You all have often asked me how I have maintained my relationship with God throughout life. I never really know where to begin when answering that question.

I was born and raised in the church. Both of my grandparents were the pastors and my parents, aunts and uncles worked in the leadership of the church. Growing up as a “PK” of course I knew what I should believe and what I was taught from my family. However, as I grew older, I somewhat began envisioning my church attendance/activity as “this is just what we do”. Almost the same as one might view a family business. I started seeing it as “work” versus worship. It was a way of life. It seemed to be all that we did. I never really utilized all of that church involvement to build my relationship with God on my own. Yes, that was a missed opportunity.

It was not until I left home to attend college at Syracuse University where I began to build my own personal relationship with God, aside from what my family taught me. I was on my own and away from the people that I confided in and could trust to “go to God” for me. That option was longer available. Of course everything learned from them was still in me. Yet, I didn’t know it was only the beginning. Because, in college I started to experience Him in my own way. I never would have fathomed how close I could grow to God.

Going to college and meeting so many different people with various beliefs, really challenged me. I was fully exposed to much more than I had been taught. I felt as if I hadn’t learned anything scriptural growing up, outside of the typical ones quoted regularly, that most people even non-attenders may know. I began to get very convicted about my ways and started seeking God for answers. I found myself asking God to reveal Himself to me in a way that I would know for certain that it could ONLY be Him. I would ask Him to do things that were almost (well in my mind) humanly impossible, in order to show me that He was with me. And that’s exactly what He did. Just like with anything in life, we all receive information and revelation differently, and with that, God has the ability to show us in a way that HE knows will get our specific attention.

When you pray and ASK God and give him permission to reveal himself to you in a way that you will understand and know for a fact that it is Him, He will do just that. In Jeremiah 29:13, He promised that we would find Him when we seek Him with all of our heart. Seeking Him is not staying/standing where we are begging Him to just appear to us. It’s diligently looking for Him, and giving him that permission to show up in our lives.

I still continue using this process in my spiritual walk with Christ, it is how I maintain. My relationship with God is imperative for my sanity as well as existence. And at this point in my life, there is absolutely nothing that could shake my belief or faith in Him. Even when I don’t understand exactly what it is He’s doing in my life or in the world, I always know that His hand is on them both.  He is guiding every single thing that I engage in or attach myself to, and  if not, I detach and disconnect quickly.

If you desire a relationship with God for yourself, it is not complicated. Yet, it is the greatest PEACE you will ever know. You simply need to desire it, ask Him to show Himself to you in a way that you “get it” and continue in that path daily. This continual communication is what I call PRAYER. Don’t allow anyone to make you feel unworthy, or that it’s rocket science to make it happen. You too can encounter Him, from where you are in your life. I learned as a child what religion was, but I didn’t develop a RELATIONSHIP with God until I desired it for myself and you can without a doubt do the same.

JaLisa <3

FaithJaLisa VaughnComment