He Loves Me. He Loves Me Not.


Wow.  I sit down to write this post, and this screen feels like a stranger to me.  I feel like I'm sitting down to chat with a long lost friend who I really haven't had a heart to heart with in years.  I've been absent.  My heart at least...absent.

It's been a painful month or so for me.  

Sometimes I don't know how much to share - how much to be "real" about.  So I've been avoiding this blog.  I've been avoiding writing what's on my heart.  

It's funny.  As I sit down to write about it, I realize how, from the outside at least, my struggles seem so...trivial.  Even to me.  I look back at the last month and I think, "really, THAT'S what I was so upset about?"

But it's not about the "stuff" that's happened (which is really and truly nothing).  It's about the state of my heart.  The state of my soul.

Okay, everyone together now..."Ooooo, Deeeep!"

I've felt disappointed and betrayed by God (over that silly "nothing" stuff).  And I reacted like I'm ashamed to say that I always react; not by turning to my comforter and receiving peace and healing...but by turning to God Almighty with my fist raised in anger and defiance.

What the hell are you doing?
Do you really even care?
Are you really even THERE?
This is such BS - what's the point of this pain and why aren't you DOING something?

And then I stopped talking to him all together.  And then I started crying for the loneliness and the hurt.  And then I sulked.

All the while I've heard him, "Are you ready to talk to me yet?"

NO.

"Now?  Are you going to talk about this with me?"

LEAVE ME ALONE.  YOU DON'T CARE ANYWAY.

"I'm here you know.  Turning up the radio doesn't make me go away.  Let's talk."

Aww, crap.  Okay.

He's been showing me the painful truth about what I believe and (more importantly) what I don't believe.  He's been bringing me deeper with him - have you noticed how it's always a painful process to get someplace wonderful?  

Are you frustrated with my lack of details?  I'm not avoiding them - it's just that they truly don't matter.  What I've learned in the past month, however, is everything to me....it's the result...the purpose?... of my suffering.  

There are things that a person can learn with her head, and yet it's still not a truth of her heart.  Do you know what I mean?  It's sort of like when you bring that first baby home with you for the first time.  You keep thinking "I'm a mom"...and yet it takes some time for that reality to really sink in, for you to start living like it's true.  It's not until it sinks all the way down deep into your heart that you are changed from the inside out.  

So head vs. heart knowledge - I know lots of things with my head and my heart.  I know with all my being that there is a God.  I know with everything in me that he is mighty.  Capable.  Strong.  Big.  Sufficient and powerful to save me.  Majestic.  Holy.  Powerful.  

And yet....there are some things.  Some crucially important things that are still just head knowledge for me.  What has God been showing me lately that's such a revelation (you're gonna laugh - it seems that everyone can get this but me)?  It's this:

God loves me.  

Now, I can quote scripture all day long about how God loves me.  I can show evidence.  Argue a debate.  Hell, I can probably build some sort of ultra-geeky spreadsheet detailing all the ways and reasons that God loves me.

But it's all in my head.

Lately, God has been asking me to let it sink into my heart.  And I can hardly get real with him, have a conversation with him, or even spend quiet time with him...without totally bawling my eyes out.  We went to church tonight, and by the end of worship I was sweating and trembling in my fight to maintain some composure.  

He wants me.  He wants my heart - all of it.  And I'm just so friggin scared!

But I've been scared for a long time - it's the result of not really and truly trusting God.  I guess I'd rather be afraid for what he'll do in my heart than for what life will be like if I don't let him in.  Man.  Sometimes he can just be so REAL.

And so damned persistent!

As I read The Shack, there were a few passages that had me bursting into tears and running the other way:

"You cannot produce trust, just as you cannot 'do' humility.  It either is or is not.  Trust is the fruit of a relationship in which you know you are loved.  Because you do not know that I love you, you cannot trust me." (p.128)

"You [do not] know deep in your heart that I love you.  You sing about it, you talk about it, but you don't know it." (p.144)

Ouch.

I've respected him.  I've revered him.  I've pursued him.  But I don't think I've ever really trusted him...because I don't trust that he loves me.

So when something bad (or even remotely disappointing) happens, I immediately get angry and defensive and even more scared.  I feel hurt because it seems that life's pains are evidence that I'm not really loved...that I'm not precious to him.

And lately, mercy upon mercies, the very One I've been shaking my fist at for the past month (and all the months before that for that matter) has been gently asking me to open another little door in my heart to him.  And I'll tell ya what - the hinges to that little door are rusty and don't want to budge!

But I want it with everything I am - I WANT to believe with my whole heart that he loves me.  I want to be able to trust him.  As I closed my eyes during worship tonight, I could feel him pressing on the walls of my heart.  I could almost feel him physically.  But yet...I resist.

Why do I DO that?

I don't know how to end this post. It doesn't have a tidy ending because, well, it's not over yet!  I'm a work in progress.  I know I need some good quality quiet and alone time where I can pray and cry and let it all out...and more importantly, let him IN.

I'm interested in hearing your stories.  How deeply do you know that God loves you.  Does the phrase "God loves me" roll off your tongue in the same casual way that "we're having pizza for dinner" does?  Or does it come bubbling out of your heart like that living water?  Do you really know it with your heart?  Either way - I'm in no position to judge.  I'm just curious.  And if you're one of the ones who has a deep down trust relationship and KNOW that God loves you with all you have...will you please tell me about how you came to know it?


