My husband and I were talking yesterday, reflecting on our childhoods. I shared with him how when I was in junior high and high school I had a profound sense that something was really wrong in my life. While I had a very average upbringing, and didn't suffer any serious hardships, I felt a sense of malaise that I couldn't seem to squash. I often felt like I didn't know who I should be: the scholar, the athlete, the rebel, the Puritan. I didn't know how to figure out who I was or what I was supposed to do with my life. I am sure I was not alone in this.
I knew I wanted to be good. I didn't know why I knew or how, but I wanted to be good. And I felt like I wasn't good enough; for my friends, for my family, for me. And I knew there was a God, and I was quite certain I wasn't good enough for him. Try as I might, it wasn't happening.
Of course I can look back and answer those questions buried in the heart of a 16 year old girl. I know now that it was good that I felt that way, that I floundered in frustration, turning this way and that, finding no rest. I know now that my heart would not rest until it found its rest in God. The answers only began to come with my conversion in 1985.
Since 1985, I continue to learn two profound lessons. In the past few weeks, two books have reminded me of those lessons. First, Hannah Anderson's Made for More reminds me I am made in God's image. Second, Kevin DeYoung's Taking God at His Word reminds me that my creator speaks to me through a revealed word, the Bible.
What precious truths! Sometimes, I am overwhelmed at the simplicity of them. Their significance leave me undone. Don't you love that word? I do. It's one of the best ways to describe how I feel. That is how the King James Version describes Isaiah when he confronted the living God (Isaiah 6:1-5). Undone; unraveled, like a scarf is pulled apart into a mass of tangled yarn.
He made me. He has words of life for me. Until I know these truths wholly and deeply, anything else is meaningless. All of my interpretations, wrestlings, and occasional pontifications regarding this issue or that issue are nothing; nothing, until I know these things and ponder their significance. Those two truths should affect everything I think and do.
If I could go back in time and tell that young girl I was where the answers lay, I would not take that opportunity. I think she was better off learning the way she did.