"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
In the dark is where I found an entirely new wavelength of light – one not always visible to the naked eye.
If you were to ask me, "Did you know Jesus as a child?" I would nod in eager acceptance.
And if we continued the conversation about knowing God in my teen years, I would say, "sure." Ask me about my twenties, and I would respond with, "I'm pretty certain, but that decade was a busy one."
"Well, what about your thirties – did you know God," you'd inquire. I'd pause for a second. Then I'd tell you how my thirties hit, along with a lot of life changes and a heavy dose of complicated things.
Lowering my eyes as I recollect, I lift my head looking you straight in your beautiful eyes, and tell you, "Those years, well, that is when I really found Him. Maybe, better put, He found me, in a pit of despair where only His light could be seen."
I'm almost forty (one more year to go), and I stare at the questions above in reflection. Did I really know Jesus all of my life? Yes, I believe so. But was He always first? Was our relationship number one? Were all personal relationships, goal-seeking, and busyness second? No.
All of the hustle and bustle of life came to a grinding halt two months after the birth of my first son when I experienced a rapid onset of postpartum psychosis. Then there was a battle with depression, anxiety, PTSD, and insomnia for months. My health struggles continued on and off for about two and a half years and included three hospital stays. Then God mercifully answered my prayers and gave me a different doctor and treatment plan, fully restoring my health.
And then He gave me my redo one year later -- another beautiful baby boy.
The journey to faith is significant, but the weight is found in the journey of unbridled faith. It's a trip that has us coming and going at times. With belief comes knowledge and acceptance that God is good regardless of our circumstances. Transparent believers know this. We also recognize that He is an omniscient God, a healer, a miracle worker, and a restorer – but at times, we doubt His goodness when our circumstances cloud our judgment. I know I have, more than once.
But the changing of my conditions inadvertently slid my relationship with God to number one. He broke me with His hard love and Fatherly discipline and gave me the ultimate gift of freedom. Within my wrestle with doubt, I learned to trust with all my heart, relinquish control, and surrender fully (Proverbs 3:5-6). He also gave me a path with a purpose, to spread the hope and love of Jesus Christ.
Dear friend, I'm not sure where you are in your journey with the Lord. I know life doesn't always look like we expect it. There tend to be more twists, turns, and valleys than paved straights to the mountain-tops. But the ride in pursuit of a relationship with Jesus and discovering His unconditional love is so worth everything.