewhere between the power to hold the entire world in the palm of a hand and a love truer than any love we will ever know.

The answer is Him: a love that moves slowly and quickly in mysterious and strange, strange ways.
There is something glorious about wondering-

because we were created to marvel at all we don’t understand, and sink beneath the weight of His glory and forever keep the faith of the child- the simple trust of one who doesn’t demand to know, but takes his hand and never-ever lets go.

Sometimes He grants us understanding. Sometimes He reveals fragments of answers to us in small, easy-to-miss ways. Sometimes He says, wait, you’ll understand this latter. Sometimes He withholds concrete answers, and allows us to stare at those wondrous stars, simply marvelling at all we fail to understand. Sometimes He whispers promises of life isn’t supposed to make sense, there’s a reason this Christian life feels more like a wild circus act than a perfectly orchestrated symphony.

Because He is God. Because He knows exactly what he is doing.

So I will never cease to admit that this life, the way that it ebbs at our soul and pulses joy, is something all-together non-sensical. It is as much ridiculously confusing as it is incredibly wonderful.

But I take the faith of a child, and grab hold of His hand with a wild fierceness. And I will not let go, because I believe, yes I believe, that His ways are beautifully, and incomprehensibly beyond our ways.

love, mikayla


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