Humans need far more encouragement than they lead on. It’s too accepted and validated to carry all the weight. We want a stamp of recognition over our accomplishments, our ability to multi-task and endure. It feels good to be your own best bet, your own reliable resource, your own safety net. It’s comfortable and safe. If we are able to save ourselves, maybe we can start to believe we don’t need anyone else.
The truth? I could make it on my own. I am more than able to fight my own battles and trudge through life with determination and discipline and persistence. I’ve spent years acquiring the necessary traits to combat whatever comes my way. I want to lean in really close, look you square in the eyes and tell you it’s not worth it.
You don’t need to build armor around yourself, metaphorically. You can protect yourself and warn yourself and be the leader and controller of your life, but you can’t save yourself. You will never be enough all on your own. The human experience wasn’t created as a science experiment. There is no god up in the sky pulling strings, changing the weather and circumstances of our lives just so he can observe and compare our choices. No one is looking over you, placing bets on your resilience, your ability to withstand shortcomings, your knack for excelling.
I picture a God somewhere very visible to my own sight. I can see Him walking next to me in the dead of night, nodding and holding my hand as I mumble and scream and cry and laugh about what’s happening in my life and what I want to happen and what I hope and think and pray will happen.
I see a God who paints a skyline in order to replicate the image of His adoration. I see a God who wants me to wake up earlier in order to watch the pinks and the yellows come together as the sun starts to reveal itself. I see a God who wants me to stop being so busy and nervous and stressed and irritable. I see a God who wants me to slow down and watch more often, listen more intently, speak with more gentleness, move with more ease, relate with more grace, love with more ferocity.
I see a God who wants the best for me. I see a God who wants to test me and who believes in me, a God who believes in my purpose and my potential. I see a God who wants me to speak and advocate and inspire and write and move.
I see a God who chuckles when I try to do life all on my own. I imagine Him looking over at me as I violently shift my fingers across the keyboard, insisting I let Him take the reigns, coaxing me to remember I don’t have to get all the words right. I imagine Him waiting patiently for me as I become agitated and restless, sitting still while He redirects my attention to His purpose time and time again.
I see a God who is begging me to be in relation. I see a God who wants to teach me over and over and over again, through His people. A God who is eager for me to wake up just so He can place another conversation in my path, another question in my mind, another heart within my grasp, another prayer in my feeble hands.
I believe in a God who encourages me and validates me and accepts me and adores me, because I am surrounded by people who treat me as such. Love done well is immaculate. I see it and experience it and I get up day in and day out with the hope of cultivating it, and sending it out.
There is nothing on this Earth more miraculous than unconditional love. What if there is a God up there who believes you to be His greatest creation? What if He has loved you since before your first breath and continues to pursue you until your very last?
I serve that God.