As usual....I've had SEVERAL avenues of thought going through my feeble brain.
I'd say its pretty accurate that some very strategic seeds of change have been placed in my soul, been nurtured with time, given some food of truth, and refreshing splash of amazing relationships and have now begun to thrust forth something healthy in me.
Its funny how we always assume that once we understand "this one thing", or if we can just "get it", or if we "know this, or that, or why?"....that we will have arrived. Only to discover the train of thought keeps moving as does the destination, our souls carry the baggage of wounds acquired with living life and being in relationship with us. How we choose to deal with that baggage along our journey makes such a difference. Will I carry the weight of this wound with me into this relationship? Will I carry this wound into this phase of my life? Will I carry the wound of "unknowns and mistrust" because of the never ending "whys" that are in my life?
I mean truly why not me? Why not them? Why cancer? Why poverty? Why starvation? Why singleness? Why AIDS? Why life altering disability? Why infertility? Why them and not me? Why....why?...........why?
But Abba, if you were to give me nothing more in my life....could I still look to You and praise you? Is the mere fact of knowing.....you came, you lived, you loved, you sacrificed, you died for me, for my soul....enough? Could I look to you and say, even if you don't save me from the suffering and turmoil of this life, I will still praise you? Will I still believe?
I had an epiphany back in December with my nephew Joel:
gradually over the course of the past year or so, i've had seeds planted into my soul, these seeds have grown a fabric of healing over me. On that December day, It was a seed that nestled its way into my heart. But on December 11th to be exact. It was my nephew Joel's 2nd birthday and I decided to take him out on a date in the morning so that Mike and Alicia could prepare their house to surprise Joel for his birthday. So Joel and I proceeded to go to the store to buy him a few fun toys for his birthday.
Here's where the epiphany occured; as we drove to Toys-R-Us. Now let's preface with the fact that Joel is now 2, which means that life is at the prime of learning. he is really taking in the world around him, wants to know, wants to understand....he wants answers. And in order to get answers we all ask the same question: Why? Joel doesn't have the full capacity to process and decipher all the answers that are given to his "Why?" Question for everything in life.....he's 2. And no matter what answer you give Joel to his "why?" question, it's NEVER enough, he never stops asking why, even if you lead him to the root of the answer....you can never seem to satisfy that unquenchable question.......
So as Joel and I drove to Toys-R-Us I looked into the rearview mirror at him and said
"Joely....do you know that I love you?"
and Joel in the incessant and insistent way that he does as the ripe ol' age of 2, proceeded to say "why?"
"because I love you Joel, I just do"
"why Auntie, Rachel?"
"Joel.....I love you, for no other reason than because you.....are just you"
That was it. He just sat the rest of the way to Toys-R-Us in silence.
It was a break through for me.....
It was such a break through that it actually brought tears to my eyes.
I have struggled since the time I can remember to truly understand, know, and believe, that God loves me. That He loves me without question, hesitation, or reservation.
Now, I get that God loves us, it's a great in theory. I get the Sunday school answers, I know the knowledge of the head when it comes to God's love (to an extent). But what I've never done is take that and truly taste it, to feel it, to breathe it in deep to the marrow of my bones.
You see Brooklyn is 5, Judah is almost 4, and Joel is 2. And I love them. I genuinely, whole-heartedly, unequivocally, unabashadly love them. I love them without hesitation.....and they aren't even my kids. In fact they're not even technically related to me.
And.....if I can love them how deeply and passionately I do and I'm not even related to them.......how much more can the God that created me love me?
I've spent almost 29 years of my life asking "why Abba? Why do you love me? How can you me?"
The idea that God not only loves, but likes me, that He DELIGHTS in me, is such an unnerving thought that I've actually been unable to verbally say it about myself. Those words are painful for me to utter about myself. I can say it in reference to others till I'm blue in the face, but to actually utter "God, delights in me" what almost something I was physically incapable of doing.
And that moment in the car brought such a brilliant vision of clarity that it makes me tear up just thinking about it.
See God says to each of us "Oh, how I wish you knew how much I love you, how much I delight it you, how much I cherish you"
Just like i was saying to Joel. and I (in my real life scenario) am Joel; constantly questioning and unbelieving of the answers. I struggled to be "enough", and have never amounted to "enough" in my own eyes, so how could God? I truly wanted to know "why?"
And in that moment when Joel actually heard me say "I love you, simply for the fact that you......are you" and didn't ask "why?" one more time. My walls of mistrust began to crumble. The cracks began to form in the walls I'd worked so hard to build, and the light of truth began its journey into my heart.
I think God for over 28 years has just been waiting for me to ask why? and for the answer of "simply because you....are you and I delight in You" to be enough for me.
The may be old news to most, but for me, like I said I know that God "loves me" I can tell someone all the amazing, incredible, unique things about them that makes them special and why God delights in them, but never in a million years did I think i would believe that idea for myself.
The small doses of healing over my battered bruised heart have begun to take in the soil of my soul.
Here's the the journey. May we all just sit back and be at peace knowing that we are treasured, whether the life around us, or the people around us, or the suffering around us tells us otherwise.
May we be.........at peace. And may we rest.