“This is how we make important changes–barely, poorly, slowly. And still, He raises His fist in triumph.”
– Anne Lamott, Small Victories
I used to believe that faith in Christ, having a relationship with God, was something that crashed over us in a massive wave. An incredibly loud, huge moment in time where a flash of light beamed across one’s vision, and the truth of how great God is became one’s reality. I used to believe that.
I remember the night vividly. I stood in a crowd of students, next to a friend I brought with me, when a girl approached me with a warm smile on her face. She asked, “Have you accepted Christ yet?” And I said no. I looked to my friend, and she said, “Go!” I felt it in my whole being, every inch of me tingling with the tug of the Holy Spirit, beckoning me to grab hold of grace and never let go. The moment came as a tidal wave, washing away all of the stains, leaving me clean. For me, it was a big moment. Huge.
But, I was twelve. I was hungry for God, hungry for faith, desperate for something that would give me meaning. I don’t know how someone so young can long for those things, but I did. I was lucky enough to find Christ at a time when it would shape the biggest decisions of my life. I am grateful that He invaded my heart at such a young age.
It isn’t always easy, and it certainly isn’t as simple for others as it was for me. Some spend years, decades, of their life without giving God another glance. Some would rather pretend He doesn’t exist at all. And that’s okay; seeing God and believing He is who He says He is demands every bit of our soul. It takes a lot of time. It takes a willing heart. He isn’t interested in only a little bit of attention or mediocre devotion, and we know that. How many times I have backed away from Christ because I am embarrassed by my lack of enthusiasm, my disinterest, my inattentiveness…I feel it in my bones, the resounding, “No, no, child. I want all of you. All of you.”
It’s a devotion that some cannot muster. It takes years for others. And somehow, in my twelve-year-old mind and heart, I mustered an unwavering devotion. Faith of a child. I stumbled, backed away, hid behind life on and off throughout the years. My unwavering devotion turned into lackluster approaches, clouded prayers, scoffs at the thought of “quiet time” as my home and my life soon morphed into a toy-infested and booger-filled noise fest. I hid behind the wall that said, “Maybe later” almost everyday. Because that was easier. I knew He wanted more from me, and I knew I wasn’t interested in giving it.
It isn’t just about the big moments, the crashing waves of realization, the explosive outbursts of “AMEN!”. It’s in the quiet of my heart when chaos surrounds me, and I am closing my eyes so I may see more clearly. It is in the “barely, poorly, slowly”. In the inching towards the great call of the Lord, in the pauses to catch my breath, in the exhaustion. In the running, the fleeing, the hiding. In the cries. In all of it.
Child, I want all of you. Every bit of you. The parts that hurt, the parts you want to hide, the parts that don’t match, the parts you’re proud of. And in your moving towards Me, whether it be in the inching or the running, I raise My fist in triumph.
He’s proud of me. I’m His girl. He makes me triumphant. Even if it’s slowly, poorly, barely. I’ve made it here, and I can feel the smile on His face.