I don’t remember when we first met, but I remember vividly when we started to get to know each other on a deeper level. It was my sophomore year of college and I hit a low point. My friends were preoccupied with other things, my family was back home, and I had just parted ways with the guy I was in love with at the time. The loneliness quickly began to set in. As I sat on my dorm room floor sad and alone, I began to talk to myself quite a bit. Being in this dark place led me to being home sick, seeking company in all the wrong places and making a series of bad decisions. But after many shed tears from feeling so lonely and discouraged, I realized I wasn’t alone at all.
God. Jesus Christ. My Lord & Savior. I’ve always known about Him. Been in church as long as I can remember. Never the family to go to church 3 times a week, serve on every ministry and follow Pastor to every church, but we went enough for me to know of and believe in God. I also when to a private Christian school for 5 years. But even with all of that teaching, I never fully understood what it meant to really know God. Not until that semester I spent sad in my dark dorm room just laying on the floor lost in my thoughts. I wasn’t alone at all. He was with me all along and he heard all of my thoughts and the conversations I would have with myself. One of those nights the holy spirit must’ve nudged me and ensured me that I wasn’t talking to myself; I was communing with God even when I didn’t realize it.
As I read through my old journal entries from that time in my life, I am beyond grateful for experiencing God’s love and allowing it to heal me. He brought me comfort and helped me to climb out of the dark place I was in. It was then that I began to understand the difference between religion and relationship. I began attending the Revolution church that semester and if I didn’t learn anything else from there, this concept was probably the most important thing I could have learned:
Religion is merely a set of beliefs and organized practices such as going to church, paying tithes, talking about the birth of Jesus on Christmas or His Resurrection on Easter. Relationship on the other other hand requires effort. A relationship has to be built. I have learned to trust Him, talk to Him, love Him, and ultimately see Him as a best friend. He is no longer just “the person who created everything”. He is now someone I think about constantly, go to for advice, and give thanks to because He’s done so much for me even when I don’t deserve it. I’ve grown to love spending time with Him and we even go on occasional dates. My time with Him has become a necessity, not a religious duty. He wants our time and attention the same way anyone else we have relations with does.
Not only have I been getting to know Him, but He knows me too. I believe He knows me better now. He is omniscient, I know, but I honestly feel like He knows me better today than He did before we got so close. I get this fuzzy feeling that He recognizes my voice. He knows my name. I’ve seen so many prayers answered so quickly. God isn’t a magician or a genie, but I think because we spend so much time together, He’s better able to recognize when I speak. Perhaps He’s more eager because He knows I’m coming to Him out of love and not selfishness (not always, but I’m a work in progress). Maybe that’s not it at all. Maybe I just have a greater awareness of His goodness at this point in my life and when He does things – even the small things – I recognize His work and rejoice. He is a miracle worker.
“But the person who loves God is the one whom God recognizes.” 1 Corinthians 8:3
I know He knows me when I write out a prayer, put it in my prayer box and then one day I come back and can remove it because it’s been answered.
I know He knows me when I’m feeling down all the while lifting someone else up and He gives me the strength to do so.
I know He knows me when I’m feeling overly anxious about a situation and He addresses it right on time without me manipulating it.
I know He knows me when that small little quiet voice of the Holy Spirit gives me that gut feeling about a decision I need to make and I know it’s clarity.
I know He knows me when I send up a prayer on the behalf of friends or family and He takes care of that person for me.
There is just something about knowing Him. People ask about the peace I now have. It’s not that I don’t have problems. It’s not that everything is perfect. It’s not that I don’t have flaws. This peace found me when I began to seek Him first. When my desire for Him grew more important than other things in my life.. I stopped allowing negativity to get the best of me. I stopped allowing myself to feel like my problems are bigger than He is. I stopped being shy about sharing how significant He is in my life. I’ve been learning who He says I am rather than letting people define my value. He knows I’m imperfect and He still loves me. Because of His grace I’ve been able to forgive myself for stupid decisions I’ve made. Knowing He still loves me with my flaws, I’ve been able to love myself even more. This has been a beautiful relationship thus far, and I’ll never compromise it for any person, job, or situation.
They told me not everyone can walk this path with me. They told me I’d lose people along the way. I have definitely chose the road less traveled, but I believe wholeheartedly that this decision is the best one I could ever make. So far that belief has proven true. Certain people have become distant. I have lost certain desires. I cherish my quiet time and don’t mind being alone. I don’t seek new friends anymore because I’m in a place where I want my friendships to be purposeful. As I looked back over my journal entries from that semester in college, I went weeks without ever mentioning His name. If you look at my current journal, I start almost every entry with “Dear God” and can hardly go more than a few sentences without mentioning Him again. This relationship has gotten rather deep, but I’m proud to be able to say He knows me. Proud in the most humble way possible. I am immensely grateful he saved me from the destructive path I could have gone down and replaced it with a life of peace.
He is my friend when I feel like I don’t have any. We’re married on days when the single life is overwhelming. He already took care of the situations I become anxious about. He holds me on days when I long for love. He listens to me on days when I need to vent and feel like I don’t have anyone to talk to. I use to be sad about what I don’t have, but I am constantly reminded that I have all I need in God.
So glad He knows me. ♥