I am an introvert. Some doubt that’s true when they meet me. I can put on a great extrovert show – chalk it up to years of being a missionary kid. However, for all the days I’m out with people, I need just as many or more days at home with myself.
I had the privilege of sharing some of my food and cooking journey with a large group of women yesterday. It was so fun to talk about simple things I’ve learned and gathered along the way which have brought life and wholeness to my family. However, I got to noon and I was fried – body and spirit.
Today I’ve filled my morning with yoga and calm quiet at home. The fall air is finally crisp and cool. The sun is shining and I have my green tea and figs as I hunker down to journal, read and meditate.
So many books, so little time. I was drawn to the Jesus Storybook Bible this morning. If you’ve never read it, get a copy and start! It’s intended for children but I’ve found the words to speak power to me.
This book stopped me in my shoes this morning. In the beginning was all I needed – The Garden of Eden story.
In the garden, Adam and Eve are having a great time. They’ve got it made – all the food they want, no clothes to have to launder or spot clean, animals who listen and don’t pee in their house. It’s a good set up. Then this snake comes along. Here’s what happens next….
From the Jesus Storybook Bible…
“He slithered silently up to Eve. ‘Does God really love you?’ the serpent whispered. ‘If he does, why won’t he let you eat the nice, juicy delicious fruit? Poor you, perhaps God doesn’t want you to be happy?’
The snake’s words whispered in to her ears and sunk down deep into her heart, like poison. Does God love me? Eve wondered. Suddenly she didn’t know anymore.
‘Just trust me,’ the serpent whispered. ‘You don’t need God. One small taste, that’s all and you’ll be happier than you could ever dream…’
Eve picked up the fruit and ate some. And Adam ate some, too.
And a terrible lie came into the world. It would never leave. It would live on in every human heart, whispering to every one of God’s children: “God doesn’t love me.”
My heart skipped a beat as I read these sentences over and over. A terrible lie. God doesn’t love me. And then the lie grows. If God doesn’t love me, I’m not worth anything. If I’m not worthy of anything good, then I must be bad. I am a bad person.
I believed this lie for a long time. I didn’t know that’s what I was doing. I was convinced I was good. I did all the good things. I attended church, went to Bible study, asked for my sins to be forgiven. On the outside, I appeared to be a pretty decent God follower. Inside though, I struggled with love. Growing up, I was immersed in God. We went to church ALL THE TIME! We read our Bible and did family devotions. I attended a Christian high school and college.
Yet there was a missing piece – I was missing love – Love for myself. Love from God that encompasses EVERYTHING I DO. Deep down I wondered if I really was loved unconditionally by God.
I love how Glennon Doyle Melton says it referencing a picture she sent a friend right before she went on stage. ” There I am. Waiting. Listening to the crowd. Sweating. Feeling unworthy, uneverything. So this is what the voice says to me at times like this: “Are you kidding me? You’re gonna go out there? In front of all those people? And pretend you have something to say? Who do you think you are?” And for a second I panic.
But then I REMEMBER. And I say: “Me? Who am I ? I am a child of God. Worthy of the space I take up on this Earth. And I have some things to say. So Here I go.”
I think of my daughter – this magnificent person who from the moment she came into the world FOUGHT HARD TO SURVIVE! This strong brave soul teaches me every day about love and understanding God’s love. And she wrestles like no one I’ve ever seen with the thought of accepting love. From her deep wound, her scar this girl has taught me more about being real and understanding my core pain than anyone else I know.
This girl of mine, her life began with broken pieces. There is deep deep loss of all that was in order to gain a new reality. It is not easy, it is broken and it reeks of lies telling “God does not love me.”
Ann Voskamp says it so well. If you have time, go here and read it.
“Take all the time you need to find out for yourself how this is the most proven kind of true: The best kind of intensive care for a broken heart is to let the words of Christ intensively care for you.
Am I willing to dig deep and acknowledge my soul issue – that I doubt God’s love? When I do, I am able to finally let the words of God care for me. I’m finally able to acknowledge the lie that I’ve allowed myself to steep in – and begin to find healing.
“Did you know that God is always listening to you? Did you know that God can hear the quietest whisper deep inside your heart, even before you’ve started to say it? Because God knows exactly what you need even before you ask him. You see, God just can’t wait to give you all that you need. So you don’t need to use long words or special words. You don’t have to use a special voice. You just have to talk.” Jesus Storybook Bible