We talk about not being where we want to be with God, as if there is some ultimate, perfect version of that relationship. As if other people are somehow performing better, relating better, showing up better.
I don't think we can place a value on it. I don't think we can look at one person's life and say: 'they're closer with the Lord', or 'I want their relationship with Jesus.' How we relate to Him, how we hear from Him, how we know Him . . . it's unique to each of us. And to say we have work to do, to try to place these relationships on a scale, takes way from their specialness.
Perhaps being closer to God simply requires that we just show up. However that looks. You show up in the midst of sin, in the midst of suffering, in the midst of whatever lifestyle you're living. You just show up. And He meets you there.
What happens next, I don't know. The convictions you feel, the decisions you make, the lifestyle changes you implement . . . that's between you and your God.
The strength demanded to return to your Creator is woven into your heart. Even in the moments when I felt like I couldn't go back, the seasons where He felt so far because I had wandered for so long, I resolved to just show up. To just open my Bible, even if I didn't read a lot. To try to pray, even if I couldn't say anything eloquently. I knew if I just showed up at the feet of Jesus, He would meet me there and do the rest.
And He does. It's not up to us to work towards someone else's version of a relationship with Jesus. It's up to us to decide that we want more Him, that we want a different hope in our lives, and then show up. He moves from there. And the relationship that grows from that will not look the way anyone else's looks. Yet it is still beautiful and valid and real.