I often say to people, “No one will ever love you like Jesus.” (And Abba and Ruach.) And I mean it, but my experience of it waxes and wanes like all love relationships. There is always an ebb and flow. That’s how I know love is more than feelings. It is a commitment. But it does have wonderful feelings at times, and this week I got to experience the true sweetness of God’s love.
One of the sweetest things about God is that They know when you really need some encouragement.
I was at an all-time low. Feeling not-good-enough for my daughter and grand-kids. It reached a head just before I flew home and it was a tearful ride to the airport. I never cry unless it’s at something good, but this was not good, at least not good-feeling. At least she said “I love you and I do want you here,” when she dropped me off.
It had started the day before when shame came up somehow and she said I had raised her on it. I was shocked. I had been raised on it, but I was sure I hadn’t raised her the way I was raised–at least not to that extent. It got worse that night in a crazy misinterpretation of a humorous comment I made that got mis-repeated and hurt my grandson’s feelings. He and I talked it through, but I didn’t sleep much that night.
I was despairing of ever being truly accepted and liked for who I am and what I am. I would have to change and be someone different; that much was clear. I felt, hurt, rejected, and it wasn’t long until it turned into abandonment.
At home the next morning I had to work, and that helped. But the last client of the day was a returning client, who asked how I was doing and I was honest. She said “I wouldn’t want you for a mother–I’d always be afraid you were analyzing me.” Hmm! My daughter did apologize for being hard on me and text and say she loved me. That helped.
I gave into feelings of anger the next morning, in spite of the fact that an old client texted me gratitude out of the blue. He said he’d been praying and thanking God for me. I recognized God’s love, but I was going south fast–even while gardening! I knew I would end up hurting my relationships and my mind. And it wouldn’t help anything. So I chose to go back to reason and being the person I want to be. I asked God what to do next, and Ruach (Holy Spirit) immediately said, “Tell me three things you are grateful for. ” So I did, and felt better.
What would I do without God? Three powerful beings who know you inside out and still are in love with you–“crazy about you”–as my friend Barb says. They are so crazy about you that they want you with Them as your first love now through this life and forever.
A few minutes later a text came from a former client asking if I would see her son. I had worked with him ten years ago, and I said “Absolutely!” I love this kid. He had worked so hard in therapy. From what she said it sounded like it would be a difficult session. He’d been in a bad car accident two days earlier because he was drinking and she wasn’t sure if it was an attempt to take his life. She was sure he was sober now so I saw him later that day. It was a wonderful session, and I was very clear that this was God’s way of saying They knew my pain and were pleased with me. It was as though They brought us together because we both needed it. There was a foundational belief in him that still needed healing badly, and They healed it even before I asked. As soon as he said he wanted it, he had it. But the sweetest part for me was seeing how much he had grown in ten years. He had become an amazing young man, who was so different from the broken, angry, suicidal kid I had first seen, I didn’t even recognize him! He had made so much progress, and has so much promise, I was overwhelmed with gratitude that I had been a part of the change. He had hit a low spot, gave into drinking and had a one-car accident going way too fast. He should have been killed but he wasn’t–only banged up with two broken ribs and a cracked pelvis. He was uncomfortable, but his attitude toward that and all the complications he had just created for himself was admirable. I had known he was gifted, but he has really applied himself and grown. It was delightful to see who he has become.
That night he texted me how grateful he was for me. Two days later his mother texted something similar. I was floating with the realization of God’s loving presence and reality both in his life and mine. He had said he was learning that dark times teach you the most. I had already known this, just needed the reminder. This will all work out for good. God is never surprised and never baffled about guiding us and working things out. All we have to do is see Them in it, be teachable and allow Them to love us.