I am a thirteen-year-old Christian. I was born again on July 13, 1995, if a date is truly necessary, kneeled beside my bed at nighttime. Understanding this, I should have been through my 'Jesus' toddler years, jumping off a coffee table with child-like faith that He indeed will catch me. I should be well on my way through grammer school, having passed 3rd grade when I memorized my Christian multiplication tables and learned to write in Christian cursive. I should be going through Christian puberty about now, falling for my Savior more and more with each day that passes. I should be forming into the Christian woman God asks of me.
Is this what I am?
Why do I feel like a Christian 3rd grader sitting in time-out because she just won't cooperate?
I don't want my faith to become a phase I went through, oh, you know, that one time, when it all made sense. Faith is not about believing God when it is easy or self-beneficial or even when it all makes sense. Frankly, sometimes it doesn't.
I have no idea how to pray, because everytime I do, I barely speak a sentence before I see the words hit the ceiling, one by one, and bounce back to me and choke me. For the type of person I am, prayer will always be difficult, because I am a practical person who likes to talk to people as they are, and of course God is how He is, but how He is, is not where I am. I don't like talking to people on the phone, let alone telling God about my day when He not only knows more about it than I do, but He doesn't magically send me air-texts back. I don't 'feel' Him 'speaking'. So I write. But, of course, He doesn't write back. I don't hold it against Him, and I don't expect anything more. Prayer is simply the most awkward part of life on earth as a thirteen-year-old Christian.
So I am a Christian who never keeps her promises to God. I have read my Bible perhaps a handful of times in the past year, because reading the Bible is like going to the gym. Before I go, I feel a familiar sense of dread...the kind that doesn't fade with time, the kind that will remain after I die, even when Jesus wants to rock out to some Tim McGraw and run the treadmill with me. But when I actually hop on the treadmill and start running, it is exhilerating and makes me feel more alive. So all I have to do is open the Bible a crack every day, and know it is exhilerating. Know it will make me more alive. But, I don't.
I am a Christian who feels her prayers are worthless. And I am a thirteen-year-old Christian, held back so many years because I refuse to learn, I refuse to love like He has loved, I refuse to jump off the coffee table and watch Him catch me. I refuse to do anything except to grunt every now and then on my uncomfortable time-out chair, that I convince myself is actually quite comfortable because I have warmed up the seat for all this time.
And I know I will turn from this white screen with black letters and repeat my same patterns, all over again, and I will be a broken thirteen-year-old Christian turned cold and apathetic. And I will hurt God again and again, and be a stubborn child He has to continually discipline and calm and woo. But He knows this too, and He knows that I know.
And the funny thing is, I think, with this realization, I am finally done with my time-out.