Reading the Future

My whole life, I have tried to make sense of things too early. Even before I have time to step away, close my eyes, experience what just happened, I am trying to understand. When I was little, I strived for answers, for connection. I remember when I was around seven or eight. We were learning about Gideon in Sunday School, how he trusted the Lord, but even in that trusting, he laid out things to prove his questioning.

Gideon’s fleece.

And I thought, Maybe I’ll do something like that.

When I was younger, my communication with God was like breathing; I don’t know where my thoughts ended and my prayers began. I said (or prayed or thought): Lord, if You’re there, take this note.

I took a yellow post-it note and wrote carefully in my best second-grade cursive: “I love you, Jesus.” I stuck this note of trust to the wall right by my bed, and all night I felt half awake, wondering if God had come. If God my Friend had reached down and scooped up my love-post-it.

The next morning, I turned over, afraid to open my eyes. When I did, my wall was bare, and I remember jumping out of my bed, ecstatic. I remember running down the stairs to tell my mother what had happened.

God is real!

God loves me!

And now He knows I love Him too!

I don’t remember my mother’s response, or anything else about that day, really.

~     ~      ~

A few months later, when I was cleaning my room, I pulled my bed away from the wall to vacuum.

There, crumpled in the dusty corner, was my post-it.

I picked it up, stared at it. I felt betrayed. My first reaction was: Wow.

~     ~     ~

I didn’t stop believing in God, but I did start questioning myself.

Am I too quick to read into things? Do I try too hard to see things where they aren’t?

It wasn’t until more recently, when I started thinking about that childhood moment, that I thought: Maybe God was showing me something after all.

He didn’t take my post-it, whisk it up to heaven and stick it to some sort of heavenly bulletin board of love-notes. But He didn’t just leave it on my wall, either. He let it drift off the cranberry-colored wall and under my bed. He gave me a moment of ecstasy. He showed me He was listening.

God wasn’t proving Himself, because He doesn’t have to.

He was loving me.

That’s the sense I’m making of most things these days. I may never know why some things happen. I might always be confused by the connections I feel, by the people I’m drawn to, by the many relationships that held so much potential, but that for some reason didn’t play out the way I imagined them. I am learning to let go of people I loved, friendships I cherished. I am letting go and learning not to regret the closeness we once shared.

Sometimes, I have to admit I may never know what drew me to that man on the train. That woman standing in line behind me at the post office. That little boy with the big, sad eyes.

But I’m starting to think it’s not all a loss. Maybe it’s just God loving us.

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