Five years ago, in my desperation for Love, I anchored my mind with the determined decision that I would never, ever leave God, and never, ever forsake him. Because He promised me that. And if He was going to promise me that, dammit, I would promise it back. I didn't love Him, not yet. But I was going to learn if it killed me.
How I came to this solution, out of all things, I have asked myself over and over. How I fell at God's feet instead of at the devil's? Well. Over the last five years I've found the answer:
We love because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19)
I knew, five years ago, that I didn't understand his love. That I didn't feel his love. That I didn't see it, I didn't understand it, I didn't trust it.
But in the moment my heart snapped in the dark, when something prompted me to crawl out of bed and kneel, with my face in my pillow, hands gripping my sheets, sobbing and lungs struggling for breath, at 17 years old, I also knew that he would be Everything to me.
I knew that this God that I didn't know would be my Everything. And I wanted to know Him.
When love steals our hearts, this is how it feels. This is what we know but cannot explain. We just know.
Paul says it is by grace we have been saved, through faith - and this not from ourselves - but that it is a gift from God.
Five years ago, I was given the gift of blind faith. I cannot and will not boast in it. It was given to me, and it is the greatest gift I have ever or will ever be given. I pray that I will be thankful for it until the day I see God face to face, and then for the rest of eternity.
Five years ago, my heart quite literally broke, as he removed my heart of stone and gave me a heart of flesh.
Do you know what is beautiful about hearts of flesh? They bleed.
Today, I drowned in a love that five years ago I did not know could exist. Because five years ago, I didn't know how much God loved me. I didn't know what God's love looked like. I didn't know that it was unconditional, and that I was treasured in the way that my heart burns and aches to be treasured. I was bitter. I was hurt. Scared. Withdrawn. I didn't trust. I could count on one hand how many 'friends' I had. And even then, they never saw my heart.
I had no idea how to love. I wanted him to teach me. I wanted to bleed.
Excuse me while I go find a baby pool filled with humility to sit in while I tell you how I got here. How God brought me here.
When I was given a heart that bled, I knew that I was being asked to do one of the hardest things a human can ever do. And I swore on my life that I would do it no matter what the cost or how hard it was or how much work I had to put into it:
To believe of God what He says He is, above all else.
To throw all else out, and to go ONLY to God to find who He is. To listen to what He says, above all others. To seek God on his terms, not mine, and not others. To believe that I am who HE SAYS I AM, above what all others say, and above what I believe.
This is not a feeling, not an emotion, not something that is "something we should probably do." This is a decision that we consciously make, and stand by and fight for and die for. Would you die to find this God? To understand his Love? To love Him?
Too often our understanding of God is defined by our father, by what we see in the Church, by what is reflected in our Christian friends. Oh children. Our fathers, our churches, and our friends are broken, broken people. They, and we, are what is saved, not what is Saving. And when you desperately need Saving, you go to the Savior first. First. FIRST. It is an insult to God - a slap in the face to the very Being who created you out of Grace - when you put their name tags on Him, and say, "This is who You are, because this is what I've seen."
When we choose to live in blind faith, we must put blinders on to everything but faith.
Yes, that is extreme. And yes there is so much value in wise counsel, in the church, in books, in friends. But when these things tell you of a God who is anything other than what God has told you, you put your blinders on. To everything but Him.
And I will stand by that statement until the day I die. Because God has said: "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest." (Jeremiah 31:33)
And. I. Believe. God.
If God has not yet told you who He is, you do not yet know.
If God has not yet told you how much he loves & adores you, you do not yet know.
When God is the one who tells you who He is, you will never forget it. And when He embraces you in a love that you cannot describe, you will be hard-pressed to doubt Him again.
This is what it means to be crazy in love with the God of the Universe. To live by faith, not by sight.
To drown in love.