I remember as a teen and young adult, mom always saying, “Girl, get your head out of the clouds and come back to reality.” Looking back now, I can see she meant it out of love, but at the time I thought she was ridiculing me. She would also tell me that I was going to experience a lot of heartache because I wanted people to be like me, and I took that the wrong way for a long time too. I didn’t understand that she was telling me I was a good person and sometimes, no matter how much you try, people will just treat you badly.
My life was a total disaster for a long time. In childhood, it was not my choice, however, in adulthood, I spent too many years running from those childhood fears. I ran toward the wrong situations, thinking they were going to save me (at the time I didn’t even know what I was running from). However, there was always a silver lining, always love there to catch me in my messed-up state. Through God, I was brought to avenues like the Motherless Daughters Ministry, and because of His persistence and love, I have come to a place of forgiveness with many people who hurt me in life.
But, no experience is truly wasted! That is the cool thing about life. You experience the mess, and while you think you are failing, you are actually being given so much grace and mercy. I experienced an unbelievable amount of grace and mercy through friends, family, foster care, work places, Motherless Daughters, you name it, God showed up EVERYWHERE.
When it comes to believing in God, I have learned that every person will have their own experiences and personal beliefs. I have been in many places on the spectrum. From talking to God as a child, to growing up with many different religious backgrounds, enduring horrible life experiences at very early ages, then coming to a place of feeling void and deciding maybe that the God I talked to wasn’t real, and finally, turning away to seek who knows what. But, I serve a persistent God, and I am so grateful for His love.
Where I stand today can be understood through these thoughts: If we choose to seek God with all our hearts, He will reveal Himself to us. When I thought He wasn’t there, I didn’t see or feel Him. When I began to ask for revelation because things – “coincidences” – happened way too often to rationally explain away, things began to change, and God showed up in a BIG way. I realized that He had always been there, but I had closed my eyes to His presence because it didn’t seem logical to believe a God could exist, let alone care about me. The only thing that changes is our choice to either acknowledge or ignore it when we experience God’s presence.
In my experience, life takes on a much different perspective when we choose not to believe. It is all about perspective. God is all around us. In the people that come into our lives and love us, in the trees silently blowing in the wind, in the raging waters of a waterfall. In every creature and human. GOD = LOVE. If one has the ability to love, that person is a vessel. I choose to believe God can be anywhere at any time. Furthermore, just because a person may not believe in God’s existence, doesn’t mean I can’t feel His love through their actions and THAT is amazing to me.
As believers, we know God does not force us to believe in Him, but He does gracefully walk by our side, patiently waiting for us to turn back to Him. We were given free will and have determined through trial and error that when we give up the wheel, He can drive, but that doesn’t make us puppets or controlled, it makes us free!!
He has restored many relationships in my life. Through these redemption stories, I now fully believe He alone is capable of turning any situation around, yet, it is still up to me to continue giving Him the wheel.