Many of my posts recently have been about the man I am interested in. This one is different. This post is about the One who is interested in me.
I was raised in an evangelical protestant church. I accepted the truth of the Bible and asked Jesus to come into my heart when I was about nine years old. But in retrospect, I think that was more like purchasing fire insurance than it was the beginning of a relationship.
In my teens, I had a series of "one night stands" with God, often at Christian retreats or camps or other youth events. Okay, sometimes they lasted a week. Sometimes they may have even lasted a month. But overall, my spiritual life was a roller coaster ride, not a genuine commitment to the One who loved me.
In college and my 20's, I tried hard to live the way He would want me to, at least most of the time. But something was missing even then. I think I would characterize that decade as the decade when I tried to earn my way into God's favor. I apparently still didn't understand that Christianity is a relationship, not a religion.
In my 30's, I was busy bearing and raising children. An amazing thing started to happen during that time. My children began teaching me about my sin nature, about God's mercy and grace, and best of all, about unconditional love!
By the time I turned 40, I think I was finally engaged in a real relationship with God. Suddenly, being in His word was no longer a duty, but a delight. And then when my husband's affair came to light, I was forced to throw myself fully into God's arms, to allow Him to carry me, because I was too overwhelmed to function on my own.
And He did.
He wrapped His arms around me and carried me through every windy moment, every stormy day. He was the center of my life, and those Psalms about Him being a rock and a fortress? They suddenly were something I had experienced for myself. He became my Abba Father (Daddy) and even my Husband, in many ways.
If you ask me how long I have been a Christian, I can give you three different answers. I have been a cultural Christian my entire life. I have been "born again" for 38 years. But I have been a Christ-follower, a Christ-lover, for maybe seven years.
Those have been the most difficult, yet the best seven years of my life!