Known. What does it mean to be ‘known’? Really known?
Growing up, I learnt to survive the day by blending in to the background. As long as I didn’t draw attention to myself, I got through the day somewhat unscathed. Lately, however, I have been having not-so-subtle things practically yank me out into the open. I don’t know how I feel about this, and quite honestly, I don’t know how I am supposed to feel about it.
This year, I was formally adopted into the family of God. My Beloved Jesus and I met, formally, when I was 19. I’d heard of Him when I was little, but back then, it was a vastly different approach. We were taught that He loved us enough to die on the Cross for us, but beyond that… There really wasn’t anything taught about having a relationship with Him. Fast-forward to when I was sitting in a Baptist Church just outside of the Army base where my son’s father was stationed, having a conversation with the Pastor about Jesus, and that connection with Him wasn’t really made as yet, but He sure was fascinating to learn about.
Now, here we are, six months after my Adoption, and I’m just blown away at so much I’ve learnt about Him. The night of my Adoption, I received my Beloved Lord in the most intimate way: Holy Communion. When I went back to my seat, I knelt down and as the tears flowed, I didn’t try to stop them. I just told Him, ‘I’m all Yours. I won’t fight You anymore. I’m all in.’
Now, I’ve been thinking a lot about a conversation a friend and mentor and I have had – and it keeps coming up… call me thick-headed. I can’t help but feel overwhelmed, and borderline confused about all this. That Jesus is not only my Creator, but He is Head-over-Heels in love with me and welcomes me to return that enthusiasm as best I’m able with my puny little heart. He accepts me, as my friend has reminded me on more than one occasion, ‘whole and entire.’ I am beloved of God, whole and entire.
But, what does that have to do with being ‘really known,’ you’re probably wondering. Have you ever thought about what it is to be really known by God? He is constantly reminding us that He loves us. Need help in a time of stress? Just reach out and say, ‘Jesus, help!’ and He comes running. Feeling sad that you’ve lost a loved one? Just reach out and nestle into His Arms, which are wide open, and know that He is crying with you.
But, being known is so much more than that, it’s so much deeper. Jesus knows what we need before we even say something, He is already making things happen before we even finish our prayer, requesting His intervention.
I don’t know what to do with this. I’ve been trying to pick this apart as best I can, and I still can’t find the ending of this rabbit trail. Honestly, I’m not sure I want to find the ending of it. What’s really cool is while He knows me, entirely, and while no, I don’t know Him all that well, that’s what He offers in a relationship. He offers the ability for us to communicate with each other, but the thing is, it’s a two-way thing. It’s one thing to say, ‘Jesus...’ and bring all your stuff to the conversation, but there’s the other side of that, we need to learn to sit down and be quiet and let Him answer our questions. If we want to know Him as much as He knows us, we need but ask, and He will give us what we need that is for us to know when we need it.
It is no secret that I do not like people getting to know me. It takes a lot – a lot for me to be okay with someone doing that. There are, honestly, four people who do know me super well. Four. Sure, there are a lot of people who know little things about me, but those are things I want them to know. I hide. I like to be hidden. I don’t like being noticed. I don’t like my little bubble of solitude invaded.
Let me tell you something about that bubble of solitude. Jesus… When we first met, I wasn’t sure what to make of Him. I’m still not. On one hand, He scares the absolute hell out of me. Eh. No pun intended. I promise. But on the other hand? He fascinates me so much, I can’t help but want to know everything about Him. I can’t help but want to share Him with anyone and everyone who will listen and can’t outrun me. My deepest lament, the more I learn about Him, is the fact that we, as His children, don’t have nearly the enthusiasm about Him as He does about us.
I confess, a lot of times when I’m praying – or, trying to, more accurately stated, my mind goes nuts. I can’t focus. It’s frustrating. Lately, my one prayer has become, ‘Help me, Jesus, please? I can’t figure this out. I can’t focus.’
So, back to that bubble of solitude I touched on. Jesus, whilst He isn’t forceful and domineering, and yes, He is so gentle and patient, when you invite Him in, He tends to just barge in and set up shop, so to speak. Well, He seems to have done that with me, anyway. I speak for no one else’s experiences, because everyone’s different. ;)
I’ve invited Him in at my Adoption. There are things He has been opening up and I’ve yelped, ‘No! Personal space, Beloved!’ He just smiles and says, ‘You invited Me, remember?’
I once read a quote that says, ‘A friend knows who you are and loves you just the same. All your flaws, as well as your good parts.’ Now, I am terribly paraphrasing that statement, but it still fits. Jesus knows who we are, all of us, our ins and outs, all the deepest parts that we are too embarrassed to show, and yet He still loves us just because He made us.
That… baffles me. I won’t tell you that I haven’t ever tried to hide anything from God, because I know better. I know that He knows everything, even and especially those things I hide from everyone else.
As much as it terrifies me to consider being known by more than just my four people, the fact that my Jesus, my Beloved, Precious Jesus knows all that stuff – the good, the bad, and indifferent – and He still wants me for me. He is still Head-over-Heels for me. He still cares about me. I don’t know how to just say, ‘Hey, thanks, Beloved! You rock!’ without it feeling so feeble and minuscule.
I don’t know how to show my gratitude where it won’t feel so snarky. I know that my Jesus knows that I’m grateful and I appreciate Him and His gift to me.
And yet… As a writer, where words are my livelihood, I have no words that I can say, ‘Hey, thanks!’ where it will fully encompass how I feel about Him. The fact that He knows me. He knows who I am. He knows my strengths, weaknesses, my fears, my frustrations, what makes me happy, sad, angry, He is right there, all the way in for me. Even though I don’t always do what’s expected of me, nor am I perfect at managing my time and able to do what I want to help other people out… I am so grateful that my Beloved knows me that I’m trying. He takes my brokenness and He is working to slough off all the layers that I’ve carefully built upon each time something has happened and has made me want to retreat further into myself and not allow anyone else to come inside.
When I allowed myself to reach out to my Beloved six months ago, and really fling open the door wide to Him and say, ‘Alright, I’m all Yours, let’s do this thing!’ there was the beginnings of a transformation took place. It’s a process. I am not a trusting person, I can’t just freely allow myself to just be alright with people knowing me. But it’s so much bigger when you come to a place where you realize, ‘Jesus loves me. He knows that I’m weird and funny when I’m home and no one else but my dog and cat can see me just shed that veil, so to speak. He wants to hang out with me, on purpose?! WHAT?!’