It’s been one year. A whole year flew by and I didn’t even notice. I realized it when I looked at the date and had this overwhelming feeling to journal (journaling/writing down prayers is how I feel most comfortable communicating with God). I haven’t journaled in a while (or even really spent a lot of time with God) but I didn’t feel intimidated as I normally do. I just whipped out my journal, my Word in Color adult coloring book, and my worship playlist on my phone and was ready. Still not understanding why I had this urge to journal to the Lord, I skimmed through the pages to find a blank one. In doing that, I looked at the first page. June 25, 2016 is the date that I wrote at the top in the corner. And it dawned on me in that moment that it has been an entire year since I rededicated my life to Christ. And oh boy, what a year it’s been.
Time tends to fly by without us taking any heed to the fact that it escapes us whether or not we’re ready. I never thought I would be where I am a whole year later. But to give this story some context, let me tell you what was going on around the time I gave my life to Christ … again.
I just got home from completing my senior year in college. Feeling a little lost and confused, my days were awful and I was left feeling pretty empty. My depression (that I’ve been dealing with for 4 years now, but that’s another post) came back in full swing so my emotions were all the time everywhere. I was at an office job that I HATED and was crying basically every day. I found no joy in anything and my happiness was based on situations. Needless to say, I was a mess, and nothing was getting better … at all.
One day, I was scrolling through my popular page on Instagram and bumped up on a Chelsee Rasheed’s page aka IAdoreChrist. Her story was nothing like mine but I was instantly drawn to this young woman in ministry. Even though our pasts were different, where she was, was exactly where I pictured myself being. Ministering to women, singing, being in a Godly relationship. All that. I scrolled through her whole page and then sauntered over to her YouTube. All of the sudden I felt this overwhelming need to have the kind of relationship with God she was talking about. I wanted Him to be in every aspect of my life and I wanted to know who He was and all that fun stuff. I knew God was the key to unlock to door to my joy.
So I got on the floor and cried out to God and told Him I don’t know what the devil I’m doing, but life HAS to be better than this. I told God I wanted a real relationship with Him and if He met me where I was, I was going to do this for real. I got up off the floor, feeling no different, got in my bed, and went to sleep.
The next day I bought a journal and started writing in it. I wasn’t reading the Bible yet because it was intimidating BUT I was really dedicated to journaling every night, so much so, I thought if I DIDN’T journal, something bad would happen. Yea, remember the depression? Throw some anxiety in there too. Over the next two weeks I journaled and prayed like I had lost my mind. And I actually was FEELING different. I had peace, and joy, and I couldn’t stop telling people about Jesus, I had more understanding of my life. It. Was. Awesome. I was having those feelings (I thought) that everyone said they had or that I should have. I thought I was on the right track.
But slowy and surely it wore off. A friend came to town and I didn’t journal for like 3 days and that was it. It’s been hard to get back in the game since then. But God pulled me back, like He always does. He saw that I was needing Him, wanting Him, but not knowing where to start. So He reminded me of the date. He opened my journal up to the first page. He made me think about what my goals were last year. When I read what I wrote one year ago, my goals were related to the time I was in; I was looking at what other people said my relationship with Christ should look like. I wanted a “sweet” relationship with Christ. The kind where I ran around told everyone how awesome God was in a sweet, calm, and whispery voice. I wanted open lines of communication between us; like I wanted God to tell me what to do with my hair in the morning. I wanted all this stuff that I based off of what OTHER people’s relationships with God LOOKED like from the OUTSIDE. I thought that if I went around telling everyone about God and if God picked out my clothes for me, then THAT meant that I had the relationship I wanted. I was chasing evidence of a God, not He Himself. And I think that is the important thing to note. We often chase the evidence of God. “Well I pray 16 times a day and read 4 chapters of the Bible every night soooo uhhhhhh I HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD” And that’s totally fine if that’s how your true relationship with God works! But we, as women who are still trying to figure it out, can’t look at that and say “well I don’t do that so I must not have a relationship”. No, you do. You’re just figuring it all out. And that takes time.
One year later, I still want those things, but instead of basing it off of other people, I’m basing it off of me. I got a new journal because I’m letting go of what I thought I wanted with God. I have new expectations of myself because it’s not fair for me to compare June 25, 2016 me to June 25, 2017 me. I have new GOALS because I’m a different person and I’ve learned so much so what I wanted before is NOT what I want now. Sure, God is going to push me and prune me and that’s fine. But God also knows that I’m still figuring this all out.
So one year later. Let’s try this again, shall we? My way this time.