One of SO many things I love that God has done during this journey is that he routinely provides verses, songs, & people in my path to remind me of who he is. This is a song I know I've shared before,but one that continues to play on repeat in my heart during this season. I've had several people share how this journey has encouraged them and their own walk. Because of that, I wanted to share a small glimpse into my story. This song speaks to the great obstacles God overcame to reach me..time and time again. Even though outwardly I grew up in the church, the daughter of a southern Baptist minister-I even played the baby Jesus as an infant and have been 'Mary' more times than I can count-I didn't know God. I knew of him, but knowing of someone is not the same as knowing them-is it? What did I think I knew of God? From my perception, I knew that he was a God that let bad things happen to me. He was a God that watched as I struggled and suffered and a God that punished me for sins I didn't even commit. I thought I knew him as a God that even though he was supposed to be kind, and loving, and safe and joyful-my life didn't reflect any such aspects of this God-so clearly he wasn't.
From the time I could make my own choice, I ran. I ran far from this God who let me suffer. I ran far from the God who didn't protect me or love me. I ran far from the God who seemed to punish me over and over again. I ran until I couldn't run anymore. Then slowly, overtime, God softened my heart to him and to others in my life who had hurt me and began to build trust in me where it was so very broken. So, I came back..but just enough to be a 'good' person. One that could 'check the box' of Sunday morning attendance. I wasn't making 'bad' choices and for awhile, that was enough for me. Until...it wasn't. I had HUGE holes in my heart and BIG THICK walls built to protect me from being hurt again. And that worked, for awhile..until it didn't. After years of feeling lost and alone and without direction, I was ready when God left the 99 for me. I finally wanted the peace that I knew only came from him-not my circumstances or the people around me. I had reached a place that wanted what ONLY God can give MORE than I wanted to live my quiet, protected, meaningless life. I wanted WHATEVER it took to become the person HE created me to be MORE than I wanted the comforts of my current life. That was when I finally, genuinely, met God. Not the God I had believed as a kid or teenager or adult..but the God he had ALWAYS been, and I was just too hurt and to scared to see.
I'm not special. God didn't meet me and begin to heal me because I'm unique or overtly more important to him than anyone else. There is NO wall, NO mountain, NO shadow, NOTHING he won't overcome to come after YOU like he did for me. He will NOT stop chasing you, calling you, seeking you, loving you. All you have to do is let him-let the one who made you; who knows you draw near to you and heal you. You rest and let him do the work.
I hope the song and my story helps encourage you to trust God when he calls you. To trust that no matter what life may outwardly look like, you can TRUST him. He will carry you and sustain you and encourage you. You can rest in the midst of hard times and let God do the work. Oftentimes, we ask for the easy miracle, but rarely is that how God works. The miracles come, but usually, he asks us to walk through the miracle with him.