There once was a little girl. She had a Jesus-love down deep to her knobby knees. She couldn’t get enough of singing “This Little Light of Mine” and reading Exodus for fun.
When she was 10 and away at camp, God asked her to help change the world. And she beamed with Light. Visions of Africa danced in her head.
Then life happened. Somewhere between little girl dreams and big girl realities, she lost herself.
Because wiping crumbs off tables and snot off noses buried her. The jolt of the morning alarm and the crusty dishes from last night were just the way the story went. The endless car pools and dust-lined shelves made her forget.
She forgot who she was. She forgot her God-sized dreams. She forgot herself.
It’s easy, right? Easy to stuff ourselves down into the shape of Christian expectations and God-in-a-box lifestyles. Easy to lose ideals in exchange for accepted reality.
And if it sounds all too pie-in-the-sky that God-sized dreams can be real, I can relate.
Because I never thought I would be allowed to write the beautiful words. I never thought I would get to Africa. I never thought I would be led to weave my deepest desires with His call.
A few weeks ago, I walked solitary through the church campground of my childhood. Though smaller than my ten-year-old memory imagined, it felt sacred. The wind gently rippled the lake and rustled the trees. It was the place I first heard God speak His voice into my soul.
I wondered, what changed?
I stood in the sandy soil grappling with how to remember myself.
Who I am is cleaved to my calling. And so to remember myself, I stand remembering my call. My faith-like-a-child trust in the call on my life that so quickly fades into the shadows of adulthood. Shadows that shroud with doubt and fear.
How on this big, round earth can I really accomplish the God-dreams—the ones greater than my own imagination can unwrap? The answer? I can’t.
Then I see her. My little-girl self. Laughing and running and skipping and singing Jesus songs through the camp. She never once wonders God’s ability to fashion her life by His plan. No. Because a child-like faith is a trust in a faithful God.
“The One who calls you is faithful, and He will do it.”
1 Thessalonians 5:24
To remember myself asks that I remember who God is. And God is faithful. When my trust is in His power and not my own, the shadows lift and light shines on the horizon.
Walking through the Spanish moss hanging from ancient oaks, knees-no-longer-knobby, I breathe deeply.
I am still that girl—the one with the God-dreams. She smiles back at me from time and reminds me that I love a God who never fails.
A God that whispers in the wind telling me who I am.
Heather Iseminger, her husband Michael, and their two children live in Florida. Heather teaches high school language and composition. You can read more from Heather at her blog, PetalsofJoy.org.