So much of my journey has been going from seeing God as an “intimidating, angry man” to seeing Him as the tender Heavenly Father that He is.
Years ago, I probably wouldn’t have admitted that I saw God as a distant, angry God, but I did. I felt like I was walking on eggshells all the time, and I didn’t want to be around Him because it was just too hard to live feeling intimidated by Him all the time. I didn’t like the idea of being watched by a God who I thought was picking me apart. It was too hard to think of Him being displeased with me all the time.
So I shut Him out for many years. I covered my eyes, and plugged my ears…
The wall that I had put up to “protect myself” from Him had made my heart grow cold.
But over the last few years, God has been teaching me about who He really is.
He’s been loving me through a heart change as His love knocked down the wall that kept my heart in the cold, dark, isolation.
What is the part of Himself that He’s been revealing to me?
Tenderness. Goodness. Safety. Love. Gentleness. Kindness.
There is a deep part of me that has always been so afraid of doing something “wrong” and it has kept me from trying, it has kept me from doing, it has kept me from living.
I remember in 1st grade I had a teacher who was very stern and cold.
Something about her made me decide it was safer to shut myself down.
Something about her made me feel inadequate, dumb, and like I couldn’t do anything right. Something about her made me feel like I was displeasing, a disappointment.
I remember that I had become so afraid of getting into trouble, being made fun of, having my name written on the board….
So I decided it would be better, safer –not to say a single word.
So I stopped talking in school.
I just stopped.
I became very paranoid of doing something wrong, breaking a rule.
I covered myself in my coat all day, even when it was hot inside.
I wanted to hide and been unseen as much as possible.
If anyone wanted to talk to me, I wrote it down on a piece of paper, even when we were allowed, or asked to talk. Even at the lunch table.
It went out of control.
(Wow, I had no idea I would go into that this morning!)
But…one day, a gentle and loving Heavenly Father gave me a safe place to unravel. It was always there for me to step into, I just couldn’t see Him, I couldn’t see the truth until many, many years later.
Why? I don’t know. But I trust God’s timing. I trust that there is purpose in the pain. I trust that He can gather up all of my mistakes about who I thought He was and somehow use it in where I’m headed.
“Because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” – Luke 1:78-79
He draws us from afar with His tender lovingkindness.
He was drawing me all along, it just took me a little while to get there.
“The LORD appeared to him from afar, saying, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness.” – Jeremiah 31:3
Thank You, Father. Thank You for letting me see who You really are. For giving me a safe place to come to. Forgive me for hiding from You for so long, for being so afraid of you. Thank You for letting me see, and thank You for waiting so patently while You waited for me. ?