He Knows Me

I thought I knew God.

I grew up learning about Him at home, at church, at camps, and through my own study and prayer. I attended a Christian college and was just a handful of credits short of a minor in religion thanks to all the Bible courses I took as electives. I knew my way around the Bible, I listened to Christian music, I enjoyed fellowship with Christian friends, I made God a real part of my every day life.

Then Faith was born and died in moments and suddenly the God I thought I knew seemed harder to understand.

So I sought Him.

I read – both my Bible and books about grief and loss from a Christian perspective. I listened to music and sermons and speakers online. I wrote through my thoughts. I prayed and cried out to Him.

And little by little I came to know Him again. To know Him even better than before. And in spite of, or truthfully because of, the loss of Faith I came to a deeper faith than I’d experienced in my life thus far.

I thought I knew God.

Then Hope was born with a rare and complex condition that will impact her for the rest of her life. A condition that required open heart surgery within 15 days of her birth and intestinal surgery at just under 4 months old. A condition that will require at least two more open heart surgeries and other interventions in the months and years to come. A condition that will most likely limit her ability to participate in things the rest of us take for granted. A condition that could potentially shorten her life here on earth.

And suddenly the God I thought I knew seemed harder to understand all over again.

But this time I didn’t seek Him. I stubbornly dug in my heels, angry at the thought of having to learn who God is all over again.

As terrible as it may sound to admit it, although I knew that this experience could bring me closer to God, could give me an even better understanding of Him, all I really wanted was to simply be happy. To bring home a healthy baby and live life the way I pictured it would be during those wonderful 20 weeks of pregnancy leading up to her diagnosis.

To be clear, I didn’t turn my back on God. I clung to Him still, like a drowning man clings to a life preserver, but I refused to open myself up to more. Maybe I was too angry or stubborn or just plain weary to try. But deep down I think I was also scared.

I am scared.

Scared of the process which, from past experience, I know can be uncomfortable and downright painful. Scared that God will ask even more from me that I don’t want to give or do or handle. Scared that learning more about Him, about how He can use all this, will give it purpose. And while that should be a good thing, I kind of hate the idea of acknowledging a purpose because it means also acknowledging that the life I imagined is forever changed.

It means letting go, and I am so much more stubborn than I realized.

I’ve been re-reading C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia and was struck by a single, simple line in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader in which Eustace is speaking with his cousin Edmund:

“But who is Aslan? Do you know him?” “Well – he knows me,” said Edmund.

He knows me.

I don’t know Him. Not like I thought I did. But He knows me.

I have stubbornly resisted what I need to do to know Him more. But He knows me.

I will never fully understand or grasp who He is. But He knows me.

He knows me.

And right now, that is comfort enough. Even in my lack of understanding. Even in my questions. Even in my anger and sorrow and fear. He knows me.

And because He knows me, because He loves me even as He knows me completely, I will seek to know Him. I will never know Him completely, not this side of heaven, but I will try to know Him more each day. It won’t be easy, and sometimes I’m sure I will still stubbornly try to grab for control, but I will try.

Because I need Him and He knows me.

The lyrics of the song Let Me Rediscover You* by Downhere are so fitting and have become an inspiration, an anthem if you will, for what lies ahead:

How can I say I know You, when what I know is still so small?

Let me rediscover You
And breathe in me Your life anew
Tell me of the God I never knew
Let me rediscover You

Let me rediscover You
And by Your grace I’ll follow through
Reveal to me the God I thought I knew

So this is the start. These words on the page, admitting my struggles and committing to the journey of rediscovering the God I thought I knew. The God who knows me.

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*You can find the video for Downhere’s Let Me Rediscover You by clicking here: Let Me Rediscover You Give it a listen – so good!

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Five Minute Friday: Limit

I’m trying something new and participating with a link up today. The challenge is to write for five minutes on a one word prompt. This was tough for me since I usually spend a lot more time writing and re-reading stuff, but it was fun too! Here’s what my flying fingers were able to get on the page in five minutes… 

When I was growing up my Dad always told us to “dream big dreams”. And I often did! But as an adult I find myself more easily intimidated to actually go after those dreams.

What makes me limit myself?

Sometimes it’s practicality and my need to plan everything. If it seems too hard to plan does that mean it’s out of reach?

Sometimes it’s comparing myself to others or to what is already out there. Can I really do that with my skills or in the place I am?

Whatever the case may be, I don’t want to lose my “dream big dreams” attitude. More importantly, I want to focus on the truth that God can and will use me no matter where I am. There is no limit to what He can do in and with my life.

Love these words by Downhere in the song “Little is Much”…

Little is much when God’s in it and no one can fathom the plans He holds, little is much when God’s in it He changes the world with the seeds with sow.

Am I putting limits on myself? Or am I even putting limits on what God can do with my life?

I want to let go of those things and trust that He is using me right where I am and will continue to shape my life just as He wants it to be.

 

 

This Sojourn We Call Life

Life is a journey.

I often think about it like climbing a mountain… there are challenges to face, unknowns around each bend, ledges to rest on, rough spots to conquer, and beautiful views all mixed together.

The climb is slow and steady and always changing. You know that the reward is worth every bit of effort along the way but there are moments when you just can’t take another step. Sometimes you have to stop to catch your breath and other times you have to stop to admire the view.hiking

Always the summit is ahead of you, pulling you forward, inspiring and motivating you along the way. And while that is encouragement to keep pressing on, it can also leave you feeling unsatisfied, wishing all the more that you were already there!

Sometimes I feel that way. Like there’s something greater that I’m waiting for. And you know what? There is!

I know that my desire for something more is based on the truth that this world is not my home. C.S. Lewis said it well, that we are “made for another world”.

God has called me to sojourn in this world, to stay for a time until He brings me Home. And while I rejoice in the promise of that day and long for eternity with Him, I also know that I have a purpose here.

This life is a gift, an incredible journey that I only get to take once. A climb full of challenges and wonders. So I will live it to the fullest as I walk the path God designed for me.

These words from the song “My Last Amen” by Downhere say it so poignantly:

The joy is in the waiting
Somewhere in the grand design
It’s good be unsatisfied
It keeps the faith and hope a little more alive

May that be true of me. May I find joy in the waiting on this climb, this sojourn we call life.

May I live with faith for the journey and hope for home.