This post is a bit more personal as it is about my walk with God. I am an imperfect person who sins just like everyone else and I wanted to share my journey with God ( where I have been and where I am trying to be at when it comes to Him) and His mercy to me. I am humbled and forever grateful!
When I was little, the book of Samuel was my favorite book in the Bible. I had set myself to read the whole Bible, but I am not quite sure I had or if I did, I surely don’t remember. However, I remember that I wanted God to call me like He did Samuel. I would pray about it every night and beg and beg to be called. Being a child, I literally wanted to hear God’s voice call “Lori”. But being a child, I didn’t think about what I’d do if He had or what being called meant.Regardless, I really wanted God to physically say my name. I would even cry about it while praying! Until one night, I dreamed of God visiting me and it was the happiest dream I’ve had! After that, I felt that my prayer was answered although not the way I wanted. That’s exactly how and when I knew God was very real. I was completely convinced.
I always tried my best to always pray at night. My mother would pray with us and My prayers consisted of me asking forgiveness for my sins, blessings for my parents, family, and friends whether or not I knew what they were going through or not. Then I’d ask God to give me health, wisdom, intelligence, and obedience. I’d also ask for these for my family and friends and that God protects them. We would also pray “Our Father which are in heaven…”. At the end of each prayer, my mom would have me say:” Mon ame bénit l’Eternel, Que tout ce qui est en moi bénit Son Saint nom; Mon ame bénit l’Eternel. Amen” ( for non-French speakers, it’s the French version of Psalm 103:1 “Bless the LORD, O my soul, And all that is within me, bless His holy name.” At the end of every prayer, I would also ask God to keep me from dreaming because I’d have very vivid dreams that would scare me. Overall, my prayer life as a child had a routine to it, but I meant every word.
Then growing up, I still prayed but it was different. I am grateful for family drama and teenage crisis that kept me close to God. Still, I only went to church one a month when the Catholic School I went to had mandatory mass. I grew up with a Catholic father and an Adventist mother who traveled when I was very young. When my mother was around, we went to church every Saturday, but after she left, my dad never really took us to church. Sometimes even if I asked so I made it a habit of not going and thought nothing of it. At the time, to me praying and trying hard to be good and doing good was enough. I had a relationship with God then, but certainly not as personal as when I was a child or not as personal as I believe I do today. Let me explain.
As a child, although I had the fear of God, I craved His presence. As a child, God calling me or talking to me was what would make me special, happy, and grateful. Instead of daydreaming about other things, I daydreamed of being that child that God has a personal relationship with. I wanted to know Him, to be His friend, His daughter. As a teenager, family drama, and teenage years crisis made me see God mostly as my savior. The thing is I don’t know if I would have been a praying teenager had it not been for these situations I was facing. However, as a child, I prayed because I genuinely wanted to talk to God although I still had a bit of fear in me when it comes to Him. What was it as a child that made me want God to be close to me so badly that I didn’t have as a teenager? I asked myself so many times. Somewhere in between heartbreak, insecurities, and non-genuine friendships, I started to see God as someone I could go to with my problems, but without ever asking Him how He is doing or how WE are doing. When I say that I mean like this one person who only comes to you when they need you so you can solve their problems, but they probably know nothing about you because they never bother to ask. well, I was that person with God.
I then realized that as a child, my innocence didn’t allow room for doubts or concerns with problems. As a child, I was content with the little things. Like I would be wondering if I would dream of God on that particular night, and I couldn’t wait to go read the Bible or pray so that it can happen. Also, as a child, I took everything I read in the Bible to heart. I would feel so horrible if I lied and would beg for forgiveness right away. As a child, I trusted God fully. After that experience, I did not worry about whether or not God would do this or that for me. I would tell my mother that I talked to “Little Jesus” about this or that and that He will make things happen. Children are humble, they are not yet polluted by the ideas of the world. No wonder Matthew 18:3 says:“And He said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Maybe when it comes to God, if we acted as the children that we are to Him, things would be much better.
Later on, after God had showed me that I needed to remove yet another person from my life, I realized what I needed to get back to. I needed my child like faith back. I needed my grateful heart, and my ability to see the beauty and magic in the little things and that’s how it all began again. I started to truly seek God just because I love Him. I usually prayed for more than an hour per day. I prayed for people more than I prayed for myself and made it my duty to say thank you and to never ask for a thing for a long period of time. I would worship and pray God and beg Him to help me be close to Him. I read passages of the Bible and kept praying. And you know what? HE ANSWERED!! He sent me so many signs through people or books, or readings, to tell me to keep going and that He’s always been here despite my shortcomings.
He even showed me how some things I went through were never about me. They were to help another person that I would meet along the way going through that same thing at the moment. Some of the things were about Him. About bringing Glory to Him. Everything started to make sense and I was so amazed by it. I met the right people, the right group on the campus I go to. Then He told me He wanted me to get baptized again. I was so scared at first then I remembered whose child I was and that the Most High talked to little nothing me and I had to obey (More about that later on). I even started to realize the purpose of so many things! I get a bit emotional every time I think of it. My life had suddenly changed and I was a brand new person with a grateful heart always as God is a dear friend/confident/Father of mine. Even today I get asked how is it that I am always the one to point out positive things out of awful situations and every time someone asks me that, I thank God in my heart for reminding me of how to have a child-like heart again despite my downfalls. After all I am His child! And it keeps on getting better. I am striving for a better relationship with God and He sure helps me through the journey. Trust Him, He can do the same for YOU! Yes, YOU!