By Amanda Flinn
Knowing who you are in relation to God is freeing and empowering. Here’s my story, which I hope inspires you to deeper faith.
Wondering Who God Is
When I was a child I was very fearful of God.
In my eyes, he was distant and demanding; a king sitting high up in the clouds looking down on the people and deciding their fate. I just knew he was going to take me away from my parents and I didn’t like it one bit.
In my church, there was a lot of talk about heaven and hell. While I knew I didn’t want to go to hell, I was pretty sure I didn’t want to go to heaven either. I didn’t know anyone there. And why would I want streets of gold when I was perfectly content riding my bike on streets of concrete?
At the end of each service, we sang songs like Just as I am and I Surrender All, which are both beautiful hymns with lyrics like, “Oh Lamb of God, I Come” and “Take Me Jesus, Take Me Now.”
But as a shy seven-year old, let me tell ya, I didn’t want to go anywhere with the Lamb of God. He was rules and religion. Unknown and uncomfortable. I was quite content staying right here on earth with my parents, whom I knew and loved.
Through my teen years, I went to church with a chip on my shoulder, believing that God would forgive me for my rebellion, but with no desire to actually turn away from my sin. I loved God like a distant relative that brought gifts at Christmas.
Learning the Truth About God
Through those years, God was working on me, and in my early twenties I began hearing about a God who longed to know me and have a relationship with me. I knew this was the same God from my youth, but I was finally getting to the core of who he is — Creator, Counselor, Redeemer, Restorer — and my personal favorite, Abba Father.
Over time, I discovered that following Jesus was a lot less about rules and whole lot about love.
After my first child was born, I was invited to MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and I began to connect with other women who were actively seeking Christ. Through these relationships, and my personal journey as a new mom, I began reading God’s Word.
The more I desired to know God, the more he revealed himself and his character to me. Prayer time became less about talking and more about listening. For the first time in my life, my love of God had grown larger than my fear of Him.
Knowing Who You Are
Fast forward ten years and three kids later, and I became the mom leading the small group and praying out loud for others. I found myself getting up early to spend time with him, believing that even though times were hard, God was good.
As I grew to know him in a personal way, I began to trust him. Trusting the heart of God changed everything — it changed me. I realized that my whole life I had been trying to figure out who I was and yet I had been running from the One person who could show me.
It seemed the more I knew God, the more I knew myself. He was no longer part of my story, but I was part of his. And he continues to graciously teach me more every day.
If you are struggling, running, hiding, pretending, doubting or questioning, there is One who knows you better than anyone else.
Knowing who you are, begins with knowing whose you are. And you are a beloved, chosen, pursued, and forgiven, child of God.
Thankfully, I am too.
Wife Step: Take a brief moment to think back over your faith journey and look for God’s hand on your life. How has your perception of God changed, grown or evolved over time?
Amanda Flinn is an award-winning author, blogger and booknerd. As a freelance writer, and the director of Kingdom Edge Magazine, Amanda is passionate about using words to positively impact others. A wife of 16 years, she admits that marriage is the most challenging relationship she has ever had, yet the one that keeps her closest to God. Boymom, dogmom, and friend to anyone who needs one–Amanda wants you to remember that no matter what you’re going through, you’re never alone. To learn more about her debut board book, Yoga Baby, and upcoming writing projects, visit www.amandaflinn.com.
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