Hard Earth to New Life

In all the years I’ve known Him, God has never catered to my emotions or to the demands of my flesh. He is God. He will not bow to me. But when I reflect I see that He never forsook me. His comfort was there. His healing embrace. He heard my cries as a little girl saying, “I just want Jesus.” Even when I didn’t fully understand who He was. He was there. He held me back from the edge. He stayed my hand. He fought the battle with me. I see His mark on me. I see His faithfulness and tender compassion.

But I have held myself at an arms’ length from Him for a long time. I’ve been trying to reconcile the justice and righteousness of God with his Fatherly compassion. Now I feel as though I am learning to know all over again the love of the Father. It’s a love I don’t understand – I thought I did. For God so loved me that He gave – gave His son to be rejected and despised. To bear my sorrow, iniquity, and sickness. My head spins when I think of that kind of love. Is it true? It must be – because Jesus himself said he came to bind up the broken hearted. To shepherd the lost sheep. This love is real. It is true. And I cannot reject Him.

I never thought of myself as insecure. I’ve always been annoyed with those who wear insecurity like a cloak; seeking affirmation via manipulation. But the truth is I am terribly insecure in my relationship to the Lord, as His child. And I had no idea. Over the past few months, each time the Father has spoken to me He’s affirmed me saying, “You belong to me. You are my daughter. I love you.” Over and over He’s repeated the same thing, even when it didn’t seem to fit with everything else He was saying. It was as though I needed convincing. It’s puzzled me. When I heard those words I just sort of shrugged them off with this “Yeah Lord, I know.” attitude. But He was speaking to the little girl in me who doesn’t know who she is and doesn’t know her worth. He was speaking straight to the insecurity that I didn’t even know was there.

Nevertheless, my Father is not letting me off easy. He didn’t say, “Here’s the problem, work on it.” He has joined me in this pit with a shovel and said, “Let’s dig deep. Let’s lay the axe to the root of this. We are going to bring to the light why you do this, why you think this way, why it’s broken. And I am going to heal you. You will never be the same.” And so we dig. Deep. Turning over soil that is hard and packed. I am being laid bare. The secrets of my heart are exposed. More than that – the secrets of my pain are exposed. He has prompted me to bring the lies into the light. To speak of things I’ve never dared to speak of before. When lies come to the light they lose their power. They lose their sting. And healing comes.

So a new foundation is being laid in those places where the digging has been done. The Lord is cementing my identity in Him. I am being baptized into His name – again. I almost feel as though it would be sacrilegious to say this, but I sense the Father confirming to me in my baptism, “You are my beloved daughter, with whom I am well pleased.” Those words strike a holy fear into my heart. I know that I am no longer just a slave but a son. A daughter. I am crying out “Abba, Father” like never before.

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