I can’t recall when I first knew there was a God and that He had a Son. I really can’t recall a point in which I didn’t know. He just was. As long as I’ve known life, I have known He was there, but despite that awareness, I was very much unaware of my own personal need for Him.
In my twelve-year-old, freckled faced awkwardness another awareness came. It wasn’t an awareness of His existence, but an awareness of a struggle. It was strong and I can still feel the battle that was going on within the young me when I reflect on those days. Looking back, I now understand that it was a battle for my very soul. It ached. It was gripping. And every time hymns were sung, the war pain came and I found myself gripping the pew tightly and then I wept. Every time.
He became mine and I became His in the summer of 1986.
I was now aware of both Him and my great need for Him. I was aware of sin. I was aware of guilt. I was aware of the shame of missing the mark.
Somehow I walked through my teen and early married years very aware of those things, while very unaware of what grace really meant. I was even more unaware of the depth of His love for me. God was vey far away, very disappointed in me, and sometimes thoroughly disgusted in my repeated lack of enoughness, my deceived heart thought. I would read devotions from time to time because that’s what I was “supposed” to do, I was faithful in church attendance, again, because I was “supposed” to and I wanted to “change God’s mind” about me. I needed to prove I was His.
That all began to change as I surrounded myself with other believers that I admired. First my husband and I began to regularly attend a Sunday School class, and by regularly I mean more than once or twice every few months. As we plugged in to the class and the teaching, I began to grow.
It wasn’t long until a few of our class members started a prayer group that met in each other’s homes once a week and I began to join them. Each week they started by sharing a few short verses and then prayed together as a group. Week after week the verses came more alive to me and those words, accompanied by seeing prayers answered, began to penetrate my heart.
One evening as a I sat alone in my living room, I pulled out my Bible because I “wanted” to for the first time. It was not out of obligation. The Spirit through prayer, fellowship, and teaching had planted a desire within and it had burst forth from the soil of my heart. I will never forget where He led me that night. We walked the path of 1 John and for the first time in my life, the words were so real and I comprehended and was aware that God is love.
He loved me. And I was aware of it. He wasn’t disappointed in me, wasn’t waiting for my next mistake. He was willing to give me a chance to grow.
When we feel loved, we have love to give.
The same process eventually took place in my husband and here we are many years later, still on this adventure with God. No longer does my husband lay in bed at night tolerating my because-I’m-supposed-to-out-loud-devotion reading, he now stands in a pulpit every week sharing Jesus with whomever will hear and I am right there by his side.
God has been good to us and the story is still being written. Although we may not be aware of the words on the pages to come, we are very aware of the Author of them and His deep love for us.
I’m just me. Figuring out what a life of seeking Him looks like one day at a time. I’m a pastor’s wife, and mom to 2 teen girls and a pooch in dire need of a bath, and I work full time. I’m a big sister to three siblings which tends to make me think I’m everyone’s mother from time to time. I love to scrapbook, and watch the Hallmark Channel, but my favorite place to be is on my porch with my Bible and a cup of coffee. I write (a little) on my blog, Beyond Sunday Mornings. You can also find me on Facebook and Instagram.