How Relationships Grow

Meeting new people is fun. There’s an excitement that comes from forming new relationships and connecting with another person. That excitement grows even more when there are common interests and a shared sense of humor.

Recently I met someone like this. Instantly conversation was fun and easy to navigate. Jokes were made and understood on both ends. It was effortless. Maybe it was the nature of the meeting that made the easy connection stand out. Maybe it was because I didn’t have to  wonder if I was culturally making sense. In any case, it stood out and it reminded me of the excitement I once had in my relationship with God.

There are two separate seasons in my life that I remember getting giddy excited every time I would sit down to spend time with him, thought of him, or saw him act in the world around me. During these times I was learning so much about his character and living in community where I was surrounded by others learning the same. I would read something in the Bible that revealed more of his heart, and I would walk around the rest of the day smiling while mentally replaying what I learned.

I was enamored.

After awhile, it seemed like the excitement went away. I was still reading the Bible, learning new things, and living in community but I was no longer in awe of what I learned. This time I was more curious. I wanted to know the why. I wanted to go deeper. Most of the things I learned about God at this point weren’t a surprise because they aligned with his character.

Here’s an example of the difference. When I first began growing in my relationship with God I was amazed that God is love. How incredible is that? God is not love (verb), but love (noun/verb and everything else all in one). After having a growing relationship with God for a couple years, I was still impressed with what I learned, but in a different way. God is love. That is a characteristic of himself that he has proven true to me. So while time and time again I am amazed at how God pursues and forgives his people, I expect it. I expect it not because we deserve it, but because it aligns with his character.

As our relationship with God deepens and grows, we still experience excitement, but in a different way. Instead of experiencing the excitement of new things, we get to experience the excitement that comes from having a growing, close relationship. For me, this excitement stands out in trust, faith, and commitment. I may not walk around with a goofy smile on my face all day, but if I believe God is leading me to go somewhere and I am absolutely terrified, I’m going to go. I’m probably going to be a little scared the whole time and have mini breakdowns throughout the journey, but I trust God enough to go. That’s definitely not something I would’ve done in the beginning.

I write all of this because off and on for about a year I felt guilty about not having that particular kind of excitement that comes from a new relationship with God. As our relationship was deepening in ways I didn’t understand, I kept looking back to the beginning and asking God to take me back there. Without realizing it I was resisting growth.

I don’t want you to struggle with the same thing.

If you are yearning for that excitement that seems to have dwindled, I encourage you to continue to seek God and ask him to show you how he’s taking you deeper.

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