When I speak with other Christians, I'm always astounded at how each person's story of how they came to Jesus Christ is different. Even when it is ridiculously similar, it is still so unique to each person. There are many ways to tell my story of how I became a Christian and so many aspects to it, but recently I've been thinking about how I understood God as a Father before I knew Him as Lord.
You see my dad passed away while I was pretty young. At the time, I had understood that God existed, but that was about it. Following the death of my dad, my mum gave me the first detail about God that stuck with me. She sat me down and showed me Psalm 68. She went to verse 5 and explained to me that God is the "Father of the fatherless". I don't know what her intention was or how she got the idea, but I don't think she ever understood how much that moment would shape my life and my faith.
You know how children take everything at face value, well I took the words in Psalm 68:5 literally. From then on in that little girl's mind because my dad was gone, God was now my Father. And when I say, I took it literally I meant I took it literally. For example, when my dad was alive, all I had to do was ask and I would get. A standard had been set, so I then looked at God to continue to meet that standard. I would ask and I expected to get. At that age, as far as I understood that's what fathers did. They were there to provide. And as I got older, I continued to relate to God as the person that would give me everything I wanted. It's interesting to look back now and realise that all the times that my family had said "my faith was strong" it all started with a little girl who knew she could say "gimme please" and that she would get.
Anyways, I said all that to explain how I related to God before I came to truly know Him. I grew up in a Christian home, so I continued to serve in church, to pray, to fast and to believe. Then when I was 18, I attended a youth event in London and I came to the realisation that God wasn’t just there to give me what I wanted when I wanted it and Christianity wasn't just about me following some rules. It was about me living a life that was in line with everything with His desires and plans. Basically, I realised that God had a right to tell me how to live my life and He was right to enforce that right. He is not just my Father. He is Lord.
Interestingly, as I write this, I realise that even in my understanding of Him as Lord, He is still operating in the function of my Father. As a toddler, I hadn't yet realised that my dad gave me guidance as I faced different situations. He placed boundaries on me to protect me from danger. He created a safe environment for me to be able to roam freely without harming myself. He discipled, disciplined me and comforted me simultaneously. Basically, he told me what to do and expected me to listen because he knew better. He did all of this because he loved me.
And now I think of God and how not only does He know better than I know, He knows perfectly. And because He is my Father, He gives me boundaries. He creates a safe space for me to enjoy the freedom of holiness. He disciples, disciplines and comforts me. He does all this because loves me.
I woke up today with no plans to share this story with you, but I'm so honoured to be able to write this blog post. I have no words for how I much I love this story, it’s a part of God's love letter to me. And there's so much more to tell. Over the years, there have been so many more pages added to that letter as God continues to keep His promise to show me His salvation. For years I read that promise in Psalm 91 thinking that it referred to the moment of salvation where we accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour knowing that we are saved from sin and hell through His death and resurrection. The truth is that this is a promise He keeps every day. Every day He is faithful, He shows up and He continues to save me. And not just me. He does this for all His children and if you don't know Him yet, He'd love to show up for You as well. You just have to let Him adopt you.
John 3: 16 (AMP) - For God so [greatly] loved and dearly prized the world, that He [even] gave His [One and] only begotten Son, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Saviour] shall not perish, but have eternal life.