“Deep down inside, when no one is around and the only sound that breaks the silence is the beating of our own hearts, we long to feel the warm embrace of love wrapped around us. We desire to truly experience lasting and genuine love, maybe for the first time in our lives. What we thought would bring us love has let us down, and we are tired of searching. Even the best of our earthly relationships with the strongest bonds of earthly love cannot quench the INSATIABLE THIRST of our souls for a DEEPER CONNECTION… so much so that we’re not even sure anymore that it really exists.”
“[God's love] is strong, and it is swift. It is a heavenly wonder, unmatched by anything earthly. And when you experience it in your heart, it makes it IMPOSSIBLE to settle for love of any other kind.”
“Our birth certificate has been stamped with a seal of authenticity as a child of God, and He is NEVER GIVING US BACK OR LETTING US GO.”
“God has done things to show us His UNCONDITIONAL ACCEPTANCE of us like none other ever has or ever will. Rest assured that Someone who would go to the trouble of counting the number of hairs on your head loves you entirely and accepts you completely, with SHEER ABANDON.”
Lisa Whittle, from “Behind Those Eyes,” emphasis mine.
When I started this study, hosted by Lelia, never in my wildest imaginations did I dream that this book would so parallel the road of healing I have been on for the past year. God knew that learning to come out of hiding, learning to stop suppressing my emotions, learning to trust Him, learning that He loves and accepts me… all needed to be reinforced. It needed to go from my head to my heart.
God placed me with an incredible counselor who, through the EMDR therapy she uses, was able to help me start connecting the head knowledge I had about God, and the truth of who I am, to my heart. She has helped me work through things so that I am getting to the point where I KNOW and BELIEVE the truth that God has spoke to me through His word.
So many of the other women I have met through this study have talked about getting this knowledge from their heads to their hearts that God loves and accepts them completely and fully, with no reservations.
Through this book, God has been reinforcing all the things I have been learning in counseling. I can hardly describe the journey I have been on. The thing is, since I started posting for this bible study, I haven’t been writing much about how my counseling has been going. Because this book study has been forcing me to focus on things each time, they have carried over into my counseling, and Tricia has been able to help me process through them.
But I have to share this. Yesterday was a break through in counseling in a major way. I mean, we worked through a bad memory, but I got the chance to read my post to her, “A year ago,” and it made Tricia cry. I didn’t expect that, and she didn’t either. She thanked me for sharing it because she said that she doesn’t often get to see the end result of counseling… the end result in a client’s life, from the client’s perspective. It encouraged her when she needed it.
After reading that to her, we both came to the conclusion that my time of counseling with her is finished.
Did you hear that?
I never thought in a million years that only one year after starting counseling, I would be finishing up.
She and I both agreed we may have to sweep up a few loose ends, but in reality, everything has been worked through. She has given me the tools I need to work through things on my own, as they come up. God has given me the ability to process through issues and hurts as they come up, so that I can deal with them and bring the light of truth into each situation.
I am learning how to apply the truth! I am learning that the things I know about God and myself, I can believe fully in my heart.
Out of all of this time, this past year, a passion has been growing inside of me. I didn’t know how to really put a name to it in any definitive way. I have a passion for writing, for singing and leading in worship, for speaking to others. But I didn’t know how to put it together.
I think I now know more of what it is. As I have learned more about God’s love and acceptance for me, He has opened my eyes to see that there are so many others that don’t know and really BELIEVE that God loves and accepts them. Oh, how I want to share what He has revealed to me through His word and His active work in my life!
I have such a desire to see other women find the healing that I have received.
God’s love is so incredible. Just reading the verses that Lisa had in her chapter this week… there were two that I particularly liked, and I will add another one here for you as well.
“The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me - a prayer to the God of my life.” Ps. 42:8
“The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love.” Zeph. 3:17
“Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.” Ps. 90:14
God’s acceptance of us.
It isn’t just a toleration of us, but wholehearted acceptance. Without conditions. Without concerns about our past. Without looking for anything else from us, but to trust Him, and to draw near to Him.
He won’t reject us. He won’t harm us. He won’t use us (in the bad sense of the word). He won’t leave us lying bruised and brokenhearted on the floor. Not like the people and things we have pursued time and again looking for that love and acceptance we so need. He picks us up in His hands. He cradles us in His arms as He whispers His songs of love over us in the night time of our hearts.
Oh beautiful child of the only Living God…
- Do you know that He loves you?
- Do you know that He accepts you?
- Do you know that He gave his only beloved Son to die for you, so you can stand unashamed before Him?
- Do you know that along with His Son, He will give you, out of His lavish grace, all things?
- Do you know that it doesn’t matter to Him how hungry you have been and how you have looked in the world to satisfy that hunger and thirst inside?
- Do you know that the trouble and difficulties you have gone through, the hardship that you have faced don’t deter Him?
- Do you know that the swords that have cut you to ribbons in this life, the persecution you have faced from family, friends, strangers who didn’t understand you can’t ever slow Him down?
- Do you know that the nakedness, being stripped bare in front of everyone, or in the spotlight of your mind’s eye, doesn’t disgust Him?
Not any of these things can possibly separate you from God’s love.
He has shown us that love through Christ’s death on the cross. He has shown us that He understands all we have gone through and tried to do on our own. He has shown us He loves us. He has shown us that He accepts us because we are beautiful and precious in His sight.
He sees who He has created us to be. He has a vision for us that cannot be denied. He has a purpose for our lives that will not be thwarted. He will complete the good work He has started.
He won’t stop loving us, or reject us ever.
“Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.” Ps. 34:5
Standing covered with His blood and righteousness, we may look up at Him with no fear in our heart, no shame in our soul. We are clean and without blemish before Him. And He loves us with an everlasting love. Nothing will change that.
We are secure.
That’s more than enough for me.
What about you?
That’s more than enough for me.
What about you?