We only get one shot at this.
I have one chance to live. To really really live. I could never know when my time is up. I have to make everything count. I am building a legacy with each day of my life. Who am I? What do I stand for? Do I live a life that reflects what I believe in? Do I love well? What are my daughters learning from me? What is my love life with God like?
God has been loving me til it hurts. I am hurting. He feels distant and close all at the same time. I cry for Him and I don't really know why. I feel hopeful and lost and blessed and sorry for myself and it doesn't make sense. You know, for a long while I was just complacent. I was going through the motions of life, spiritually numb. I had knowledge of God. I knew some scripture and the all the churchy stuff. In March, a beautiful girl spoke prophetically over my life in an airport. It was a surreal experience that I couldn't quite grasp in its entirety. I will never forget her face, her eyes, the truth that she shared. It was an emotional experience, and as strongly as I felt at the time it soon faded from my mind. Then, the drought. A large portion of my twenty-fourth year was a spiritual drought. I was dry and barren, with little to offer anyone around me. I wouldn't have known God's presence if He had sat down next to me on a park bench. One by one God starting putting people in my life and answering prayer. I could see the work He was doing in people that I love. I started attending AA meetings with Austin and I witnessed miracles in the lives of strangers and I loved God more for it. I couldn't feel Him for myself, but I could for others. My mom was baptized again and so was my little brother. I remember him asking me if I saw anything in his eyes. (My mom told me to be sure and notice the "sparkle".) I said, "You have a sparkle in your eyes!" He said it was from Jesus being in his heart. I remembered for just a second how real God felt to me as a child. I just felt it for an instant. I longed for it again. The next day Brooklyn was looking in the mirror. She turned around and asked me, "Mom, do I have a sparkle in my eyes?"
I realized my spiritual drought was costing me dearly. I told her she absolutely had the brightest sparkle in her eyes. She told me she wanted to be "babatized" and my heart was heavy. I felt guilty. We don't even go to a church for her to be baptized. Here was my five year old daughter, hungry for a God that I once knew intimately and chose to disconnect from. We pray together. We pray together as a family. It was a sunny day this summer, while we all sat around the table outside with dinner, that Charlotte prayed for the first time. She bowed her head and closed her eyes and put her little hands out to be held. It was a beautiful moment. I was overcome with a feeling I can't explain. My children are not my own. I am just a facilitator. I have a job and obligation, and if I fail to do it now, I am changing their whole lives. God gave them to me, trusting that I would raise them to know and love Him. How was it my babies were teaching me about God?
God seems to use vacations to get my attention. My mom and I went to San Francisco last month. It was such a great trip. She had been telling me I needed to read this book. I saved it for the trip, knowing I would have plenty of time to read on the plane. It eloquently painted a picture of God- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It helped me understand that I was struggling to know God as a dad. The whole trip long I just felt so blessed. So so so blessed. I am so poor, I hardly get to go out to eat. My clothes come from thrift stores, or occasionally target or old navy. In my twenty-fourth year, I had to make $5 last three days. Staying in a new city, eating wonderful food, drinking up every bit of my mom that I could, buying over priced make-up and outfits for my girls... it is like being a princess for a few days. I feel like God gives me a few days to treat me, to remind me that I am special, to just lavish me with joy, and especially the gift of my mom's time. It's funny how you can build walls all around your heart, shutting God out, and what does He do? He pours out His blessings until you can't help but feel the richness of His love right through those wretched walls. He never stops pursuing me.
Never in my whole life, have I wanted God more than anything else. I have always loved God, but I haven't desired Him above all else. I have wanted relationships, and things, and direction, and to be changed. I have prayed for selfish things. I have allowed myself to become consumed with people and situations and circumstances- my whole thought life revolves around them. Never have I genuinely prayed to know God, to have a relationship with God, to live for God, and truly yearned for it with all my heart. I have never worshiped God with my life. I want that to change. I have only in the last few days been praying to want God more than anything else and above all else. I want to let God be my father.
I have this book of 100 favorite Bible verses. I sat down at the computer to type this post. I asked God to speak to me through a verse. I closed my eyes and "rouletted" until I felt the feeling to stop.
The Never Ending Story
God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
If I am to have everlasting life, then 25 really isn't such a big deal. I don't need to be afraid of a life that doesn't matter. I matter. I matter so much that God gave His Son for me. I look for meaning in all these extrinsic things. They are not what gives my life meaning. It is an empty search. My time here is so short. And however long I might have left, I want to worship God with my life. I want the way I live to reflect what I believe. I am a daughter of the King. Jesus is the ultimate Bridegroom. The Holy spirit lives and breathes in me, and I know what it is like to be loved completely and perfectly. Someone died an extremely painful and agonizing death, so that I wouldn't have to. He took my place. He took my place.
The prayers for my twenty-fifth year will be seeking to know and love God above everything else, and of gratitude for my Savior. Every day, I will pray these things. I can't wait to see what God does with me during my twenty-fifth year.