I have been aware of God for a very long time.
It almost feels as if He was my friend before I knew His name.
My earliest memory of His presence was as a very young child, on a sun-shiny day in the summer. I was playing outside, on the dead-end street on the side of our house. Back then, when I was four — surely no older — the road was gravel, not paved. I remember looking down at my own feet on the sandy rocks and — how do I say this — sensing another pair of sandals next to mine.
No, I didn’t actually see the sandals. I sensed them. I felt them. I felt the presence of God in an extraordinarily real way. That same day, as I sat playing on that gravel road, alone, a small child, left to play outside by herself, a butterfly landed on my nose. I sat so very still, a little in shock, a little unsure, as it aired out its wings on my face. Again, I felt the presence of God so strongly and one word came to my four year old mind: CHOSEN.
Now, I know I was four. I am using big, grown up words to express what a four year old experienced corporeally, spiritually. There really are no words sufficient to explain the experience, because even the most verbal four year old probably experiences life through five senses rather than phrases. Still, this is my experience, the knowing I have in my deepest core: that God has been with me forever, and I with Him.
Fast-forward to present day. Throughout my life, I can look back at times — even before I had officially accepted Christ as my personal messiah, or intellectually considered His sovereignty — and I can see when He showed up, like Batman to the rescue. He swooped in with His cape and His sandals and left me little love notes, a trail of wonderment that would eventually not just lead me to Him, but leave a historical record of our life together, so that, in times of trouble, I could look back and remember that He had saved the day. And He would do it again.
Yesterday, I got one of those little love notes.
If you read yesterday’s post, you know I’ve been going through a massive emotional upheaval — but it’s one that I entered into willingly, trusting God to do His work. Every time I question this process, I get the strongest, most certain response from Him: “You are right where I want you to be.” Okey dokey, God. If you say so.
I was driving and got bored with the CD selections in my car, so I began rummaging through the multitudes of CD’s in the center console. I grabbed one, unable to read what it was but thinking it was an Indigo Girls CD. Instead, it was Matthew West, and when this song played, it was God reminding me.
God used this song to remind me that He wants all of me, and that He has a destiny for me. To remind me that this process I am going through has an immense value, as He prunes away the junk I’ve accumulated to reveal His work of art. I hadn’t heard this song in so long — and here God was, using it to remind me. To reassure me. To encourage me to not just go through the motions, but to feel — really feel — the passion He feels.
To stop pushing down all these feelings no matter how scary they are.
To work through them and get to the other side, where beautiful things happen: where family relationships thrive, where I break through strongholds to reach my goal weight and the life of my dreams.
Because ultimately, that’s what He wants for us; that is His invitation to each and every one of us.
To reach the place where God lives, where together, we can kick off our dusty sandals, revel in each other’s presence, and read over the love notes that make up our history together.