Recently, I have been talking about “growing up” in the Lord; becoming spiritually mature in Christ. I started this blogging journey in November of 2015. It was then that I earnestly put forth an effort to focus on God and my relationship with Him. I started my true spiritual journey about three years before that. (Even though I was saved when I was 12 years old.) So, for the last six years or so, I have been spending more and more time with God. And, I am so thankful and grateful to be making forward progress in my relationship with Him. But, I have to be honest with you, making God a priority in my life has been a slow process for me. I am sharing this with all of you because I think a lot of you can relate.
As I have mentioned before, even though I was saved at age 12 (or so), I didn’t really have much of a relationship with God to speak of. I went to church each Sunday for years. For a good while I went on Wednesday evenings as well. I celebrated Christmas and Easter each year with my family. I prayed when I wanted something or when something bad was happening. (Basically, when it was convenient or as a last resort.) Other than that, I didn’t think about God much. Or, if I did it was in a more abstract sense. I don’t think it ever occurred to me back then that I could have a personal relationship with someone who wasn’t flesh and bone. I mean, I knew He was real, but so is the president of the United States. I knew of both of these guys and believed in them both, but didn’t have a relationship with either one of them. (If that makes sense.) Also, being a kid, I think things like that are hard to comprehend anyway. Plus, I had other things on my mind, like playing and school and friends.
As an 18-year-old, I headed off to college. I went to Georgia College in Milledgeville which was about 90 miles away from my home and I lived on campus there. And, sadly, what tiny relationship I had had with God before then, soon dissipated into nothing. Once I was away at college, I no longer did the one thing I used to do every week; go to church. I lost the one real connection (if you can call it that) that I had had with God. College swallowed me up and took all my time. As a theatre major, I was taking classes and working on productions. We worked on shows all during the week and on weekends too. That meant I rarely went home. And, I was ok with that. I was busy learning new things and making new friends and becoming “me”, or at least so I thought. And, I was content. (Again, or, so I thought.)
After college, I went to graduate school at Oklahoma State University. I continued to study technical theatre there. I loved Oklahoma and really enjoyed my time in Stillwater. God entered my mind every now and then, thanks to working on some different plays there. But, again, He was not a priority. I was just floating along in my life without giving much thought to God.
Actually, as I type that out, I realize that what I have done most of my life is just float along. (Up until recently.) I can compare my life to being in a canoe in a river without a motor, a paddle, or even a rudder. I never gave much thought to what I was doing or where I was going or ultimately, what I wanted out of my life. I have never really had any life-long goals, unlike most people. (At least, I think like most people. Most of my friends had goals for their lives. Many of them have dreamed of being married and having kids or attaining a certain career. I never had any of those.) I just floated along in my canoe, letting the waters take me wherever they wanted. For most my life, I have just been along for the ride.
I took the path(s) of least resistance that seemed to make the most sense at the time. I went to college because that is just what you did. I studied technical theatre because I enjoyed it and my parents drilled into my head as a kid that I should find a job doing something I enjoy. And, I have moved from job to job as an adult ever since then trying to find my place and contentment. (I refer you back to my post “Job Journey”)
At any rate, all of this to say that bit by bit, slowly over the years, I have been changing and growing. All of this is just to point out, that sometimes, things take time. Sometimes they take a LONG time. However, I am making forward progress. Little by little, I am growing into the person I want to be.
In the meantime, I am trying my best to be ok with this slow pace. If you know me at all, then you know that I am maybe the most impatient person in the world. I am the opposite of Job.
And, maybe you are like me. Maybe you feel like it is taking a really long time to get to where you are going, to become who you want to be. And, I am here to tell you, that is ok! God’s timing is perfect. Let Him take care of that part. Just make sure you keep doing your part. Keep moving forward. By keeping God first, you and I both will get to where we are going.
I am so glad you are here! I am Erica Strickland, a girl who loves God. My goal here is to simply share His love and light.