Living Loved

IMG_0567In a previous life I lived as a woman unloved. Having given my heart to a man who did not value it, I strove to shape myself into someone he might love. It was an impossible alteration. The more I tried, the more of myself I lost, until I became a shadow of little substance.

Then into that shadowed life stepped the Spirit of God, kindly and with infinite patience, wooing me with His unfailing love.

“The Lord will call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit —a wife who married young, only to be rejected,’ says your God. ‘For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back. With everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you,’ says the Lord your Redeemer.” (Isaiah 54:6-8 NIV)

Scraping my heart from beneath uncaring feet, I offered the pieces to God, doubting He would find anything worth patching. Having lived so long unloved, I believed the lie that I was of little value. But He who created my inmost being, who knit me together in my mother’s womb, loved me and valued me beyond measure. For a time I grieved the dead dream of being a cherished wife, then I gradually gave my heart over to its Maker. He stirred in me a hunger to know Him, to dwell in close communion with Him, to search out His truths for me.

“For your Maker is your husband — the Lord Almighty is His name.” (Isaiah 54:5)

Life around me was a maelstrom. Long neglected and abandoned, now I was the focus of a vindictive campaign to leave me broken and destitute. But internally I was living loved. God was my calm center in the eye of the storm. The more the tempest raged, the more I found peace and solace in that calm lap of love. How else could I have survived?

“ ‘Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet My unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor My covenant of peace be removed,’ says the Lord, who has compassion on you.” (Isaiah 54:10)

Living loved is to touch bottom in the vast, unending pool of God’s care. Swim in it, float in it, be carried along in the current created by the beat of God’s great heart.

Living loved means though all sure things on earth are whipped out from underfoot, yet you stand firm on the only Rock which cannot be shaken, and you find peace.

Living loved gives a glimpse of yourself through God’s eyes, because His love comes without agendas or conditions or variances. It is a love to rest in.

Living loved sets the Cross at my back, the crux of history and of my own life, where Love stretched out His arms to die for me.

“Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.”
(verse 3 of The Love of God by Fredrick M. Lehman)

© Valerie Ronald and scriptordeus 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Valerie Ronald and scriptordeus with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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The Forsaken Hour

compassI watch her walk away, this one I love; her back stiff as a wall against me. The very foundations of who I am and what I believe have been attacked and rejected by her. My heart cries out, losing sight of its true north. The needle of my faith jerks crazily, pulled awry by doubts, hurt, loss. The compass of my identity, firm in the grip of God, suddenly lacks direction and I feel as though I’ve lost my way. I am forsaken.

Forsaken, renounced, rejected, estranged. For a while the capacity for this close human relationship to wound and grieve brings me down to the dirt. Tears wet my pillow at night. I rise, unable to sleep, my heart dully thudding in my chest, my mind replaying words said and unsaid.

I try to understand how all the years of care, encouragement, sacrifice and love could be twisted off course so radically. Shared moments of joy, being there for each other, common memories binding us — now are shattered shards lying at my feet.

For days and weeks I worry over these shards of a broken relationship, wondering how they will ever be put back together. I pray, I search the Word, I cry out to God, yet the needle of my compass still spins wildly.

Doubt is a dark magnet pulling me from my true north, whispering, “Maybe you did treat her the way she says you did. Maybe your attitude was judgmental. Maybe you’ve been wrong all this time.” The father of lies squirms his way through the shards, spreading poison like blood on broken glass. I begin to realize this battle is not with me. It is a battle fought in a much greater dimension, a spiritual realm. If I believe what the enemy says and take this rejection personally, I will give him what he wants. I refuse to listen.

Instead I ask the One who knows. Show me the truth. If I need to make things right, reveal them to me. Help me see what You see.

And gradually the needle slows its spinning. Nothing has changed on the outside. The rift is the same and her heart is still cold toward me. But the air of my inner spirit is finally clearing and my feet are finding the right path again.

Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you,” Jesus, my true north, tells me. (Heb.13:5b NIV) I remember before when I was forsaken by someone else close to me, in the end it was Jesus who remained. He remains now, amidst the shards. Never will I leave you. Never will I forsake you. The never of Jesus lasts for all eternity.

Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.”  (Psalm 9:10) A compass is used by those who are seeking, to find their way. My compass was sent reeling by the blow of an earthly rejection, but true north, the absolute truth of the One who has never forsaken me, points me in the right direction again.

My heart will grieve over this broken relationship until there is healing, which I fervently pray for. But my spirit, that which finds its home in Christ, is secure and at peace, its needle pointing to the true north of His unfailing love.

“The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” – Deut. 31:8