with all the twist and turns, and I simply wanted to escape. Slowly, without realizing it, my heart had atrophied in these routines; I never attempted to dig deeper. Somewhere along my short life journey, the Gospel turned into snippets of nice phrases, soundbites of touching verses and good sayings. The excitement and joy of God was lost in the contradiction of my words and inaction. I convinced myself that waiting on God was a passive process where I could ignore every whisper that nudged me to step out of my comfort zone and my complacency. I was so focused on protecting my heart that I didn’t realize that I was starving for the presence of God. I didn’t realize that my fears had been keeping me from living a life of reckless abandon in God.
“If I gave up total control to God, I knew that he would ask me not just to walk among the stars, but to swim in them; to completely immerse myself in the beautiful unknown.” I found that my heart was crying for something new. I yearned for something, but I wasn’t sure what it was. I hungered for authenticity in my relationship with God. I wanted to be honest and vulnerable, to be ruled by an overmastering passion, and to radiate with God’s grace. Painfully aware of the void that existed in my heart and longed to be filled, I was still so scared of getting hurt and of all that could possibly go wrong, that I was afraid to take those steps in the dark, those steps of faith. It was as if I were standing frozen on the shore of an ocean, with the waves lapping at my feet and slowly dragging me further in. I was afraid and wanted to run away to find safety on dry land, and yet I longed to recklessly throw myself and trust the ocean to carry to my heart to new heights and depths. Deep inside, I knew that if I did, God would radically change my life and take me to places that might hurt. If I gave up total control of my life to God, I knew that he would ask me to not just walk among the stars, but to swim in them; to completely immerse myself in the beau-
The Williams Telos
tiful unknown. He would ask me to let him carry me like a lion, to trust him even when worldly wisdom and logic would say otherwise, to ride on the back of a lion and trust that I would be fine, even when he has all control and I have none. Yet this amazing joy offered to me had been lost and suffocated by my fears. I was so intent on protecting my heart that I was also closing my heart to God. But I still longed for Him; I still hungered for his joy and his peace. I desperately desired to trust Him, but I had been blinded by my own delusions of protecting my heart for so long. I had built a prison around my heart that kept away the exact thing that I desperately hungered for. I had always prayed for my life to change and for my heart to be filled, but I was unwilling to listen to that small whisper that begged me to trust God. I hungered to “approach the throne of grace with confidence so that [I] may receive mercy and find grace,” but I was too afraid (Heb. 4:16 NIV). I am still afraid and much more messed up than I ever knew, but God is becoming increasingly irresistible. He has been slowly revealing to me parts of my heart that are dead and dry, parts of my heart that can only be revived by his presence and his mercy. I want my heart to be made flesh; I want to be fed by His grace and mercy. I want to soak my spirit in his words, enjoy his presence, and bathe in his infinite ocean of grace. I want to immerse myself in the stars, regardless if they bring immense joy or sweet sorrow that forces me to daily relinquish my desires and saturate my soul in God’s presence. I don’t know where God will take me, and I must confess that part of me is still fearful; however, I am slowly learning to trust God to continue fuelling this hunger in my heart and to teach me to ride a lion like a child, releasing all control while fully savoring every moment.
Judith Clerjeune ’14 is a history major from Nashville, Tenn. She is a daughter, a sister and a friend. She thinks squirrels are really cute. Danish cookies are her favorite. If you see her around, she would love it if you said hello.
Fall 2012 issue of The Williams College Telos. Theme: Hunger.