This summer, I got random texts from a guy who was convinced I was “Annie.” He would use words like “nemore,” and when I would tell him I was not her, he was sure I was pushing him off.

Oh, Annie.  She obviously knew this guy, and their relationship was ongoing, but she didn’t trust him enough to give him her real number.

Have you given God the wrong number? Are you willing to hear about Him, even to say you believe certain things about Him, but keep Him at a distance?

I have a friend that I do this to. She can see in my eyes what is stirring in my soul and sometimes when she sees me walk into the room I’ll say, “Don’t look me in the eyes,” (like only the best of friends can do).  I’m keeping her at a distance, for fear I’ll fall apart.

Are you keeping God at a distance? You see, there is a difference between knowing about God and knowing God. My friend knows me, just as God knows you, but that relationship deepens when you return the gaze.

If I never return the gaze, there is no relationship.  Annie didn’t want to return that gaze, because the love that was reaching out to her was not compelling.  God is loving and kind, faithful and gentle. He is patient and longs for you. As you get to know Him, you will find a love that is irrefutable.  Looking to Him means shifting your eyes to God, meeting His gaze. It’s intimate. If I don’t change my gaze, I will forever be Annie, with the unknown number who never returned the call.

Your life is a story and what will matter at the end is if you and God knew each other, not if you did a million things for Him. Did you return the gaze of the One who created it? Did you trust God enough to give him your number?  

This life with God starts with a simple “Okay, God” step of belief. “Okay, if this is Who You are, I would want to know You.” “If you are a God who whispers truth…I would want to know that truth.” “If you are the God who fills the gap I feel in my soul, I would want that.”

It’s looking back into His eyes, and rather than only being an admirer, pursuing a relationship.  When your gaze is distracted, it’s redirecting and trying again. Not to earn favor, but rather in a compelled pursuit of your God, who is forever in pursuit of your gaze.

Will your life be a story of one who chose to meet God’s gaze or will you be someone who just heard about Him?

It all starts with looking to Him and saying, “Okay. I don’t have it all figured out yet, but if we could have a relationship I would want that.”  Give Him the right number.

My story won’t be one of perfection, but it will be one of pursuit, where trying turns into training and the God I have heard about becomes the God that I know.  

This is the free life. This is the life I never knew I always wanted.