Walk with Me

This will probably be one of my shorter posts. I have something to share, but for those who will receive it, I’ll spare the personal details and focus on the simple truth. I have often heard the testimonies of other people who speak profusely of the joy they feel in knowing that God guides their steps. God has given me joy throughout my life, but only in these recent days have I finally begun to understand this particular joy. I’ve come to recognize the difference between walking in my own will and walking in His. And this difference might seem pretty basic in a logical sense, but it’s not just about what we can perceive intellectually—it’s about what we can experience.

Regrettably, I’ve chosen to walk within my own will throughout the vast majority of the precious time I’ve been given on this earth. In consequence of that choice, I’ve experienced a lot of strife. I’ve been victimized by fear, I’ve stumbled in frustration and resentment, and I’ve grieved in terrible heartache. I’ve spent so much energy trying to break down the wrong doors and wondering why they won’t just open, when, all the while, He has been waiting for me to take His hand—wanting so much to lead me down the path He cleared for me long ago.

At a certain point, I hope we all become broken enough of our own stubbornness to finally take His hand, because when we do, we will all know what it is to experience miracles. We will see our fear give way to trust, our frustration yield to peace, and our heartache transform into the most wonderful joy—a joy born of love experienced both from and for our beautiful Creator.

We have a God who cares for us, I think, far more than we have the capacity to understand. The desire of His heart is to make us whole—to provide for us and keep us safe so that we’ll never have to know the pain of being without Him. “Look at the lilies and how they grow,” Jesus said. “They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are” (Matthew 6:28-29, NLT).

I have felt the hand of my God as He lovingly adorns me with all that I need for my warmth. In spite of every false security the world has ever seduced me with, that Hand is what I’m thankful for.


Still, Small Voice

It’s been nearly sixteen years since I first heard the still, small voice of my Creator. My grandmother had been bringing my sister and me to church with her as often as she could since we were born. She had even ensured that my premature birth was mentioned in her congregation’s weekly bulletin, so that everyone would pray for my recovery. I had attended Sunday school and vacation Bible school in addition to the regular Sunday morning services in that congregation as I grew up, and it was a very familiar place for me in my childhood. But it wasn’t until the year I turned thirteen that I finally understood the reason why. Up to that point, I had always thought of going to church as something I did either to appease my grandmother, or to be a “good girl.” I can remember being awakened from a sound sleep on certain Sunday mornings and insisting to my grandmother that I was too tired to get up for church that day, only to be coerced by her warning that the devil was telling me to stay in bed. I also remember the way she would bring notepads and pencils for us to play with to keep us occupied during the hour-long service and, of course, sticks of chewing gum to keep us quiet. For the first thirteen years of my life, such was my experience—until one day, when something began to change.

The funny thing is that I can’t remember what was said. I can’t remember what the preacher was talking about that finally got my attention. I just remember that, for the first time in my life, I was engaged. I actually started to become interested in the story of Christianity, because even though I already knew it in a superficial way, I was ultimately beginning to feel it. As a little girl, I had always been enamored by love stories, and it had been quite a common occurrence for me as a child to be caught daydreaming—most often about the handsome prince who would carry me away to his castle in the clouds and make me his princess. As I grew into adolescence, my romanticism about falling in love never diminished—although it might have become slightly more realistic. But, as my knowledge of Christianity grew, I couldn’t help falling captive to what I considered to be the most profound love story I’d ever heard. Just the thought that the Creator of life— far too virtuous to condone evil and to break His own laws—would love me so much that He would become human and die for me, just so I could live with Him forever… Well, suffice it to say that that one expression of love came to mean more to me than any expression I had ever known about before. And I knew that from that day forward, any expression of love I would ever know in the future would be founded upon it. I was spellbound. It was as if I’d been sitting in a darkened room for thirteen years and someone had finally turned the light on for me.  I just couldn’t believe I’d been coming to church there all that time and never understood any of it, and it wasn’t long before I approached that preacher and asked him to baptize me.

As I started to delve more deeply into the words of the Bible and to spend more time with other Christians, I came to understand the way in which God draws us individually to Himself. Having designed each of us uniquely, He knows how best to get our attention. And if we are willing to listen, we can distinguish His gentle whisper to our hearts. Mine is just one of the countless stories regarding how God has sought to passionately pursue and make Himself known to His creation. I have shared it because I believe that in revealing ourselves to each other, we are better able to solidify and affirm our faith. I hope this helps.