A few weeks ago, as I got ready for my day, I prayed as I showered. Now, I have to tell you that there was a time in my life as a new believer, that I wouldn’t even talk to God in the shower. I mean . . . I’m naked in the shower! I didn’t want Him to see me like that. But, as I was praying in the shower—see, I can grow—I thought about the road I’d been travelling with Him for more than ten years, and the one I travelled for more than thirty, without Him.
That’s a trip I don’t take very often. It’s difficult for me. To think of the things that He allowed in my life so that I might turn and notice Him. As I stood there, it was as if my life was flashing before my eyes. Like God was showing me how far He’d gone to get me: A difficult childhood. The invisibility issue I’ve struggled with. The unfulfilled ache to be noticed by my parents. The longing I had to be loved. The broken relationships I didn’t understand. Being disowned by my family. The day I gave up on my marriage (still married, another story). And, in the midst of this, I caught myself gasping for air, struggling not to cry, when a small yelp escaped.
The kind of high pitched noise that escapes when you’re trying to hold your pain, but it knows better. And, since it was already out there, I just laid into it and cried. As my tears and the water from the shower fell down around me, God spoke to my heart.
“If it hadn’t been for all those things, all that pain, you would never have turned to me. You would have never trusted me. And without trusting me, you would never have believed that I would take care of you. That I would see you. That I would love you. And, I do love you.”
God pursues relentlessly. Using whatever means necessary to get our attention. And, as we run towards every possible answer in life that will make us feel whole, we can create some rough and winding paths upon which we will one day look back and wonder.
But, regardless of the wasteland we leave behind us when we choose Him, He relentlessly pursues. Though we are scarred by the battle, He wants us still. The broken. The ugly. The scared. The torn. He doesn’t look at the mess you are and think: “Whoa! I didn’t bargain for that!” Instead, He thinks: “Wow. Now that’s something I can work with.”
But, for many of us, it takes a kind of “nakedness” before we are moldable. A stripping off of the things that we hold closest to ourselves. A revealing of secrets to the point that we are so transparent; we can’t help but speak complete truth.
And while seeing this in a couple of women at work is certainly what drew me to Christ, this week I was reminded that it is the same thing that will draw my children to Him.
As a mother, it’s easy to fall into the role of hall monitor. Some of us become zealous little hall monitors, don’t we? Pointing out every misstep. Reminding them of things they could handle on their own, if we’d just let them.
But, it’s when we get down and dirty. When we let them see us, warts and all, then they begin to glimpse what it is that God can do in a person’s life. And, what shape a person must be in before He can work.
- Broken of pride, so that He can build.
- Tender of heart, so that He can sow.
- Focused in mind, so that He can be heard.
- Transparent of self. Ready for His hands to work.
Only God can get you there, and only you can allow Him to.
That day in the shower, I realized how far I’d come. The pain of those many things in my life was gone. Though I could still sometimes mourn the loss, I no longer hurt from them. My pain had been replaced with something useful. A need to show others what God can do in their lives. But, more than that, a desire to teach my children what He can do in theirs in the hopes that they won’t suffer the trials I went through. The years without a relationship with Him. The memories of loss.
For that honor and blessing, I wouldn’t trade a single step.
“I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten—the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm—my great army that I sent among you.”