Kelley commented on my blog on Friday. She said:

Wow, this is deep for me!! As a child my parents were divorced at a young age. Time and time again my father didn’t show up. Growing up in church I would watch families, and think I want that which included a close walk with God. Everyone says just talk to God like a friend. It’s hard for me as my earthly father abandoned me, so how am I supposed to accept my heavenly father?

I’ve been feeling in my heart the last several weeks that I need and want more than just reading the Proverbs 31 devotions that from time and time again I step away from due to not knowing “how to do it”. Is this the more I’m looking for?

I really hope that you’ll email me as I’d like to know exactly how to do this. How much do you read in the Bible etc.? What do you write about exactly? I am totally interested in this. Help me to do this.

Dear sweet Kelley,

I am emailing you, but this is such an honest and powerful question that I’m sharing it with others on the blog.

First, I hear your heart and I love it. I also understand. When people have let you down, it can cause you to miss the connection between a Heavenly Father and love. No one has shown you what that means.

But God is different. I can only imagine how He grieved over a little girl who felt disappointed by a daddy who just didn’t get it. Who didn’t show up.

When I was first a Christian I knew that God was real. I knew that He loved me. I also saw changes in my life. But I knew there was more. I just didn’t know what that “more” was. I hear so clearly in your question that you want more.

We receive more when we realize that we can be ourselves. I can’t find in scripture where God is looking for a perfect person, or a prototype of what a Christian should look like. He simply walked by ordinary people like you and me and asked us to follow Him.

Follow Him where? Into relationship. Into growth. Into discovering the heart of what God wanted and being a part of that. God used people that might be overlooked today. He saw in them what they couldn’t see inside of themselves. And He filled in the gaps, pouring into these people so that they could discover what it means to live fully.

But there’s more on a different level. It’s not just about being converted. It’s encountering God on a daily basis through prayer. Through talking to Him. Through His Word. Through other believers.

We were never intended to become believers and then just stay there. Following Christ means that we will be challenged to grow spiritually. To learn more about the Word, and how that applies to our daily life, to our thoughts, to the way we live. It means that when we are broken, He makes us whole again.

Last, there’s more intimacy. We can come right into His presence. Hebrews 4:16 confirms that we have an ultimate invitation to come into His presence and there we’ll find grace. I don’t have to hide from God.

Will a prayer journal be the answers? It’s just one small tool, sis, but a good one that helps you connect with God.

But knowing God is a life time of discovering and encountering God.

I hope you realize that He wants to know you just as much as you long to know Him. May I pray with you today?

Father, thank you for Kelley. Lord, she wants to know you more, and You love her. You always have, from the moment she was conceived. She is beautiful to you. She is yours. Wrap her close today. Let her know the love of a Father who will never leave her, never turn away from her, and who sees her exactly as she is today, but also as she will be as she grows closer and closer to you. In your powerful name, Amen.

Suzie