I am not the kind of writer that can sit down at a certain time every day with beautiful words to say. I have learned to dance with the Spirit, waiting sometimes for weeks for a word from God, and then I write like a madwoman for days on end.
I sensed the Lord telling me to put some excerpts from the book into this blog. Many of the things God showed me while writing my book stole the breath right out of my lungs. The healing in my soul dripped with honey straight from Heaven. I have never been one to dream dreams or have visions, but this past year has been heavily saturated with the tangible presence of Love. I used to look upon other’s experience’s with God with a slight twinge of envy, wondering and hoping that one day I would have those same experiences.
I now understand that I still had so many walls up with my Creator. Even after all these years, I wasn’t quite sure He could be trusted. He always seemed so wild and unpredictable to me. There was still a part of me that doubted whether or not He was really good. I would witness the faith of others, their certainty, their unwavering trust with a wide eyed wonder. All the while my doubts arose in my chest and I would watch warily to see how God was going to work in any given situation.
It wasn’t until I turned forty-one that I was unknowingly surprised by an unwanted wave of grief. You see, when my mother was taken from me very tragically and suddenly at the age of five I had determined, then, that the world was a very unsafe place, and God Himself surely could not be trusted.
The year before there was ever a book in my mind to be written, I went through a deep and very dark depression. I couldn’t seem to find my way out of the tunnel of grief I was suddenly feeling over something that had happened almost 40 years prior. Apparently, grief has no timeline and I had never fully grieved the loss of my mom. How could I? I was barely five years old when I lost her. I had spent my whole life running from that moment in time, but still frozen there as well. I don’t know how that is possible, but I was becoming increasingly desperate for help. I couldn’t handle the overwhelming sadness and ache in my soul by myself.
God is in the smallest of the details, because the therapist He led me to specialized in trauma therapy. I had never heard of such a thing, nor of the method she used which is called EMDR therapy. This type of therapy uses sounds, lights, and vibrations to rewire the brains Nero-transmitters. I was a cautious skeptic in the beginning, as I am with most things. My therapist was so kind and so sweet that she disarmed much of my suspicious nature.
After telling her a bit about my childhood history, she highlighted the areas that we were going to focus on, my mothers death and another instance that changed the trajectory of my life as well.
After my mom’s death, my dad was left to raise three children on his own. It was not an easy path for him. As a little girl, my dad had always been my hero, larger than life, invincible. As I got older, things began to change. He remarried a very broken woman, and our home became a place of chaos, angry outbursts, and turmoil. In the eighth grade, we got into a fight and I very disrespectfully told my dad to go have another beer, with disastrous consequences. My dad had never laid a hand on me before that night. I saw the anger, hurt, and fury flash in his eyes, and immediately cowered in fear as he charged toward me.
After my dad slapped me, I sputtered a hurt and rebellious “fuck you!” I was angry. He was angry. Round after round we continued. A slap across the face, followed by a fuck you. Things were never the same again. In my dad’s attempt to break my stubborn will, he only succeeded in breaking my spirit. I don’t say any of this lightly or to dishonor my dad in any way. I absolutely adore my dad. I am not sure what I would do in that same situation as a parent. I say this because my mom’s death and that moment shaped my life in ways unimaginable.
I was a little girl who already felt abandoned and unsafe in the world, and after that night I felt utterly forsaken as well.
Throughout my life I have always felt an overwhelming sense of abandonment from God. Even after coming to know Him as my Savior, I still believed deep within my soul that when things were good, God must be good. When things were bad, God must be mad.
It was during one of my therapy sessions that I had a vision of Jesus. While I was recounting what had happened with my dad in the eighth grade, out of nowhere I burst into tears, sobbing uncontrollably, my whole body shaking, because of this vision I was experiencing. In my vision, I saw Jesus standing in the room, at the end of my bed, the night my dad and I turned on one another. His love filled up the room, as if I could actually touch it. I felt surrounded and enveloped by pure and inescapable Love.
Here is the part that wrecked me to no end. Jesus was not necessarily looking at me with all of His compassion, even though I surely felt it. He was more directly looking at my dad, in all his rage towards me, with an almost unbearable amount of love, compassion, and kindness. I will never forget the look in His eyes. It unraveled me in the most indescribable way to witness just how much Jesus loved my dad in the very same moment my father became a monster to me.
Even now, as I type these words my heart still swells within my chest, as the tears roll down my cheeks. I am overwhelmed and once again undone by the beauty and the wonder at the gift of experiencing the Presence of that much Love.
I wish I had the words to adequately convey what I saw that day, but I have never been the same since then. The way Jesus was looking at my dad was as though he was a child, before the world had its chance to leave the dirty stain of hurt and disappointment upon my dad’s life.
I am no longer that little girl who always felt abandoned by Love! My view of others will never be the same again! The veil has forever been lifted!
If you have ever felt abandoned… If you have ever felt unworthy of love… If you question or doubt the existence of such Love… If you have felt the sting of disappointment and betrayal… If you feel lost or forgotten…
My prayer is that one day you will also encounter the One who is Love! That your heart would be open to the possibility of Love interrupting an ordinary day, in a full stop, extraordinary way! Until then, may my experience give you hope that its possible, that you are far more loved than you can possibly fathom, that Love has never left your side, and that the pain you’ve experienced will not prevail. Pain has an incredible way of distorting the lens through which we see, but when Love enters the room and time stands still for that moment, you won’t be left unchanged. I promise!