I wasn’t expecting a FaceTime call with my sweet writer friend Gabbie last night to shake up my Friday night in the best way possible. We talked about the books that are on both of our hearts to write. We shared about our details in our lives and our faiths. I told her that I’m struggling with a lull in my faith – there’s nothing wrong with it but my relationship with God seems a little static. When talking about it, I was reminded of a question I either read in a book or somebody asked me — I don’t quite recall, though it’s important nonetheless.
How is your relationship with Jesus different than yours with God?
That’s a question that can be a massively powerful inquiry — I couldn’t be rid of the thoughts that followed in a few simple minutes. In fact, I woke up with musings on my heart early this morning and I’ve nestled up on this quiet Saturday morning, trying to sort out my messy thoughts.
God, to me, is an Artist. That’s an identity I can understand, that I connect with him on. I’ve traveled to the mountains and believe that he dreamed up the landscapes with extreme technical skill and an eye for beauty. Despite the grandeur, the small speck of a Kate standing on the mountaintop is more important to him than any of that.
I often question why God would care to know how many hairs are on my head when there are millions and millions (and millions) of other humans that he cares and has cared about just the same. And so I constantly have to remind myself of his Bigness and make myself smaller — to look in complete awe at the mountains and the seas and the humans walking past me on the street.
I think God is wise — I think he knows our hearts and paths, and loves us deeper in ways our humanness can’t begin to fathom. Yet, I stray so frequently to these earthly things, to my own stubborn ideals. But then I revert back in attempts to hand him back the reigns and settle down. It’s the age-old circle of trust and fear, demonstrated back even to biblical times. I can imagine him shaking his head a bit with a smile, welcoming us home every time we run away — even rejoicing when we do return. Every. Single. Time.
As I’ve tried to sort out my heart’s words this morning, I sense that I’ve recently and immensely invested in discernment attempts for God-things in my life’s path. I’ve tried to keep my eyes unclouded to discover God-winks and keep him active in my life.
This is where balance becomes a character in the story because it’s necessary to nurture all relationships. I’ve somehow allowed myself to miss out on the other half of the greatest love story ever told.
At this point in my relationship with him, Jesus is comparable to a neighbor next door who I’ve seen every so often and I’d like to know him, but I think I'm nervous to.
Though I know the stories of his life through years of attending Sunday School and hearing them preached in church, I’ve stayed away from personally reading the gospels — out of fear? Out of misbalancing relationships? I’m not entirely certain. It feels like a deep down secret — I lack a personal connection with Jesus. I’ve neglected truly knowing him and what he truly means to my heart, and I’m frustrated with myself for straying so far from the man who died upon the cross for me. Part of bravery is allowing beauty to grow from the unknown even if you can't picture how it will shake up your life. I know that's going to happen and my life could become richer if I invite him into my home. I think Jesus had kind eyes, so there's not a logical reason for me to be afraid of learning for myself who he was.
Friends, I am nowhere near an expert on God and Jesus and religion. I know what I believe through studies, conversation and experiences, and I know you’re welcome to believe what you do. I’m not sure if any of this resonates with you, but if it does, know that you’re not the only human who might feel a lull in some aspect of your faith. We’re wired to be in community with each other — reach out, have the faith conversations and love everybody you come across. It’s a new year and I’m praying to be rid of my lull, planning to invest my time in reading and learning things that make my faithful heart beat a little faster, to notice God winks in everything and to become a close friend to Jesus.
Dear heart, you are valuable and brave and I’m glad you’re here. Let’s walk this welcoming road together.
Love and light,