Joe  – (5/31/2009 05:46:00 AM)  

I've been following your blog for quite a time. And this post made me think about something I wrote in my MySpace blog (in Spanish...)

Are you sure that there is no doubt? I also doubt about some things. I also have a hard time letting Him in. I also have a hard time worshipping Him how He wants to. And, you're right, we don't budge.

It's human nature to act defensive when hurt. It's also human to hide someone's feelings, especially on a fear of judgement. If you have doubt about something God wants to do, it's okay. Like the father of the possessed, "Help me with my unbelief!" (Luke 9:24)

Why don't I let Him in? Why I feel so hurt? Why my life is so weak against You? Let Your grace in, for I have shown my weakness fisting my hand against You. I need help. Let me surrender to You at Your time. Let my heart surrender to You with all cleanliness and disposition for. HELP ME WITH MY UNBELIEF!

Full Time Mom  – (5/31/2009 07:49:00 AM)  

Your post is so beautiful At some point I was thinking that I went through the same thing. But I am still stuck in this loneliness that I am feeling. I know that He is there, and He loves me but I am so stubborn. I hope I can get out of this soon. Thanks for inspiring me.

Becky  – (5/31/2009 11:05:00 AM)  

I wish I had time to write all that is on my heart about this. My family is waiting for me to go. I guess we'll just have to talk face to face. I just wanted to say that it was during the dark times that He showed me His love for me, more than the sunshiny ones. It will be in this time of struggle that He cements this truth in you, so embrace it for what it is.

Love you!
Becky

Rachel B  – (5/31/2009 02:07:00 PM)  

Thank you for your honesty in sharing this. I've definately had my struggles with accepting Christ's love for me. I have also been through some dark times. I have learned many things, but have a lot of learning to do.

You are so right that it has to go beyond our heads and penetrate our hearts.

A book that you should really, really read, "The Uncommon Woman" by Susie Larson. It's EXCELLENT! It really, really helped me to see myself as God sees me...as His choice possession. It also encouraged me to rise above the "common".

One of the things that she said and that I've done that has helped...every time you tell the Lord you love Him, reverse that around to yourself, "You love me, Lord." It sounded and felt so goofy at first, but the more you say it, the more you start to believe it. AND IT IS TRUE!

Lord bless you, Daiquiri, as you continue to grow in Him!

LizC  – (5/31/2009 04:21:00 PM)  

I, like Becky who posted above, wish I could write all that is on my heart about what you wrote. Been reading you for a while, and I wish I could talk face to face with you! :)
A few months ago, I went through a major acute anxiety episode, and it was the worst thing ever. I intend to document this journey on my blog, but man, its hard to put into words. One of the major things I' have learned is exactly what the Shack said: You cant trust me because you don't believe that I love you. I've been a believer for SO many years, and yet, I am just starting to understand His grace and Love. I've been trying to "perform" for so many years and I wasn't even aware of it. He clearly showed me this. Daiquiri, I truly believe that He waits until the time is right when He deals with us on something. If there is something that He has brought to the forefront for you, its because it is the right time. Oh wow, I have so much to share with you and it would be impossible to do it on this comment box! :) But you have definitely inspired me to talk about it more on my blog. You are blessed because He loves you enough to NOT leave you where you are - he is faithful to complete this work that He began in you.

Anonymous –   – (6/01/2009 11:12:00 PM)  

This blog post brought tears to my eyes. I've been struggling with pain and hurt the last couple months too. I think I cried from relief knowing that I wasn't alone..don't know if that makes sense. ?? Anyway, I identified with what you posted and wanted to say thank you for sharing. I'm here for you if you ever want to talk. :)

Love ya!
Marisa

Becky  – (6/02/2009 12:18:00 AM)  

This post really touched me also. I have been dealing with some pretty tough stuff (for me at least) and have been on a little pitty party. Last week at church a friend of mine loaned me a great book titled, "The Missing Link" by Drs. Richard & Phylli Arno. This book really helped open my eyes. It reminded me of
God's love
for me, that I am special and that I do have a purpose. For some reason knowing this has helped me get through this little trivial, but rough spot that I have been in.

Amy  – (6/03/2009 03:00:00 PM)  

I have been in church my whole life. Literally, from day two. My dad is a preacher, and I accepted Jesus into my heart at the age of 6.
Yet, for most of my walk with Him, I struggled to be good enough. To be worthy enough. By deeds, actions...so forth.

But just in the past year, through one of the greatest struggles of my life, has He been able to show me, have I been able to grasp, just how much He loves me...JUST AS I AM.

As Paul stated so much better than I, it's not a freedom to sin or ignore my relationship with Him, but a freedom to be loved by Him despite all my faults, all my weaknesses, everything.

And suddenly, I feel so free to love Him wholeheartedly in return. I can trust Him to NEVER leave me, no matter how stupid I am. I will never walk away from my children, regardless of their actions; how much more does my Heavenly Father, the very author of love, love me? How deep is His love for me?!

I think you know the answer to that question. I don't know any secrets to help you through this journey any faster. Just keep listening and letting Him work on your heart. He is so worth it!

God bless!

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