So many nights I have sat here, curled up, confronted with darkness – a darkness I invited. Some days my to-do list is enough to keep my mind occupied and feelings of shame at bay, but only for a time.
I work hard to remind myself of the truth over and over. Sometimes it works and feelings of condemnation are alleviated. At those times I am overwhelmed with gratitude as I recall what The Father sacrificed for me. I am filled with awe considering His love for me…
So why do I repeatedly feel distant from Him? Why does this theme of feeling unlovable continue its cruel cycle through my mind?
Life creeps in again. Things need to be tended to. Sleep is hard to leave each morning and easy to wander into. I don’t remember being this tired before. Here now, even sleep ends with the feeling that I’ve failed, failed to do more and see progress. Once again I welcome shame to the doorstep and usher it in…
There must be something I am doing wrong… or something I messed up a while ago. If The Father has left me, I can understand why. I am a mess and I have let Him down so many times.
Here I am again, face buried in my knees, quiet tears forming a ring around me as if to block me into the guilt I feel. The truth that I knew yesterday about His love and sacrifice for me seems distant and besides, surely I actually voided it long ago anyway. He is quiet and I am not worthy of His presence or affection. Some child of His I turned out to be.
From my position on the floor I smell a sweet fragrance. Not an overpowering smell… rather, its a pleasing smell, almost relaxing. I’ve smelled this fragrance before… Before I lift my head to see where it’s coming from, I hear His tender voice.
“My precious little one, I have never stopped loving you. I know you are hurting, thinking that I left you and that you drove me away, but that is not true. I desire to be with you more, not less. Don’t you know, I knew all of this was going to happen but I still made that sacrifice – for you. Because I love you. I have always loved you. Nothing you have done or will ever do will remove or cancel my love for you. Those things that you have done that you think have disappointed me enough to drive me away, those are the things that led me to such a great sacrifice for you. Yes, I hurt and weep for you but nothing you have done or experienced has separated you from my love. You love your own children regardless of what good or bad they have done – don’t you know it is even more so with my love for you? I want you to want to spend time with me. I have always been here, waiting for you to make time to speak with me. I am only quiet because you haven’t invited me to speak, you aren’t ready to listen. I am and have been at the door knocking, waiting for your attention and affection. I love you as I always have.”
I am having a hard time lifting my head to look for The Father’s face as He speaks to me. A flood of gratitude – no, gratitude isn’t the right word… it is a tidal wave of love for The Father has overtaken me. My whole body shakes with tears of relief and joy and love. As He lays His strong and mighty hand gently on my back, I turn and fling my arms around His neck. I have known this fact of the truth of His love for me before, but now my heart has experienced it deeply and personally.
Picking me up off of the floor easily (as my strong Daddy God does sometimes when He comforts me) He says, “Little one, remember that the sacrifice I made for you cannot and will not be undone. It is fully for you. Remember that I mean everything I say and my Word is worth trusting. When I said that you are redeemed and forgiven I mean it fully and completely, with no exceptions. I don’t love you in pieces and parts. I love you all the way, fully. What once millennia ago kept me from my beloved children, I long ago made certain it never would again. My love for you is stronger than anything you have ever done, right or wrong. I will never leave you. I am here. I am singing over you. I am healing your brokenness. I am your Father, your Strength, your Shield, your Forgiveness, your Redeemer, your Righteousness, your Source of Enduring Love.”
I lay my head against The Father’s chest once again. My crying has been calmed by His tender mercies and the demonstration of His truthful and everlasting love and grace for me.