I had an idea for everyone in our church to write about some time when God did something for them. whether it be salvation or a medical miracle or something else; a story about God in their lives. I finally finished mine last night. What do you guys think?
In my head, I have tried to write this multiple times. I have started and scratched the idea and started over again. My problem is not the number and fabulousity of the stories I have to tell. It is quite the opposite. I don’t have an amazing story of God rescuing me from a disease. I don’t have a harrowing story of God rescuing me from an addiction. I don’t have a story of God rescuing me from some dangerous people or dangerous places. Because after all, stories of rescue are the good ones right? I don’t have any of those. All I have is me and somehow that doesn’t seem like enough. But I also have God and that is enough. So I’ll start by telling you when God and I met for the first time and we’ll see where it goes from there.
Growing up in church one would think I met God very early. For me this was not the case. My first home church was not “on fire.” We had some wonderful ministers who were loving and knowledgeable. We had some caring people. Some were even actively seeking God, but somehow that didn’t transition into a church seeking God. My parents loved each other and loved my brother and I very much, but they didn’t /don’t love God that way. So I didn’t meet God until I was 14 or so. It seems there should be some vivid memory that jumps out at me about the first time I met God. However, nothing like that comes to mind. What does come to mind is doubt, fear, and lonliness. From that place I sought this God I had heard of but never felt. The beginning of the search is fuzzy. I believe it started with poetry to pour out my heart and Bible reading to bring peace to my soul. Somewhere in there was a desperate prayer thrown up on a particularly dark and lonely night. Looking back today, I know in that prayer I gave God everything and he began to heal me. The healing began with a very honest conversation with my parents. It involved new friends and a new youth group. The memorable moment came with another desperate plea for Jesus to make me sure of my salvation. Somewhere in there, I met God for the first time.
That first meeting changed me as many of you can testify. From there on God and I have had many conversations. At first our conversations centered on my need for faith in his goodness for me. I have often been unsure that his plan for me was good enough to bring me happiness. For apporximately 5 years, I struggled with this. When God very loudly told me he was bringing me my husband and then delivered, I finally believed. For another 7 years, God and I discussed my will versus His will. This discussion took me back and forth across the country. It took me through 4 jobs which did not always end pleasantly. Some of which left scars and bruises on my confidence. It took me to 4 different homes, which often felt strange and strained. Along the way, I lost 10 family members and friends to death. I struggled to understand my past and how it shaped me. I tried to face my emotions that so often I had run from. For another year, I fought to understand this new pace to which God brought me. I spent another year tying up the loose ends. Only in the last year do I feel like God and I are having productive conversations. Only in the last year have I laid to rest the demons of doubt, loneliness, depression, self-direction and hatred. I know these demons will continue to try to resurrect themselves. I hope i am listening to God enough to put them to rest. I know my faith journey is far from over, but I am just now starting to walk in God’s will and starting to be used by Him. I am just now starting to look forward to where God may take me. God has carried me through some dark places. He has dragged me through some selfish places. Now I pray that I can let him lead me through some glorious places.