Thursday, February 13, 2014

Papa's Love

"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us,
that we should be called children of God. 
And that is what we are!"
I John 3:1

I have spent the past 45 Valentine Days exchanging paper, words, gifts, and embraces with my husband Joel.  We spent our first eight years in the military, and the next thirty-five in ministry, moving 26 times, living in five states and one third world country.  We parented seven children plus, and are blessed with oodles of grandchildren.  We lived through endless years of severe Lyme Disease before healing came, cancer in my body, surgeries for his,  and the death of one son at age 25. We have walked through nearly half a century together with God as our center.  Our lives have been richly blessed in the ordinary and in the extraordinary.  Only God.

Let me share the short story of how we came together.  We met at Bible college, and I thought he was loud, obnoxious, and I certainly was not impressed with his foot attire. Boots!   I was a mouthy, feisty, "city" girl and he was a country boy......but God had a plan.  My sister, who helped raise me, came for parents weekend at school along with a family friend.  They met Joel and decided he was the man I was going to marry!  I protested, but they went home to "pray about it".  We were married 18 months later and I grew to love those boots nearly as much as the man who wears them!  Forty-five years later we till are crazy about each other.  Only God.

I liked to say that I knew how much God loved me because he brought Joel into my life. . I could go on and on about this man of God, my cowboy preacher, who teaches and preaches the Word, who lives the Word.  But today I want to share what I have learned this past year about God's love for me.  For the one who did not believe she was good enough for her loving cowboy preacher, for God.

That statement above?  The one that says I know how much God loves me?......I did not.  I did not really know the depth.  I did not fully understand or feel that deep lavish-love the Bible speaks of.  Not from any lack on God's end, but from someone who had a difficult time forgiving herself for her failings as a wife, a mother, a woman of God.  From someone who strived always to be someone else, who was never enough.

When my healing journey began, I cautiously opened the eyes of my heart day by day, beat by beat into the heart of God and walls began to come down, lies from the enemy were brought into the light, and the perfect love I experienced resonated in me until it felt like His heartbeat joined mine. Holy Spirit filled me to overflowing with a love hard to describe. But it is real, so real.  Revelation has come slowly that I am enough, but it has come through embracing the Father's love. .  Only God.

Do any of you feel like you are not quite enough?  Embrace the Father's love.  Search what God's Word has to say about you.  Do you have trouble forgiving and forgetting the mistakes you made and still make as a mom, wife, human being?  Embrace Papa God's love and forgiveness.  See yourself through the His eyes...your Heavenly Papa who loves you so much.  Do you feel unworthy of such love?  Look to Jesus, hear the story of His love and sacrifice whispered into your heart.  Embrace it.  Believe it.  Walk in it.

Papa God wants you to know and believe.........

"You are His beloved"
"He delights in you"
" He rejoices over you with singing  "
"He loves you so much He  sacrificed His Son..."
"You are enough"

  I am linking up with Faith Barista today and writing on her word prompt, "love".


Cherry said...

Visiting from the Faith Barista Jam - it's always fun to find another mom/grandma here in blogland! I loved reading of how you have come to embrace God's love for you more and more ... the best kind of Love! I am continually learning and growing in this amazing love, as well. Happy Valentine's Day!

HisFireFly said...

beautiful words
beautiful truth
His loves reaches everywhere
even to us!

you soak in that love
and leak all over everyone

Krista Sprankle said...

Hi Renee,

Isn't it amazing how infinitely the Father loves us? :)

I really enjoyed your post.

Have a wonderful Valentine's day with your cowboy preacher;)

Anita Johnson said...

Wonderful, Renee!
Happy Valentines Day to you and Joel!

Debbie Petras said...

All I can say Renee, is that this post is beautiful! How many of us say we know God's love but still have hearts covered a bit from previous hurts. But I am learning that He is sufficient for all my needs and He loves me. Amazing love!

Blessings and love,

Renee said...

It is a process, isn't it Cherry! Thanks for coming by and your thoughtful comments.

Renee said...

Hisfirefly, thanks for your soak in His love! Yes! He waits for us to desire it, doesn't He. Blessings!

Renee said...

Thanks for coming by Krista...

Renee said...

Same to you, Anita!

Renee said...

Hi Debbie,
Yes His love is amazing. Thanks for coming by...