Monday, October 30, 2023

So I Have Loved You


Have you ever been "shifted?"

I had the wonderful privilege of being "shifted" this weekend.  If you've been one of the few following this blog, you know I have been struggling over the past five weeks.

I am transparent with my life because I know it helps others.  You have reached out to me via e-mail, texts, and spoken word.  I am grateful to a God that allows my life experiences to be used for the good of others.

Humbled actually.  

...That a mighty God would reach down and ask me to do something?  That is so humbling.

That is exactly what happened yesterday.

Early Sunday morning, I woke up and found my heart had been shifted.  I did not do the shifting.  It had been SHIFTED for me.

The only real explanation I have for this is God.

I woke up early as usual.  As I stretched and tried to become coherent, I felt different.  I felt "shifted."  I felt as if my heart had "shifted" into a mode of prayer FOR my person.  I felt so much love inside my heart, I knew it had come from above.  Not a "person" love, but a true holy and Godly love.  

And honestly, I can't say this has ever happened to me before.  It felt as if my heart was going to burst and that my person needed to hear they were loved.  God was very clearly asking me to let my person know he was loved.

I heard a quiet, still small voice whisper, "Write [your person] a love letter."  Without questioning, arguing, or wondering, I got out of bed, grabbed my bedside journal (a must for all of you struggling with anything - grief, broken homes, family issues, and more - get those prayers and thoughts OUT and on paper!), walked to my bedroom desk, and begin writing in those early morning pre-dawn hours.

I have NO IDEA what I wrote.  The words just flowed.  To this very moment, I couldn't tell you what I penned on those three small pages.  I just wrote what was given to me.

I'm still not 100% sure I fulfilled God's agenda or wrote what He wanted me to write.  In fact, I am struggling with there being too much of "me" getting in the way of that letter and not enough God.

I know God wanted it to be a letter full of His love to my person.  I know God wanted my person to know how much he is loved and cherished despite his struggles and questions.  I am so afraid I messed up the job!  All I can say is that I did what I was told; I wrote what came to me.  I hope God is not disappointed.

I ripped the pages out of my journal, folded them in half (did not even proof read them because I was afraid I would "tweak" what God had given me), and threw them in a brown, paper bag I had ready for church that held some of my person's personal belongings inside it.

I got to church early.  I was so nervous.

The first service wasn't let out yet.  I waited.  I was so nervous.

What would I do if I saw my person?  Was he even at church?  I had no idea.  Would he approach me and ask if we could talk if he was there?  Would he ignore me?  What would I do if he ignored me?  My mind was racing.

I remembered the task God gave me a few hours earlier, and I laid my fears at the foot of the cross, took a deep breath, and waited.

The first service finally released.  The sanctuary doors swung open, and I saw my person exit.  Our eyes met briefly.  He looked away and kept walking, in a direction away from me.

I repositioned myself closer to where he walked.  Would I have the courage to speak to him or give him the letter?

Our eyes again met briefly. He looked away a second time and then moved into conversation with someone.

I repositioned myself closer to him again, but after two obvious, "I don't want to engage with you" moments, I found I was shaken to the core and had lost any remnants of bravery I once held.  I could not bring myself to approach him.  I was devastated.  I did not possess the bravery needed, even after so much time and love between us.

But, alas,  this was not to be the end of the love letter story.  God was determined to get His letter of love to its destination.  He had a plan.

I forgot. Where I fail, God does not.

At that very specific moment, when I had no courage left, a sweet friend arrived by my side.  The timing was impeccable.

Seeing me almost in tears, she walked up to me and quietly said, "Where's the bag?  I will give it to him."  And so she did.

I was so relieved.  I had been on the verge of failing God.  Something I didn't want to do.

In my humanness, I didn't know how to overcome the fear I was encountering. All courage had drained from me.  So God made a way.  He provided bravery where none existed.

You see, even in our human failings, God remains faithful and just.  His love for us is so great, it overshadows even the moments we are on track to fail.

God already knew I was going to fail.  He knew I would try, and that was the important thing.  He gave me a task, and I tried my best to complete it. In the end, He provided an alternate method.

I'm not sure why, but I am still amazed every time I witness a "God story."

You may wonder how this story ended up later that day, after God's mission had been accomplished...Honestly, I don't know.

I was only the messenger.  I witnessed no big revelations.  No outreach.  Only God knows what that letter accomplished inside the intended's heart. 

I was the servant, doing a task I was asked to do.

We won't always know the outcome of tasks God gives us.  We have faith, and we plant the seeds.

And then, we TRUST.  We trust an Almighty and all-knowing God to know more and better than us.  We lay our lives in His hands and do what He asks.

Do I miss my person?  Of course I do.

I miss the intimate and private moments of sharing a life together.  I miss the laughter.  I miss his smile and goofy dancing.  I miss his loving nature and the way we got along. 

But, at the end of the day, I still have to stand by the decision I made. At some point in our relationships, we have to put each other first.  And I wasn't in that position for my partner.

At a certain point, I broke.

I had to take all the wisdom that was being given to me by family members, friends, and professionals over the past year and place it into action.

I will continue to pray for my partner.  And I will still always carry hope that one day he will be able to change and make "us" his first and top priority.

Today, right now, I'm not 100% sure he is capable of that leadership decision.  I believe there is too much fear of the unknown and leaving a life built on a family foundation of complacency, safety, and security.

I'm not sure he's at a place where he can put all his trust in God yet or claim a role of leadership.

Maybe that's why I was prompted to write that love letter.  I don't know.

What I do know is this. Today, I believe I was given final confirmation from God regarding this mission.

As I sat down to read, the Scripture posted above was the first thing I read:

"As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you."

Wow! Exactly!

Look at that closely and again - "As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you."

This verse is Paul talking about passing on God's great love for HIM to others.  Others that he loves.

Full circle.

Thank you Lord for your confirmations.  Thank you Lord for using me, an imperfect vessel.  And thank you Lord for providing a way despite my failures.

My prayer each day is this - I pray we all come to know God and His Son, Jesus, in a personal relationship.

God is the full embodiment of love, and He will always be our answer - for everything we are going through.

Always give your failures to Him. He will make a way.

Always lay your fears at His feet. He will make a way.

When He speaks, listen. When He asks, go.

We will not always know the reasons He asks us to do things, and we may not always know the results.

But we should be honored to have been asked...

Until next time, peace.


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