Written by: Carly Crawford
When I was little, faith was a routine for me. All I needed to do was simply blend in and recite the memorized prayers at the right time. I was blessed with a family that prioritized faith. My parents wanted me and my siblings to experience the same Christian upbringing and education that they were blessed with. But no amount of religion classes and textbooks could have ever prepared me for the radical love that Jesus would show me throughout my life.
Around my junior year of high school, I got tired of a casual faith life. I felt this pull to spend more time with God. It’s as if the world around me was saying, “Hey! Look how beautiful this world is. Don’t you love it? Wait until you meet its Creator!”
I started to have this feeling that God was not just a far off being I heard about in Church. Instead, He is a loving Father who is the source of all that is good. This led to a desperate search for Jesus in my life. I knew I needed a new game plan to find Him, so I started by changing the most fundamental thing about my prayer life: where I was looking.
I have been going to church since I was born. In wooden pews, I would look at the people around me and try to mimic them. Everyone always bowed their heads when they were praying. It was like a universal sign that they were talking to God. I figured that is just one of those things that should become a part of my prayer routine. But when I began my journey to find God, I felt called to start looking up. God taught me a very important lesson at the end of my junior year that I am still learning today: He is all around me and I’m never going to see that if I only ever talk to Him looking down.
God is in my family, friends, and the strangers I may never meet. The Spirit of God is in the wind that I curse for messing up my hair. God is in the thunderstorms and the scorching glare of the sun. He wanted me to learn how to see Him in all things.
This lesson was a hard one to stomach, especially when my life began to radically change in high school. Up until that point I was determined to go to a military academy. I was taking flight lessons, enrolled in difficult classes that I did not like, and struggling to get into the peak athletic shape required for students. I was “bowing my head” a bit too much and only looking at myself and the prestigious places I thought I wanted to go. God called me to look up and see the world of possibilities for my future. When I started to search for God more, I learned that the dream I had been working so hard for was not a good fit for my life. God called me to pray every time I encountered someone, looking into their eyes. This led to a genuine desire to help care for others in ways I never could have imagined.
All of a sudden I felt like the woman at the water well in John 4, eager for God and His plan. When Jesus approached asking for a drink and began to tell her about the everlasting life offered to her, she responded saying, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw” (John 4:15). I am tired of prioritizing my plans and drinking from the same well rooted in pride instead of God’s glorious ideas for my life.
I wish I could say that I know the path I am on, but that would be a lie. Faith is not just a routine for me anymore. Now my faith is like an adventure novel, but unlike a typical story because I already know the ultimate end.
WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD? CLICK HERE