I accepted Jesus as Lord and Saviour when I was of kindergarten age at a Sunday school. Picture books of biblical stories formed the first images of a loving superhero God. The Lord began to carry me, likely having more to do due to my carefree and careless tendencies.
In my teens, He told me what to do during a moment I didn’t know I was being stalked and terror fell on the perpetrator. At another time, He told a startled me to “wait till morning” to protect my feet from being pierced by glass that fell and broke into smithereens in the night. Once at work, He intervened when, in a hurry, I misaligned the position of my hand under a hot water dispenser and the water that landed on my hand was cool but the water in the cup was piping hot. The Lord also built our relationship by responding to silly questions like, from a procrastinating primary schooler, “Dear Jesus, should I do homework earlier, instead of doing it in the morning (of the day when I had to hand it in)?” I continued to ask naive questions and He often surprised me with His perspectives. When I was reluctant to flow with Him, He was gentle but firm, and persistent.
One such area was connecting in a church community. My introverted nature, the trauma from coming out to a fundamentalistic Christian parent in my 20s and myriad horror stories from LGBTQ members who had participated in conventional church life fuelled the aversion. “Lord, I am only made of flesh and blood,” I protested. When coming out to close classmates felt like a free dive, I realised that anxiety, which is not of God, had surreptitiously increased its grip over my heart.
Another factor contributing to my reluctance was a strong holding on to “the truth”. Until I realised that while God is the same yesterday, today and forever, church history demonstrated that He is ever evolving to draw more of His beloved children. A series of books on generals of God showed that even those who had emerged from the secret place with the Lord, bringing the kingdom down, had known the truth only in parts. And they didn’t always like each other. Ugly disputes over doctrine, terminologies and methods had shipwrecked many Christians’ faith, hindering the abundant life that was designed to flourish within love and unity.
As the Lord continues to carry me, I pray that I will allow Him to deepen and widen my capacity to dwell in community and take the necessary risks that come with forging connections in His house.