How am I doing right now? How am I? I am tired, thats for sure. Trying to white knuckle not drinking in my efforts to be healthy and loose weight. Worn out from always feeling behind in some area in life. I feel like the train has run over me and I’m chasing behind it. What is the point of a lot of it anyway? I mean, it does bring me joy to provide healthy food for our family during the week, and my house clean, but if i never get to enjoy sitting down? What about enjoying my son? Am I actually savoring the drool, laughing at his little nuances… You know what? I have been allowing myself to slow down and enjoy him more and it’s been glorious. It’s so glorious to slow down and just “BE” with my son. Nothing else matters in the world when I am with him, just to be with him. Is that how the Lord feels about me? If that is the love I have for my son, a broken kind of love, quickly saturated with self, how much more does God want to hang out with me on the carpet and watch me learn, play and explore life? And when I have “tummy issues” and cry in the middle of the night, how much does he run to my side, pick me up and hold me tight? How much joy does it bring him to care for me, if I feel joy to wake up in the night to sooth my son (ok lets be honest, its not all the time)? I don’t know how I could love anyone more than Gabe. Flesh of my flesh. I remember some mom saying having a child is “having your heart live outside your body” and I can’t agree more. I enjoy every moment I get to know his little heart. To see his eyes light up, his mouth chuckle, his feet kick with excitement. How can I not expect God to at least be the same? I mean he literally is Love. Like all that is loving, good, kind, caring, self-sacrificing is, in their fullness, found in Him. Yet I lessen His desire to love me to less than my tainted love for my son.
So what do i loose to believe God loves me that much? Why is it scary?
If I would take the plunge to believe that God’s love surpasses my love for my own baby, then I could always believe I have value. That I am always wanted. That no matter what, God wants to wipe my tears away. That the pain I feel, he feels even more. If I believe in that type of value and worth and somehow God does not come through, then it would be to my shame. “Why would you think your special?” “No one wants to be with you.” “Your proud for thinking that!” So most of the time, I live in the safety of distance. Not believing what God has proven time and time again. That his love for me will never leave, will always be above my understanding, and is so strong, that nothing can separate me from it. What greater love is this, that someone would lay down their life for a friend. Would I do that for my Gabe? I hope so. But God already proved himself when he sent his own Son to die for me. Yet i keep him at a distance. I don’t run to him when I skin my knee. I don’t let him hold me when my friend calls me a name. I push away his love, because it scares me. And you know who looses in that scenario? Me. I act like an orphan, too afraid to take a chance on love because the past has proven that noone shows up. Or that my father gives me a rocks, instead of bread. But God has shown up. He has never changed, or left me, even when I leave him. He has stood by me when I have outright rebelled, and he has picked up the pieces when my ways to earn favor have failed yet again. I will never understand his patience with me. But what I do know is how it’s changing me. Every new pain I experience, I find my body loosening to his tender touch, and relaxing in his love. His consistent love of me, not when I am doing it right, but when I choose to resist him. The other day, I felt a lot of pain in marriage. The piercing kind that makes you want to question everything. I went to pray. My whole body wanted to wiggle into “What do i need to learn?” and “How do i need to think..?” and not two seconds into prayer, did God quiet my thoughts by saying “Daughter, I will not be managed. You cannot fix this. There is no right answer. Let me be your God. Let me hold you. Take my hand my child. I want to hear every ache, kiss every bruise and hold you till it doesn’t hurt any more. Don’t try to do anything… To clean up, manage or try to find the “truth”, the good, that makes this ok. It’s not ok. And I am the one who makes all things right.”
“The Lord your God is in your midst a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” Zephaniah 3:17
Yeah thats in the Bible. “He will exult over you with loud singing“. “Exult” means to show or feel elation or jubilation…. He says he feels elated over you and it makes him sing loudly. Just let that sink in. You make God burst into song. And for all you Bible nerds who are quickly like, “oh in this context, Israel must have done something to lead to God’s response to be so strong, blah blah blah… look at verse 15. God chose to wipe their slate clean of rebellion, hard heartedness, and idol worship. He rejoices over them regardless of what there track record was because of his love for them. I don’t know what in the people of Israel needed to be quieted by the love of God but I know that when I are loved well, my whole body relaxes, my heart lets out a sigh of relief and I am able to just be where I am at… no matter how messy, broken, confusing or needy. My soul finds it’s perfect home in love because love is the deepest yearning. And when it’s met with LOVE HIMSELF, there is no need for words, or movement or doing. I am made whole in Love Himself. I will never find a better home than love Himself.
So, I haven’t yet bursted into song over Gabe, but I have felt so much emotion I wanted to burst. Or to squeeze him with all my might (don’t worry, I haven’t done it yet… with ALL my might). When I do squeeze Gabe, overflowing with joy for him, he smiles so big it hurts. I want God’s undeserved, unending, over the top, jubilation over me to be met with my own eyes of joy. But even when I don’t, even when I hide, or run or avoid eye contact, God says he will NEVER STOP. Ever. Gah! Ok, I will leave you with these words of grace cause I don’t fully believe them, but I want to:
“He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? ….
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”