“Please don’t leave me,” I think. I want to be close, I want to show you my heart, but what if it’s not good? What if you don’t approve? My heart has been broken - again and again. My life has been hard, and I’ve tried so hard to be strong, but I just can’t be strong anymore. I am a broken person in a broken world in need of grace and mercy.
I ask, “is it my fault that I am where I am? Have I made too many bad choices that got me HERE? Is God punishing me or disappointed with me? Oh God, show me Your heart for me and this broken world.”
Oh, and He has - in His Son, “for God so loved the world…” For God so loved me…
God created us for connection - we’re not designed to walk alone. God saw Adam’s loneliness, and said, “It is not good for the man to be alone.” He gave Adam a companion, and his union with Eve was to mimic our union with our Creator. Children are placed in families where they can learn of love, security, and belonging. Where they can enjoy life, play, fall, and get back up again - under the blanket of acceptance as they are. Even Jesus, being God, had companions to walk with Him while He was here on earth. God’s design for Church is to be His body, each part connected - to be nourished together in Love and care for each other like a family.
But, because this world is a broken, hurting place, many of us haven’t experienced life the way God designed it to be. Our pain and brokenness make it a struggle to believe that God really meant all this for good - that He doesn’t leave us to suffer alone. We didn't get to experience the security of a happy childhood with the safety and belonging we always longed for; thus, we had to survive on our own. We learned to pretend everything was good and perform for love. We learned to let other people tell us our worth. We learned that we would never be enough.
Searching for love and belonging, we go to other things that just can’t fill or sustain us. Oh, maybe if I marry a guy that’s really in to me - then, I’ll be worth something. When that crumbles, we look to kids to be our savior - to give us worth. But they can’t do that either. Then, we follow a preacher that has all the answers and do everything ‘right’ or at least try to. But, that can’t save us either. All the while, God loves us with an everlasting love, longing to show us who we really are - His beloved children.
When our worlds crash, and we are left in the ashes, He is there. In our emptiness, with bleeding hearts, desperate, He doesn't condemn or despise, He comforts us. We let Him in. We ask Him to mend and make us whole. He promises to rebuild from the ashes - to create beauty. To redeem.
But the process is hard. It hurts. It’s scary - we have to become vulnerable. We have to learn to open up our hearts again, even after they have been hurt so many times. We have to trust - little by little. He is in no hurry for us to ‘get it right’ - He knows the right pace for me - and for you. Step by step, inch by inch.
He promises to never leave us - we never have to walk alone. He sends aid and encouragement through His Spirit and His people. He stays with us through the pain. When we can’t see any progress and we cry out again and again, “Oh God, please heal me.” He responds gently, ‘I AM.” And we snuggle up under His embrace and let Him hold us, His heartbeat calming our fears. For His Love for us is boundless - we will never reach the limit - for it stretches further still.