Come and Get Your Love

My last absence was too long, but I’ve been processing, people. Internal processing can be good. I don’t have to blab all of my feelings all over the place, right? Partially, I don’t even know where to start. I don’t have a hook, really, or even a good story to spin a profound thought from, so I guess I’ll just break down some things I’ve been learning on what I call my “complex journey to simplicity.” Stop number one: LOVE.

Now, I don’t have any issues in my past that would cause any abnormal barriers to understanding love. I grew up with parents that loved me; I’ve never been mistreated by a man; I’d like to think I’m a loving, affectionate person. So, it kind of surprised me about a month ago that I had something profoundly new to experience about God’s love for me. Not just your John 3:16 “Come to Jesus” love, which is totally amazing, but the love that he wants to lavish on me every day. The love that helps me connect with who he is so  I can even start to understand who I am.

I’m getting the picture: God loves me–like crazy love. Okay, so this sounds really cliche and simple. I get that. I wouldn’t say I was having any issue feeling loved by God before this “clicked” for me. However, here was my “aha”: I had been trying to pour out love and affection to God myself through prayer, worship, study, etc., but I was working so hard doing those things, that I forgot to allow myself to be on the receiving end of  love. His love. That makes for a pretty empty relationship of the one-way variety. Sure, I’d throw out your “thank you for loving me” statements in prayer and indulge in reflecting on God’s “great love” once in a while. But, that was starting to feel pretty impersonal. Without even knowing it, I was getting heavy into “Martha” mode when he was like, “Be a Mary and just sit down and soak it in. You’re making sandwiches for me that I didn’t order, and you’re getting all worked up about it, to boot. Sit down. Be quiet. Enjoy me.”

He Sings Over Me

While I was at this amazing conference at Bethel Church last month, one simple shift broke something inside of me. As we were worshipping in the conference, we sang this really beautiful song to God (I don’t even remember what it was) about how lovely he is, beautiful, worthy, holy… and then the worship leader said, “Now sing that again, but now imagine God is singing those words to YOU.” The tears just flowed from my eyes. “Tahni, you are beautiful, worthy, holy, and I love you.” 

Woah, why did I need to hear that so much? I’m learning we have to know what God thinks about us, or we’re toast. This false humility that has gripped Christians for centuries has to stop. The idea that we have to perform, or perfect, or somehow impress God into loving us enough to straighten out our messes is just keeping us down. Learning to receive his love every day is step one. I had jumped ahead to step five. Back up. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Go straight to the lap of your Papa and let him hold you for a while.

There were many more confirmations that came that were big enough to make me realize I better pay attention to this love thing. One lady at the conference came up to me out of the blue and gave me a red glass pocket heart. She said, “God wants you to know that he loves you so much. He’s proud of you. Just let him love you. You don’t have to earn it. Approach him like a little girl. Crawl into his lap and let him love you.”

Can You Imagine?

I’m experiencing that sometimes you just have to engage your imagination and get an image of what it looks like to receive God’s love. That might be different for each person. Dance with him. Sit with him. Walk with him, whatever. Then it connects with your spirit and fills you. Romans 8:15-17 (MSG) says it well, “This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike, ‘What’s next, Papa?’ God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us–an unbelievable inheritance.”

I’m learning that his love is there. It’s always there, but I have to come and get it. The biggest hindrance to experiencing the life-giving love of Jesus is fear. I thought I was really grabbing on to faith, but without consciously being on the receiving end of his love, fear was choking out my faith completely.

Raising a child that has autism can be so scary. It feels like everything is out of control. You don’t know what happened. You don’t know what the future holds. You don’t know why he’s acting like he is. You’re afraid you’re not doing everything you can and should, and even when you are, it seems like it’s never enough. Of the 15 things that need to be tackled, you don’t know where to start today. You don’t know what the bills and the stress are going to do to you next. You just want the nightmare to be over. If you let it, it will consume you, kill your spirit and dry you completely up.

But love is the thing that drives out fear. “There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life… is one not yet fully formed in love. We, though, are going to love–love and BE LOVED. First we were loved, now we love. He loved first.” 1 John 4:18-19 (MSG).

So, there you have it. Love–come and get your love now. (Surprisingly, this song can totally work as God singing it to you. He’s the “main vine,” right? Maybe it’s about drugs originally, I don’t know, but I think it really gets my point across.) Give a listen:

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One Response

  1. Great post and may God bless you 🙂

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