God is my Best Friend. I have other best friends too that I’d love to tell you all about in another post, but this post is about my friendship with God. He is my BEST Best Friend. He’s known me forever – since before I was even conceived – but I didn’t really start getting to know Him until I was in undergrad. Long story short, He was there when no one else was. He was the light while I was in a dark place. He was just waiting for me to recognize that He was there the whole time. He wanted me to realize that I wasn’t actually alone, talking to myself, but that He was there listening to me and wanting to talk back.
(If you want to read more about how this relationship really got going, check out He Knows Me.)
Now here I am, 5 years later, and I understand why I had to endure that dark place. Sometimes He removes everyone and everything else to remind us that He is all we need. I’m grateful for my process because I really found Jesus in the midst of it, and since then, He has become my very best friend. He’s the one person I can count on to ALWAYS be there, the one that will ALWAYS listen when I’m hurting, the one that won’t judge me even when I’m being stupid, the one who loves me unconditionally, and the one who forgives and shows me grace even when I don’t deserve it. There is no one else like Him.
It is my hope that through reading about our relationship, you will be inspired to reconsider what it might mean for you to have a relationship with God. I pray that all of you, whether you are questioning Christianity, newer to your faith in God, or a Seasoned Saint, are able to gain something from this post. Be sure to let me know your thoughts in the comments!!
My Favorite Places to Spend Time with God
I absolutely love spending time with God outside. My favorite place to do so is the beach. I remember this one day in particular… it was a warm, early September day, and when I got off of work at 7pm, there was still a bit of sunlight left. I had always wanted to watch the sunset on the beach with bae, so I thought “this is it!” I was in Grand Rapids at the time, so Lake Michigan was only 30 minutes away. I rushed home and called up my crush to see if he was down for the ride. Of course, he did not want to go. I had a decision to make: go in the house and let life pass me by until I have a man, or make this trip alone. I went to the beach by myself for the very first time that night, and finally got to watch the sunset on lake. I took my journal with me and it was probably one of the most beautiful moments I’ve ever had. Just me and God. I could feel His presence as the waves would crash against the shore. I sat there in awe at His creations. The purple, pink and blue sky. How far out water stretched. The laughter of kids and the chirps of birds. The wind blowing through my arm hair. I was surrounded by Him that day. There is no phone service on that beach, so I didn’t have any distractions. Nothing else mattered in that moment. Just me and God. He had my undivided attention, and I probably had a better time with God than I would have had with my crush.
Unfortunately, I can’t go to the beach everyday, but I’ve found that my back porch is another great place for us to commune. I live with 5 other people, so it isn’t always easy to find a quiet place at home. Luckily, when I do go sit out on the back porch, no one usually bothers me there. I look out over the yard, at the grass, the trees, the blue skies, the animals and the clouds. I love when it is super quiet out – no cars, lawn mowers or dogs barking. A lot of times, my quiet time out there looks a bit different from how it may look at the beach. When I go out back, I like to close my eyes and pray. I don’t go out there to read or to journal, but just to pray and listen.
My other favorite place to spend time with God is this cute little area known as “The Reflecting Pools”. It is a beautiful place on the campus where I work/go to school. Most days, I spend my break out there. When it’s quiet, it’s perfect. I can sit there and pray, read, journal or just sit. I’ve vented to God there, cried, and meditated. For me, it’s just something about being by the water. I feel like me and God have some of our best talks near water. Whether it be an ocean, lake, pond or pool – if it’s quiet and beautiful, I immediately desire to spend time with God there.
Intentional Moments with God
In addition to having quiet time with God in my favorite places, I try to set aside time for Him. For example, we’ve gone on a few dates. I must say, being single has allowed me time to become comfortable being alone. I know some people don’t like the idea of going out to eat alone and other things like that, but there is something gratifying about it. The thing is, God wants our time and attention the same way our friends, family and lovers do. You don’t necessarily have to go on dates with Him, but for me – a person who use to struggle being content in her singleness – going on dates with God AND taking myself out, were both healthy ways to help me overcome that loneliness. It is also nice to make God feel special. Going on dates with Him is just another way of me saying “Hey God, this time is for you because I love you.”
Apart from dates and quiet time outdoors, I’ve also created a “quiet corner” in my bedroom. I purchased a canopy, a cute rug, a backrest pillow and a fuzzy blanket, and VOILÀ! I now have a small, comfortable place in my home specifically for spending time with God. One day, when I get my own place, I hope to have a prayer closet designated for those purposes.
One thing I want to do that I haven’t quite disciplined myself to do yet is have my own set aside Bible Study time. Yes, I read my Bible plans and scriptures of the day on my Bible App. My streak as of today is 193 Days and 24 Perfect Weeks of using the app without missing a day. But there is something about opening my physical Bible and really letting Him speak to me through His word. I definitely need to become more intentional about this.
Unexpected Moments with God
As many of you may know, I’m training for my first 5K right now. I have never been a runner, and in fact, I’ve always HATED running. Well, I’m going to do this thing, and during one of my runs, God spoke to me so clearly. Just when I thought I didn’t have anymore left in me, He starts convicting me! “Keep going. You’re almost there. I know you feel like giving up, but trust me. Keep going. Oh and don’t check your timer to see how much you have left, just keep your eyes on me. In reality, you can’t see the future, so treat this the same way. Just keep going. You are so close….” So I kept going and about 45 seconds later, my timer went off. It’s times like these where it’s easy to brush it off and say “I was encouraging myself”, but that was nothing but God speaking to me through the Holy Spirit that’s within me. As I spend more and more time with Him, I recognize Him speaking to me more often. I am becoming more in tune with His voice.
He tends to speak to me through parking ordeals, too. I remember a time during undergrad where I was on the top floor of the library looking out of the window. I watched below as a car drove around the parking lot looking for a spot. This car gave up early and drove away. The person decided to go park elsewhere just as another person was leaving a spot. If only the first car had driven around one more time!! This may seem silly, but I heard God telling me “I have sight beyond what you can see. Trust me instead of trying to do things your way.” I’m always mind-blown when He reveals himself to me in such random moments.
I could go on for days, but here is one last unexpected way I’ve experienced God. I love roller coasters. The last time I went to Cedar Point, there was something so spiritual about it. Being so high in the sky, legs dangling, strong winds – I felt so free. I don’t know how exactly to explain this one, but I felt God while I was up in the sky. Nothing else mattered up there. I left all of my worries in His hands right before the big drop!!! I felt so much lighter afterwards, too!
God is with us all the time, it’s just a matter of recognizing His presence. He’s with me while I’m working, exercising, eating and everything else. I talk to Him all the time, even while doing the smaller tasks. It may sound trivial, but acknowledging that He is with me strengthens our relationship. I think one of the most important points of all this is that having a relationship with God isn’t limited to going to church. Yes, I have encounters with Him there too, but church isn’t the extent of our relationship. I don’t only make time for God on Sundays. He is truly my best friend. We spend time together often.
If you’re in a place where you’re bored in your relationship with God or you don’t have a relationship with Him at all, I encourage you to invite Him into the spaces where you enjoy spending time. Maybe you like going on hikes or dancing. Invite Him in. Learn to recognize that He’s with you in those moments. Let me know in the comments what some of your favorite ways to spend time with God are! I’d love to get some new ideas!