perfect or personal

This past fall I went through recruitment (rush) at auburn university. Unlike many people, I actually loved recruitment. Talking to people all day?? Uh yes please, SIGN! ME! UP! I chose to view it in a light-hearted, almost comical way. I viewed it as a ministry and thought to myself, “Every girl I talk to is hand-picked by God. I’m going to value each conversation and see where He takes me.”

On my first day, I walked into the first room I was utterly overwhelmed. I was confused why girls were screaming in my face and singing songs. The music was louder than a screamo concert and no matter how loud you screamed, odds were that the person you were talking to couldn’t hear you. But I got through the first one after talking to so many people and walked out thinking, “Gosh I love this. So many people to talk (scream) to!!!” Throughout the day, I quickly noticed a pattern of questions that were asked, over and over and over again. “What’s your name?” “Where are you from?” “What do you want to major in?” By the end of the week I was going to hurt someone if I had to say “I’m Ashley Jordan and I’m from Atlanta, and I am majoring in communications!!!!” one more time. By the end of the week, I was so done with the shallow questions. The conversations were all cordial, almost too cordial. It was like I knew all the right answers to the questions they were asking and they knew the perfect answers to my questions. For the most part, I didn’t feel like I was truly growing any relationships, just having “easy and pretty” conversations.

I think, a lot of times, we approach Jesus the same way that many girls approach recruitment. We feel like we have to have the perfect words. The perfect prayer. Act like we have everything figured out to save face. So that, ultimately, they would pick you.

When you begin your relationship with Jesus it’s hard and you’re in uncharted waters. You will try and keep everything perfect and shiny. But, when you start walking with him daily, talking to him, listening to him, your relationship will deepen in a way that is indescribable. It’s okay to not have it all together when you lay it down at the feet of Jesus. He isn’t expecting us to have a nice small package wrapped with a burlap bow to lay down. He is expecting and willing to untangle and take on the big ole heap of mess we dump at the feet of the cross. Nothing quite sorted out, but in your heart you lay it down in recognition of His holiness saying, “God, I have this mess and I’m not sure what to do next. Show me your plans for my life. reveal to me your grace and mercy. Lord, I pray, lead me and teach me.”

The longer you walk with Jesus the more comfortable you are with him, like any friend. I have been walking with Him for eleven years now and I can confidently confirm this. my relationship with Jesus isn’t perfect. Honestly, it’s messy and a lot of times I am confused because of my lack of understanding. But his grace, love, joy, peace, and patience triumph over my mess. When I draw near to Him, he washes my hands and purifies my heart (james 4:8). he can handle my mess, but that comes with being intentional in growing your relationship. He doesn’t want “recruitment talk”. He wants the nitty gritty talk. He wants you to scream, breakdown, and rejoice with Him. He wants to be your shoulder to cry on and be the person you sing to when you are rejoicin’. He created you for relationship. That we would be rooted and built up in him, strengthened in faith as you were taught, and overflowing in thankfulness (colossians 2:6). 

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