What Love Is This?

When did He become enough?

When did I pass through to absolute acceptance. Into all-encompassing joy?

I’ve been that woman.

The one who cries herself to sleep every night. Who gets angry at God for keeping her single and childless.

I’ve been there.

Where injustice rises up and strangle holds your life and keeps you captive to the decisions of others.

I’ve seen absolute poverty.

I’ve witnessed the ravages of drug abuse.

I’ve shook my fist at God and cried out, “Where are you, God?”

It’s been two and a half years since I began my dedicated prayer journey and somewhere in the midst of all the broken that life is, He changed me. Instead of shaking my fist, I hit my knees. My desires haven’t changed. My circumstances are not that different. I still live in a fallen world, but I haven’t given up. I still witness injustice and suffering and indescribable circumstances, but now I help or give or pray.

Most of all? I love.

He has gentled my heart. He has opened me up and embedded some of His unimaginable, unconditional love inside me.

And that love, so precious and divine – given so freely, became enough.

And through that love, that greatest gift: Hope.

I still long for my heart’s desire. I still experience injustice. I see the darkness.

But hope.

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With Full Abandon

 

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With full abandon.

That’s how I long to love.

To rush forward passionately. Joyfully. Fearlessly.

Yet with fear is how I’ve always loved. Always afraid of love dying. Or moving on. Or fading away.

A little girl, terrified. My mother ten minutes late. Fearing the worst. She who I loved the most leaving me behind.

A young woman. First romance. Push. Pushing love away. A self-fulfilling prophecy.

Older. Getting my very own first dog. And still afraid to love too much. For the inevitable day will come. And she will go. So, I hold something back.

What do I give up if I love with full abandon? Do I give up a cage of my own making for true freedom?

What do I risk if I love completely?

Much.

I could get hurt. My loves will die, move on, fade away. And even more – they could hurt me. Lash out and do damage.

Yet.

What do I risk if I don’t love with complete passion? What will I miss out on? By tying love to conditions? By holding back in fear?

Steadfast love.

Again. And again the scriptures tell of God’s steadfast love for us. Despite our sin. Our absolute rejection of him. Worse – our replacement of Him with pale substitutes. And yet: love. Steadfast love. And if I am to be an example of His life and character and walk in imago dei… shouldn’t I embrace the love? With full abandon?

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18

Fear has to do with punishment. My fearful love is wrapped up in a reprimand I may deserve, but Jesus has redeemed me from.

Perfect love drives out all fear. All terror. All hesitation of intimacy. Perfect love opens us to a grace too beautiful to imagine.

What have I been hiding myself from?

 

 

October 2, 2017

A cruel day.

It builds through the hours.

It begins with insecurities.

“You’re not enough.”

“You’re too much.”

“It will never change – you’ll always be stuck. Everyone else is moving ahead with their lives and you – alone, unwanted, undeserving.”

“God loves everyone, but you.”

At the onset, I know it’s all lies. Yet, I let the words pester me. Build on me. Make me uncomfortable in my own skin.

The day continues.

And the agony continues. An arrow to the heart.

And the fear.

And the anger.

Always the anger.

“Why?” I cry. “Can’t I just be done? I can’t take the pain anymore. It’s too much for one person to handle.”

The urge to harm myself so deep. Anything to release the ache and anxiety.

I try to write, but nothing coherent comes out. I toss my laptop aside. I clench my fists in fury.

The desire for rage builds. Rage against myself. My lack – of order, of control, of hope.

It takes me to the brink.

Then I remember. Too late, I remember.

I have an arsenal at my command.

“Jesus.” I whisper. All my strength gone. Tears stream down my face.

“Jesus.” I repeat again and again. I don’t have the strength for anything else.

In my mind, I call down the angels of heaven to protect me. To unsheathe their swords and strike the enemy and his, down.

A battle taking place.

For my soul. For my broken heart.

My fragile being.

Now in my bed, tears drying on my face. Dampening my pillow. Exhausted.

The battle is done, but sorrow remains. This is no joyful victory. Maybe tomorrow I can celebrate, but for now I lay still.

It’s clear in these moments why God reduces our days. How long can we survive under sin? He is merciful to take us. He is kind in His limitation.