Calling out to God is my way of making sure He is still there. I know that sounds silly, but maybe Lillyann can help me explain what I mean. She spent the night with me the week before her third birthday and woke up at three in the morning. She came into my room quietly asking “Gigi?” I assured her I was there and put her in bed with me. She snuggled closely and fell right back to sleep. She didn’t need anything. She wasn’t scared, and she really knew I was there. She wanted to check and make sure, but more importantly, she wanted to be near me. I lay there for a long time holding her, listening to her breathe, and thinking of how much I love her and how glad I was that she was next to me. It made me think of praying. I pray often and love to be in God’s presence. I know it makes Him feel the same way I do when Lillyann comes looking for me.
I call out to God in a variety of ways many times a day and often whisper “God?” around three in the morning myself when I wake and need company or reassurance. I cry out when I’m hurting, argue when I’m angry, plead when I’m scared, ask a quiet question when I’m confused, or whisper a soft thank you when I’m happy. Like Lillyann, I just need to know He is there. Calling out comforts no matter what circumstances surround me. His presence is all I ever need and wonder why I pray for anything else. The desire to be with God is the center of my relationship with Him and with others. God is the ultimate loving presence. Pastor John continues to remind me that I can be such a presence in the lives of those I love. It truly is all we can be or do in this world. So simple yet so very difficult for me at times.
I’ve learned many lessons in love over the course of my life, but those lessons have became more intense in the three years after mama’s death. God sees my potential and beauty, and His love helps me see both in myself and others if I reach out in love. What a difference it makes when I find the courage to risk reaching into the hearts of others and into my own to find the love God has in mind for me. Finding that love is the point of my journey.
A great friend is one who knows me at my very worst but still sees and loves the very best in me. That level of love changes me and allows me to experience kingdom love now. God not only loves me that way, He shows me how to love the same way. Just as I go to God when I am, hurting, troubled, or just out of options, I can go to a friend who hears and understands my heart. It isn’t easy to open up and expose my feelings. It’s why I preferred those cages for so long. I could hide and pretend all was well, but I wasn’t able to love as God desires. Love and truth go together and cannot be separated. Honest communion combined with love, allows me to walk in God’s kingdom now. I believe children understand kingdom love and walk in God’s kingdom until we teach them not to reach out, not to open up, and not to trust.
I think of myself at Lillyann’s age and wonder how it is possible for anyone to take out their frustrations on someone so tiny and vulnerable. I am struck by how fragile Lillyann’s little body is next to mine. She trusts me to love and care for her. The thought of hurting her is beyond me, and I would die keeping someone from hurting her. I thank God she and Mylah are surrounded by those who love and cherish them. The beauty of being re-begotten is that it means to get a new Father, one who draws me near when I find myself alone or fearful. A Father I can cry out to in the darkness and trust Him to hold me closely until my fear subsides. I am loved in a way that allows me to be who He sees in me. Through reaching out and loving, I am able to see beauty and potential as it is reflected in God’s heart and through the hearts of those sweet friends He places in my path.