By: Alexis Patterson
“I had heard reports about you, but now my eyes have seen you.” Job 42:5
Growing up, I went to church with my mother and siblings. I was a “junior usher,” sang in the choir on youth days, attended Vacation Bible School, and even got baptized at the age of twelve. I remember these early days of participating in church so vividly. As I grew older, I would have my own insecurities and challenges that would pull me off the course my mother had introduced to me. I struggled with knowing God as a loving Father and knowing that I was His dearly loved daughter no matter what I did or didn’t do.
As I went off to college, my faith grew, and I no longer hinged on the faith of my mother but found my own relationship with God, where I would rely on Him to help me while I was away from family and friends. I found a church for the first time and connected with a community of other young believers who would encourage me in my walk with God. We would go to church together and even pray together. God was threading something so beautiful in those relationships at that time of my life.
Over the years, my faith was an extension of someone else’s. Whether it was through my mom or my friends in college, I experienced God indirectly, though still impact-fully. As in Job chapter 42, “I had heard reports of God.” I had this idea of who I thought He was. However, my lens of His greatness were clouded with the perspective of others and even my own lack of understanding. I thank God He wouldn’t leave things that way. God saw it necessary to make Himself known to me in ways I couldn’t imagine. Through some really tough times and through extremely beautiful moments, I would grow deeper in my relationship and dependence on God. Now, like Job, I haven’t just heard reports of God, but my eyes have seen Him!
I have experienced His goodness and mercy.
In my moments of doubt and brokenness, He comes near to reassure me.
When I am seeking direction from Him, He shows me the way.
Where there are gaps in my life, He provides.
God continues to reveal Himself and His nature to me every day. I see Him; I see God in everything. My perspective has become His perspective, and now my sight has never been more clear.
Maybe you’re reading this, and you’ve only heard reports of who God is, but you haven’t developed a relationship with Him and experienced Him for yourself. I hope to encourage you. Life with an intimate relationship with God is so beautiful. Life will pull and tug at you, but you can be steady and secured by the one who holds it all together. He created you for this purpose.