If you’ve been reading my blog you know some of my recent spiritual journey. For the past couple of years it’s been a little touch and go with me and God as I’ve just been trying to figure out what I really believe.
During all of this heart and soul searching I decided to stop going to church. I needed a break. My soul was hurting and I needed time to rediscover God for myself and not worry about if I was doing things the way people were saying. It just needed to be me and God for a bit.
I actually had a friend word it perfectly the other day. She said it was like I was in a spiritual ICU, only letting select few in during visiting hours and working on healing.
Well, a few weeks ago I got brave. And when my family announced they were going to church, after much internal debate, I decided to go with them. I was so nervous walking through those doors, not knowing what to expect and feeling like an alien after having been in my little bubble for so long.
I ended up being pleasantly surprised. It was a good introductory service for me to go to. The church is headed in this new direction, so the preacher was not necessarily preaching but discussing, with the church, their plans for moving forward. But, him being a pastor couldn’t help but slide in a few little revelatory statements in his speech. One in which particular stuck out to me.
Now, I don’t remember how he specifically worded it but he mentioned how God always leaves the 99 to go after the one. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard that in my life, as I’ve grown up in the church and you always hear about lost souls being referred to as the one. But this time the words hit me differently.
I sat there and all of the sudden God speaks to me and tells me that I have been the one, too.
Now, maybe some people may get offended when God tells them they were the one, after they’ve known they’ve been a 99 all their life but I wasn’t. In fact it took everything in me not to start weeping tears of joy, because I didn’t want to draw attention to myself.
You see, when I heard those words something in me broke because all my life I’ve believed I was just the 99 that there was nothing truly special about me because I’ve always been the obedient one that stays with the flock and ultimately gets lost in the crowd. But when I heard those words it brought healing to my heart because I knew that even though I had asked Jesus into my heart at five years old, he still pursued my little heart. Because that is who the one is, not someone who isn’t a believer but one who’s soul needs pursued.
Even though I had been apart of the 99 for nearly all of my life as I began to wandered a bit from the heard I still knew his voice but had to figure things out for myself. But he saw me wander. He stuck close by my side and as I continued to wander a bit farther and a bit wobbly he followed, he protected and he wept for me. He knew me out of the 99. I was not just another body in the heard, I was important and he still came for me. He still pursued me even though I decided I wanted to see what all of this was really about I wanted to know if it was all worth it and what really mattered in being apart of the 99.
My whole life all I have ever wanted was to be known, seen and heard; not to just blend in. I wanted to be special and I especially never felt special when it came to the church and even God. I figured you had to either be a phenomenal speaker and/or have had a more questionable past but with an amazing conversion story. I had neither. So, I figured I was just another name, another face lost in the crowd because I’m “a good one” and there is nothing special about being just good.
When I did “wander away” because of certain circumstances it was not my intention to see if God would follow and prove he loved me and I was special. Nor was it my intention to gain some sort of breakthrough/conversion story. I honestly just wanted to know what was real and what wasn’t and where I honestly stood with all of it. But I did find out that God loves me and still pursues me, always. I will never have an awesome conversion story but I will have my story. My story of how I figured out what being in relationship with God means and how the hell that I did go through impacted my life and how I am getting my breakthrough day by day.
So, I had my moment of understanding what it means to be “the one” in Gods eyes. It has nothing to do with what I have or haven’t done. What I have or haven’t said. What I have or haven’t seen. It has everything to do with how he feels about me, that his heart is always for me and he will always show me how much I mean to him. The biggest thing about being the one is that he pursues me, no matter what, he pursues me. That is the greatest gift I will ever receive.
Going to church, again, was scary. And the second time I went I even had a panic attack and wanted to run out of the room. But I keep trying because I want connection with him as much as he does with me. Even though I know I am struggling with people at the moment I know that God can still use them to speak truth. So, I will keep going and keep finding those little gem moments where I get truth that speaks to my soul and keeps me in pursuit of my One.