A dear group of friends and I are having a discussion today (as we do most days) and my friend Juli said the following: “I remember that before I was a ‘born again Christian’, I used to believe that by default God loved me, no matter what.” She went on to say that at different churches, she learned things that she is now needing to unlearn. We all began to chime in saying we have felt the same way.
When she said this, it really struck a chord with me and took me back to my own childhood. I remember very clearly feeling that not only did God love me tremendously, but I was and am somehow, very special to Him too. I never felt it was to the exclusion of anyone else, in fact, it had nothing to do with others. It was just me, and Him, and in that context, He absolutely adores me, period.
Some of the ideas I have had throughout my life, I am only now beginning to give voice to, with certain people. I have oftentimes felt that the God I felt drawn to, close to and loved by privately, was an altogether different person from the one I was taught about in church. The one from church was wishy washy and temperamental. He might strike me down at any given moment. He was scary, never laughed, was very far away and too busy to be bothered with my stuff on a daily or even weekly basis. As my daughter Jaiela says, the god from church needed a certain level and type of prayer, fasting and effort to even hear you, let alone answer your prayers. In order to get an answer from this god, there’s a certain amount of time one must wait to hear back from him, if they ever heard anything back at all. It was all so strange.
The God I know and love is the one I met in the innermost parts of my being. He made me know I was and am special to Him. He isn’t angry with me at all. He’s not waiting for me to mess up so that He can strike me down. He loves me without conditions. I can’t do anything to diminish or increase His love for me. He just loves me, and you, plain and simple.
I wonder if my friends and I are alone in our experiences and feelings. Outside of all the teaching, good or otherwise, what were your feelings about Him? Have you always seen Him as distant, or close? If you don’t know, I pray you come to know Him soon, in a real and tangible way. No one has or will ever love you more.