So for about three weeks now, my relationship with God has been in the repair shop.
It’s not a major fix like a broken transmission or blown out engine. Nor like Jacob wrestling with God. (Although I’ve been there too.) It was more like couples counseling. You married peeps understand this. I sat at one end of the couch and God sat at the other.
He wanted to move close, but I wasn’t ready.
I looked away as if not looking would make Him disappear or something. No words were said. No lines were drawn.
I hoped the counselor would say the wrong thing so I could blow my top, storm out and put this discussion off for another day. But it didn’t happen.
Even after stopping to have a “session” things hadn’t changed much … With either of us. But unlike couples counseling, something amazing happened through my gruff exterior.
I kept my arms crossed and my walls up, but He pursued me.
No matter how distant I became, He followed every single step. But it didn’t annoy me like it would have if a human stubbornly followed me around refusing not take no for an answer. I would hear His words and like a little kid, I’d close my ears and say loudly, “LA LA LA LA, I can’t hear you!”
But He kept on.
Every line in every book. Every verse I begrudgingly read. In every movie I chose over Him, He would speak. He called me back and reminded me I am His. He reminded me that I am special. That He wasn’t going anywhere.
He loved my stubborn, hot mess of a self and there was nothing I could do about it.
NO, I’d think emphatically. He made me this way, so I guess He is used to my nonsense. But then it started happening. He pursued until I stopped and said, “OK, I’ll listen.”
Like I said before, we weren’t in a place where we needed a complete overhaul. I just needed some refinement. I needed to be more intentional in some areas and more compassionate in others. I wanted to feel free to let down some of those walls. (So perfect that Walls is my married name, because I sure have plenty of them to break down).
Iron sharpens iron, and this time God wanted to be the tool to do the sharpening and refining. No more leaning on Christian friends. No more leaning on my Godly husband. It was His turn at bat.
And do you know that all it took was for God to show me just why He loves me? He spoke the reasons over weeks. It was usually when I least expected it, He brought a memory to mind and speak … “This. This is something I love about you.”
Or He seemingly highlighted a line in a book I was reading and whispered, “You are just like this and I love you for it.” They were moments and things even my husband didn’t know. An intimacy I’ve never experienced. He searches and knows all of the good and bad and ugly and hurts of my heart. And He still loves me this much?? How can it be?
And if you had told me months ago that all it would take to grow even closer to God would be know why I was loved, I’d have laughed in your face. But seeing this side of God opens my eyes.
I can’t love others as I love myself until I truly LOVE myself!
Yielding to His kind of love requires being intentional. I needed to be polished through the beautiful fire of God. And I needed to know that I WILL mess up this whole thing called life in this world. But until then, I’m going to let myself feel loved by God. And then I’m going to pass it along and remind someone else why I love their messy, insane, obnoxious and beautiful soul.
And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31