Friday, September 10, 2010

My Conversation with God

Today’s post is a little unusual. For the last month, I’ve been aimlessly wandering through a dark forest of low self-esteem and feelings of inferiority and insignificance. My thoughts easily drifted from a solid reliance on God’s love to living in fear that maybe this time, he’s just had enough of me and my problems.

My life experience tells me that no love last and all love will eventually end in pain so trying to get my heart to fully accept and live into the ultimate, unchanging, undeserved, eternal, abundant love of God is beyond my ability. Last night God led me to Romans 8:28-39 (NIV) in my search for a path through this wilderness. As I read his Word, it became a conversation between him and me. It ended with an amazing revelation for me and a very big first step to leaving behind this forest forever. I invite you to be a fly on the wall and hear our conversation for yourself.

God's Word (NIV) is in black. My words are in purple. Inserted into the last verse you will see words in green. These are the words the Spirit gave me last night to clarify what God has been telling me in his Word all along.

28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. I love you and your Spirit in me is proof that you have called me. You have chosen me just as I am to receive your love and grace.

29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. To be conformed isn’t a single event – it’s a process, a lifetime of experience that I will learn and grow from. I know I’m not good enough but that doesn’t matter because you are, Jesus, and I am being made like you at the pace you set.

30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. You had me in mind from the beginning, you reached out to me time and time again until I answered and then you gave me the greatest gift I’ve ever known – your love and your grace. That love and grace is transforming me and I will be the woman you intended me to be. You will not give up, nor will you fail.

31What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? Not even the prison built by the abuse of my past and all the pain that comes from it is stronger than you God. You will break down the walls. You will conquer the fear, enable me to see and live into the truth of your everlasting love. Your loving power protects me. Your gentle hand leads me out of the dungeon of my past into a foreign land that you are giving me as my inheritance – a land of promise where love, joy, peace and patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control grow freely and abundantly.

32He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? I understand the pain of watching my child suffer and die. To give him up for someone I love would have been too difficult for me to do, but to give him up for someone who hated me is unthinkable. And yet, that’s exactly what you did. You gave up your perfect holy Son for me – a sinner. Your sacrifice came threefold – As Christ, you endured the pain of the cross, as Heavenly Father, you permitted this atrocity, and as the Spirit, you did nothing to save Jesus from the anguish so that I would have the ability to return to you, to love you if I chose to respond to this ultimate expression of love. How could I believe for a moment that you would offer yourself that fully in sacrifice for me and then decide you don’t love me after all or that you would grow weary of me over time? No matter what lies I believe about myself, you love me in the truth which will never change or die.

33Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34Who is he that condemns? The lies I hear in my head and hold in my heart are not from you God but from the enemy. Jesus, you are the truth and though I have been conditioned to believe these falsehoods from childhood, you will not stop until you break through the programming that the years of pain have imprinted on my heart and mind. I am not worthy of your love, and I don’t have to be for you to love me. Your love for me makes me worthy enough for you.
Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. I was under the sentence of death because of my sinfulness and rebellion and you, who could not bear to see me suffer the penalty, died in my place for my sins. Your resurrection is your pledge that we will always be together until the end of time. In that same love, you are bringing my needs and desires to our Heavenly Father and asking him to love me as he loves you and to provide for and protect me.

35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? What is stronger than the power of the One who created all there is? No one can take me away from you and you will not abandon me even in worst of times. The worst doesn’t scare you, won’t make you change your mind, and cannot overcome you. In fact, it’s in the worst of times when I can rely on you all the more to show your love in providing for and protecting me.

36As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." There is no sin I can commit, no rebellion so odious that your love for me would die. You would still love me with the same love that led you to the cross for my redemption. The enemy will continue to attack as long as I am here on this earth because of your love for me. He will try to convince me with lies that I am separated from your love and I will need to stand firm in your power and in these mighty gifts you’ve given me: salvation, righteousness, truth, peace, faith and the Bible.

37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Jesus, you have already won my heart and your patience will know no end as I learn to live into that indescribable love! God is love. You can’t and won’t stop loving me because it’s who and what you are. You are love and you have chosen to focus your attention on me. Why you picked me is not important—that you did is what matters! Your death on the cross and your resurrection ended for all time the debate of do you or don’t you really love me. That incredible act of love will stand for all time. It will not fade or decay or vanish. You will not grow tired or weary of me and you won’t “fall out of love” with me. You are unchanging. You are eternal. And you are love.

38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor any exceptions to the rule that Maureen can come up with, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate [her] from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Jesus loves me. This I know, for the Bible tells me so...

About the pictures:
North Park (11-10)
North Park (5-10)
Deer Lake Park (5-10)
Deer Lake Park (5-07)


Anonymous said...

Hugs!! Jean

Audrey said...

I'm glad that you are having a conversation with Him. It is something that we all long for!