“Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. This is the true self. Every other identity is illusion.” Brennan Manning

Friday, September 27, 2013

Trust is won.

A dear sweet young friend stopped by after school. Her presence always warms me. I feel her brokenness, yet her eyes radiate with excitement. She can't wait to tell me about the horse she is on her way to rescue. Horses have been her haven and there's something magnificent in the way she knows them and wins their trust. I'm always in awe of her softness and strength. Her love in the midst of hardships most people never have to know. She was adopted by her great grandparents, the only family she's had. And in their age, they could only take care of her for so long. Her mom passed away with cancer a few years ago and her dad is weak and struggling with cancer now. So she's had to find friends or neighbors to take her in. Yet, she always comes with a smile and real embrace. Though deep she hurts, she's making it. And I see her.

Curious, I asked her how she goes about breaking a horse that has never been ridden. And oh, she overflowed as she told me. She said the ones she rescues take a lot more time because they have been abused. It takes months of daily interaction to win their trust. Though it's a slow process that takes a lot of patience, she sees the potential in the horse and values his life. Her belief that the horse will yield his fears and learn to trust possibly for the first time keeps her going day after day. So she tirelessly works with the horse, at first only with her presence and reassuring words, then after time, gentle touch. She said there comes a time when she has a sense that the horse is ready to be won over. It's just an intuition that comes when the horse comes running towards her when she calls his name, enjoying her presence and touch. She then leads him to the middle of a pond. And in the middle of the pond, she gets on his back and rides him out. After that, the horse is broken and will let her ride him. They have bonded. Trust is formed.

This encouraged me so. Because trust is hard for me. I've been abused and hurt too many times by the ones who were supposed to protect, and I don't want to let anyone come close to me again. But living so shielded is desperately lonely, unloved, and unknown. And really I long for connection. I long for Love. And God is oh so patient with me, and gentle. He's in no hurry. He finds me day after day, whispering Love Songs in my ear, and as I hear His heartbeat, I let Him come closer. I let Him touch me where it hurts. I let Him lead me gently into the waters. And I let Him in my heart and welcome Him as my Master. He doesn't demand my trust, He earns it with His endless love. Even when I am a broken mess, unwanted, used and tossed away, He sees me as worth it. As valuable. And He persistently shows me He isn't giving up on me, He isn't leaving, He isn't going to stop loving me. Patiently, He waits till I respond to Him. And we're bonded in Love. Trust is formed.


Just as I'm about to fasten the diaper, he jets, streaking across the living room into another room waiting in eager expectation for my pursuit. As I call his name, all I hear is giggles, knowing his mommy's gonna 'get him' and he can't hold in his excitement. He doesn't expect me to punish him, he awaits my smile and kisses and tickles. And he loves every moment of this, and so do I.

As he warms my heart, in the back of my mind, I beat myself up, thinking, I'm doing a bad job with my kids and can't even get them to obey me. But then I think, NO! This is a much better way; it is Love. He is secure in my love for him even when he's being a bit ornery. He knows I delight in him no matter what his actions are. My nearness is his good and he awaits in suspense my pursuit of him even in his nakedness. He has no shame; he knows he is loved just as he is and he anticipates my delightful embrace, clothing him again. Cause in being pursued, we feel loved. And God's pursuit for us is relentless, even when we are hiding, ashamed and insecure, He wins us over in Love. And His nearness is our good and He delights in us as we are.