Thursday, January 15, 2015

Popsicle Stick Cross

 I've been asked to pray about and share my one word for this new year.

One word that God has impressed my heart with.
A word that I will take with me all year long and know that it is mine.
My one-word-gift.
Given to me by my Father.

 I typically resist being boxed in by a request like this when I write.
Rules, scripts and boundaries suck the life out of even the smallest inclination to put my heart on paper. If you look back at my recent posts on this blog of mine, you won't find any. I have not published anything for an entire year.

I've been silent.

My life took a road that I never would have chosen, Had I been given a choice.
A road that was littered with betrayal, loss and eventually suicidal thoughts and intent.
Who chooses to watch their long-awaited-for dream be bulldozed into a pile of smoking rubble?
And who chooses to lose hope?
To lose heart?

But I realized that this request to share my one word is an invitation. 
An invitation to use my voice. To take a break on hiding my own story.
Because God made us to be known. 

For the past year I've been finding out who God is. And who He isn't.
Who I am. And who I am not.
Past trauma and the resulting belief that I needed to shut everything down that moved or breathed or had life in me, kept me far and away from living authentically. And it kept me from knowing the truth. That the God I thought I knew is not that kind of God at all.

God is love.

I've known that since I could hike my own tights up under my little skirt in the bathroom stall of our local church. Since I could wrap my fingers around a blue crayon and color in those exact words on my Sunday School take-home-paper. And glue those letters onto a popsicle stick cross.

But those three words were not mine to keep.
I hastily folded my paper up each Sunday and dropped it into the trash.
My cross was broken and discarded before I ever reached home.
God's love was a concept that I bravely denied. Passing it on to the next deserving kid in line.
I knew without question that I was not ok.

There were other shameful words that had been given to me that kept me from receiving any kind of good gift. Any kind of truth.
And especially any kind of love.

I've traveled a few miles since then.
And God has persisted and pursued in His desire to introduce Himself to me.
As He IS.
And to open my bolted heart on who I am.
To Him.

I'm Beloved.

This is who He says I am.
It has taken months upon months of personal, intimate, healing moments to be able to open my hands up and receive that word.

BE.....exist, have life, breathe, draw breath.

LOVED....cared very much for, felt deep affection for, thought the world of, devoted to.....a feeling of warm personal attachment....all arising from kinship or close friendship. 

BELOVED....much adored, treasured one who is affectionately and unconditionally loved.

What kind of God loves like that?

It is the same God who helped me learn to pull my tights on by myself.
Who shaped my unskilled fingers around a blue crayon.
And who wept at the sight of a little girl lost.
The God who rescued her and brought her to rest in His unsearchable love.

“Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between his shoulders.” Deut. 33:12

I'm linking up today with my favorite blogger, Bonnie Grey at Beloved Brews.