Before I knew God, I knew goodness. I was loved. I gave love. And, I never suspected that the longing in my heart had an answer, had a home, had bounds. I thought that discontentment was both, something that all people carried, and mine alone. That feeling kept my feet spinning but I couldn't get any traction. I was unmoored. Last Summer, I began suspecting that this empty spot had a fill. I had come to Providence Church – not looking for Jesus – just looking for a way to keep communication lines open with my children, who had found a home here.
Every Sunday and in the EHR classes, I discussed the word, I heard the sermons, I sang the songs and they held my attention. They opened my heart. I was moved (sometimes to tears). What I was experiencing, sounded real. It felt real. Still, I wouldn’t make the leap of faith. My FAITH required EVIDENCE. I know – oxymoronic. But, God obliged.
The Daily Office, a skill I learned, is a practice of communing with God, which I enjoyed. I just alternated talking and listening, and hoped that if there was a God I would somehow know it. Seven months ago, while working on my Daily Office, I thanked God for His people. And I meant it. I still didn’t understand believers. But, I was surrounded by them. And I was grateful for the light I saw in them. Here’s the part where I marvel at God’s Grace. God gifted me with 4 words that change (present tense intended - because I need Him so many times a day) my life. I heard, “YOU ARE MY PEOPLE.” Even then, knowing that those words came from outside of me, it took me days to accept that I heard God’s voice, over the alternate – I was going bananas. On retrospect, despite pursuing me all my life and that whole summer, sending me sign after sign that He loved me uniquely. Signs that I saw and heard but chose to rationalize away. Until I released the need to have the answer and instead trusted that God does.
So now you know I’m a slow learner and a doubter. It's true. But, I am also, good at loving, serving, and giving. I’m good at seeing beauty and worth, where others see uselessness. I now believe these are Gifts from my heavenly Father and skills handed down by my mother. And I'm realizing that I can be so much more. The fear I’ve held of emptying myself; of not keeping enough to cover my needs; of not having someone to look out for me, keeps me greedy and grudging and it can be insatiable. Finding God, and having Jesus’ heart to align with, reminds me of who I am (God-made), and Whom I serve (hint, it’s not me). And that truth fills this hungry person to overflowing. My cup runneth over.
God’s presence helps me to relax my gripping hands and release those fears and be who I was made to be. And it’s glorious to feel loved and to feel capable of reflecting that love so that others can share in that joy. Before God I thought that being led was a weakness. Who knew that the most real freedom comes from tethering your heart to Jesus?