Thursday, November 4, 2010

I love to tell the story...Part II

The sun streamed into my bright yellow dorm room, warming my face, which was wearing smeared mascara and a big smile. I sat up and raised my arms, stretching, as thoughts of what happened the night before began to skip through my mind. Little flashes of memory and emotion mingling with and overtaking thoughts of the day ahead. Wiping the good kind of tears from my eyes, I bounced up from the bed and set about getting ready for my 7:30 class...showering, dressing, curling and spraying my hair to the desired volume and height. Then, I grabbed my bible and backpack and headed out the door.

As per usual, I was early for class, so I took the time to open my bible and read a little before the professor began his lecture. After that, I headed to the Caf for some breakfast and a bit more bible reading. I didn't look for Thomas (the boy I was crushing on/stalking) or any of my friends. I just got my food and found a quiet corner by the window to read. I remember this feeling, like fizz in a soft drink, bubbling up inside of me. I remember feeling light. I remember feeling...happy. I also remember smiling a lot.

It was probably mid-way through my day, as I was walking back to the Caf again for lunch, that it hit me just how different this day was from the day before. Then, waking up with a smile, bouncing out the door, feeling fizzy inside and, even happy, pretty much never happened. 

Nothing had changed, circumstantially. I was still fat, I still hated my hair, I was still flat broke, Thomas still had yet to confess his undying love for me. Yet, here I was...bouncy, fizzy, happy. And, for at least the 12th time that day, the good kind of tears stung my eyes and rolled down my cheeks. 

I'd just experienced my first day of walking with God.

I'd heard people talk about "walking with the Lord" or "having a relationship with Jesus" before, but, honestly, I always thought it was a bit like a grown person getting excited about Santa. It was silly and made up. I was too smart to get excited about made up things...except for books and movies and the little stories that formed in my own head and the idea of me and Thomas together. Of course. But, here I was, bouncy, fizzy, happy, and knowing that I knew that I knew that it was all because of God. it was all because He made himself real to me, he spoke to me, he touched me in a way that no one and no thing ever had, and he was with me, right at that moment, loving on me, showing me more of himself and that...I was his.

Even now, sixteen years later, the reality of that just floors me and brings the good kind of tears to my eyes.

Over the course of the past sixteen years, I confess, I've gone through times where I lost the bouncy, fizzy, happy feeling. Times when I turned and walked another way. Times when the volume of my circumstances, the sound and pulsating beat of them, made me numb to anything else. But, God has never ceased to make himself known to me, to show up, to find me though I'm running to everything and anything else, to remind me of who he is and bring me back to himself. And through those times without the bouncy, fizzy, happy, I've come to know God in a different way. I've come to know the God who is patient with wayward hearts, who is near even in my fear and grief, who is big enough to handle my doubts and fears and loving enough to comfort me through them, who is always faithful, always there when the darkness lifts to show me that he was truly there all along. 

This God is my God and I am His. He made it so long before I was born, and whispered that truth into my heart sixteen years ago. I am forever changed and forever grateful.

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