Writer Praise Kujore shares a moving insight into her faith journey, making the God of her parents, her own.
I want to know him. I really want to know him. I want to hear from him. I really want to hear from him. But what happens when I am scared to know him? I want to know him, yet I am scared to know him? What happens when you are scared to hear from him? I want to hear from him, yet I am scared to hear from him?
Growing up as a Christian, I was around spiritually strong parents and a church community. I was told knowing and hearing from God was a rewarding experience and I would see it – I would see the rewards, I would see the good news, I would hear the testimonies, I would hear how wonderful God is. Except, I never actually sat down and sought him for myself. I knew he was there. I knew he was God, and I was surrounded by him. I knew his word, but I did not know him. Not yet. Because all was good, so I left him as a second option.
I knew he was God, and I was surrounded by him. I knew his word, but I did not know him.
Life threw at me unexpected turns, criss-crosses, roundabouts. And I felt stuck, I was confused, I was scared. I was lost. My thoughts, emotions, feelings - put down into words. Words to be dissected, words to be interpreted, words to be digested.
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And for the first time in 17 years, I sought after something that is bigger than me. Someone that is greater than me. I finally sought him. I finally chose him. I intentionally chose him. Now, I’ve felt it. The unexplainable peace, the peace that surpasses all understanding, but it takes work to make that peace last. It takes dedication, commitment, communication, consistency with him to make that peace last.
It dawned on me then - it is not as easy as I thought it was. It is not as effortless as I believed it to be. Yes, it is a rewarding experience, but it is also one that requires time and commitment. So, then I asked, what happens when it seems like too much work? With too little time? School, work, family, friends, pressure, stress, fatigue all started to take over and it became suffocating, like I couldn’t escape, strangling me, choking me till it felt like near my final breath. It all became too much to control, and I began to feel like there is no time for him in my life any more. But I knew it was wrong. I knew he should be number one. I knew better. I know I am nothing without him. I know I am alive because of him. I know I am me because of him. I know he is him.
It takes dedication, commitment, communication, consistency with him to make that peace last.
Isolated. From friends, family, from the world. The feeling that I no longer belonged, overly exaggerated day by day, began to take over my life, my thoughts till it is all I could think of. Insecurity creeped in and it was so hard to get rid of it, stuck to my skin like a flimsy, wet shower curtain in a draughty bathroom so I did everything and anything to belong, resulting in me being further away from him like never before. Nobody told me this was a battle. A battle against the old me. A battle against my flesh. A battle against the world.
Despite everything, I know he loves me because he says so in his word. But it is hard to understand, it is hard to grasp the fact that he loves me despite who I am and what I’ve done. It is a journey to be continued….