Saturday, December 13, 2008

Getting Personal...

Ok, I’m about to get really personal, but there’s something that’s been on my heart ever since my last post, so I’m going to go for it and hope that God has a plan for this post…talk about getting vulnerable…

But I can’t stop thinking about Abby’s need to belong…

I’ve only been a Christian for about 10 years. I grew up in the church, I believed in God but somehow I missed the significance of Jesus. In my mind, ‘religion’ was all about following the rules. I had no idea that God wanted to have a relationship with me and that Jesus was the only way that could ever be possible.

God finally got through to my heart when I was about 33, my grandfather Pop died. Someone said, “He was the man that was the most like Jesus they had ever known,” and that’s when it started to click…God wasn’t this BIG, BAD guy in the sky, walking around, ready to strike me with a lightening bolt every time I broke a ‘rule.’ If Pop was like Jesus, then He had to be humble, gentle, full of grace and amazing love.

I gave my life to Christ and never looked back… But those early years were so hard. I felt so incredibly unworthy. I had made so many bad choices. I was full of shame and guilt and I couldn’t imagine how God could accept me or love me so completely.

One spring God led me to a little book by Ruth Myers called “The Satisfied Heart, 31 Days of Experiencing God’s Love.” Each day I would sit on our screened porch and be overwhelmed at how much God loves me…I can remember many times, in tears, saying “But You know all the things I’ve done, You can’t possibly love me that much.” And each day, He would use His Word to reassure me… He pounded on the walls of my heart for days, assuring me over and over that yes, He did love me beyond measure.

He used verses like, Jeremiah 31:3, “The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.” An everlasting love…for all eternity, even when He saw me in my sin, He loved me…

Lamentations 3:22-23, “Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions ever fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Compassion, even in the depths of my sinfulness? WOW!!

Zephaniah 3:17, “The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." That one blew me away…He takes delight in me…He rejoices over me!

He led me to different passages where I would re-write them with my name in them, seeing more and more just how personal His love for me was…

And then, Isaiah 49:16, “See, I have engraved you on the palm of my hands.” All of His love came flooding through in the realization that I was engraved on the palm of His hands…that the cross was the ultimate demonstration of His unfathomable love for me…

So what does that have to do with my experience with Abby that I wrote about in the last post? Everything!!

I am an adopted child of the King and I couldn’t fathom myself worthy to receive the kind of love and acceptance that He was offering to me…

And it got me to thinking…More than likely, Abby’s struggle is much like mine. She definitely hasn’t done anything to feel ashamed of, or unworthy of, but to a child…a child who was abandoned at an older age… I have to imagine that her fears and insecurities maybe aren’t that much different than the ones I had.

Even though she did absolutely nothing to bring about her circumstances, does she really understand that? Maybe someday, but probably not yet…

So I need to follow the example of my Abba Father, I need to reassure her of that love over and over…even when she doesn’t get it…doesn’t seem to want it…in fact, flat out rejects it. My love will never compare to the love of my Heavenly Father, but I trust that He will let His love flow through me and He will heal the wounds of her heart just like He did me.

Healing was a process with me…healing will be a process with Abby…it will take time, it won’t happen because we resolve one situation…sooner or later, there will be another struggle…but that’s ok…

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”

What a gift to be given the opportunity to comfort as I’ve been comforted…You know, God didn’t have to work it out that way…He was more than capable on His own…He just simply chose to!

He truly is the master of attachment… He takes broken, wounded children every day and makes them forever His!

1 comment:

jan ranger said...

amen! i too was born again late, at age 36 after having lived an 'unpleasing' lifestyle. i thank God daily for his longsuffering...and praise Him for loving me in spite of myself.

lessons for both phoebe and me in your post. thank you! xoxoxo, jan (JTM phoebe)