I had been the good kid. I think God looked down on me and He wasn’t so worried. Every night, I thought He put stars in the sky like a reminder to me of how good I was.

“One more star for you Deanna Tucker, good Deanna Tucker.” I’m pretty sure that’s what He said.

I trusted Him, I was available to Him, we were buds and then something hit me like a ton of bricks and it got eerily silent. Really silent. For much too long, silent.

I felt a little like that guy in the Bible who wondered where God went while his life went to hell in a moment. I guess sometimes I still wonder. But the more I talk to you all, the more I realize I’m not the only one wondering where He goes.

If you’ve ever had a relationship with anyone in any capacity, than you understand this feeling. At some point, someone you have loved or cared about either seemed to go silent, or disappeared altogether. It’s devastating.

Read any of the Psalms, and I’m sure you’ll come across someone, somewhere wondering where God went.

I didn’t respond like the guy in scripture, who decides to just trust God anyways. I decided to get silent too. “Eff it,” I thought, “If you’re off grid, I’ll be there too.”

Except, I didn’t go very far. I still asked Him where He went, read His words, choose to sing, and keep myself from being an idiot with my life. I’ve kept friends in the loop and work hard on my relationship. Even when it’s tough and God is super annoying.

When I’m pissed, I drive until the city lights can’t touch me anymore, and I look up. I breathe, and listen in the quiet, and look up. Everything is beautiful; the sky, shadows of evergreens, whispers of water rippling. And there I am, in His presence where everything is talking, but He is not.

It had been years, yes, years of waiting for something substantial from Him when I was driving to school and there was a moment; “What if I’m not silent; what if I’m purposefully quiet?”

It was God. He said something to me in my 2006 Jetta, and I didn’t like it.

“Well,” I replied in my head, “I think that’s pretty rude.”

Sometimes we find ourselves in this place. We want, no, need him to talk, and His response is not at all what we want, or when we want it. I wondered if there was something wrong with me, if my heart became hard, or if I’d believed in something that wasn’t actually there. And this is coming from me, the one who loves and knows Jesus!

Mother Teresa of Calcutta was known as having a 40-year crisis of faith. She was known for her deep affection of God, and yet she said in one of her letters, “Jesus has a very special love for you. As for me, the silence and emptiness is so great that I look and do not see, listen and do not hear. The tongue moves but does not speak.

She wondered often where God was, and yet, did not give up on her relationship with Him. I can relate to Mother Teresa, and I think you could too.

There’s going to be a lot of wondering in my lifetime. I think I’ve realized relationships are hard enough between human and human, never mind a relationship between human and God, even if He can understand us. So can I encourage you?

If you’re asking God to talk, remind yourself there is a difference between being quiet and being silent. Silence suggests a non-commitment or lack of care, whereas quietness suggests trust. Maybe God is trusting something or even a season with you. Like me, you may just get annoyed with that, and that’s cool. Just keep your head about you. Keep talking to Him, reading about Him, choose to sing, and tell your trusted friends where you’re honestly at. Don’t suffer alone.

Because there I’ve seen countless times that there is purpose in everything. And without doubt I choose to remember His goodness, His faithfulness, His love – for me.

I still think He put stars in the sky for me. But I guess the reasons look a little different now. And at night, when I look up at the sky – and believe me, I look up at the sky – I think He says things like, “Look again, it’s still bright,” or, “rest up, I’ve figured this part out,” or, “isn’t life beautiful?” Or, He says nothing at all, and I’m doing my best to see that might be good too.

It’s not about my goodness, badassary, or anything between. It’s a relationship, and it’s going to be annoying sometimes. It’s going to require putting up a fight too. It’s about His stars, in His skies, my faith, and our relationship, and so, I look up.