My last year of high school, my oldest sister got married. I was so happy for her, and I truly loved my new brother-in-law. However, much to my amazement, I cried through her entire wedding service and through about half of the reception. For years, and I mean years, I could not figure out why. Seriously, I loved both of them, and I was (and still am) so happy for them. Why could I not stop crying??
Their wedding was 1993. Last year, 2012, I think I finally figured it out. Yes, that’s 19 years later, but who’s counting… I was in church. Just like when I went to Greek church with my high school friend, I was in the presence of God. And, I know, I am always in the presence of God, but that is where I felt Him the most. He was calling me. He wanted me to welcome Him into my life. He was disappointed with my decisions, but He wasn’t disappointed in me. I was (am) His creation.
But, I wasn’t ready. Partly, because I didn’t realize it. Not for 19 years did I realize it. I was so caught up in the world that I didn’t realize He was there, speaking to me, and I while I heard Him, I didn’t listen. I didn’t comprehend. I didn’t know.
So, I went onto college. Still very full of the world, I made very unfortunate decisions – although, at the time, I thought they were pretty good decisions. Only by the grace of God did I do well in college. And, I mean really well in college. I went to a few Campus Crusade for Christ meetings, but I didn’t feel like I fit in. I was the “cool” girl. Cool girls don’t find cool guys at CC4C meetings. And, cool girls don’t go to CC4C meetings. So, I stopped going.
Really, I feel like I didn’t fit in because the people that were there had a relationship with Christ. They would speak about Him like He was right there. He was in the room. He was real and alive and loving and personal. I wasn’t taught that. I was raised Catholic. We said prayers a certain way, we crossed ourselves a certain way, there were proper ways to do things. Now, if you are Catholic, please don’t be offended. This was the way I was raised Catholic, not the way all Catholics were raised. I didn’t have a personal relationship with Christ. Heck, at the time, if you would have asked me if I was a Christian, I would have said, “No, I’m a Catholic.” And, I would have meant it. I didn’t get it. I didn’t know.
But God knew. And, He was still there. Remember my sister getting married to this great guy back in 1993. Well, that great guy was also a Christian. He was raised in a Christian household and had a personal relationship with Christ. And, while I felt he was different, I was always intrigued by what made him different. And, he helped my sister come to Christ. Which was AWESOME because without him helping her come to Christ, I don’t know that I would have either.
Let’s fast forward a few years. It was 2001. My sister had been a Christian for a few years. And, some of you might be able to relate – I probably wasn’t the nicest to her for a while. See, I wanted to be cool and do things that the world said was ok. But, she knew that God didn’t think these things were ok. So, when we talked, I would feel like she was putting me down. And, truthfully, she wasn’t. It was just that she was living rightly and I was living, well, wrongly. So, by just being her, I felt I was “less than” even though she never said anything like that.
In 2001, my then-boyfried, now-husband, and I decided to move in together. My sister had given me the Left Behind series to read. I got through the first book and felt it again. It was God knocking. But, this time, I got it. Hallelujah!! I got it.
Funny thing when you get it, you never know where you will be. Well, let me tell you where I was. I was in my bathroom, with home hair color in my hair, crying on the phone to my sister asking her how I could have fallen so far.
How can He still want me?? I’m a total screw-up. I’ve made such bad choices. Heck, my boyfriend is living here, and I don’t even know where this is going…
She said the best thing she could have said.
Jenn, He loves you because He made you. He knew you before anyone else. And, He will still love you even if you get off the floor, dry your tears and rinse that hair color out of your hair before your hair falls out.
Thank you for that humor because I needed that! I could have sat on that floor crying for hours and remembering all the terrible choices I had made. But I didn’t, because I had my sister to help me through it. For that, I will forever be thankful!
I’ve felt God knocking several other times in my life, but now, I usually get it. I’m sure I miss Him sometimes, but I hope it is much less often than it was back then.