This year we want to focus on who God is. Each month we will concentrate on a different attribute of God, and we’ll have one of our authors share what the attribute has taught her about Him. Plus you’ll find pretty free art downloads at the end of each post! We pray this series draws us closer to God as we meditate on who He is. Lisa-Jo Baker continues the series with some thoughts on what it means that God is omnipresent.
I graduated college determined to be defined by my degree and not by any man or marriage or kids.
It’s amazing the difference 20 years can make.
Because 20 years later I was invited back to speak at that same campus to a group of alumni mothers on, wait for it, the topic of how there is no such thing as “just” a mom.
It was surreal to say the least. To be standing in the very spot where I’d told anyone who would listen that I did not plan to have kids. This time with one of my three kids standing beside me. Signing books about my journey from there to here.
My middle son came back with me onto the campus where I was so sure I would never be anybody’s mother. This son who has stretched me and grown me up like nothing else in my life stood next to me on the stage and heard first hand all the stories he’s given me permission to share about himself, about the two of us.
Only God could have known. Because only God was always present for all those versions of me.
And when I got to the book signing table the son I was sure I would never have was already seated with pen in hand ready to have at it. And everyone wanted his signature and so I sat, shoulder to shoulder with my kid, and we shared a calling.
This boy whom God has used as a mirror to show me all the bits and pieces in me that He wants to rearrange and make new. This boy who has undone me and whom God has used to slowly, tenderly reassemble me again. Always more and more into the image of my Maker.
That weekend I got to see all those parts of me I couldn’t when I was a senior in college. When I was terrified about losing myself in motherhood and determined to prove myself in other ways.
Because patient, amazing Jesus saw both versions of me – the stubborn, insecure twenty-year-old and the tired, mended mother of three.
Patient amazing Jesus was present with college me and just-married me and got-my-first-job me and yes, also finally, pregnant me and then new-mom me.
God is never limited by our perspective.
All things have been created through Him and for Him.
He is before all things, and by him all things hold together. Colossians 1:17
He is the God who names Himself, I Am.
He is always with you. For every step of what might often feel like a confusing, twisted, and sometimes straight up lost journey. He is there for every single bit of it.
The I Am is with you. There is no detour, no wrong turn, no mistake or missed opportunity or mess up or dead end we can possibly find ourselves where He isn’t already there. With us.
The Scripture reveals that even the poet and king, David, a man after God’s own heart, found himself at times hiding, backtracking, doubting, wondering if God was still with Him, and trying to make sense of his convoluted journey to the throne said it best for all of us:
Where can I go to escape your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to heaven, you are there;
if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
If I live at the eastern horizon
or settle at the western limits,
even there your hand will lead me;
your right hand will hold on to me.
Psalm 139: 7-10
It’s SUCH A RELIEF.
That no matter how lost I think I am, God is not.
And sometimes, sometimes you have moments like I had on homecoming weekend when the Father God graciously lends you His point of view and you get the smallest, wildest glimpse into how He sees your journey and how much He loves you. How much He always has. And it gives you hope for what comes next. Because you finally believe that He sees that too.
Because He’s already there. Just like He always was twenty years ago as well as how intimately present He is right now today with the dishes waiting in the kitchen and the sunlight twinkling off the bay windows.
So Micah and I walked the whole campus and drank our hot chocolate and he ate as much as a football player in the cafeteria and then we packed ourselves up and back to the airport.
This kid who made me brand new.
Who was a promise I didn’t know, couldn’t see, hadn’t asked for while I was still a confused freshman. This kid who is the answer to prayers I couldn’t pray yet, with words I didn’t understand yet. This kid who is the living, breathing testimony to how God knows us inside out and always, only gives good gifts.
Because He sees what we can’t. He makes a way where we’re blind. And He helps us from falling because He’s behind us watching our back, beside us holding our hand, and ahead of us calling us home.
And one weekend in Boston I caught echoes of it in the voice of an 8-year-old I never expected to have, flying me home.
Lisa-Jo Baker has been the community manager for www.incourage.me, an online home for women all over the world, for nearly a decade. She is the author of Never Unfriended and Surprised by Motherhood, and her writings have been syndicated from New Zealand to New York. She lives just outside Washington, DC, with her husband and their three very loud kids, where she connects, encourages, and champions women in person and through her website, lisajobaker.com. She is convinced that the shortest distance between strangers is a shared awkward story, and she’d love to connect with you on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram @lisajobaker.
We have provided free art for you to help you keep God’s justice in your focus this month. Just click on the links below to download. We’d love to know what God is teaching you this year—share on social media with the hashtag #GodIs2017.